How Weight Management Works With Intermittent Fasting
When youre intermittent fasting, you eat all the food your body needs, but during a shorter period of time. There are many methods, but the most common involves eating during a six- to eight-hour window and fasting the remaining 14 to 16 hours. Its not as bad as it sounds, especially when you fuel up beforehand with Bulletproof Coffee to keep hunger levels in check.
Multiple studies show that intermittent fasting supports weight management. In a 2015 review pooling 40 different studies, participants lost 10 pounds in a 10-week period on average. Another smaller study of 16 obese adults following an alternate day intermittent fasting schedule resulted in them losing up to 13 pounds over 8 weeks.
Intermittent fasting also triggers a perfect storm of metabolic changes to tackle weight management and fat reduction. Heres how it can help you stay at a healthy weight:
Still Not Losing Weight On Intermittent Fasting
If youve covered all the bases and youre not losing weight on intermittent fasting, you may want to talk to your doctor.
Its always a good idea to check in with your doctor before beginning any new health or fitness program.
They can help you determine if you have an underlying medical condition that makes it harder to lose weight.
Is Intermittent Fasting Effective For Weight Loss
Even though there are no strict rules about what you can eat, board-certified internist Vincent M. Pedre, M.D., says that when it comes to weight loss, intermittent fasting is a “tactic that almost always works when everything else has failed.”
You don’t have to take his word for it, though. There’s a lot of science that says so, too.
A 2020 review in Nutrition that compared several weight loss diet strategies reported that people who incorporated intermittent fasting lost an average of 4 to 10% of their body weight over a period of four to 24 weeks.
Another review found that 27 subjects who did intermittent fasting saw 0.8% to 13.0% weight loss from their baseline weight.
While this diet style may result in eating less, it’s possible to lose weight with intermittent fasting even without changing your calorie intake.
That’s because unlike normal calorie restriction, intermittent fasting may also help support hormone balance, like insulin, ghrelin, and leptin, which all play a role in your hunger and metabolism.
This hormonal regulation is one of the reasons most of the weight you loseas much as 79%with intermittent fasting is in the form of fat.
Intermittent fasting may also help improve insulin sensitivity, which can , making you feel less swollen and puffy, and has positive effects on your gut health, which Pedre calls “an often-overlooked but crucial aspect of losing weight and cultivating overall health.”
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Are There Other Benefits To Fasting
While intermittent fasting might not be a miracle solution when it comes to weight loss, that doesnt mean it might not still have other health benefits.
A recent review on intermittent fasting found that it improved blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and lowered cholesterol levels to a similar extent as daily calorie restriction.
It is likely this effect is due to weight loss. But since few studies have followed participants for longer than a year, its hard to know whether the these effects persist.
Some research also suggests how you fast may also be key. A number of studies have shown promising results from early time-restricted eating, which involves eating all your days calories in the early part of the day and fasting in the evening, usually from 4pm onwards. Eating early in the day aligns food intake with our natural circadian rhythms, which means nutrients are processed more efficiently.
Early time-restricted eating has also been shown to improve several markers of health, such as insulin sensitivity, which is a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes. These improvements were even seen without weight loss.
This might be due to spending more time in a fasted-state, which increases the amount of body fat you burn. Interestingly, exercising while fasting may also help you burn more fat and improve insulin sensitivity.
Intermittent Fasting: Is It Right For You
U-M dietitian Sue Ryskamp weighs in on intermittent fasting benefits, who it works best for and how to get started
Weight loss can be difficult, but could intermittent fasting help? This eating pattern, which features cycles of fasting and eating, is making headlines as research confirms its not only what you eat, but when you eat, that matters in the struggle to lose weight.
During intermittent fasting, individuals use specific periods of eating typically within an eight-to-10 hour window to lose weight, says Michigan Medicine dietitian Sue Ryskamp, who sees patients at U-Ms Frankel Cardiovascular Center.
The premise behind intermittent fasting is relatively simple, she says: When our insulin levels go down far enough and for long enough, as they do during a fasting period, were able burn off fat.
Insulin levels drop when a person is not consuming food. During a period of fasting, decreasing insulin levels cause cells to release stored glucose as energy. Repeating this process regularly, as with intermittent fasting, leads to weight loss. In addition, this type of fasting often results in the consumption of fewer calories overall, which contributes to weight loss, Ryskamp says.
A Harvard research study also reveals how intermittent fasting may slow the aging process through weight loss, lower blood pressure and reduced cholesterol.
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Youre Eating Too Much During Your Eating Window
As mentioned, in general, Weight loss essentially boils down to calories in versus calories out, reminds Martin. If you end up consuming the same number of calories during your eating windows as before you started intermittent fasting, then you wont lose weight.
