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How Long Should You Do The Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent Fasting Decreases Metabolism Less Than Continuous Calorie Restriction

How Long Should You Fast With Intermittent Fasting?

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 (

You Are Not Drinking Enough Water

If you are reading, drink some water right now. Intermittent fasting restricts your meal times but places no restrictions on water drinking throughout the day.

Drink enough water to stay hydrated during your fast. You can also take tea or black coffee to replenish your lost fluids without breaking your fast.

Drinking water can keep you full till your next eating period. Therefore it keeps you from snacking and packing on extra calories.

Staying hydrated is important for your overall health. If you are exercising, you ought to drink even more water to replace what you lost through sweat.

You might also need to change your lifestyle to include better sleep if you are thinking of starting intermittent fasting.

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.

Recommended Reading: Is Fasting Good For Your Heart

Intermittent Fasting Helps To Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s response to outside threats such as toxic chemicals and infections.

This is the body’s way of protecting the cells and tissues.

Too much inflammation in the body is a different story though.

Too much inflammation is linked to lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, gut problems such as ulcerative colitis, and gouty arthritis.

Symptoms of inflammation include joint pain and stiffness, redness, fatigue, headaches, and muscle stiffness.

Intermittent fasting can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body.Intermittent fasting benefits your body and health in many ways.

An intermittent fasting cycle is flexible, so you can adjust it to suit your lifestyle.

How Long Till You See Results From Intermittent Fasting

6 Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting

Now, most people who use Intermittent Fasting will see much better results in their first month compared to typical diets such as calorie restriction.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says you can only really lose 1-2 pounds a week . This means according to them you can only drop up to 8 pounds in a month.

But most people using Intermittent Fasting typically lose more weight than that. Plus itll feel less restrictive to use Intermittent Fasting compared to calorie counting since you can still eat outside your fasting window.

The first week youre using Intermittent Fasting youll also notice an increase in energy in the mornings. This is a great time to workout and hit the gym as your body burns off more fat for energy in a fasted state.

Plus youll feel better mentally and have decreased brain fog after a few days of Intermittent Fasting. Youll think clearer which will help to translate over to improvements in productivity in your work and school.

But the weekends can be the toughest for those getting started with Intermittent Fasting for their first month. It can be hard to stay fasted when your friends want to hang out or if you want to cut loose on the weekends.

Do your best to stick with your fasting window over the weekends if you want to keep getting results you can be proud of. I make a rule to live and die by the timer app on my phone to not eat until its finished no matter what.

Read Also: How Many Days Should I Do Intermittent Fasting 16 8

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:

  • 12:12
  • 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.
  • 16:8
  • 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.
  • 20:4
  • 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.
  • 5:2
  • 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.
  • Eat-Stop-Eat
  • 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

Maybe Youre Still Eating Too Much

Ultimately, any problem with weight loss goes back to the principle of energy balance.

As Ive already explained, the science behind how intermittent fasting works is that it supposedly makes it easier for you to eat less food.

Now, if you still ate the same amount of calories as you did and youre not burning more calories throughout the day, youd still be stuck with the same weight because youre not in a state of caloric deficiency .

The fix? Consider counting your calories.

Its probably not very doable long-term because, lets face it: while keeping track of whatever you eat and drink isnt too big a deal, its still more work than not doing it at all.

However, I do believe counting calories helps you get a handle on how much food you have to consume to lose weight. Once youve got that down, feel free to stop calorie-counting and just stick to good ol portion control.

Under Armours MyFitnessPal is what Ive been using sporadically whenever I go on a diet, so you might want to try it out, too. This isnt a plug or anything. Its free , has a built-in calorie tracker, and a food diary to make counting calories so much easier than it already is.

Also Check: How Successful Is Intermittent Fasting

Burn Fat And Drop Up To 12 Pounds A Week With This Intermittent Fasting Plan

Intermittent fasting, or the practice of fasting for a set period, has disrupted the traditional three-meals-a-day mindset and changed the way we think about mealtimes.

It is currently one of the most popular health trends, with the 16:8 diet being among the most common.

People are adopting intermittent fasting practices as a strategy to lose weight, improve brain function, and simplify their eating habits and meal plans.

But what is the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet, and how do you get started?

Who Shouldnt Try Intermittent Fasting

How Often Should You Do Intermittent Fasting?

Not everyone should try IF. A few groups who shouldnt: women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant , those taking diabetes medication , or anyone on multiple drugs , says Kumar. Also, if you have a history of eating disorders, introducing periods where youre not allowed to eat can put you on a dangerous path to a relapse.

Know that IF has some side effects. You may be cranky hanger is real during fasting periods because low blood sugar can mess with your mood. You also still need to have a healthy diet when you do eat. One thought is that it would be difficult to make up a calorie deficit if you fasted for two days, but in our society with access to calorie-dense items, you could probably do it, says Kumar. Focus on balanced, nutrient-packed choices, like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, legumes, and whole grains . Expect that for the first couple of weeks you may deal with lower energy, bloating, and cravings until your body adjusts, says Shemek.

