If you are looking to lose weight, you may have given intermittent fasting a try. Success Coach Kenneth Ferrer explains who best benefits from this method.

What is/ isn’t Intermittent Fasting? 

Intermittent Fasting is an eating style in which you cycle between specific time frames of not eating, and eating. For example, a popular and approachable intermittent fasting ratio is the 16:8 ratio, which means you abstain from eating for 16 hours, followed by window of 8 hours in which you have all of your food from the day. Other popular versions include 18:6, and 20:4. There is also the Eat-Stop-Eat method, which is when you eat dinner, then fasts for 24 hours until the next day’s dinner, which is often done 1-2 times a week.

Myth Busting 

People may argue that fasting will put the body into “starvation mode” causing one’s metabolism to slow down and body to shut down. But Kenneth says with intermittent fasting, you’re still eating enough calories to maintain your body and activity level within your window of eating time, so your body does not enter starvation mode. Another myth is that fasting causes the body to burn muscle rather than fat. When paired with regular exercise, and adequate nutrition, the opposite is true. Intermittent fasting increases the production of Human Growth Hormone, which boosts muscle growth, strength, exercise performance, and helps your body heal.

Research-backed Benefits

When done properly, intermittent fasting can have a tremendous wealth of benefits. It can help stabilize one’s insulin levels, emotions, sleep cycle, and energy levels. Intermittent fasting can help people reset their hunger signals, meaning over time, you won’t be hungry as frequently. The method is shown to benefit overall health, brain function, and increases the sharpness of your senses, especially taste.

Starting Recommendations

Kenneth recommend starting with a 16:8 ratio, while paying attention to how your body responds. If your first meal is at 11am, then have your last meal is at 6:30 so that you’re done by 7. Keep in mind, you want to eat enough calories to sustain your life, but overeating will not lead to the weight loss benefits. To increase the speed and effectiveness of all of the benefits, pair intermittent fasting with a high protein, moderate fat, low carb diet, and avoid added sugars and processed foods. Make sure you drink a lot of water, and realize that people have been practicing fasting in various contexts for thousands of years. Our ancestors were capable of practicing fasting safely, and so can we.

For more information, watch the interview above.