Me after 15 minutes of diet:
What is 18/6 intermittent fasting, and is it true that it will help you lose weight
It is also worth mentioning that intermittent fasting is a medical practice that consists of scheduling periods of no food intake, followed by periods without food restrictions. The aim of the practice is to achieve positive physiological effects.
Intermittent fasting: what the experts say
Among the benefits of intermittent fasting, some people include health and wellness benefits such as:
- excess weight loss;
- the appearance of more energy;
- improved digestion;
- reduced cravings for sugar;
- and improved sleep.
One more thing: the term "intermittent fasting" should not be confused with the pseudoscientific concept of "therapeutic starvation" - these are two completely different concepts that are similar only in that calorie content is cut in the diet, while in the second case in an extreme form, which can lead to an exacerbation pathological processes in the body and even death.
Attention! Even the medical practice of interval fasting has a number of limitations and is not recognized by all nutritionists as a uniquely good thing.
At least before limiting daily calorie intake (fasting and dietary therapy), it is necessary to consult a doctor and check the body for a number of diseases and pathologies, such as:
- malignant tumors;
- active tuberculosis of the lungs and other organs;
- diabetes mellitus type I;
- cardiac arrhythmia;
- condition after a large-focal myocardial infarction;
- heart failure II B - III degree;
- chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver;
- kidney failure;
- thrombophlebitis, the list is not complete.
In addition, such a weight loss strategy can be extremely dangerous for those people who have problems with:
- adrenal glands;
- and also for:
- adolescents under 18;
- pregnant women;
- and nursing mothers
It is best to carry out such dietary calorie restriction in specialized medical institutions, hospitals and sanatorium-type medical institutions, where a doctor with appropriate qualifications, armed with laboratory and instrumental methods of monitoring the patient's condition, will decide on its use.
Remember that this type of diet can do more harm than good and should be taken seriously and responsibly!
So, the primary conclusion about intermittent fasting is as follows:
Before starting any new diet plan, including intermittent fasting, be sure to check with your doctor.
If everything is good in health and the doctors who examined you are not against the use of a therapeutic diet, it is worth starting intermittent fasting with the 14/10 scheme.
What does this mean?
It's that you fast every day for 14 hours with a 10-hour eating window.
Depending on your condition, if you are ready for a longer fast, the next step is 16/8 - of which 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating per day.
This scheme increases the fasting period by two hours. For example: eat from noon to 20.00.
And if you're making your first meal early, you might be interested in trying 18/6. The essence is the same.
The latter is the most calorie-restricting method, it is not suitable for everyone, and it simply does not suit the majority, including for medical reasons.
All other options, such as refusing to eat for a day or more, are extremely DANGEROUS, and they should not be attributed to a healthy diet in the fight against excess weight!
Read more about intermittent (intermittent) fasting 18/6
As mentioned above, the 18/6 scheme implies an 18-hour fast per day with a 6-hour eating window.
This plan may mean that breakfast/lunch (the first meal of the day), for example, can be made at 12:30. Snack (small meal) - at 15:00. Dinner is at 18:30.
But, of course, you can change the time of your meal and break it into more or less amounts. The main thing is to keep its volume in terms of calories within certain limits - so that from day to day there is a calorie deficit (without it, your body will continue to store excess in the form of fat) and stick to the time frame of nutrient intake.
Since this is a much more severe form of intermittent fasting, it is definitely best for experienced people who have tried other methods. This 18-hour fast method may be right for you if your weight loss has stalled at 16:8 or if you tend to overeat due to the longer eating period.
How does 18/6 intermittent fasting help with weight loss?
Jason Fang, MD, nephrologist (kidney specialist) and author of Intermittent Fasting. How to restore your body, lose weight and activate the brain,” explained that intermittent fasting can help you burn fat by lowering insulin levels.
This is different from the typical weight loss method suggested by most experts, which is calorie restriction. Dr. Fang said that if you reduce your calories from 2,000 to 1,500 per day (to create a 500 calorie deficit), your body will be forced to lower your metabolic rate. A slower metabolism causes feelings of cold, fatigue and hunger. Weight loss eventually plateaus, meaning you need to eat even less to lose weight, which is not sustainable.
That's why Dr. Fang said that calorie-restricted diets don't work, which was also proven by contestants on the weight loss TV show The Biggest Loser.
A major study on former contestants of the show found that a period of intense calorie restriction and weight loss disrupted their metabolism, causing them to require far fewer calories to maintain their new weight than before they entered the show. Most of the contestants ended up gaining most if not all of the weight they lost during the show period.
Dr. Fang also works with diabetic patients, and says fasting has helped them lose weight, reverse or slow down their diabetes, and stop taking their medications.
“When insulin levels are low, the body can get energy from fat stores,” he said.
Many people who fast actually find that their feelings of hunger decrease, so intermittent fasting can help people who tend to overeat. When doing any form of daily intermittent fasting, you aim to eat the day's calories only at shorter meal times.
How to calculate the required amount of calories consumed?
By the way! To find out (approximately) the amount of calories you need, you first need to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR), that is, the body's calorie expenditure at rest and total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) - the amount of energy used by people or animals when moving and needed for maintaining the health of the body.
To calculate the first indicator, the Harris-Benedict formula is used to estimate how many calories you should consume per day for weight loss, based on total body weight, height, age and gender:
BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 * weight in kg) + (4.799 * height in cm) - (5.677 * age in years);
BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 * weight in kg) + (3.098 * height in cm) - (4.330 * age in years)
Then you multiply the resulting indicator (BSM) by the activity level:
- 1.2 if you lead a sedentary lifestyle;
- 1,375 if you do light exercise one to three days a week;
- 1.55 if you do moderate exercise six to seven days a week;
- 1.75 if you are very active (heavy exercise every day or exercise twice a day);
- 1.9 if you are very active (heavy exercise two or more times a day).
