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Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss |

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Many of us have heard the term “intermittent fasting”, but have no idea what it means. Intermittent fasting is when you go a little longer than usual between meals, or stop eating for several hours, daily. You can do this for a couple of hours, or do it for all day every other day. There are many benefits to intermittent fasting, but one that is often overlooked is weight loss.

Intermittent fasting is a way to lose weight and keep it off. It’s a natural way to diet, and it’s also known as the “on-call diet” because you schedule your fasting to fit your lifestyle. It’s a low-carb diet, and it’s one of the best ways to lose weight. It’s been proven in studies to help with weight loss, and you can do it while staying lean and getting all the other health benefits that come with it.

Intermittent fasting is a diet that allows for periods of time where you can have your meals every other day. I have used this method for the last three years (with great success) and have seen my weight drop from 188 lbs to 145 lbs. Intermittent fasting is not a fad diet but instead a way to lose weight without much effort, but this can be a potentially dangerous diet plan. Those who follow the plan are careful to eat healthily (meaning their bodies get all the nutrients they need to function correctly) on the days where they normally eat their meals and monitor their food intake on the other days.

Chapter 5

An in-depth look at intermittent fasting for weight reduction


Intermittent fasting has a number of weight-loss advantages, and many people swear by it. Intermittent fasting has been shown to help weight loss by preserving metabolism and reducing cravings. It can, however, mess with your hormones and appetite, leading to binge eating. Let’s have a look at how to practice intermittent fasting for fat loss.


Important ideas

  • Intermittent fasting has a number of advantages. It can, however, mess with your hormones and appetite, leading to binge eating.
  • Fasting more isn’t always the best method to lose weight. Finding the correct IF balance for your body is crucial.
  • Fasting can be beneficial to some people while being detrimental to others. And it’s not always preferable to traditional calorie restriction.

When people think of intermittent fasting as a way to lose weight, they’re usually referring to fat loss.

Most people don’t want to lose muscle, fluids, organs, bone, or any of the other components that contribute to our overall body weight.

As a result, we’ll refer to weight loss as fat loss from now on.

When it comes to fat loss, the technique is simple: eat less calories than you burn.

Regardless of what some people say, the formula holds true regardless of which diet you attempt, whether it’s keto, calorie counting, or intermittent fasting.

Here’s the thing: it’s not easy to consume fewer calories than you expend.

Being hungry is an unavoidable element of most diets.

And that’s kind of a bummer.

At least for certain people, IF could help fix this problem.

People who follow the IF diet can eat normally during non-fasting times and eat less during fasting periods without feeling hungry all of the time.

Other potential fat-loss effects include increased metabolism and improved hunger and fullness cues.

In this chapter, we’ll look at the facts behind how intermittent fasting (IF) can help people lose weight, including:

 

Intermittent fasting’s fat-loss advantages

IF has a lot of benefits, but it also has certain drawbacks. Let’s begin with what works.

The first advantage of intermittent fasting for weight loss is that it may keep your metabolism functioning.

When we eat less energy than we require, our bodies usually respond with a variety of metabolic adjustments.

It’s a harsh irony that the harder we attempt to lose weight, the more difficult it becomes.

Consider the following example:

  • When we eat, we become hungrier and less content.
  • We want to be less mobile.
  • We use less energy to carry out our typical metabolic functions.
  • We aren’t as good at repairing and recovering.
  • Many hormones, including sex, thyroid, and many anabolic (growth-promoting) hormones, diminish in concentration.
  • We find that our digestion has slowed.

All of these changes result in us using less energy in general, making fat reduction more difficult.

IF alters the amount of energy we consume on a daily basis, potentially preventing or reducing many of these metabolic adaptations. It’s generally ideal if we don’t drop our energy levels too drastically or too frequently.

However, there is a great deal of diversity among persons. 1

This was true of team members Krista Scott-Dixon, PhD (our director of curriculum), and John Berardi, PhD’s personal experiences (our co-founder). When they tried a number of IF regimes, they had some success (becoming slimmer and felt great), and other times they didn’t (looking exhausted and feeling run down).

Intermittent fasting may help us lose weight by reducing our appetites.

The endogenous opioid system, which creates natural painkillers, is also involved in determining which meals we find good and appealing, as well as whether we overeat when we are hungry.

By severely restricting and managing our food intake, we can throw this system out of balance. To put it another way, if we restrict our eating too much for too long, we will crave our food drug of choice or find it difficult to eat properly.

