Intermittent fasting has become a popular method to achieve weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. It involves timing your periods of eating and fasting to achieve a metabolic switch, which maximizes fat burn for weight loss, particularly when paired with eating a healthy diet outside of fasting.
Additional benefits of intermittent fasting also include increased energy, lower cholesterol, and better overall health.
In particular, the 18:6 fasting and eating pattern is a great option for ultimate weight loss success, here’s a breakdown of what we’ll cover:
The 18:6 eating schedule involves an 18-hour fasting window alongside a 6-hour eating timeframe throughout the day. Within the six-hour window, you will likely eat two meals, and these can be scheduled to suit your work or personal life requirements.
For instance, if you wanted to skip breakfast and focus on lunch and dinner, your six-hour eating window could begin at noon with a healthy afternoon meal, and then finish at 6 PM after you have an early dinner.
If breakfast is a must, shifting your six-hour window would solve the problem— breakfast at 9:30 AM, a late lunch at 1:30 PM, and a snack before the fasting window begins at 3:30 PM.
As for the frequency of completing an 18:6 fasting diet per week, it’s important to start slow and not push the body too far.
As such, medical professionals recommend doing longer periods of fasting such as the 18:6 or 16:8 methods once or twice a week, although it’s entirely possible to fast every day if your body allows it and proper care is taken.
Let’s take a deeper dive into this method of intermittent fasting and discuss the health benefits of an 18:6 fasting meal plan, including weight loss and experiencing better health in general.
One of the most noticeable benefits of following a fasting plan is the ability to lose weight. Intermittent fasting is proven to help with weight loss, boost metabolism functions, and increase your heart health while giving you more energy.
But how does it work? 18:6 fasting weight loss is triggered by putting your body into a calorie deficit by abstaining from calories for 18 hours a day, which kick-starts your metabolic process.
The ketones produced by your metabolism in this state target fat stores in the body instead of glucose for energy, burning fat rapidly. Plus, the metabolic switch activates several other processes in the body, further assisting with weight loss.
HGH, or human growth hormone, is an essential part of regulating the body’s cellular growth and regeneration.
These hormones promote healthy muscle tissue throughout the body and help burn fat. Thus, higher levels of HGH are great for increased energy and weight loss.
Studies have shown that certain diet plan types increase HGH levels, particularly after longer instances of intermittent fasting, 18:6 schedule being one of them. As such, limiting your eating and extending the fasting window increases these important hormones in the body.
Promoting lower insulin levels in your body not only helps protect against diabetes but also helps your body burn fat easier. Instead of relying on the blood sugar or glucose levels for energy, less insulin means that your metabolism burns fat for fuel.
Fasting for 18 hours with a short eating window is proven to lower insulin, reduce insulin resistance, and reverse diabetes naturally. Because of the weight loss associated with fasting, and the healthier diet it includes, insulin in the body lowers to optimal levels.
The effect of one’s metabolism on weight loss is substantial, but intermittent fasting boosts metabolic processes significantly.
When you alternate short periods to eat with time to fast, the calorie deficit sparks ketosis and continual fat burning, because your system suddenly has access to better energy than before, without using glucose.
And when it’s time to eat, balanced meals with proper calories are essential to keeping your metabolism up and working to its highest capacity.
By balancing your fasting period with a short eating window that is full of healthy fats, complex carbs such as whole grains, and other balanced food choices, you will feel satisfied for much longer and be less likely to overeat.
Instead of junk food or other unhealthy foods to eat, having the right foods to fuel your body for six hours will keep you on the right track.
Being able to lose weight is not the only advantage you have to look forward to— 18:6 fasting benefits also encompass reduced risk of many serious illnesses, including Alzheimer's disease and cancer, reduced inflammation throughout the body, and lower insulin levels.
However, the 18:6 fasting benefits experienced during depend entirely on the length of the fast as opposed to the eating window. The longer you are in a heightened metabolic state of ketosis, the more fat burning and other health benefits come along with it.
Inflammation is the cause of many issues within the body, including diabetes, heart disease, and digestive problems.
However, intermittent fasting does improve inflammatory bodily responses and helps reduce the amount of inflammation experienced.
LDL cholesterol is another dangerous cause of diabetes. But by reducing calories and implementing intermittent fasting periods, the risk of diabetes is lessened, thanks to significantly lowered cholesterol levels, fat loss, and eating healthier meals when within an eating period, including complex carbs, healthy fats, and fewer processed foods.
And along with lower cholesterol, blood pressure levels decrease when fasting, which helps prevent cardiovascular issues from arising. Regular intermittent fasting helps keep cardiovascular systems functioning optimally and prevents the buildup of dangerous substances inside them.
Similarly, because the metabolism works at an enhanced level and immune responses are sharpened, intermittent fasting can help reduce cancer risks. This includes reducing the glucose within your bloodstream, effectively removing the elements that some cancers feed on.
If the intermittent fasting 18:6 schedule sounds right for you, read on for 5 easy steps to get started on your weight loss journey and succeed!
Start with a smaller fasting and eating window before you jump into the 18:6 meal plan. By trying alternate day fasting or 12-hour fasting first, you can ease your way into the more intense 18:6 fasting meal plan.
Drinking plenty of water is key to fasting, so it’s a good idea to use an intermittent fasting app like DoFasting to help. You can set your fasting and eating windows, get food recipes, and track your weight loss progress easily.
Intermittent fasting and food times need to fit into your schedule to prevent limiting your lifestyle. Thus, it’s important to consider your social life as you decide which meals the 6 hours will include, and plan ahead.
Whether it’s lunch with a friend or a night in with your partner, you don’t want to miss out or break your fast early and lose valuable progress.
Your body telling you to eat can be difficult to ignore, you can resist the urge by using appetite suppressants.
Natural appetite suppressants include coffee, Yerba Mate, ginger, water, and more— all of which can be taken to prevent eating more calories during fasting!
Fight food cravings by adding electrolytes to your water during the day, and for the best alternative to a meal, try the DoFasting Essential Fiber Complex packet. It uses Glucomannan and natural cellulose to make you feel satisfied, without having to eat.
Intermittent fasting relies on the meals you eat outside of fasting windows, as well. Having a variety of nutritious food to eat following an 18-hour fast is essential. These include proteins, healthy fats, and complex grains.
Some great foods to eat after 18 hours of intermittent fasting include:
Many people have succeeded with 18:6 fasting weight loss, including several of our DoFasting app users, who wanted to share their inspirational stories with the world!
After switching to 18:6 fasting, Betsy was able to change her life and lose 53 pounds in just a year. She credits being active and having a narrow eating window to her success.
Intermittent fasting can be beneficial for many people, but anyone who deals with certain pre-existing conditions should not try it— and particularly an 18:6 fasting diet— without speaking to a medical professional, including:
By alternating windows to eat and fast, your metabolism is kick-started for maximum weight loss. And by using the 18-hour fast, 6-hour eating method, this progress can be enhanced even further, with all the associated health benefits that come with better metabolism and decreased risks of certain diseases.
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