Experts give the low-down on time-restricted feeding and whether it’s worth trying
How to break the diet cycle?
WEIGHT loss can be hard, and the trick to breaking this cycle is to think of other ways to reward yourself that do not involve food.
Experts say that one of the barriers to healthy eating is the time it takes to actually prepare a healthy meal.
So, if you already do not like the idea of cooking, and you are struggling to lose weight, these simple mind tricks by Diet Doctor might help.
1. Stress less, sleep more
Chronic stress and inadequate sleep may increase levels of stress hormones such as cortisol in your body. This can cause increased hunger and may result in weight gain. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should review possible ways to decrease or better handle excessive stress in your life. Although this often demands substantial changes, it may immediately affect your stress hormone levels, and perhaps your weight. You should also make an effort to get enough good sleep, preferably every night.
2. Measure your progress wisely Tracking successful weight loss is sometimes trickier than you’d think. Focusing primarily on weight and stepping on the scale every day might be misleading, cause unnecessary anxiety and undermine your motivation for no good reason. The scale is not necessarily your friend. You may want to lose fat – but the scale measures muscles, bone and internal organs as well. Gaining muscle is a good thing. Thus weight or BMI are imperfect ways to measure your progress
3. Avoid artificial sweeteners Many people replace sugar with artificial sweeteners in the belief that this will reduce their calorie intake and cause weight loss. It sounds plausible. Several studies, however, have failed to show obvious positive effects on weight loss by consuming artificial sweeteners instead of plain sugar.
PEOPLE who choose not to eat for 12 hours a day, aka those who fast, claim that intermittent fasting gives you better sleep and abs. Are these people just annoying, or are they on to something?
Generally, intermittent fasting is a diet strategy that involves alternating periods of eating and extended fasting (meaning no food at all or very low calorie consumption).
How much of the benefits of intermittent fasting are just due to the fact that it helps people eat less? Could you get the benefits by cutting your calories by the same amount?
Courtney Peterson, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, US, who studies time-restricted feeding, a form of intermittent fasting, shares some insight.
How do I intermittent fast? There are four popular fasting approaches: periodic fasting, time-restricted feeding, alternate day fasting and the 5:2 diet. Timerestricted feeding, sometimes called daily intermittent fasting, is perhaps the easiest and most popular fasting method. Daily intermittent fasters restrict eating to certain time periods each day – say, 11am to 7pm. The fasting period is usually around 12 or more hours that, helpfully, includes time spent sleeping overnight.
Is fasting an effective weight loss method?
If you are obese or overweight, fasting is an effective weight loss method, if you stick to it. But it is no more effective than a diet that restricts your daily calories. We know this because there were no additional weight loss or cardiovascular benefits of fasting two days a week over an ordinary calorie restriction diet in a study of 150 obese adults over the course of 50 weeks.
Should I try intermittent fasting?
The most effective diet is the one you can stick to while living your best life. It’s hard to know which will work best before trying, but doctors and recent studies offer some guidance.
Peterson says that complete, zerocalorie fasts generally prove to be too difficult to maintain.
“People stick with them maybe for the short-term, but they get quite hungry in the long-term.”
Time-restricted feeding – fasting overnight and into the next morning – is probably the easiest form of fasting to comply with. A longer than normal fasting period each night allows you to burn through some of your sugar stores, called glycogen. This gives your body a little bit more time to burn fat. It also might help your body get rid of any extra salt in your diet, which would lower your blood pressure.
I’ve made the decision to fast. How long should I fast for?
There aren’t any studies that state exactly how long one should fast. The minimum amount of time it takes to make fasting efficacious hasn’t been proven via study, but the prevailing notion is it’s somewhere between 12 and 18 hours. But it can take a few days – sometimes weeks – of fasting regularly for your body to start burning fat for fuel.
Brooke Alpert, a nutritionist and the author of The Diet Detox, suggests starting by moving your last meal to around 7pm.
She said the reason for that was because our bodies were better at doing some things at certain times.
“Our bodies are better at processing sugar in the morning than at night,” says Varady.
So eat bigger meals in the morning, for example.
And how often do you have to do daily intermittent fasting to see the benefit?
Again, there hasn’t been a study that’s shown exactly how many days you need to fast, but a recent study in rodents showed they get about the same benefits fasting five days a week as they did fasting every day.
“The great thing is that we’re learning that this type of fasting isn’t all or nothing,” Peterson says.
TIME-RESTRICTED feeding – fasting overnight and into the next morning – is probably the easiest form of fasting to comply with.