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What Is Intermittent Fasting?

What is intermittent fasting and how does it work? The theory behind intermittent fasting has been clinically studied for decades but has only recently gained a wider acceptance among athletes and every day dieters.

So how does it work?

Intermittent Fasting Theory

The theory behind intermittent fasting is that if you separate blocks of time between eating and fasting your body uses resources more efficiently. It's common to exercise, like running or lifting weights, while still on your fast.

The idea is for your body to use stored resources before you eat your first meal. It's becoming a popular approach to losing weight and getting lean, with wide use among fitness professionals and bodybuilders.

Intermittent Fasting Schedule

The easiest and most manageable way to schedule your intermittent fast is to have your last meal closer to when you might be getting ready for bed so you're time asleep will count toward your fast.

A typical approach might be to schedule a fast for sixteen hours, with eight of your sleeping hours counting towards the fast. You would then wake and fast for another eight hours.

You're allowed to drink caffeine, which helps quell your appetite but you should not consume high calorie drinks while on your fast. A loose guideline is to not break the fifty calorie barrier with anything you drink, ruling out most soft drinks that contain sugar.

What Can You Eat?

What you can eat will depend on how lean you want to get. If you go through a fasting period and continue a strict diet during your eating blocks you'll shed body fat at a faster rate compared to a more fattening meal plan.

One of the primary reasons this fast is gaining popularity among dieters is because of the size of the meal portions. Since you only have eight hours to eat following a sixteen hour fast, your meal portions will be much bigger.

When you have 12-16 hours to consume 2,500 calories you might break it into four or five smaller meals. But when you only have eight hours to consume 2,500 calories your meals are going to be much bigger with less time between meals, leaving you more fulfilled.

If you can adapt to the fasting period, you may find eating larger meal portions in a smaller time frame to be the best weight loss approach for you.

Sample Fasting Schedule

During your eating time frame you can consume your calories in as many meals as you prefer. You don't have to split calories into five equal meals. Some choose three meals, some prefer two small and one big.

And there are some dieters who prefer to eat only one gigantic meal per day. However you choose to schedule your meals is fine as long as you fast for 12-16 hours before your meals begin.

Sample Schedule

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