Whats The Best Protocol For Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, there is no best protocol the best protocol is one you can stick with. You might want to keep your fasting window to a minimum. Or, you may prefer fasting for the majority of your day.
Common intermittent fasting protocols are:
- The 16:8 Method: Fast for 16 hours and eat all of your days food within eight hours, seven days a week.
- The 23:1 or One Meal a Day Diet: Fast for 23 hours and eat one meal a day in a one-hour window.
- The 5:2 or Fast Diet: Eat as you typically would for five days and limit daily calories to 500-600 for two days in order to fast.
- Eat, Stop, Eat: Similar to the Alternate Day Fast, but you choose to fast for an entire day once or twice per week and return to your routine eating habits the other days.
For an in-depth look at the various types of intermittent fasting protocols, check out this guide to learn more about which regimen might fit for you.
Can You Break A Fast Without Gaining Weight
Intermittent fasting is a health trend with tangible results. A lot of people heard about it and jumped right in. However, when they decided they wanted to quit, they feared they’d experience weight gain after fasting. Luckily, you can quit intermittent fasting without putting on pounds.
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Fasting for weight loss can be a lifelong diet change or it can be something you do until you hit your goal weight. However long you try the diet, you won’t have to worry about gaining back all of the weight you lost.
You can avoid weight gain after your fasting diet is over by trying other methods of glucose stabilization. An option for improving glucose homeostasis is a low-fat, high-vegetable diet.
Rule #: Prioritize Protein And Vegetables
If we want weight loss that doesnt suck, well want to build meals with foods that fill us up and make us feel good!
PART A) PRIORITIZE PROTEIN FIRST: Protein is fuel for our bodies to rebuild muscle. Its also nutritious, delicious, and satiating.
How much protein should you eat? As we cover in our Protein Guide, aim for 1g per lb of bodyweight every day .
Protein can come from any number of sources, including:
- Meat .
Not a meat-eater? Read our massive plant-based guide!
A serving of protein is about the size and thickness of your palm.
*The 4 oz serving is for an uncooked piece of meat. Cooking reduces about 25% of the weight, bringing it down to about 3 oz.
When building a plate, aim for the following amount of protein:
- Dudes: 1-2 servings : two palms
- Dudettes: 1 serving : 1 palm.
PART B) HALF OF YOUR PLATE SHOULD BE VEGETABLES: When it comes to weight loss, veggies can make the difference between success and failure.
Vegetables are nutrient-dense and low in calories. So you can eat lots of them and feel full without overconsuming calories .
A serving of veggies is about the size of your fist, and 2 servings of veggies should take up ½ the plate!
Heres a quick, non-complete list of veggies that can fill your plate:
But Steve, I dont like vegetablesyet!
Thats cool, I didnt eat vegetables until I was 22. Now, theyre a main staple of every meal I eat.
If this is you, read our guide on how to make vegetables taste good.
Speaking of which
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So I Have To Count Calories To Lose Weight
But don’t confuse not having to count calories with being the same as calories don’t count.
There may be a benefit for specific individuals to count calories, and the research also shows a trend towards more weight loss and maintenance of weight loss with those who do track calories, but thats a whole other discussion in and of itself.34
Which leads me to my next point, the adage of eat less move more IS also true, but we can all agree it is not helpful advice.
The reason you may have lost weight on keto, with or without exercise, and possibly without counting calories, is because ketogenic diets are known for suppressing appetite5, which causes you to eat less overall.
No matter how you put it, every diet that causes weight loss works through the same fundamental principle, it causes you to eat less.
Therefore, the only way to lose weight is to eat in a manner that allows you to remain in a caloric deficit consistently.
Whether that’s keto or not.
Mistake #: Thinking Intermittent Fasting Is Too Hard
I hear this a lot from people. The thought of eating nothing for an extended period of time can be intimidating. Ill starve if I go that long without eating, they say. Or, I wont have any energy and Ill be a cranky as hell if I fast.
First of all, your body will not starve by eating nothing for 16-18 hours not even close. But also, intermittent fasting is way easier than youd think it just sounds hard if you havent tried it yet.
IF is so easy, in fact, that youre actually doing it without even realizing it. Most people follow close to a 12/12 IF schedule meaning, 12 hours of fasting alternated with a 12-hour feeding window every day.
For example, if you end your last meal around 8:00 pm and eat your first meal at 8:00 am, thats 12/12. Even if you eat you last meal at midnight and eat your first meal at 8:00 am, thats an 8/16 IF. Research shows that as little as a 12-hour fasting window can provide benefits.
