Break Your Fast Wisely
I see it all the time. Someone wraps up a 24 hour fast and then totally ruins it by eating a huge plate of fries for their first meal back.
Its called being human. If you deprive yourself of something, you tend to overdo that thing later on. Think of the kid whos never allowed a piece of cake. How much cake is that kid gonna eat at his friends birthday party? As much as he can.
My advice is to plan ahead. Minimize the need for willpower by cooking a specific, healthy meal beforehand. Or at least have the ingredients ready to go.
The when and where is also important. Your cravings will be strong, and you dont want to break your fast in, say, an airport terminalunless you have something wholesome packed. Again, planning is paramount.
Hope these tips help. Thats it for today, folks. Thanks for reading.
How Much Weight Will I Lose
Weight loss results depend on many factors like nutrition, lifestyle, length, and frequency of fasting. Generally, however, healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week. Keep in mind, that it is common to get a 4-5 pound weight loss during the first few weeks, but that is mainly due to losing water weight and usually that number will go down after the initial period. Moderate physical activity can facilitate the weight loss process so that you could get even better results. A 20-hour fast is considered to be the most successful method for weight loss. However, you will get fantastic results if you stick to a healthy eating plan and have regular workouts. Nevertheless, this fasting approach is difficult to stick to for a long period of time. The most popular fasting diet plan is 16:8, it is easy to follow and the weight loss results can be great as well.
Possible Small Tweaks Not Complete Resets
Not only is speeding up metabolism unlikely, but the methods that claim to do so also either dont work or wont create lasting results. For example, you might read that you can pump up your metabolism by getting enough sleep to keep your appetite hormones in check or by lowering your stress level so that your body doesnt produce too much cortisol, which can lead to overeating. But those hormonal levels relate to how much you feel like eating, not how many calories a day your body burns for basic functioning.
Similarly, while higher-intensity workouts might result in a slight post-workout afterburn , those short-term results dont affect what your metabolism will be the following day.
Supplement makers tout ingredients such as green tea, caffeine, capsaicin, selenium and more, either individually or in, as one company puts it, a thermogenic fat-burning complex, as metabolism boosters. Some have been shown to slightly increase the rate at which people burn calories, but not to an extent thats going to make a significant difference over time. Might help you lose a small amount of weight is the most a National Institutes of Health ingredient overview will say about such ingredients.
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Eating Frequently Boosts Your Metabolism
Many people believe that eating more meals increases your metabolic rate, causing your body to burn more calories overall.
Your body indeed expends some calories digesting meals. This is termed the thermic effect of food .
On average, TEF uses around 10% of your total calorie intake.
However, what matters is the total number of calories you consume not how many meals you eat.
Eating six 500-calorie meals has the same effect as eating three 1,000-calorie meals. Given an average TEF of 10%, youll burn 300 calories in both cases.
Numerous studies demonstrate that increasing or decreasing meal frequency does not affect total calories burned (
One study that compared eating three or six high-protein meals per day found that eating three meals reduced hunger more effectively .
That said, responses may depend on the individual. If frequent eating reduces your cravings, its probably a good idea. Still, theres no evidence that snacking or eating more often reduces hunger for everyone.
SUMMARY Theres no consistent evidence that eating more often reduces overall hunger or calorie intake. Rather, some studies show that smaller, more frequent meals increase hunger.
You’re Really Really Tired
If you’re tired, all the time, no matter what, it could be a sign of an underactive or slowed metabolism, Stone tells Bustle. When you have issues with your metabolism, it affects how fast your body burns food that gives you energy, especially if your metabolism slows down. When energy in your body isnât being created fast enough, thatâs when you often feel extra fatigued.
“Feeling tired, lethargic, and feeling down are all signs of a metabolism that isnât working as well as before,” Rumsey tells Bustle. “Our bodies are trying to tell us that something is wrong. If you are feeling run down, itâs most likely your body isnât getting enough attention.” Rumsey says that trying your best to get enough sleep is one way to set your metabolism back on the right track.
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How To Regulate Blood Glucose Spikes And Dips
No worries, the fasting eating plan will improve sensitivity and your blood glucose response if all IF rules are followed.
If you want to speed up weight loss and tone your body, introduce some physical exercise into your lifestyle. Long walks, jogging, dancing or even a 20 Minute Full Body Workout at Home. Check out the video below.
Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
If intermittent fasting decreased your metabolism, it wouldnt promote sustainable weight loss. It would be like calorie restriction.
But this isnt the case. When you fast, fat oxidation increases, bodyweight decreases, and resting metabolic rate increases or stays the same.
Consider the following published examples on IF for weight loss:
- A 2018 review of the relevant literature found intermittent fasting to be efficient in reducing weight, irrespective of the body mass index.
