How Many Calories Should I Eat While Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
As you may already know, I dont recommend you worry about counting calories while intermittent fasting. However, it can be used as a troubleshooting strategy when you cant seem to lose weight. Furthermore, tracking calories can be useful to ensure you are eating ENOUGH. This post will address how intermittent fasting works aside from naturally decreasing your calorie intake. Then, I will show you how to determine how many calories you should eat while intermittent fasting for weight loss.
Intermittent Fasting May Preserve Muscle Mass That Is Usually Lost When Dieting
Most weight loss diets cause you to lose fat and muscle, which is a big problem.
Maintaining muscle is fundamental to ensure your metabolic rate doesnt drop and just to support a healthy weight loss .
Failing to do so means any fat loss will come back fast, such as what happens with every Biggest Loser contestant.
According to the authors of the review study mentioned above, fasting may be more useful than regular calorie restriction for many overweight patients because of greater loss of body fat, and better preservation of muscle .
Another study found that 25% of weight lost was muscle mass in normal calorie restriction diets, compared to just 10% lost in intermittent calorie restriction diets .
The current studies in this area are preliminary though, and the fact remains that weight training and a high protein diet are the most important aspects for building and maintaining muscle mass .
So if you do try intermittent fasting, ensure each of your meals contain a quality protein source like eggs, meat, fish or legumes.
Summary: Research suggests that intermittent fasting can help preserve muscle mass while you lose fat. This must be coupled with resistance exercise and a high protein intake though.
How Many Calories To Eat During 16/8
Now, knowing how many calories to eat during intermittent fasting 16/8 can be a little tricky because it is going to depend on your sex, age, height, weight, and activity level.
If you need help calculating this, there are many websites available that can help you like this one here. If you have additional questions, you may want to consult your primary care physician or a registered dietitian .
Regardless of you trying the 16/8 for weight loss or to improve your overall health, we recommend you donât decrease your caloric intake to an amount below what your body needs. The reason for this is that you can still lose weight through intermittent fasting and because entering into a calorie deficit for too long can have some negative health consequences.
To elaborate, restricting calories can cause you to lose muscle mass. This will reflect a lower number when you step on the scale, but this isnât good news. Losing muscle mass can hurt your weight loss goals long-term because muscles burn a lot of calories. This means that the less muscle mass you have, the fewer calories you are going to burn each dayâ¦this also means you will need to eat less calories each day, which becomes difficult to sustain long-term.
Also Check: How Much Weight Will I Lose Intermittent Fasting
Are Intermittent Fasting And Calorie Restriction The Same
ARTICLE AT A GLANCE
Intermittent Fasting and Calorie Restriction have a lot in common. Both eating strategies work by placing limits on your diet and can be great tools for weight loss. However, there are a number of fundamental differences that can make one or the other better suited for your specific goals. How do you know which one is right for you? In this article, youll discover:
Its easy to confuse intermittent fasting and calorie restriction. Both eating patterns involve restraint, but in different ways.
Intermittent fasting narrows your feeding window to only a specific time period, while calorie restriction limits the total daily calories you consume.
You dont have to limit calories on an IF diet, only the hours in which you eat. For example, on a 16:8 IF plan, youd fast for 16 hours each day and eat only within an eight-hour window, such as between noon and 8 p.m.
Conversely, a CR approach is designed to put you into a caloric deficit each day. You could cut 2,100 calories from your diet every week with a 300-calorie deficit for seven days, or with a 420-calorie deficit for five days.
So which way is better? The answer is whichever one best fits your lifestyle. As long as youre consuming high-quality whole foods and getting enough essential nutrients, both strategies can help you lose weight.
What’s The Evidence From Human Studies Of Fasting
Most research to date has focused on the weight-loss aspect of fasting, primarily in obese people, and only a few small clinical trials have been conducted. More work is needed to determine which, if any, types of fasting diets have long-term benefits.
Observational studies have been conducted in people who practice fasting in one form or another. In an observational study, the investigator does not determine the treatment to offer and does not randomize subjects into a control group or experimental group. Instead, the investigator records data from real-life situations.
For example, one observational study compared people who routinely fasted to those who did not fast. It found that those who routinely fasted were less likely to have clogged arteries or coronary artery disease. However, the study did not control for other factors that could have affected the results, such as the kind of diet, quality of food consumed, or use of nutritional supplements.
Recommended Reading: What Is 16 Hour Intermittent Fasting
Fasting And Weight Loss
The scientists recruited 36 lean, healthy adults in the U.K. between 2015 and 2018 for the study and monitored their baseline diet and physical activity for 4 weeks. They then randomly allocated the participants to one of three groups of 12.
The participants in the first group, the energy restriction group, consumed 75% of their normal energy intake each day.
