How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight
There are many different ways to lose weight.
One strategy that has become popular in recent years is called intermittent fasting .
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves regular, short-term fasts or periods of minimal or no food consumption.
Most people understand intermittent fasting as a weight loss intervention. Fasting for short periods of time helps people eat fewer calories, which may result in weight loss over time .
However, intermittent fasting may also help modify risk factors for health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, such as lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels 30002-0/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 2,
There are several different intermittent fasting methods. The most popular ones include:
- the 16:8 method
- Eat Stop Eat
- alternate-day fasting
All methods can be effective, but figuring out which one works best depends on the individual.
To help you choose the method that fits your lifestyle, heres a breakdown of the pros and cons of each.
Exercising During A Water Fast
I used to be of the mindset to avoid any exercise while fasting because of added stress it would put on the body and risk of the body catabolizing muscle for fuel, but after digging through research from fasting experts who show some of the great benefits of training in a fasted state , I now incorporate some strength and cardio training during my 3-5 day fasts and have seen no negative effects. Perhaps if someone was doing a longer water-only fast they may want to take it a bit easier if they cant meet the energy demands, especially towards the end of their fast.
What Are The Known Health Risks Of Water Fasting
You dont have to be a scientist to know that when you consume nothing but water, you could wind up in trouble. Food, after all, isnt an indulgence but fuel for your body.
So what are the dangers of water fasting? That depends on two questions: Whos doing it and for how long? says David L. Katz, MD, MPH, founding director of Yale Universitys Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, and author of The Truth About Food. Certain people, including anyone with type 1 diabetes, who are dependent on insulin, or anyone with a heart issue, should avoid water fasts.
Meanwhile, a water fast that lasts more than 48 hours could put your body in serious trouble, as evidenced from nutritional history when very-low liquid calorie diets were the rage. These produced rapid weight loss in people by dropping their calories below 800 calories, Dr. Katz says. Trouble is, people also tended to die, because when fuel supplies dip too low, the body starts shopping for calories from its own stores. That can create changes in the cardiac architecture, which is enough to disrupt electrical flow and lead to fatal cardiac arrhythmias, he says. If this is truly just water for extended weeks, people will die.
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Renee: Grain Valley Missouri
“Before the birth of my second child, my max weight was 241 pounds. I had gained double the weight with my second pregnancy, but had just accepted the weight gain as being healthy for myself and my baby girl. I was thinking that I would be able to lose it with no problem. Then, at my six week postpartum checkup, I was only down to 216 pounds. I thought to myself, “OK, now that it’s been six weeks since my baby was born, I can get back on my exercise routine and lose this weight. No more of those, ‘You just had a baby’ excuses.” Well, I got lazy, and my eating habits didn’t change as I thought they would. I would catch myself eating double portions and getting second helpings to the cake, cookies, and all the other “good” stuff.
I was going through some photos on our Ipad one day and I thought to myself, “Oh my . . . who is that lady sitting on our couch?” Looking closer, I realized it was ME! It was heartbreaking that I didn’t even recognize myself. My three year old son had candidly taken a picture of me that evening. I’m so glad he did because that was the turning point for me. I had to do something. Only I can change this, right?
I just completed my 15th week and had my weigh-in this morning. I am proud to say that I’ve reached my weight loss goal of 45 pounds! I am so proud of myself for staying committed to this diet plan and to my exercise routine.
So now I say to you, ‘Stay committed and NEVER give up! This diet does work and will work for you!'”
What Else You Should Know
This diet was most likely not developed by nutrition experts. One web site that offers the diet includes this warning: Neither the staff nor management of 3 Day Diets are experienced, licensed, or knowledgeable to judge or recommend the validity or safety of this diet. We do not necessarily endorse this diet and recommend that before trying this or any other diet to consult a physician or licensed medical practitioner. Use at your own risk.
When judging any diet, including this one, keep in mind two key pieces of advice from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: First, if a diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Second, if you cant see yourself following the diet for the rest of your life, its not for you.
Costs: None beyond your shopping.
Support: None. This is a diet you do on your own.