The resulting number will correspond to the number of calories that your body burns daily. In order to lose weight, you will have to create a calorie deficit, that is, the income per day must be less than the energy expenditure (even if you are fasting intermittently).
The opposite opinion of a dietitian, nutritionist and therapist
Hunger is a serious stress. To meet energy needs, the body uses reserves - adipose and muscle tissue. Fans of hunger are inspired by the idea that fat is consumed during fasting. But they forget (or maybe they don’t realize) that, without a source of protein from food, the body uses its own muscles as a building material for the synthesis of hormones, tissue renewal, digestive enzymes and other biologically active substances necessary for normal life.
By losing muscle mass, a starving person drastically lowers his basal metabolic rate. And then the most unpleasant thing happens - returning to his normal life, a person, due to wrong eating habits and a long restriction, gains weight again. But not at the expense of muscle mass, but at the expense of adipose tissue.
A classic trap for many losing weight, by the way. Most dieters (without maintaining physical activity to maintain muscle mass and without eating protein) will regain the weight they lost, but with a higher percentage of fat rather than muscle tissue.
“A new round of the diet is more likely to no longer be as effective as the previous one. With a low amount of muscle tissue, metabolism will be reduced. Restriction in food or its complete absence leads to beriberi, microbiota imbalance, decreased immunity and general exhaustion, ”a nutritionist sums up the intermediate result.
And according to the doctor, the maximum time that a person can go without food to stay healthy is 12 hours, but in no case during wakefulness.
Pros of 18/6 intermittent fasting
- It is easy to maintain every day: without disturbing your daily routine, you skip breakfast and have dinner earlier;
- It's flexible: if you prefer to dine later, you can shift your meal time (from 2pm to 8pm) or move it earlier (from 10am to 4pm);
- Better Digestion: Eating fewer meals throughout the day can help reduce or prevent bloating and improve digestion.
- Clear Mind and Increased Performance: After your body adjusts to stress, you are likely to experience an increased sense of focus, performance, and literally more energy;
- Improved sleep: If you tend to go to bed early (e.g. on weekdays, before work), having dinner before 6 pm means you won't have to go to bed with a full stomach. Instead of a snack before bedtime, you can drink herbal hot tea an hour before going to bed, which will allow you to deceive the body with a gradually rising feeling of hunger and fall asleep comfortably;
- You can eat more and be fuller: because you consume all your daily calories (remember, still limited in volume) in a shorter period of time, another advantage of the plan is that you can eat a large portion of food at a time and feel eating more heavily, unlike most other diets, in which hunger pursues weight loss constantly. The same fractional nutrition with its 4-6 small meals throughout the day is just about that.
- You can eat what you like: in this case, you can be more indulgent about the food you eat, so you can choose foods that are higher in calories or carbohydrates that you may have given up before. And you won't miss breakfast, even if you haven't eaten your favorite cereal at 8 or 9 in the morning. Just move your meal to a later date.
Cons of 18/6 intermittent fasting
- The risk of developing diseases of the gastrointestinal tract increases: long intervals between meals disrupt the normal secretion of gastric juice, which can provoke the development of gastritis and peptic ulcer;
- Too rare meals can provoke stagnation of bile in the gallbladder: and this is often a direct path to the formation of gallstones;
- An increase in the concentration of uric acid can also lead to urolithiasis and even gout (although it is usually considered to be a disease of "overeating");
- Eating for only 6 hours a day will be an impossible challenge for many: for those who are used to eating all day, such a restriction of food intake may seem incredibly difficult or even impossible;
- You may feel hungry: If you don't eat enough calories or don't consume enough protein and healthy fats, 18/6 intermittent fasting can make you feel hungry or tired;
- Can cause overeating: Any form of intermittent fasting, especially 18/6 because it is stricter, has the potential to cause unhealthy behaviors in people with eating disorders. That is, a person will either overeat within 6 hours, measuring out obviously large portions, or after a diet, he will gain fat very quickly, starting to eat everything in a row and in large quantities (this happens very often after any type of diet).
Tips for Success with Intermittent Fasting 18/6
And if you still decide to try a little fast to lose weight, then to achieve the goal, you should pay attention to:
1. Adaptation period. The best advice is not to dive straight into the 18/6 regimen if you have never cut your food intake in this way before. Start with a 12-hour fasting period, then gradually increase it to 14, and then to 16 hours (if the state of health remains normal, and the observing doctor does not see any trends that are not good for the body);
2. During fasting, drink plenty of plain water;
3. Be sure to sleep at least seven hours a night, preferably 8-9 daily, to prevent food cravings caused by fatigue;
4. Choose nutritious foods and eat until you're full, but don't overeat. Focus on getting protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, and plenty of fiber.
5. Avoid junk food, sugary drinks and lots of sugar. It is better to replace it with honey and fruits;
6. Engage in physical education and lead an active lifestyle (but without fanaticism) to maintain muscles. The fact is that muscles are an energy-consuming thing, and with a lack of calories or interruptions in the intake of calories, they, and not fat (which is the body's energy reserve for a rainy day), will be consumed first.
And for any ailments - see a doctor! If suddenly something goes wrong.
Bottom line: a weight loss scheme can really help, but the diet is not suitable for everyone, and it (like all diets) must be approached with a sound head, after consulting with specialists.