How Much Weight Can You Lose
Your weight loss during water fasting will depend mostly on your gender and your weight.
Luckily, science can already offer us with a pretty good estimate of how much weight you can expect to lose on a typical water fast.
According to research that compared the average weight loss results between men and women, men can expect to lose more weight than women during water fasting.
I’ve compiled the data from the study into this pretty long table:
|Water fast duration|
Ok, so, like I said, you don’t need to do ANY manual calculations.
But just so you understand how the calculator works, here are two example calculations:
Example 1 :You’re a 150-lbs woman who plans on doing a 7-day water fast.
You can estimate your weight loss results by taking the value from the second column in the table for a 7-day water fast and multiply it by your current weight.
Your estimated 7-day water fasting results: 150 lbs * 4.5 / 100 = -6.8 lbs
Example 2 :You’re a 180-lbs man who plans on doing a 14-day water fast.
You can estimate your weight loss results by taking the value from the third column in the table for a 14-day water fast and multiply it by your current weight.
Your estimated 14-day water fasting results: 180 lbs * 7.9 / 100 = -14.2 lbs
Ok, now that you have a good idea about how much weight you can expect to lose, let’s take a closer look at what really goes on under the hood.
Why Counting Calories Doesnt Help With Weight Loss
For years youve been told that all you need to do to lose weight is eat fewer calories than you burn, so your body goes into a calorie deficit.
It didnt work, did it?
Or, you lost weight, but it didnt stay off. You would starve yourself, and before you knew it, you were binge eating, and soon, you gained back all the weight you lost, plus a few more pounds.
It felt like all your weight loss efforts were for nothing. Its not your fault. You were working with the information you received. Unfortunately, that information was wrong.
Here are some of the reasons that counting calories doesnt work:
These are just a few reasons why trying to get yourself into a calorie deficit to lose weight doesnt work.
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Intermittent Fasting Vs Calorie Restriction
Hereâs where it gets tricky: calorie restriction can also lead to weight loss and changes in cardio-metabolic markers.
Some mouse studies have kept calories constant to evaluate intermittent fasting independently and only changed the feeding schedule. They have compared a regime of caloric restriction with intermittent fasting to a regime of calorie restriction alone. These studies have yielded somewhat mixed results, so there are no clear answers to be had there.
One human study on intermittent fasting, which involved changing only the timing of peopleâs meals without any calorie restriction, found very negligible results for participants.
This interplay can make it hard to know whatâs really behind the weight loss, blood pressure changes, insulin and glucose regulation, and other effects seen in research and people who follow intermittent fasting regimens. Is it the timing, or the reduction in calories that yields results?
âI think thatâs mainly just driven by people eating less.â
Three of the five fasters Inverse interviewed also practice a ketogenic diet, have cut out certain foods , or exercise while intermittent fasting, which may contribute to their results.
But Longo tells Inverse that this kind of drastic restriction isnât recommended.
A Different Gut Microbiome Profile
Time-restricted feeding has also been shown to modify the gut microbiota, or the collection of microorganisms living in the gut. Like other aspects of our metabolism, our gut microbiomes ideally change routinely throughout a 24-hour period, according to a circadian rhythm that is largely dictated by when we eat. In fact, the daily cycling of the gut microbiome is thought to be a biological clock of sorts. This clock helps regulate metabolic activity in various tissues throughout our body, including our brain.
Weve known for a long time that what we eat can change our gut microbiota. But many animal studies have revealed that when we eat can also impact our gut microbes. According to a 2020 study, mice that fasted for 16 hours every day for 30 days showed increased levels of Akkermansia and reduced levels of Alistipes bacteria, compared to mice that werent subjected to fasting. More Akkermansia and less Alistipes are associated with reduced intestinal inflammation and decreased fat accumulation in the liver. Therefore, many of the benefits of fasting likely come from the alteration of our gut bacteria.
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Ways To Use This Information For Better Health
Typical Fasting Weight Loss Plans
Fasting regimens vary, but the basic premise usually starts with a strict regimen allowing only water, juice and/or some kind of laxative concoction. Some plans allow a few solid foods, but are still called fasts because they provide so few calories.
Not all fasts are created equal. Some can be perfectly safe, such as medical fasts supervised by a physician. Religious and cultural fasts are typically undertaken as an act of devotion, last from 24-48 hours, and are not intended to promote weight loss.
Fasts lasting a day or two are unlikely to be dangerous for most healthy adults. But high-risk people, the elderly, anyone with a chronic disease, pregnant women, and children are advised against any type of fasting.
The real danger lies in staying on the fast for prolonged periods, anywhere from three days to a month.
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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.
Youre Eating Too Much During Your Window
Paying attention to what you eat is just as important, or even more so, than when you eat. You see, if you eat a lot of carbs and high-calorie foods full of sugar, you will, no doubt, gain weight as opposed to losing it. Youve got to eat what your body needs in calories, not overeat just because you know you wont be eating for another 16 hours .
Instead, eat clean. If you do that, youll have no issues. Fresh fruits, veggies, lean meats, fish, and whole grains are foods to eat. Sounds great, right? Calculate your macros and eat healthily to lose weight.
Keep an eye on the calories, too. If you are eating from the time your window opens until just before the fasting window, chances are, you are consuming too much. To lose weight you do want to reduce caloriesbut its a fine balance and needs to be a nutritional one.
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How To Break Your Fast
Whatever fasting method you choose to lose weight , it is important to break your fast with intention. Dont just go straight for the junk food! I wrote a post called 15 Best Foods to Break a Fast to help you do just that, but let me share the basics here:
- Reduce your cortisol level before breaking your fast. Have a cup of bone broth, herbal tea or a glass of water with Himalayan salt before eating again.
