Stoking The Fire For Long
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.
1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
2. Exercise. While exercise is often not in and of itself a sufficient intervention for achieving weight loss, it health impacts go far beyond weight. Physical activity and structured exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Exercise preserves your bone strength and cognitive function as you age. It also makes your body and brain better able to handle stress with adaptation responses such as increased production of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory factors.;You can effectively improve your heart health and prevent chronic diseases including obesity with 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity. National recommendations for physical activity also include two days per week muscle-strengthening activity.
3. Maintain a balanced diet.
4. Avoid added sugars. and other simple carbohydrates
Fasting Is Said To Prolong Life
Nobody wants to live a short life, that is certain. Fasting is said to prolong life and delay aging . This was concluded after ample research done on animals.
A study on the effects of intermittent fasting upon growth and life span in rats was conducted . The study took all their lifespan, this is to say it started when they were weaning and ended when they died. 28 male rats were maintained on an ad libitum diet. 24 other rats were kept on an every other day diet.
The results showed that the mean life span of the rats on the every other day diet had an 83% increase compared to the ones under the ad libitum diet. The rate of aging was also retarded on the rats on the every other day diet. Their body weight and growth rate was also reduced in the every other diet but their growth duration was 75% longer compared to the other rats. This thus shows fasting delays aging and prolongs life span in rats.;
Could Help Promote Balance In Other Areas Beyond Food
When we think of intermittent fasting we immediately think of food, since that is what we are limiting. But could we benefit from taking a break from other things in our life?;
The basic concept of fasting is to abstain from something for a specific period of time, so what other things could we fast besides food?;
Television, social media, and video games to name a few may all be things we could use a break from that may positively impact our health and well-being.;
At the end of the day, consciously choosing to reduce or shift our habits can help us create health and wellness goals based on our values and beliefs.;
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Realistic Weight Loss Numbers
If you do intermittent fasting properly, which means that youre also fat adapted and youre metabolically flexible, its not unusual to lose an average of 1.5-2 lbs of fat every week. Some people lose more. So you want to focus on fat loss, not weight loss.
If you give it 12 weeks or three months for example, at 2 lbs of fat loss per week, thats 24 lbs of body fat gone forever. Thats life changing.
If you dont know what losing 25 lbs of fat looks like, heres one of my other students. She lost exactly 25 lbs without exercise because she did everything else right. Thats how effective intermittent fasting can be if you do it properly which means that you prioritize on getting fat adapted and youre metabolically flexible.
As always, if this was helpful, share it with a friend who could benefit from it as well!
Other Research Has Found Fasting Boosts Weight Loss But The Key Could Be Calorie Reduction
The results of this study are in contrast with previous research findings that fasting can boost weight loss. However, a key difference in this study was that participants didn’t have to adhere to any calorie restrictions, exercise goals, or specific macronutrient intake .
While participants didn’t record their daily calorie intake, researchers estimated that both groups consumed roughly the same amount of daily calories throughout the study.;
Previous research that links fasting to better weight loss also found that participants cut as many as 500 calories a day, which could explain the difference.;
That suggests that fasting could have benefits for weight loss if it helps people reduce their calorie intake without tracking or restricting certain foods. The results of this study, however, suggest that fasting by itself, without calorie reductions, does not have any particular benefits for weight loss.;
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How Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Fat
Short answer: thereâs more to find out before we know for sure. A review of studies on intermittent fasting from 2015 found that mice eating on an alternate day schedule did have a reduction in visceral fat. However, in the human studies reviewed, the effects of intermittent fasting on fat were not as straightforward â because they mostly paired calorie restriction with intermittent fasting. Meanwhile, a 2019 review did find modest reductions in fat mass and weight circumference in humans.
In the new Cell Reports mouse study, researchers found different fat types actually adapted to intermittent fasting. During fasting, fat tissues can provide energy to the rest of the body by releasing fatty acids in a process called lipolysis. Mouse visceral fat, however, became resistant to this process during intermittent fasting, as opposed to the mice with unlimited access to food.
