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How Does Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight

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It Can Help Regulate Insulin

VERIFY: Does intermittent fasting help you lose weight?

On a similar note, you might also try intermittent fasting to lose weight because it can help regulate your levels of the hormone insulin, according to University of Michigan Health.

Your insulin levels drop when you aren’t eating, which prompts your body to start burning sugar for energy. And when insulin levels stay low for long enough, your body starts to burn fat, which can contribute to weight loss.

Are There Any Side Effects When Fasting

It is possible that some people will experience some side effects while you are fasting. Lets look at what they are:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Heartburn

Some experts note that you cant just go from being a couch potato to an athlete overnight because the body doesn’t like extreme changes.

It makes sense to experience side effects when you stop eating all of a sudden over extended periods of time.

The side effects might seem impossible or unbearable to deal with at the beginning. But if you know how to cope with it, you will find yourself able to stay with intermittent fasting and reap the remarkable benefits.

Dr Crupain’s What To Eat When

The concept of fasting can be a little daunting, but it shouldn’t be, according to Dr. Crupain, whose book outlines his method of food timing and offers readers a few principles for how to eat in alignment with this clock.

First, eat your meals during daylight hours. “The sun sets our circadian rhythm and our body is primed to eat when the sun is out and fast when it is dark,” he says.

Second, he stresses the importance of eating more earlier in the day, and less later. Breakfast and lunch should be your biggest meals of the day, and dinner the smallest. “Ideally, you should eat your traditional dinner foods protein, veggies, etc. earlier in the day and avoid simple carbs like sugar as well as saturated fat,” he says.

Following these two principles, Dr. Crupain points out that you should get a window of at least 12 hours or more of fasting each day.

Recommended Reading: What Is 14 10 Intermittent Fasting

Fasting For 2 Days A Week

People following the 5:2 diet eat standard amounts of healthful food for 5 days and reduce calorie intake on the other 2 days.

During the 2 fasting days, men generally consume 600 calories and women 500 calories.

Typically, people separate their fasting days in the week. For example, they may fast on a Monday and Thursday and eat normally on the other days. There should be at least 1 non-fasting day between fasting days.

There is limited research on the 5:2 diet, which is also known as the Fast diet. A involving 107 overweight or obese women found that restricting calories twice weekly and continuous calorie restriction both led to similar weight loss.

The study also found that this diet reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity among participants.

A small-scale study looked at the effects of this fasting style in 23 overweight women. Over the course of one menstrual cycle, the women lost 4.8 percent of their body weight and 8.0 percent of their total body fat. However, these measurements returned to normal for most of the women after 5 days of normal eating.

How To Start Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss

Will Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?

It is best to start with the 16/8 method, where your sleep time covers most part of the fasting window. You can start by practising prolonged periods of fasting whenever you can and then move to 5:2 diet. Another approach is to skip meals whenever possible, experiment with different fasting schedules, and find a plan best suited to you.

It is advisable to consult a certified nutritionist to avoid complications that may arise.

Also Check: How Many Hours Is Intermittent Fasting

What Can You Eat On The 1: 8 Diet

This diet isnt suggesting you cram all the food you can into 8 hours. You need to make sure youre eating a balance of fat busting and health boosting foods. Experts have suggest making sure you get a balance of lean meat, eggs, dairy, vegetables, nuts and beans each day.

Make sure to eat a balanced diet.

Tom said, Many people fail the 16:8 diet by packing in too many calories into the 8 hour period, often trying to get some in before the 8 hours ends. You should still be following a strict diet with a complete nutritional breakdown, to ensure you are consuming a targeted number of calories, not to mention macro nutrients and ensuring youre not consuming too much sugar.

Is The Wait Worth The Weight

Although intermittent fasting is unlikely to be sustainable for most of us in the long-term, if fasting periodically suits your lifestyle, then it might be an effective strategy for weight-management. Nevertheless, it should be carefully planned to meet all the nutritional needs set out in current dietary guidelines. If you are thinking of fasting, make sure to do it in a healthy and safe way by following current dietary guidelines and seeking the advice of a suitably qualified professional, like a registered dietitian, before you start.

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Should You Restrict Calories While Intermittent Fasting

You could also restrict your calories while on an intermittent fasting diet but this may not be as good for you as you think. It has been shown time and time again in the scientific literature that while restricting calories can result in weight loss, much of that weight loss comes from a loss of muscle .

This loss of muscle mass can be detrimental to your fat loss goals because your muscles use a lot of energy/calories. The less muscle you have, the fewer calories you burn each day. This means that in order to maintain your weight loss achievements or to avoid any plateaus, youâre going to have to decrease your calorie intake to adjust for this loss of muscle mass.

Additionally, when you restrict your calories for an extended period of time, your body goes into a âstarvation modeâ where it changes different bodily processes to try to conserve energy . This means that your body is actually trying to burn less calories every day.

