A Rookie’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting

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Let’s start with what’s currently the most popular approach, better known as the intermittent fasting 16:8 method. True to its name, the 16:8 involves fasting for 16 hours per day, and restricting all your food consumption to an 8-hour window. An example might be eating all your meals between the hours of noon and 8:00 pm. Yes, that means you skipped breakfast. Also, you don’t want to eat more than two health-conscious meals (three meals tops) within the permitted window of time. If 8 hours seems a little too generous, consider the 20:4 intermittent fasting method instead. As you can probably guess, this method entails fasting for 20 hours a day and confining your meals to a 4-hour window.

Want to take a different approach? By all means, check out the 5:2 method, which involves reducing your caloric intake by 75% for two days in a row, once per week. From there, things can go to extremes. Rather than list every single ratio, we’ll point out that the world record for fasting is 382 days, so do with that information what you will.

Naturally, there are ways to optimise your intermittent fasting routine, thereby reaping additional benefits. This brings us to the potentially life-changing combination of intermittent fasting + a ketogenic diet. Just a quick reminder: practicing a keto diet means eating mostly fat and protein, which helps the body convert fat cells into ketones, and then use those ketones for fuel. This process—also known as ketosis—will “break down and kill damaged cells and cellular components, activate stem cells, and preferentially decrease visceral and abdominal fat,” according to Dr. Valter Longo of the USC Longevity Institute.

Hence, intermittent fasting + keto is both a terrific way to lose weight and optimise the body’s performance at the very same time. Furthermore, fasting can actually speed up the transition into a metabolic state of ketosis and then help maintain that very same state. Throw in a consistent workout routine and you’ll be truly maximising your body’s potential.

Where to Begin Intermittent Fasting?

Reaping the benefits of intermittent fasting means taking that first step toward this game-changing practice, and then sticking with a plan. This might sound simple in concept, but it can be downright difficult to execute. Since we can’t personally coach you through the process, we’ll cover the basics. Here is how to begin intermittent fasting:

  1. Determine which method works best for you.
  2. Decide how long you want to fast for.
  3. Start your fast. If you get sick, eat something.
  4. Go about your life as you normally would.
  5. Don’t overeat when breaking your fast.

Voila, you’ve started intermittent fasting for weight loss, gaining access to a bevy of other perks. Soon, you’ll start seeing the results, especially if you’re working out and eating right. And don’t forget, gents: you can opt out anytime.

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