Intermittent fasting is an increasingly popular way of dieting or managing one’s health. Express.co.uk spoke exclusively with Paul Crouch, personal trainer and nutritionist for Performance Meals, about this way of eating and the possible weight loss results that could be achieved.
Paul explained: “Intermittent fasting simply means alternating between periods of eating and not eating.
“There are a number of intermittent fasting routines, some of which include alternate day fasting, the 5:2 method and daily fasting.
“Alternate day fasting is where nothing, or a small number of calories, is eaten for a 24-hour period every other day on ‘fast’ days with, ideally, a balanced diet on the days in between or ‘feast’ days
“The 5:2 regime involves eating a restricted number of calories, usually around 25 percent of a person’s usual calorie intake, on two non-consecutive days of the week and eating a balanced diet on the remaining five.
READ MORE: How to lose weight in time for summer ‘without skipping meals’
While intermittent fasting is a great way to manage weight and health, it’s not suitable for everyone.
Paul explained: “Intermittent fasting is suitable for most people, though those with certain health conditions and those that are pregnant, or breastfeeding should check with a professional before proceeding with a fasting programme.
“Fasting is also not a suitable regime for people with eating disorders.”
What results can be achieved through intermittent fasting?
The personal trainer and nutritionist revealed: “When done properly, intermittent fasting can be an effective weight loss tool.”
According to research, following an intermittent fasting diet can see weight loss of seven to 11 pounds or three to five kilograms, in a month.
“It may also improve some health conditions including lowering insulin levels.
“Some research also suggests that intermittent fasting can help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as blood sugar levels, which can all contribute to heart disease.
“This is due to the effects fasting has on the way the human body processes cholesterol and sugar.”
But to see the best results, some foods should be consumed more than others.
“A diet based around lean protein, carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables will make the most of the fasting process,” Paul said.
“Ensure you fuel your body correctly with healthy foods during non-fasting periods [and this] will maximise the effects of intermittent fasting.
“Nutritious foods during restricted periods, if the regime you follow permits a small amount of calories at certain times, will also help the process.
“Ideally, you should break your fast with a prominently protein-based meal.
“It’s important to remember that the key to intermittent fasting, in whatever form, is to not treat the permissive eating time as an opportunity to gorge on whatever you fancy.
“This will only be successful if combined with an, overall, healthy diet and regular exercise; the same ‘secret’ behind any successful weight loss programme or health overhaul.”
Performance Meals creates high protein, low calorie ready meals using quality ingredients that can help increase protein intake whilst intermittent fasting. The range of healthy meals can be tailored to various weight goals, including weight loss, management or muscle gain.
For more information on Performance Meals, visit www.performancemeals.com.