Ways To Minimize Weight Gain After A Fast
Robb WolfROBB WOLF
Regaining weight after a fast can be frustrating, but its normal. Were evolved to oscillate between fasting and feedingto lose weight and gain it back again.
When we fast, we trigger metabolic machinery that gets us burning fat and making ketones. We upregulate key factors involved in DNA repair, immune health, and a cellular recycling program called autophagy.
When we feed, we rebuild. We synthesize muscle, rebuild cell parts, and generally grow.
Refeeding will trigger weight gain after a fast. This is inevitable. The human body burns energy at rest through thermoregulation, respiration, and other processes.
It keeps burning energy during a fast, leading to a loss of mass. Some of that mass comes back along with the refeed, and we WANT this. To the degree that fasting appears to benefit organisms, the refeed process appears to be as important as the time spent fasting.
Fasting also increases water loss, so a lot of fasting-driven weight loss is actually just thatwater loss.
My main point is this: When you break your fast, youll regain someweightwater or otherwiseand thats a good thing. That being said, there are certainly ways to minimize fat gain in the process. Thats one big reason folks fast in the first place: body recomposition.
Ill share some practical tips soon. First, lets establish why weight loss is stimulated during a fast.
Diet After Your Water Fast Sustains The Weight Loss
I cant stress enough how important it is to get your diet right after a water fast to lose weight. Quite simply, if its the fast which takes the pounds off, its your subsequent diet which keeps them off!
There are no two ways about it. In order to enjoy lasting weight loss, youll have to change your eating habits. Its not rocket science. If it was your old eating habits which got you into trouble in the first place, then returning to them after your fast can only result in a slow but steady return to your old weight.
Before you begin your water fast, you need to ask yourself the question: Am I truly ready to change my diet? If the answer isnt an emphatic yes, your fast is likely doomed to failure.
Ways Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight Say Dietitians
There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of ways to lose weight. There’s the Mediterranean diet, a low-carb diet, the keto diet, the Paleo diet, Whole30, the list goes on. One of the increasingly popular weight-loss diets is intermittent fasting , where you eat all your meals within a small eating window and fast for the remainder of the day. And that’s it. You technically don’t have to give up any of your favorite foods and you don’t have to force yourself to eat any health foods that you dislike. So how can that be? How is it that you have free reign to eat whatever you want and all you have to do is limit when you eat it?
We talked to registered dietitians and looked at the science behind exactly how fasting helps you lose weight, and why it’s a diet worth considering if you want to lose weight safely. So if you’ve been thinking about trying an intermittent fasting diet for weight loss, read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
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A Note On Calorie Counting
Counting calories may be a helpful tool for some, but it may not be the best choice for everyone.
If you are preoccupied with food or your weight, feel guilt surrounding your food choices, or routinely engage in restrictive diets, consider reaching out for support. These behaviors may indicate a disordered relationship with food or an eating disorder.
Talk with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, if youre struggling.
You can also chat, call, or text anonymously with trained volunteers at the National Eating Disorders Association helpline for free or explore the organizations free and low cost resources.
Counting calories isnt usually needed to lose weight on a low carb eating plan. But if youre not losing weight or on a reduced calorie eating plan, calorie counting may help.
Does Metabolism Matter In Weight Loss
Do you know people who complain about having a slow metabolism and how they barely eat anything yet still gain weight? Or have you met people who complain about someone they know who can eat whatever he or she wants including large portions of junk food due to a fast metabolism and apparently never gain weight. In both cases the individual usually ends by saying, Its not fair! These scenarios raise several very good questions:
- What role exactly does metabolism play in weight gain or weight loss?
- Is your metabolic rate determined by your genes? If so, can you speed up a slow metabolism through exercise, drugs, or certain foods?
- Is the importance of metabolism just a myth? Is weight gain or loss purely due to calories in and calories out?
The answer to these questions involves a mix of nature and nurture .
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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.
Fasting For Weight Loss And Facing Food Addictions
Sustainable weight loss is achieved through three fundamental elements: the water fast itself, a healthy diet after the fast and regular exercise after the fast. Impacting on the first two of these is the issue of food addictions.
There are both physical and psychological food addictions. On a physical level, certain foods like refined sugars and flavour enhancers initiate biochemical changes in the brain which reward us for eating the given food, so that we want more. On an emotional level, food addictions come into play the moment were no longer eating purely to sustain our physical nutrition. We all suffer from them: eating for comfort, eating to relieve boredom, eating to soothe anxieties.
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Why Is Magnesium Important While Fasting
One of magnesiums many benefits is that it helps manage blood sugar levels for those with diabetes. It is also true that chronic low magnesium levels may cause type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis if not taken care of early on.
Magnesium helps to transport potassium and calcium ions across cell membranes, reducing the chances of muscle cramps.
Low levels of magnesium cause low energy levels, and muscle cramps, another reason magnesium is important while fasting. As such, it is essential that you get enough magnesium in while you are fasting, even for just one day.
Your meals should include magnesium-rich foods such as beans, nuts, and milk products like yogurt before and after fasting.
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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Restrictive Eating Can Influence Disordered Eating
Any diet that supports skipping meals or restrictive eating can trigger some not-so-great food relationships. Especially when the positive weight loss effects are directly impacted by not eating, or restricting food intake.
This isnt a great mindset to go into fasting with and can lead some people to take intermittent fasting too far, developing disordered eating patterns, or getting caught up in a yo-yo dieting cycle.
Not to mention that not eating enough calories each day to meet your basic needs can lead to nutrient deficiencies, decrease your immunity and create havoc in your body.
Whatever your reason for wanting to intermittent fast, remember to incorporate basic nutrition principles including calorie control and a balanced diet to set yourself up for success.