The second group used two methods of weight loss: fasting and energy restriction. They fasted on alternate days and consumed 150% of their regular calorie intake on their eating days.
The third group did not face any energy restriction. They fasted on alternate days and consumed 200% of their regular calorie intake on their eating days.
The fasting groups consumed no energy-providing nutrients during their fasting periods. This ensured that their dietary interventions were standardized and allowed enough time for fasting-related bodily functions to activate.
The participants underwent various lab tests before and after the 3-week intervention. The researchers also monitored the participants diet and physical activity levels throughout and extracted fat tissue samples from some individuals.
Those on energy restriction diets lost an average of 1.91 kilograms at the end of the study period. Meanwhile, those fasting with energy restriction lost an average of 1.60 kg, and those fasting without energy restriction lost an average of 0.52 kg.
What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting Plan For Weight Loss
Dr Sam Watts, founder of Mind Body Medical , tells Live Science that there are two clear leaders when it comes to intermittent fasting styles. Lots of clinical evidence exists around the potential weight loss benefits of different intermittent fasting plans, he says. For quicker and more profound weight loss, the alternate day fasting plan is arguably the most effective. A less-extreme and thus easier-to-adopt approach is the 16:8 model. This is a time-restricted eating version of intermittent fasting that involves consuming all of your calories in an eight-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
This approach has consistently been shown to induce significant and progressive weight loss in an arguably more sustainable model.
You May Like: Does Fasting Help Lose Weight Faster
Combatting Cellular Stress And Senescence
The beneficial effects of calorie restriction, particularly those of intermittent fasting, appear to be the result of a cellular stress response stimulating the production of proteins that enhance neuronal plasticity and resistance to oxidative and metabolic disfunction . These proteins include neurotrophic factors such as BDNF, stress protein chaperones such as heat-shock proteins, and mitochondrial uncoupling proteins . In intermittent fasting it has been shown that there is increased sympathetic activity, which comes across as a stress response physiologically . Periods without food provide small amounts of stress on our genome, called hormetic stress, which is stress that is actually beneficial to the body . Similarly to when muscles are exercised and the stress of weight is placed on them, the neurons in the brain also benefit from being mildly stressed due to minimizing their food intake.
How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight
There are many different ways to lose weight.
One strategy that has become popular in recent years is called intermittent fasting .
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves regular, short-term fasts or periods of minimal or no food consumption.
Most people understand intermittent fasting as a weight loss intervention. Fasting for short periods of time helps people eat fewer calories, which may result in weight loss over time .
However, intermittent fasting may also help modify risk factors for health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, such as lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels 30002-0/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 2,
There are several different intermittent fasting methods. The most popular ones include:
- the 16:8 method
- Eat Stop Eat
- alternate-day fasting
All methods can be effective, but figuring out which one works best depends on the individual.
To help you choose the method that fits your lifestyle, heres a breakdown of the pros and cons of each.
Recommended Reading: What Can I Eat On Fasting Days
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
Intermittent fasting may help with weight loss simply because if youre not eating for a lot of the day, chances are you are taking in less calories overall. This can lead to a calorie deficit, which results in weight loss.
Aside from calories, intermittent fasting is also thought to trigger a process called a lipolysis response.
When this happens, it means your body has run out of sugar from food and is breaking down stored fat for energy. This breakdown of stored fat may contribute to weight loss.
Experts think many benefits of intermittent fasting may come from this switch in energy sourcesfrom burning sugar to burning fats. However, more research is needed to understand the exact impact on the body.
Foods That You Can Eat On A : 2 Diet
It can be challenging to plan a diet with only 500-600 calories to work with on the two fasting days. However, you can essentially eat whatever you like during the non-fasting days. Some people place restrictions on these non-fasting days by following a ketogenic diet. When it comes to days of fasting, you should ensure a continuous supply of nutrients for the bodys vital activities by eating foods rich in nutrients, fibres and proteins. For example, boiled vegetables and vegetable soup are some options to try. Vegetables are preferred because they are pretty low in calories compared to animal products and cereals, allowing for more veggies in a small calorie-restricted meal.
Salads containing dark, leafy greens can help people feel fuller without adding calories to the diet. Also, soft-boiled eggs, a small portion of white fish and salads made with fresh vegetables are preferred by many. But, again, what to eat is a personal choice.
Don’t Miss: What Supplements Can I Take While Fasting
Comparison Of Intermittent Fasting And Caloric Deficit For Weight Loss In Women With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
|The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.|
|First Posted : July 1, 2020Last Update Posted : November 25, 2020|
- Study Details
|Polycystic Ovarian SyndromeWeight LossIntermittent Fasting||Behavioral: intermittent fastingBehavioral: Caloric restriction||Not Applicable|
|Study Type :|
|Intermittent Fasting and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome|
|Actual Study Start Date :|
|Experimental: intermittent fasting|
Daily caloric requirement was calculated using basal metabolic rate calculator. All women were directed to decrease calorie intake by 500 calories.