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In other words, if you just pack all of the calories you’d normally eat into your eating window, you’re not really changing your diet at all.
How to fix it: Try a calorie-counting app. “Although I dont typically recommend calorie counting, it may help to track your caloric intake for a few days using a calorie-tracking app,” says Martin. “These apps will usually tell you the approximate daily calorie amount you need to be at in order to lose weight. Although these estimations are usually off, they can be used as a good starting point.” The app can also reveal meals or specific foods that have more calories than you’d expect, and you can adjust your diet accordingly.
Why Is Fasting Known As Anti
Dr Rahmani told Gulf News: By fasting, you create an anti-inflammatory status. Our body is a balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory states. Any change in this equation will lead to more inflammation or less inflammation.
Fasting increases your defence mechanism to be in an anti-inflammatory state. Anything that creates pro-inflammation in your body like a toxin, bug, bacteria, trauma or stress this will be balanced by fasting, by improving your anti-inflammatory state.
He added: And that is what we achieve sometimes when we do this forcefully with surgery. When we do bypass, for example, and change the plumbing of the gut. This is mainly to achieve a state of fasting.
Dr Rahmani, a UK-trained surgeon, practises 72-hour fasts. He has performed metabolic and bariatric surgery on more than 4,500 patients in his career.
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Youll Eat Fewer Calories
The most effective way to lose weight is to eat less food.
But anyone whos ever tried to eat less food knows its easier said than done.
You have to deny yourself all day long.
Dont eat the extra pancake.
Dont eat the piece of candy.
Dont add any butter to the mashed potatoes.
Intermittent fasting is an easy way to control your food intake without battling your cravings.
Once you get used to the schedule, you wont think about food during your fasting window.
And during your eating window, as long as you pace yourself, you can eat whatever you want.
How Much Weight Can You Lose With Intermittent Fasting
The amount of weight you can lose through intermittent fasting depends on your starting weight, medical conditions, type of food you eat on your non-fasting days, and other factors like your lifestyle, age, and activity level.
For example, if you choose to eat sugary desserts, drinks, and refined, ultra-processed carbs during your non-fasting days, a fast may not help you lose body fat.
However, if you pair intermittent fasting with healthy eating, you can experience healthy weight loss. A systematic review of 40 studies published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology found intermittent fasting was effective for weight loss, with a typical loss of seven to eleven pounds over ten weeks. If you weigh roughly 200 pounds, that equals a five percent loss of your total body weight in just ten weeks.
You might want a quick weight loss fix, but experts recommend you dont try to speed up the process. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the UKs National Health Service recommend you shoot for a safe rate of one to two pounds per week.
According to the CDC, if you lose weight gradually and safely, youll be more successful at keeping it off. So, the average weight loss per week with intermittent fasting is safe, effective, and long-term.
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You Will Be Able To Focus Better
Youll also realize how much more focused you are when your stomach is empty.
When your body doesnt have to worry about digesting food, it can focus on keeping your brain sharp.
Not to mention the fact that you can drink black coffee during your fast .
As strange as it may sound, youll start to enjoy fasting after a while.
So, fasting is easy, and fasting makes it easy to eat less.
That on its own is enough to make it an effective weight-loss tool.
But fasting is more than a lifestyle hack.
It leads to real chemical and biological changes that make you slimmer and healthier.
What Can You Eat Or Drink While Intermittent Fasting
Stick to eating healthy, organic foods during your fed state. Unless your plan involves consuming approximately 500 calories during your fast, you should avoid eating solid foods and liquids with calories.
You can consume zero-calorie liquids such as water, black coffee, diluted apple cider vinegar, or plain tea. These foods will not break your fast. Instead, they can help sustain you during the fast.
Also Check: Fasting On Keto For Beginners
How Does The 1: 8 Diet Work
The 16:8 diet works on an hourly basis, so each day you eat within an 8-hour time frame and then fast for the remaining 16 hours. This works for weight loss as it “helps you eat fewer calories while boosting metabolism slightly,” says Sawyer.
She adds, “It’s a very effective tool to lose weight and visceral fat. After hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat – sometimes referred to as ‘metabolic switching’.”
Research has shown this switch is a natural process that happens when the body runs out of energy from food. The body changes its energy source from glucose that’s stored in the liver to ketones, which are stored in fat cells. While the body is getting its energy from glucose it’s maintaining or gaining weight, but when the switch happens weight is lost.
Calorie-restricted diets like the Fast 800 work in a similar way. So what’s special about the 16:8 diet?
What Does The New Research On If Mean For You
For most people , a time-restricted eating approach appears to be a safe strategy that is likely to produce some weight loss, assuming you are not changing your current dietary pattern .
