How Long Does Intermittent Fasting Take To Lose Weight
Intermittent fasting, indeed a scientific approach for losing weight faster. A well-organized analysis of 40 studies suggests that intermittent fasting is effective for weight loss. On average a person can lose 7-11 pounds in the period of 10 weeks.
Here are more couple of studies that backed the findings of weight loss through interval fasting. And tell us how long it actually takes to show results.
The above findings are based on studies. But how about the real world, what is peoples opinion on how long does Intermittent Fasting take to work?
r/intermittentfasting a subreddit on Reddit is the best place to get an idea of how people are following IF and how long does it take them to see the noticeable result.
After researching on r/intermittentfasting sub, I can conclude that it takes between 8 to 12 weeks to start seeing changes in your body composition.
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What Happens When We Stay Fed
First of all, lets tell you that most of us are in the fed state all the time. And while the body is in the fed state, it is working hard to digest, breakdown, and assimilate the nutrients. However, there are not enough calories being burnt at this point. We are often told to eat in small portions frequently, which is putting our bodies under stress due to the never-ending sugar and grain-based carbohydrate push. As a result, our body keeps working hard with little to no outcome. In other words, the body is working hard and doesnt get any time to repair itself, which may bring the healthy metabolism to a halt sooner rather than later.
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Intermittent Fasting Is Good For The Brain
There are a few ways in which intermittent fasting is good for the brain.
Intermittent fasting may increase the rate that new nerve cells grow.
This is beneficial to the brain. Cellular repair processes also improve when intermittent fasting.
This removes waste from cells and may help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Intermittent fasting also improves levels of a brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor .
When levels of BDNF are low, you are more likely to experience depression.
If you’ve been wondering whether or not intermittent fasting is the right choice for you, then this video is the perfect place to start!
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How Do Fasting Diets Work To Help Rev Weight Loss
The idea behind intermittent fasting is that it increases your metabolic rate, which helps you burn more calories. And by restricting the time periods during the day when you eat, you take in fewer calories each day.
Going into diet change, I knew there was only early evidence that fasting can lead to temporary weight loss, and that more research is needed especially on the potential long-term health effects of this diet. As it stands, experts warn that fasting may not be safe, or smart, for everyone. Fasting is not recommended for some groups, such as pregnant or lactating women, some people with diabetes, people dealing with eating disorders or issues such as low blood sugar, according to the Mayo Clinic. Thats why experts stress that its important to consult your healthcare team before trying any type of fast.
Despite the lack of comprehensive research on intermittent fasting, this eating style has helped me lose weight, regain my energy, and become more mindful about my eating choices.
Typical Intermittent Fasting Results
Dr. Becky, a chiropractor, and over-50 fitness consultant say its tough to find any downsides to IF in the medical literature. She explained that during the fasting period, your blood sugar and insulin levels will drop to low levels. Without insulins hormonal fat-storing signal, your body will rely upon stored fat for energy.
You can also find an overview of womens health-related intermittent fast results published by the National Library of Medicine. Some highlights of this report include studies on the use of fasting as a tool to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and other metabolic diseases, and heart disease. Youll find intermittent fasting for women over 50 makes a lot of sense.
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Cons Of Intermittent Fasting For Women
“Despite the benefits found in research, it’s important to consider the context and remember that it’s not appropriate for all people at all times,” says Greaves. “Women of reproductive age need to be particularly careful with intermittent fasting as their bodies are more sensitive to stressors like prolonged fasting and caloric restriction.”
Greaves explains, “Intermittent fasting itself is a stressor on the body, and in the context of our modern day life that’s already filled with chronic emotional, physiological and environmental stressors, IF might do more harm than good. Fasting increases cortisol which can lead to blood sugar dysregulation, increased insulin resistance, lean muscle loss, fatigue and disruptions to thyroid function over time. In the short-term fasting may lower thyroid stimulating hormone, but elevated cortisol on a persistent basis can reduce the conversion of thyroid hormone.”
“Fasting can also lead to undereating, which we know negatively influences female hormones in a variety of ways,” Greaves says. The caloric restriction caused by intermittent fasting could lead to loss of menstrual cycle and interfere with fertility .
Ways To Use This Information For Better Health
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Intermittent Fasting Isn’t Safe For Everyone
According to Heilbronn, intermittent fasting is not for everyone.
“People who take medication that can cause hypoglycemia shouldn’t do this diet without talking with their doctors,” she says.
You should also avoid intermittent fasting if:
- You’re pregnant or breastfeeding
- You’re not fully grown
- You have a history of eating disorders
And Some Of The Donts Of Intermittent Fasting:
2. Do not add a lot of milk to your coffee. Only use half or teaspoon of milk when having tea or coffee. Milk does contain lactose which is sugar. This could derail the plan. Only use a small amount.
