We have come across dozens of weight loss programs and shortcuts each day on the internet – and let’s face it – we trust no one. Most of them look bogus or entirely circumstantial, and the ones that have some rational, scientifically-backed framework behind them are so tough you would rather stay fat and depressed.
But if any increasing number of celebrity-backed non-commercial testimonials are anything to go by, there seems to be one simple way of losing weight that won’t require you to move mountains. It’s called intermittent fasting, and it’s been along for decades.
What is it?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It does not say anything about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them. There are several different intermittent fasting methods, all of which split the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods.
So, why do we hate dieting? It’s because you basically have to eat stale, calorie-friendly food for a never ending stretch of time while your body begins to understand that ‘Okay, so this mofo is trying to slim me down.”
Intermittent fasting, if done efficiently, aims to cut you down without turning you into a serial killer. You basically take all of your caloric intake (translation: eat your food) within a time window, which should ideally be anywhere from 4 hours to 8 hours. You eat nothing for the rest of the day, which isn’t a big problem, since a good 7-8 hours are spent in sleeping in any case. However, you can drink as much water as you want – and you should – water helps increase your metabolism even further.
Why is it so good?
Intermittent fasting is god-sent because not only do you lose a ridiculous amount of weight in very little time, but you dont have to starve yourself from all the good things in life.
As long as you don’t increase your calorie ceiling – which should ideally be from 1,000 calories to 1,500 calories, you are good to go. The rest is simple mathematics and biology: if you don’t meet your recommended calorie intake (which is usually 2,000 for the average human being), you will lose weight.
And it’s not as if 1,000-1,500 calories are too less to meet your normal appetite. Look at this way: a decent meal can be anywhere from 250 to 450 calories, as long as we eat in moderation. This could be any type of meal, even a pizza or a sugar laden donut with coffee – as long as you do not exceed the daily caloric limit you have set for yourself and only eat within a certain window.
I have literally seen people who eat their favourite foods, from stuffed chicken breasts to chicken karahis, on a near daily basis. The only difference between them and you? They eat during a window, eat in moderation and dont exceed their set limit.
In any case, how much can you realistically eat within a 4-8 hour window anyways?
Where do I start?
Start by starting today. There are a number of intermittent fasting plans out there, but the more simple the better chances you will stick to it. For beginners, a typical window in which to eat would be 7 hours, which is not that tough at all – think of it as a prolonged Ramadan. Simply wake up, drink lots of water and a sugarless tea. Have your first meal around 12 noon, just when it seems to be impossible to wait any longer. And eat your second meal around 6 pm. Do not eat anything after 7. As for water, drink as much as you can without draining out your liver.
Of course, do not start the program without consulting someone who has been through it before. This is especially true if you have any health condition, in which case you should consult your doctor before even thinking of trying this or any other diet change plan.