How To Lose Weight By Fasting
Heres how to lose weight by fasting, including tips for seeing safe success and some of the most popular fasting methods
If youre unsure how to lose weight by fasting, our science-backed guide will cover some of the most popular fasting methods and outline some good practices for fasting weight loss. As science continues to hunt for the fastest, simplest, and safest way to lose weight, one method that has gathered increased popularity in recent years is fasting.
It is important to note that if you have any medical conditions that you think may affect your fasting, you should consult a medical professional or nutritionist before you start a fasting diet.
A balanced approach to weight loss that incorporates both exercise and diet is key too. This means making sure you’re eating healthily when you’re not fasting and engaging in workouts you enjoy. To find the right exercise for you, see our tried and tested guide to the best exercise machines to lose weight and our handy how-to guide for the best exercises for weight loss.
How Does The 8 Hour Diet Work
The 8 hour diet works in the following ways:
- Stimulates The Function Of The Mitochondria Mitochondria are cell organelles that convert glucose to usable energy . Fasting for 16 hours helps stimulate the mitochondria and reduces the level of intracellular damage caused by a poor diet ,
- Uses Up Glycogen And Fat Stores Glucose is converted into glycogen and stored in your muscles and liver. In a fasted state, your body first uses up glycogen for fuel and then gains access to fat stores .
The 8 hour diet teaches you how to trigger the furnace in your body that burns fat while you sleep so that the flab can get stripped away right from the moment you wake up.
- Burns The Calories You Consume According to David Zinczenko and Peter Moore, the authors of The 8 Hour Diet, modern lifestyles involve grazing or eating around the clock, which does not give your body sufficient time to burn all the calories that it is required to.
While you are fasting, your body gets the chance to reset itself and digest food. This allows your body to process nutrients and eliminates toxins effectively.
- Keeps You Satiated Most diets are restrictive. From portion control to caloric restriction, there are various terms and conditions that the dieter needs to follow. The 8 hour diet takes the pressure off a traditional diet.
Having the freedom to eat everything within an 8 hour window keeps your taste buds alive and prevents boredom. Thats why it is sustainable.
Hour Fast Benefit #: A More Youthful Appearance
In more recent times fasting has become known for its ability to turn back the biological clock. Many people who take up intermittent fasting notice dark under-eye circles disappearing and fine lines smoothing out.
These benefits may sound too good to be true, but theyre backed by science. Recent studies have shown that intermittent fasting boosts human growth hormone or HGH. Fasting for just 24 hours can boost HGH levels by 1300-2000%!
HGH is an essential hormone that helps build and repair tissues as diverse as your skin, brain, and other organs. By improving cellular turnover, HGH may help your skin look fresher and more youthful. It may also increase your bodys muscle mass, in turn making fat loss even easier.
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Stage 5 Fasting : Stem Cells And Immune Function
The final stage of fasting begins after a full three days without food.
Before you read about the benefits, note that a 72-hour fast is a serious undertaking. If youre going to try it, make sure you drink plenty of water, get plenty of electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium, and stop fasting if you feel lightheaded or otherwise unwell.
Intermittent Fasting Can Help Weight Loss
IF makes intuitive sense. The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbohydrates, particularly sugars and refined grains , are quickly broken down into sugar, which our cells use for energy. If our cells dont use it all, we store it in our fat cells as, well, fat. But sugar can only enter our cells with insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas. Insulin brings sugar into the fat cells and keeps it there.
Between meals, as long as we dont snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar, to be used as energy. We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down. The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.
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Is 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Right For You
Its true that 16/8 intermittent fasting can be a sustainable, safe, and easy way to improve your health when paired with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle.
However, it shouldnt be viewed as a substitute for a balanced diet rich in whole foods. Plus, you can still be perfectly healthy if you dont follow intermittent fasting.
Though 16/8 intermittent fasting is generally considered safe for healthy adults, you should talk with your doctor if you have any underlying health conditions. This is key if youre taking any medications or have diabetes, low blood pressure, or a history of disordered eating.
Intermittent fasting is likewise discouraged if youre trying to conceive, pregnant, or nursing.
If you have any concerns or experience any side effects while fasting, be sure to consult your doctor.
How To Avoid High Stress Hormones
Avoiding the cortisol increase that accompanies fasting can be done by many of the same things we mentioned above.
Drinking coffee with some clean-burning MCT oil or coconut oil mixed in may well be enough to help your body transition with a minimum of stress.
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The Beginner’s Guide To 1: 8 Fasting For Weight Loss
Fasting â that is, abstaining from food for set periods of time â is a longstanding practice that has been part of various religions and cultures around the globe for thousands of years.
