What is the best and healthy way to lose weight?

Diet holds the key, exercise is what you see when the door opens

Weight loss results differ from person to person, but there is a simple way to use your genetic disposition in order to achieve the weight loss goals. It’s not just a matter of restricting your caloric intake on a daily basis, it’s about creating a lifestyle plan that will work indefinitely, not just as a short term fix. We all want to look great 365 days per year, but we must know what strategies do and don’t work effectively, so we can direct our energy towards results.

Ditch calorie restriction – for life

So many people have been on the calorie restriction train, and have not seen result, or yet, bounced back from it by eating normally, thus further accelerating their fat gain!

All that time spent methodically counting calories, and eating less and less each day, whilst keeping exercise at an alarmingly high rate takes it’s toll on the body, both mentally and emotionally. Long term, this is not an ideal lifestyle plan, and it leaves us hungry, cold, exhausted, frustrated and moody. This is not living your life in the most ideal and yet enjoyable light.

The reason this happens is that caloric restriction over time lowers your metabolism completely, triggering your body into believing it is in starvation mode. When this happens, the body holds onto everything, and slows the process of the body down in order to preserve important functioning. This is the time when people start to restrict more and more food, whilst increasing their exercise efforts. This is a no win situation, because the body is always going to win above and beyond your efforts of restriction. It is programmed to keep you alive for as long, and as best as it can.

Don’t lose hope, as there is a way out of this – but you must be inclined to change your whole conditioning on weight loss, and be willing to stick with a plan for life.

The way out of this meaningless caloric restriction pathway, is through Intermittent fasting.

Implement restricted eating windows instead – Intermittent fasting

You may be thinking, well, how is this different from caloric restriction, when we are actually in starvation mode anyway – well, this is a form of controlled and restricted eating times, that triggers a multitude of positive adaptations within the body.

Fasting triggers numerous hormonal adaptations that do NOT happen with simple caloric reduction. Insulin drops furiously, helping prevent insulin resistance. Noradrenalin rises, keeping metabolism high. Growth hormone rises, maintaining lean mass.

When you fast, your basal metabolic rate does not drop, in fact, it increases by 12%. This also includes your capacity to exercise, which elevates considerably. This will answer many people’s burning questions regarding exercising within their fasted state, and how it can affect performance. This of course, depend on what exercise you are doing and for how long. You obviously would not run a marathon or perform a powerlifting competition in a fasted state. It’s all about implementing the necessary changes within your eating window, to cater for all your exercise and fitness goals.

How does our metabolic rate increase when we don’t actually eat?

This is more so looking back into the caveman days of human survival. Back then, we did not have access to food as we do now, leading us to go without food for many hours at a time, perhaps even days. It would be necessary to keep up our energy and alertness levels in order to hunt for food and keep us in survival mode.

During fasting, the body opens up its ample supply of stored food – body fat! Basal metabolism stays high, and instead we change fuel sources from food, to stored body fat. Now we have enough energy to go out and hunt.

During fasting, we first burn glycogen stored in the liver. When that is finished, we use body fat. The good news is that there’s plenty of fat stored here. Since there is plenty of fuel, there is no reason for basal metabolism to drop. And that’s the difference between long-term weight loss, and a lifetime of despair. That’s the knife edge between success and failure.

Fasting is effective where simple caloric reduction is not. What is the difference? Obesity is a hormonal, not a caloric imbalance. Fasting provides beneficial hormonal changes that happen during fasting are entirely prevented by the constant intake of food. It is the intermittency of the fasting that makes it so much more effective.

The phenomenon of resistance depends not only upon hyperinsulinemia, but also upon the persistence of those elevated levels. The intermittent nature of fasting helps to prevent the development of insulin resistance. Keeping insulin levels low for extended periods of time prevents the resistance. (1)

Restricted eating is also key to preserving lean muscle mass

Lean mass % increased by 2.2% with fasting and only 0.5% with The Caloric Reduction as Primary (CRaP) strategy. In other words, fasting is 4 times better at preserving lean mass. So much of that old ‘fasting burns the muscle’. You can expect to gain and maintain muscle mass, despite training in a fasted state. I myself am testament to this, as my muscular gains have never been more constant or increased as much when using other dieting protocols. So therefore, you can gain muscle, as well as burn body fat at the same time, without making too much sacrifices on either end! (1)

How can you fast?

It’s easy, and adaptable to any schedule. Pick your different fasting windows, and alternate on a daily basis. Or, you can choose to fast only during the week, and allowing the weekend for normal eating schedules. The choice will depend upon what your goals are and what kind of lifestyle you would like to lead.

The hours range from 12, 16, 17, 18, 20, 24, 48. I have found that 20 hour fasts have the most profound effect on my body composition goals. I try to implement 20 hour fasts 3 times per week, and pivot between 17–18 on the other days. 12 hours is my one day fast on Fridays, so I may indulge a bit more to prepare for training extra hard the next day. You can test, trial and change as you go.

You will notice over time that you will get leaner, more shapely and find that you can eat a treat or two, and that it does not have a negative effect on your body composition. This isn’t an excuse to eat badly, more so that you eat all your macronutrients, but allowing for your indulgences once in a while. We are all human after all. I’m definitely certain that other diets do not provide this kind of nutritional flexibility.

After reading all this, you can definitely see the benefits of adopting this kind of lifestyle to achieve your own goals, whilst allowing you to lead a normal life. It’s been the single most important factor in my results, and I greatly encourage you to try this for a couple of months. I don’t think you will be unsatisfied with the results. For more information, please feel free to connect with me below.

If you would like to keep in touch during your journey, please do contact me on these various platforms if you need further assistance. I have plenty of other material on my blog or join me on facebook and instagram account. Please feel free to upvote this answer.

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