Nowadays, because of lockdowns, we travel less and stay home more often. A more passive lifestyle may make it easier for one to gain weight. Intermittent Fasting is currently a very popular way to lose weight in the health and fitness community. What is intermittent fasting and how can I use it to lose weight in a lockdown?
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is currently one of the main health and fitness trends in the world. People are using it to lose weight, improve their health and simplify their lifestyles. For instance, many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain and may even help you live longer.
Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It is not a diet but is more correctly described as an eating pattern. Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.
Most people try intermittent fasting to lose weight. By eating fewer meals, intermittent fasting can reduce your calorie intake. In addition, it changes hormone levels to facilitate weight loss. It lowers insulin and increases growth hormone levels. Also, it increases the release of the fat-burning hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Because of these changes in hormones, short-term fasting may increase your metabolic rate by 3.6–14% (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source). Therefore, intermittent fasting helps you in both ways – by eating less and burning more calories.
Intermittent Fasting Methods
There are several different ways of doing intermittent fasting — all of which involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods.
During the fasting periods, you eat either very little or nothing at all.
These are the most popular methods:
- The 16/8 method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
- The 5:2 diet: You consume only 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
By reducing your calorie intake, all of these methods should cause weight loss as long as you don’t compensate by eating a lot during the eating periods.
Many people find the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. It’s also the most popular.
How to apply it in a lockdown
- Apply the 2 other methods
I suggest applying Eat-Stop-Eat or the 5:2 diet as they reduce the amount of time we go out to eat, thus exposing us less to the coronavirus.
- Avoid temptation
There may be a temptation when we stay at home to eat anything delicious there is in the fridge. I suggest you clear the fridge of anything that increases your calorie intake by too much or tempts you to deviate from the eating pattern, for example chocolates.
I wish you all the best in your efforts to lose weight. You can click here for more information on intermittent fasting.