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Recently, though, fasting has reached trend status among dieters and health-seekers alike in the form of intermittent fasting , with advocates claiming that its benefits include long-term weight loss, improved health and even anti-aging effects.
How Often Should You Do 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
You can do 16/8 intermittent fasting as often as you wantbut it may be smart to ease in. Ease your way into fasting to keep it sustainable, encourages Lindsay Wandzilak, NASM celebrity trainer, nutritionist and founder of The Daily. Pushing the hours to a crazy, uncomfortable place can lead to deprivation, binging, and guilt.
Starting slow and increasing your fast by intervals every few days can make it easier for your body and mind to adjust to a new eating window . If you approach intermittent fasting as a lifestyle shift, you are more likely to find success sticking to the fasting schedule on a daily basis.
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How Often Should You Do 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting
You can do anywhere from one day of intermittent 16:8 fasting to seven days a week, because, unlike other intermittent fasting diets, each day of the 16:8 works independently to the rest.
Evidence differs, however, on whether it’s healthy to do intermittent fasting all the time. While research from Queen’s Medical Centre has proven that short-term fasting boosts the metabolism, longer fasts of around three or more days can actually suppress it and slow it right down. Plus, going without food for a long period of time can lead to an increased level of cholesterol, feeling sick in the morning , dehydration and spells of low blood sugar.
Is The 8 Hour Diet Safe
Yes, the 8 hour diet is safe. In fact, fasting has various health benefits.
Research shows that people who fast intermittently shed fat without affecting their muscle mass. Their blood cholesterol levels improve, they become more insulin sensitive, and the risk of diabetes and metabolic diseases reduces , , .
However, you must follow the schedule as mentioned in the next section.
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How To Lose Weight On The 8
- Eat all of your daily calories during an 8-hour period. Choose a time frame that works for you. For example, you can eat breakfast at 9 a.m. and then be finished eating for the day by 5 p.m. You could eat your first meal at noon and be finished eating by 8 p.m. Whatever hours you feel would work best with your schedule. Your 8-hour window does not need to be the same every day.
- You can eat whatever you want on this diet. No foods are forbidden. Just eat your normal meals and make sure you eat an appropriate portion. Don’t overdo it and don’t binge.
- Avoid sugary beverages. They’re just empty calories.
- Try to get some exercise in before the eating window begins. Exercise will supercharge fat loss.
- Drink lots of water, whenever you like. You can drink water during the 16 fasting hours, but you can’t drink anything else during the fast period.
Lunch should be satisfying and include lean proteins and plenty of vegetables. Make sure you’re eating at a time approximately between your first meal and the end of the 8-hour window.
Intermittent Fasting Is Controversial
There is debate, however, about whether this approach leads to sustainable weight loss. Also, nutritionists question whether diets like this one just teach people how to deal with fasts, and not how to develop healthy eating habits. Some nutritionists worry that intermittent fasting will encourage eating disorders and raises cortisol levels.
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Are There Any Side Effects To Be Aware Of
Intermittent fasting shouldn’t come with any nasty side effects, butlike all restrictive eating plansit’s important to not let it take over your life. “Sometimes people shy away from social events because they interfere with the timing of the fast,” said Harris-Pincus. “I never recommend letting an eating behavior determine your interaction with friends, family, or coworkers.”
It’s also important to pay attention to exercise in relation to fasting. Harris-Pincus warned against exercising while fasting or waiting several hours after exercising to eat your first meal. “You want to feed those muscles and replenish carbohydrate stores after an intense workout,” said Harris-Pincus.
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The Backstory On Intermittent Fasting
IF as a weight loss approach has been around in various forms for ages but was highly popularized in 2012 by BBC broadcast journalist Dr. Michael Mosleys TV documentary Eat Fast, Live Longer and book The Fast Diet, followed by journalist Kate Harrisons book The 5:2 Diet based on her own experience, and subsequently by Dr. Jason Fungs 2016 bestseller The Obesity Code. IF generated a steady positive buzz as anecdotes of its effectiveness proliferated.
In the Obesity Code, Fung successfully combines plenty of research, his clinical experience, and sensible nutrition advice, and also addresses the socioeconomic forces conspiring to make us fat. He is very clear that we should eat more fruits and veggies, fiber, healthy protein, and fats, and avoid sugar, refined grains, processed foods, and for Gods sake, stop snacking.
What Is 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting
The 16:8 fasting plan is an eating schedule in which you fast for 16 hours each day and eat during an eight-hour window.
This eating schedule comes with all the benefits of other fasting schedules . Perhaps even better, you pick the eating window.
So what should that eating window be? “There’s actually infinite variability. It can be any time. Any time that you don’t eatthat’s fasting,” explains Jason Fung, M.D., fasting expert and author of the book The Complete Guide to Fasting.
