How Does It Happen
Your body is great at adapting to any type of condition. One of its main goals is to maintain homeostasis in the body.
Homeostasis is the ability youre body has to maintain a stable internal state, despite changes occurring outside of it. Every living organism has to be able to maintain this internal state at all costs.
A huge spike in blood pressure, youre temperature suddenly dropping, this cant happen without putting a strain on your body and even damaging your internal organs. The body has to maintain as much stability as possible to survive.
This means that your body is a master at adaptation. And after a while, youre body will adapt to the diet youre following.
If youre eating too much, your metabolism will speed up and if you eat too little, your metabolism will slow down. When youre doing calorie deficit, youll lose weight at first of course, but after a while, the body will adapt itself to fewer calories.
Itll be able to function without as much because of the slowed metabolism and other factors. Once this adaptation happens, weight-loss can plateau. This is also called adaptive thermogenesis.
Decide What Youre Looking For
What is the biggest thing you want IF to do for you? Is it fat loss? A better relationship with hunger? Something else?
When our company co-founder John Berardi, PhD, embarked on a series of IF experiments, he had several goals. But his most important one was to lose body fat.
Thats how he defined success .
So take time to figure out what you want to explore, learn, and accomplish with IF. You might also want to identify what youre willing to trade off for your goal.
For help, check out our Want, willing, wont worksheet.
Optional step: Use our calculator to determine your intermittent fasting macros.
Whether your goal is fat loss, better health, muscle gain, or something else, its not just about when you eat.
What and how much you eat matters, too,
Some people may be able to eat the right amount for their goals intuitively, but most of us need a little extra help, at least at first.
To find out how much to eatand get some suggestions about which foods to prioritize based on your eating preferencesuse the Precision Nutrition Calculator.
Itll tell you how much to eat based on your age, sex, goal, and desired timeline .
Are There Any Potential Downsides To Intermittent Fasting
IF isnt recommended for people with a previous history of eating disorders, like anorexia or orthorexia.
In some people, IF may impair sleep patterns and alertness. It can also cause an increase in stress, anxiety, and irritability for some.
Intermittent fasting isnt recommended for those with a history of disordered eating.
Also Check: How Should You Do Intermittent Fasting
Tip #: Watch What You Eat
Intermittent fasting works best when paired with a healthy diet. Eating junk food all the time will cause weight gain and trigger cravings that can lead to a failed fast.
Even though intermittent fasting is not considered a diet, most people that practice this form of eating tend to eat a relatively healthy diet in order to reap the benefits like – fat loss, increased energy & productivity. So if you are going to practice fasting then make sure you’re making healthy food choices! It’s better for your health and it will help you stick to your fasting plan!
One way to help make sure you’re getting the most out of fasting is by setting a healthy meal plan. Base your meal plan around your fitness goals – weight loss, increase muscle mass, maintain. Calculate your macros to know exactly how many carbs, fats, protein, and calories you need to eat to reach your goals. Then set up a new meal plan every week to help keep you on track!
Just a note: The keto diet is often paired with intermittent fasting because of the fat burning capabilities. Although fasting does work really well with keto, it’s not necessarily needed for fat loss or for any of the other benefits. The key is to eat mostly whole foods and minimize the amount of processed carbs and sugars.
Tip #: Give Yourself A Break
It’s important to stay disciplined when it comes to commitments. But just like with any diet or workout plan, not giving yourself an occasional break is going to burn you out.
If you really want to make sure that you stick to fasting in the long term, then learn to give yourself a break and be kind to yourself. Not every fast is going to be perfect, or successful, but at least you tried. Instead of getting frustrated and quitting, just be happy that you tried and give it another shot the next day!
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The Utter Simplicity Of Intermittent Fasting
Most of us eat throughout the day, starting with breakfast when we wake up and perhaps ending with a dessert or snack after dinner. If you have breakfast at 7 a.m. and a final snack at 8 p.m., you’re consuming food for 13 hours that’s your current “eating window.” The idea behind IF is simply to shorten that window — not necessarily to eat less , but to eat less often.
For example, most experts agree that you can start to experience IF benefits with an eight-hour eating window, meaning a 16-hour fast. So you could have lunch at noon and still finish your snack by 8 p.m. That’s it. If you can stick to that, it may be enough to produce results.
But, wait: Isn’t that just skipping breakfast? And haven’t we heard for years that skipping breakfast actually leads to weight gain? Yes and yes. However, IF requires a “clean” fast to be effective , and once you get accustomed to it, your appetite should correct so that you no longer overeat once your window opens.
Here’s what I love about this: It costs nothing. It requires nothing. You don’t have to buy books or gear or supplements or meals. You just adapt yourself to a slightly different way of eating and that’s it. The simplicity — and affordability — of IF is what drew me to it.
Read more:How to do intermittent fasting safely
Final Thoughts On Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss And Improving Energy
Intermittent fasting provides multiple benefits, such as:
- Promotes weight loss and improved energy levels simultaneously
- Lessens chances of developing an illness because you are eating a sensible diet
- Improves insulin sensitivity, reduces the risk of diabetes by 30%
- Beats other diets: fasting is three times more effective than traditional calorie restriction.
If youre looking for a way to lose weight that will also give you more energy, intermittent fasting may be worth your consideration. Follow the tips outlined in this article to get started.
Have you tried intermittent fasting or are you considering it? Got some tips to share on this topic? Let me know in the comments!
Also Check: How Long Do I Fast For Intermittent Fasting
Diabetics This Is For You Too
Zane works regularly with diabetic clients who believe intermittent fasting poses too much of a risk.
But as he explains, I dont know of a better way to control diabetes or reverse those symptoms than finding some way to introduce fasting.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease of elevated blood sugar, and intermittent fasting is an efficient way to lower and balance blood sugar levels through better eating strategies.
In my practice, I believe fasting might just be the greatest tool my patients have to improve their glycemic control. As long as its accomplished using a strategic, doctor-guided plan, diabetics may be able to use fasting to eliminate their reliance on medication and reduce the effects of diabetes.
Frequently Asked Questions Concerns And Complaints
Im a woman. Should I do anything differently?
I havent worked with women on implementing an intermittent fasting schedule, so I cant speak from experience on this one.
That said, I have heard that women may find a wider window of eating to be more favorable when doing daily intermittent fasting. While men will typically fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours, women may find better results by eating for 10 hours and fasting for 14 hours. The best advice I can give anyone, not just women, is to experiment and see what works best for you. Your body will give you signals. Follow what your body responds favorably to.
Also, if youre a female, there is an allfemale page on Facebook that discusses intermittent fasting. Im sure you could find a ton of great answers and support there.
I could never skip breakfast. How do you do it?
I dont. Breakfast foods are my favorite, so I just eat them at 1pm each day.
Also, if you eat a big dinner the night before, I think youll be surprised by how much energy you have in the morning. Most of the worries or concerns that people have about intermittent fasting are due to the fact that they have had it pounded into them by companies that they need to eat breakfast or they need to eat every three hours and so on. The science doesnt support it and neither do my personal experiences.
I thought you were supposed to eat every 3 hours?
Here’s why this was a popular idea for a brief period of time:
Here’s the problem:
Also Check: What’s Better Keto Or Intermittent Fasting
Youre Not Changing What You Eat
One of the benefits of IF is that a greater focus on timing can include a pivot away from unhealthy foods you may have fallen into eating mindlessly as a late-night snack, for example. But if youre simply moving those not-so-healthy choices to earlier in the day, its likely that IF wont be much of a health booster.
Drink Green Tea And Coffee
After water, the two others go-to drinks, tea, especially green tea, and coffee. And they can do wonder for your weight loss.
Both tea and coffee are great to reduce hunger, you shouldnt abuse it of course, but getting a coffee instead of a snack is really effective.
There is no significant evidence that caffeine induces satiety though. This study concludes that coffee intake doesnt seem to have an impact on leptin levels , while this other study suggests that it even lowers leptin levels.
Anyway, you should try it, even decaffeinated coffee seems to work and help reduce hunger and cravings.
Caffeine, which you can also find in most teas, is known to help the process of fat burning. It could even boost the metabolic rate by up to 13% according to this study.
Inside of green tea lives a compound named Green Tea Catechins . In this study, the GTC compound has been found to have powerful antiobesity properties. Consuming from 270 to 1200 mg of GTC every day will reduce body fat.
Green tea also contains a powerful antioxidant, called epigallocatechin gallate, which, according to this study, may increase fat burning by up to 17%.
Also Check: What Can I Have When Fasting
My Experience With Intermittent Fasting
I started IF in August 2018. At the time I weighed around 181, which is acceptable for a 6-foot male. But I’d been 175 for years, and suddenly it seemed I couldn’t control my eating. I didn’t like where my belly was headed.
After about two months, during which my fasting windows varied , I’d lost 10 pounds. Needless to say, I was pleased with that result and became pretty evangelical about IF. My excitement stemmed from not only the weight loss, but also the total lack of hardship. This didn’t feel like a diet it felt like a smart way to live.
In fact, I discovered that I really liked this WOE. When I was feeling a little hungry in the late morning? Just wait a bit longer, I told myself, your window opens soon. Then I’d busy myself with something and forget about it. And if I wanted a snack after 7 p.m.? Too bad, window’s closed for the day — but you can have it tomorrow.
I stuck with it for about 10 months, though I’ll admit I got frustrated at times. For one thing, I’d been hoping to lose another 5-10 pounds, and assuming they’d come off as easily as the first 10, but the scale held firm at 171.
Result: After four months , the scale shows 171. In the interim, I’ve eaten an almost embarrassing amount of food while my window was open. I don’t have a sugar monkey on my back I have a sugar gorilla. Nevertheless: I’m thinner. And I’m going to see if I can hit 165. This lifestyle — not diet, mind you — is a piece of cake. Speaking of which, think I’ll go have one of those.
Choose An Intermittent Fasting Schedule
Before you run your experiment, you need something to test, which means youll need to know which IF schedule you plan to follow.
As a general rule, youll want to err on the side of picking a schedule thats too easy to follow rather than one thats too hard.
If youve never tried any form of fasting, youll probably want to start with skipping a mealor even just delaying one meal by an hour or two.
If youre a fasting veteran, on the other hand, pick something thats just a little bit harder than what youve successfully tried in the past.
You want to end up with something youre at least 90 percent confident you can ace.
And if youre worried about it being too easy, remember: You can always make it more challenging in the future.
No matter which IF schedule you choose, use this advice:
Change Your Everyday Diet
If fasting for a longer period, even if its just a few hours a day, ends up being too hard on you, either psychologically or socially, you can always combine IF with another diet.
In this article, I compared 8 other famous diets to intermittent fasting. You might think IF was the big winner, well, yes and no. IF is not really a diet, its an eating habit, a lifestyle.
So if youre doing IF, you may think you dont really need to be doing anything else to lose weight. Except eat kind of healthy food and trying not to get too much sugar and stuff.
But depending on your goals and how hard for you it is to reach them, why not take a look at other diets out there?
There are low-carbs diets that might freak you out like the Ketogenic Diet, because it can be hard to implement with a social life, but maybe the Atkins Diet would be easier for you?
And what about going vegan for a month? Or trying the delicious Mediterranean Diet or the great Paleo Diet?
These days, everyone seems to have created its own diet and written a book about it. Of course, dont just do any diet out there, read articles about it, studies, and check if you could implement and if it really would work for you.
But there are tons of diets, well-documented ones, with advantages and disadvantages, most of them working, that you can pull from and try to implement in your life, at least for a while.
Find the right diet for you and add it as a bonus to your already great intermittent fasting lifestyle.
Intermittent Fasting: Surprising Update
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
Theres a ton of incredibly promising intermittent fasting research done on fat rats. They lose weight, their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars improve but theyre rats. Studies in humans, almost across the board, have shown that IF is safe and effective, but really no more effective than any other diet. In addition, many people find it difficult to fast.
But a growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make IF a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention.
Also Check: What To Expect Intermittent Fasting
Popular Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has recently become a health trend. Devotees claim it can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, and maybe even extend life span.
Every method can be effective, but figuring out which one works best depends on the individual.
Several methods of this eating pattern exist. But before embarking on an intermittent fast or deciding how often to fast, you should speak with a healthcare professional.
Here are 6 popular ways to do intermittent fasting.
Use The Rhythms Of Fasting To Schedule Lunch And Dinner
Youve heard enough youre ready to dive head-first into the wonderful world of intermittent fasting. So when, exactly, can you eat?
The simplest approachis skipping breakfast, having coffee or tea, Zane outlines. If your goal is weight loss, eat a low-carb lunch and dinner.
Your first meal of the day takes place after your fasting window ends, which means all of your eating occurs in a compressed window of about six to eight hours.
Thats give or take. Make it work with your schedule. If its six hours, great. If it has to be nine one day, dont beat yourself up, Zane emphasizes.
Thats the beauty of intermittent fasting: theres no right or wrong. Its one tool to improve your health in whatever way makes sense with your routine.
If Zane could recommend an ideal intermittent fasting schedule, heres what hed suggest:
- Stop eating after dinner
- Skip breakfast, enjoy your black coffee or tea, and fast until noon
- Break your fast with a low-carb lunch
- If you need a snack, make it light
- Enjoy a healthy dinner, then start the fast again
Once you feel comfortable with the rhythm of intermittent fasting, you can experiment with extending your fast until 1:00, 2:00, or 3:00 instead.
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