Nearly half of the adult Americans are making attempts to lose weight each year. In between all the weight loss diets, strategies and methods out there, intermittent fasting got a lot of attention lately as an effective method for losing excess body-fat and keeping it off.
Intermittent fasting is not actually a diet, but a tool that helps in controlling how much a person eats and triggering fat loss through timing the meals.
Many people who have tried it, say that this method was very successful in helping them lose weight and keep it off in the long run. This article shows you how to use intermittent fasting and cheating days to lose excess body fat.
Day1 to Day3: Moderate carbohydrate days
During these days the total calories consumed come from:
- 40% of protein,
- 40% of carbohydrates and
- 20% fats.
The majority of carbohydrates consumed should come from complex carbohydrate sources such as brown rice, potatoes, oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta etc.
As for the protein – it should come from clean sources such as lean meats, eggs and fish. Part of the fats will come from the protein sources itself, but you can additionally consume healthy fats from foods like avocados, nuts and seeds.
Day4: Cheat Day
This should be a high calorie day.Weigh loss is highly dependent on hormones produced in the body and the overall hormonal balance. One hormone in particular, leptin (the lack of it), is the one that is most responsible for slowing down the metabolism during a fast.
Low leptin levels lead to an increase in hunger and a decrease in metabolic rate. High leptin levels on the other hand signal the brain that a person has eaten and lead to a decrease in hunger and an increased metabolic rate.
By having a high calorie day, leptin levels will be increased and this will help with the upcoming fast. Your metabolism will get an additional boost as well.
During the cheat day, you should increase the calories you consume on day 1 to day3 by 20-30 percent. This means your protein, carbs and fats can come from not so clean food sources and one of your meals on Day4 should be a calorie dense meal.
Day5: Fasting day
The conditions in your body are now perfect for fat loss because of the increased leptin. This day you will keep your calories very low. Some experts suggest not going over 300-500 calories in total for the whole day, while some even suggest a 24 hour fast where you are only allowed to drink plain water, coffee and tea without any sweeteners or sugar.
Day6: High Protein Day
On Day6, restrict almost all carbohydrates. This will completely deplete your carbohydrate storage again to keep your body confused. There are two variations you can use:
– No carbs at all – this is the extreme fasting version
– Little bit of carbs (about 30-50 grams) that should come from high fiber fibrous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, kale etc…
Day7 : Start Over
The whole cycle starts all over again.
Try to do the fasting on a non workout day. As with any other diet, consult a doctor before you start the diet.