Fasting For 2 Days A Week
People following the 5:2 diet eat standard amounts of healthful food for 5 days and reduce calorie intake on the other 2 days.
During the 2 fasting days, men generally consume 600 calories and women 500 calories.
Typically, people separate their fasting days in the week. For example, they may fast on a Monday and Thursday and eat normally on the other days. There should be at least 1 non-fasting day between fasting days.
There is limited research on the 5:2 diet, which is also known as the Fast diet. A involving 107 overweight or obese women found that restricting calories twice weekly and continuous calorie restriction both led to similar weight loss.
The study also found that this diet reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity among participants.
A small-scale study looked at the effects of this fasting style in 23 overweight women. Over the course of one menstrual cycle, the women lost 4.8 percent of their body weight and 8.0 percent of their total body fat. However, these measurements returned to normal for most of the women after 5 days of normal eating.
Daily Calorie Restriction Slows Down Your Metabolism
Another problem with just cutting calories is that it usually slows down your metabolism.
Heres a typical scenario
Lets say you normally eat 2000 calories a day. But youre overweight, so you decide to cut it down to 1,500 calories per day.
At first, you lose some weight. But pretty soon your body realizes there are only 1,500 calories coming in every day. So obviously it has to make an adjustment, or after a while you would starve to death.
Since youre only eating 1,500 calories per day, your body gradually shifts down to only burning 1,500 calories each day. In other words, it slows down your metabolism.
And your weight loss plateaus.
As a bonus, you feel crappy and fatigued, because you dont have as much energy as you used to. So you probably give up on your diet.
With your now-slower metabolism, your weight quickly rebounds as well.
In a nutshell, thats why most calorie-restriction diets fail, and may even do more harm than good.
How Much Weight Can You Lose With Intermittent Fasting
The amount of weight you can lose through intermittent fasting depends on your starting weight, medical conditions, type of food you eat on your non-fasting days, and other factors like your lifestyle, age, and activity level.
For example, if you choose to eat sugary desserts, drinks, and refined, ultra-processed carbs during your non-fasting days, a fast may not help you lose body fat.
However, if you pair intermittent fasting with healthy eating, you can experience healthy weight loss. A systematic review of 40 studies published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology found intermittent fasting was effective for weight loss, with a typical loss of seven to eleven pounds over ten weeks. If you weigh roughly 200 pounds, that equals a five percent loss of your total body weight in just ten weeks.
You might want a quick weight loss fix, but experts recommend you dont try to speed up the process. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the UKs National Health Service recommend you shoot for a safe rate of one to two pounds per week.
According to the CDC, if you lose weight gradually and safely, youll be more successful at keeping it off. So, the average weight loss per week with intermittent fasting is safe, effective, and long-term.
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Can Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight
By Elizabeth Levinson, MDVirtua Family Physician
Americans are always looking for the best, most effective form of weight loss. Thats why the diet industry is a multi-billion dollar business. But diet crazes and fads come and go, and many of them arent effective in the long term. The most recentintermittent fastingis an eating pattern that involves regular, short-term fasts, or periods of time when you eat few or no calories.
Intermittent fasting is receiving attention from the media as it becomes popular amongst celebrities. Supporters say that it promotes weight loss or weight maintenance while helping maintain muscle mass and control insulin levels.
While intermittent fastingalso known as the IF or fast dietis trendy, you might wonder if it actually works AND is safe.
What Are The Different Intermittent Fasting Patterns
Intermittent fasting involves consuming all of your calories within a short period of time. There are many intermittent eating patterns, so its important to choose one thats right for your body, your activity level and your lifestyle. Here are two popular options:
The 16:8 DietThe 16:8 diet involves fasting for 16 hours each day and consuming all of your calories during an 8-hour window. Many people who follow this 16-hour fast eat 2 meals between noon and 8 pm, but you can adjust the 8-hour window to suit your lifestyle, exercise habits and work schedule. With this option, however, plan your eating so that the majority of the fast occurs during your normal sleeping hours. This will help you avoid feeling hungry during your waking hours.
The 5:2 DietAnother popular option is the 5:2 diet, which involves 5 days of normal eating and 2 days of eating around 500-600 calories per day. The 5:2 diet gives you the flexibility to choose the 2 fasting days that work best for you, as long as theyre separated by at least one normal eating day.