Going rouge during your non-fasting periods can sabotage any hopes you have for reaping the health benefits when intermittent fasting.
Let us help take the guesswork out of your meals and meal prep. Order ready-to-eat macro balanced meals delivered directly to your home. Weve got the food and tools you need for success in your health and wellness and are rooting you on.
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Which Intermittent Fasting Plan Is Best For Weight Loss
Experts suggest that the 16/8 method is the best intermittent fasting diet plan for weight loss and is the most preferred. It is relatively easy to follow as you can begin your 8-hour eating window at lunch hour. You may take a while to get used to the routine, but it is practical and doable. Studies show that people who follow restricted eating patterns as 16/8 can successfully create a calorie deficit and improve weight loss.
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Health Benefits Of Fasting
The big benefit of picking intermittent fasting for your nutrition plan is its so sustainable. With other diets youre either constantly counting calories, can only eat certain foods, or always cutting macronutrients. For example, the keto diet is quite effective for weight loss but the fact that you have to cut out your carbs forever isnt a sustainable diet for the majority of people . I mean imagine never being able to eat pizza, pasta, cookies, cereal, beer, wine, etc. ever again.
With intermittent fasting the big thing you have to be mindful of is to not eat during your fast. This is so simple anybody can follow it long term. But that doesnt always mean its easy. There are times when youre going to get hungry and tempted to eat. And then there are other times when social situations put you in a sticky position that practically force you to eat.
But lets say you go out with friends for dinner and end up eating and drinking until midnight. The good part with intermittent fasting is you just restart your fasting clock and wait a little longer to eat the next day. Its not like every other diet where you mess up by eating the wrong kind of food and then all your results go out the window.
So with intermittent fasting, you can keep your motivation going even if you have a little slip-up. If you ever have trouble with the hunger pangs during your fast then you could drink some of my approved fasting drinks:
- zero cal sparkling water
1 day: 0.5 2 pounds
Exercise After Your Water Fast Burns Extra Calories
Almost as important as your diet is the addition of some kind of exercise program after your fast.
If keeping the pounds off after a fast boils down to finding a balance between calorie intake and output, then clearly exercise is the single most important means to increase calorie output. Aerobic, cardiovascular forms of exercise tend to burn the most calories, so activities like swimming, running or cycling are the most efficient in controlling weight. If your fitness level precludes running, then even walking provides a good solution, so long as you keep your breathing and heart rate elevated for a sustained period. Work within your limits but do work! And, as is also true for diet, choose a form of exercise that you enjoy.
A further benefit of a sustainable exercise program is that, over time, it raises your metabolic rate. Essentially, metabolic rate is the rate at which you burn calories, regardless of whether youre moving or not. This means that even while youre asleep youre burning calories more quickly than if you dont exercise. In addition to cardiovascular exercise, strength training also benefits your metabolic rate.
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Foods To Avoid After The 2
Overall Unhealthy Foods
Foods that provide you with empty calories, highly processed, high glycemic index foods. Sugary foods and beverages are advised to be avoided at all times, but it is especially important to reduce their consumption right after your 2-day fast. These unhealthy foods provide you with little to no essential components and may even lead to an increased risk of various serious diseases. And since your body may be sensitive to the consumption of carbs after your fast, it may lead to undesired insulin spikes .
It is recommended to keep away from such high-lactose dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and ice-cream right after you finish a fast. It is because lactose is overall difficult to digest for some people, and consuming it after a 2-day fast may lead to some problems with digestion .
Although they overall have health benefits and can provide you with lots of vital nutrients, cruciferous vegetables may interfere with your digestion right after the fast, leading to gassiness. This happens because they are packed with fiber and contain a trisaccharide called raffinose, which is difficult to digest .
How Long To Do Intermittent Fasting Before Seeing Results On Overall Health
Many studies concluded that one must follow 8 to 12 weeks of long time-restricted fasting before seeing positive results on overall health like metabolic health, mood, brain health, etc.
However, the result varies from person to person. Some people only do interval fasting but they dont follow a restricted diet. Most people workout along with fasting. And some do three of those all together, like fasting, diet, and exercising.
The proper you follow the routine, the faster youll see the results and vice versa.
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Intermittent Fasting: Surprising Update
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
Theres a ton of incredibly promising intermittent fasting research done on fat rats. They lose weight, their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars improve but theyre rats. Studies in humans, almost across the board, have shown that IF is safe and incredibly effective, but really no more effective than any other diet. In addition, many people find it difficult to fast.
But a growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make IF a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention.
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What To Eat With Fasting
Ive found most people who have trouble with their weight do better eating a lower amount of carbs. Im not saying you have to cut them out completely but you should focus on lowering them to boost weight loss. People who are naturally athletic and have more trouble putting on weight do better with lower fats and higher carbs and protein.
You should calculate your BMR to give you a ballpark picture of how many calories your body burns in a day. Then you should keep your calories under that number. You dont have to count your calories for the rest of your life but you should do so for at least for a little while so you can figure out what you should be eating in a day.
Focus on eating real whole foods. Higher protein diets have also been found to be beneficial for weight loss. Avoid starchy, sugary, and carb-rich foods especially those from refined grains and flour. Lastly, make sure youre avoiding bad vegetable oils that could also promote weight gain.
Should you exercise during fasting?
When it comes to exercise youll drop more poundage by working out along with your fasting . I prefer to do cardio in the mornings when Im fasting for an extra fat burn . Then doing a strength training workout later in the day can help to tone up and burn stubborn fat from your body.
Can you lose a pound a day fasting?
Will you lose weight if you fast for 24 hours?
The Last Word
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