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Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan for Weight loss

Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan for Weight loss

intermittent fasting weight loss, intermittent fasting benefits, intermittent fasting plan

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What is intermittent fasting (IF)?

Refers to a dietary plan where you alternate periods of eating with periods of fasting.

When we fast – our body switches from utilising sugar and carbohydrate from the food we eat to utilising fat stored in our body as an alternative source of energy – hence burning fat and reducing obesity.

Intermittent Fasting Benefits

1) Help in weight loss and combating obesity

  • Studies have demonstrated that Intermittent fasting can help reduce 3-8% of weight over 24weeks.
  • It can also help to reduce waist circumference by 4-7%.

2) Improve hypertension and hyperlipidemia and reduce risk of heart attack and stroke.

3) Manage diabetes by reducing insulin-resistance and inflammation.

4) Improve cognitive function like memory, executive function and global cognition.

However there are certain groups of patients which are not suitable for IF

  • Growing children less than 18 years old
  • Pregnant ladies and mothers who are breast feeding
  • Underweight patients and patients with eating disorders
  • Diabetic patients who have volatile sugar levels and are on diabetic medications

3 most widely studied intermittent fasting plans are :

  • Alternate-day fasting : Eat for one day and fast for the next.
  • 5:2 fasting where you eat 5 days a week and fast 2 days a week where you only eat within a window of 4-8 hours a day.

Which type of intermittent fasting will work for you?

Some people can actually tolerate going a full day without food , so alternate day fasting or 5:2 fasting may be suitable.

Some people cannot tolerate going without food for the day – hence they do time restricted feeding where they will designate certain timing of the day to have their food.

One of the most popular daily time restricted feeding plan is a 16:8 plan.You can eat your meals within a 8 hours window and fast the next 16 hours.

For example, you can have your breakfast at 9am , lunch at 12noon and finally dinner at 5pm. ( 8 hour window )

Is there a best time of the day to eat? 

There is a circadian system within our human body that determines the metabolism in a 24 hour cycle.

Glucose, insulin, lipid levels, energy expenditure and appetite peaks in the morning to afternoon period – indicating morning to afternoon as an optimal period to eat.

By using the 16 : 8 plan and shifting to a morning to afternoon feeding window, it may help in more effectively :

  • lowering blood pressure
  • lowering post meal insulin levels and improving insulin sensitivity
  • reduce appetite in the evening
  • reduce oxidative stress

Can Intermittent fasting help with effective weight loss?

  1. Not everyone is able to endure starvation.
  2. If you do follow the 16:8 rule but you take a lot of fried fatty food and candies with sweet soft drinks during that 8 hours period, then it would not have any benefits on your health. A wholesome healthy diet is still important.
  3. For effective weight loss – you will have to combine physical activities and exercise with the diet. Weight loss is always 70% diet and 30% exercise.
  4. There are patients with medical conditions always check with your physician or doctor for approval before you embark on intermittent fasting.

References

March 17, 2021

By : Dr Chen Yiming

Family Physician, MBBS (Singapore), GDFM (NUS), GDFP Dermatology (NUS)

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