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HomeExclusiveHow Long To Do Intermittent Fasting To Lose Weight

How Long To Do Intermittent Fasting To Lose Weight

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How Fast Is Weight Loss With Intermittent Fasting

How Long Does It Take To Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting | Dr. Nick Z.

When you start on any diet or eating plan, you usually have some goal weight in mind. Or you may follow the diet in order to lose some weight for a special occasion . You may also feel that you are just putting on weight and want to manage it before it spirals out of control.

Of course, you need to keep some period in mind because it is not realistic to expect extreme weight loss in a few days. According to research studies, on average, people lose between 711 pounds over 10 weeks. This is regardless of which intermittent fasting plan you choose.

These are only statistics, and the weight you lose will depend on your individual factors, your determination, and your discipline to follow healthy eating patterns.

So, how long to see weight loss results with intermittent fasting? As long as you are able to stick to your plan, there is every reason that you will lose weight and become healthy.

Key Takeaways:

The Number Of Calories You Burn Can Change

The number of calories you burn in a day can be split into four components.

  • Basal metabolic rate .BMR is the number of calories your body uses to maintain vital functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and brain function.
  • Thermic effect of food . This is the number of calories burned while digesting a meal, which is usually about 10% of calorie intake.
  • Thermic effect of exercise . TEE is the number of calories burned during physical activity, such as exercise.
  • Non-exercise activity thermogenesis . NEAT refers to the number of calories burned fidgeting, changing posture, etc. This is usually subconscious.

Levels of these four measurements can decrease when you cut calories and lose weight. This is due to a reduction in movement and major changes in the function of the nervous system and various hormones (

7 ).

According to one large review, this amounts to 5.8 calories per day for each pound lost, or 12.8 calories per kilogram. However, this largely depends on how fast you lose weight. Slow and gradual weight loss due to mild calorie restriction does not reduce the number of calories you burn to the same extent .

For example, if you were to lose 50 pounds quickly, your body would end up burning 290.5 fewer calories per day.

Whats more, the reduction in calorie expenditure can be much greater than what is predicted by changes in weight.

In fact, some studies show that losing and maintaining 10% of body weight can reduce calories burned by 1525% .

What Is 20/4 Intermittent Fasting

Successful weight management is based on counting calories. If your goal is to slim down, you need to reduce your caloric intake and create a caloric deficit if you want to bulk up, you need to make sure that you eat a calorie surplus and if you simply want to maintain your current weight, you continue following your regular diet. But what if you dont like counting calories? Is there a diet that can help you reach your weight goals without having to track the energy contents of your every meal? Luckily, there is! The so-called diet in question is known as intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that has been widely accepted by many people trying to lose weight. Of all the different methods to do it, intermittent fasting 20/4 is one of the stricter versions. What are some intermittent fasting 20/4 benefits? Is intermittent fasting 20/4 everyday healthy and sustainable long-term? Read on to find out this and more.

The intermittent fasting 20/4 method is also known as The Warrior Diet. This diet was created in 2001 by Ori Hofmekler, an Israeli Special Forces member turned health and fitness author. It is important to note that the warrior diet is not based on science but rather a deduction of Oris experiences while he worked in the military .

Also, some supporters of this eating pattern claim that humans are natural nocturnal eaters and that eating at night allows the body to gain nutrients in line with its circadian rhythms .

Read Also: What Food Can I Eat During Intermittent Fasting

Why You May Not See Results

Although there is research supporting the effectiveness of intermittent fasting, there are many reasons you may not see results. It may sound counter-intuitive, but you may not be eating enough calories during your fasting window. If you severely restrict calories, it can backfire. Sudden under-consumption can lead to metabolic adaptation, a process where your body becomes more efficient at using energy and storing fat which means youll burn less calories. The goal is not to count calories and cut them, its to eat minimally processed, nutritious foods during your eating window until you are full.

If you eat ultra-processed, energy-dense foods during your meals, that could be another reason why youre not getting the results you desire. Fasting can help you burn fat, but it doesnt mean that its magic! Remember to fill your plate with lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats.

Finally, make sure you drink plenty of water during your fasting window. Hydration helps you feel full and satiated, and its easy to mistake thirst for hunger. If youre not hydrated when you approach your eating window, you may be prone to choose and eat ultra-processed foods.

You Are Not Drinking Enough Water

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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.

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Realize That The Quality Of Your Calories Matter

When you want to maximize your weight loss efforts, you have to understand that not all calories are the same.

