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How Long Does It Take Intermittent Fasting To Work

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Fast For 12 Hours A Day

How Long Does Intermittent Fasting Take To Work? [2021]

The rules for this diet are simple. A person needs to decide on and adhere to a 12-hour fasting window every day.

According to some researchers, fasting for 1016 hours can cause the body to turn its fat stores into energy, which releases ketones into the bloodstream. This should encourage weight loss.

This type of intermittent fasting plan may be a good option for beginners. This is because the fasting window is relatively small, much of the fasting occurs during sleep, and the person can consume the same number of calories each day.

The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include the period of sleep in the fasting window.

For example, a person could choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They would need to finish their dinner before 7 p.m. and wait until 7 a.m. to eat breakfast but would be asleep for much of the time in between.

From : 2 To 1: 8 Do Intermittent Fasting Diets Work And What Are The Challenges

By Kate Midena for Catalyst

Samantha Roberts is three weeks in to a six-week fasting experiment, and she’s tired.

She’s hungry, she hasn’t been sleeping well, and she hasn’t lost any weight.

“I feel like I’m trying to change, but I don’t think I’m changing for the better,” she says.

“I think I’m meaner. I think I’m shorter with people. I’m not as happy as I used to be.”

Samantha’s experience is not uncommon many diets bring with them moments of hopelessness and frustration, especially when you’re required to overhaul ingrained habits.

Under the guidance of dietitian Joanna McMillan and an expert team, Samantha is one of five people participating in a Catalyst fasting experiment, looking at intermittent fasting’s impact on weight loss, ageing, gut bacteria, and metabolic health.

She is doing the 16:8 plan.

“I don’t eat from 8 o’clock at night till 12 midday the day after, so I fast for 16 hours,” Samantha explains.

“Mornings I have black coffee, I’m allowed black coffee, black tea. But just no food.

“I’m getting there maybe I didn’t realise what I was getting myself in for.”

Intermittent Fasting: What Is It And Is It Safe

Intermittent fasting may seem like a recent trend, but actually, humans have periodically refrained from eating for millennia for a host of reasons: Believe it or not, physicians of yesteryear used to prescribe fasting to treat a host of ailments, while ancient philosophers pushed their plates away in attempts to boost their mental clarity. Fasting has also been a form of political protestthink: the hunger strikes of Mahatma Gandhi, Irish Republican prisoners in the 1980s, or British and American suffragettes in the early 1900s.

To this day, avoiding food is a regular part of many religions. Traditionally, Muslims forgo food and beverage during daylight throughout Ramadan Jews skip eating and drinking on Yom Kippur and Hindus and Buddhists fast weekly.

Now fasting is trickling into the secular spotlight due to media coverage that claims intermittent fasting not only leads to weight loss and boosts metabolism but that it may also curtail cancer risk and even extend lifespan.

But is intermittent fasting, a practice thats both ancient and newly trendy, as effective as some attest? Below, we take a closer look.

What is intermittent fasting? The ultimate guide

The theory is that this process may strengthen some cells ability to withstand additional stressors, which explains the potential link between IF and delayed aging as well as a reduced risk of cancer risk. But the benefits have yet to be proven.

Different types of intermittent fasting

16/8 fasting:

5:2 diet:

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How Does The 1: 8 Diet Work

The 16:8 diet works on an hourly basis. So each day you can eat within an 8 hour time frame and fast for the remaining 16 hours. The best part? You dont have to restrict your calories when eating during the 8 hour window. As long as you eat healthily in your 8 hour time frame, youll see the weight drop off.

Experts say that the 16.8 diet restricted schedule gives our bodies the chance to process the nutrients stored in foods and burns away calories. Plus, you wont go hungry like you do on those two fasting days on the 5:2 either.

As Tom Jenane, nutrition and fitness expert explains, The 16:8 diet is a brilliant form of intermittent fasting that has proven results in a number of cases.

Jennifer Aniston is a famous fan of intermittent fasting.

As well as Jennifer Aniston, other Hollywood names who have seen success after following the 16:8 diet include Hugh Jackman, who reportedly used the diet to get in shape for his Wolverine films and actress Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Benefits Of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting

How Long Does Intermittent Fasting Take to Work? [+ Before ...

16/8 intermittent fasting is a popular diet because its easy to follow, flexible and sustainable in the long term.

Its also convenient, as it can cut down on the amount of time and money you need to spend on cooking and preparing food each week.

In terms of health, 16/8 intermittent fasting has been associated with a long list of benefits, including:

  • Increased weight loss: Not only does restricting your intake to a few hours per day help cut calories over the course of the day, but studies also show that fasting could boost metabolism and increase weight loss (
  • ).

Summary

16/8 intermittent fasting is easy to follow, flexible and convenient. Animal and human studies suggest that it may increase weight loss, improve blood sugar levels, enhance brain function and extend longevity.

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The Dangers Of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a predetermined period where an individual purposely doesnt eat food. From a 12-hour fast to alternate day fasting, many kinds of intermittent fasting diets are becoming increasingly popular. Health professionals argue that intermittent fasting is not necessarily dangerous, but many also agree that intermittent fasting is not safe for everyone.

