The fast way to lose fat! Get into shape as quickly as possible with these fasting tips
Disclaimer up front. The fast way to lose fat isn’t the ideal way to lose fat. I’m not a nutritionist or a doctor, so consult your doctor if you want to try the methods outlined in this article.
So, what is the fast way to lose fat? It’s the question we all ask when we want to lose the love handles. How quickly can I get there? You can lose up to 2lbs a week, but any more than that and you’d be sacrificing muscle mass too, which is not what you want.
I advocate a balanced diet, even when trying to lose weight. One that sees you eating fewer calories than you burn to put you into a calorie deficit and lose fat at a steady pace. But that’s boring right? And doesn’t get you to the fast way to lose fat.
So what is the fast way to lose fat? It’s fasting.
What is fasting?
Fasting is a process of going without food for a period of time.
The typical diet today consists of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then there are snacks and desert on top of that. But think back to our ancestors – no, way before your grandparents. I’m talking about the OGs of planet earth, the hunter gatherer types. Do you think they had three square meals a day? I very much doubt it!
You see, the human body is more than capable of going without food for a prolonged period of time (it’s water that’s vital). But in today’s world, we can’t go without breakfast because it’s critical to make sure we start our day off right – apparently. By the way, do you know what pushed the theory that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? – the guys whose whole business revolved around selling people a food to eat shortly after waking.
What are the health benefits of fasting?
There are many health benefits linked to fasting:
- Promotes weight loss
- Improves blood sugar control
- Improves the body’s ability to fight inflammation
- Enhances heart health
- Reduces brain fog
- Increases growth hormone and muscle
- Delays aging
- May aid cancer prevention and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy
Some of these are science backed. The ones I can attest to are 1, 2, 3, and 4.
What are the different types of fasting?
Made popular by British journalist Michael Mosley. With 5:2, you eat normally for 5 days and then restrict your intake to 500 calories for two days, then repeat.
A time based eating window where you fast for 16 hours and eat only during the remaining 8 hours of your day. It might sound scary at first, but if you have your last meal around 7pm, skip breakfast, and eat your first meal around midday, you’re doing 16:8.
An acronym for One Meal A Day. No explanation needed.
This is advanced fasting where you go days without consuming food. 48hr and 72hr fasts are common, but browse this reddit if you want to hear success stories from people who fast for weeks at a time!
Which is the best?
There’s not a best one – it comes down to individual choice. For example, 16:8 comes naturally to me. I wake up around 5am which is too early for my stomach to consider food. I would ordinarily have a 2hr commute to work so I tend to sip on a few black coffees which suppresses my appetite throughout the morning. I’m usually ready to eat around 12pm.
Pick one that you think suits your lifestyle. If you’re a beginner, I suggest avoiding OMAD or prolonged fasts.
How to do it
I’m going to make things as easy as possible for you to get started by recommending three apps:
It helps track your fasts based on which type of method you want to use and will alert you when your eating window starts and ends.
Download MyFitnessPal (MFP)
If you’re trying to lose weight, MFP is a must. You use it to track the calories you consume. Install it, go through the setup but change your daily calorie goal based on the following:
Your bodyweight (lbs) x 10 = your daily calorie target.
Set your protein to 40% and carbs and fats to 30%.
The above isn’t a scientific method of calculating your daily calorie goal. If you need something more advanced or you want to follow a specific diet, google it. Set a goal and monitor your weight for at least a two week period. Adjust your target calories based on whether you’re losing, maintaining, or gaining weight.
Tip – use the barcode scanner to log your foods.
Suggestion – invest in a food scale for greater accuracy of your logging. You’d be surprised at how much you’re eating once you start weighing foods!
Download Happy Scale for IOS (Libra for android)
Happy Scale is a great tool to log your weight (I’m assuming you own a pair of scales). You can set goals and milestones as well as looking at your overall weight loss trend to forecast when you’ll hit your goal.
When it comes to how often you should weigh yourself, there’s no right or wrong answer. I personally opt for once a week because weight can fluctuate by 2-3lbs a day just with water weight.
Tip – weigh yourself at the same time everyday. I recommend first thing in the morning after your morning bathroom rituals and before consuming any food.
What to expect
You’ll likely experience the ‘whoosh’, where you drop a few lbs after starting. This is normal and is mostly water weight. So don’t get upset when you put some or all of it back on a few days later.
You’ll get hungry. Your stomach will groan. That’s your hunger hormone ghrelin telling you that you need to eat something. Ignore it. Drink some water. Ride the wave. It’ll pass and you’ll find you can go a few more hours.
Track your weight. If you’re losing weight – great. Remember though, you don’t want to lose more than 2lbs a week, otherwise you’re likely losing some muscle mass too.
That’s it. Go try it. Let me know how you get on!