How Do Fasting Diets Work To Help Rev Weight Loss
The idea behind intermittent fasting is that it increases your metabolic rate, which helps you burn more calories. And by restricting the time periods during the day when you eat, you take in fewer calories each day.
Going into diet change, I knew there was only early evidence that fasting can lead to temporary weight loss, and that more research is needed especially on the potential long-term health effects of this diet. As it stands, experts warn that fasting may not be safe, or smart, for everyone. Fasting is not recommended for some groups, such as pregnant or lactating women, some people with diabetes, people dealing with eating disorders or issues such as low blood sugar, according to the Mayo Clinic. Thats why experts stress that its important to consult your healthcare team before trying any type of fast.
Despite the lack of comprehensive research on intermittent fasting, this eating style has helped me lose weight, regain my energy, and become more mindful about my eating choices.
Is Fasting Good For You
Science suggests that intermittent fasting can have a number of potential health benefits besides weight loss. In one study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , fasting was shown to reduce the risk of diabetes. In another study from the journal Cell Metabolism , researchers found intermittent fasting was linked to improved cardiovascular health, including lowered resting heart rate and reduced blood pressure. The researchers also found that no adverse effects occurred even up to six months of regular intermittent fasting.
Fasting has also been shown to help reduce inflammation, with one study finding that just one month of daily 12-hour fasts helped lower levels of inflammatory markers in the body.
A recent study also found that 14 hours or more of daily fasting for 30 days resulted in changes to gene expression that could promote DNA repair and other health markers for longevity. Studies also show fasting can help keep your brain sharp. In one study involving a small group of fasting women, intermittent fasting increased the happy hormone serotonin and other brain-boosting factors.
However intermittent fasting may not be beneficial for certain groups of people. According to one study , intermittent fasting should not be used by children or pregnant women, and another study found that womens periods could be adversely affected if calorie intake is consistently too low.
How To Lose Fat And Gain Muscle With Intermittent Fasting
One thing to know before you start: There is a way to do it right, and that will help you lose without “yoyo-ing” in energy or weight gain. It all has to do with fuel systems in your body and training your energy to pull from fat and keep insulin levels low so they never tell your body to “store excess energy as fat.” Once you get the hang of it, you will burn fat as fuel, all day long.
“If you never let your insulin drop then you never tell your body to pull calories from fat. So there is a whole movement among athletes to train in the fasting state. If you train without eating, then you need to pull calories out of storage to get through an intense workout. If you eat in the morning let’s say you have a muffin before your workout then you use up that source and your body never uses calories from fat and your workout was not effective if the reason you’re working out is to lose fat.
Here’s the great news. whether you fast for 12, 14, or 16 hours or longer it is completely flexible you could push it up to 16 hours, and do it a couple of times a week. So you eat in an 8-hour window, from 11 am to 7 pm, and then have 16 hours of fasting. A lot of celebrities have talked about IF and how it helped them, like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Hugh Jackman. It’s really simple. Counting calories and counting carbs are complicated, but timing is simple.
Also Check: When Do You Eat On Intermittent Fasting
Making Weight Loss Easier
Intermittent fasting can change the function of hormones, cells and genes, Sawyer says. “Changes in hormone levels makes stored body fat more accessible and initiates important cellular repair processes. When you fast, insulin levels drop, and human growth hormone increases. Your cells also initiate important cellular repair processes and change which genes they express.”
One Downside Of If: Loss Of Lean Muscle Mass
While weight loss for cardiometabolic health is a sensible goal, weight loss from any intervention often entails a concurrent loss of lean muscle mass. This has been a notable finding what I might even call an adverse side effect of intermittent fasting protocols. Given the importance of lean muscle mass for revving your metabolic rate, regulating your blood sugar, and keeping you physically able overall, pairing resistance training with an intermittent fasting protocol is strongly advised.
Finally, the weight loss achieved through time-restricted eating is likely different than the cellular adaptations that happen with more prolonged fully fasted states. At this time, it is hard to determine the degree to which the cardiometabolic benefits of fasting derive from weight loss or from underlying cellular adaptations it is likely an interrelated combination of both.
Nevertheless, it seems clear that in a 24/7 world of around-the-clock eating opportunities, all of us could benefit from aligning with our circadian biology, and spend a bit less time in a fed state and more time in a fasted state each day.