Intermittent Fasting Can Still Lead To Weight Gain

Feeling starved during your fasting period might make some people more prone to binging behaviors when theyre not fasting. And eating more calories than what your body burns will lead to a long-term increase in body fat even if you consistently fast for 12-16 hours each day.

In other words, if you are having trouble maintaining your hunger and end up going completely rogue on your non-fasting periods, you could end up gaining weight.

Going rouge during your non-fasting periods can sabotage your health goals, start a meal prep routine or plan your meals to ensure you’re nourishing your body.

Not sure what style of diet is right for you? Use a meal plan quiz to get started!

Also Check: Is Fasting Necessary For A1c Test

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.

Reasons Why Intermittent Fasting Can Give Slow Results

How Long Does INTERMITTENT FASTING Take To Work? [2019]

The reason why this diet has the best results is its flexibility. Unlike other dietary patterns, you can choose when and what you want to eat. However, this flexibility can be a two-edged sword. People can forget that such freedom in deciding what to eat is there to help them adapt to changes faster. Continuing to consume unhealthy food will hardly get you anywhere.

On the contrary, subconsciously, you might want to eat more during the 8-hour window, which may lead to gaining weight instead. This can also cause you to develop poor eating habits and digestive problems.

Read Also: How To Use Intermittent Fasting

Exercising On Empty Has Some Surprising Benefits

I never exercise on an empty stomach. As a rule, I put something in the tank 2 hours before a hike or yoga class to make sure I don’t peter out…or pass out. But it turns out that exercising in a fasted state worked for me. Instead of feeling light-headed, I had more grit and go. I marched up that mountain on a mission and planked with more purpose. Major perks: Science shows that exercising in a fasted state can supercharge your body’s fat-burning potential.

Could Leaving 12 Hours Between Dinner And Breakfast Benefit Health

Whether youre trying to lengthen your night-time break from eating by having an earlier dinner or later breakfast, or going a step further and following an intermittent fasting plan, some scientists believe there are benefits beyond weight-loss to giving your digestive system a break. They argue that for many people it can improve metabolic and overall health.

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Best Ways To Get Started With Intermittent Fasting

Jumpstarting a healthy change in your life always starts with a single most significant step determination. Before you choose the best type of diet for you, make sure to research each of them so youd know whats ahead of you. Its going to be a bumpy road, but working on ourselves should always be our priority. If youre a beginner to this eating pattern, wed recommend going with the 16/8 method. In this case, first, you need to . Usually, people go with 9 to 5, but you can choose whatever works for you best. Its ok to experiment with the timeframe in the beginning, but once youve found the right one, stick to it. This diet is all about consistency. Start gradually, to adapt to this life change more easily.

How Long Does It Take To See Results With Intermittent Fasting

How Long Does Intermittent Fasting Take to Work? [+ Before ...

Ah, intermittent fasting. In my opinion, its one of the most effective and easiest ways to get lean. Ive been on intermittent fasting sporadically for nearly a decade now and every time I go on this diet, I always see results.

So, how long does it take to see results with intermittent fasting, you ask?

That depends on a lot of things, actually. But if were talking about even the smallest decrease in the number you see on the weighing scale, IF can work its magic in as little as a week. Generally though, you and other people will start noticing weight loss after 8-10 weeks in the diet.

But like any other diet, theres more detail to intermittent fasting that I believe you should know about if you want to maximize your weight loss potential. These include how exactly the diet works, hurdles that may prevent you from losing weight, and many more.

Lets talk about them, shall we? Starting with a question that you may well be wondering:

Recommended Reading: How Long Should I Be Intermittent Fasting

Could Help Lower Cholesterol

Your cholesterol might also improve after intermittent fasting when consuming a healthy diet during your non-fasting periods.

Better lipid profiles have been found after intermittent fasting including lower overall cholesterol, lower LDL , and lower triglyceride levels in healthy and overweight populations .

The majority of studies investigating intermittent fasting’s effects on cholesterol have focused on those fasting for Ramadan, so intermittent fasting may be an effective dietary method to improve your cholesterol, but further studies are needed to explore the differences in short-term vs long-term metabolic changes associated with fasting. .

If you’re concerned about high cholesterol try adopting healthy lifestyle habits like incorporating exercise and a diet low in saturated and trans fats, and rich in high fiber foods.

Fasting And Digestion Health

As of lately, there is also interest in how time-restricted feeding can help improve digestion, the gut microbiome, and sleep via our circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm represents all the physiological processes in our body that run on a 24/hr cycle, such as sleep, hormone secretion, cognitive performance, and mood regulation.

This cycle is also highly affected by food intake, light exposure, and physical activity. Disruptions in this cycle, especially extension of eating periods, can lead to metabolic pathologies such as obesity. Therefore, research suggests that food intake’s specific timing can help regulate this process, which has been shown to enhance sleep, energy levels and improve metabolic markers.

