The Proposed Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
When it comes to weight loss, there are two thoughts behind why IF has the potential to work. The first: Periods of fasting produce a net calorie deficit, and so you lose weight, explains Rekha Kumar, MD, a specialist in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYorkPresbyterian in New York City. The other concept is more complex: This approach may prevent whats called the plateau phenomenon from happening, she says.
You may remember the famous, so-called Biggest Loserstudy, published in August 2016 in the journal Obesity. The researchers followed up with participants after six years, and despite the initial impressive weight loss, they regained most of the weight, and their metabolic rates had slowed, such that they burned far fewer calories than would have been expected.
Though more research is needed on the safety and effectiveness of IF, one of the touted benefits of this approach is it may prevent this metabolic sputtering. Most people who try diet and exercise to lose weight tend to fall off the wagon and regain weight. Hormones that promote weight regain, like hunger hormones, are kicked into full gear, and the thought is that IF may be a way to prevent this metabolic adaptation from happening, says Dr. Kumar. Normal periods of eating in IF trick your body into losing weight before the plateau happens.
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Sprint Training And Intermittent Fasting
Sprint training or high intensity interval training involves intervals of intense activity combined with rest for about 15-30 minutes. Not only is sprint training time very efficient, but studies show that it provides health benefits that you cannot get from aerobic exercise alone, such as the tremendous boost of human growth hormone . Some of the benefits of sprint training include increased strength and stamina in the muscles and brain, increased growth hormone, improved body composition, increased brain function, higher testosterone levels, and less depression. Sprint training with intermittent fasting increase all these benefits. Sprint training is the ideal exercise method to incorporate into your fasted period, and to increase the benefits even more, you can continue to fast two to three hours post-workout.
So How Does Intermittent Fasting Work Anyway
Any weight transformation relies on the fundamental principle of energy balance and this, of course, includes intermittent fasting. Energy, in this case, means calories.
Per research, any change in body weight is the result of an imbalance of energy content between calories consumed and calories expended. Specifically for weight loss, you want to be burning more calories than you eat.
Now, IF theoretically helps make this happen because fasting helps stop you from overeating. In turn, you consume less calories than you burn, leading to weight loss.
More specifically though, research shows how theres a complex interplay between several hunger-related hormones with the end result of helping you feel less hungry.
The same research also suggests how the interaction between these hormones is largely whats responsible for the health benefits of intermittent fasting, but they can only happen if you consumed less calories overall.
This brings us to a problem that some of you might be having.
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Schedule Your Workouts Around The Type Of If Youre Doing
First of all, if youre not exercising right now, you probably should. Doing any type of exercise is going to burn more calories than doing nothing at all, so its all going to help you lose weight.
However, if you want to know whether cardio or weight training is better for weight loss, thats a topic for a different article.
Nevertheless, you want to schedule your workouts to whatever type of IF youre in. Specifically, you want to be working out during your feeding days. This gives you the fuel you need to maximize your sessions and the nutrients to kickstart your recovery.
Now that weve discussed maximizing your weight loss results
How Do You Get Started With Intermittent Fasting
One common mistake I see with Intermittent Fasting is people jump in without a plan. I’ve seen this mistake lead to hormone imbalances, extreme sugar cravings and halted weight loss results. I believe that knowledge is power and with the right tools, you can achieve your wellness dreams while still eat foods you love!
That’s why I created The Complete Intermittent Fasting Program. It contains all of the latest research on Intermittent Fasting, breaks down the science so you can understand what you’re doing and why. It even has 8 weeks of meal-by-meal planning with delicious recipes to help keep you satiated AND your taste buds happy! I’m talking L.A. Street Tacos, Pumpkin Chili, Strawberry Coconut Muffins, Spicy Curry and MORE! The Program also includes a 3 week workout program and exercise strategies specifically designed for Intermittent Fasting in order to maximize your fat burning results!
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What Happens When We Are Not Fed
Now lets tell you what happens when you dont eat. This is the perfect time for the body to carry out its repairing procedures. And as a result, the natural cell death, also known as apoptosis, is allowed to happen. In the non-fed state of affairs, the body will utilize its glycogen stores and use the fats as fuel in a process called ketosis. This is the point where metabolism begins consistently as the body gets enough time to rest, recover as well as utilize the calories it has stored.
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.
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Muscle Growth And Repair
A study of healthy adults found that 48-hour fasting increased human growth hormone secretion by up to 400%. It also increased the frequency of growth hormone bursts throughout the day.
HGH increases muscle mass and stimulates faster muscle repair. It may also speed up the healing process for wounds and more serious injuries. HGH is so effective that taking it externally is banned in professional sports and is considered doping.
It seems counterintuitive, but occasionally going without food for two days may actually help you build muscle, not lose it.
Intermittent Fasting Results After 1 Month
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.
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Tips For Intermittent Fasting
- Increase the fluid intake a day or two before you start fasting.
- Consume raw foods from vegetable and fruits to nuts etc. while avoiding processed foods, sugars, and dairy.
- Initially fast for only a few hours, preferably during the morning as it helps the body to rev up for another day by eliminating the debris body might have collected while you slept.
- Avoid taking any calorie-free drinks and beverages that use artificial sweeteners as they tend to stimulate your appetite just like any drink that contains sugar, which makes you overeat.
- Avoid gorging at your first meal after the fast as binging will not only diminish the benefits of fast but also make you feel awful.
