What Does Intermittent Fasting Mean
Intermittent fasting is an eating plan that switches between fasting and eating on a regular schedule. It involves a pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It is also an umbrella term for various meal timing schedules that cycle between voluntary fasting and non fasting over a given period.
Intermittent fasting does not say anything about which foods to eat but rather deals with when you should eat them.
There are several different fasting methods, all of which split the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods. Going without food for a number of hours each day or taking just one meal a couple of days a week can help your body burn fat.
Research shows that there are several evidence of benefits as Intermittent fasting is a way to manage your weight and prevent certain health problems like obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and inflammation.
How This One Buddhist Teaching Turned My Life Around
My lowest ebb was around 6 years ago.
I was a guy in my mid-20s who was lifting boxes all day in a warehouse. I had few satisfying relationships with friends or women and a monkey mind that wouldnt shut itself off.
During that time, I lived with anxiety, insomnia and way too much useless thinking going on in my head.
My life seemed to be going nowhere. I was a ridiculously average guy and deeply unhappy to boot.
The turning point for me was when I discovered Buddhism.
In many ways, Buddhism is all about letting things go. Letting go helps us break away from negative thoughts and behaviors that do not serve us, as well as loosening the grip on all our attachments.
Fast forward 6 years and Im now the founder of Hack Spirit, one of the leading self improvement blogs on the internet.
Just to be clear: Im not a Buddhist. I have no spiritual inclinations at all. Im just a regular guy who turned his life around by adopting some amazing teachings from eastern philosophy.
How Many Pounds Can You Lose In One Month
Many of you may want to know how much weight you can lose in the first few weeks on an intermittent fasting plan.
After all, it is only natural to want to see the effects of your hard work in less time.
Unfortunately, there are no simple answers to this question.
The amount of weight that you may lose on any diet depends on several factors, including your age, gender, genetics, starting weight, calorie intake, daily calorie deficit, physical activity, and where you are in your health journey.
Additionally, healthy habits, including sleep, nutrition, stress management, and exercise , can affect weight change.
Ultimately, weight loss results while dieting will be different for different individuals and different bodies.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommend a gradual weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week or about 4 to 8 pounds in one month .
This is because individuals who lose weight at a steady rate may be more successful at keeping the weight off in the long run.
Simply because a diet promises its followers rapid weight loss, especially during the first few weeks, does not mean that the weight change will be permanent.
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What Happens To Your Body While Youre Intermittent Fasting
Fasting has been shown to impact the body in several ways.
During a fast, your hormones adjust to begin burning fat as a source of fuel.
In other words, when your body is cut off from food, it will adapt to use body fat as its primary form of energy.
This essentially means that fasting can switch your metabolism into fat-burning mode.
Some of the changes that occur during fasts include:
- Lower insulin levels Insulin is a hormone that is released by the pancreas in response to carbohydrates found in food. Its main role is to help regulate blood glucose levels. Insulin decreases during a fast, which sends signals to your cells to start using fat for energy instead of blood sugar .
- Increased human growth hormone Human growth hormone has been linked to greater fat burn and increases in muscle mass . There is evidence that HGH levels increase while intermittent fasting .
- Boost in norepinephrine levels During a fast, norepinephrine levels rise . Norepinephrine, also known as noradrenaline, is a hormone released by the brain which tells the body to release fatty acids from stored body fat. These free fatty acids can then be used by your cells for energy.
Intermittent Fasting The Best For Weight Loss
Ive been a personal trainer and nutrition coach since the mid-2000s and intermittent fasting is without a doubt the most effective diet for weight loss and slowing aging . Its also very simple to follow since youll just be restricting the times youre allowed to eat.
With intermittent fasting your body doesnt have any calories coming in. This allows your body to feed off your fat stores as an energy source . Since youre restricting your feeding hours youll instantly be cutting down on how many calories youre eating . Lowering your caloric intake does play a significant role in how much weight youre able to lose .