- Eight weeks of 16/8 intermittent fasting significantly decreased fat mass in 34 resistance-trained men. Resting metabolic rate stayed the same.
- Young overweight women lost as much weight on 5:2 intermittent fasting as they did on daily calorie restriction. Same weight lost, but probably without the metabolic slowdown.
- Compared to three meals per day, one meal per day caused more fat loss and improved markers of heart disease risk in normal-weight people.
The last study makes an important point: Skipping meals can be good for your health.
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, lowering blood sugar 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. The article is deep, but worth a read!
Get Comfortable With 1: 8 Fasting
The first step for boosting your slow metabolism is to work up to 16 hours of fasting a day. If you do not currently practice intermittent fasting, but youre in generally good health, it is fine to jump right into this fasting routine.
However, keep in mind that your body will not be fully prepared for the change. So, you might feel a bit under the weather and hungry if you make the switch too quickly.
If you are new to fasting, the alternative is to start with a 12-hour fast and then work your way up to 16 hours of fasting per day. When you reach that level, you may find that it is enough to get your weight loss on track. However, if your weight loss is still stalled, you can throw your body a curveball by introducing an OMAD fast.
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What To Drink During Intermittent Fasting
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You Don’t Need An Afternoon Coffee Break
“People with high metabolisms tend to have consistent energy throughout the day and are able to stay focused mentally,” personal trainer and nutritionist Jamie Hickey, tells Bustle, which may explain why all your coworkers head out for coffee around 3 p.m. while you’re still going strong.
There’s nothing wrong with having a fast metabolism. If you’re concerned about new changes in your daily health, though, or if these side effects are making you uncomfortable, go ahead and reach out to a doctor. They’ll let you know if you have something going on, such as hyperthyroidism, or if your fast metabolism is simply due to the way your body’s made.
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Intermittent Fasting Decreases Metabolism Less Than Continuous Calorie Restriction
When you lose weight, your metabolic rate goes down. Part of this is because losing weight causes muscle loss, and muscle tissue burns calories around the clock.
However, the decrease in metabolic rate seen with weight loss cant always be explained by the loss of muscle mass alone .
Severe calorie restriction over a long period can cause your metabolic rate to drop, as your body enters so-called starvation mode. The scientific term for this is adaptive thermogenesis.
Your body does this to conserve energy as a natural defense against starvation .
This has been demonstrated dramatically in a study of people who lost large amounts of weight while participating in The Biggest Loser, a reality show on TV.
Participants followed a calorie-restricted diet and intense exercise regimen to lose large amounts of weight .
The study found that 6 years later, most of them had regained nearly all of the weight they had lost. However, their metabolic rates had not gone back up and remained around 500 calories lower than you would expect for their body size.
Other studies investigating the effects of calorie restriction on weight loss have found similar results. The drop in metabolism due to weight loss can amount to hundreds of calories per day (
How To Get A Fast Metabolism
If you want to speed up your metabolism, one of the things you can do is increase your bodys lean muscle mass. This is the weight that is attributed to muscle, not fat. Lean muscle tissue burns more calories than the bodys fat stores.
To increase lean muscle mass in your body, you can try increasing your physical activity to include strength training exercises. Other ways to boost metabolism include:
- Staying hydrated by drinking more water
- Getting enough uninterrupted sleep
- Eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods
- Managing your stress levels
Even though you may be trying to burn more calories than you consume, be sure not to starve yourself, as this could actually signal your body to protect its fat stores rather than use them for fuel.
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What Happens During Fasting
As the human body is starved of food, there are a number of distinct metabolic changes that occur.
Normally, when carbohydrates are readily available, the body will use them as fuel. But once they are gone, it looks elsewhere for energy. In a process called gluconeogenesis, the body derives glucose from noncarbohydrate sources, such as amino acids.
Scientists can find evidence of gluconeogenesis by assessing the levels of certain metabolites in the blood, including carnitines, and butyrate.
As expected, after fasting, levels of these metabolites had increased in the participants blood. However, the scientists also identified many more metabolic changes, some of which surprised them. For instance, they saw a marked increase in products of the citric acid cycle.
The citric acid cycle happens in mitochondria, and its function is to release stored energy. The hike seen in the metabolites associated with this process means that the mitochondria, the fabled powerhouses of the cell, are thrust into overdrive.
Another surprise finding was an increase in levels of purine and pyrimidine, which scientists had not yet linked to fasting.
These chemicals are a sign of increased protein synthesis and gene expression. This suggests that fasting causes cells to switch up the type and quantity of proteins that they need to function.
In their latest study, they showed that fasting boosted these three metabolites. They explain that this might help explain how fasting extends lifespan in rats.