3. Use your fasting period to do stuff. Dont sit idle. Getting busy will stop you thinking about food.
4. Dont keep changing your feeding window if you are on the plan that allows food at certain times. If your eating window is between 12 Noon and 8pm, try and maintain that consistency every time. Its all about teaching your body to adapt to a new way of eating and fasting.
5. Do not go to social events where the place will be awash with food on your fast days. The temptation of having so many food choices and so much food around might be too much for you to resist.
6. On your feed days or eating window as the case may be, you should exercise caution in how much food you consume. Theres no need to stuff your face with so much food in an attempt to compensate for the fast period.
It is not a feast or famine ethos and you should refrain from seeing it as such. Eat sensibly!
Above all, be resilient. Its not as hard as it appears. Start small and build up.
If you like your coffee, you may be also interested in the answer to the question: does coffee break a fast?
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Why 3 Pm Is A Key Time To Start Eating Less Food
Peeke also recommended that I stick to having lunch be my biggest meal of the day. Theres a study that a majority of Americans eat over the course of 15 to 16 hours out of the day, with the majority of their calories coming after 3 p.m. Its a recipe for disaster, she says, referencing a study published in November 2015 in Cell Metabolism.
Peeke suggested that rather than having my banana protein shake as an evening dessert and not eating anything before exercising, I instead drink it first thing in the morning. This way, the carbs from the banana would give me an instant source of energy to fuel my workout and my body would be processing the carbohydrates at an optimal time of the day.
The switch immediately paid dividends. I had way more energy throughout my workout. Because my body was working at a higher intensity, I was burning more calories than I would be even if Id been doing fasted cardio. Peeke recommended that I try to stay under a 12-hour window of restricted eating, but I was able to manage my dinnertime to keep my eating in a 10-hour window. Although my weight drifted up by 2 lb, it was because I was adding muscle mass instead of fat. The additional muscle in my arms and shoulders were noticeable. And as my body fat percentage got lower, I started to see some veins popping out of my biceps, forearms, and calves.
Stay Away From Sweeteners
Sugar-free light drinks are popular not only for diets but in general. Nevertheless, it is these drinks that prevent success in intermittent fasting.
Contrary to the advertising message, zero sugar does not stand for fat burning in reality.
Although sweeteners such as aspartame and stevia do not increase blood sugar levels, they can stimulate insulin secretion .
Moreover, they erase gut bacteria that are a guarantor of our health .
Precisely because sugar-free drinks hardly increase blood sugar levels, they trigger cravings for sweets in the brain. Therefore, sweeteners make people hungrier than conventional sugar .
It appears that people who consume diet products like water are more often overweight, which is a proven fact.
Accordingly, researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio found that consuming light beverages increases the likelihood of weight gain by 47 percent .
During the fasting period, fluid intake is essential. However, it should be limited to water, mineral water, tea, and coffee without additives.
On the one hand, diet sodas break the fast. On the other hand, they will push your goals further away, even in eating periods.
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How Often Can You Do Intermittent Fasting
This also up to you. There are no set rules on how often you can do intermittent fasting for. You can have an initial phase where you hit your goals after a couple of weeks. Then have a break for say 3 months and eat the routine way for the 3 months.
Then, re-start intermittent fasting again for another 3 months, have a break for 3 months and do the same thing again.
You can use a 2 month ON, 2 months OFF model, 4 months ON, 4 months OFF . Do this repeatedly. No rigid rules about how often you can fast intermittently.
If the question is about how often to fast during the week, it would depend on the IF plan you adopt. The 5:2 requires you to fast 2 days a week . Alternate day fasting is as the name suggests, every other day.
The 2 days you fast in the 5:2 plan are not actually a total fast. It only requires you to hold back on your calories to 500 Calories for those 2 days.
The true 24-hour fast may require you to do this twice or three times a week, if you can handle that frequency.
If you cant, even one day a week is okay until you get comfortable with it and you can then try 2 days a week.
Even one day a week is certainly better than what you are currently doing. It will still work. Its just going to take longer.
So, if you want to know how many weeks to do intermittent fasting, all I can say is theres no one size fits all approach.
What Is The Most Effective Fasting Method For Weight Loss
Theres 7 popular methods to do intermittent fasting. Some of them will have you fast for a certain number of hours while some will have you fast on certain days. We talk in more detail about them in another article but heres the gist of it:
- You fast for 12 hours and eat for the other 12.