Starting IF is easy. Just make sure youre close to a 12/12 schedule. As that becomes easy, increase the fasting window while decreasing the feeding window by an hour each. Start with 12/12 and set a goal to eventually arrive at a daily 16/8 schedule. But take your time getting there. Do 12/12 for a few days, or even a few weeks, then step it up to 13/11 for the same amount of time, then 14/10, then 15/9, then 16/8. Trust me, its easier than most people think.
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Why Intermittent Fasting Without Keto May Be Best For You
Women tend to need more carbs than men. Intermittent fasting for longer periods will allow your body to reap the benefits of switching to fat-burning mode while still consuming carbs to ensure proper hormonal function.
I love the food freedom that comes from this approach. Meanwhile, some keto cycles may be helpful as needed if you notice that you struggle with intense food cravings.
Dont forget to watch my Intermittent Fasting 101 Workshop for further help and guidance.
Mistake #: Not Sticking With If Long Enough
It takes any system in the body approximately two weeks to change. If youve tried IF in the past for a few days but felt foggy, exhausted, and hungry, thats because your bodys metabolic systems hadnt adapted yet to a fasting schedule.
Give IF a minimum of two weeks, and youll notice how much better you feel in the fasted state.
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Rule #: Lose Weight Without Dieting
Theres only ONE big-ass rule you need to follow when it comes to weight loss:
Eat fewer calories than you burn.
Study after study after study shows that our bodies obey the laws of thermodynamics and that in order to lose weight, we need to burn more calories than we consume regularly.
Every day, our body needs a certain number of calories to carry out its daily functions: making your heart beat, your brain function, getting your body to move, and all sorts of other stuff.
This is called your total daily energy expenditure, and you can calculate your TDEE here.
- When you consume more calories than you burn, your body tends to store those extra calories as fat .
- When you burn more calories than you consume, your body will pull from fat stores for energy .
So, in order for us to lose weight, we need to find a way to tip the energy balance in favor of burn fat, sucka!
Simplifying this really complex topic, we need to eat less and/or move more to get our bodies to start using our fat stores for energy.
Unfortunately, thats where the problems start.
We humans are REALLY good at:
- UNDERestimating how much we eat.
- OVERestimating how much we burn.
When we accidentally eat more calories than we realize, and then burn fewer calories from exercise than we assume, we think we cant lose weight because of our metabolism or genetics.
Its because we are eating too much.
The best way to do that is to focus on the right kind of food:
200 calories worth of a bagel:
When Does The Body Oxidize Fat During Fasting
As your intermittent fast progresses, its possible for fat oxidation to occur. This is when your body consumes fuel, especially during athletic pursuits. The fat becomes energy without the need for intermittent fasting. Instead, its all about your level of physical activity.
You can trigger fat oxidation during a fast, too, just that its not always necessary. According to a 2004 study in the journal Nutrition, exercise intensity and duration are important determinants of fat oxidation.
If your intensity of exercise hits an oxygen consumption rate of 59 to 64 percent as an athlete, your fat oxidation is maximized. Even an oxygen consumption rate of 47 to 52 percent should be okay for the general population.
The journal also notes that fat oxidation happens more with certain exercises than others, such as running and endurance training instead of cycling.
What about when youre fasting? Nutrition says this: Ingestion of carbohydrate in the hours before or on commencement of exercise reduces the rate of fat oxidation significantly compared with fasted conditions, whereas fasting longer than 6 h optimizes fat oxidation.
In other words, avoid carbohydrates, since theyre a source of glucose. Also, it takes six hours or more of consistent fasting to maximize the effectiveness of fat oxidation.
Read Also: What Supplements To Take When Fasting
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.
Why Diets Dont Work
If youre reading this guide, you probably:
- Have gone on a diet in the past.
- Are on a diet right now.
Whether we try popular diets like the Paleo Diet to Keto, or Plant-Based, to Intermittent fasting , to terrible diets like the Military Diet, juice cleanses, or the Cabbage Soup Diet, were all looking for that master key that unlocks effortless weight loss.
Some of these diets are certainly more effective/healthy than others, but they all come down to two truths for losing weight:
Truth #1: Nearly every diet works in the short term.
Truth #2: Nearly every diet fails in the long term.
So why does every diet work in the short term?
Every diet you have ever tried has a clever way of restricting calories which leads to weight loss:
- Paleo Diet: Eliminate everything but veggies, meat, fruit, and nuts.
- Keto Diet: Remove an entire macronutrient from your diet .
- Plant-based Diet: Only eat foods from plants.