Finally, your body will release fat-burning hormones such as human growth hormone . This helps to preserve lean muscle mass which is needed to get a toned and slim physique . But dont worry about getting big bulky muscle mass from fasting.
But a lot of the weight youll lose with intermittent fasting depends on how much you have to lose in the first place. If you only have 10 pounds or so to lose then the results will be lesser if only doing it for a short time. But if you have more than 30 pounds to lose then your results will be much more.
You can expect to lose the most weight in the beginning few months and then itll start to slow down from there. And if youre trying to break through a weight-loss plateau then fasting for longer hours can get you there too .
Also Check: How Long Is Ramadan Fasting
Can You Lose Weight With Tonal
Yes, you can lose weight with Tonal. You can also not lose weight with Tonal.
There are a number of ways you can create a consistent calorie deficit over time.
How To Speed Up Your Weight Loss
That said, some of us have a whole lot of pounds to lose and we may be looking for more than 10 pounds a month. I go through phases where I try to lose a lot quickly. Coming back from Christmas vacation I told the family: Im going in for another 20! I just mean that I am stepping things up and drastically cutting my calories for a short period of time. I do this in two ways:
1) I go on a multi-day water fast.2) I eat a calorie-restricted meal in my one meal a day .
Both cut calories. The first is just an extreme version.
Obviously I lose more weight on a complete water fast but it doesnt always work in my life. In one case, I planned to fast for 10 days and made it to Day 3 and just felt very tired. My hair started falling out just a bit. I took a small step back and realized that I needed to supplement my diet with vitamins and minerals, so I stopped the complete fast, moved to a calorie-restricted model, and began a normal regimen of vitamin and mineral supplementation until I felt built up enough to try the water fast again.
In my case, if I ate one meal every other day, I lose 15-20 pounds a month. This strategy is very effective and I find it to be do-able. You can hit the vitamins and minerals on your eating day and keep your eating in the low-carb goal range and lose quite a bit of weight pretty quickly.
Also Check: Which Is Better Keto Or Intermittent Fasting
Restricting A Macronutrient Or Food Group
This is not my favorite method but its worked well for a number of clients of mine.
Restricting a macronutrient is what we often call a diet.
- The Keto diet restricts carbs.
- A vegan diet restricts animal protein.
- The Paleo diet restricts grains, legumes, and dairy.
Although not a macronutrient, alcohol is something many people restrict when trying to lose weight.
In the diet chart above you create a calorie deficit by restricting a particular food group. Thus, reducing your overall calorie intake. If you dont replace those calories and it puts you in a calorie deficit you may lose weight.
Lets say you eat on average 2,000 calories per day and youre maintaining your weight. Within these calories, you eat the following carbohydrates every day.
- Breakfast: 2 slices of toast
- Lunch: 1 apple
- Dinner: 1 cup of rice
- Total calories: 480
If you restricted carbohydrates you would not be eating 480 calories. You are now eating 1,620 calories per day. This puts you in a calorie deficit and you may start losing weight.
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 Two Weeks Exercise Plan
This week I completely surpassed my cardio activity goal. Where during week 1 I felt a little tired and slow while working out fasted, in week 2 I killed it. I actually went to the gym and burned 400-500 calories in just 40 minutes on the elliptical each time. I did complete two strength/resistance workouts at home, as planned. Honestly, I still dont enjoy that much, so its not my focus, but Im proud of continuing even a little bit.
Healthhow One Man Lost 50 Pounds Using The : 2 Intermittent Fasting Diet
Other intermittent fasting diets take a different approach. The 5:2 method, for example, requires you to eat as you normally would for five days a week, but on two nonconsecutive days, you eat just one meal a day. Wright says she spent five months conditioning her body to the 16:8 method. At that point, she says, she switched to the 20:4 method. According to this method, you fast for 20 hours and have a 4-hour eating window.
I wanted a change, says Wright. I wanted to try to boost my weight loss even more.