Studies have shown in human and animal studies that maintaining your caloric intake while participating in an intermittent fasting diet doesnât cause a loss in muscle mass and therefore, there is no change in the amount of calories burned each day . These studies also show that you donât need to restrict your calories in order to see some of the other health benefits associated with intermittent fasting.

Intermittent Fasting Can Be Hard But Maybe It Doesnt Have To Be

Verify: Does intermittent fasting help you lose weight?

Initial human studies that compared fasting every other day to eating less every day showed that both worked about equally for weight loss, though people struggled with the fasting days. So, its very reasonable to choose a reduced calorie plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet. But research suggests that not all IF approaches are the same, and some IF diets are indeed effective and sustainable, especially when combined with a nutritious plant-based diet.

We have evolved to be in sync with the day/night cycle, i.e., a circadian rhythm. Our metabolism has adapted to daytime food, nighttime sleep. Nighttime eating is well associated with a higher risk of obesity, as well as diabetes.

Based on this, researchers from the University of Alabama conducted a study with a small group of obese men with prediabetes. They compared a form of intermittent fasting called “early time-restricted feeding,” where all meals were fit into an early eight-hour period of the day , or spread out over 12 hours . Both groups maintained their weight but after five weeks, the eight-hours group had dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity, as well as significantly lower blood pressure. The best part? The eight-hours group also had significantly decreased appetite. They werent starving.

Just changing the timing of meals, by eating earlier in the day and extending the overnight fast, significantly benefited metabolism even in people who didnt lose a single pound.

Don’t Miss: How Quick Is Weight Loss With Intermittent Fasting

Ive Made The Decision To Fast So How Long Should I Fast For

There arent any studies right now that state exactly how long one should fast. Researchers, like Dr. Peterson, are working on that. The minimum amount of time it takes to make fasting efficacious hasnt been proven via study, but the prevailing notion is its somewhere between 12 and 18 hours. But it can take a few days sometimes weeks of fasting regularly for your body to start burning fat for fuel. Brooke Alpert, nutritionist and author of The Diet Detox, suggests starting by moving your last meal to around 7 p.m. She said the reason for this is our bodies are better at doing some things at certain times. Our bodies are better at processing sugar in the morning than at night, said Dr. Varady. So eat bigger meals in the morning, for example.

And how often do you have to do daily intermittent fasting to see the benefit? Again, there hasnt been a study thats shown exactly how many days you need to fast, but a recent study in rodents showed they get about the same benefits fasting five days per week as they did fasting every day. The great thing is that were learning is that this type of fasting isnt all or nothing, said Dr. Peterson.

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.

Also Check: What Can You Have During Fasting

Should I Try Intermittent Fasting

The most effective diet is the one you can stick to while still living your best life. Its hard to know which will work best before trying, but doctors and recent studies offer some guidance. Dr. Peterson said that complete, zero-calorie fasts generally prove to be too difficult to maintain. People stick with them maybe for the short-term, but they get quite hungry in the long-term, she said.

Time-restricted feeding fasting overnight and into the next morning is likely the easiest form of fasting to comply with. A longer than normal fasting period each night allows you to burn through some of your sugar stores, called glycogen. That does a couple things. It gives your body a little bit more time to burn fat. It also may help your body get rid of any extra salt in your diet, which would lower your blood pressure, Dr. Peterson said.

The Purpose Of Intermittent Fasting:

Intermittent Fasting

First, lets think about the purpose of intermittent fasting? For me, the purpose of fasting is to move from being a sugar burner to a fat burner. The goal is to gain metabolic flexibilityand in turn create metabolically fitness. Surprisingly , only 12% of people are actually metabolically fit. This means that most people are predominantly fat burners, burning carbs and sugar for fuel and energy, instead of fat. The opposite of metabolic fitness is metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by at least three of the five following medical conditions: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high serum triglycerides, and low serum high-density lipoprotein. Metabolic syndrome is associated with the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

It is true that fasting is not a cure all. However, intermittent fasting is an effective tool that can be used to undo metabolic syndrome and inflammation, in other words addressing the underlying reasons why people are obese in the first place. In reviewing this study, here are some things I would have considered:

  • What was the health of participants gut microbiomes?The gut microbiome has a massive impact on how you manage blood sugar, and the gut microbiome directly affects metabolism. Similarly, stress has an impact on blood sugar as well as peoples ability to fast successfully.
  • Overall, here was my take-aways from this study:


    Recommended Reading: What Do You Eat Intermittent Fasting

    Can Anyone Try Intermittent Fasting

    Still, most experts agree that some people should steer clear of IF altogether. That includes kids and adolescents because they have higher calorie needs due to ongoing growth and development women who are pregnant or breastfeeding people with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and anyone with a history of eating disorders, says Cohen.

