One way to manage your calorie intake and shed pounds is to try an 18:6 intermittent fasting schedule. Intermittent fasting is where you have a set window during the day when you can eat. The rest of the day, you abstain from eating, keeping your body in a fasting state. Intermittent fasting can help you adopt healthier eating habits, such as eating less by maintaining a set number of fasting hours. It also has other health benefits, such as increased energy, decreased blood sugar, and less inflammation in the body.
18:6 intermittent fasting is when you abstain from eating for 18 hours and eat all your meals in a 6-hour window. You should choose your window based on your lifestyle and what works best for you. You could start your first meal at 12:30 pm and end your eating window at 6:30 pm. Others may choose to start their first meal later in the day to have a later dinner. You may have to try out different schedules to see what works best for your lifestyle.
18:6 is known as one of the more difficult intermittent fasting schedules. Keeping your body in a fasting state for 18 hours isn’t something you jump right into. If you have tried 12:12 or 16:8 and didn't see results, or if you want to kick your weight loss up a notch, 18:6 might be for you.
With an eating window of 6 hours and enduring 18 fasting hours, you'll likely only get two meals in plus a snack, reducing your calorie intake significantly. Be sure to track your caloric intake during the eating window. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is key during fasting hours.
Spending 18 hours fasting a day doesn't mean you can eat whatever you want during the 6-hour window. If you're looking to speed up weight loss, steer clear of high fat, high carb, and sugary foods. These foods can negate any progress you’ve made while in a fasting state.
Your diet should consist of fruit, vegetables, and proteins. During your fast, you should also drink plenty of water. Proper hydration is vital for weight loss. If you're tired of drinking water and need an energy boost, try black coffee or black tea.
An 18 hours fast can be challenging, but many people experience better digestion with the 6-hour eating window. With a goal of 18 fasting hours, you may notice reduced bloating and indigestion that occurs when you eat too frequently.
Eating within a 6-hour window may also improve your sleep. Most 18:6 fasters end their meals between 6:30 - 7:30 pm, rather than eating right before sleeping.
An 18-hour intermittent fasting schedule may also improve your sleep. Most 18:6 fasters end their meals within a 6-hour window between 6:30 - 7:30 pm, rather than eating right before sleeping.
Of course, the number one benefit of intermittent fasting for most people is weight loss. Here are some added benefits to 18:6 intermittent fasting:
If you are looking to slim down, an 18:6 intermittent fast might be the right choice for you. Before you start a new program, you should always consult with your doctor first. Attempting 18 fasting hours will be a challenge for the first few days or weeks. You’ll need to give your body a chance to adjust to being in a fasting state for long durations. But once your body adjusts, intermittent fasting should become easier.
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