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So Which Intermittent Fasting Schedule Is Best For Weight Loss Whichever One Youll Actually Stick To Tbh
In short, the one thats easiest for you to follow. It is all about sustainability for the individual, says Lemein. If one of these diets work well for you and your lifestyle and preferences, then you will likely see some success. If not, then youll likely not see the results youre are looking for, as the sustainability piece will not be there. That means picking a diet that work best with all the lifestyle factors you need to consider, like your work schedule, family dynamic, living situation, commute time, and travel commitments, notes Lemein.
Its worth pointing out, though, that the 16:8 diet seems to be the most doable for a lot of people who are into IF. The 16:8 method also scores points for preventing overeating at night, which can often be a big obstacle for weight loss. And sticking to an eight-hour eating window during daylight hours allows your metabolism to run as itâs supposed toâyou fuel up for energy during the day , and stop eating for rest and recovery at night, per a 2017 article in the journal Nutrition Reviews.
The bottom line: All intermittent fasting schedules may lead to weight loss if you can follow them sustainably, and the 16:8 method may be the easiest way to follow an IF diet.
Can I Exercise During Fasting
However, for long-duration aerobic exercise, eating before exercise may increase performance.39 Its also important to drink fluids and replenish sodium around exercise when fasting. This is good to know if youre competing. Learn more
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What Are The Types Of Intermittent Fasting
There are a few variations of doing intermittent fasting. Some being more easy than others.
Ones such as the 5:2 method where you fast for 24 hours twice a week.
Or theres the the alternate day fasting, where you fast every other day.
Also you can do the warrior diet. Where you fast during the day, and eat a huge meal at night.
A few are quite difficult to implement, so for this article I want to focus on the easiest method which is the method I use.
The 16/8 method.
This is the most popular by far, and the one which I do.
You basically fast for 16 hours a day, and eat for 8 hours. Simple as that! I try and complete dinner by 8pm, then eat my next meal at midday.
I only want to focus on this method as it should be one that everyone starts out with.
Now you dont have to jump straight into fasting for 16 hours.
You can start off slowly.
For example, if you already eat breakfast at 8am everyday, try and push it back an hour or two this week. Then next week push it back further. And eventually youll be able to cut out breakfast completely.
Youll often hear famous people who are in shape talk about fasting. Guys like Dwayne Johnson, Terry Crews, Hugh Jackman and Joe Rogan all live by this way of eating.
I recently got my dad to start as he has spent his entire life eating breakfast at 6am and having dinner at 8pm, and he has also started to lose weight!
Intermittent Fasting 16/8 Vs 20/: Which One Should You Try
If you are a beginner, the 16/8 method would be better for you than jumping headfirst into the intermittent fasting 20/4 method. Unlike the latter, the former gives you less time to fast, translating into a longer feeding window. Once your body gets used to the 16:8 variation, then you could choose to attempt a 20/4 intermittent fasting meal plan.
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Consider The Intermittent Fasting Plan Right For You:
Some of the popular regimens include:
The 16:8 diet, or time-restricted feeding, where you fast for 16 hours a day, but are free to eat whatever you want in the other eight hours. Experts advise picking an eating window that lets you finish your meals fairly early, such as 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or earlier, because your body is less efficient at putting sugar away as the day goes by.
Alternate day fasting, which means limiting yourself to 500 calories one day, then eating whatever you want the next, and then repeating that process.
The 5:2 plan, which means incorporating two non-consecutive fast days into your week, then eating normally during the other days.
Here are four tips to keep your plan on track:
Keep Your Meal Nourishing
Include a lot of healthy fats, protein and fresh vegetables in your meals while following intermittent fasting. You can also include healthy carbs from foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes etc. Carbs are good for your body and will provide you with the energy to tide over the calorie-deficit you are going to create for the rest of the day.
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Whole Foods And The Brain
The brain is a really hungry organ, and it uses 25% of the total energy you consume from your food. Everything it needs to function at its best isyou guessed ita whole, unprocessed food.
In fact, the best diet recommended for brain health is the MIND Diet. In one study, it was shown that people who follow the MIND diet closely had a 53% reduced rate of developing Alzheimers.
Some of the best whole foods for the brain are:
- Oily fish
- Whole grains
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.
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Start Doing The : 8 Method
You must follow all the above steps before this step. 16:8 method is where most of the benefits lie. When you start doing it, you will lose weight more effectively.
16:8 method is about eating in an 8-hour window and fasting for the rest 16 hours a day. You can adjust your meal timings freely, considering daily activities.
Below I have mentioned two ways to adjust your meal timings.