- This way, you have plenty of time to get all 3 of your main meals but you probably wont be able to snack before breakfast and after dinner.
- This is also probably one of the most beginner-friendly IF methods.
- 16 hour fast with an 8-hour eating window.
- Whats typically recommended here is that you skip breakfast. You do get to eat your lunch and dinner though.
- This is more challenging but still fairly easy for beginners.
- You fast for 20 hours then youre allowed to eat for the other 4 hours.
- In my eyes, its definitely one of the most challenging ways to do intermittent fasting.
- You eat like you normally would for 5 days but for the other 2, youre only allowed to eat a quarter of your usual calories.
- Its harder than 12:12 and 16:8 but some people find it easier than 20:4. So, I say its right around intermediate difficulty.
- Similar to 5:2 but instead of a 2-day fast, you get the equivalent of that in hours . However, you should also split the 48 hours in half with at least 2 feeding days.
- This is generally more difficult than 5:2 but if you time your 24-hour fasting splits right, it shouldnt be that much harder.
- Meal skipping
- Alternate-day fasting
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How To Do The Ideal Intermittent Fasting
- 12 hours of fasting a day. Different types of intermittent fasting work for different people.
- 16 hours of fasting. Fasting for 16 hours a day with an 8 hour feeding window is called the 16:8 method or Leganane diet.
- Almost 2 days a week.
- I fast every other day.
- Weekly fast for 24 hours.
- Skip meals.
- Warrior diet.
So How Does If Work For Weight Loss Exactly
Intermittent fasting is about when you eat, says Charlotte Martin, MS, RDN, CPT, owner of Shaped by Charlotte, LLC. Depending on the IF approach, youre either shortening the eating window each day, or engaging in about 24-hour fasts one or more times a week. One of the most popular approaches is the 16:8 method, which is when you fast for an 16-hour window, like from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. the next day.
Essentially, by restricting your food intake to a shortened time window, you naturally decrease your caloric intake and, in turn, can lose weight. “Not only are you taking in fewer calories, but youre also slowing down your insulin pump, which may boost fat burn,” explains Martin.
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Recommended Foods And Tips
While the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan does not specify which foods to eat and avoid, it is beneficial to focus on healthful eating and to limit or avoid junk foods. The consumption of too much unhealthful food may cause weight gain and contribute to disease.
A balanced diet focuses primarily on:
- fruits and vegetables, which can be fresh, frozen, or canned
- whole grains, including quinoa, brown rice, oats, and barley
- lean protein sources, such as poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, low fat cottage cheese, and eggs
- healthful fats from fatty fish, olives, olive oil, coconuts, avocados, nuts, and seeds
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are high in fiber, so they can help keep a person feeling full and satisfied. Healthful fats and proteins can also contribute to satiety.
Beverages can play a role in satiety for those following the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet. Drinking water regularly throughout the day can help reduce calorie intake because people often mistake thirst for hunger.
The 16:8 diet plan permits the consumption of calorie-free drinks such as water and unsweetened tea and coffee during the 16-hour fasting window. It is important to consume fluids regularly to avoid dehydration.
What Should I Eat During Intermittent Fasting To Lose Weight
What do I eat with a 20/4 intermittent fast? Complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates include foods such as whole grains, brown and wild rice, oatmeal and quinoa. Dark green leaves. Add leafy greens to your salad to break the fast. Fruit. Lentils and legumes. Fat fish. Lean proteins. All kinds of vegetables.
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The : 2 Intermittent Fasting Diet
Thee 5:2 intermittent fasting diet is one type of popular fasting diets, introduced in Dr. Jason Fungs best-selling book “The Obesity Code” in 2016. The 5:2 diet involves five days of eating the recommended daily caloric intake and two non-consecutive days of eating a reduced-calorie diet. On fasting days, food is not eliminated altogether, rather, the number of calories is reduced.
If you have diabetes and want to try the 5:2 diet, speak to your healthcare provider or diabetic team and get a recommendation for a daily caloric intake guideline for fasting and non-fasting days.
Studies on the 5:2 Diet
Studies have shown that the 5:2 diet may help reduce insulin resistance and promote weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
The first long-term study of the 5:2 diet, published in 2018, by the Journal of the American Medical Association , discovered that intermittent fasting could be effective for those with diabetes who have trouble sticking to a long-term, daily diet regime. The study observed 137 people with type 2 diabetes half of the study participants followed the 5:2 diet and the other half adhered to a daily calorie-restricted diet . The group that fasted for two non-consecutive days per weekconsumed 500 to 600 calories on the fasting days and ate normally on the other five days of the week.
Safety of the 5:2 Diet for People With Diabetes