Intermittent Fasting: Why Is It Effective For Weight Loss
As a reminder, intermittent fasting is a diet that alternates between period of food intake and period of fasting.
Generally, the faster can eat for 8 hours and fast for 16 hours , for example from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. the next day or from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. the next day.
So most of the time its about skipping breakfast.
However, you can skip dinner if your activities require you to eat a substantial breakfast in which case you can for example eat between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and then not eat anything until 7:00 a.m. the next morning.
It is possible to follow both options, the important thing is that you find the right rhythm that suits YOU.
During your free time window, you can eat anything, in reasonable amounts, of course, and with certain foods over others.
And for good reason, intermittent fasting is intended to reduce insulin secretion, which promotes weight loss.
Thus, even if there are no dietary restrictions during the feeding period, it is recommended to put a brake on carbohydrates .
Putting the brakes on doesnt mean you have to ban them, basically no food family is to be banned.
On the other hand, I recommend that you adapt your consumption according to your goal And your lifestyle.
In addition, during the fasting period, water and unsweetened drinks are permitted. This is called water fasting.
So, in case of a little craving or a drop in shape, a glass of tea or coffee without sugar is always welcome.
Males Intermittent Fasting Results After 1 Month
Ive noticed with men who use Intermittent Fasting for 30 days end up losing a little more weight than women. Of course, this is going to depend on how much weight they have to lose in the first place.
Most men result in losing 10-20+ pounds of weight and excess fat after their first month of Intermittent Fasting.
If youre watching your carb intake and keep track of your calories then your weight loss will most likely be on the farther end of the scale. Many men who use Intermittent Fasting says it helped to change their life for the better.
If youre a man then youll also notice less belly bloat and itll help to flatten out your belly in a few weeks. But make sure you also cut back on your alcohol consumption during your first month of fasting to maximize your results.
Just by cutting out breakfast youll be able to lose much more weight than you would counting calories throughout the day. But some men do find the hunger hard to fight off during their fasting window. This can be eased by drinking more water, a greens supplement, black coffee, and green tea.
Intermittent Fasting Results After 3 Months
Now if youve been fasting for a month or more but havent seen any results then youre most likely eating too much during your feeding window. Start tracking your calories and carbs in combination with Intermittent Fasting. This will help you break through your weight loss plateau.
How much weight can you lose in a month with intermittent fasting?
The Last Word
Do I Need Supplements On The 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
No, you dont need to take supplements when doing 16/8 intermittent fasting. So long as you eat right, you dont need supplements.
But if you are keen on the idea of supplements, then the only supplement you need for the 16/8 intermittent fasting is branched-chain amino acids supplement.
BCAAs are protective of muscle loss and are best taken on your workout days. You dont need to take them when you are not working out. Take BCAAs on your workout days about 30 minutes before you commence exercise.
Theres a lot to be said about the 16/8 fasting method but this guide should be enough to get you going. Dont hesitate. Give it a go.
Suggested further reading:
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What Should You Eat On A 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting Plan
There are no rules about what you can and cant eat on an intermittent fasting protocol IF works with any eating plan. If youre adopting intermittent fasting for health reasons and particularly if youre fasting for weight loss then being mindful of what you are eating during your eating window is essential. The standard American diet of ultra-processed foods wont help you achieve the health benefits you desire.
To get the most out of intermittent fasting, make high-quality nutrition the cornerstone of your plan. In other words, prioritize unprocessed foods, focus on vegetables, quality protein, and healthy fats, and leave the processed junk for an occasional indulgence.
Intermittent Fasting Can Help Weight Loss
IF makes intuitive sense. The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbohydrates, particularly sugars and refined grains , are quickly broken down into sugar, which our cells use for energy. If our cells dont use it all, we store it in our fat cells as, well, fat. But sugar can only enter our cells with insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas. Insulin brings sugar into the fat cells and keeps it there.
Between meals, as long as we dont snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar, to be used as energy. We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down. The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.
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Does Skipping Meals And Intermittent Fasting Lead To Lower Metabolism Intermittent Fasting Vs Breakfast Skippers
Older research suggested that IF leads to decreases in metabolism and frequent smaller meals could increase metabolism. However, this has not proven to be true. The research on metabolic rate is remarkably conclusive: Energy expenditure is dependent on the total intake of calories over the day and very little is due to macro-nutrient changes and frequency of meals. Webber and Macdonald studied the metabolic effects of fasting for 12, 36 and 72 h in 29 participants and found no changes in their metabolic rate. Indeed, the weight gain often observed in regular breakfast skippers is due the fact that these individual often consume more calories latter in the day and thus overall food intake is actually increased.
Weight Loss And Fat Loss
Eating during a set period can help people reduce the number of calories that they consume. It may also help boost metabolism.
Research from 2016 reports that men who followed a 16:8 approach for 8 weeks while resistance training showed a decrease in fat mass. The participants maintained their muscle mass throughout.
In contrast, a 2017 study found very little difference in weight loss between participants who practiced intermittent fasting in the form of alternate-day fasting rather than 16:8 fasting and those who reduced their overall calorie intake. The dropout rate was also high among those in the intermittent fasting group.
