Pros And Cons Of Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
Like any weight loss method, there are pros and cons to intermittent fasting. Most weight loss techniques come with similar pros and cons. Those being that they are great for results, pose some risks and are not ideal for everyone. So lets take a look at the positives and negatives for IF and weight loss.
|May experience mild side effects nausea, weakness, headaches, low concentration, irritability|
|Many can achieve results without exercise||Fasting is not ideal for everyone|
|Exercise maximises weight loss results|
|It is safe|
|It is an eating routine as opposed to a diet, therefore results can be longer term|
With those pros and cons in mind, lets take a look at the most frequently asked questions on intermittent fasting results for weight loss:
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.
As a lifestyle-leaning research doctor, I needed to understand the science. The Obesity Code seemed the most evidence-based summary resource, and I loved it. 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. Check, check, check, I agree. The only part that was still questionable in my mind was the intermittent fasting part.
Best Hacks For Sticking With A Whole Food Diet
Here are some tips to help you stick with a whole food diet and develop this lifestyle.
1. Practice Batch Cooking
Especially in the beginning, if youve been used to eating more convenience-based or packaged foods, youre likely to feel like you spend the majority of your life in the kitchen. So, Id suggest getting your cookbooks out and planning around five things to make per week. If you make double, or even triple portions depending on your household, youll have enough quantity to last several meals.
For example, his could be homemade granola. Make it once, and thats breakfast sorted for a week. Whole food diet ingredients like oats, quinoa, buckwheat, nuts, and seeds are all delicious, and great nutritional resources to keep you feeling full until lunchtime.
I also love to make big stews, sauces, and curries that can happily be reheated and added throughout the course of a few days.
2. Make Your Own Convenience Foods
Sticking to a new way of eating can be really difficult, especially for your willpower. So, its very important to make it as easy as possible for yourself.
Pre-chop. Pre-chop. Pre-chop.
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The Factors That Influence Your Weight Loss Potential On Keto And Intermittent Fasting
Your weight loss results on keto and intermittent fasting could be like Cindys or you could have a different experience. Maybe you lose even more weight or its slower going for you.
If youre wondering why the pounds arent coming off quite so quickly now that youre intermittent fasting on keto, here are the factors that come into play.
What Are The Different Intermittent Fasting Patterns
Intermittent fasting involves consuming all of your calories within a short period of time. There are many intermittent eating patterns, so its important to choose one thats right for your body, your activity level and your lifestyle. Here are two popular options:
The 16:8 DietThe 16:8 diet involves fasting for 16 hours each day and consuming all of your calories during an 8-hour window. Many people who follow this 16-hour fast eat 2 meals between noon and 8 pm, but you can adjust the 8-hour window to suit your lifestyle, exercise habits and work schedule. With this option, however, plan your eating so that the majority of the fast occurs during your normal sleeping hours. This will help you avoid feeling hungry during your waking hours.
The 5:2 DietAnother popular option is the 5:2 diet, which involves 5 days of normal eating and 2 days of eating around 500-600 calories per day. The 5:2 diet gives you the flexibility to choose the 2 fasting days that work best for you, as long as theyre separated by at least one normal eating day.
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She Knew What Worked Before Was No Longer Feasible
I was in that diet mentality. I thought, I cant have this, I cant have that, I dont want to gain weight. Looking back, it was really not a good place for me with food. I was obsessive about everything I was eating and all the exercise I was doing, she says.
She didnt see a path forward for weight loss. In my mind there was no way to do it except the way I did after my first daughter, and I was not feeling that energy, she says. I thought, Im older, we have two kids now, and Im tired. Theres no way Im running anywhere or doing any HIIT exercises, she says.
On Instagram she came across people who were losing weight with intermittent fasting and tracking their progress with the LIFE Fasting Tracker app. I didnt know what that meant. I thought people were just not eating. How do you not have breakfast or lunch? I couldnt grasp the concept, she says.
With a Ph.D. in epidemiology, Etienne-Mesubi put her research skills to work learning about intermittent fasting: I needed some science. I wanted to know what evidence existed to show this was a legit way to lose weight.
