Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s a dieting method that involves alternating periods of eating with periods of fasting. While there are several types of intermittent fasting, one of the most popular methods is the 18/6 fasting method.
In this article, we’ll explore the science behind the benefits of intermittent fasting, suggest why the 18/6 method might be beneficial for people, explain best practices with 18/6 intermittent fasting, and give tips for getting the best physical results.
What Is Intermittent Fasting and Why Is It So Popular?
Intermittent fasting is a type of diet that involves long periods of not eating, followed by a shorter period of eating.
The most popular time schedules are 16/8, 18/6 or 20/4, meaning you fast for 16-20 hours and eat for 8-4 hours respectively.
The idea behind intermittent fasting is that during the fasting period, your body will burn fat reserves for energy instead of glucose from food. This helps people lose weight, improve their insulin sensitivity, and have better metabolic health.
Additionally, intermittent fasting is a more flexible diet than traditional dieting methods, because it doesn’t restrict you from eating certain types of food, but rather restricts eating time.
Science behind the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has been shown to have numerous health benefits, particularly when it comes to weight loss, insulin sensitivity, and metabolic health. Several studies have shown that intermittent fasting can improve cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammatory markers.
Intermittent fasting has also been shown to decrease insulin resistance, lower fasting insulin levels, and improve glucose tolerance. This means that intermittent fasting can be effective in preventing or treating type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Other studies have also suggested that intermittent fasting can improve cognitive function, mental clarity, and mood. One study found that fasting for 16 hours improved executive function and decreased depression and anxiety symptoms. Intermittent fasting has also been shown to decrease inflammation in the body, which can have benefits for people with chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
Why 18/6 Intermittent Fasting Might Be Beneficial for People
The 18/6 intermittent fasting method involves fasting for 18 hours and eating within a six-hour window. This method is popular because the fasting period is long enough to be effective for weight loss and metabolic health, but not so long that it disrupts daily life too much. Additionally, the six-hour eating window is wide enough to allow for three meals, so people can still eat a healthy, balanced diet.
One of the main benefits of the 18/6 method is that it can help people lose weight and improve metabolic health.
Fasting for 18 hours creates a calorie deficit, which can lead to weight loss. Additionally, the long fasting period can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose regulation, which can help prevent or treat type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Another benefit of the 18/6 method is that it’s relatively easy to follow. People can choose an eating window that works for their schedule, and the long fasting period means there’s less chance of snacking or overeating during the day.
In fact, for many people the easiest way to do IF is to skip breakfast, have your first meal at lunchtime (midday) and then finish your last meal at 6pm. This is one of the most effortless ways to do IF – although of course you’ll need to eat quality food, and not too much of it, in that 6 hour window.
Best Practices with 18/6 Intermittent Fasting
If you’re considering trying the 18/6 intermittent fasting method, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. First, it’s important to ease into the fasting period gradually. Begin with a 12-hour fasting period and gradually increase it over time until you reach 18 hours. This helps prevent hunger pangs and the temptation to break the fast early.
Second, be sure to stay hydrated during the fasting period. Drinking plenty of water, herbal tea, and other non-caloric beverages can help reduce hunger and keep you feeling full. Black coffee also works, but remember that milk is food, so a latte will finish your fasting.
Third, it’s important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet during the eating window. Focus on whole foods, lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.
Avoiding processed foods, candy, and other high-calorie, low-nutrient foods is as important as cutting the calories.
Finally, it’s important to listen to your body. If you feel hungry or dizzy during the fasting period, don’t be afraid to cut it short and eat something nutritious. And if you’re feeling great, don’t be tempted to extend the fasting period beyond 18 hours as there’s little benefit to very long fasting. Find what works best for you and your lifestyle.
Getting the Best Physical Results from 18/6 Intermittent Fasting
If you’re looking to get the best physical results from 18/6 intermittent fasting, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to overeating and poor food choices, so it’s important to get at least seven hours of sleep per night.
Second, be sure to exercise regularly. Physical activity can help enhance weight loss and improve metabolic health. It’s especially important to exercise during the eating window so that your body has the nutrients it needs to fuel your workouts.
Finally, be patient and consistent. 18/6 intermittent fasting is not a quick-fix diet. It takes time for your body to adjust to the new eating schedule, and sustained weight loss and metabolic benefits may take several months. Stick to the plan, be consistent in your fasting periods and maintain healthy eating and exercise habits for best results.
A Helping Hand with Intermittent Fasting
Cutting out food for 18 hours a day can be challenging for many people, so if the idea makes you go weak at the knees, you’re not alone.
But there are several things that can help you, such as DoFasting. Their app can help you track your fasting, improve your diet and get better results from IF.
DoFasting also offer supplements to aid fasting and help you hit your fitness targets. Take a look and take the quiz to find out more.
18/6 intermittent fasting is a popular and effective way to lose weight, improve metabolic health, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and arterial hypertension. If you’re considering intermittent fasting, the 18/6 method is a great place to start.
Remember to ease into the fasting period gradually, stay hydrated, maintain a healthy, balanced diet, and be patient and consistent for best results.
With these tips in mind, you can enjoy the many benefits of 18/6 intermittent fasting.