Wright says you should be cautious about using a more restrictive method like the 20:4. Condition your body on a less restrictive method for an extended period first, she says. Since the window of time for eating on the 20:4 method is small, Wright says you should be careful to space your meals apart and not eat all your calories in one sitting.
Ill maybe take like 30 minutes to digest some of that food, she says, and then Ill go and eat the rest.
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Benefits Of A Whole Food Diet
In a 2014 analysis by Yale University, they concluded that a diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables or other high-fiber foods like whole grains and nuts is really important in maintaining good long-term health and preventing health problems like diabetes and cancers. These kinds of foods also help our bodies to cope and control the effects of inflammation.
In fact, one review from 2019 stated that diets high in plant foods could potentially prevent several million premature deaths each year if adopted globally. This is a big endorsement for a whole food diet.
How To Fast For Weight Loss
Weight loss studies of intermittent fasting have typically investigated the 5:2 diet or alternate day fasting interventions lasting three to six months. For most people in such studies, it takes two to three months to lose 10 pounds.
The good news is that most studies of intermittent fasting using the 5:2 diet protocol or minimal calorie fasting days have reported statistically significant weight loss, approximately equivalent to what can be achieved through continuous calorie restriction. Reported weight loss outcomes of the 5:2 diet range from 3.2% weight loss in comparison to a control group over a 12-week period to 8.0% weight loss in an 8-week trial enrolling overweight adults with asthma.
Obese adults who participated on an alternate day fasting study for 6 months lost roughly 6% of their body weight during the first 3 months. They were allowed to consume up to 600 kcal on their fasting days and ate a low-carb diet on non-fasting days. In addition to losing weight, participants were also able to reduce their total cholesterol, blood pressure, and fasting insulin.
Shorter fasts are also effective at inducing weight loss in humans. Obese patients who restricted their eating windows to 8 hours lost significant weight and improved their blood pressure.
How Fast Is Weight Loss With Intermittent Fasting
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.
Recommended Foods And Tips
While the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan does not specify which foods to eat and avoid, it is beneficial to focus on healthful eating and to limit or avoid junk foods. The consumption of too much unhealthful food may cause weight gain and contribute to disease.
A balanced diet focuses primarily on:
- fruits and vegetables, which can be fresh, frozen, or canned
- whole grains, including quinoa, brown rice, oats, and barley
- lean protein sources, such as poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, low fat cottage cheese, and eggs
- healthful fats from fatty fish, olives, olive oil, coconuts, avocados, nuts, and seeds
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are high in fiber, so they can help keep a person feeling full and satisfied. Healthful fats and proteins can also contribute to satiety.
Beverages can play a role in satiety for those following the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet. Drinking water regularly throughout the day can help reduce calorie intake because people often mistake thirst for hunger.
The 16:8 diet plan permits the consumption of calorie-free drinks such as water and unsweetened tea and coffee during the 16-hour fasting window. It is important to consume fluids regularly to avoid dehydration.
How Much Weight Can You Lose On 1: 8 Diet
To lose weight on the 16:8 diet, its important to match the fasting with healthy eating and exercise. If done so correctly, theres a typical weight loss of around seven to 11 pounds over a ten week period. This is according to a review of 40 different studies published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrincology who found that on average, someone weighing just over 90kg would lose 5% of their total body weight in the ten week period.
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Eating revealed that the 16:8 diet plan can help people lose weight, without having to count calories as the 8-hour fast produces the same kind of calorific restriction and weight loss.
However, whether theres a distinct weight loss advantage achieved on the 16:8 diet compared to other diets remains to be seen. Some studies have demonstrated that theres almost no difference between people who do intermittent fasting compared those who count calories and cut back on unhealthy food.
How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight
Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when youre fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. After several hours of not eating, your body will use up its sugar stores, which will cause it to start burning fat for energy, a process known as metabolic switching.
Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hoursIf someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and theyre not exercising, then every time they eat, theyre running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.
Burning calories this way, instead of from the food youre eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat youre carrying.
This means that you wont just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way.
Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone and insulin.
Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your bodys fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH.
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