When To Eat When On An Intermittent Fasting Diet
When intermittent fasting, there are several different approaches that you can take in terms of when to eat. Some people prefer to fast for a certain number of hours each day, while others may only fast for certain days of the week.
If you are new to intermittent fasting, it is generally recommended that you start with a shorter fasting period and gradually increase the amount of time you are fasting. For example, you may start by fasting for 12 hours per day and then eventually work up to 16 hours per day.
It is also important to consider what type of foods you will be eating during your eating periods. While intermittent fasting can help you lose weight, it is still important to focus on eating healthy, whole foods. Avoid processed foods and sugary snacks during your eating periods, and focus on consuming plenty of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.
Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight and improve your overall health. By following these tips, you can make sure that you are getting the most out of your intermittent fasting diet.
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There Are Many Health Benefits To Fasting
There are more benefits to fasting than just trying to lose a few pounds.
According to this article at Harvard Health:
Short-term studies suggest that people stick to intermittent fasting diets as well as or better than they do to other diets. And according to a 2019 review article in the journal Nutrients, intermittent fasting promotes weight loss and may reduce risk factors linked to heart disease, including diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy blood lipid levels, and inflammation.
I obviously had no idea that any of these benefits would come from simply doing nothing.
Here are some of the health-related benefits of intermittent fasting:
I dont have the time or intelligence to get into each of these in todays article.
I personally fast because I enjoy feasting, but many people out there fast for health benefits mainly. You also absolutely dont need to eat first thing in the morning to boost your metabolism.
How One Woman Used Intermittent Fasting To Lose 80 Pounds In A Year
- Height: 5 feet 4 inches
In January 2019, Martine Etienne-Mesubi had had enough. She was 42 years old, and she weighed 225 pounds. She couldnt play outdoors with Zoe, her 6-year-old daughter, without stopping to catch her breath. When we went to the park Id say, Hold on Zoe, lets take a break, lets wait for mom, lets sit down.’ I hated that, she says.
Her second daughter, Ava, had been born a few months earlier, and Etienne-Mesubi ate whatever she wanted when she was pregnant and nursing. At 10 at night I would pull out a bowl of cereal or make toast, then go to bed right after. My eating habits were down the drain, she says. By the end of 2018 Ava stopped nursing, so the eating for two excuse wasnt cutting it anymore. Plus, Etienne-Mesubi was concerned about developing diabetes and hypertension, which run in her family.
She knew she had to take control of her weight and her health. Being 225 pounds and carrying on the way I was with no-holds-barred eating all the time, I realized cant keep eating like this.
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What Types Of Intermittent Fasting Plans Lead To Weight Loss
The review included studies on three types of intermittent fasting:
- Alternate day fasting , which typically involves a day of unrestricted eating alternated with a fasting day where 500 calories consumed in one meal account for the total daily calorie intake
- The 5:2 diet, a modified version of alternate day fasting that involves five feasting days and two fasting days per week.
- Time-restricted eating , which limits eating to a specified number of hours per day , followed by 16 hours of fasting
Its worth noting that the review wasnt designed to compare the effectiveness of different types of intermittent fasting plans because the studies were done in different groups of people and using different parameters. But the results did indicate that individuals who followed either the alternate-day diet or the 5:2 plan both averaged a loss of around 7 percent of their body weight , and were able to maintain that loss for a year. Despite fasting much less frequently than alternate-day fasters, subjects who participated in the 5:2 diet lost an equivalent amount of weight, a finding that surprised researchers.
While all plans led to some weight loss, following a time-restricted eating plan was the least effective plan for shedding pounds. In total, participants with obesity who followed a time-restricted eating plan lost an average of 3 percent of their body weight.
You Chose The Wrong Type Of Fasting Plan
“There are several types of intermittent fasting plans. Not all plans may fit your lifestyle or help boost your specific metabolic rate,” says Smith. For instance, if you are training for an endurance challenge and picked a plan that prevents you from eating in the morning, when you need fuel for workouts, you may fall off the IF wagon in the process. .