For example, lets compare the calories and macronutrients in a cup of white rice and a cup of brown rice.

5.0 g 1.8 g

As you can see, both of them actually have similar macronutrients. However, what makes brown rice better for fasting is that it has a lower glycemic index .

According to an article from ScienceDaily, foods with lower GI such as brown rice take longer to digest, making you feel fuller for longer. This, in turn, should help dial down the cravings that may come with fasting.

That being said, its also not just about curbing your appetite. Its more about choosing food that gives you your share of nutrients despite being in a caloric deficit. This means eating clean and swapping out junk food without any real type of nutrition and, instead, opt for whole food.

What I Ate And How I Exercised While Doing Intermittent Fasting

Limiting my eating to an eight-hour period of the day seemed reasonable. If I exercised in the morning, my first meal would be an early but large lunch at around 11:30 a.m. By 3 p.m., if I was hungry, I could have a snack. At 7 p.m., I would eat a reasonable-size dinner. No snacking after that.

My first thought was that there was no way I would be able to skip breakfast and still work out. My mind was telling me that I would be hungry. The first few days that I tried it, as I would warm up for my workout, I would have visions of chicken with broccoli from a nearby Chinese restaurant in my head. But once I got into my workout, a funny thing would happen. I would completely forget about being hungry. My body would stabilize and water would be enough to keep me moving.

But by the time I got home from the gym, I was starving. Early on, I decided that was going to be my biggest meal of the day. Sometimes it was a lean shoulder steak with a sweet potato. Other times, I would eat an entire chicken along with two cups of broccoli, and the sweetest bottle of Gatorade I ever had. Or occasionally, I would make a taco bowl out of seasoned ground turkey, cheddar cheese, and tomatoes, or a stir-fry with beef and a variety of peppers. It turned out that my calorie intake and lunch would be anywhere from 800 to 1,000 calories, though this part was not an exact science.

RELATED: 10 Essential Facts About Metabolism and Weight Loss

Don’t Miss: How Long Do You Fast With Intermittent Fasting

Eating All Your Meals In A Six Hour Window Could Boost Weight Loss

Researchers from the University of Illinois, Chicago, compared 58 adults with obesity selected to be on one of three diets for a 10-week period. One group only ate between 3 pm and 7 pm, fasting the remaining 20 hours day the second ate between 1 pm and 7 pm, fasting 18 hours and the final group ate normally.

The researchers found that at the end of the 10 weeks, both of the groups who fasted lost a moderate amount of weight .

There didn’t appear to be a significant difference between the two groups in terms of weight loss.

This suggests an 18-hour period could be plenty to provide the benefits of fasting, according to Krista Varady, professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago and co-author of the study.

“Until we have further studies that directly compare the two diets or seek to study the optimal time for fasting, these results suggest that the 6-hour fast might make sense for most people who want to pursue a daily fasting diet,” Varady said in a statement.

This shorter fasting period closely resembles one of the most popular styles of intermittent fasting known as 16/8, in which participants eat during an 8-hour window each day.

But there’s also evidence that an even shorter fasting period of just 10 hours a day could provide benefits, so more research is needed to directly compare these styles of fasting for weight loss and health effects.

How Gender Impacts Your Fasting Routine

How to Lose Weight with Intermittent Fasting (3 Simple Tricks)

From a biological standpoint, gender can impact the success of intermittent fasting. Male and female body composition and metabolic systems are different from each other. Physical activity, hormone levels, caloric intake, and fasting impact each of us differently.

Due to these reasons, males tend to benefit from fasting more than females. Females also should not focus on long-term fasting or drastic reduction in caloric intake.

Over thousands of years, the genetic makeup of females benefits most from the constant intake of high-quality calories, which eliminates such fasting regimes as 20:4 fasting from a female routine. The optimal amount of fasting would be 14 hours per day.

For males, skipping breakfast or skipping a day of eating might be just what the doctor recommended.

In both cases, the most important thing is to avoid hangriness, a state when you become very upset while hungry. The key here is to balance out your meals and eat highly nutritious meals throughout the eating window.

Generally, try to eat high-protein and high-fiber dishes to stay satiated for longer.

Read Also: Why Should I Do Intermittent Fasting

You Are Not Eating Enough Protein

If you find that your meals cannot carry you across your fasting period to your next eating window, then you might need to adjust your diet.

Consider including more lean protein in your diet. It does not matter the type of protein, vegan and animal protein, all are fine.

