There’s a really great way you can quickly lose body fat, and it’s more simple than what you’re currently doing.
No, I’m not going to tell you to cut calories or starve yourself. That doesn’t actually work in the long term, because once you start eating the calories again, you put the weight back on.
What I want to briefly talk about today is the practice of intermittent fasting. It could change the way you approach your goals for a while.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
The first time I read up on it, I thought IF was simply skipping breakfast. The more I read about it, the more I realized that you really don’t have to skip breakfast. You can, but it’s not essential.
The really quick overview behind IF is that you give your body several hours with no intake so that it can begin to burn the body fat it’s stored more efficiently.
Why would I want to do that?
Our bodies can be lazy. They burn the easiest stuff they can get first, and that happens to be glucose. Once the glucose is gone, they realize they better start burning some fat.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to have an array of benefits that include (but are not limited to):
- rapid fat loss
- increased insulin sensitivity
- more efficient use of the glucose you do consume
- lowering blood pressure
- easier tissue repair (some say anti-aging benefits)
So how do you do it?
There are many forms of IF from what I’ve seen, but one of the easiest methods is a 16-8 schedule. Basically, you don’t eat for 16 hours and then you eat within an 8 hour window. When I did it, for example, this was my schedule:
- 6am – Wake up
- 10am – Breakfast
- 2pm – Lunch
- 6pm – Dinner
- 10pm – Go to bed
I still ate all the calories I would have, I just condensed my intake to a shorter window.
A couple days during the week I experimented with this I would only eat breakfast at 10am and dinner at 6pm. Both meals were bigger than “normal”.
You could also completely skip a whole day of meals to spice things up.
Tips to help you get going
- Incredibly important: Don’t try IF if you don’t have everything else dialed in. Your food quality should be superb, you should be getting decent exercise, and your sleep should be long and restful. If all that’s in line, then proceed with some IF experimentation. IF stresses your body, so if you’re already stressed for other reasons, take care of those first.
- Keep busy. When you’re not used to fasting, it can be exhausting trying to stick to it. That’s why I like the 16-8 schedule. I’m not going too long after getting up before eating, and I’m not spending too much time in the evening to get bored. On the days I only ate twice or did a whole-day fast, if I was busy I hardly noticed it. When I was bored, I felt incredible hunger pains.
- If you want to take as much advantage of the fasted state as you can (and its ability to mobilize the stubborn fat), do some mild cardio when you’re nearly done. For example, you might go for a 30-45 minute walk (or longer, if you can) in the morning when you wake up or a bit before eating your first meal.
- Drink some caffeine. It’s a stimulant (as if you didn’t know…) that actually works to unlock the fat stores while in a fasted state to be burned more.
If you’re interested, I highly recommend checking out some other sources. Here are the sources I went to when I was learning about IF:
To Eat or Not To Eat, That Is The Question. – Robb Wolf’s Blog
Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy? – Mark’s Daily Apple
The Myriad Benefits of Intermittent Fasting – Mark’s Daily Apple
Intermittent Fasting and Stubborn Body Fat – Lean Gains
(Lean Gains is actually one of the foremost authorities in IF, so if you really want to go deep, check out many of his articles).
And if you’re interested more about my personal experience with it, check out my post on intermittent fasting on Finding My Fitness.
What are your thoughts on intermittent fasting? Is it just a bunch of baloney? Would you ever try it? Let us know in the comments!