- Choose foods that are easy to digest.
- Avoid combining fats and carbs in that first meal. Combining fats and carbs may cause a double insulin spike, which will be counter-productive particularly after a fast when you are most sensitive to insulin.
What You Can Eat And What You Can’t
You can eat mostly what you want on days when you dont fast. But to lose weight and get the nutrients you need, you should stick to healthy foods and limit treats like dessert and processed foods.
On fasting days, youll eat very little food or none at all.
For example, the Every Other Day Diet says to eat no more than 500 calories during each fast day.
Another program called the 5:2 Fast Diet involves eating 5 days a week and fasting for the other 2 days, when women can get no more than 500 calories and men no more than 600. Thats a quarter of the amount you likely eat on the days when you dont fast. Whether you eat those calories in one sitting or spread them across micro-meals throughout the day is up to you.
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When Can I Eat On The 1: 8 Diet
You can pick an 8 hour window to suit your day. So, for example it could be between 10am 6pm or 11am 8pm and so on. Plus, you can still drink tea and coffee outside of those hours too, although because of the benefits of drinking water you are also encouraged to stay as hydrated as possible.
Most people choose to fast through the night, and opt to eat their first meal at about 11am or in the middle of the day.
Tom says, The most common hours adopted for the eating period is 12 till 8pm. The reason for this is because people arent normally that hungry in the morning, you dont want to be consuming too many calories during the evening and this allows us to eat our lunch and dinner as well as a healthy snack.
Break Your Meals Down
While following Time Restricted Feeding, it is more sensible to break down meals into three or four small meals, instead of eating one massive meal, unless you’re following the alternate fasting method or the whole-day fast. Eating more often, will help your metabolism stay up and hence, may help you burn more fat.
Intermittent Fasting for weight loss: It is more sensible to break down meals into three or four small meals.
It is recommended to get a dietitian or a clinical nutritionist to draw up a healthy meal plan for you. Do not attempt any diet without consulting a qualified person first. Try and stick to the meal plan as much as possible, to ensure maximum results.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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Start Slow Like A Workout Regimen
Fasting is kind of like working out. You need to build up your stamina, and it may be hard at first.
If youre like most people, you havent done much fasting before. Theres no need to rush into it.
Pretend youd never exercised in your life. How would you start? Probably not by running a marathon the first day.
Similarly, you dont need to rush into fasting. Start slow, and gradually build up your fasting capacity.
How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Month With If
A lot depends on your body and how it reacts to the fasting. Some people can lose 10 pounds in a month, whereas others will lose an average of a pound or two a week.
Several studies have proven that IF helps you lose weight. One, in particular, concluded that IF participants lost between 4.6% and 13.0% of their baseline body weight over 8 weeks to 1 year. For sure, those who exercised saw increased results over those who did not. Daily activity is good for you in many ways, so get out there and move!
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You’re Eating Too Many Calories
Restricting the time you get to eat doesn’t always cut back calories as much as you might think, if you over-consume during your eating window.
What’s over-consuming? Do a reality check on how many calories your body needs to maintain its current weight. This can be done using a formula or the body weight planner by the National Institute of Health.
Track everything you eat in a given week using FitDay.com,Lose It!, or MyFitnessPal, and see if you’re eating more calories than your body needs, even though you’re restricting the timing of those calories. If you are, you know what to do.
Intermittent Fasting: Surprising Update
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
Theres a ton of incredibly promising intermittent fasting research done on fat rats. They lose weight, their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars improve but theyre rats. Studies in humans, almost across the board, have shown that IF is safe and effective, but really no more effective than any other diet. In addition, many people find it difficult to fast.
But a growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make IF a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention.
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How Do You Know If Youre Eating A Ketogenic Diet
So measure your ketones.
Urine test strips, breath meters, and finger stick devices are all available. Any of those are okay, but if youre a beginner you may as well just get some cheap urine strips.
Theyre not perfect, but theyll at least give you a yes / no answer about whether youre in ketosis.
You should also count your carbs, at least to start.
You can work your way down gradually, but after a while try to keep your carbs under about 30 grams per day. And keep measuring your ketones to see how you respond to different foods.
Just like with fasting, its a good idea to ease into keto as well.
For example, you could slowly reduce your carb intake over a few weeks, so you dont go through major carb withdrawals.
The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Fat loss is great, but it isn’t the only benefit of fasting.
1. Intermittent fasting makes your day simpler.
I’m big on behavior change, simplicity, and reducing stress. Intermittent fasting provides additional simplicity to my life that I really enjoy. When I wake up, I don’t worry about breakfast. I just grab a glass of water and start my day.
I enjoy eating and I don’t mind cooking, so eating three meals a day was never a hassle for me. However, intermittent fasting allows me to eat one less meal, which also means planning one less meal, cooking one less meal, and stressing about one less meal. It makes life a bit simpler and I like that.
2. Intermittent fasting helps you live longer.
Scientists have long known that restricting calories is a way of lengthening life. From a logical standpoint, this makes sense. When youre starving, your body finds ways to extend your life.
Theres just one problem: who wants to starve themselves in the name of living longer?
I dont know about you, but Im interested in enjoying a long life. Starving myself doesnt sound that appetizing.
The good news is that intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction. In other words, you get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.
Way back in 1945 it was discovered that intermittent fasting extended life in mice. More recently, this study found that alternate day intermittent fasting led to longer lifespans.
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