Many people have lost weight without even realizing it by fasting for periods. Intermittent fasting is a simple way to curb appetite and feel full longer, which in turn can lead to more significant changes like increased metabolism and decreased body fat. The most popular type of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 fast, which simply means you eat within an 8-hour window and then fast for 16 hours per day. The key to intermittent fasting success is staying motivated—we have some tips for doing just that below. So which type of fast are you most interested in trying?
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is about abstaining from food for a set amount of time. Several methods are available to accomplish your goal, whether it's to reduce weight, limit sugar, or just feel and look healthier.
Types of Fasting
You may have thought that fasting meant going a few days without food. However, none of the intermittent fasting plans include a few days of not eating. Instead, most options offer between 12 and 16 hours of fasting each day rather than a complete 24 hours.
The 12:12 works exactly how it sounds. You can eat for 12 hours and must abstain for 12 hours. This is close to their typical day for some people, and it may not yield high results. However, research suggests 12 to 16 hours of fasting is the sweet spot to benefit from the process.
As the name suggests, the 16:8 plan includes 16 hours of not eating and an eight-hour period where you eat light and healthy. For example, Have two Extend Nutrition Bars and one Extend replacement meal to get the calories and nutrients you need without the extra calories. Unlike other plans, the 16:8 doesn't restrict calories or other nutrients during the eight hours. However, it's important to remember that the 16 hours includes all beverages with sweeteners. So, for example, coffee with full cream or even a glass of sweet tea is forbidden with the 16:8.
The 5: 2 is different from the 12:12 and 16:8. Instead of limiting the amount you eat over specific hours, you limit the number of calories you consume for two out of five days. So if your daily calorie intake is 1,200, you'll reduce it to 600 for two days of the week, which is the equivalent of no food for 24 hours. However, space the days apart, so you're not limiting yourself two days in a row.
What are the Benefits of Fasting?
Research indicates there are many benefits of intermittent fasting. From losing weight to living longer and improving insulin sensitivity, people can better their overall wellness using these techniques. Nonetheless, always speak with your doctor before starting any new diet plans.
Improve Weight Loss
The most notable is weight loss. Several studies show that people who adhere to a 12:12, 18:18, 5:2, or other approved plan can lose over 4 percent of their body weight in a few weeks.
Medical professionals have learned that the less you eat, the longer you live. In addition, the healthier foods you choose, you reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, and memory disorders. Also, eating less limits the wear and tear on the digestive system.
The more time you spend fasting, you learn how to control your appetite. By limiting food intake in 12- and 16-hour shifts, you'll get more used to going longer between meals and snacks. Additionally, you're training yourself to choose healthier foods that sustain your body longer.
Boost Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin sensitivity, which is also referred to as insulin resistance, can result in diabetes type 2, a lifelong condition that can even reduce your lifespan. This medical situation can also lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The more sensitive your insulin production, the less likely you are to develop these diseases and reduce your life quality.
If you munch on food, even healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, your digestive system is always working. However, fasting allows part of your body to take a break. When working during the eight or 12 hours you're eating, it metabolizes food and burns fat more efficiently. The faster your metabolism, the more weight you can lose.
Improve Eating Habits
Fasting helps you learn control. For example, you're less likely to binge eat when you stick to a strict eating regimen. Additionally, it might help with eating around work hours. For example, if you usually work twelve-hour shifts, you can train yourself to eat breakfast and then dinner 12 hours later.
Tips for Staying Motivated
If you're not used to going long periods without eating, it can be tough to stay motivated. So here are a few tips to keep you going.
Remind Yourself of Your Goals
Don't lose track of your goal. Put up a poster of the beach vacation you're dreaming of or the new dress you want to buy to remind you of why you're limiting food. By keeping that information in front of you, you're less likely to go off track.
Give Yourself a Non-Food or Drink Reward
Reward yourself for meeting your goals. However, don't do it with something you can eat or drink. Instead, buy that new dress, book the vacation, or schedule a massage to pamper yourself a bit—you've earned it!
Don't limit activity with food. You'll only give yourself time to think about eating. If your mind and body are busy, you won't notice you're missing out on your favorite snack or regular caffeinated treat. To keep your energy up while reducing food intake, eat high protein foods to stay active and fiber to reduce hunger. An Extend Bar or shake can help control blood sugar for hours and give your body the fuel it needs to push through until dinner.
Eat High-Value Foods
When you're restricting food, meal planning is vital. Pick low-calorie, high-protein items to stay energized without loading up on simple carbs. Additionally, select foods that are high in flavor and satisfying to eat. These steps will help you stay on track.
Choose Extend Meals to Help with Intermittent Fasting
If you’ve been struggling to maintain a healthy diet, fasting might be the answer. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that can help curb appetite and lead to weight loss. Additionally, it also has other health benefits like reduced blood sugar levels, improved weight loss, faster metabolism, and increased lifespan. Our protein bars and shakes were developed by Dr. Francine Kaufman, M.D. (a world-renowned endocrinologist and metabolism expert), and have a patented combination of proteins, fats and complex carbohydrates that help control blood sugar for up to 9 hours. Blood sugar control is the key to hunger control and reduces your unhealthy cravings and binges.Extend Anytime Protein Bars, Anytime Protein Shakes, Premium Whey Protein Shakes and Vegan with Quinoa Protein shakes are the perfect addition to your fasting plan. Choose from premium whey protein or vegan protein and a wide assortment of flavors to make your meal replacement enjoyable. While all products work for fasting, we recommend our Extend Premium Whey Protein Shake which contains 24 g of protein to keep you moving, 5g of fiber to fill you up, and zero added sugar. For snacking and on-the-go, our Anytime Protein Bars are the best choice. Accomplish your fasting goals with Extend.