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Weight Loss - Diet Plans - Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting suggests more of a lifestyle choice rather than a diet plan

Intermittent Fasting Diet Plans

Intermittent fasting for those of you who haven’t heard the term when progressing through your weight loss journey, suggests fasting for certain periods of your week or day in order to manage when you are eating rather than what you are eating.

Seems like a simple concept? Let’s dig deeper…

So how does it work?

This diet plan suggests more of a lifestyle choice rather than a diet plan but has the same end goal nevertheless. The crux of intermittent fasting is having periods of eating and then having periods of abstaining from eating, in a controlled manner. Rather than this diet plan challenging the foods you’re eating it challenges the times you are eating them at. 

What are the types of intermittent fasting?

Several different methods have arisen from other people’s experience of intermittent fasting. The most popular being the 5:2 diet. This explains a diet pattern of eating for 5 days whilst fasting (dramatically limiting calorie intake) for the other 2 days of the week. Whilst being the most popular ‘fasting method’ it is actually slightly misleading… In terms of this diet, the term fasting refers to cutting calorie intake on fasting days to 20% rather than restricting to no intake at all.

Alternatively, another intermittent fasting method is the 16:8. The 16:8 method boasts a daily rather than weekly fasting cycle, suggesting fasting 16 hours of the day and eating a healthy diet for the remaining 8 hours.

Contrary to what I can only imagine to be your immediate opinion, fasting is not actually that difficult to do…and people even report feeling like they have more energy during a fast! And as to what you’re thinking about being hungry all the time, it tends not to be that much of a deterrent for most, as your body gets used to the deficit fairly quickly. Fasting is not an unnatural method and believe it or not our bodies actually are equipped to deal with a lack of food for extended periods of time.

Stay hydrated…

Although food is drastically limited during a fasting period, calorie-free drinks such as water, tea and coffee are allowed. It is crucial to keep hydrated!

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Weight Loss – Diet Plans – Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting Diet Plans

Intermittent Fasting Diet Plans FAQs

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting, is a diet plan that schedules periods of fasting into a meal plan. This maybe alternate-day, periodic or daily restricted.

How Long Should You Do Intermittent Fasting?

In a typical example of fasting you would eat all your meals within an 8 period and fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day. This can be done daily as part of the diet plan.

Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy?

Studies have found that intermittent fasting can improve stress resistance, low blood pressure, improve resting heart rates and increase brain health & memory.

Who Shouldn't Do Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting should not be used as a diet plan for people who are under 18, underweight or pregnant as they will not receive sufficient calories for their needs.

What Can You Eat On Intermittent Fasting?

Eat high-fiber foods, nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables. High protein foods like meat & fish. Drink lots of water & opt for black coffee or tea.

And weight loss isn’t the only health benefit…    

Throughout your new intermittent fasting diet all sorts of changes are taking place in your body.  The deprivation of food actually allows the body to thrive through a number of processes relating to our hormones, genes and even some repair processes as granular as cellular level.

While weight loss is likely at the forefront of your mind, and inevitably the main benefit, it is my no means the only ‘pro’ to this regime. In addition to the overarching goal of weight loss, intermittent fasting diets like the 5:2 diet are proven to also have the added health benefit of reducing your risk of diabetes.

 

When exactly can and can’t I eat on a 5:2 plan of intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting, the 5:2 diet specifically, has been increasingly popular over recent years. In addition to weight loss and previously discussed health benefits, some professionals claim this method can actually extend your lifespan. Bold statement right! Each intermittent fasting method is popular in its own right but the plan we recommend sticking to in the first instance is the 5:2.

Further to what we have outlined above describing a 5-day on 2-day off pattern of eating it is important to remember fasting days are not back-to-back as it’s crucial the body still gets the vitamins and nutrients required for you to live life normally.