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What Happens To Your Body When You Fast
Fasting is a way to give your body a break. Heres how intermittent fasting works for weight loss.
Stage 1: In between 0 to 4 hours, your blood sugar remains high. Your body is using up the energy in this phase.
Stage 2: 4 to 16 hours, your body now starts releasing fats and uses them to release ketone bodies and chemicals.
Stage 3: 16 to 24 hours, after an overnight fast, you are almost low on glycogen level. Your energy demands at this stage havent changed much but now the chemicals start to break into AMP-activated protein. They help in cell growth and regulating energy response to your starvation period.
Stage 4: 24 to 72 hours, now your body will start breaking down your muscles to utilize protein for energy. This means it enters the state of ketosis which acts as fuel for your brain and body.
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What Is Intermittent Fasting And Is Fasting Good For Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting is a calorie controlled diet where instead of restricting the amount or type of food you can eat, you restrict the time when you can eat. A recent meta study looked at the findings of individual researches and concluded that all 27 trials found weight loss of 0.8% to 13.0% of baseline weight with no serious adverse events and intermittent fasting shows promise for the treatment of obesity.
How can you lose weight with fasting when you dont restrict the type of food you eat? Fasting not only teaches people to be more disciplined with food, but by only allowing yourself to eat within a certain time frame, you can also significantly reduce the amount of calories you consume. Gone are the days when breakfast was the most important meal of the day!
As well as reduced calorie consumption, during fasting, weight loss is further helped by your body going into ketosis, a metabolic state in which you use fat for fuel as opposed to carbohydrates. Since there are no dietary fats available you havent eaten anything after all your body will tap into the fat reserves and use that as fuel. This can help get rid of belly fat faster than just reducing calories.
Intermittent Fasting Best Practices
Its vital to remember that intermittent fasting is ultimately only a tool, and its success as a weight loss diet is contingent upon how you use the strategy and your food and lifestyle choices. Gorging or overeating the second your eating window opens should be avoided, cautions Girgen. To reap the most benefits from intermittent fasting, you have to be mindful of diet quality. Focus on minimally processed whole foods such as high-quality meats and animal products, vegetables, and healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts, etc. Not sure what that looks like practically? Girgen has some advice: I like to recommend my clients follow the 80/20 rule: Eighty percent of what goes in your mouth is healthy, mostly whole food, and the remaining 20% is fun food. These proportions may be adjusted to 70/30 or 90/10, for example, depending on your metabolism and health goals, but the same principles apply.
As with any of the best diets, in order for intermittent fasting to be successful, you have to make it work for you in a sustainable way. Its key to listen to your body to determine if youre feeling better or worse as you play with your eating and fasting windows, and adjust accordingly. Remember, your metabolism, physiology, lifestyle, and preferences are unique, so what may work best for you may be different than what works best for someone else.
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Whole Foods And The Gut
Whole foods are loaded with fibers that are sometimes lost during processing or refinement. Fiber is essential for a healthy gut because aside from its traditional roughage reputation, it also feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, providing a whole host of other benefits.
They also provide a lot of variety, which the gut loves. The more variety, the better. So, even though you might fall in love with certain recipes, its important to mix up the kinds of whole foods you eat to maintain a healthy gut. Aim for 30 different whole foods each week. Its easier than you think!
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Weight Loss
In laymans terms, intermittent fasting works as an effective tool for weight loss because it discourages overeating. And, with less food, you ingest less calories which leads to weight loss.
In more scientific terms, however, intermittent fasting does its magic through our hunger hormones insulin, ghrelin, and leptin to be more specific which in turn affects how we metabolize energy.
Speaking of energy, we get that from the food we eat in the form of glucose. Carbs are our bodys main and preferred source but parts of protein and fat are converted into glucose as well.
Now, when you have glucose in your bloodstream, your body releases insulin as a response.
Insulin helps your body store that glucose either in your muscles where they can be used immediately or in your liver where theyre stored as energy reserves also known as glycogen. When both your muscles and liver are full, your body then moves on to storing excess glucose as fat.
With that said, research also says that insulin reduces the amount of ghrelin while simultaneously increasing levels of leptin which, ultimately, makes you feel full and satisfied.
This hormonal cascade is largely why intermittent fasting is so great for weight loss but it doesnt tell the whole story.
Theoretically, the prolonged fasting period of IF deprives your body of a regular source of glucose, forcing it to tap into your glycogen stores. When that runs out as well, your body turns to burning fat for fuel .
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