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What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss

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How Much Weight Can You Lose With Intermittent Fasting

What is the best intermittent fasting schedule for weight loss?

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.

How To Choose The Best Intermittent Fasting For Your Weight Loss Goal

Although the 48-hour fast will give you the highest amount of weight you can lose, it may not be the one that you can stick to.

In other words, the best IF must be the one that you can adhere to for a longer period. Keep in mind that when you choose a diet that you wish to stick to, it has to be sustainable.

For instance, if 16:8 works well for you and your lifestyle, then you will likely succeed in it.

If you choose an IF that you cant stick to for a week or so, then theres no use following it.

Because you need to take into account your lifestyle, the 16:8 method is the most popular. Its also the most doable because a lot of people can follow it, unlike the 24-hour fast or 48-hour fast.

The weight loss that you experience from any of these IF methods is the result of consuming fewer calories.

In that case, just because youre fasting for 16 hours it doesnt mean that you will lose weight. Keep in mind that weight loss is all about the calories you take and the calories you burn.

The more calories you burn, the better your weight loss goal.

Thus, you still need to control what you eat. It will be useless to follow a one-meal-a-day diet if you eat 2,000 calories during your eating period. If you eat more than what your body can burn, you will not lose weight no matter how long your fasting period is.

And during your eating period, you must only focus on healthy foods. Before you even start fasting, you should slowly eliminate junk foods from your diet.

When Can I Eat On The 1: 8 Diet

You can pick an 8 hour window to suit your day. So, for example it could be between 10am 6pm or 11am 8pm and so on. Plus, you can still drink tea and coffee outside of those hours too, although because of the benefits of drinking water you are also encouraged to stay as hydrated as possible.

Most people choose to fast through the night, and opt to eat their first meal at about 11am or in the middle of the day.

Tom says, The most common hours adopted for the eating period is 12 till 8pm. The reason for this is because people arent normally that hungry in the morning, you dont want to be consuming too many calories during the evening and this allows us to eat our lunch and dinner as well as a healthy snack.

Also Check: How To Make Electrolyte Water For Fasting

Slim Down Your Supper

Most Americans consume almost 45 percent of their total daily calories at dinner and in an after-dinner snack. A healthier goal, Sears says, is 30 percent. Thats 600 calories for someone who usually eats 2,000 calories a day. For example, in 2013, Israeli researchers looked at the effects of eating a small dinner and a large breakfast vs. a large dinner and a small breakfast in a study involving 93 overweight women. Both groups ate the same lunch and the same overall number of calories. After 12 weeks, those who ate the lighter dinners lost more weight, had a smaller waist, and had better metabolic profiles than the women in the other group.

One way to downsize the dinners that you prepare is to make them the healthiest meal of the day. Try eating lots of vegetables, which are naturally low in calories, suggests Courtney M. Peterson, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. That means you can eat a large portion so that youre not hungry afterward and still consume fewer than 600 calories. The fiber from those foods will also help you feel fuller.

And if you dont overdo it on calories in the evening, Peterson says, you can afford to have a bigger breakfast and lunch, when your body is primed for food processing.

Whats The Payoff Of Intermittent Fasting

The Intermittent Fasting Trend: What Is the Best Way to Do It?

The main benefit of intermittent fasting is weight lossfat loss, specifically. Insulin increases when you eat, and when insulin is high, you cannot burn fat. When you fast, insulin falls, which allows your body to access its stores of food for energy, explains Jason Fung, M.D., a Toronto-based nephrologist and author of The Complete Guide to Fasting.

Study after study confirms that any form of intermittent fasting will help reduce weight and improve body composition, though the results are probably about the same as youd see from restricting your calories. One study Varady ran, published in 2017 in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that after dieting for one year, people lost about 56% of their bodyweight whether they restricted their calories or tried alternate-day fasting.

Other studies suggest that intermittent fasting may help you lose more weight. One study in the Journal of Translational Medicine found that fit people who tried time-restricted feeding lost more fat and maintained more muscle than people who ate the same number of calories but over 12 hours instead of eight.

The science is mixed on which is better. What is confirmed, though, is that both methods work.

One advantage of intermittent fasting: helping you retain muscle mass. When people lose weight, typically 75% is fat loss and 25% is muscle mass. But with fasting, the ratio actually changes so that 90% of weight loss is fat and 10% is muscle, Varady says.

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Intermittent Fasting Can Help Weight Loss

IF makes intuitive sense. The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbohydrates, particularly sugars and refined grains , are quickly broken down into sugar, which our cells use for energy. If our cells dont use it all, we store it in our fat cells as, well, fat. But sugar can only enter our cells with insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas. Insulin brings sugar into the fat cells and keeps it there.

Between meals, as long as we dont snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar, to be used as energy. We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down. The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work

There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast. For instance, you might try eating only during an eight-hour period each day and fast for the remainder. Or you might choose to eat only one meal a day two days a week. There are many different intermittent fasting schedules.

Mattson says that after hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. He refers to this as metabolic switching.

Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hours, Mattson says. If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and theyre not exercising, then every time they eat, theyre running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.

Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.

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Can You Eat Whatever You Want When Youre Not In A Fasting Period

Intermittent fasting isnt a free pass to eat anything you want, contrary to what you may have heard . You still should avoid processed foods, eat more whole foods from plants and animals, and get moving for at least 150 minutes per week. Your eating plan should be something you can follow the rest of your life to promote good health, says Cohen.

How To Do 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting

Which Intermittent Fasting Plan Is Best for Weight Loss

Heres a step by step guide to do 16:8 intermittent fasting the right way:

Step 1. Decide your 16-hour fasting & 8-hour eating period

The first step is to decide your fasting period. Since its 16 hours long, you should select your fasting hours such that they are aligned with your nap time.

This way, you will spend most of your fasting period asleep, which will inevitably make your weight loss journey easier.

Tip: In the 16:8 method, women do better with 14-15 hours of fasting. For men, a daily fast of 16 hours produces the best result.

Here are some fasting periods:

  • 8:00 pm 12:00 noon
  • 9:00 pm 1:00 pm
  • 6:00 pm 10:00 am
  • For an average person, the fasting period 8:00 pm to 12:00 noon is the best option. Since its as simple as having your last meal before 8:00 pm and skipping breakfast the next morning.

    Step 2. Select meals for the non-fasting period

    In the 8-hour eating window, You can literally eat anything you want. Since there is no restriction on what you can eat. Plus, there is no calorie restriction.

    However, you should still limit your daily intake of junk food and processed food. As even in small amounts, junk food can affect your health in adverse ways.

    For better results, stick to healthy, light meals only during the non-fasting period.

    If you are still not sure what to eat on intermittent fasting, You can use the 7-day intermittent fasting meal plan mentioned below.

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    Who Should Avoid Intermittent Fasting

    While intermittent fasting is an effective approach to losing weight, it may not be suitable for everyone. Children, people with chronic illnesses, breastfeeding and pregnant women should avoid it. People with diabetes should also avoid it as it may lead to an abnormal drop in their blood sugar levels. In some cases, it may also lead to abnormal menstrual cycles or a decrease in fertility. If you are underweight or have eating disorders, you should avoid intermittent fasting.

    So Wtf Should I Eat On If

    There are no specifications or restrictions about what type or how much food to eat while following intermittent fasting, says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club.

    But Mary Purdy, MS, RDN, chair of Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine, counters that by advising that the benefits are not likely to accompany consistent meals of Big Macs.

    Pincus and Purdy agree that a well-balanced diet is the key to losing weight, maintaining energy levels, and sticking with the diet.

    Anyone attempting to lose weight should focus on nutrient-dense foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, as well as dairy and lean proteins, suggests Pincus.

    Purdy adds, My recommendations wouldnt be very different from the foods I might normally suggest for improved health high-fiber, unprocessed, whole foods that offer variety and flavor.

    In other words, eat plenty of the below foods and you wont end up in a hangry rage while fasting.

    Recommended Reading: What Are The Best Fasting Diets

    How To Start Intermittent Fasting

    There is more than one way to start intermittent fasting, which is great because every BODY is different. The key is to experiment and listen to your body to see what works best for you. Here are some of the ways to get started:

    • 16:8: You eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period and fast the rest of the time.
    • 5:2: You eat normally five days a week. On the other two days, you fast by eating between 500 and 600 calories.
    • Alternate Day Fasting: You alternate a day of eating normally with a day eating 25 percent of your typical daily calories. A study found that obese adults following an alternate day intermittent fasting schedule lost up to 13 pounds over 8 weeks.

    If intermittent fasting causes fatigue or other negative symptoms, try fasting just once or twice a week, and build up from there. As with any diet or exercise plan, consult your healthcare provider to determine whats best for you.

    What Is Intermittent Fasting

    A Beginnerâs Guide to Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent fasting has become the most popular form of fasting worldwide due to its scientifically proven benefits.

    It involves eating within a certain period and fasting for the rest of the day.

    There are various forms of intermittent fasting, but the most popular is fasting within a time window of around 16 hours.

    Thereby, you eat only between noon and 8 PM. This way, your body can fast for 16 hours out of 24 hours with an 8-hour eating period in between.

    The fasting period ensures that your whole digestive tract rests for another 8 hours a day after 8 hours of sleep .

    To start classic 16/8 intermittent fasting, all you need to do is skip breakfast.

    Contrary to popular belief, breakfast is the most important meal of the day only for the food industry due to the energy boost from hormone release in the morning.

    However, those who have exceptional work schedules can just as easily skip dinner or lunch and be successful. This flexibility is one of the main advantages of intermittent fasting.

    Unlike other diet trends, intermittent fasting is all about less, not more. As soon as you skip a meal, youre already practicing it. Health can be that simple!

    In addition to 16/8 intermittent fasting, the following intermittent fasting protocols are widely used:

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    The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting For Men

    Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating where a person cycles between eating and fasting.

    There are different variations of intermittent fasting.

    Some people may only do it a couple of times a week, while others do it every day or every other day.

    The benefits of intermittent fasting for men may slightly outweigh the benefits for women, but that should only be viewed as a positive result for men.

    The research is clear that intermittent fasting is beneficial for both men and women.

    Here are just a few of the benefits of intermittent fasting:

    How Do I Manage Hunger

    The most important thing to realize is that hunger usually passes like a wave. Many people worry that hunger during intermittent fasting will continue to build until it is intolerable, but this does not normally happen.46 Instead, hunger comes in a wave. If you simply ignore it and drink a cup of tea or coffee, it will often pass.47

    During extended fasts, hunger will often increase into the second day. After that, it gradually recedes, and many people report a complete loss of hunger sensation by day 3 or 4.48 Your body is now being powered by fat. In essence, your body is eating its own fat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and therefore is no longer hungry. Learn more

    Read Also: How To Do 16 8 Fasting

    Try Sticking To The Following Foods On The 1: 8 Diet:

    • Whole grains: Ones like rice, oats, barley, wholegrain pasta and quinoa will keep you fuller for longer.
    • Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds will keep you full.
    • Fruit: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges and pears will offer good vitamin sustenance.
    • Vegetables: Broccoli and leafy greens are especially good for making sure youre eating enough fibre.
    • Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados.

    Experts Tips To Follow When Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss

    Intermittent Fasting: How to Best Use it for Fat Loss (5 Things You Need to Know)
    • As the body takes time to adapt to the intermittent fasting pattern, you may feel increased hunger and tiredness when you begin with the plan. So, make sure you take a balanced, nutrient-dense diet to remain full for longer.
    • Eat mindfully during the eating window. Avoid overeating as it may lead to acid reflux or heartburn.
    • Limit calorie-rich foods.
    • Ensure that you hydrate throughout the day.
    • Drinking cinnamon water helps prevent recurrent hunger pangs.
    • Avoid exercising before or during the eating window as it may lead to increased hunger.
    • Avoid activities such as watching food shows, etc., that may stimulate hunger.
    • Try to eat whole, unprocessed and single-ingredient foods.
    • Include moderate exercise or physical activity for best results from your intermittent fasting plan.
    • Stay consistent to see the desired results.

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