Why intermittent fasting is the best and healthiest weight loss strategy

If you've had your head in the sand (or cookie jar) for the past few years, you have missed the rise of intermittent fasting as a weight management eating strategy.

Personally and professionally with my weight loss clients, the 16:8 method has has had the best results with the bonus of being relatively easy to follow.

Keen to know more? Keen to try it?

The lowdown

16:8 intermittent fasting is eating within an eight-hour window (say from 7am to 3pm), then fasting for the remaining 16 hours of the day. It sounds like a lot, but considering you don't eat while sleeping, time flies. You can move that window from 12pm to 8pm if it better suits your lifestyle.

Science backs it

Last month University of Illinois at Chicago concluded in the journal Nutrition and Healthy Aging daily fasting is an effective tool to reduce weight and lower blood pressure. In restricting the consumption window between 10am to 6pm, dieters could eat any type and quantity of food they fancied – on average, they ate 350 calories less per day and lost three per cent of their body weight while lowering blood pressure.      

If name dropping helps you get motivated, Terry Crews, Nicole Kidman, and Hugh Jackman have all jumped on board with 16:8.

If you're more about regular Aussies, my client Marcus - a mid-40s father and shift worker from northern New South Wales - lost 17 kilos in three months while intermittent fasting. A corporate mum, client Rachel from Sydney's Northern Beaches is down 12 kilos in the two and a half months that I've been coaching her, and she's still going.

Not the 5:2

I like how it's brought fasting to the mainstream, but the famous 5:2 fasting book is calorie restriction for two days per week - not fasting in its purest form. The 16:8 even tickles the Paleo lover's fancy with its inherent hunger-gatherer approach when cultures feasted after a hunt, then went without as mother nature permitted.

Exercising matters

You'll lose weight with 16:8 alone, but if you want to change your shape and feel better, look better, increase energy, and sharpen the mind then you have to exercise.

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Move your body with intensity for 20-30 minutes per day.

Fast when you fancy

Try it once a week. Then twice. Then three times. It's not hard, it's not easy – it's challenging. But once your body gets used to it, 16:8 becomes a welcomed, healthy lifestyle trait.

A typical day

Have a two-egg omelette with healthy fillings at 7am to start the day with some protein and fibre. Eat a healthy snack (like fruit, nuts) around 11am. Finish an afternoon meal like 200g of steak/salmon on an array of veggies by 3pm then tough it out 'til bedtime.

You don't have to do more. You don't have to buy crazy foods, pills and powders - 16:8 is minimalizing, it's about "less". And that's easy to follow. And that means less calories, more weight loss.

Goodbye Graze Phase

You arrive from work and dive in for a snack, perhaps a wine. You eat an unhealthy, oversized dinner. You go back for seconds, then finish the evening with a few more drinks and dessert. That's not dinner – that's a five-hour grazing session.

Commit to intermittent fasting, commit to your health and The Graze Phase goes from thousands of calories per week to zero. That's how weight drops, quickly.

A holistic approach

It's not just less calories, it's about allowing your body and digestive system to rest. We've turned into America's gluttonous-food-coma-half-drunk cousin. "Less is more" is cliché yet so appropriate when it comes to health and wellness in 2018.

Further, after weeks of 16:8, when slight hunger arrives you know you can control food, rather than food controlling you. It's a powerful feeling to own.

Walk the talk

I'm 46 years old. I'm leaner than ever, and I've got abs (though only Tinder seems to care).

I attribute that to two things - fitness and 16:8 intermittent fasting. No individual is a one-man science experiment, but it's not fake news that 16:8 works for many around the globe.

Intermittent Fasting is not a diet but more an intake strategy that provides anybody with easy to live within parameters. Enjoy a naughty dinner and a few drinks out one night? Then rein it in the next few days with healthy 16:8 fasting, and weight never touches the sides.

Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of 51698009 readers to undertake his "Cut The BS" diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.

A 16:8 plan for Australia is ready. If you need more information, motivation, shopping list with cooking instructions, exercise… all within a two-week plan with a verbal kick in the bum? I've got a freebie 50+ page eBook for you. Message me at [email protected] if you're ready to make a healthy change.

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