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There is no doubt that weight loss is a huge topic on the internet. Everyone is always searching for the next big diet, the next miracle to help them lose those extra pounds. Finding a diet that not only works the way you want it to but also offers a long term solution isn’t always easy. There are some great and interesting diets out there though, as long as you are willing to look. But which one to choose can be confusing. Do you go for the calorie-restrictive diets one can find at places such as Weight Watchers, or do you follow plans like the Atkins diet, or Intermittent Fasting, or the Mediterranean diet, or one of the countless others? It’s hard to know where to turn. The best advice is to find one that sounds like it could fit your lifestyle and give it a try.
One diet that is gaining a lot of attention lately goes by the name of Intermittent Fasting. Many people are discovering what this diet can offer them and are benefiting greatly from it. This diet has tons of critics, yet it is still gaining popularity despite going against all of the “traditional” views on dietary needs and nutrition in general. For one thing, people who follow this diet actually believe that breakfast is not all that it is cracked up to be. In fact, Intermittent Fasting advocates would say we actually don’t need breakfast at all, which flies directly in the face of pretty much every piece of dietary advice from all the nutritional authorities.
What exactly is Intermittent Fasting?
The simple answer is that it is exactly as the name makes it sound: a diet where you alternate periods of eating with periods of not eating, or fasting. The intervals for the non-eating parts of the diet can range in span, each offering their own benefits, but the important part is right in the title: Fasting! There are two generally well-known types of Intermittent Fasting, and they have their own good and bad things. The first is what is generally called compressed or condensed window fasting. The second is Alternate Day Fasting or 24 on/ 24 off. Although both are great and will provide you with the results you are looking for, some experimentation is recommended to discover which one is best for you. It’s all about lifestyle and how you feel while on this eating plan.
Going without food for long periods of time does not give you a license to eat as much junk food as you want, however. To get the full effect of this type of eating plan, you need to follow a low-carb, high protein diet, though just healthy eating, in general, will help you lose some weight. You can still have junk food as long as you keep it restricted to “cheat days” (once a week to once every two weeks is fine).
Benefits of intermittent fasting
There are lots of great benefits to Intermittent Fasting besides looking great and feeling better. First, you’ll free yourself from food. This doesn’t sound like much, but not having to plan your life around food is very freeing. You can get up and start your day without having to worry about making breakfast and/or pack a lunch for yourself. You will begin to lose fat while building muscle quickly, which is great for long term weight loss. Your cells will renew themselves and can slow the effects of aging.
Be patient with yourself
Although the thought of not eating for long periods of time seems wrong (we are trained to think the proper way to eat is starting with a good breakfast, then lunch, dinner, and possibly some healthy snacks), it is not as hard or as challenging as it may seem. Just remember to be patient with yourself and don’t get discouraged. If you feel hungry, try a small, healthy snack and then see how much longer you can go again without eating. And make sure to eat lots of protein and exercise while doing following any Intermittent Fasting plan and you’ll find yourself amazed by the results you get!