The 12:12 fasting diet plan is best for losing belly fat  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: As more and more people are trying to lose weight, intermittent fasting (IF) continues to be one of the most popular fitness trends across the world. Studies have shown that IF can be a powerful weight loss tool that can effectively help you fight belly fat while also improving health in many ways. It is claimed that it can benefit your brain health, reduce your risk of certain conditions – such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, – and may even help you live a longer life.
For the uninitiated, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern or a diet regimen that cycles between brief periods of fasting (with either no food or significant calorie reduction) and non-fasting over a defined period. There are different types of intermittent fasting such as the 16/8 method, the 5:2 diet, eat-stop-eat — all of which involve vary in the number of fast days and calorie portions. But if you’re a newbie faster and trying to lose weight or do away with that unhealthy visceral fat using the intermittent fasting, most of them can seem too extreme for you. But fret not, here’s one that’s considered best for beginners – the 12:12 method. Let’s try to figure out what exactly is the 12:12 fasting and how does it help with weight loss. Read – Weight loss: All you need to know about the 16:8 diet and 6 tips to burn belly fat using intermittent fasting
What is 12:12 fasting? Is this the best diet plan to lose weight for beginners?
Basically, the 12:12 plan is a type of intermittent fasting where you eat for 12 hours of the day and fast for the other 12 hours. This method requires you to limit your daily calorie intake within a 12-hour window (meaning 12 hours eating, 12 hours fasting), rather than eating whenever you want throughout the day. For instance, if you eat your evening meal or dinner at 8 p.m., you should have your breakfast around 8 a.m. the following morning while on this plan. The 12:12 is claimed to be the simplest type of intermittent fasting, especially for beginners who are trying to lose weight or simply want to improve health.
According to a research published in Cell Metabolism, fasting for 12+ hours most days may promote weight loss, prevent disease and promote longevity. The researchers, who divided the mice into four diet groups and categorised them into different feeding schedules, found that mice fasted for at least 12 hours and kept their eating within a set 12-hour time frame experienced significant weight loss compared to mice eating the same diet but with liberty to eat all day long. Read – Weight loss: Here’s why intermittent fasting may be the best diet plan
The researchers also discovered that mice in the time-restricted feeding groups also saw improvements in blood sugar, insulin, insulin sensitivity, and hunger hormones apart from weight loss when compared to the groups of mice who ate whenever they wanted all day.
The bottom line
Additionally, various studies ( in both animals and humans) have shown that intermittent fasting could be an effective way for losing weight, especially belly fat, as it may slightly boost your metabolism while helping you consume fewer calories. The diet plan may also boost digestion and reduce bloating, as well as improve mental clarity. One of the best things about IF is that it may help those who tend to overeat with late-night snacking as fasting can reduce hunger, helping you stick to your diet plan.
However, it may be noted that intermittent fasting is certainly not for everyone. You should talk to your doctor or a health professional before trying IF, especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, underweight or living with certain medical conditions, including diabetes, low blood pressure, etc.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.