Doesn’t it seem like every time you blink there’s a new diet that promises you quick and easy weight loss? From the classic South Beach Diet to the newly popular Keto Diet, diets are everywhere you look.
Fasting for weight loss has gained in popularity in recent years, and more and more people are becoming converts every day. One of the reasons why intermittent fasting, also known as 'time-restricted feeding', has gained popularity is that you don’t have to be as restrictive in what you eat as you do on other diets, like Keto, for example.
In addition, there is also no restrictive meal plan. Intermittent fasting could be the best weight lost regime that can help you get rid of unwanted belly fat.
Can Intermittent Fasting improve your health and should you give it a try?
Here is the guide to intermittent fasting, the benefits, different fasting methods, and also how it can impact your skin and health, so you can decide for yourself if this is right for you.
Let’s dive in and explore all of the many facets of intermittent fasting:
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting involves arranging your week into periods of fasting and eating. During periods of eating, you can eat pretty much anything you want as there are no restrictions on certain types of food and no specific daily eating plan. During periods of fasting, you either eat very little or nothing at all.
It is essentially a cycle of eating and fasting, and it doesn’t tell you what to eat, but rather when to eat. So it’s not really a diet rather than a style or pattern of eating, if you will.
Though it may sound daunting, fasting is not such a weird concept if you think about it. When we sleep between 7 to 9 hours a night, we are fasting during that time. In fact, the word breakfast comes from the phrase “breaking your fast,” which you do in the morning when you first grab a bite to eat after a night’s sleep.
Moreover, there are many religions (Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity) that advocate fasting during different holy days, so you can see that as humans, we really are no strangers to the concept at all. Basically what we’re trying to say is don’t let the idea of going several hours without eating scare or deter you.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Besides fat burning, there are inevitable changes that occur in your body during fasting periods that are beneficial in a number of ways.
Here are the 8 health benefits of fasting:
1. Cellular repair – Cell repair processes are initiated when humans fast. (1)
2. Insulin levels – Insulin levels often drop with fasting and insulin sensitivity improves. This causes fat oxidation to increase and helps with fat loss (2). It further reduces risk of type 2 diabetes. (3)
3. Increase Human Growth Hormone levels – HGH levels can increase five-fold during fasting, which can help with fat loss, increase muscle mass and change your body composition. (4)
4. Gene expression – Genes undergo changes that help to increase longevity. (5)
5. Loss of belly fat – Lower insulin levels and higher levels of HGH both help with weight loss, particularly in the belly area, by breaking down body fat. Belly fat can be particularly harmful and lead to various diseases.
6. Faster metabolism – Fasting can increase your metabolic rate, helping you to burn more calories. (6)
7. A healthier brain – Some animal studies show intermittent fasting may help in the growth of new nerve cells and also possibly protect against Alzheimer’s disease. (7)
8. Cancer prevention – Some animal studies show that intermittent fasting may also help prevent cancer. (8)
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
The science of fasting is very simple – it basically just ensures you eat fewer calories. Furthermore, it makes sure that some of the hormones triggered during calorie restriction are better regulated, thus making weight loss a little bit easier. Also, as explained in the benefits of intermittent fasting section, your metabolism can also go up. Burning more calories will obviously help you to lose weight.
Intermittent Fasting Diet Examples
Technically, you can eat anything you want while doing intermittent fasting, but this does not mean you can overindulge or binge eat. Remember that you should still have healthy nutrition plans which include good amount of protein, essential oils, grains and greens. Of course, you can still have the occasional snack.
However, keep in mind that just because you are fasting that doesn’t mean you should make up for all the calories you didn’t eat during eating periods. Be mindful of what you eat. Intermittent fasting essentially allows you to eat fewer calories without obsessively counting them.
How to Do Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting involves splitting up your week to comprise of fasting times and eating times. There are a variety of ways to do it, but the following are typically the most popular methods that most people employ.
Top 3 Intermittent Fasting methods:
1. The 16/8 method
This is pretty much the most popular method because it is considered to be the easiest or most doable. It involves eating for eight hours out of the day and fasting for the remaining sixteen. It also involves skipping breakfast. For example, if you’re doing this method, you can eat your meals from 12pm to 8pm, fasting the rest of the time. Your sleeping hours also naturally count as fasting hours.
If you decide to start with this method, try a step-by-step approach with week one fasting for 10 hours/day, then gradually increase up to 16 hours/day over 3-4 weeks.
