The Truth And Science About Intermittent Fasting
Lets turn to science for the truth behind intermittent fasting benefits and if it actually works. Jeff Nippard is one of my favorite fitness YouTubers because of all the research he uses to back up his claims and debunk myths. Plus, I just love how he edits his videos. Hes influencing how I make my videos. He made a video addressing intermittent fasting:
His conclusion is that fasting, in rats, decrease cancer risks and improve fat loss. Intermittent fasting is a valid way of dieting to reduce hunger, but it has scientifically not been proven to be a better way to improve body composition than other types of dieting, such as controlling for the calories intake.
A study by Betts, Chowdhury, Gonzalez & Richardson found that morning fasting reduced energy expenditure in lean and obese adults compared to those who ate a prescribed breakfast. Therefore, the expected fat loss benefits of intermittent fasting may not be as great as reported given that the body is compensating from the fasting.
How Often Should You Do 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting
Unlike other intermittent fasting diets, each day of the 16:8 works independently to the other days. This means that you can do anywhere from one day of intermittent 16:8 fasting to seven days a week, depending on your goals and the advice from your GP.
Evidence differs, however, on whether its healthy to do intermittent fasting all the time for a number of reasons. While one study suggests that fasting helps your vital organs by giving metabolic functions a break, other research suggests the fasting can lead to an increased level of cholesterol and can lead to feelings of nausea, along with causing spells of low-blood sugar and dehydration.
How Much Weight You Can Lose With Intermittent Fasting
- When fasting two days per week, you can expect to lose between 9 and 13 pounds in the first 2 to 3 months, says Leonie Heilbronn, an associate professor at Adelaide Medical School.
- When fasting three days per week, Heilbronn says you could lose 13 to 18 pounds in the first 2 to 3 months.
Ultimately, when deciding if intermittent fasting is right for your weight loss goals, it’s crucial to keep your lifestyle and eating habits in mind.
“Some people can struggle with not eating for prolonged periods,” says Heilbronn.
Don’t Miss: How Long Is Intermediate Fasting
Lessons Learned From 1 Year Of Intermittent Fasting
1. The biggest barrier is your own mind.
Implementing this diet is pretty simple, you just don’t eat when you wake up. Then you eat and lunch and go about your day. At least, that’s how I do it.
But there is a mental barrier to get over. If I don’t eat will I not be able to think? Will I faint? Will I feel sick? What will it be like? These are all thoughts that went through my mind before I started.
What ended up happening? Nothing. Life went on just fine.
Thinking you need to eat every 3 hours or six meals a day or always have breakfast or whatever it is that youre convinced you have to do to survive is all mental. You believe it because you were told it, not because you actually tried it.
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed that separates successful people from unsuccessful ones in life it’s not just the ability to think differently, but the ability to act differently as well.
2. Losing weight is easy.
When you eat less frequently you tend to eat less overall. As a result, most people who try intermittent fasting end up cutting weight. You might plan big meals, but consistently eating them is difficult in practice.
Most people lose weight while intermittent fasting because when they cut out meals, they don’t make up for it with bigger meal sizes.
3. Building muscle is quite possible .
I have managed to gain weight while intermittent fasting , but only because I have focused on eating a lot during my feeding period.
5. For best results, cycle what you eat.
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.
More research is needed, but so far, it seems some forms of intermittent fasting could be a good alternative or can supplement the possible health benefits of calorie restriction.
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.
You May Like: What Should You Eat Intermittent Fasting
So If Im *not* Losing Weight With If Whats The Problem
There could be a few reasons. Here are 12 intermittent fasting mistakes that you might be making, and how to fix them.
1. Youre eating too much during your eating window.
As mentioned, in general, Weight loss essentially boils down to calories in versus calories out, reminds Martin. If you end up consuming the same number of calories during your eating windows as before you started intermittent fasting, then you wont lose weight.
Join WH Stronger today and get unlimited access to digital content, exclusive workouts, and more!
In other words, if you just pack all of the calories you’d normally eat into your eating window, you’re not really changing your diet at all.
How to fix it: Try a calorie-counting app. “Although I dont typically recommend calorie counting, it may help to track your caloric intake for a few days using a calorie-tracking app,” says Martin. “These apps will usually tell you the approximate daily calorie amount you need to be at in order to lose weight. Although these estimations are usually off, they can be used as a good starting point.” The app can also reveal meals or specific foods that have more calories than you’d expect, and you can adjust your diet accordingly.
2. You are not consuming enough calories on non-fasting days.
When you dont consume an adequate amount of calories on non-fasting days, your body may conserve the energy you consume, rather than burning it, says Smith.
3. Youre eating less-nutritious foods.
How Much Weight Can You Lose Doing Intermittent Fasting
Are you ready for some numbers?
First, lets look at what the research says about intermittent fasting weight loss results.
In a 2015 review pooling 40 different studies, participants who did intermittent fasting shed on average 10 pounds in a 10-week period. Another study found that obese adults following an alternate day intermittent fasting schedule lost up to 13 pounds over 8 weeks.
Intermittent fasting also succeeds where many weight-loss regimes fail: by targeting and reducing visceral fat. Visceral fat is the stubborn, internal fat packed deep around your abdominal organs. During a period of six months, people on an intermittent fasting diet were able to shed 4-7% of their visceral fat.
Sounds great, doesnt it? But what about the real-life experiences?