The weight loss effects of time-restricted eating derive primarily from achieving a negative energy balance. If you maintain your regular diet and then limit the time window during which you eat, it is likely that you will eat a few hundred fewer calories per day. If this is sustainable as a lifestyle, it could add up to modest weight loss that can produce beneficial improvements in cardiometabolic markers such as blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and average blood sugar.
But and this is a big but if you are overcompensating for the time restriction by gorging yourself during your eating window, it will not work as a weight loss strategy. And it may indeed backfire. The other two levers in your dietary pattern the quantity and quality of what you eat during your eating window still matter immensely!
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Whats The Payoff Of Intermittent Fasting
The main benefit of intermittent fasting is weight lossfat loss, specifically. Insulin increases when you eat, and when insulin is high, you cannot burn fat. When you fast, insulin falls, which allows your body to access its stores of food for energy, explains Jason Fung, M.D., a Toronto-based nephrologist and author of The Complete Guide to Fasting.
Study after study confirms that any form of intermittent fasting will help reduce weight and improve body composition, though the results are probably about the same as youd see from restricting your calories. One study Varady ran, published in 2017 in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that after dieting for one year, people lost about 56% of their bodyweight whether they restricted their calories or tried alternate-day fasting.
Other studies suggest that intermittent fasting may help you lose more weight. One study in the Journal of Translational Medicine found that fit people who tried time-restricted feeding lost more fat and maintained more muscle than people who ate the same number of calories but over 12 hours instead of eight.
The science is mixed on which is better. What is confirmed, though, is that both methods work.
One advantage of intermittent fasting: helping you retain muscle mass. When people lose weight, typically 75% is fat loss and 25% is muscle mass. But with fasting, the ratio actually changes so that 90% of weight loss is fat and 10% is muscle, Varady says.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Aid Weight Loss
You can combine intermittent fasting with other dietary plans like the ketogenic diet for better weight loss results and a healthier lifestyle. Make sure you do this under the supervision of a certified nutritionist.
The following are the ways in which intermittent eating pattern promotes weight loss:
Increases Fat Burning:
Intermittent fasting increases the production of the hormone norepinephrine, which boosts your metabolism. This helps to burn calories leading to weight loss.
Maintains Muscle Mass:
Intermittent fasting helps lose extra, harmful fat deposits in the body while maintaining lean muscle mass compared to other dietary weight loss methods.
Helps Lose Belly Fat:
Intermittent fasting helps to lose belly fat faster. Losing abdominal fat reduces the risk of coronary diseases among men, helps reduce waist circumference also making you look lean and fit.
Blood Sugar Management:
Intermittent fasting helps to manage blood sugar levels and insulin. As insulin levels decrease, it improves the rate of burning fat in the body.
Also Check: Is Fasting Good For Your Heart
Fasting And Weight Loss
Weight loss can be tricky it can be neither linear nor predictable and cause a roller coaster of emotions too. You feel happy and excited when the number on the scale goes down, or disappointed, frustrated, and discouraged when the scale goes up. With many so-called weight loss programs being advertised & touted on the market, it can feel confusing and overwhelming as to what approach seems best. More importantly, what is going to be the most sustainable and realistic in the long run.
Intermittent Fasting Can Lead To Significant Weight Loss New Research Says
Losing weight can be incredibly challenging and people will often try several diets before landing on one that helps them drop pounds in a consistent and sustainable manner.
In fact, the findings from a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2020 revealed that 17% of Americans were on diets during the 2017-2018 survey periodup 14% from the decade prior. Yet, the national obesity rate rose from 34% to 42% over that same time period.
Now, new research out of the University of Illinois in Chicago suggests that intermittent fasting could promote significant weight loss and even improve metabolic health in those who have obesity.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
“People love intermittent fasting because it’s easy. People need to find diets that they can stick to long term. It’s definitely effective for weight loss and it’s gained popularity because there are no special foods or apps necessary. You can also combine it with other diets, like Keto,” Krista Varady, professor of nutrition at the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences and study author said in a statement.
The review, which was published in the Annual Review of Nutrition, analyzed 25 research studies involving three types of IF. These included the following:
Surprisingly, those who did the 5:2 diet had comparable weight loss results with those who did alternate-day fasting, despite having fewer fasting periods.
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Why Might Changing Timing Help
But why does simply changing the timing of our meals to allow for fasting make a difference in our body? An in-depth review of the science of IF recently published in New England Journal of Medicine sheds some light. Fasting is evolutionarily embedded within our physiology, triggering several essential cellular functions. Flipping the switch from a fed to fasting state does more than help us burn calories and lose weight. The researchers combed through dozens of animal and human studies to explain how simple fasting improves metabolism, lowers blood sugar levels lessens inflammation, which improves a range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma and even helps clear out toxins and damaged cells, which lowers risk for cancer and enhances brain function.