If you can’t live without breakfast, slot your food earlier in the day .
If you prefer an early dinner, eat in the middle of the day .
If you’re someone who regularly goes out with friends for late dinners, schedule your eating hours later in the day .
Contrary to popular opinion, there are no rules around how many meals you have to squeeze in or whether or not you have to include breakfast. In fact, no data actually proves breakfast makes you healthier or weigh less.
Types Of Intermittent Fasting
How to intermittent fast is important because you want to maintain proper nutrition in your overall diet and not put yourself at unnecessary risk. Weight loss is never a one-size-fits-all approach, says Taylor. Intermittent fasting may be sustainable for some people, while others find that this approach just isnt for them.
If you want to try intermittent fasting, youll first need to figure out how youre going to incorporate this style of eating into your life, especially when it comes to things like social events and staying active, she advises.
Ready to explore your options? Here, Taylor explains some of the most popular intermittent fasting methods.
1. Time-restricted eating
In this option, you have set fasting and eating windows. For example, you fast for 16 hours of the day and are able to eat for only eight hours of the day.
Since most people already fast while they sleep, this method is popular. Its convenient, as you extend the overnight fast by skipping breakfast and not eating until lunch. This form of fasting is a safer bet for many people who are interested in trying intermittent fasting for the first time, says Taylor.
Some of the most common ways are:
- The 16/8 method: Only eating between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- The 14/10 method: Only eating between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
This method of intermittent fasting can be repeated as often as youd like or even done once or twice a week whatever your personal preference is.
2. The twice-a-week method
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Potential Drawback: Fertility Problems
Some research in animals hints that intermittent fasting may impair female fertility. Its likely that this is caused by calorie deficiency, rather than by the practice of fasting itself, as pregnancy is a very energy-intensive practice.
Consider holding off on IF if youre pregnant or trying to become pregnant!
Men, on the other hand, can likely engage in IF without impairing their fertility rates.
There are also fasting strategies tailored specifically to female needs.
Making Weight Loss Easier
Intermittent fasting can change the function of hormones, cells and genes, Sawyer says. “Changes in hormone levels makes stored body fat more accessible and initiates important cellular repair processes. When you fast, insulin levels drop, and human growth hormone increases. Your cells also initiate important cellular repair processes and change which genes they express.”
Jennifer Aniston Said She Noticed A Big Difference When She Went On The Plan So We Ran It By Nutrition Experts
Let’s face it, we all want the Jennifer Aniston glow. Does this woman ever not look like she’s just walked out of a wellness retreat? Clearly, she knows a thing or two about health and well-being, and she’s finally sharing some of her secrets.
In an interview with UK magazine Radio Times during the promo trail for her Apple TV+ show, The Morning Show, Aniston revealed that she’s a big fan of intermittent fasting, particularly a version called the 16:8 diet.
“I do intermittent fasting, so no food in the morning. I noticed a big difference in going without solid food for 16 hours,” said Aniston, per CNBC.
Aniston’s preferred way of intermittent fasting limits her eating time window to eight hours per day, while fasting for the other 16 hours, Tanya B. Freirich, MS, RD, CDN, New York-based nutritionist and registered dietitian, told Health. Other types of intermittent fasting diets include the 5:2 diet, which involves fasting for two nonconsecutive days each week and eating without restrictions on the other five days. There’s also the OMADor one meal a daydiet.
Intermittent fasting is rather popular, and it’s easy to see why. For starters, there’s no prescribed calorie limit, which means no crunching numbers and relying on calorie counting guides before eating. But what else is involved in the 16:8 eating plan and similar fasts, and are they actually safe? Here’s what nutrition experts have to say.
Choose Your Best Protocol
Krystal began her intermittent fasting journey about a year ago, and she experimented with various protocols until she found the right protocol.
I alternate what kind of fasting I do. Sometimes I stick with a traditional 16:8 fasting period, other times I will do a longer time frame, she says. My longest fast was five days.
Though five days might seem a bit overwhelming to a beginner, Krystal urges readers to find whats best for them. For her journey, Krystal admits, I read a lot about the health benefits of fasting, plus with following a ketogenic diet fasting came naturally as my hunger levels decreased.
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Is The 8 Hour Diet Healthy
Author of The 8-Hour Diet David Zinczenko claims his 8-hour weight loss plan has loads of health benefits.
Apart from the obvious one of losing weight, fasting a few times a week have been proven to regulate insulin levels, therefore protecting against diabetes, not to mention cancer, and dementia.
New research has also show that fasting for a certain period of the day can speed up cell recycling and regeneration, which means you’re less likely to get ill, and it has linked periodic fasting to lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, and ageing.