Struggling to lose belly fat?
One popular strategy that you can implement to lose stubborn fat is fasting.
Fasting involves going for short and regular periods without eating. By fasting, you can reduce your caloric intake, which eventually helps you lose stubborn belly fat.
The popularity of fasting as a strategy to accelerate burning fats around the belly keeps growing. However, if you have never done it before, you might not be very sure about its effectiveness.
In this article, we look at everything you need to know about fasting.
What Does Fasting Entail and Does It Work?
Fasting helps you lose belly fat by limiting calories intake. You can consume less food than you normally do.
When this happens, your body can use the fats stored in the body as its energy source. And when done in the right way, fasting can help you get a slimmer abdomen.
There are three types of fasting, all of which can help you lose belly as outlined below;
1) Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting involves an eating pattern whereby you switch between fasting and eating on a regular schedule.
There are various approaches to this strategy. You can choose to eat during an 8-hour period and fast for 16 hours a day.
Another approach involves eating five days a week and reducing calorie consumption on the remaining two days of the week.
Some people go for longer fasting periods, like 72 hours. However, it is always important to seek guidance from your nutritionist, especially if you have an underlying medical condition.
As a beginner, you can start by fasting for few hours every day and extend the fasting period as you get used to it.
Remember, when you start fasting, you will be introducing a new routine to your body. As such, you might feel hungry or weak, but your body gets used to it after some time.
Besides losing belly fat, intermittent fasting will enable you to lose overall body weight. It will also help you prevent diseases, like obesity, associated with too much fat accumulation in the body.
The key to burning more fats with this fasting approach is being consistent.
2) Alternate day fasting
Alternate day fasting, also known as ADF, is an extreme fasting method. It involves 36 hours of not eating followed by 12 hours of unlimited eating.
Studies reveal that ADF helps in weight reduction and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
As a beginner, this method can be a bit harsh, particularly if you are used to eating lots of food. It is wise to decrease your food intake gradually and then get started on ADF.
3) Water fasting
During water fasting, you cannot consume anything apart from water. This fasting can go for 24 to 72 hours.
It helps in detoxing your body and enables weight loss as you consume fewer calories.
After fasting, you are not supposed to eat large meals. You start by consuming small amounts of food and increase the amount throughout the day.
Experts advise that water fasting should not be done for too long as it can be dangerous.
All these fasting approaches can help you burn belly fat. Besides that, they help address health conditions like stress, irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol, and arthritis.
Is Fasting Safe?
When done in the right way, fasting is safe. However, before introducing these forms of eating patterns, it is wise to contact a medical practitioner.
They can advise whether fasting is right for you or the best way to approach it.
If you are in any of the following categories, you should not fast;
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding moms
- Children and teens below 18 years
- People who have eating disorders
- Diabetic people
Best Practices To Lose stomach fat When Fasting
Just like with any weight loss or belly fat loss strategy, fasting has to be done in the right way to bring in the desired results.
Here are some of the best practices you should embrace to burn fats around your belly with fasting;
- Be consistent in your fasting plan. If, for instance, you plan to fast for 16 hours and eat within the 8 hours window, stick to that program. Do not be tempted to consume food during that fasting period. Remember, the goal is to restrict calories intake and train the body to burn the excess fats in your body.
- Do not overeat during your eating window. It will be pointless to fast and then add all the calories back into your body by overeating. Only consume the required number of calories as advised by your nutritionist or a personal fitness trainer.
- Eat foods that promote fat burning during your eating window. Even as you fast, remember to embrace good eating habits. Foods such as protein and vegetables promote fat loss as they keep you full for longer periods. Avoid fast foods and those with lots of sugar. These contain lots of calories.
- Avoid stress or find ways of coping with stress. Stress causes fat distribution around your belly. Whenever you are stressed, a hormone known as cortisol is released. This hormone causes a surge of energy in your body, thus increasing your appetite. During such times, you might end up consuming lots of foods, most of which are not healthy. You will end up consuming a lot of calories.
- Embrace a healthy and active lifestyle. Even as you fast, certain activities such as walking and swimming can help you shed excess weight fast. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. It is also recommended to do strength training to maintain muscle mass. With the guide of a personal trainer, you can burn belly fat and even build strong abs.
Fasting is a good way to lose belly fat when done in the right way. It can help you develop good feeding habits such that you can consume the right amounts of calories.
Remember that fasting also requires consistency and patience. It can take some time before your body adopts fasting, but it gets easier and better if you remain consistent.