RELATED: More Evidence Supports Intermittent Fasting for MS

Recommended Reading: Why Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Weight Loss

Frequency Of Intermittent Fasting

Now that you understand how to do intermittent fasting, it raises a question: How often should you fast?

The answer varies from person to person. Most people implement the above schedules every week or every other week. If youre new to fasting, start with a moderate schedule, trying it every other week or every three weeks. If your body adapts well, aim for a regular weekly schedule.

Theres no wrong answer here. Pay close attention to how your body responds to your fasting schedule and adjust it as needed. Keep in mind that life changes can happen. You may need to tweak your schedule to allow for social gatherings, vacations, and physical activity or competition.

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 .

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How Much Weight Loss Can You Expect In A Month On Intermittent Fasting

Many factors go into how much weight you actually lose on intermittent fasting. Weight loss will depend on your current weight, metabolism, what you eat, and your activity levels. Obviously, if you follow a healthy eating pattern and exercise every day or a few times a week, it will help you shed weight faster.

Intermittent fasting may enable you to lose between 0.51.5 pounds a week. In 4 weeks, you could lose anything between 26 pounds.

Ways To Use This Information For Better Health

6 Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting
  • Avoid sugars and refined grains. Instead, eat fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats .
  • Let your body burn fat between meals. Dont snack. Be active throughout your day. Build muscle tone.
  • Consider a simple form of intermittent fasting. Limit the hours of the day when you eat, and for best effect, make it earlier in the day .
  • Avoid snacking or eating at nighttime, all the time.
  • Recommended Reading: Does 12 Hour Intermittent Fasting Work

    Lack Of Scientific Data

    The thought behind intermittent fasting is that after the body is depleted of carbohydrates, it starts to burn fat. This starts to occur around 12 to 24 hours after starvation. Therefore, starving the body of food for 12 to 24 hours will potentially lead to weight loss which can improve health. However, most of the studies done on this topic have been performed on animals over a short period and have measured glucose levels rather than long-term health outcomes.

    Yes, it is possible to lose calories, fat and weight from this popular diet. However, it is also possible to quickly gain the weight back, develop low energy stores which can result in a depressed mood, have problems sleeping and even develop organ damage if the fasting is extreme.

    The following are reasons why individuals should avoid 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.

    Don’t Miss: How Many Hours To Fast For Intermittent Fasting

    Side Effects And Safety Concerns

    Proponents of intermittent fasting find that it is an effective approach to lose weight and simplify their diet.

    However, this diet has drawbacks and may not be appropriate for everyone.

    As you might imagine, the most common side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger.

    Additionally, people sometimes report symptoms such as weakness and fatigue during the fasting window, especially when first starting the 16:8 eating plan.

    Overeating or binge eating can also occur during the eating window. This may result in weight gain, digestive issues, and unhealthy food habits.

    If you are underweight, intermittent fasting may not be the right option for you and could result in harm to your health.

    Additionally, individuals who have a history of eating disorders may want to avoid intermittent fasting, as this regimen may not provide enough flexibility to support treatment and recovery.

    People with underlying medical and health conditions should speak with a healthcare professional before trying the 16:8 diet.

    This includes anyone who:

    • Has a history of an eating disorder
    • Is trying to become pregnant
    • Is pregnant or breastfeeding

    Furthermore, if you find that you are uncomfortable with the idea of fasting for 16 hours, then the 16:8 diet may not be the best choice for you.

    Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all way to nutrition, and the best diets are the ones that you can maintain for the long run.

    Intermittent Fasting Results After 1 Month

    How often should you do intermittent fasting?

    Interested to see the results of Intermittent Fasting after just one month?

    Intermittent Fasting is one of the biggest weight loss and fat loss trends over the past few years. Its as simple as it gets when it comes to dieting to lose weight.

    You simply dont eat anything for a period of time then follow that up with a shorter feeding window. Youll not only be automatically cutting out how many calories you eat during this fasting period but youll also be improving weight loss hormones.

    Your body will improve insulin sensitivity as well as blood sugar control . Both of these are an underlying cause of weight gain in the first place . Plus your body will naturally release other fat-burning hormones such as human growth hormone and norepinephrine .

    Losing weight can be hard especially if youre not already used to dieting. But using a simple strategy such as Intermittent Fasting for weight loss can give you added benefits than typical diets .

    Here youll discover the results you can get from using Intermittent Fasting for 1 month when youre doing it right.

    Read Also: How To Incorporate Intermittent Fasting

    Diet Plan: What Can You Eat And What Are The Benefits

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • The 16:8 diet has been one of the most popular diet plans weve seen in years and with good reason.

    The 16:8 plan also called the 8-hour diet is an easier and more consistent way of fasting that avoids heavily calorie restricted days found in other popular intermittent fasting plans like the 5:2 diet or Fast 800 calorie diet.

    Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can have benefits on both your body and mental health, as well as being one of the diets that work fast for weight loss.

    A famous fan of the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan is Hollywood icon Jennifer Aniston. In an interview with the Radio Times, Jennifer revealed that shes a big fan of intermittent fasting in general but specifically this plan. I do intermittent fasting, so no food in the morning. She said, I noticed a big difference in going without solid food for 16 hours.

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