What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Malaysians and food are inseparable. We eat literally all the time, for any occasion. In consequence, we topped among the South East Asian countries for obesity rate among adults at a whopping 15.6% (or 1 in every 7 adults), putting us in danger of numerous critical illnesses especially heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension and many others. But is there a way for us to keep enjoying the food we love, while reducing the risk of getting sick from it? Yes, by applying moderation on our plate.
One of the most popular ways to reduce such harm from bad eating habit is through Intermittent Fasting. Many have done it, and succeeded, including famous celebrities like Lisa Surihani, who gained weight after delivering her second child, but managed to get her old body shape and weight back in mere months while staying healthy.
What is Intermittent Fasting, and how does it help Lisa lose weight so dramatically?
In short, intermittent fasting or IF requires you to fast for a certain number of hours (usually 16 hours or longer, or what we call the ‘fasting window’), and only eat within the remaining hours (or the ‘eating window’). It is different from the other type of diets like Atkins that restricts carbs, or Paleo that forbids processed food, or keto that involves consuming more fat. IF is less strict. It allows you to consume ANY TYPE of food within your ‘eating window’. You can even drink during your fasting hours, but only NO SUGAR.
For newbies, you may start with the LeanGains method, which requires you to fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8-hours window (or 16:8 in short). Once you get used to it, you may level up to the 19:5 method or 'The Fast 5 Diet' approach. You may also go a level higher with the 20:4 method aka 'The Warrior Diet'. Nevertheless, if you think 16 hours of fasting is too challenging (as our normal fasting for Muslims in Malaysia usually lasts for just 12-13 hours max), it is okay to start with much simpler methods, like a 12:12 or 14:10, just to get a taste of it. You may add up the hours gradually. Do not worry too much about the fixation of hours, just make sure your body is comfortable with the ratio. This might also stop you from quitting prematurely and get caught in the ‘Yo-Yo dieting’.
Intermittent fasting is not only a good and safe way to achieving your dream shape and weight, but it also helps you save money, as most ‘lepaking sessions’ would have happened within your fasting window at night. But remember - don't misuse the 'eating window' as your 'revenge window'. Who are you fighting against; YOURSELF?