First things first, the fast diet is technically not a diet even though it has the word diet in it. This diet, also known as intermittent fasting (IF), follows a basic timing and pattern of eating where you can only eat during a period of time. During this certain time window you can eat about as much as you want. Now you might be thinking how will I lose weight if I eat whatever I want… This will be explained further into the article.
Fast Diet Methods
There are many different ways to follow this diet. The amount of food you can eat in one sitting depends on the timing window you choose. Generally, people do not eat through the night and then through the morning hours. Another method is eating normally for five days of the week, any days you want, and then on two days only eat two small meals. These two small meals have a calorie limit, you would want the meals to total around 500-750 calories. People choose the first method because no one likes to count calories and it is a lot harder to track.
The human body has many protective and survival ways to prevent starvation. During the fasted period the body turns on starvation mode, you have probably heard about how starvation mode burns muscle, but further research says that this starvation mode actually burns off fat and has health benefits. Starvation mode was an amazing tool for people in the past when food wasn’t always available. Humans were not meant to eat every 3 hours, in a way we are spoiled. The fasting diet also works by preventing the buildup of excess body fat. It uses the same idea as regular diets do. They say to eat fewer calories by eating healthier foods because these healthy foods contain minimal amounts of calories. When we eat more calories than we need, the human body stores it as fat, which is how weight gain occurs. Fasting allows us to eat less and use our starvation mode at the same time. We eat less with this regimen because we can only eat inside of the timing window, during the time we will almost always be feeling close to full, or not hungry. This will be explained furthermore in the next paragraph.
Timing Window Method
The main method of this diet is fasting through the night and then through the morning hours. Eating occurs in the afternoon through to the evening inside of the timing window. The window is usually 8 hours, so you do not eat for 16 hours of the day. However, you can starve longer and have a shorter window. This allows you to eat more during the eating period.
An example of the 8 hour window would be:
- 6-7 am – Wake up (Yes, coffee is allowed, but you would want black coffee because it contains little calories)
- 12 pm – First Meal
- 4 pm – Second Meal
- 8 pm – Last Meal
The reason why this schedule works best is because most people find it hard to fall asleep while hungry, and easier to fast through the morning. If you’re like me and hate eating breakfast anyways then the fast diet is perfect. The 8 hour eating window works well because people usually eat every 3-4 hours, the 8 hour window allows you to eat 3 big and full meals every 3-4 hours. The frequency of the meals is not important, you can eat however you like as long as it is in the timing window. The fasting diet is hard to get used to at first, the feeling of hunger mostly, but your body will automatically adjust to it like it adjusts to most things.