Have you already heard about intermittent fasting? You know this trendy new diet everyone keeps talking about?! Like the new MUST-DO diet to follow if you wanna be coooool (no comment). Anyway, doesn't matter if you haven't heard about it yet as we'll face the topic all together today in this brand-new article.
So clearly, there's a huge hype around intermittent fasting right now and especially on social media. But what is it exactly? Is it really worth it? Does it provide us with long term results? Should we start this so-called revolutionary diet? Well, let's answer those questions together and even go the extra mile.
This article has been written in collaboration with Maud Bassens, a Belgian dietician.
Intermittent fasting???? What is this?
Intermittent fasting is a diet in its own right. It involves different types of fasting.
The most popular one is the 16/8 fasting meaning you fast (you don't eat) for 16 hours, letting exactly 8 hours for your eating window. It generally implies skipping breakfast as you start to eat around 12 pm. Therefore you favor liquids such as coffee, tea, or other unsweetened drinks over proper food in the morning.
The second fasting is the 5:2 one. Here the idea is to restrict your calorie intake to 200-500 kcal for 2 days a week and eating normally the 5 last days.
In the third position, we find the Eat stop eat. This fasting consists of not eating "solid" food during one or two days in a row and thus only drink unsweetened beverages such as tea, coffee, bouillon,...
Then we have the Alternate fasting, which is, as its name says, about fasting one day out of two meaning you don't eat or min for 100 kcal during fasting.
The last one is the Warrior fasting (freaky). Here you kind of fast all day long. I said "kind of" because you can still eat some raw fruits, veggies, or nuts (in low quantity) until dinner when you can have a big meal.
I want to lose some weights should I start intermittent fasting?
Let's be honest results will be fast! But it won't fall into your laps though, it requires lots of determination and motivation. If you're a breakfast lover it will be even harder. Personally, I do not recommend these diets, which are very extreme.
Maud supported me adding that our body is not made to endure those long fastings. Plus by starving our body, she explained that our body will build a "memory" pushing it to stock more nutrients in order to be ready for the long fasting.
On the other hand, she also said that for intense athletes (ONLY) it's actually recommended provided they're followed by some experts. Actually, some facts have shown that their performances are better after long fasting.
I'm lost!!!! Is dieting a good solution for losing weight or not?
We have to be aware that when we start a diet, whatever it is, we'll certainly come to decrease our calorie intake, which will obviously lead to weight loss (yeaaah).BUT it's a no-brainer when we'll stop our diet and go back to "normal" (because clearly most of the time diets = restrictions, and we, human beings, can't live eternally like that) we'll surely increase this calorie intake and thus gain weight... We have to understand that if we want long-term results it's NOT a temporary diet that we should do but rather adopt a new eating lifestyle. And the question is thus; are we ready to follow those diets for age?
As Maud said, it should not be about diet but about food rebalancing meaning that we should rectify or correct some of our bad eating habits. By doing so, we'll learn to eat properly and without any restriction (or maybe a bit for some of us who really treated themselves :p). Automatically we'll lose some weights AND maintain our new weight easily. For those of us who already eat properly by listening to their body, it's perhaps not necessary to try any diets. On the contrary, this is maybe the time to accept that we weight that amount, and that's, in fact, our ideal weight.
How can I get a good eating balance?
I'll never repeat it enough, but it's all about listening to our body! As Maud explained, she can provide some of her patients with a good and accurate eating plan, if those patients don't want to listen to their body the food rebalancing will be a complete failure. If we keep eating because we want to and not because we need to, there won't be any result nor chance of eating balanced.
Of course, it's normal to treat ourselves and eat less "good" food sometimes, it's actually part of the process because it will help us keep being on track and not bingeing.
In a nutshell, I would like to highlight that going on a diet is not something that should be in a short-term. This is why I do not recommend it at all as it implies a lot of restrictions, and this is not funny nor normal to live like that. We have been made to enjoy life and to be happy. Eating is part of happiness!
Also, be cautious with social media! People share lots of content and facts they actually don't know a sh*** about. Most of the Instagramers are not dieticians nor nutritionists, doctors, fitness coaches, you name it! So stop believing what you see on Instagram and start by asking the right persons or by reading the right articles. Listen to your body! What works for someone might not work for you simply because we all have different metabolism, lifestyle, goals, ...
That's it for today. I really hope you enjoyed the reading and that you learn some stuff. Let me know your opinion about intermittent fasting and dieting in general, I'd love to know.