Losing weight can be a minefield. Instagram is littered with influencers trying to hock the latest skinny tea, and it seems like new fad diets come around every week or so. If it's not getting rid of our precious carbs or exercising until our legs fall off, it's sticking to a ruthless calorie controlled regimen. In short, dieting can be tough, so when one tried and tested weight loss method comes along, we grab onto it with both hands.
Intermittent fasting can do your body some serious good, that goes way beyond losing a few extra pounds. According to Popsugar, fasting expert Jason Fung, MD, says that fasting can lower your insulin levels, allowing your body to tap into fat stores for fuel. But as with most diets, it can be tempting to dive straight in without taking a moment to research. Some people follow the 5:2 diet, where you eat for 5 days and fast for 2, but this can be a pretty big step to take that could make you feel a little unwell if you dive into it off the bat.
Beginners could try something a little less scary, and instead do 12:12. For the first 12 hours of the day, you can eat as you please, for the other 12, you fast. You can adjust the start time to suit you and your lifestyle. For instance, if you wake at 6:30 am and usually eat at 7, you could fast from 7 am to 7 pm. If you like a late breakfast then you could try doing it from 10 am to 10 pm. The choice is yours. Dr. Fung suggests making the fasting plan suit your needs and not the other way around for maximum results.
12:12 has proven a success, but if you have a tendency to overeat, then there are things you can do to help yourself. Instead of worrying about portion and calorie control, increase the amount of time you spend fasting. You could do 14:10, or even 16:8 - as long as it works for you. If you're feeling hungry and irritable, then it's likely that you won't be able to sustain the diet in the long run. It's all about balance.