- Carnivore Diet: Only eat meat! Eliminate everything else.
- Intermittent Fasting: Skip an entire meal, or dont eat for 24 hours.
99% of the reason why these diets result in short-term weight loss is that they get us to eat fewer calories.
The problems arise when we get to Truth 2:
Nearly every diet fails in the long term.
Put another way: Temporary changes create temporary results.
If somebody goes Keto for 60 days, theyll probably lose weight, and might even feel healthier.
This is cool.
Today, were going to focus on weight loss thats:
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Fasting And Weight Loss
To understand how quitting intermittent fasting effects your overall weight, you first need to know how the it helps you lose weight. When you fast, you enter ketogenesis, according to a study from the January 2014 issue of Cell Metabolism. Ketogenesis improves metabolic function, causing your body to burn fat more effectively.
Fasting also improves stress resistance, which can have an affects on weight gain. A small study published in the February 2018 issue of Trials found that intermittent fasting may influence energy balance. These changes in energy expenditure and energy intake may play a role in its influence on weight loss. Additional research is needed to further assess the effects of fasting on metabolism.
The influence of intermittent fasting on glucose homeostasis still needs further research, notes a review in the July 2016 issue of Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. There is preliminary evidence that it may improve the body’s ability to maintain balanced glucose levels.
If this is the case, you might notice the improvement starting to fade away after you’ve been off the diet for a while. As you notice the effects, you’ll want to make sure you try other methods for keeping your blood glucose levels within a healthy range.
Intermittent Fasting Without Keto
When people hear about or adopt a ketogenic diet, they begin to dig around for ways to optimize their results or speed things along. Eventually, I want to say the majority of people who follow a ketogenic diet learn about intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting or IF may be used without the use of a keto diet. Intermittent fasting is a schedule of when to eat versus a ketogenic diet, which is more of what to eat or not eat. The two may be used together or entirely separate from one another with great success.
However, for one reason or another, you may find yourself wanting to transition off of a ketogenic diet, but still wanting to implement the intermittent fasting .
In this article, I’ll go over if you can still lose weight without keto, different intermittent fasting protocols, why IF may not be all that it’s cracked up to be, and possibly a better alternative to IF.
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I Would Move Away From Intermittent Fasting For Fat Loss And If You Want To Adopt It Think About The Health Benefits Rachel Clarkson
Someone who has a high-carb diet might never move beyond the catabolic state as they will always have a reserve supply of glycogen. However, someone with a low-carb diet and who regularly exercises might move through it very quickly . I would move away from intermittent fasting for fat loss, and if you want to adopt it think about the health benefits, says Clarkson.
How to fast
To fast you have to downregulate the feeling of hunger, says Clarkson. Hunger is felt when ghrelin, a hormone released from our stomach, triggers the production of two other hormones, called NPY and AgRP, in the hypothalamus.
While these three hormones generate feelings of hunger, there are a multitude more that suppress it. Sometimes called the satiety hormones, one of the key ones is leptin which is released from fat cells to suppress the production of ghrelin basically telling the body “there is fat here that you can burn”.
Ghrelin is sometimes called the short-term hunger response because it is released when the stomach is empty and there is less pressure on the stomach wall. It can be overridden to a certain extent by drinking water. Leptin meanwhile works over the long term.
* William Park is a senior journalist at BBC Future and is on Twitter.
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What I Ate And How I Exercised While Doing Intermittent Fasting
Limiting my eating to an eight-hour period of the day seemed reasonable. If I exercised in the morning, my first meal would be an early but large lunch at around 11:30 a.m. By 3 p.m., if I was hungry, I could have a snack. At 7 p.m., I would eat a reasonable-size dinner. No snacking after that.
My first thought was that there was no way I would be able to skip breakfast and still work out. My mind was telling me that I would be hungry. The first few days that I tried it, as I would warm up for my workout, I would have visions of chicken with broccoli from a nearby Chinese restaurant in my head. But once I got into my workout, a funny thing would happen. I would completely forget about being hungry. My body would stabilize and water would be enough to keep me moving.
But by the time I got home from the gym, I was starving. Early on, I decided that was going to be my biggest meal of the day. Sometimes it was a lean shoulder steak with a sweet potato. Other times, I would eat an entire chicken along with two cups of broccoli, and the sweetest bottle of Gatorade I ever had. Or occasionally, I would make a taco bowl out of seasoned ground turkey, cheddar cheese, and tomatoes, or a stir-fry with beef and a variety of peppers. It turned out that my calorie intake and lunch would be anywhere from 800 to 1,000 calories, though this part was not an exact science.
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