A typical pattern of fasting looks like this: 

  • Monday: Fasting/low-calorie day
  • Tuesday: Healthy balanced diet
  • Wednesday: Healthy balanced diet
  • Thursday: Fasting/low-calorie day
  • Friday: Healthy balanced diet
  • Saturday: Healthy balanced diet
  • Sunday: Healthy balanced diet

One of the main pulls towards the 5:2 diet and benefits for many, is its flexibility. It’s calorie restriction is only 2 days a week rather than the full 7 like most typical diets. This proves less of a mental battle to most people and more satisfaction in the long run as there’s less F.O.M.O (fear of missing out!).

Clean eating…

However, something to note is the 5 ‘non-fast’ days should still contain a healthy, balanced diet rather than over-doing it on those left-over Easter eggs… clean eating is key!

Intermittent fasting detailed diet plan 

So, you think this diet plan could be for you and you’ve got your ‘fasting days’ already planned out in your head… what next? You need to make a loose plan of your meal schedule to ensure you aren’t left too hungry during a fast. The idea of fasting can sometimes be overwhelming if you’ve never done it before and it’s understandable to be slightly sceptical. But all in all, it isn’t as scary as it sounds. 

Another benefit of this diet plan is once you try it, it’s likely you’ll find yourself staying fuller for longer in addition to having a grasp on the basics of a healthy diet. The nutrients you will intake on your ‘non-fasting days’ will provide you with the energy needed to enhance your on-going weight loss journey, in a healthy way.

During your non-fasting days, it is important to eat a healthy diet that is rich in the following 10 foods.

10 foods to eat on an intermittent fasting diet plan:

  • Water
  • Avocado
  • Fish 
  • Vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Beans and Legumes
  • Probiotics
  • Berries
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Whole Grains

 

Weight loss following the intermittent fasting diet.

The weight you can expect to lose when following any type of intermittent fasting diet plan, whether that’s the 5:2 diet, the 16:8 diet or another of the various options out there, will vary greatly between people.

The main factors that will determine how much weight you lose and the rate you lose it at are:

  • Your starting weight
  • The pattern of eating used (e.g. 5:2)
  • The types of food consumed
  • How much food is consumed 

It is likely your weight loss results won’t present themselves for at least a couple of weeks, largely due to initial water weight for the fasting/low-calorie days. The time before you see results can be minimised by:

  1. Loosely restricting the amount you’re eating on your non-fasting days. The bottom line of successful weight loss is a balance of calories in vs calories out. 
  2. Adhering closely to when you’re eating as a priority over what you’re eating. That’s the key to this specific diet.

 

Our top tips on an intermittent fasting diet:

  1. Ensure your non-fasting days are full of healthy foods 
  2. Sticking to your fasting periods strictly
  3. Carrying a healthy snack at all times to avoid temptation!

 

Summary

Pros: Convenience! And the ease of eating a normal ‘healthy’ diet on non-fasting diet

Cons: Weight loss results are unlikely to be immediate due to water weight 

 

Intermittent fasting not ticking all the boxes for you? Don’t lose hope, there are a range of weight-loss diets that see real results, it all depends on your individual requirements. We’re all human at the end of the day! Have a look at the variety of other diet plans so you can slip into that dress size you’re picturing. 

Intermittent Fasting Books & Publications

Here are some of the most popular Intermittent Fasting books..

Fasting

Life in the Fasting Lane

Fasting is emerging as one of the most exciting medical advancements in recent memory with benefits extending beyond weight loss.

Fasting

16/8 Intermittent Fasting Books

Lose weight safely with this long-term weight loss strategy. Follow this effective and well-planned guide.

Fasting

The Fast 800

Dr Michael Mosley brings together all the latest science and a new approach: Time Restricted Eating.

Further Info for Weight Loss

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Lots Of Exercises Don’t Require Any Equipment At All And Can Be Done From The Comfort Of Your Home.

Surgery

Weight loss surgery procedures can include a gastric band, gastric bypass and a gastric sleeve.

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