About the Author
Richard Joseph, MD, Contributor
Read Also: Intermittent Fasting 18/6 Results
How To Lose Weight By Fasting
Heres how to lose weight by fasting, including tips for seeing safe success and some of the most popular fasting methods
If youre unsure how to lose weight by fasting, our science-backed guide will cover some of the most popular fasting methods and outline some good practices for fasting weight loss. As science continues to hunt for the fastest, simplest, and safest way to lose weight, one method that has gathered increased popularity in recent years is fasting.
It is important to note that if you have any medical conditions that you think may affect your fasting, you should consult a medical professional or nutritionist before you start a fasting diet.
A balanced approach to weight loss that incorporates both exercise and diet is key too. This means making sure you’re eating healthily when you’re not fasting and engaging in workouts you enjoy. To find the right exercise for you, see our tried and tested guide to the best exercise machines to lose weight and our handy how-to guide for the best exercises for weight loss.
You Arent Eating The Right Types Of Foods
Hate to break it to you, but not all calories are created equal. According to Palinski-Wade, simple sugars digest rapidly, leading to very little energy being used in the digestive process, and a quick, but not long-lasting, spike in energy. So dont expect to feel great and achieve the same results if you opt for a doughnut over a protein-packed smoothie for breakfast, just because they may have close to the same number of calories.
Fix it: Foods that are rich in fiber and protein, meanwhile, can require as much as 30 percent of their total calories to be used up during the digestive process. So if your weight loss has stalled, look at your diet as a whole, she says. There may be areas in which you started off on point and have gotten lax about nutrition.
Questions to ask yourself include:
- Are you eating 30 grams or more of fiber per day?
- Are you taking in 20 to 30 percent of total calories from protein?
- Are you limiting simple sugars to less than 10 percent of total calories?
If the answers to any of these questions is no, make adjustments to your macronutrients to jumpstart weight loss progress again, says Palinski-Wade.
Read Also: How Many Hours Is Considered Fasting
Why Is The 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Necessary
Fasting can be done for health reasons or for religious reasons. Fasting for religious reasons is outside the remit of this blog, so I wont be going there.
Intermittent fasting for health reasons concern us here.
There are obvious advantages of doing intermittent fasting not least for weight management. One of the easiest ways to lose weight and keep it off is through intermittent fasting.
But you have to avoid allowing your body to go into the energy saving mode .
The whole idea behind intermittent fasting regardless of the method of fasting you adopt is to get hormonal advantage. This protects your bodys metabolic health.
How Much Weight Can You Lose From Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is not a quick weight loss fix. It might take your body a few weeks to start shedding the extra pounds.
Do not expect to drop up to 20 pounds within your first week of intermittent fasting.
Like many diets, you need to remain consistent and make lifestyle changes to get results.
It might take a few weeks for you to drop your first pound from intermittent fasting. However, once you start, you can expect to lose about a pound each week. Some people can lose up to 10 pounds each month.
Therefore, your body type will determine your results.
Also Check: How To Do Intermediate Fasting
How To Lose Weight By Fasting: The 1: 8 Diet
The 16:8 diet is one of the most popular ways of intermittent fasting. Its extremely simple: for 16 hours you fast, avoiding food and any calorie-containing beverages, and then once those 16 hours are up, you eat your meals within a specific eight-hour eating window.
The great thing about this method is that you can choose any eight-hour window that suits your lifestyle. Plus, your 16 hours of non-eating can incorporate sleep time. For example, you could stop eating at 8pm and wait until noon the next day to open your eating window again. Or if you prefer an earlier breakfast you could opt for a 9am to 5pm eating schedule.
A downside of the 16:8 diet is that it may take your body some time to adjust to eating more meals within a shorter time frame. One workaround is to limit your eating to two meals a day, but initially, you may wish to start with three meals spread out over the course of the eight hours.
Research from the journal Nutrients suggests that intermittent fasting methods like the 16:8 diet can help lower high blood pressure, reduce the amount of food consumed and ultimately lead to weight loss. And for those worried about losing muscle, the 16:8 diet can help maintain muscle mass and prevent muscle loss when combined with resistance training, according to studies in the Journal of Translational Medicine and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition .
What Is The Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, very low-carb way of eating.
Carbs are typically reduced to 20 to 50 grams per day, which forces your body to rely on fats instead of glucose for its main energy source .
In the metabolic process known as ketosis, your body breaks down fats to form substances called ketones that serve as an alternate fuel source .