âDifferent fat depots around the body can adapt and respond differently to intermittent fasting.â
The study also suggests intermittent fasting caused fatty acid synthesis enzymes to increase in both fats, suggesting both subcutaneous and visceral fat began to store more fat ahead of the alternate-day fasting period.
, the senior author of the study and a senior lecturer in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney, tells Inverse this data suggests âdifferent fat depots around the body can adapt and respond differently to intermittent fasting.â
How Your Diet And Too Much Stress Can Work Against You
When you consistently consume less energy than you expend, youre known to be in a negative energy balance.;
Being in a negative energy balance is how you lose weight. So its exactly what many people try to achieve by dieting.
But when its extreme, or goes on too long in the context of other stressors, it may be to blame for the hormonal spiral we see in some women who fast.
Negative energy balance doesnt just result from eating less food.
It can also result from:
- poor nutrition
- too little rest and recovery
Heck, we can even use up energy by trying to keep warm.
Any combination of stressors could be enough to put you into excessive negative energy balance and stop ovulation. For example:
- training for a marathon and nursing a flu
- too many days in a row at the gym and not eating enough fruits and vegetables
- intermittent fasting and busting your butt to pay the mortgage
You might be thinking, Did she just reference paying the mortgage?
Psychological stress can play a role in damaging your hormonal health.
Our bodies cant tell the difference between a real threat and something imaginary generated by our thoughts and feelings.
These threats can increase our levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And cortisol? It inhibits our old friend GnRH.
Quick reminder: Disrupting GnRH creates a cascade effect that can suppress your ovaries production of estrogen and progesteronehormones that are critical for reproduction.
Thats the theory, anyway.
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Intermittent Fasting Does Not Cause Yo
The term yo-yo dieting refers to the cyclical loss and gain of weight over time, akin to a yo-yo moving up and down.
This yo-yo effect occurs among extremely restrictive and unsustainable diets that cause shifts in your hunger hormones. This is why you end up with almost uncontrollable food cravings and feelings of starvation.
Think water fasts, Goop detoxes and cleanses, and very low calorie diets.
Recent research indicates that 24 hours is not enough time for severe calorie restriction to kick your appetite hormones into overdrive .
Said another way, when fasting is broken up into intervals it doesnt cause the yo-yo effect.
That means intermittent fasting can significantly cut calories without any major impact on your feelings of hunger.
Summary: Research shows that one day of severe calorie restriction is not enough to negatively influence your hunger hormones, which is what occurs during yo-yo diets.
Reduced Oxidative Stress And Inflammation
Oxidative stress occurs as potentially harmful reactive oxygen species build up within the cells of your body that are metabolically active. Reactive oxygen species are, as their name suggests, reactive. They can react with and cause harm to your proteins and even your DNA. If a cell in your body cant counteract this damage quickly enough, it might become senescent, spew out inflammation, or even die.
Intermittent fasting forces muscle, brain and other tissues to become more efficient in their breakdown of metabolites and production of energy. This can help reduce ROS and levels of inflammation. Fasting also triggers the body to produce more antioxidants that help clean up ROS.
A study with prediabetic men who shortened their eating window to 6 hours a day for 5 weeks showed that this fasting regimen reduced plasma levels of the oxidative stress marker 8-isoprostane, in addition to improving insulin sensitivity and blood pressure. Alternate day fasting has been shown to increase the expression of superoxide dismutase and catalase, two powerful antioxidant enzymes that can clean up ROS in your cells. Another way to increase antioxidant enzymes is through exercise! Physical activity increases the levels of superoxide dismutase, which has a lot of benefits for all of the organs in your body.
Starting your fast earlier in the evening is also associated with lower breast cancer recurrence.
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Why You Dont Need A Detox Diet
It sounds logical that fasting could cleanse your body of harmful substances that could cause a host of ailments like obesity, fatigue, and headaches. But there is no scientific evidence that you need to fast to “cleanse” your body or remove toxins.
You Feel Dizzy And Lightheaded
If you are severely restricting your food intake in an effort to achieve fast weight loss, it will only be a matter of time before you start feeling dizzy and lightheaded. Restricting your food intake for long enough will eventually lead to an episode of hypoglycemia, which means that the levels of glucose in your blood are below normal. When this is the case, this means your cells are not getting adequate amounts of glucose to power their functions.