Study #: Up To Four Days Of Fasting
Researchers took lean subjects and fasted them for four days. They found thatup to and including the fourth daythe resting energy expenditure of the subjects was higher than baseline.
Driving this effect was norepinephrine, a naturally-produced hormone that increases heart rate, boosts mood, and increases RMR. Fasting, it was found, increased norepinephrine levels by over 100%.
Why does fasting boost norepinephrine? Its a geeky question, but bear with me for a second if you want to learn something new.
One theory is that low blood sugar during a fast signals the adrenal medulla to unleash a bunch of norepinephrine. Norepinephrines job is to prevent dangerous hypoglycemia, and it tells the liver to make more glucose. This is called gluconeogenesis.
Gluconeogenesis requires a lot of energy, so it raises RMR. Cool factoid.
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Discussion And Concluding Remarks
Calorie restriction and different forms of fasting have been shown to have major physiological effects from health benefits to longevity . Ramadan fasting has also been shown to have beneficial effects including positive changes in body composition with reported reduction in body fat as well as weight loss which is a common although not universal consequence . Similar to calorie-restricting diets targeting calorie reduction at ~500800 kcal/day , skipping a meal during fasting, such as in the context of Ramadan, can theoretically lead to weight loss. However, dietary changes during Ramadan vary and often include an increase in carbohydrate intake .
Aside from weight changes, Ramadan fasting induces a plethora of physiological and metabolic alterations. The impact of Ramadan on sleep alone includes decreased total sleep time, delayed sleep, decreased sleep period time and increased proportion of non-REM sleep also reported with high inter-individual variation.
Repetitive Intermittent Fasting And Metabolism
Heres what happened: repetitive intermittent fasting slowed down your metabolism.
Think of it like this. Imagine your body is a wood burning fireplace in a cold winter cabin. When you know you have a large stockpile of firewood supply, you keep the fire going at full blaze. But what if you look over and suddenly realize youre down to your last few logs? Youll likely want to slow down the fire to a slow burn to conserve firewood. Your metabolism works the same way.
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Traditional Diets Vs The Intermittent Fasting Effect On Metabolism
You may be wondering if traditional diets, like calorie counting, can have the same effect on your metabolism as intermittent fasting. Unfortunately, thats not physically possible. The hormonal and metabolic changes that occur during intermittent fasting only happen because your body is without food entirely. Though calorie-restricted diets lessen the amount you eat, you still are constantly intaking food. Therefore, your body will utilize the carbohydrates or sugars youve digested for energy, without using any of your bodys existing fuel sources.
In essence, its the extended periods of restricted eating that allow your body to experience positive changes in metabolism. Even by cutting carbs and eating less per meal, you cant mimic the effects of intermittent fasting by counting calories.
Intermittent Fasting Makes You Lose Muscle
Some people believe that when you fast, your body starts burning muscle for fuel.
Although this happens with dieting in general, no evidence suggests that it occurs more with intermittent fasting than other methods.
On the other hand, studies indicate that intermittent fasting is better for maintaining muscle mass.
In one review, intermittent fasting caused a similar amount of weight loss as continuous calorie restriction but with much less reduction in muscle mass .
Another study showed a modest increase in muscle mass for people who consumed all their calories during one huge meal in the evening .
Notably, intermittent fasting is popular among many bodybuilders, who find that it helps maintain muscle alongside a low body fat percentage.
SUMMARY Theres no evidence that fasting causes more muscle loss than conventional calorie restriction. In fact, studies demonstrate that intermittent fasting may help you maintain muscle mass while dieting.
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Can You Slow A Fast Metabolism
You can slow down a fast metabolism just like you can speed up a slow one. Diet is the most important factor when trying to slow things down. There are foods that metabolize slowly like sugars and processed and fried foods. But those are not the healthiest options.
Sure, if you have a fast metabolism you can indulge in these foods with little risk of weight gain, but ideally, you want to stick with healthier fats, proteins and carbohydrates to provide your body with some much needed weight.
Getting plenty of sleep also has metabolism-slowing effects as it helps to store the fat in your body. When it comes to exercise, avoid anything too strenuous as you will just burn off what you worked so hard to put on.
According to Judd Handler, a weight management consultant based in California, If youre used to doing 45 or 60 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill, try reducing to 20 minutes and instead, add a challenging weight-training routine that limits the amount of repetitions to 10-12 per set. You can also try certain supplements to better regulate your metabolism.
If you suspect that you have a fast metabolism, you can either accept it as having something that is the envy of most people or you can check with your doctor to make sure that there are no underlying causes that need to be fixed.
While advocating a lifestyle of fatty foods and decreased exercise goes against most expert advice, people with a fast metabolism fall into a category all onto themselves.