Posted on May 26 2020
Time to Read: 5 Minutes 33 Seconds
If you have not read my blog on Intermittent fasting already, do so here. While this type of an eating schedule works for some, it could be disastrous for the others. IF (intermittent fasting) with an early fasting window (dinner by 7 pm) has shown some promising results in clinical research trials. Depending on your lifestyle, workout time, work time, etc. I often suggest following a fasting window to my clients.
Intermittent fasting is not only very easy to sustain as it does not demand a radical departure from your current eating habits, but it also does not involve you in actively counting calories in order to seek positive results.
Intermittent fasting for weight loss allows you to have meals that you enjoy with an approach like the 16:8 rule, wherein an 8-hour window one can consume food and fast for the rest of the time during the day.
Following IF purports activation of cellular cleansing by stimulating autophagy, possible reduction of inflammation, benefits mental clarity and concentration, increased fat burning, increased energy. A little less scientifically, Jainism says eat only during the daylight i.e. Chauvihar. Ramadan is followed by eating only during the dark; letting alone the mind control your body and living in discipline, some form of fasting has been practiced for ages.
Here are 6 smart ways, that can help you boost fat- loss while following an IG style diet:
1. Vinegar -
The rich acetic acid in vinegar helps boost the activity of AMPK. AMPK, literally referred to as bodies natural fat blockers helps delay the absorption of fat into the cells. It does this by regulating the blood glucose response in the body. So even if you consume something which might trigger a blood glucose spike, vinegar helps cut the effect and slow the absorption of calories as food passes through the gut.
Add about a tbsp of vinegar to your salads/ main meals. Please do not consume this raw, it may disturb the intestinal lining.
2. Empty Stomach Cardio.
A good idea to divert the mind when hunger seeps in. When we consume carbohydrates during a cardio session, the body starts using much more carbohydrates and much less fat for fuel. Use fasted cardio as a tool for enhancing fat loss. However, the type of cardio you choose also matters. Read this blog I wrote about the different types of cardio and include some MISS cardio to slash through stubborn lower belly fat and spare muscle loss.
3. Include strength training.
Including a few strength training sessions along with empty stomach cardio helps greatly to keep the fat away for a long time. When it comes to fitness, if everything is about calories in vs calories out, it is extremely important that you know the magic number of how many calories do you need per day to sustain. This number is called the BMR(Base metabolic rate).
Muscles eat more calories than fat. So having more muscle mass means you can eat more without worrying about expending (working out) more. Cardio won't help you gain muscle mass. Only strength training will. Go to the gym or try an ashtanga yoga class. Anything that challenges your muscles to tear and rebuild is a great option to boost metabolism permanently.
4. Follow the natural circadian pattern
Ever wonder why you do not often wake up craving Chinese takeouts and pizza? Most people tend to skip breakfast but crave more junk only towards the evening. This is the way our body is naturally designed. Our hunger hormones peak post sundown, making it harder for you to resist excess calories. Multiple studies including this one show that the exact same calories (same food) eaten for breakfast digests 50% better than if eaten for dinner. Meaning, even if you ate the exact same thing, chances are you will gain weight if you eat is later on the day than in the morning.
5. Adopt a plant-based diet:
Quitting animal products during your eating window will barely be considered as a sacrifice by your taste buds. With a lot of alternative plant-based substitutes available: -
- Nut butter, seed oils in place of Ghee or butter
- Almond mylk, soy mylk in places animal milk
- Cashew cheese, cacao butter, tofu, tempeh, limitless options flooding into markets with the ever-growing vegan community. By calculations there are about 75,300,000 vegans around the world, in this decade veganism saw a 600% growth in just 3 years. While you are getting into shape make sure you help the planet do that, too.
Plant-based eaters have a slimmer waistline and higher life expectancy. By simple lifestyle changes and swaps in your pantry, you won't even realize you are missing out on something.
6. Maximize protein intake in the last meal
This is called the ‘second- meal’ effect. Consumption of lentils and beans has a remarkable effect on blood sugar control not only instantly but hours after you eat them. In lay man’s terms, having a bean burrito for dinner vs a low protein option like stir- fry veggies could have a huge effect on how many calories you unintentionally consume for the next meal (breakfast). Participants who have the burrito ended up consuming 150- 300 calories less the next meal unconsciously and expressed higher levels of satiety, thus leading to weight – loss. Read this study for more info.
This works only with plant-based protein options such as:
- Beans (kidney beans, soybeans, adzuki beans, chickpeas, black beans)
Radical Changes to expect:
So in conclusion:
Once again, depending on your lifestyle, work stressors, cooking time, exercise time, etc, IF might not be for everyone. No diet should make you feel stressed and worn out. Sure adjusting to any change in your meal plan will take time, and I suggest giving yourself a few weeks till you can adjust yourself to a new schedule. But don’t go out of your way to accommodate this type of pattern.
For instance, my busiest time of the day is the morning. I have early mornings and start training my first client at 5.30 am. I am often going non- stop till mid-afternoon. IF tends to slow me down and a hearty early morning breakfast is comfort for me. With a busy schedule, IF is not my favorite form of dieting.
That being said, during the COVID lockdown, I am mostly working late nights and have a late morning. Intermittent Fasting 16/8 is fitting in great with my lockdown schedule.
Everything works and nothing works. The point is to stick to one plan long enough. See what works for you and stick with it.
For customized meal and fitness plans, get in touch with me by clicking here.