2. The eat-stop-eat method
This method involves fasting for 24 hours. For example, if you eat dinner at 7pm, you must then not eat again until 7pm the next day. This can be a little more challenging, but you only have to do it once or twice a week at most and not make it a daily thing.
3. The 5:2 method
With this method, you restrict you calorie intake to 500-600 on two non-consecutive days out of the week, but eat as you normally would the other five days of the week.
Note: Do not over-compensate your calorie intake on non-fasting days because otherwise intermittent fasting will not result in weight loss. Obviously, you might be sorely tempted to eat a lot during eating periods because you want to reward yourself after the fast, but it will ultimately be a bad idea. It’s far better to eat in moderation during your eating phases.
Is It Right For You?
Most healthy people will be able to do intermittent fasting without a problem, but there are some who should not attempt it. If you are underweight or have struggled with eating disorders in the past, are in recovery, or are dealing with one currently, intermittent fasting may be harmful to you and is generally not recommended.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, intermittent fasting is not recommended because it can be harmful to the fetus or baby. If you have type 1 diabetes, intermittent fasting should not be attempted without consulting your doctor. If you are prone to vertigo or have low blood sugar, intermittent fasting may worsen the condition.
If you suffer from chronic stress or adrenal issues, intermittent fasting is not recommended. Moreover, for women of childbearing age, intermittent fasting may exacerbate PMS. Also, if you take medications for blood pressure or heart disease, intermittent fasting may be detrimental. As a rule, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor or healthcare provider before attempting a new diet.
How Intermittent Fasting Impacts Your Skin
Intermittent fasting’s goal is to burn off your unwanted body fat. However, our body genetics determine how we store fat and how our body will get rid of fat, and for most ladies, we tend to store fat in our tummy and buttocks first, and lose from these areas last, you may thus notice that you lose weight from your face first.
In essence you will be losing the good fat that keeps your face looking full and plump. Obviously, not everyone (especially if you’re already overweight) may be upset with losing face fat, but the truth is that skin may become a little saggier and less firm after significant weight loss.
How to Prevent Your Skin from Sagging or Having a Sunken Look?
This is where collagen supplements come in. While you’re doing intermittent fasting, you can still take collagen supplements to keep skin firm and full. Hyaluronic acid and collagen, in particular, are very helpful for keeping skin plump and taut.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and essentially what gives skin its structure and strength. It prevents wrinkle formation and sagging, but unfortunately we lose it slowly but surely as we age. Hyaluronic acid also occurs naturally in our bodies (skin, joints, eyeballs), and works to keep skin nicely plump and hydrated. Hyaluronic acid also diminishes with age.
In combination, hyaluronic acid and collagen will keep your skin youthful and beautiful. With Taut’s Collagen Intense Transformation supplement you can ensure that you’re replenishing the collagen and hyaluronic acid that you’re losing with age.
How to Incorporate Intermittent Fasting If You Need to Take Taut Collagen Before Bed?
If you’re doing intermittent fasting, you can employ the 16/8 method and eat from a little after lunch time until bedtime and still be able to take the Taut Collagen supplement. For example, you can eat from 2pm to 10pm and take the supplement right before your 10pm bedtime. If you sleep later, you can adjust the hours accordingly.
You can also drink Taut Collagen first thing in the morning, at least 30 mins before eating or drinking coffee.
If you’re doing the 5:2 method, you can still take the supplement drink on fasting days as long as you stay within your 500-600 calories. The eat-stop-eat method may prove a little more difficult to do unless you happen to eat dinner very late or right before bed.
Ultimately, bear in mind that when you are fasting you are losing weight—which means fat loss under your skin, which means the potential of your skin appearing more saggy or sunken in. Loading up on collagen and hyaluronic acid can provide the extra boost of collagen you need to make sure it looks plump—so while your body is getting slim your face looks just as good.
Taut’s Collagen Advanced Formula is a great way to introduce yourself to collagen supplements, if you haven’t already. This potent product includes marine collagen as well as other superstar ingredients like grape seed extract, which is a very powerful antioxidant that prevents the type of free radical damage that leads to skin cell damage and accelerated aging. This formula also helps hydrate skin from within to further promote youthfulness and glow. With regular use, you will find that your skin appears more supple and lifted.
Here’s what some satisfied customers have to say:
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Bottom Line: Intermittent fasting has many health benefits, and is less restrictive than diets like the Keto Diet. It may be worth a try if you’re looking to lose weight and nothing else has worked. Patience and consistency will be your friends as you embark on this eating pattern.