If you’re trying to lose weight, chances are the choice of diets available is overwhelming and it’s hard to know which is best. First and foremost, healthcare practitioners and dietitians will say that unless you’re obese and need a doctor’s intervention, the best course of action is to change your mindset about food and add activity into your life. Don’t follow a strict plan for a few weeks, obsess about calories, or weigh yourself every day. “Diet” truly is a four-letter word and often results in failure.
Understanding the importance of what you put in your mouth and why, how much, and when (and being honest with yourself about it), is the first step to change. Many in the medical community support the idea that eating a healthy and filling breakfast sets the stage for eating less the rest of the day. There’s even a saying that presents a visual of this: “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper.”
We’ve been told not to skip meals because if the body feels like it’s being starved, it goes into conservation mode and burns calories more slowly. But is there a place for intermittent fasting? According to research, yes, if done in moderation.
Two studies by the NCBI ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) have found that fasting for up to 48 hours can give the metabolism a boost. However, fasting for longer than that triggers “starvation” and the metabolism slows down.
Fasting helps you eat fewer calories overall and can help regulate some hormones related to weight and insulin. There are a variety of methods from which to choose that integrate intermittent fasting into a healthy weight loss plan. One plan, called The 16/8 Plan, says to skip breakfast every day and only eat during an eight-hour feeding window, for example, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or noon to 8 p.m. As long as you don’t overeat to make up for the fast, reducing your caloric intake will help you lose weight and belly fat. To learn more about intermittent fasting click here.
If you’re not under a doctor’s supervision for weight loss, incorporating an intermittent fast into your eating plan is worth a try. You may find it works well for your lifestyle and helps you commit to a permanent change.
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