Top 6 Questions About Intermittent Fasting
1) Wont I get really hungry if I start skipping meals?
As explained above, this can be a result of the habits you have built for your body. If you are constantly eating or always eat the same time of day, your body can actually learn to prepare itself for food by beginning the process of insulin production and preparation for food.
After a brief adjustment period, your body can adapt to the fact that its only eating a few times a day. The more overweight you are, and the more often you eat, the more of an initial struggle this might be.
Remember, your bodys physical and cognitive abilities most likley wont be diminished as a result of short term fasting.
2) Where will I get my energy for my workouts? Wont I be exhausted and not be able to complete my workouts if fasting?
This was a major concern of mine as well, but the research says otherwise: Training with limited carbohydrate availability can stimulate adaptations in muscle cells to facilitate energy production via fat oxidation.
In other words, when you train in a fasted state, your body can get better at burning fat for energy when there are no carbs to pull from!
Ill share some of my experiences, now doing heavy strength training for 3 years in a fasted state:
Here I am pulling 420 lbs. at 172 BW after a 16 hour fast:
A post shared by Steve Kamb on Nov 21, 2018 at 10:43am PST
LeanGains digs into various options here, but here is really what you need to know:
4) Wont fasting cause muscle loss?
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Intermittent Fasting With Coffee And Tea
Cant start your day without coffee? Same. The good news is that when youre intermittent fasting, coffee and tea are finejust hold the milk and sugar.
Most experts agree that a cup of black coffee or tea wont dramatically impact your intermittent fasting results, even though youre technically breaking your fast by drinking a few calories. In fact, the caffeine can help suppress your appetite .
But if you want to maximize the benefits of autophagy, stay as close to zero calories as possible during your fasting window.
You also might have heard of Bulletproof intermittent fasting, or starting your day with a cup of Bulletproof Coffee: a creamy blend of grass-fed butter and Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil. This isnt a true fast. Its considered a fat fast, which means you wont spike your blood sugar. Youre only consuming quality fats, not carbs or tons of protein. The quality fats keep you full and energized, and the MCT oil kickstarts ketone production to help you stay in ketosis.
You might start your fast with strictly water to promote autophagy, then have a small cup of Bulletproof Coffee in the afternoon to get through the midday slump and burn fat for energy. Experiment to find what works for you.
The Bottom Line On How To Do Intermittent Fasting
Theres no single solution on how to do intermittent fasting for everyone, but just about any healthy person can benefit from the practice.
Those who are intimidated by stricter fasting methods might try skipping meals first, then moving into a 16:8 fast. If you find these beneficial, move on to an alternate-day fast where youll consume 500 calories on fasting days. Finally, try a full 24-hour fast one day per week.
Intermittent fasting is generally safe to do as often as youd like. Just make sure youre eating enough food in between and eating whole foods. And lastly, dont be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you.
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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.
How Long Does Intermittent Fasting Take To Show Results
You might begin to first notice a difference in your body about 10 days after you begin intermittent fasting. It could take between 2-10 weeks for you to lose significant weight. You might lose up to a pound each week.
Usually, the first signs you will notice that scream that your intermittent fasting is working is less bloating. Your midsection might look trimmer just over your first week of intermittent fasting.
Observing weight loss will take a little longer as your body needs some time to adjust to this new diet.
At about the second week is when most people first notice that they have dropped their first few pounds. If you have still not lost any weight by week two, stay consistent for about four or five more weeks and your results should come in soon enough.
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Will I Lose Weight
Most likely.64 If you have weight to lose, it is extremely likely that you will lose weight if you do not eat.
In theory, its possible to eat more after fasting, of course, cancelling out the weight lost. But studies generally show that most people tend to eat significantly less overall.65
I call intermittent fasting the ancient secret of weight loss because it might be one of the most powerful dietary interventions for weight loss, yet it has been mostly ignored by doctors and dietitians for a long time.66
Does Intermittent Fasting Work
People may gradually lose weight when they practice intermittent fasting, because they tend to consume fewer calories over the course of the day if they cant graze all day or snack late at night.
Additionally, people may lose weight because when they eat significantly less often, the body produces less insulin, the hormone that converts food into energy. When you eat frequently, insulin helps your body store unused energy as fat. But when you go without food for 12 hours or more, instead of storing unused energy, your body burns through its existing energy stores, then begins burning stored fat for energy, which aids weight loss.
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How To Optimize Your Fasts For Maximum Hgh Production
Here are a pair of considerations for achieving maximum HGH release through IF.
- Adjusting the Feeding Window
Because the biggest boost to HGH secretion caused by IF occurs during sleep as shown earlier, you should consider the timing of your IF protocol if one of your primary goals is to achieve elevated HGH levels. For optimal HGH production, shift your feeding window to earlier in the day so that you are deeper into the fasted state once you hit the hay. For example, while the standard 16:8 feeding schedule runs from noon to 8 pm for most people, you might want to move your own feeding window to something more like 8 am to 4 pm instead. That means you stop eating at 4 pm, giving yourself a head start on the fast so that your fasting-induced HGH release is even greater during sleep.
- Low-Carb, Whole Foods-Based Diet
Its important to remember that following an IF protocol doesnt offer carte-blanche approval to eat anything you want during your fasting window. You should still focus on eating healthy foods. Avoiding excessive carbohydrate intake will help keep insulin in check and further boost HGH levels.