Appreciation For My Body
Now that the 3 day water fast is behind me and Im eating and having coffee again , I have a new appreciation for myself and my body.
It seems obvious, but the decisions I make every day about what to eat have a big impact. This insight also extends to the environments I put myself in.
I feel like Im more able to listen to my body and be aware of what it needs to be healthy. For example, check out the photo below where I share this insight.
A post shared by Justin Brown on Oct 25, 2018 at 2:22am PDT
May Improve Insulin And Leptin Sensitivity
Leptin is your bodys satiety hormone. This hormone reduces your appetite and makes you feel full. On the other hand, insulin helps regulate blood sugar levels and excess glucose for energy to be used by the body. A water fasting diet for 3 days may lead to your body becoming more sensitive to these two hormones. Increased sensitivity means that both leptin and insulin work better in their respective functions in the body.
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Water Fasting Has Anti Aging Effects
Water fasting has dramatic anti aging benefits, one can avail to. You are exposed to a lot of toxins and pollutants in your daily lifestyle. These harmful chemicals get stored in the fat cells of your body making you look old.
Going on water fast gives your body a chance to access these chemicals stored in your fat cells. When you fast, your body burns the fat stored in your body to meet its energy needs. This way, your body removes all the toxins stored in your body and provide you the much needed detox. Hence said, doing short term water fasts can provide you cleansing benefits, making you look more young and better.
Fasting And Injury Healing
Earlier on in the article I mentioned aches and pains had gone and I wanted to discuss this issue further.
I need to stress that I wasnt injured Im just nearly 37 and work my body hard. I weight train 4 times per week, I play football on hard surfaces 1-2 times per week and dont get enough sleep. I dont recover like I did when I was 21, because well, Im not 21 any more! The aches and pains are totally normal and expected in someone my age, with my exercise habits.
But after that fast, theyve gone. My lower back isnt stiff. My right knee doesnt give me occasional grief. My shoulders are fine.
I think that it may be down to an elimination of inflammatory foods. It would be easy to suggest that its because I wasnt training, but I disagree with that and heres why Ive gone without training for longer than 3 days before, but the niggles have persisted. Ive never gone without food for three days before. When I did, the pain went too.
Autophagy being enhanced may have sped the repair of tissues, plus the lack of foods that increase inflammation may have been the dream team for helping to clear a few long-standing minor sources of discomfort. By not eating any known allergens and combining it with recovery-boosting sauna use, it seems to have helped me recover.
The hyper-hydration as well probably didnt hurt either. I was drinking 2.5-3 litres per day.
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What Is The Egg Fast
In simple terms, this is a temporary way of eating to lose weight quickly or to break a stall. You can only eat eggs, cheese, and butter . The egg fast is good to stay on for 3-5 days and not meant to do long term. However, some people have been known to be on the Egg Fast for a whole week straight.
Benefits & Negatives Of A 3 Day Water Fast
Im only six days out, so I cant give you more details on how I feel after this. However, I did want to talk about some of the benefits I felt and some of the negatives I experienced. The biggest benefit for me was getting rid of all that water weight I was carrying around after my trip to NYC. My clothes felt better, I felt lighter, and my digestion improved. The other major benefit was when I started eating, food tasted so much better. I gave my body a break, and after only three days, I remembered how fantastic foods taste. Steamed broccoli, with nothing on it, tastes great. Tilapia with a little bit of seasoning, is really fantastic. I personally appreciated these whole foods a lot more after taking a break from all the junk.
One interesting thing that happened the first feeding day . I mentioned I went to Starbucks and had an iced coffee. I usually use two artificial sweeteners in a venti sized coffee. When I tried to drink it, it tasted horrible to me. It wasnt the coffee, which I love, it was the artificial sweetener. I simply couldnt drink it and I asked them to replace it with a new version without any sweetener. Its amazing to me that my go-to drink suddenly tasted disgusting.
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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?
Day Three Calorie Intake: 843 Calories
Enjoy your last meal on the Military Diet!
Five ounces of a meal replacement shake or two ounces of low-fat yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon flax seed can be substituted for a slice of toast.