Women were told about timed restricted feeding. They were required to fast for 16 hours and consume their allotted calories during the remaining 8 hours.
Information from the National Library of MedicineLayout table for eligibility information
|Ages Eligible for Study:||20 Years to 35 Years|
|Sexes Eligible for Study:|
Intermittent Fasting May Not Offer Dramatic Benefits Heres Why
What defines success depends on who you ask.
Intermittent fasting encompasses a few approaches to food: eating during only certain hours of the day, refraining completely on certain days, or drastically reducing calories on a few days of the week. And yet, scientists and practitioners alike insist its not a diet. Its an eating pattern.
The appeal of intermittent fasting to a general audience is arguably just that: its non-dietness. If you limit your eating to certain hours of the day, the reasoning goes, theres no need to restrict calories.
It makes sense then that intermittent fasting is often pitted against calorie restriction specifically reducing calories consumed per day in scientific studies. The question is: Does it actually help people achieve their health goals, would they be better off trying calorie restriction, or should they choose something else entirely?
You May Like: Intermittent Fasting For Middle Aged Woman
How Many Calories To Eat During Intermittent Fasting 16/8
Curious to know how many calories you should be eating while on the 16/8 diet? Read this article to get some answers!
The 16/8 intermittent fasting diet is probably the most popular form of fasting. This is because itâs one of the easiest to make a habit since it is practiced daily and because it has one of the largest eating windows.
But the question many people have is how many calories to eat during intermittent fasting 16/8?
This is a good question and weâll do our best to explain how many calories to eat in order to achieve your health and weight loss goals.
Diet: A Sample Shopping List
What to choose and how to eat is personal and varies from person to person. The shopping list may include:
- Legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils
- Coffee or tea
Consumers can boil, grill, or roast these dishes instead of frying to avoid adding excessive oil and fats.
Water is essential since it can help extend the time between meals by keeping hunger at bay on fast days. Another option is herbal tea, an excellent way to enhance water intake.
Read Also: What’s The Best Fasting To Lose Weight
Myth #: Intermittent Fasting Is Better Than Snacking Throughout The Day
For a while, almost everyone recommended that you eat small meals throughout the day. Self-styled gurus everywhere claimed that it helped keep your blood sugar and hunger under control, boosted your metabolic rate, and provided more energy for your workouts.
Well, we now know that these ideas are false and the guru pendulum has swung in the other direction: many are now saying that eating many small meals throughout the day is actually bad for you, or at least not as good as eating fewer, larger meals.
There is some evidence that eating more than 3-4 meals per day doesnt keep you as satisfied as limiting intake to a few meals per day. However, if that applies to you, you dont need to be intermittent fasting to eat fewer, larger meals.
On the other hand, you can find studies wherein participants were less satiated on 3 meals per day, and found that increasing meal frequency increased feelings of fullness and made it easier to stick to their diets. And again, you can do this with or without following the intermittent fasting protocol.
You may have also heard that eating small meals will make it harder to lose fat because youre keeping insulin levels higher throughout the day. Well, as you learned a moment ago, however, insulin levels average out over the course of the day, and worrying about small fluctuations is pointless. When you eat a large meal, your insulin levels will stay higher for longer, resulting in almost the same effect as snacking.
What’s Next In Research
Most calorie-restriction and fasting-diet studies have been in younger people, but researchers are beginning to study older adults. A clinical trial conducted by NIA is testing the 5:2 diet in obese people, age 55 to 70, with insulin resistance. People in the experimental group can eat at will for 5 days, and then for 2 consecutive days are restricted to 500 to 600 calories per day. The experiment is designed to find out how 8 weeks of the 5:2 diet, compared to a regular diet, affects insulin resistance and the brain chemicals that play a role in Alzheimer’s disease.
In the coming years, researchers will continue to explore many unresolved questions. What are the long-term benefits and risks of the various eating patterns? Which diets are feasible as a long-term practice? What specific biological effects on aging and disease are triggered by a particular eating pattern? If a specific way of eating is recommended, at what age is it best to start, and is it safe to continue as you get older?
Scientists are exploring many aspects of calorie restriction and fasting and their effects on people of all ages. Some are conducting clinical studies and trials to learn more. If you are interested in volunteering for this type of research, search ClinicalTrials.gov using keywords such as “intermittent fasting,” “time-restricted feeding,” or “calorie restriction.”
Don’t Miss: How To Know If Fasting Is Working