Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Faqs
Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, its time to answer your other questions.
Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.
How Much Weight Will I Lose?
The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors.
One study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that average weight loss on an intermittent fasting diet was around 9lbs after 12 months, and weight loss was most successful in those who strictly adhered to their chosen diet.
Can I Work out While Fasting?
Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.
If you are a hardcore athlete who often exercises for an hour or more each day, intermittent fasting may not be the best choice for you as this amount of exercise requires fuel to keep you moving and build muscle. However, light to moderate intensity workouts 2 to 4 times a week should work with intermittent fasting.
The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are strength training workouts. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts. Combine these with lighter forms of exercise like walking, jogging, or yoga.
Wont I Lose Muscle When I Fast?
Is Fasting Safe?
Ways Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight Say Dietitians
There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of ways to lose weight. There’s the Mediterranean diet, a low-carb diet, the keto diet, the Paleo diet, Whole30, the list goes on. One of the increasingly popular weight-loss diets is intermittent fasting , where you eat all your meals within a small eating window and fast for the remainder of the day. And that’s it. You technically don’t have to give up any of your favorite foods and you don’t have to force yourself to eat any health foods that you dislike. So how can that be? How is it that you have free reign to eat whatever you want and all you have to do is limit;when you eat it?
We talked to registered dietitians and looked at the science behind exactly how fasting helps you lose weight, and why it’s a diet worth considering if you want to lose weight safely. So if you’ve been thinking about trying an intermittent fasting diet for weight loss, read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
Extended Fasting Can Be Even Better For Weight Loss
Time-restricted eating gets your insulin down for a while each day, and that helps you burn more body fat.;;
Eating a ketogenic diet also lowers your insulin, which makes it even easier to access your body fat as fuel.; And having high ketones actually escorts more fat out of your body, through your breath and urine.;;
In addition to all of that, multi-day extended fasting gives you some other advantages when it comes to fat loss.;
And for some people , extended fasting is practically a necessity to get any real sustained weight loss.
To understand why, keep reading.;;
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What Can I Eat While Intermittent Fasting
During the times when youre not eating, water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted.
And during your eating periods, eating normally does not mean going crazy. Youre not likely to lose weight or get healthier if you pack your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items and treats.
But what Williams likes about intermittent fasting is that it allows for a range of different foods to be eaten and enjoyed. We want people to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food, she says. She adds that eating with others and sharing the mealtime experience adds satisfaction and supports good health.
Williams, like most nutrition experts, regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat, whether youre trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.
It Helps Maximize Digestion Hormone Secretion
When you fast, you can sync your eating schedule with your body’s circadian rhythm: the natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. By doing this, you can optimize your body’s metabolism, helping it run more efficiently:
“When you synchronize intermittent fasting with your body’s natural circadian rhythm, you eat during the day to take advantage of the way the body has evolved to maximize hormone secretion for digestion. By doing this, your body can more efficiently use food during the daytime to fuel activities,” say The Nutrition Twins.
On top of weight loss, there’s another health advantage to this method: it can help reduce your risk of diabetes. Part of the human circadian rhythm is to decrease insulin sensitivity throughout the day. Insulin is a hormone responsible for pulling glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells. This means that when you eat a carb-rich meal at night, your body is exposed to more insulin, which can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes over time. By fasting during this time, you can avoid this problem.
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How Can I Suppress Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
Eat high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, and high protein foods, including meat, fish, tofu, or nuts, during your eating window, Varady advised. Chewing high-fiber gummies can also help.
Drink lots of water. People tend to think they’re hungry, when they are really just thirsty, she said.
Go for black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or licorice herbal teas. These beverages may have appetite-suppressing effects, Varady noted.
Watch less TV: I know this sounds strange, but while you are watching TV, you are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. This can make you feel hungry, when in actuality, you are not hungry at all, she said.
Remember, being “a little hungry” is the best thing that can happen to you, wrote Madelyn Fernstrom, health and nutrition editor at NBC News, calling it a “true mind-body connection” that helps you recognize fullness.
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.
