Intermittent fasting involves eating only during a specific period and fasting for the rest of the time. The fasting period consists of 12 hours or longer per day. The most common intermittent fasting method is the 16:8 daily method, where you fast for a continuous 16 hours and eat during the remaining 8 hours. The chart below gives you an example of this method (Leangain and Berkan).
EATING TIME FRAMES
- 9 am to 5 pm
- 10 am to 6 pm
- Noon to 8 pm as shown in the above chart
During the fasting period, you may only drink calorie-free beverages such as unsweet tea, plain water, or black coffee. The eating period should include healthy food choices. Intermittent fasting works by burning through the calories consumed at your last meal. Once these calories are eliminated, fat burning begins.
It is important to note that it takes the body 2-4 weeks before it becomes accustomed to intermittent fasting. During this time some side effects may include: hunger, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, and nausea.
A visual example of what your day might look like with the 16:8 Intermittent Fasting method is below.
When you finish your meal dispose of any extra food. Do not put it in the refrigerator and eat the remainder over a few hours. Keep in mind, that continuous eating spikes your insulin levels and can slow weight loss. Measure your food servings before you begin your meal, as it is important to focus on portion sizes.
REMEMBER YOUR EYES ARE BIGGER THAN YOUR STOMACH, SO MEASURE UNTIL YOU LEARN APPROPRIATE SERVING SIZES.