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Is Intermittent Fasting Hard To Do
Intermittent fasting isn’t about monitoring what you eat. It focuses on paying attention to when you eat. There are times of the day or week you are allowed to eat and times you will fast, allowing yourself minimal amounts of food and drink.
Intermittent fasting isnât hard to do, it is just finding the method that is best for you.
There are different methods of intermittent fasting, all with varying fasting length times, all beneficial. Choose a method that fits best into your schedule and lifestyle and can be maintained long-term.
Intermittent Fasting Method For Women
Hands down, the 16:8 intermittent fasting method is one of the most popular ways to practice intermittent fasting, and today I want to uncomplicate this practice for you and help you get started.
Whether youre looking to incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle for health reasons, weight loss, or its benefits, having a simple schedule to follow can help .
This post will break down the 16:8 intermittent fasting method and explain:
First, you should consult a licensed medical physician before you jump into intermittent fasting. IF isnt for everyone, and therefore, its something to discuss with a licensed professional.
The purpose of this post is to give you a simplified version of the confusing rules youll find on the internet when it comes to the 16:8 intermittent fasting method it is not to provide any professional/medical advice.
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How Intermittent Fasting Works
The primary goal of intermittent fasting for weight loss is to get the insulin levels to decrease to a level where the body will begin to burn stored fat for energy.
Here is how it works. When the food we eat is metabolized , it ends up as molecules in the blood stream. One such molecule is glucose . Normally, when there is more circulating blood glucose than the body can use for energy, the excess is stored as fat for future use. But, for glucose to be utilized by the cells, it requires insulin. Between meals the body doesnt require insulin so insulin levels decline. When insulin levels are low, the fat cells release some of the stored glucose, resulting in weight loss.
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!
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Should I Eat 6 Small Meals A Day
There are a few main reasons why diet books recommend six small meals:
1) When you eat a meal, your body does have to burn extra calories just to process that meal. So, the theory is that if you eat all day long with small meals, your body is constantly burning extra calories and your metabolism is firing at optimal capacity, right? Well, thats not true.
Whether you eat 2000 calories spread out throughout the day, or 2000 calories in a small window, your body will burn the same number of calories processing the food .
So, the whole keep your metabolism firing at optimum capacity by always eating sounds good in principle, but reality tells a different story.
2) When you eat smaller meals, you might be less likely to overeat during your regular meals. I can definitely see some truth here, especially for people who struggle with portion control or dont know how much food they should be eating.
However, once you educate yourself and take control of your eating, some might find that eating six times a day is very prohibitive and requires a lot of effort. I know I do.
Also, because youre eating six small meals, Id argue that you probably never feel full, and you might be MORE likely to eat extra calories during each snack.
Although grounded in seemingly logical principles, the six meals a day doesnt work for the reason you think it would , and generally only works for people who struggle with portion control .
Thats why we made this:
Whats Your Intermittent Fasting Objective
You may start intermittent fasting because you want to lose some weight, let say 11 lbs. Choose a plan and go with it until you hit that target of 11 lbs.
Or you may want to lose a certain percentage of body fat.
Get yourself an electronic body fat estimator and latch on to a plan and off you go. Monitor what you are doing, to see if you have lost the percentage of body fat you plan to lose.
If it takes you 8 weeks to lose 11 lbs, then its up to you if you wish to continue or not.
It is difficult for anyone to prescribe how long you should or can do intermittent fasting for. Because I, for instance, do not know you personally. Only if someone is coaching you on a one-to-one basis can they tell you how long you should do intermittent fasting for.
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How To Maximize Weight Loss On Intermittent Fasting
Aim to cut 3500-7000 calories from your normal weekly consumption
Thats the weekly equivalent of the calories youre supposed to cut to lose 1-2 lbs of weight per week.
I know, I know. I keep yapping about losing 1-2 lbs weekly but thats because if you want to maximize your success on any diet, the CDC says losing your weight gradually is whats going to help you keep the weight off.
You Are Eating The Wrong Type Of Food
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.
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.
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Isnt It Important To Have Breakfast Every Morning
Not necessarily. This appears to be an old misconception, based on speculation and statistics, and it does not hold up when its tested.57 Skipping your morning meal gives your body more time to burn fat for energy. Since hunger is lowest in the morning, it may be easiest to skip it and break your fast later in the day.58
Concretely What Should Be Intermittent Fasting Hours
Many people have made intermittent fasting a way of life that keeps them slimmer and fitter in the long run.
Indeed, since it is a practice that is favorable to the good health of the body, why deny it?
So you can adopt this practice for as long as you want.
And the risks of deficiency you will tell me?
Let me reassure you right away, there arent any because you continue to eat every day, several times a day so you have every opportunity to have a diet that meets the needs of your body.
However, do not fall into either of these two traps
Lock yourself into a too restrictive model
You can fast according to different models:
16/8 mode where you fast for 16:00 and you eat for 8 hours,20/4 mode, the idea is the same except that you fast for 8:00 p.m. and you eat for 4 hours,23/1 mode, in this case you only eat one good meal during the day
All of these options are equally valid.
However, just because you have found the formula that suits you best does not mean that you should lock yourself into this model and refuse any occasion or moment of conviviality to share a good meal with your family or friends.
You can perfectly break your routine every now and then when the opportunity arises. This is not what will nullify all the benefits of intermittent fasting.
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