    Spiced Carrot & Lentil Soup

    This rich in flavor carrot and lentil soup is extremely nutritious and filling while being low in calories. Best for lunch, this soup will ensure that you reach your body goals without sacrificing the taste.

    Ingredients for 4 servings:

    • Plain yogurt and naan bread to serve


  • Dry-fry cumin seeds and chili flakes in a large saucepan for 1 min.
  • Scoop out about half with a spoon and set aside. Add olive oil, coarsely grated carrots, red lentils, vegetable stock, and milk to the pan and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened.
  • Whizz the soup until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer.
  • Season to taste and finish with a dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices. Serve with warmed naan breads.
  • Nutritional value of 1 serving:

    Calories: 238, carbs: 34g, fats: 7g, protein: 11g

    Don’t Miss: Which Type Of Intermittent Fasting Is Best For Weight Loss

    How To Get Started

    Intermittent fasting can take some adjustment. “It takes your body a little while to get used to that up-down pattern of eating,” Varady says.

    You’re likely to be hungry at first. But after about 2 weeks, most people get used to the routine.

    In time, fasting could actually help control your hunger. “It may be because your blood sugar levels are more stabilized throughout the day,” Peterson says. And time-restricted feeding causes less hunger than alternate-day fasting, which could make it more sustainable long-term, she says.

    One way to avoid hunger during your fast is to drink more water. Extra fluids will also prevent the headaches some people get when they don’t eat.

    You might also need to change what you eat. Get more protein from sources like lean poultry, tofu, beans, and nuts. “That helps keep your muscle mass up, because you can lose muscle mass while fasting,” Varady says. It also helps you feel full for longer.

    Although many of these diets let you eat what you want during your feast days, don’t go wild and binge. You’ll get the best results if you eat healthy every day.

    Eat Twice As Much During Times Of Food Intake

    Does INTERMITTENT FASTING Help You Lose Weight? | Diet Debbie

    When fasting, it can be challenging to maintain a balanced diet during periods of food intake. Indeed, it is tempting to pounce on food, eat in larger quantities, and turn to pleasure foods. Now, this is a big mistake. To reap the health benefits of fasting, the quality of the diet during periods of food intake is as important as the fasting periods themselves. Thus, promoting meals rich in plants, whole grains, lean proteins, and essential fatty acids.

    Also Check: Does Fasting Really Help You Lose Weight

    What Is The 1: 8 Diet

    The 16:8 diet is a type of intermittent fasting where you break each day into two parts a 16 hour stretch and an 8 hour period. For 16 hours every day, you consume nothing but water, coffee, tea and other unsweetened drinks. Then for the other eight hours of the day, you can eat all your meals and snacks.

    The 16 hour stretch sounds like a long time, but if youre getting enough sleep, you should be asleep for about half of that time.

    Sports Scientist Harry Aitken tells GoodtoKnow, Intermittent fasting is a dietary technique in which all food is consumed within a relatively small window of time. Fasting is going for a significant period of time without eating, and intermittent fasting simply brings in a small window of time where you are able to eat.

    Intermittent fasting has been popularised and studies have gone on to confirm that it leads to weight loss and fat loss.

    The 16:8 diet stems from the book 8 Hour Diet by author David Zinczenko and editor-in-chief of Mens Health Peter Moore, who suggested that a longer fasting time between eating gives the body the time it needs to process the food and burn away extra fat.

    Additional Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

    • Improves Cardiovascular Health:

      Intermittent fasting helps reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the body, which improves heart health. It also reduces inflammation in the body.

    • Lowers Insulin Levels:

      Intermittent fasting leads to a reduction in insulin levels. Having insulin in check prevents the occurrence of many life-threatening diseases. It also improves the burning of stored fat in the body.

    • Protects Against Life-Threatening Diseases:

      This eating pattern helps to regulate blood pressure, in preventing many illnesses such as type-2 diabetes, certain types of cancers, and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimers.

    • Increases Life Span:

      Some studies show that intermittent fasting protects against diseases and memory loss, offers anti-ageing benefits, and increases longevity. It also aids in cellular repair and function over time while boosting overall brain function.

    Read Also: How To Reduce Fasting Glucose Levels

    The Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

    Fasting would have various benefits for the body, especially in our society where overeating and junk food are two mutual facts.

    • Promotes cell regeneration
    • Stimulates the destocking of fats
    • Better control of food sensations
    • Stimulates the secretion of growth hormone
    • Improves physical and intellectual presentation and decreases recovery time
    • Prevents overweight and associated pathologies: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc.
    • Allows the cleansing of the organism and stimulates the autophagy or self-cleaning function of the organism by its cells
    • Reduces cell oxidation plus premature aging of cells

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