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How Much Weight Can I Lose When Fasting
If are currently eating a Standard American Diet and you just started;intermittent fasting you are probably going to lose anywhere between 7 to 15 pounds for the first week. That happens on just about any diet that lowers the carbs.;
Why? Because you are going to lose a lot of water weight. Where is the water weight coming from? It is coming from the stored glucose as glycogen. There is 3 to 3.8 grams of water in every gram of glucose if it is stored as glycogen. Glycogen is like a fluid-filled sponge.;
When you fast, you use up the glycogen in your liver fairly quickly, which dumps a lot of water. Water stored in glycogen will release, which will cause you to get rid of a lot of water weight at first.;;
There is a difference between the weight loss while doing the ketogenic diet and while fasting.;
If you are just doing the ketogenic diet where you are lowering your carbs, the most that you can lose is about two pounds of fat per week if youre healthy.;
If you are doing intermittent fasting every day how much can you lose? The most you will loose is 1/2 a pound a day or 3 1/2 pounds loss per week. You will have to have a really healthy metabolism to be able to lose that much.;
There are many factors that play into how much weight you will lose while fasting, including:
This Post has been condensed from Dr. Bergs video:;How Much Weight Can I Lose When Fasting?
May you Live Long Healthy.
Managing Your Stress Levels
Stress triggers the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which initially decrease the appetite as part of the bodys fight or flight response.
However, when people are under constant stress, cortisol can remain in the bloodstream for longer, which will increase their appetite and potentially lead to them eating more.
Cortisol signals the need to replenish the bodys nutritional stores from the preferred source of fuel, which is carbohydrate.
Insulin then transports the sugar from carbohydrates from the blood to the muscles and brain. If the individual does not use this sugar in fight or flight, the body will store it as fat.
that implementing an 8-week stress-management intervention program resulted in significant reduction in the body mass index of overweight and obese children and adolescents.
Some methods of managing stress include:
- yoga, meditation, or tai chi
- breathing and relaxation techniques
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When Should I Exercise
When Varady and her colleagues conducted a study that combined alternate day fasting and exercise, they allowed the participants to pick whether they wanted to exercise on a feasting or fasting day, and found there was no strong preference one way or the other. But the researchers were surprised the dieters actually reported feeling more energetic on fasting days.
What Are The Possible Side Effects
There can be a number of possible side effects of intermittent fasting.40 Heres what to do if you encounter them:
- Hunger is the most common side effect of intermittent fasting. This may be less of an issue if youre already on a keto or low-carb, higher-fat diet.41Learn more
- Constipation is common. Less going in means less going out. However, keep in mind this is a normal response to eating less. It is not a concern and shouldnt require treatment unless you experience significant bloating or abdominal discomfort. Standard laxatives or magnesium supplements can be used, if needed.
- Headaches are common and tend to disappear after the first few times on fasts.42 Taking some extra salt often helps mitigate such headaches.43
- Mineral water may help if your stomach tends to gurgle.
- Other possible side effects include dizziness, heartburn and muscle cramps. Learn more
A more serious side effect is the refeeding syndrome. Fortunately, this is rare and generally only happens with extended fasts when one is undernourished.44
Since most of these side effects are manageable, they do not mean you have to stop your fast. However, if you truly feel unwell, are excessively dizzy, profoundly weak or have other severe symptoms, then you should break your fast.
Just remember to go slowly when you break it and prioritize fluids and salt . And of course, if the symptoms persist, see your doctor immediately.
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What To Eat And Drink On Fasting Days
There are no strict guidelines regarding what to eat and drink on fasting days as long as your total calorie intake is around 500 calories.
You can have as many noncaloric drinks as you like, and drinking plenty of fluids may help stave off hunger or help keep the mind off eating.
Here are some examples of beverages that you can drink on your fasting days:
- water, including mineral or sparkling varieties
- herbal teas
- black, green, or oolong tea
- black coffee
When it comes to food because your calorie intake will be severely limited its best to focus on nutritious, high protein foods as well as low-calorie vegetables. These will make you feel full without many calories.