You may experience dizziness, rapid heart rate, anxiety, and shaking.
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Skipping Meals Can Cause Headaches Dizziness And Nausea
Long periods of fasting can lower your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling lightheaded, dizzy, with headaches, and/or nausea.;
If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe to try intermittent fasting. People with type 1 diabetes and/or on diabetic medications may be more susceptible to unwanted side effects or struggle with controlling their blood sugar levels .;
Your body will also need some time to adjust, so try choosing a day of the week or period of time that you dont need to be very active or deeply concentrate when first starting a fasting practice.
Fasting Can Also Reduce Your Chances Of Getting Various Cardiovascular Conditions
Various cardiovascular diseases cause so many deaths over the years. It is, therefore, important for everyone to do all they can to reduce their chances of getting various heart diseases. One way you can do this is by introducing fasting to your eating routine.;
Fasting helps reduce your chances of getting various heart conditions by reducing cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides in your body. This then helps prevent various cardiovascular conditions .;
Those are some of the many benefits associated with the 24-hour fast as well as other variations of prolonged fasting.;
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Intermittent Fasting Can Disrupt Female Hormones
In the grand scheme of health decisions, experimenting with intermittent fasting probably seems tiny. So what could it hurt to give it a shot?
Well, for some women, its a bigger deal than you might expect
Turns out, the hormones regulating key functionslike ovulation, metabolism, and even moodare incredibly sensitive to your energy intake.1
In fact, changing how muchand even whenyou eat can negatively impact your reproductive hormones.
This can lead to a far-reaching ripple effect, causing all sorts of health issues.
How, exactly, does this happen? Lets find out.
Starting Your First Fast
Exercising in the fasted state will help you lose even more fat.;
I always walk briskly with my dog in the morning and I do it even if Im fasting.;;
Without food, your body will burn fat for energy.; So you dont have to exercise very hard to lose more weight.
Dont fast if youre underweight, under 18, pregnant or breastfeeding.
Intermittent fasting for women is almost the same as fasting for men with just a few adjustments.
Drink more water.;;This of your fasting period as a break from food, not a deprivation.
Stay busy!; Its much easier to stay away from food if youre occupied.
Make sure to eat enough calories during your eating period.
So, thats why I love intermittent fasting for weight loss.;;It allows me to eat what I normally do, not feel deprived, and lose weight all at the same time.
Heres looking at losing some of that extra body fat and reaping all the health benefits that come with intermittent fasting for weight loss!
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Can You Gain Weight While Fasting
Can I gain weight while fasting? This is a common question I get from people who are curious about Eat Stop Eat.
The truth is, yes, you can gain weight even though you are fasting.
Fasting is an AMAZING way to create a calorie deficit, and as a result of this fact fasting is also a highly effective way to lose body fat, but it is NOT magic by any means.
As an example, lets say that you have been gaining weight for the last couple months .
Now, through a bunch of very scientific methods we figured out that you were overeating by about 30%.
In other words you were eating 30% more calories then you needed to stay weight stable.
Since youve been gaining weight you decide that its time to try out that Eat Stop Eat diet that everyones been raving about .
After fasting twice a week, every week, for the last 7 weeks you are HORRIFIED to find that you GAINED 2 pounds.
How could this happen? Is that Brad Pilon a LIAR? Is fasting useless?Or worse..did you RUIN your metabolism?
Well the answer may be much simpler than that.
It could be that the fasting worked INCREDIBLY well for you, and the two fasts a week managed to reduce the amount of calories you ate in a week by 22%.; A very impressive drop..but sadly it was not enough.
If you were previously overeating by 30% and fasting caused you to decrease the amount you ate by 22%, you are still left eating in a surplus .
This is where small changes come in to play.
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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So Is Intermittent Fasting As Good As It Sounds
I was very curious about this, so I asked the opinion of metabolic expert Dr. Deborah Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Here is what she told me. “There is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective,” she confirmed, though generally she recommends that people “use an eating approach that works for them and is sustainable to them.”
So, heres the deal. There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes.