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What Does Fasting Do To Your Metabolism

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About Susan Puckett Paboulder Medical Center Internal Medicine And Ent Departments

What is Metabolism?

Susan Puckett is a physician assistant in both the Internal Medicine and Otolaryngology departments. A PA since 1993, Susan joined Boulder Medical Center in 1997. She is originally from Texas and has lived in Washington, Florida and New Mexico. In her spare time, Susan enjoys scuba diving and snow skiing. Susan is married with a son and daughter.

Intermittent Fasting And Your Metabolism

Fasting that involves going days on end with just water or juices can be deleterious to your metabolism and health. But intermittent fasting, which involves carefully planned pauses in eating, may help with weight loss. Options for this type of fast might be a daily 14- to 16-hour fast, fasting for 24 hours once or twice per week, or fasting on alternate days. Much of this fasting time occurs as you sleep.

Proponents argue that giving your body extended time between meals encourages it to use your fat stores for energy. Research isn’t conclusive on the benefits of intermittent fasting, nor has it determined that one pattern of short, controlled fasting is better than another. A 2013 review of intermittent fasting conducted by Brazilian researchers and published in the journal Revista da Associacao Medica Brasileira found that the strategy can decrease inflammation, lower the amount of lipids — or fat — in the blood and help with a weight-loss program. Animal studies have shown that intermittent fasting may have a positive effect on blood sugar levels and on the ability to metabolize fat, particularly insidious visceral fat that sits in the belly and increases risk of chronic disease. How intermittent fasting affects human metabolic rates is not clear, however, and more research is necessary.

What Are The Types Of Fasting

There are many types of dietary approaches that involve interspacing planned periods of fasting with regular eating. Some of the most popular and effective types of fasting are as elaborated in the table below.

Remember, fasting affects people with underlying conditions differently. If you have Prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, talk to your care provider or coach before making dramatic changes to your diet. If you take insulin or are on blood sugar-lowering medications, it is even more critical to check with your doctor before engaging in any type of fasting, as it can plummet your blood-sugar to dangerously low levels and drastically alter how your medications work.

To learn more about Intermittent Fasting, Do’s and Don’ts or how to pick the type of fast best suited to you, check out our article on Intermittent Fasting and Diabetes.

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Add More Spices To Your Food

Spicy foods may be difficult for you to consume, but they can help you with weight loss. Research suggests that spicy food can help boost your metabolism. Thats because hot peppers tend to have capsaicin.

Capsaicin speeds up your metabolism by speeding up your fat-burning mechanisms. Thus, you burn more fat and use that energy. Additionally, it can also help you suppress your appetite. Spicy foods make you feel fuller, so you will be eating less throughout the day.

In addition to weight loss, spicy foods also help with gut health. They help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. They also help reduce inflammation in the gut, which can help with obesity.

If you dont love spicy food, we recommend starting easy. Starting with ghost pepper and expecting to lose weight in a few days wont get you anywhere.

Furthermore, you should be careful only to consume natural spices added to healthy meals instead of adding hot sauces to your fast food. You should work on building a spice tolerance and then go from there.

Physiology Of Fuel And Metabolism

How to boost your metabolism

Typically, our bodies are fuelled by glucose, which is a simple sugar. However, through diet restriction or intermittent fasting, that energy source gradually becomes unavailable.

As a result, the body begins to convert its stored fat into fatty acids that are easily absorbed by the bloodstream. Fatty acids produce molecules called ketones. After 8 12 hours of fasting, our metabolism shifts to replace glucose with ketones as our new source of energy.

Studies show that intermittent fasting may be better for you than other dietary strategies. This is because unlike glucose, ketones put less stress on our cells, they anti-inflammatory in nature and are a superior source of fuel for our bodies and brains.

Also Check: Intermittent Fasting Eat During Fast

Top Off Your Water Tank

Your body is 80% water if you dont drink enough, your cortisol levels will be raised, which will keep you from being able to reduce tummy fat, says doctor of chiropractic Susan Wong, DC, co-founder of Twin Waves Wellness Center. Wong recommends women consume 2 to 3 liters per day, and 3 to 4 liters daily for men.

Whats Happening With Your Body: Easing Out Of Fasting Mode

How you choose to end your fast is critical. Depending on how long you fast, you may need to ease your way back into eating solid food. Fruit juices, cooked vegetables, and broths can help acclimate your body and digestive system to eating as internal mechanisms come back online.

How Should I Eat on Day 1 of Breaking a Water Fast? ????

Length: 6 minutes

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The Best Way To Maintain Healthy Metabolism Is To Practice Intermittent Fasting

This can be accomplished with 18 or 24 hour periods without food. Actually, before you panic, realize that you will be eating every day. To accomplish an 18-hour fast, you simply will eat dinner at the regular time and then not eat your first meal the next day until around noon.

To accomplish the 24-hour fast, you would continue fasting until dinner the following day. This resets the metabolism every time. It works because of the effect it has on two hormones, insulin and growth hormone. When in the non-fed state, insulin goes down which allows the body to access and utilize fat as fuel. Additionally, growth hormone goes up which allows the body to maintain and build lean muscle tissue.

I recommend doing this every third or fourth day to ensure your metabolism is constantly being reset and fired up. When this becomes a practice in life, issues of weight control get relatively easy and less stressful.

Hour Fast For Reduced Inflammation

How does fasting affect your metabolism?

Chronic inflammation has recently been implicated as the driving force behind virtually all chronic diseases and fasting can be an antidote. Across the globe 3 out of 5 people die from chronic inflammatory diseases including heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, cancer, obesity, and diabetes.

In America alone, 60% of the population has at least one chronic inflammatory condition. 2

Thankfully, 20 hour intermittent fasting can reduce inflammation in a couple of ways: It can help seal up the digestive tract, reducing gut inflammation as well as stopping inflammatory pathogens from entering the bloodstream. And it can trigger your body to recycle damaged cells that would otherwise trigger inflammatory responses.

20 hour intermittent fasting may be a holistic preventative measure for people with rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogrens, MS, and other inflammatory disorders.

Read Also: What I Need To Know About Intermittent Fasting

How To Kickstart Your Metabolism With Intermittent Fasting

Be Well, Stress Reduction, Tips

There are many approaches to weight loss and weight management, but the success of one approach over another often depends on each persons metabolic rate the rate at which the body naturally converts nutrients and chemicals from food in order to maintain itself. Think of metabolism as the act of your body breaking down the food you eat into its different chemicals, and then delivering those chemicals to different parts of the body in order to create and story energy, as well as repair tissues. When we talk about metabolic rate, we refer to how fast your body can process food.

Typically, people with higher metabolic rates are leaner and more muscular. Think of someone like professional swimmer Michael Phelps, who reportedly ate up to 12,000 calories per day while training. His body needed a high level of energy output while training, and the only way he could do that and perform at such a high level was to eat an enormous amount of food . Conversely, have you ever had a very skinny friend who could eat whatever s/he wanted without ever gaining any weight? That was likely due to that persons high metabolic rate.

Types Of Intermittent Fasting

The 5:2 and 16:8 approach are the most common types of intermittent fasting and differ in their daily approach.

5:2 Fasting Method: Two non-consecutive days out of the week are considered “fast days” in which only 25 percent of daily calorie needs are consumed . On the other five days, you eat at your normal calorie level. Some have taken this method one step further by doing a 4:3 approach where a “fast day” is alternated with a day of regular intake.

16:8 Fasting Method: All daily calories are eaten within an 8- to 10-hour window that you choose, but nothing is eaten the other 14 to 16 hours in the day. People often skip breakfast and choose an 8-hour eating window like 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Recommended Reading: How Long Fasting To Lose Weight

Women On 20 Hour Fast

The calorie restriction seen with 20:4 fasting affects a womens hypothalamus differently mens.

The hypothalamus is in charge of releasing luteinizing hormone and the follicle-stimulating hormone . Disrupting these two hormones can damage a womans fertility rates, ovary size, and bone health.

Check out our dedicated intermittent fasting for women article for more details. In the meantime, women who are interested in IF may want to opt for 16/8 or even 12/12 IF instead.

Whats The Big Deal About Metabolism

If You Think You Have a Slow Metabolism, This Trainer Says to Do These ...

Chances are youve seen the word metabolism in all of your research about weight loss. But what is metabolism? Metabolism is a chemical reaction that occurs in your cells to convert your food into energy. The metabolism process typically occurs when youre asleep or at rest.

Once food enters your digestive system, enzymes break proteins into amino acids, transfer fat into fatty acids, and convert carbohydrates into glucose for fuel. You may think of this as the calorie-burning or energy creation process. When you eat more calories than you need to fuel your body, you store those excess calories as body fat.

Scientists use your basal metabolic rate to measure how quickly your body burns calories for energy while at rest. If you have a low BMR, youll consume fewer calories at rest, and possibly gain more body fat than a similar-sized individual with a high BMR who eats the same amount. But how does intermittent fasting affect your BMR?

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A Research Agenda On Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting regimens attempt to translate the positive effects of fasting regimens in rodents and other mammals into a practical eating pattern for reducing the risk of chronic disease in humans. Below we give suggestions for a future research agenda investigating intermittent fasting and metabolic health.

Modified fasting regimens appear to promote weight loss and may improve metabolic health. However, there are insufficient data to determine the optimal fasting regimen, including the length of the fasting interval, the number of fasting days per week, degree of energy restriction needed on fasting days, and recommendations for dietary behavior on non-fasting days.

Several lines of evidence support the hypothesis that eating patterns that reduce or eliminate nighttime eating and prolong nightly fasting intervals could result in sustained improvements in human health. While this hypothesis has not been tested in humans, support from animal research is striking and data from human time-restricted feeding studies are suggestive. Prolonged nightly fasting may be a simple, feasible, and potentially effective disease prevention strategy at the population level.

Is Intermittent Fasting Right For You

Intermittent fasting isnt for everyone. However, if you do decide to try it, Dr. Viana notes that consistency is key. Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool to help change lifestyle, but before doing it, one should consider if they will be able to maintain it in the long run, he says.

His overall view on eating is that it needs to be something natural and uncomplicatednoting that intermittent fasting can be too restrictive for many people. I like the philosophy of mindful eating very much, which is essentially to get rid of the diet mentality. In my opinion, we tend to overcomplicate eating and that leads to failure.

Also, keep in mind that what you eat should be your first priority over when you eat. What is most important is to eat a healthy diet that contains little or no processed food and is rich in lean protein, whole grains and vegetables , says Dr. Viana.

If you do decide to incorporate intermittent fasting into your dietary plan, consult with your physician firstespecially if you have any preexisting health conditions or are on certain medications.

Find A Nutritionist Near You

Zocdoc helps you find and book top-rated doctors, on demand. Visit them in their offices, or video chat with them from home. Check out the nutritionists in your area.

Recommended Reading: Is Fasting Good For Leaky Gut

Foods To Eat On A 20 Hour Fast

Since a 20 hour fasting only allots a four-hour eating window, the foods you eat during this intermittent fasting window are crucial to refueling your cells and getting the most out of IF.

Remember that your body will be converting fat into ketones, so its important to fuel your body with plenty of healthy fats and fatty whole foods.

The best choices include nourishing whole foods like:


Does Intermittent Fasting Slow Your Metabolism

How To Increase Metabolism: Intermittent Fasting vs Calorie Restriction

Last Updated on July 17, 2022 by Fasting Planet

Everyone wants a fast metabolism so you can burn through foods quicker without gaining weight. Youve recently started intermittent fasting to drop a few spare pounds, and you wonder what its effect on your metabolism will be. Is it possible that you could speed up your metabolism through fasting, or would the opposite happen and you end up slowing your metabolism?

Your metabolism can slow through fasting, but it would have to be a prolonged fast. Since most intermittent fasts are start-stop by nature, theres little risk of your metabolism decreasing on a fast. If anything, it may get faster.

In this article, well explain exactly why prolonged periods of not eating will affect your metabolism as well as how to fast for a quicker metabolism. If youre looking to lose weight on a fast, youre not going to want to miss this!

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What Fasting Does To Metabolism

When you severely limit calories, your body senses this shortage of fuel and slows down its functioning to conserve energy. Instead of boosting your metabolism, you may experience a suppression of your resting metabolism equal to as much as 20 percent. Your resting metabolism is based on the energy your body uses to fuel basic functions, such as pumping blood and breathing. These activities don’t stop, your body just becomes more efficient and burns fewer calories to do them than it would when adequately fed.

This is one of the reasons very low-calorie diets and fasts don’t often bring about the results you’d expect. Your body is fighting what it perceives as starvation by slowing the rate at which it burns calories.

Intermittent Fasting Decreases Metabolism Less Than Continuous Calorie Restriction

When you lose weight, your metabolic rate goes down. Part of this is because losing weight causes muscle loss, and muscle tissue burns calories around the clock.

However, the decrease in metabolic rate seen with weight loss cant always be explained by the loss of muscle mass alone .

Severe calorie restriction over a long period can cause your metabolic rate to drop, as your body enters so-called starvation mode. The scientific term for this is adaptive thermogenesis.

Your body does this to conserve energy as a natural defense against starvation .

This has been demonstrated dramatically in a study of people who lost large amounts of weight while participating in The Biggest Loser, a reality show on TV.

Participants followed a calorie-restricted diet and intense exercise regimen to lose large amounts of weight .

The study found that 6 years later, most of them had regained nearly all of the weight they had lost. However, their metabolic rates had not gone back up and remained around 500 calories lower than you would expect for their body size.

Other studies investigating the effects of calorie restriction on weight loss have found similar results. The drop in metabolism due to weight loss can amount to hundreds of calories per day (

Also Check: Is Fasting Required For A1c Test

Your Body Can Only Use A Certain Amount Of Protein Per Meal

Some people claim that you can only digest 30 grams of protein per meal and that you should eat every 23 hours to maximize muscle gain.

However, this is not supported by science.

Studies show that eating your protein in more frequent doses does not affect muscle mass .

The most important factor for most people is the total amount of protein consumed not the number of meals its spread over.

SUMMARY Your body can easily make use of more than 30 grams of protein per meal. Its unnecessary to obtain protein every 23 hours.

How Intermittent Fasting Affects Your Metabolism

How does intermittent fasting affect one

Dont eat less than 1200 calories.Eating too few calories will slow metabolism. Weve heard this diet advice for years, including from Cooking Lights dietitians. Yet, intermittent fasting, or short-term fasts where calories are cut as low as 500 calories, are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, new research suggests that intermittent fasting may actually speed up metabolism. So, whats the real story on fasting and metabolism?

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