This diet is an effective way to shed pounds, but it has several other benefits as well.
The keto diet has been used for nearly a century to treat epilepsy and also demonstrates promise for other neurological disorders (
Whats more, it may reduce blood sugar, improve insulin resistance and lower heart disease risk factors like triglyceride levels .
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet linked to potential health benefits, such as weight loss and improved blood sugar control.
If you commit to the ketogenic diet while doing intermittent fasting as well, it could offer the following benefits.
She Experimented To See What Worked
There are a lot of different options for intermittent fasting, and Etienne-Mesubi started with 18 hours of fasting and a six-hour eating window. In the beginning it was challenging but within two weeks it became very normal, she says.
She learned that hunger often comes in waves, and if she drank some water or tea, or read to get her mind off the hunger, the wave would pass. The minute I shifted my mind onto something else I wasnt hungry, and before I knew it, I was at my eating window, she says.
She had no trouble skipping breakfast, and sometimes wasnt hungry at noon, so she would push the start of her eating window to 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. and finish eating by 6 p.m.
Why When You Eat Matters According To Scientific Research
In a study published in Obesity Journal, researchers randomized 93 overweight and obese women into two groups who ate the same foods. One group ate half their 1,400 daily calories for breakfast. The other group ate half their calories for dinner. While both groups lost weight, compared with the nighttime calorie group, the morning calorie group lost more weight, reduced their waist circumference by more, and lowered their fasting glucose and insulin levels by more.
Timing is everything when it comes to eating, Peeke says. We now realize that we spent so much time studying how much we eat, we never paid enough attention to when we eat.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Started Intermittent Fasting
What Intermittent Fasting Results Can You Expect
There are so many articles on Intermittent Fasting benefits, different types of Fasting and tips on how to practice this lifestyle.
Yet, what about the actual Intermittent Fasting results?
How much weight can you lose with Intermittent Fasting and how long does it take to see results from Intermittent Fasting? What other benefits can you expect when embarking on your new fasting journey?
To answer these questions and get a real-life perspective, we reached out to our , as well as Intermittent Fasters on Instagram and Reddit. With over 800 people who successfully completed our 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge, we got some great examples to share!
We interviewed over 30 people to understand what Intermittent Fasting results they experienced and summarized the findings below in this blog post.
Spoiler Alert: the Intermittent Fasting results are so inspiring youll want to start straight away!
It May Be Dangerous If Youre Taking Certain Medications
If you want to give intermittent fasting a try, make sure to discuss it with your doctor first, says Dr. Eric Rimm, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Skipping meals and severely limiting calories can be dangerous for people with certain conditions, such as diabetes. Some people who take medications for blood pressure or heart disease also may be more prone to imbalances of sodium, potassium, and other minerals during longer-than-normal periods of fasting.
Dr. Suzanne Salamon, associate chief of gerontology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, expresses another concern: People who need to take their medications with food to avoid nausea or stomach irritation may not do well with fasting.
Read Also: Is 14 Hours Enough For Intermittent Fasting
Your Fasting Window Is Too Short
If you want to notice a difference in your body weight, your eating window during your intermittent fasting diet should be significantly less than normal.
If the difference between your eating window before and during intermittent fasting is only an hour or two, you might barely notice significant weight loss.
A 14-hour fasting window with a 10-hour eating window seems like a great place to start. However, if you find the 14 hours to be too long, you could start with a shorter fasting duration and work your way up.
The Science Behind If Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal Of The Day
According to Jeff, he concludes that the research proves that breakfast is not the most important meal of the day as long as you get the necessary protein and calorie intake in. Studies show that breakfast doesnt stoke your metabolic rate compared to breakfast skippers.
A study by Morgan, Zabik & Stampley found that in general, having breakfast increased the overall diet quality of the U.S. population since it was correlated to lower fat and cholesterol intake and greater intake of under-consumed nutrients. That said, this study analyzed behavior based on the average American. If you track your macros and dont just rely on junk foods for breakfast, you can probably get better results.
Recommended Reading: What Type Of Fasting Is Best For Me
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.
Lessons From Krystals Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Journey
To give you a better idea of what intermittent fasting weight loss is like, Simple recently spoke with Krystal, a weight-loss influencer and intermittent fasting advocate. Krystal uses her platform of over 30,000 followers to encourage others to begin their path to wellness through the handle on Instagram.