Here are a few examples of foods that are suitable for your fasting days:
- yogurt with berries
- soup and piece of fruit
- salad with lean meat
- eggs and vegetables
There are many other recipes for 500 calorie meals and here is a great 500 calorie meals cookbook with 150 delicious recipes for 300, 400, and 500 calorie dishes.
Read down below on how to eat when you first start with alternate-day fasting and what to do on your first fasting day.
So How Does If Work For Weight Loss Exactly
Intermittent fasting is about when you eat, says Charlotte Martin, MS, RDN, CPT, owner of Shaped by Charlotte, LLC. Depending on the IF approach, youre either shortening the eating window each day, or engaging in about 24-hour fasts one or more times a week. One of the most popular approaches is the 16:8 method, which is when you fast for an 16-hour window, like from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. the next day.
Essentially, by restricting your food intake to a shortened time window, you naturally decrease your caloric intake and, in turn, can lose weight. “Not only are you taking in fewer calories, but youre also slowing down your insulin pump, which may boost fat burn,” explains Martin.
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Why Does My Blood Sugar Go Up During Fasting
While this does not happen with everyone, it can occur due to hormonal changes that occur during intermittent fasting. Your body is producing sugar in order to provide energy for your system. This is a variation of the dawn phenomenon and in general is not a concern as long as blood sugars are not elevated the rest of the day.45
How To Start With An Alternate
On your first fasting day, you should have just 1/5 of your normal calorie intake that keeps your weight steady.
Women need around 2,000 calories a day and men 2,500 calories a day for weight maintenance. So, on your fasting day when you should consume 1/5 of these calories men should consume 500 calories and women should have 400 calories.
The heavier you are the more calories youll need to keep your weight steady. You can use this calorie calculator to see how many calories youll need for weight maintenance or weight loss.
Its simple just enter your weight, height, age and youll get the result. After that just divide that figure by 5 to calculate the number of calories you should intake on your fasting days.
On your fasting days, its recommended to consume meal replacement shakes that add up to your fasting daily calorie allowance. This is good because you will get all the nutrients and it will help you to remove the temptation to overeat.
On the second day of the diet, you can eat whatever you want, then on day 3 you do as same as day one and you continue to repeat this process.
After two weeks of following the ADF, you should start eating food rather than meal replacement shakes on your fasting days. If you find it difficult to stick to 20% of your usual calorie intake then you can increase it to 25-35% of your usual calorie intake.
This means men can consume 625-875 calories per day and women 500-700 calories per day .
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Let Yourself Off The Hook
Many of us can’t resist the urge to kick ourselves when we indulge, eat too much, or get thrown off course from restrictive diets. The problem: This only makes it more difficult, stressful, and downright impossible to lose weight. So rather than beating yourself up for eating foods you think you think you shouldn’t, let it go. Treating yourself to about 200 calories worth of deliciousness each day something that feels indulgent to you can help you stay on track for the long haul, so allow yourself to eat, breathe, and indulge. Food should be joyful, not agonizing!
The Best Part About Intermittent Fasting
No food is “off limits” with IF, you can eat whatever you want during your window.
Gin Stephens is the author of Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. Those first three words of the book are the key to what makes this WOE worthwhile: You’re not denying yourself anything, you’re merely delaying it. You don’t have to give up, say, pizza because of the carbs or ice cream because of the sugar. You just have to wait until your window opens; then you can eat what you want to eat. No, not the entire pizza or a whole pint of ice cream; you still have to be reasonable. But there are no exclusions. And that’s incredibly liberating.
Think about nearly every other diet in history: Atkins, South Beach, paleo, keto. They all require you to either cut out certain things entirely or eat an excess of something else . The reason these diets typically fail is they’re not sustainable.
Stephens is fond of this saying: “‘Diets are easy in contemplation and hard in execution. Fasting is hard in contemplation but easy in execution.’ I absolutely love that quote, because it’s so true,” she says. “We’ve all started a new diet and we’re all in. Then, as the days go by, the diet gets harder and harder to stick to. Intermittent fasting is the exact opposite. Instead of getting harder and harder, it gets easier and easier.”
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