Almost half of American adults try to lose weight each year. Among all the diets, strategies, and weight loss methods, intermittent fasting has received a lot of attention lately as an effective method for losing weight and keeping excess body fat off.
Intermittent fasting is actually not a diet, but a tool that can be used to control how much a person is eating and trigger fat loss through the timing of meals.
Many people who have tried say this method has been very successful in helping them lose weight and keeping it off in the long run. This article will show you how to use intermittent fasting and cheating days to help you lose excess body fat.
Day1 to Day3: Moderate carbohydrate days
During these days, the total calories burned come from:
- 40% protein,
- 40% of carbohydrates and
- 20% fats.
Most of the carbohydrates consumed should come from complex carbohydrate sources like brown rice, potatoes, oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, etc.
The protein should come from clean sources like lean meat, eggs, and fish. Some of the fats come from the protein sources themselves, but you can also consume healthy fats from foods like avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Day4: Cheat Day
This should be a high calorie day. Weight loss is highly dependent on the hormones produced in the body and the overall hormonal balance. One hormone in particular, leptin (the lack of it), is the one most responsible for slowing down metabolism during a fast.
Low levels of leptin lead to an increase in hunger and a decrease in metabolic rate. On the other hand, high levels of leptin signal the brain that a person has eaten and lead to a decrease in hunger and an increased metabolic rate.
Having a high calorie day will increase leptin levels and this will help with the upcoming fast. Your metabolism will also get an extra boost.
During the cheat day, you should increase the calories you are consuming Day 1 to Day 3 by 20-30 percent. This means that your protein, carbohydrates, and fats may come from food sources that are not as clean, and one of your meals on day 4 should be a high-calorie meal.
Day 5: Lent day
The conditions in your body are now perfect for fat loss due to the increased leptin. On this day you will be keeping your calories very low. Some experts recommend consuming no more than 300-500 calories throughout the day, while others even recommend a 24-hour fast, where you can only drink plain water, coffee, and tea with no sweeteners or sugar.
Day 6: Day high in protein
Limit almost all carbohydrates on day 6. This will completely use up your carbohydrate storage again to confuse your body. There are two variants that you can use:
– No carbohydrates at all – this is the extreme fasting version
– A bit of carbohydrates (around 30-50 grams) that should come from fiber-rich, fiber-rich vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, kale, etc.
Day7 : Start all over
The whole cycle starts all over again.
Try to fast on a day with no exercise. As with any other diet, consult a doctor before starting the diet.