The foods recommended for this diet work together to boost metabolism, so it is not recommended that you substitute any foods. The results are not guaranteed and the diet may not work if not followed precisely.
If you must find an alternative to a food on the diet for a health or medical reason, here are the best choices with the same nutritional value.
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Is It Easy To Follow A Whole Food Diet
Once youve got your head around having ingredients rather than ready-to-eat things in your kitchen cupboards, its actually very easy. The only issue is the lifestyle and habit changes that come along with it.
It is very likely that for many people, following a totally, religiously whole food diet may be unattainable at least some of the time. For example, there are days where you dont get time to make your lunch or if you want to enjoy social eating. Similarly, people who have young children or who are working more than one job are unlikely to be able to follow a whole food diet all of the time.
Sometimes, we put ourselves under pressure to be as perfect as we can with diets like this, which can lead to an eating disorder called Orthorexia, which is a preoccupation with healthy eating.
This means that following a whole food diet, in principle, can be healthy and accessible for some people but not for everyone. It also means that those with previous disordered eating, as always, need to avoid any form of dietary restriction or rules around their diet.
What Happened In The 3 Day Fast
I wrote observational notes throughout the fast, knowing Id be writing an article on it. I wrote my thoughts down as they happened, so I would be recording an accurate snapshot in time. I didnt want this to be a reflection after the event, where memories are skewed.
The beginning of the first day was really easy. I wasnt new to fasting so it wasnt an issue in the slightest. The end of the day is where it starts to get interesting!
What youre reading here is exactly how I felt at the time, taken from my notes
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Egg Fast & The Keto Diet
Most people who are eating a low carb or Keto diet might find themselves interested in the egg fast. This is a fast that doesnt require a lot of carbs. After the 3 Day Egg Fast, continue to stay on track with the Keto diet so you dont gain back the weight you lost.
A lot of times, even on the Keto diet, people are not losing because theyre overeating. Its super easy to overeat because food is so plentiful. Hold yourself accountable and for the Egg Fast. Its something that is safe to do for a short period of time. The egg fast can also help you lose weight and break a stall.
What To Expect When Fasting For 3 Days
Fasting can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, muscle breakdown, and diarrhea. Other Side effects of fasting include dizziness, headaches, low blood sugar, muscle aches, weakness, and fatigue. Anyone who does this for longer may experience anemia, a weakened immune system, liver and kidney problems, and irregular heartbeat.
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Is A Whole Food Diet Boring
Absolutely not! The beauty of this way of eating is that there are barely any recipes that are off-limits. If you can make it yourself using natural ingredients, then it counts. So, dig out your recipe books and get familiar with your spice cupboard.
Heres my advice if youre just starting: stock up on coconut milk and canned tomatoes. Youll use them all the time in sauces.
The Best Time To Schedule A Fast
There are no right or wrong times to start or end a fast, and although my fast started and ended in the morning, a simple cheat would have been to start the 3-day fast in the evening . That way the fasting countdown clock starts running while you are asleep! You then get to break your fast around dinner time. But before planning a huge post-fast refeed meal
I did my fast over a quiet 3-day weekend , and in retrospect I would recommend scheduling when you are busy, for example, during the work week time goes by much faster and you are less likely to think about food! Sitting at home during the weekend watching football can be mentally painful.
Preparing to break my fast with some green tea and cashews.
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What To Eat After Fasting For 3 Days
It is quite tempting to attempt breaking a water fast by eating a huge meal however, this is not recommended. It is advisable to break your fasting diet for 3 days by having some fruit, a smoothie, or a small meal. Consuming a large meal or huge amounts of food may lead to stomach ache, discomfort, and nausea.
In some rare cases, consuming large amounts of food may lead to refeeding syndrome. Refeeding is the process of reintroducing food after a period of malnourishment or starvation. On the other hand, refeeding syndrome is a potentially fatal condition caused by fatal shifts in fluids and electrolytes in malnutrition patients.
These shifts result from hormonal and metabolic changes and may cause serious clinical complications . People who are at a high risk of refeeding syndrome include: