As you go about your weight loss journey, one particular approach that you may come across and start to wonder if perhaps you should consider using is intermittent fasting.

There are many different diet and fitness plans out there, but this one does seem to be a little more on the extreme side. Despite this fact, many people are jumping on the bandwagon, claiming to see excellent results.

But what’s the truth about intermittent fasting? Does it work – and more importantly, is it right for you?

Let’s go over a few of the main points to consider when utilizing this approach.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

There are a few different ways that you can go about setting up an intermittent fasting approach. First, you have those who prefer to fast for a full 24 hours, alternating fasting days with non fasting days.

In other cases, the individual may instead to fast for a certain portion of each day – typically 16-18 hours. This then leaves a 6-8 hour window in which they eat their meals.

Both of these approaches work in generally the same way, just the structure of them is different.

The Benefits

So what are the benefits to your health and fitness level with intermittent fasting?

The first benefit is that those who use this tend to feel less restriction. While this may seem counterintuitive as you would think they’d feel more restricted since they aren’t eating for a large portion of time, the fact is that when they do eat, they can have larger, more satisfying meals because they are eating the same calories a normal person on a diet eats over a 24 hour period during this shorter fasting time.

So for someone who hates typically small diet meals eaten ever 3-4 hours, intermittent fasting helps you get around this.

Second, some people like the fact they don’t have to cook so many times each day.  They find they are far more productive when intermittent fasting because they can simply carry on their day without stopping.

Third, intermittent fasting can help to improve insulin sensitivity levels. This means that when you do eat, you will have a greater chance of shuttling the carbohydrates you eat towards muscle cells, rather than body fat cells. This can help you sustain a leaner body composition over time.

Finally, intermittent fasting has also been shown to possibly reduce the signs of aging when combined with a reduced calorie intake, so that is also another benefit it may bring.

Using It Correctly

Now, if you’ve decided you’d like to give this diet style a try, don’t just hop on and start fasting. There are some important points to know.

First, try your best to schedule much of your fasting during the overnight period. Now this won’t apply to every other day fasting (those who fast for a 24 hour period), but for those who use the alternate approach, fasting from say 6 or 8 pm every evening until 12 pm the next day tends to work quite well. This way, you can still eat your normal lunch and dinner meals, along with a snack in between as a normal person would.  This will also help you out when in social situations as fasting during a company dinner meeting for instance would be a rather tricky situation to handle.

Second, don’t exercise during the fast. Schedule your workouts for a period after the fast is broken. Most people will break the fast with a small dose of protein (or BCAA’s) and then do their workout, following that up with a very large post workout meal to really give their body the nutrients it needs. If you feel you exercise better on more food, don’t be afraid to increase your meal size prior to that workout.

And finally, still be sure that you are eating healthy.  Remember that just because you have more calories to eat over a shorter period of time does not mean that you can eat anything your heart desires. Be sure to use the Weight Tracker Pro app to help you stay in check.

The same rules of healthy eating still do apply.  Further to that, on your last meal before you head into the fast, make sure that you have a very good dose of protein – 30-50 grams along with a good dose of healthy fats – 10-20 grams. This will help sustain you better over the fast, ensuring hunger doesn’t become an issue.

So there you have the low-down on intermittent fasting. It is a more extreme approach, however for some people, it is the approach that helps them see maximum fat loss results.

Have you tried intermittent fasting before? If so, share your experience below.