The first time I tried intermittent fasting to lose belly fat was last year and it lasted for two months. If you are wondering why I stopped, we should do a re-introduction. See, no kidding, I missed eating food. Did it work at the time? Yes, it did.
Why I started intermittent fasting in the first place? ‘They’ said I did not need to diet or something. Can I just give y’all a hug? Like, no need for keto, and restrictive dieting? Oh boy did that please my soul. ‘They’ also said that if I liked, I could skip on the exercise and still have fantastic results from Intermittent fasting.
I hate exercise too. I feel punished for being fleshy. Why do I have to run the length and breadth of Unilag because I have meat on my bones? No greater stress than this fam. And for the record, as at the time of writing (August 14, 2018; 7:01pm), I saw one of my exercise buddies going to meet up with Truppr at Unilag. Of course, I didn’t say hello. I have turned the other cheek, thank you very much.
Last month, I started intermittent fasting all over again. I know it’s pretty early to begin to make conclusions or talk about it like the other intermittent fasters. They sure must have a name, lol. I want to explain all there is to intermittent fasting for belly fat loss. It’s something you might want to give a try.
I will try to explain as much as I know about this system. I also want to share some of my challenges with intermittent fasting, how I am trying and learning to overcome them, my results, what I hope to do going forward so that the intermittent fasting can go on for longer and it’s easier on me.
What is intermittent fasting?
When I was about to kick off intermittent fasting, I asked a couple of people if they have heard of it before and the negative response was entirely the answer. I am practically the only person in all of my work, church and family circles that knows what intermittent fasting is all about. I owe it to the internet in a way because I am always all about weight loss, belly fat and stuff.
Also read: opinions about slimming tea for weight loss
Truth is that I am not hoping to lose weight drastically or become slim. That really isn’t the thing. I want to see how I can lose just a little bit and continue maintaining it. All I never want is bloating up and becoming overweight. I like my figure and size now. I am only scared of becoming larger than this.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern. You cycle between meal restriction and allowance. What it means is that it is more of when you eat than what you eat, remember I mentioned this earlier.
You have an eating window period (this is when you have chosen to eat) and a fasting period (when you don’t consume anything with calories). During your fasting period, you can take water, coffee and different teas. With intermittent fasting, you might not make so much of a fuss about what you eat, even though that matters to some extent.
Different types of Intermittent Fasting/ Intermittent Fasting methods
16/8 Intermittent Fasting
We have 24 hours in a day, we can decide to eat round the clock or fast for some of the hours. With 16/8 intermittent fasting type, you fast for 16 hours and eat within 8 hours. This means you have a fasting window period of 16 and an eating window period of 8 hours.
What people usually do is that they skip breakfast so that they can easily do the 16/8 intermittent fasting. Some people already practice it already anyway, without them knowing they are naturally doing intermittent fasting. You can do 12 pm to 8 pm of eating and fast from 8 pm to the 12 pm the next day. You can do 1 pm to 9pm if you really like to eat at night.
If you want to see quicker results from intermittent fasting to lose belly fat, you should pick a window and fasting window that is off evening. I like to finish all of my food early in the evening, say 5 to 6 pm.
So I eat by 8am and stop eating by 4pm. I fast from 4pm to the next day and resume eating by 8am again. I don’t know how to skip breakfast, it messes me up. When I first started intermittent fasting, I skipped breakfast to do the window eating period of 12pm to 8pm. It was extremely difficult for me at work. I was cranky, had a lot of headaches and was generally tired. I was sometimes usually shaky and grumpy.
Some people get to do a little bit of variation to the 16/8 type of intermittent fasting. They can go for 14/10 or 18/6. I recommend that you start at a pace that is manageable and not too drastic so that you don’t burn out too quickly. When you start gradually, say fast for 12 hours or 14 hours, you can begin to pick up the pace week by week.
After three days, you will see a noticeable change in your belly fat. My belly went drastically flatter after three days. I only needed to maintain the belly fat loss and lose some more belly fat.
The 5:2 intermittent fasting
With this type of intermittent fasting, you fast for 2 days and eat for 5 days in a week. You can decide to fast on Mondays and Thursdays for example and eat normally the rest of the week.
I sometimes combine 5:2 with 16/8 intermittent fasting. On your fasting days, you are allowed to take in some calories. 500 to 600 calories or less is usually allowed to give you some energy for the day.
I like to pick Saturdays or Sundays as one of the days I fast on. I wake up late on Saturdays, by the time I am done with pressing my phone, house chores and lazying, it’s already 6 pm and that is the end of the day. I take something very light and go to bed. For Sundays, it’s very common to skip meals, it is a tradition in many houses anyway.
Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting
You eat every other day in this method of intermittent fasting. If you eat on Monday, you fast on Tuesday, you eat on Wednesday, fast on Thursday and so on. You are allowed to eat 500 to 600 calories on your fast days too.
Other intermittent fasting methods
The other types of intermittent fasting are warrior diet, fast when you feel like and eat-stop-eat. I do not think that either of these may help to lose belly fat. They may help to lose weight generally tho but to lose belly fat it is usually great to skip meals at night and also look for a fasting method that is sustainable on the long run.
Intermittent fasting benefits/ results
So, yes, intermittent fasting works. If you can be patient and consistent, it works. I mentioned earlier that it worked for me and I began to see changes in 3 days. The only thing destroying my belly fast loss destiny is my persistent bloating.
Intermittent fasting has helped me too as regards my bloating but of course, I should wait longer to see more results as regards bloating.
Another intermittent fasting benefit is better digestion. I am the one girl with constipation. I have troubles with my digestion too frequently and it bothers me a lot. Some foods and certain fruits have helped in the past but I would like better digestion.
Let me quickly turn this blog post upside down, lol. So, when I got newly admitted into University of Ilorin, I didn’t have a place to stay for the first month. I had to squat and move in between places and friends’ houses. I found myself in Lagos hostel for the first two weeks. If you know Lagos hostel in University of Ilorin, chai, that place is razzz.
For the two weeks I squatted, I didn’t visit the loo a single time. I am not even joking, not one single time did I go to the toilet. Did I feel the need? Yes, a couple of times but I was able to keep it till I finally left that place. My digestion can be that messed up in situations like these.
Intermittent fasting has greatly improved the frequency with which I visit the loo and really, it is such a great intermittent fasting benefit given the struggle I have been through.
General Thoughts and Conclusion on Intermittent Fasting to Lose Belly Fat
Intermittent Fasting to lose belly fat is a reliable method if you are patient and ready to wait it out. Have you ever tried doing intermittent fasting? I would really love to know how you are coping with the challenges of intermittent fasting. I would also like to know if you are experiencing any side effects and whether it is working for you. Please share with me in the comments section below. If you also know anyone struggling with belly fat loss, this article may help them to try something new, perhaps, this may work, please share it with them.