Also Check: When Is The Best Time For Intermittent Fasting
Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
Many intermittent fasting schedules exit. Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
Each persons experience of intermittent fasting is individual and different styles will suit different people. Choosing regular time periods to eat and fast.
For instance, you might try eating once during an 8 hour period each day and fast the remainder or you might choose to eat one meal a day, two days a week. Several methods exist and some include
Ways To Use This Information For Better Health
Recommended Reading: What To Eat While On Intermittent Fasting
Youre Not Eating Enough During Your Window
This may come as a surprise, but not eating enough can cause issues. How is that? If you dont eat enough in your eating window, you increase the chances of binge eating in your next window due to sheer starvation. Youll be so hungry, you may start eating and not stop.
As well, the body stores food to protect itself. Your body will sense the need to stock up on reserves and may store those extra pounds as fat instead of lean muscle. So again, calculate your macros to see the number of calories your body needs and youll still nourish your body while losing weight.
If you are struggling with not eating during the fasting period and then bingeing during your eating window, try reducing the fasting period from 16 hours to 14 or even 12. Once you get things under control, you can gradually expand the fasting period until you are back at 16 hours. If you are trying the 24-hour fast, make it a 20-hour fast to gain control over how you are eating. The same principal can be applied to any of the fasting regimens. The main thing is to eat healthily when you do eat, and to eat enough to nourish the body.
Losing 80 Pounds With A Keto Diet And Intermittent Fasting
Before and after
Peters wake up call came when he realized that it had become difficult to tie his shoes because of his weight. He had since long lost faith in conventional weight-loss advice, but fortunately his physician directed him to Diet Doctor.
With a keto diet and intermittent fasting, Peter has been able to drop 36 kg in nine months since then. Impressive! This is how he did it:
Don’t Miss: What Can I Eat During Fasting In Intermittent Fasting
Why I Chose To Try Time
The definition of intermittent fasting is pretty basic. Its really just a period of eating, followed by a period of not eating, says Krista Varady, PhD, an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois in Chicago. For over a decade, Dr. Varady has researched the effects of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is kind of an umbrella term, but there are three major types of intermittent fasting. Theres alternate-day fasting, which means that you would eat fewer than 500 calories every other day and eat however many calories you want on the remaining days of the week. Theres also whats called the 5:2 approach to intermittent fasting, which means you would eat fewer than 500 calories for two days per week and however many you want on the other days. And then theres whats called time-restricted eating, which means you can eat within a certain window of time each day, like between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., says Varady.
Given that I was becoming more active through exercise, I wasnt sure that taking in only 500 calories a day would be the best idea for maintaining my energy levels. With that in mind, I decided to try time-restricted eating instead.
RELATED: Is Intermittent Fasting Safe for People With Diabetes?
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.
Read Also: How Many Hours Is Fasting
Intermittent Fasting: 2 People Try : 8 Method For 1 Month
Youve probably heard of intermittent fasting, the diet plan where you donât eat for periods of time. It sounds like torture to most, but a lot of people have experienced weight-loss success thanks to this method.
There are a few ways to try it, one of the most popular is the 16:8 regimen: 16 hours of fasting with an 8-hour period where you can eat. Intermittent fasting, or IF, has been linked to multiple health benefits, including reduced inflammation in the brain and reduced blood pressure. Though experts warn that it could encourage binge eating and extreme dieting.
So what is like to actually try it? TODAY asked two NBC Universal employees to document their journeys on intermittent fasting for a whole month.
Also Check: 14/10 Intermittent Fasting
What Are The Proposed Health Benefits Of Fasting Diets
As mentioned, the research on intermittent fasting is limited, but mice studies and small studies in humans suggest the approach may in fact be effective.
For example, in one of Varadys studies, published in June 2018 in Nutrition and Healthy Aging, 23 human participants completed 12 weeks of eight-hour time-restricted eating, and researchers compared their weight loss results to a control group from a separate trial.
Varady and her team observed that the time-restricted group lowered their body weight by 3 percent more on average compared with the control group, and they significantly lowered their systolic blood pressure. But the sample size was small, and the dropout rate among the fasting group was high, at 26 percent, for even a short-term trial, though no one in this group reported dropping out due to issues with the diet, researchers wrote.
But what about alternate-day fasting? While Varady hasnt conducted studies directly comparing alternate-day fasting to time-restricted eating, another one of her studies, published in July 2017 in JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that alternate-day fasting was difficult to stick with and didnt result in better weight loss or heart benefits than a calorie-restricted diet. For the study, she and her team randomized 100 participants to follow one of the two diets or a control group, where their diets remained the same, for one year.
RELATED: What to Eat Before and After Your Workout
Also Check: What Is Intermediate Fasting Mean
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 .
Intermittent Fasting: The Best Strategy To Reset The Body
Intermittent fasting can be regarded as 18 or 24 hour time for the body without food. We can use this process and found out that there is no need to get panicked as you get to eat every day. All you have to do is have your dinner at around 6 pm and dont eat anything for your breakfast and stay hungry until noon. To accomplish the 24-hour fast, you will have to continue fasting until dinner the following day. This will help to reset the metabolism every time. It works because it affects both the insulin and growth hormones. As in the non-fed state, insulin level goes down and allows the body to access as well as utilize its fat reserves as fuel. Moreover, the growth hormone level goes up and allows the body to maintain as well as build lean muscle tissue.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss