The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting offers a range of health benefits that can help you lose weight and maintain muscle.
Increased growth hormone: IF has been linked to increased production of human growth hormone , which plays a key role in muscle protein synthesis. Increased HGH helps to maintain muscle mass when you’re in a calorie deficit.
Cortisol reduction: Intermittent fasting provides stress management as it , often referred to as the “stress hormone” as well as the “belly fat hormone.” Elevated cortisol promotes overeating and weight gain by stimulating your appetite for sweet, high-fat, and salty foods.
Insulin sensitivity: IF increases the body’s insulin sensitivity. While insulin is an important anabolic hormone that contributes to muscle growth, an overabundance of insulin prevents fat from being broken down for energy and diverts the fat and sugar you consume into your fat cells. Reducing elevated insulin, while also increasing your body’s sensitivity to it, retains muscle while instructing your body to burn fat for energy.
Enhanced cardiovascular function: Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can improve several risk factors for coronary artery disease and stroke, including a reduction in blood pressure, improvement of cardiovascular stress adaptation, and reduced oxidative damage.
What Are The Different Types Of Intermittent Fasting
There are a variety of Intermittent Fasting methods to choose from, depending on your lifestyle, goals, and experience with fasting. Here are the most popular varieties of intermittent fasting:
16/8 Intermittent Fasting : This method of IF is one of the most basic ways to incorporate daily fasting into your life. Each day, youll have both a fasting window and an eating window. The most typical approach is to fast for 16 hours and have an eating window of 8 hours.
However, for beginners, you can try fasting for a slightly shorter period and have a 10-hour eating window.
One Meal a Day : With this approach, you would fast for 23 hours straight and then eat one large meal in a 1-hour window. If this seems a bit too extreme for you, the eating window can be expanded to either 2 or 4 hours. This is a great plan for someone who wants to extend all those fasting benefits but just cant fast for a full 24 hours.
Alternate Day: Just as the name suggests, this schedule of IF involves fasting every other day for a full 24 hours. On your fasted days, you can either completely restrict all food or allow yourself 500 calories or less. This is a more intense method of IF thats probably best-suited to experienced fasters.
Eat-stop-eat: This approach is almost identical to the 5:2 method. However, you can fast just one day per week if you wish with this method. In addition, on your fasting days, its recommended to restrict all food.
Is Intermittent Fasting Effective
Most individuals adopt intermittent fasting as a means to lose weight. But is it effective? According to several studies, subjects participating in intermittent fasting lost a significant amount of weight. However, when compared to simple calorie restriction, weight loss results were comparable.
So, if losing weight is the only reason you want to try intermittent fasting, be aware that a simple, daily calorie restriction should yield similar results.
BUT there are some additional health benefits to fasting if choosing to adopt this eating pattern.
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The Cons Of Intermittent Fasting For Fat Loss
Okay, so we just told you about a few pros. But IF also poses a few risks that you should know about if fat loss is your goal.
Con #1: While some fasting can help, a lot of fasting may backfire.
Maybe youve heard of the hormesis effect. A little shot of a disruptive stimulus may make us healthier or better, but a sustained, overzealous program of that stimulus may destroy us.
The same is true with fasting. If we push energy restriction too far for too long, we start to see problems. Especially if we combine it with other stressors, ranging from hard training to a toxic work environment.
Weve explained just two of those problems below.
Thyroid and adrenal disruption
The hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain are highly sensitive to stress. They secrete hormonal signals that affect the activity of downstream organs such as the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, and gonads .
These feedback loops are known, respectively, as the HPT, HPA, and HPG axes.
With prolonged stress or under-nutrition, the hypothalamus and pituitary gland may tell downstream organs to reduce their hormonal production, leading to problems like low thyroid function or low sex hormone production.
Womens bodies seem to be much more sensitive than mens to energy and nutrient restriction. This is especially true for women who are already active and/or have relatively lower levels of body fat.
End result: We feel hungrier, and are less satisfied when we do eat.
We Fasted 2 Days A Week Heres What Happened
Fasting just one day a week worked great for Precision Nutritions co-founder, John Berardi, PhD. Sure, on that first day without food? Hunger dogged him. His family also reported that he was quite crabby.
But he adapted. And with an eat anything day once a week to counteract his eat nothing day, everything felt doable. After roughly five weeks of fasting, I was barely uncomfortable at all, says Dr. Berardi. And by my seventh or eighth fast, I was having great days.
Dr. Berardi lost 12 pounds of body weight during the first eight weeks on this schedule.
Dr. Scott-Dixon? She had similar experiences.
But when they both tried to add a second fasting day? Everything went sideways.
Within two weeks, Dr. Berardis morning weight plummeted from 178 pounds to 171, with an estimated 4 additional pounds of fat lost but he lost 3 pounds of lean mass, too.
He felt small and weak, and was losing too much weight too fast.
People commented on how drawn and depleted Dr. Berardi looked. And he was exhausted. Training became a struggle. Even getting off the couch was a struggle.
Dr. Scott-Dixon had a similar experience.
In particular, people commented on how awful my face looked, she says. Family members worried that I had a terminal disease.
The lesson:When it comes to fasting, do just barely enough to meet your goals.
And maybe even a little bit less than you think you need.
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Schedule #: The : 2 Diet
Popularized by Dr. Michael Mosleys The Fast Diet, this approach involves consuming a lot less food two days of the week, and eating normally the other five.
Maybe youre thinking, Thats not fasting! Thats part-time dieting! And youre right.
Technically, this style of eating is called intermittent energy restriction .
What it involves
Exactly what and how much someone eats on the two fasting days can vary from around 20 percent of normal intake to 70 percent. For someone consuming 2800 Calories a day, a fasting day might range from 560 Calories to 1900.
As you can imagine, the lower end of that range is a lot more challenging than the upper end.
People who benefit
People who do best with 5:2 fasting tend to have a lifestyle and/or fitness schedules that align with it.
Heres an example: Robin Beier, PN2, is a German nutrition coach who practices IF personally and coaches a number of clients who do the same. In Germany, most shops are closed on Sundays, including grocery stores. So for one of his clients, a 5:2 diet naturally emerged.
This client would wake on Sunday with hardly any food at homeand didnt want to eat out. So hed have breakfast and then eat either very little or nothing at all for the rest of the day. He broke the fast Monday evening, after hitting the grocery store for dinner supplies.
If you try it:
You Are Not Eating Enough Food
Though it might sound counterproductive, you need to eat well during your eating window.
Intermittent fasting does not mean starvation and you can continue with your normal diet.
When you are not getting enough calories during your eating window, chances are that you will eat a whole lot more during your next window. That is because of the uncontrollable hunger that you will feel.
Also, starving yourself might cause your body to store more fat long-term. Your body notices that you are going for extended periods with little or no food and to ensure that you have a reliable energy source during such periods, your body stores the extra food you eat as fat.
So, instead of burning energy from your meals, your body begins to conserve energy.
Calorie counting could help you ensure you are getting sufficient fuel for your days activities.
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What Happens When We Are Not Fed
Now lets tell you what happens when you dont eat. This is the perfect time for the body to carry out its repairing procedures. And as a result, the natural cell death, also known as apoptosis, is allowed to happen. In the non-fed state of affairs, the body will utilize its glycogen stores and use the fats as fuel in a process called ketosis. This is the point where metabolism begins consistently as the body gets enough time to rest, recover as well as utilize the calories it has stored.
Why Should I Lose Weight
Gaining weight is often a gradual process it happens over the years as a result of modern-day life and the odd unhealthy habit.
Extra weight causes fat to build up around vital organs, making it harder for the body to fight against diseases like cancer, heart disease and now COVID-19.
If you are overweight or living with obesity, lowering your weight can help reduce your risk of developing serious diseases.
You can learn more about obesity and get support from Obesity UK, the leading charity dedicated to supporting people living with obesity.
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How Long Does Intermittent Fasting Take To Show Results
You might begin to first notice a difference in your body about 10 days after you begin intermittent fasting. It could take between 2-10 weeks for you to lose significant weight. You might lose up to a pound each week.
Usually, the first signs you will notice that scream that your intermittent fasting is working is less bloating. Your midsection might look trimmer just over your first week of intermittent fasting.
Observing weight loss will take a little longer as your body needs some time to adjust to this new diet.
At about the second week is when most people first notice that they have dropped their first few pounds. If you have still not lost any weight by week two, stay consistent for about four or five more weeks and your results should come in soon enough.
How Often Should You Do 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting
You can do anywhere from one day of intermittent 16:8 fasting to seven days a week, because, unlike other intermittent fasting diets, each day of the 16:8 works independently to the rest.
Evidence differs, however, on whether it’s healthy to do intermittent fasting all the time. While research from Queen’s Medical Centre has proven that short-term fasting boosts the metabolism, longer fasts of around three or more days can actually suppress it and slow it right down. Plus, going without food for a long period of time can lead to an increased level of cholesterol, feeling sick in the morning , dehydration and spells of low blood sugar.
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Should I Adjust My Calorie Limit On Fast Days
The limit of 500 for women and 600 for men is based on around 25% of the average TDEE.For most of us, the averages work just fine. If youre much taller, heavier or more active than average, it may be worth allowing yourself slightly higher limits on a Fast Day just divide your TDEE by four.If your TDEE is lower than average, you can limit your Fast Day intake if you like, but its unlikely to make a significant difference to your weight loss if you cut your limit to 450, for example, rather than 500, and may make meal planning that bit harder.
How Many Calories On A Non
You may have wondered how we came up with the recommendation that women have 500 calories and men have 600 calories on a Fast Day. We used the rule of thumb that women need 2000 calories and men need 2400 calories per day and on a Fast Day you should eat a quarter of a normal days recommended calories. Some of you have also wondered exactly how many calories you should be eating on days when youre not fasting.
We thought wed bring everything together in one place for you so you can do the calculations here. You can use the calculator on the right to calculate your BMI, BMR and TDEE . Well go into these in more depth below.
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Best Intermittent Fasting Calculators Of 2021
No matter which diet you follow from Paleo to Keto or even if you dont have a specific eating plan, intermittent fasting can have some serious fat-burning and gut-healing benefits. Intermittent fasting itself is not a diet, but rather a lifestyle where you only eat during a specific time window.
There are different daily time windows to choose from with an intermittent fasting lifestyle including 12 hours, 10 hours, or 8 hours. Or, there are patterns like one meal a day , every other day fasting , alternate day fasting , and the Warrior Diet .
Without getting too sciencey, a daily fasting cycle can balance the fat burning hormone leptin by syncing your body clock with your circadian rhythm. When you are constantly eating day and night, your body has a tough time with the leptin signals, and you can end up feeling hungry even though you have plenty of energy stored. When your body gets the leptin signals, you feel satiated.
There have been numerous studies about the benefits of intermittent fasting. But, instead of getting into all of those details today, Im going to assume that you have already read about those benefits, and now you are looking for the right tool to help you make the transition into the intermittent fasting lifestyle.
Youre bound to find an awesome intermittent fasting calculator in this list.
Free Intermittent Fasting Calculator Find Out How Much Weight Can You Lose By Fasting Calories Intake For Eating Window & Body Transformation Goals
Attention: Get Access to my Intermittent Fasting Calculator Software For FREE by
This online IF calculator is designed to help the followers of the Eat Stop Eat style of intermittent fasting achieve their weight loss goals faster and easier. You can learn more about Eat Stop Eat and get a free copy of the book on this page.
Brad Pilon is the author of best-selling intermittent fasting book Eat Stop Eat
Intermittent fasting is probably the SIMPLEST way of losing body fat in the world
what makes it so popular from moms to MMA fighters, vegans and celebrities it looks like everyone is talking about intermittent fasting these days.
The bas news is that some diet gurus and supplements companies try to make intermittent fasting out to be way more complicated than it actually is. This helps sell special drinks, snacks and dietary supplements for fastershowever
none of these are needed for effective weight loss with intermittent fasting.
=> What you really need to succeed is an intermittent fasting method that is RIGHT for you. This means you can easily fit it into your lifestyle, your schedule and your preferences.
=> The second step to your weight loss success is setting up a realistic target and doing your best to hitting that target.
=> And the third important thing is to adjust your intermittent fasting plan as your body changes. For that you can use a special intermittent fasting calculator or fasting app.
Best estimate Target weight
Intermittent Fasting For Healthy Weight Loss
As weve said, not all weight loss is the same. Its essential to make sure youre losing weight in a healthy way. Can intermittent fasting help with healthy weight loss?
Here, the data are conflicting.
On one hand, intermittent fasting can help improve metabolic health by reducing blood sugar and blood pressure while also improving blood lipid levels.4
On the other hand, two trials suggested that intermittent fasting may not lead to greater weight loss than usual care, or even worse may lead to greater loss of lean muscle mass than usual care or continuous calorie restriction.5
A healthy weight loss intervention also should be relatively easy to comply with and maintain long-term. Fortunately, intermittent fasting may fit that criteria.
One study reported that working adults found time-restricted eating with an eight-hour eating window easy to comply with and maintain for three months.6
That fits with frequent clinical experience suggesting many people easily adapt to time-restricted eating, especially when they follow a low-carb or high-protein diet that helps improve satiety and reduce appetite.7
So, in terms of convenience and ease in your approach to healthy weight loss, intermittent fasting seems to be a winner.
How Can Fasting Help You Lose Weight Without Losing Muscle
Compared to calorie-controlled diets, intermittent fasting has been shown to be an effective tool for weight loss without losing muscle. This is because fasting promotes the secretion of hormones such as HGH and adiponectin.
HGH helps maintain lean mass by signaling your liver to keep up its production of lipoprotein lipase , an enzyme that moves fat from storage in your body tissues into your bloodstream where it is burned for energy. Adiponectin, on the other hand, tells LPL to work more efficiently while also blocking some activity that causes insulin resistance.
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Intermittent Fasting Worksat Least For Some People But Which Fasting Schedule Is Best
In this chapter, well take an in-depth look at that question. But first, we must issue a warning.
No single intermittent fasting schedule will work for all people in all situations.
Sorry. We wish it were different.
It would make everything so much easier.
In reality, the effectiveness of any IF schedule depends on the person following it. Well explore that ultimate IF truth throughout this chapter.
In addition to reviewing the top IF schedules, well help you figure out which one will likely work best for you or a client. Weve included specific advice for:
- Skip-a-meal fasting, which is exactly what it sounds like
- Alternate day fasting , or eating every other day
- 5:2 fasting, which is eating normally five days a week and restricting calories two days a week
- Fasting mimicking diets , or consuming half as much as usual for a few days to a week, then eating normally for 3-4 weeks