Recommended Reading: How Fast Can I Lose Weight On Intermittent Fasting

Try Sticking To The Following Foods On The 1: 8 Diet:

  • Whole grains: Ones like rice, oats, barley, wholegrain pasta and quinoa will keep you fuller for longer.
  • Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds will keep you full.
  • Fruit: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges and pears will offer good vitamin sustenance.
  • Vegetables: Broccoli and leafy greens are especially good for making sure youre eating enough fibre.
  • Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados.

You Are Eating The Wrong Type Of Food

HOW LONG DOES INTERMITTENT FASTING TAKE TO WORK? (Here’s What You Need To Know)

Many other diets come with a list of foods that you can and cannot eat. However, that is not how intermittent fasting works.

Intermittent fasting lets you eat anything you would like within a specific eating window.

Because intermittent fasting does not restrict your diet, it is easy to slip right into unhealthy feeding habits. Binging on unhealthy processed foods even if it is only in your eating window could be responsible for your slow results.

Stuffing too many calories during your eating periods is also counterproductive.

During your intermittent fast, consider changing your meal plan. Toss out the unhealthy processed food and switch to healthier options. Think of foods like whole grains that are rich in dietary fiber.

Furthermore, sugary foods could send your blood sugar levels through the roof and contribute to reduced insulin sensitivity.

Staying away from sugary foods protects you from sugar highs and the sugar crash that results after. It also helps keep your blood sugar within the normal range.

Read Also: How Many Calories Do I Eat On Intermittent Fasting

For Best Fasting Results Work Your Way Up

I decided to follow time-restricted eating, or fasting 18 hours out of the day and eating the other six . The first day I managed to abstain all 18 hours, but it wasn’t pretty . My mind was racking up obsessive food thoughts faster than my phone hunts Pokemon. The inner dialogue went something like this: I’m hungry, I’m hungry, I’m friggin hungry, I’m hungry, I’m STARVING, get this girl a cookie already!

Well, it turns out that abrupt withdrawal may not be the best way to go. Some experts recommend starting with just a couple of days a week and working your way up, while others suggest gradually increasing the number of hours you fast from 12 to 14… up to 18. Still others say fasting isn’t for everyone, and if it’s making you miserable, just skip it. But I wasn’t giving up that easily, so I tried the gradual approach, starting with 12, then extending my fasted hours over the course of the week andsurprise, surprisethose swirling food thoughts faded away.

Does Intermittent Fasting Have Other Benefits Besides Weight Loss

The answer seems to be yes. While experts caution that more long-term studies on the topic are needed, evidence suggests that IF is tied to improvements in blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol levels, and insulin resistance. It may also lower the risk for type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers disease, and cancer.

Also Check: How To Lower Fasting Glucose

And Did It Make Any Difference

ABC: Catalyst

When Dr McMillan conducts her final tests to see how Kevin and Samantha have tracked, the results “are a little unexpected”.

Over the six weeks, Samantha lost 3.5 kilograms and Kevin 8.5 kilograms but Kevin’s weight loss is actually “some cause for concern”.

“More than half of Kevin’s weight loss came from lean body mass most of it muscle,” she says.

“Lean muscle crucial for staying healthy as we age. So, going forward Kevin and anyone taking up fasting needs to ensure they also do exercise.”

There has also been little change to Samantha and Kevin’s gut health.

But there has been “a really big metabolic improvement” for them both.

In particular, Samantha’s fasting insulin levels reduced, and her fasting blood glucose levels came down to “the normal category”, which means she reduced her risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Supplied: Samantha Roberts

“This is a really powerful message, because you haven’t actually lost a lot of weight, but you’ve seen that really big metabolic improvement,” Dr Hocking says.

“Even for someone who doesn’t lose any weight, if your metabolic health has improved because you’re eating better and you’re exercising and getting enough sleep, you’re in a far healthier position.”

Dr McMillan says Samantha “epitomises the promise of fasting for me”.

“She has managed to overcome a really tough journey through my experiment and embrace a new way of eating,” she says.

Research Review Shows Intermittent Fasting Works For Weight Loss Health Changes

How Long Does INTERMITTENT FASTING Take To Work? [2019 ...

Intermittent fasting can produce clinically significant weight loss as well as improve metabolic health in individuals with obesity, according to a new study review led by University of Illinois Chicago researchers.

We noted that intermittent fasting is not better than regular dieting both produce the same amount of weight loss and similar changes in blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation, said Krista Varady, professor of nutrition at the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences and author of Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.

Krista Varady, professor of nutrition, UIC College of Applied Health Sciences.

According to the analysis published in the Annual Review of Nutrition, all forms of fasting reviewed produced mild to moderate weight loss, 1%-8% from baseline weight, which represents results that are similar to that of more traditional, calorie-restrictive diets. Intermittent fasting regimens may also benefit health by decreasing blood pressure and insulin resistance, and in some cases, cholesterol and triglyceride levels are also lowered. Other health benefits, such as improved appetite regulation and positive changes in the gut microbiome, have also been demonstrated.

The review looked at over 25 research studies involving three types of intermittent fasting:

Various studies of time-restricted eating show participants with obesity losing an average of 3% of their body weight, regardless of the time of the eating window.

Recommended Reading: How To Do Periodic Fasting

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