In the past I have followed no end of diet plans and weight loss programs which, I have to say, all resulted in little or no benefit to my overall weight or well being. That probably comes as no great surprise to the many of you who too have tried all the latest celebrity diet fads going.
If you are like I was, you’re most likely uncertain of what does not work any more and more than conscious of the fact any plan to reduce your weight has to fit in with your hectic lifestyle. You are however 100 % positive you want to drop a dress size or two. However without the time wasting aspects all too many diet and exercise regimes come with.
Yeah, a little bit depressing I know, there are simply hundreds of different takes on how to lose weight quickly out there. With the level of choice and differing opinions it’s nigh on impossible to find one that helps ‘normal women’, not some skinny non-celebrity, reach their weight loss goals. However ladies, let me tell you with no uncertainty, there is an easier way to shed those unwanted pounds quickly.
What is it? Intermittent fasting. Sounds a bit severe I know. The majority of us would associate these methods with one form of religion or another and conjure up images of monks living on bread and water however put all that to the back of your mind.
Fasting for weight loss and healthy living has recently been gaining considerable backing from both academics and health professionals. It is a fairly simple concept really, our bodies put on weight via the food we consume and fasting can be employed to naturally reduce weight.
Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight
Research has been done, as the intermittent fasting method has gained in popularity, though because the interest in this form of abstinence is relatively new, most of the data to date has been correlated using animal experiments, however suffice to say the research results have been positive enough to get these two knowledgeable groups of people excited.
So let’s look a little closer at how intermittent fasting is put to good use as an aid to weight lose and a healthier body and mind. In line with all other diet and/or exercise programs it goes without saying it is far better to ease yourself into a routine, built up slowly.
Don’t look to reduce your calorie intake too dramatically, start with small periods of abstinence by doing intermittent fasting, 12 hours, 18 hours, then attempt a day, then build it up to two days, you get the picture. Teach your body to get used to eating properly again. During the times you are not fasting simply consume your food as you would normally.
You will find that alternate day fasting fits in well with your lifestyle and you will notice no discernible disruption to your everyday life, that is once the habit has been formed.
So how intermittent fasting works is that during the days or part days you fast, your calorie intake obviously will fall so reducing the fat the body has stored. At the start of the fasting process your body will show signs of withdrawal symptoms, don’t fret. It’s just re-learning those good eating habits that over time have been replaced by the bad eating habits of the convenience society we live in.
Intermittent Fasting Calculator
There are a variety of intermittent fasting calculators out there. These will help you do fancy things like calculate your TDEE based on your height, weight, and activity levels.
While helpful as a starting point (as opposed to arbitrarily picking a number as part of one’s “estimation”),. Unfortunately, they are not always accurate.
Think about this. The formulas that these calculators use were created using an aggregate of results from many studies. These are then averaged to spit out a general number for a person who might want to calculate this information.
It is not highly specialised or catered to any one person. They will therefore always be inaccurate, albeit better than a blind guess.
TDEE and BMR
TDEE stands for total daily energy expenditure. It is the sum of your basal metabolic rate (BMR, or how much calories your body uses up to sustain itself) and additional calories burned through exercise.
To calculate one’s BMR, you simply need to follow this formula:
Men: 66 + (13.7 x body weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)
Women: 655 + (9.6 x body weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
TDEE is also another way of referring to maintenance. When you are maintaining, you are keeping your body weight stable. That is to say, if you weighed 200 pounds and consumed your TDEE every day for a year, you will remain at 200 pounds a year later.
It has nothing to do with how healthy you are or if you are lean or not, just that you will stay exactly the same weight.
Figuring out your TDEE is extremely important because from there, you can easily decide whether you want to cut or not, and by how much. You want to be in total control of your weight loss, right?
First, you need to know how to count calories. It’s pretty damn simple. Look at the nutrition label of all the foods you’re buying and keep track of them.
If the food you’re eating doesn’t have a nutrition label. There are a few websites you can use: caloriecount.com, calorieking.com, fatsecret.com.
If it’s still not there, estimate it. If you’re unsure, overestimate if you’re cutting, underestimate if you’re bulking up. That way if you’re wrong, it may still be to your advantage.
Weighing yourself regularly
When intermittent fasting, you need to be able to keep track of how many calories you consume every day.
Second, do not change your lifestyle for two weeks and weigh yourself. Just do whatever it is you normally do except you are keeping track of how much you eat every day. That means don’t change your eating habits and don’t change your exercise habits. Use this time to prepare yourself for the life changing dieting and weight training that is about to come.
Make sure to weigh yourself under the exact same circumstances each time. That means, same time each day, wearing the same amount of clothes, before/after eating, before/after taking a number 2 (taking a crap), using the same scale (most important step), etc.
This is to reduce as many variables as possible that may affect your weight on any given weighing session. For example, you tend to be heavier by 1-2 kgs at night than in the morning. This is because you would have more food and fluid in your body compared to waking up.
Third, look at the results. From week 0 to week 1, how much did your weight fluctuate by? How much did you eat that week? From week 1 to week 2, how much did your weight fluctuate by? How much did you eat?
Don’t starve then gorge yourself
As much as intermittent fasting is a very simple yet extremely effective way of losing weight, one very important point to remember is when you are breaking your fast. Whether that’s an intermittent or alternate day fast, just remember to eat normally.
You will feel hungry however that’s no reason to over indulge during your first meal after the fast. Eat the same size portions as you do now, your body will get accustomed to the reduced calorie intake. Over a very short period of time the hunger experienced at the end of you fasting will subside.
There is of course more to intermittent fasting to lose weight than what we have just covered. However, I hope the above has helped dispel any doubts you may have.
To be straight to the point, if you use fasting for weight loss and you have the self discipline to adhere to the method. There is no doubt in my mind you will reach your weight loss goal. You will go a long way to helping your body resist many of the ailments associated with modern living.