Proteins can help keep you full till your next meal. Furthermore, if you are exercising during this period, proteins are important for building your muscles and protecting your bone health.

Your meals should have healthy fats, carbs, leafy greens, and proteins.

Benefits Of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting

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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All Kinds Of Vegetables

A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower the risk of eye and digestive problems, and positively affect blood sugar levels, which can help keep appetite in check .

There are starchy and non-starchy vegetables:

  • Non-starchy veggies include cucumbers, eggplants, amaranth, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, mushrooms, okra, peppers, squash, asparagus, bean sprouts, and more .
  • On the other hand, starchy vegetables include yams, white potatoes, plantain, sweet potatoes, beans, corn, pumpkins, winter squash, and more .
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    You Aren’t Eating Enough Calories

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    Registered dietitian Amy Shapiro MS, RD, CDN of Real Nutrition NYC reminds us that not eating enough during your eating window and still trying to cut calories can backfire. “People often try to count the calories they eat during the window, however, that is not the point. The goal is to eat until you’re full, which your body will tell you. By restricting calories, you will under-eat, causing unwanted changes in the body, which can be detrimental long-term,” she tells us.

    For successful weight loss and intermittent fasting results, White recommends specific calorie restrictions. :

    • For women: 1,2001,800 calories
    • For men: 1,8002,200 calories

    “To avoid dipping too low in energy, which could compromise energy and productivity levels during your day, try eating three smalls meals and one to two snacks during your eating window,” White advises. “Additionally, eating only one time a day can lead to extreme levels of hunger which would make it very challenging to make healthful choices at the moment and often lead to overeating.”

    Recommended Reading: What’s The Meaning Of Intermittent Fasting

    My Style Of Intermittent Fasting: The : 3

    Ive adopted whats called a 4:3 style of IF. This simply means, I eat 4 days during the week and fast 3 non-consecutive days of the week.

    This is what my 4:3 weekly schedule looks like:

    SUNDAY: Eat Day // I eat as I normally would throughout the day and I begin my fast at 9 pm PT .

    MONDAY: Fast Day // On fast days I only drink coffee, tea, non-caloric drinks and water . I add a little half & half in my coffee, and those are the only calories I consume on fast days. If/when I feel hunger pains on fast days, I drink a bottle/can of sparkling water and that helps me get through the day.

    TUESDAY: Eat Day // I break my fast at 9 am PT. I eat my full day of meals. The total calories I eat is my TDEE range. I use this tool to calculate my TDEE: I start my fast again at 9 pm PT.

    WEDNESDAY: Fast Day // Same as Monday.

    THURSDAY: Eat Day // Same as Tuesday.

    FRIDAY: Fast Day // Same as Monday & Wednesday.

    SATURDAY: Eat Day // Same as Tuesday & Thursday.

    SUNDAY: Eat Day // Same as Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday.

    In summary: MWF = Fast Days, TuThSaSu = Eat Days. Repeat every week and you will see and feel the difference.

    For the visual types, this is what my schedule looks like:

    I start my fast at 9 PM and end the day after next at 9 AM, but these time frames can also be changed. Some of my friends prefer 7 PM/7 AM, 8 AM/8 PM, etc. to better accommodate their work/family schedule.

    Intermittent Fasting Good For Reversing Insulin Resistance And Muscle Building

    You may start intermittent fasting because you want to reverse your insulin resistance. That objective might take you a little longer to achieve, so you could be fasting intermittently for say 5 6 months.

    If your objective is to build muscle with intermittent fasting, then it may take you as long as 4 6 months or even longer. With muscle building, you will want to consider adding a workout regime to the fasting.

    You also should consider doing your workout routine which must include resistance training towards the last 2 hours of the fasting window to accelerate the process.

    In essence, I am saying the workout should be the last activity you do before you resume eating. That has been shown to be very effective.

    Recommended Reading: Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy For Women

    But What Happens If I Break Intermittent Fasting For A Day

    In that case, Im assuming you just need a break from all the fasting and healthy eating and figured youd indulge for a bit. Or maybe theres an event you want to go to and you need to break your fast to enjoy your time with family and friends.

    I say go for it. Treat it as a cheat day.

    For one, your mental health and relationships matter, too. If being on intermittent fasting on that particular day doesnt give you a sense of peace, then I personally dont think its worth it.

    Second, a study from the International Journal of Obesity suggests that cheat days actually help you lose weight because it helps restart your presumably sluggish metabolism as a result of being on a low-calorie diet.

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