How to fix it: Consider choosing an intermittent fasting plan that best matches your lifestyle and can be maintained for the long-haul, says Smith. You might want to consult a registered dietitian to help you make this decision and assess your lifestyle and dietary needs.
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Does It Work For Weight Loss
Several studies show that intermittent fasting may boost weight loss via several mechanisms.
First, restricting your meals and snacks to a strict time window may naturally decrease your calorie intake, which can aid weight loss.
Intermittent fasting may also increase levels of norepinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter that can boost your metabolism to increase calorie burning throughout the day .
Furthermore, this eating pattern may reduce levels of insulin, a hormone involved in blood sugar management. Decreased levels can bump up fat burning to promote weight loss .
Some research even shows that intermittent fasting can help your body retain muscle mass more effectively than calorie restriction, which may increase its appeal .
According to one review, intermittent fasting may reduce body weight by up to 8% and decrease body fat by up to 16% over 312 weeks .
Stay Healthy With Intermittent Fasting
What about the misconception that intermittent fasting isnt great for your health? I had my annual checkup a couple of months ago and did blood work, explains Krystal. Im in perfect health!
Krystal shares her progress with her Instagram followers, who leave encouraging comments such as Amazing!!! Youre so inspiring! and #GOALS! And shes sure to take them on every aspect of her journey, including sharing breaking her fasts, easy ketogenic recipes, and workout fasts which are workouts she completes while fasting.
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Lifestyle Changes That Complement Fasting
Weight loss is a top priority health goal for many of us. While intermittent fasting or nutrient restriction is often an effective way of achieving weight loss, there are other lifestyle factors that are key to maintaining your metabolic health long-term. These include things like exercise, adequate sleep and stress management.
You can help your body accelerate and maintain weight loss and your broader health with the following lifestyle interventions that complement fasting.
Does Fasting Benefit People Who Don’t Need To Lose Weight Or Who Have Reached Their Goal Weight
Yes, Varady said, citing one of her studies that found fasting helps maintain a healthy body weight lowers triglycerides, which is important for heart health helps decrease blood pressure and improves blood sugar regulation.
A review of research in humans and animals, published in 2019 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found intermittent fasting has “broad-spectrum benefits” for health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and neurologic disorders.
The powerful health effects appear to come from the body flipping a “metabolic switch” during fasting or shifting away from using sugar as its main source of energy and instead converting fat for fuel when a person’s stomach is empty.
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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.
Reduce Stress And Improve Mental Health
The 16:8 diet help reduce cortisol levels and help reduce inflammation. Plus, since you wont be dealing with hunger for two days a week, its better for your mental health.
Those whove tried the 16:8 diet say how much more productive they are during fasting hours, spending less time stressing over food and more time channelling their energy into other beneficial tasks throughout the day.
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What Should I Eat And Drink During A Fast
During a fast, you can drink water and other calorie-free beverages, such as tea or black coffee. Many people also drink bone broth, which contains nutrients that support your body during a fast. Drinking liquids also help counteract fatigue and curb hunger.
If youre following an intermittent fasting pattern that involves restricting your calories on fast days, you should focus on low-calorie, high-protein and high-fiber foods that will help you stay full.
Intermittent Fasting May Be As Effective For Weight Loss As Cutting 500 Calories A Day Research Suggests
Diet plans that limit when you eat, and not much else, can lead to weight loss and improve metabolic health, according to a new review.
Intermittent fasting a diet that reportedly helped stars including Jennifer Aniston, Kourtney Kardashian, and Chris Pratt shed unwanted pounds, according to People has been transcending its status as a celebrity fad as research about its weight loss and other benefits continues to emerge. The latest, a review published in October 2021 in Annual Review of Nutrition found that intermittent fasting leads to roughly the same amount of weight loss as traditional calorie-restrictive diets, and may improve other markers of cardiometabolic health as well.
One of our main findings was that people who do intermittent fasting lose about the same amount of weight as people on a regular calorie-restriction diet that cuts out 500 calories a day, says lead author Krista Varady, PhD, researcher and professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Additionally, Dr. Varady notes that intermittent fasting appears to help with metabolic health. It did help lower blood pressure, she says. Some studies reported decreases in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and insulin resistance.
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