With the ongoing pandemic locking us indoors, most of us have finally gotten the time to do the one thing we have been stalling for years – that is to lose some weight. However, some issues are easier said than done. Weight loss is more than just working out and eating healthy and in this era of multiple diet plans and quick weight loss solutions, it can be overwhelming to find out which method is suitable for you.
Losing weight is linked to numerous positive effects on the body including prolonging the lifespan. Let’s talk about a popular and proven method of weight loss in this article, “intermittent fasting”.
The vice of obesity and its adverse effects on both the health of an individual and society as a whole has been drilled into us since childhood. Generally, a BMI (Body Mass Index) above 30.0 is classified as obese for any individual. In addition to increasing the risk of developing conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, obesity is also linked to an overall deterioration of the quality of life.
Obese people do not only suffer physically but mentally as well, bearing the brunt of the stigma associated with obesity. With the advent of social media and the increasing pressure to maintain an ideal weight, people on the heavier spectrum of body weight struggle to fulfill societal expectations in order to fit into society.
Though all body sizes should be accepted, nonetheless the benefits of a healthy weight is hard to ignore. Moreover, bear in mind that a healthy weight is not always about achieving the unnatural proportions on the cover pages of a magazine. Thus, it should not be an impossible dream any longer if followed with the proper guidance and strong willpower.
The weight loss industry has become overwhelmed with marketing products that claim to help lose weight without any scientific backup. From outrageous claims to impossible goals, many businesses have deprived people of both time and money by taking advantage of their desperate need to lose weight.
Therefore it is better to be informed before trying any weight loss program. Here are some tips to get you started:
Another scientifically proven method of weight loss that is quickly garnering popularity is intermittent fasting. What is intermittent fasting? Well, here is a small run-through of the basics of intermittent fasting 101.
In intermittent fasting, people cycle between predetermined times of fasting and eating. It is more of an eating pattern or habit instead of a diet plan. Instead of concentrating on diet, Intermittent fasting works by controlling when and how long you can eat.
Fasting has been a part of human evolution and culture since ancient times which has helped our bodies get accustomed to surviving without food for a long period.
Intermittent fasting has been well accepted in the fitness community because of its scientific approach to weight loss without causing harm to the individual. Studies suggest that intermittent fasting is as effective for weight loss as countless calorie restrictions.
The reason for intermittent fasting being more effective compared to other weight loss methods because it works on both sides of the calorie equation. Not only does it reduce calorie consumption but also increases calorie burn off thus efficiently reducing your weight.
Intermittent fasting stimulates change in hormone levels. By facilitating the correct hormonal balance, achieved by lowered insulin levels and increased levels of growth hormone and noradrenaline. This in turn can increase your metabolic rate by 14%.
Therefore by eating less and burning more fat, intermittent fasting results in effective and permanent weight loss.
The benefits of intermittent fasting have been backed by multiple scientific studies and extend further than just weight loss.
Bear in mind that most of these studies are in early stages or conducted on animals and may not replicate similar results on humans. However, the benefits of intermittent fasting have yielded positive results among many people across the world.
As with any weight loss techniques, intermittent fasting also relies on a structured fasting program that will help individuals achieve an ideal weight for the long term. Any intermittent fasting plan depends on the method you choose to fast, here are some:
Among these the 16/8 method is the most popular and regarded the easiest to follow. However, keep in mind that the diet plan only works if you maintain an adequate calorie intake during the eating period. If you overindulge during the non-fasting period, it will not help you to lose any weight at all.
Unfortunately, there is some evidence pointing to the adverse effects of intermittent fasting on some women. One study showed that it worsened blood sugar control in women while other reports claim missed cycles among women practicing intermittent fasting.
Therefore women must be more careful before fasting. Ease into the practice of fasting and stop if you face any issues with your cycle.
Thus intermittent fasting in women should be exercised with caution. Women with eating disorders, trying to conceive or having fertility issues, pregnant or breastfeeding should refrain from fasting. If in doubt consult a health professional before you begin fasting.
A common question asked whether drinks are allowed during fasting. The answer is yes. Non-caloric beverages like water, teas, and coffee are fine as long as you don’t add any sugar. A small quantity of milk or cream can be added though. Moreover, coffee consumption is said to dull hunger so you can drink without guilt.
Though intermittent fasting is overall a safe practice, some precautions must be exercised if you have an underlying medical condition. Consult with your physician or a health expert if you are unsure especially in the following conditions-
In the beginning, you may feel hungry more frequently, perform relatively poorly, or feel weak until your body adjusts to the changes.
The HCG diet is a popular extreme diet where the very low fat and very-low-calorie intake is aimed towards aiding weight loss. HCG or human chorionic gonadotrophic hormone is a pregnancy hormone that suppresses appetite as well as burns stored fat. As you consume less, the body compensates for its energy requirements by using the stored fat. By specifically targeting fat, muscle loss is virtually non-existent with this diet.
However, the HCG diet should always be under the supervision of an experienced medical professional. You can learn more about the benefits of the diet here.
There are many appetite suppressants available in the market claiming to help reduce weight. However, many are not FDA approved and dangerous. Therefore if you choose to use appetite suppressants, make sure that it is FDA approved.
You may have asked yourself this question. The short answer to the above question is YES. When followed properly under adequate medical supervision, you can lose around ten percent of your body weight.
Weight loss is a difficult journey that takes a toll on both the physical and mental health of a person. Weight loss is not only about eating less and fasting but developing healthy habits and a healthy diet leading to a healthier lifestyle. This is difficult to achieve on your own without help.
A medical weight loss clinic like Chicago Weight Loss and Wellness Clinic consists of a team of professional and experienced individuals who are here to help individuals achieve a healthy weight. By combining tried and proven methods of intermittent fasting, HCG diet, FDA approved appetite suppressants as well as behavioral therapy, and nutrition counseling, we help patients lose weight and maintain it.
Thus achieving wellness and vitality and the greatest gift of all, good health. Listen to testimonies from real people with real struggles and how they fulfilled their journey to weight loss.
Weight loss doesn’t have to be a nightmare of failed diet plans and enduring hours of miserable hunger leaving you tired and irritated. With a proper plan and guidance from experts, weight loss can be a journey of triumph and overcoming obstacles to achieve a healthy weight. However there is no universal method for weight loss, you can try out different methods to see which one suits you best. After all, no stone should be left unturned when trying to achieve good health.
This blog is for informational purposes only. Do not make any major changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise without the supervision of a licensed medical professional.
This blog post has been edited on May 14 2021, to add more information.