We’ll probably be fine with a few blips of IF limitation here and there.

Intermittent fasting can educate you a lot about hunger, which is a fat loss advantage #3.

For many people, the idea of fasting for a significant portion of the day (or maybe the entire day) is terrifying.

Fasting, on the other hand, teaches us that hunger is merely a sensation. Fasting can assist you show to yourself that it isn’t an emergency. You’ll be able to sense your hunger and make better decisions about when and how much to eat once you’ve been more familiar with what happens when you’re hungry.

 

The drawbacks of intermittent fasting as a fat-loss strategy

So, we just told you about a few advantages. However, if fat loss is your objective, you should be aware of a few hazards associated with IF.

Con #1: While some fasting can be beneficial, excessive fasting can be harmful.

You may be familiar with the hormesis effect. A small dose of a disruptive stimuli (like a workout) may make us healthier or better, but a long-term, overzealous program of that stimulation can kill us.

The same is true when it comes to fasting. We start to encounter problems when we push energy restriction too far for too long. Especially when it’s combined with other sources of stress, such as rigorous training or a toxic work environment.

We’ve broken down only two of these issues below.

Adrenal and thyroid dysfunction

The brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland are extremely responsive to stress. They release hormones that influence the activity of “downstream” organs such the thyroid, adrenal glands, and gonads (ovaries or testes).

The HPT, HPA, and HPG axes are the names for these three feedback loops.

The hypothalamus and pituitary gland may tell downstream organs to lower hormonal output in response to prolonged stress or malnutrition, resulting in issues such as low thyroid function (which slows metabolism) or low sex hormone production.

Women’s bodies appear to be significantly more susceptible to energy and nutritional deprivation than men’s. This is especially true for women who are already physically active and/or have a low body fat percentage.

If you’re a woman, proceed with caution and discontinue IF immediately if your usual hormonal cycles are disrupted.

(See Does Intermittent Fasting Work for Women?) for more information.

Disturbance of appetite

Another difficulty is that as we eat less (and/or lose body fat), the hormones and peptides that control appetite, satiety, and nutrient sensing change, especially over time.

  • Leptin, insulin, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), and alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) levels all decrease.
  • The levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY), orexin, and ghrelin all rise.

As a result, we are more hungry and less satisfied when we eat.

So, if you’re working out hard, restricting foods, dealing with disordered eating, and/or dealing with other life stressors…

It’s possible that IF will make matters worse.

Bottom line: With IF, the idea is to strike a balance—enough fasting to get the advantages without overdoing it to the point of discomfort.

Con #2: Overeating may negate the benefits of intermittent fasting for some people.

Fasting has different effects on different people.

During their non-fasting periods, some people eat normally. Some people eat less than others.

Is there anyone else? They consume more calories. There’s a lot more.

This is because IF enhances the synthesis of hunger hormones (such as ghrelin) while decreasing the production of satiety hormones in some persons (such as leptin).

That means they’ll be more hungry when it’s time to eat, and they’ll have a harder difficulty feeling satiated.

Bottom line: If you eat after each fast, you could not lose as much (or any) weight.

Con #3: Fasting in the morning can lead to late-night snacking.

Many of our clients have issues with evening overeating.

When we investigate further, we frequently discover that they are skipping breakfast. Some people are also rushing through lunch.

Others skip breakfast and don’t get enough protein, healthy fats, or fiber. Breakfast may consist of a bowl of cereal or nothing at all; lunch may consist of a sad sandwich.

They’re starving by the time dinner arrives, and it’s difficult to keep their hunger in check. It’s snack time after dinner, and they find themselves plundering the pantry with an insatiable want to eat.

When we encourage these clients to have a breakfast that includes protein, healthy fats, fiber, and some fruits or vegetables, and then do the same at lunch, their nighttime excess often vanishes, or is substantially reduced.

So, do we need to eat breakfast or not?

Of course, the answer is that it depends on a variety of things.

Self-experimentation is the only way to determine if you’re a breakfast person. For a while, try eating breakfast every day. Then try skipping it while keeping a record of what happens. If you find that fasting in the morning suits you and that you don’t overeat afterwards, keep doing it.

If, on the other hand, you discover that skipping breakfast leads to a one-way journey to Snacktown in the evening, you’ll want to adjust your morning routine.

Bottom line: The most important thing (like with every other tip in this booklet) is that you listen to your body’s signals.

 

How to find your fat-loss sweet spot with intermittent fasting

It’s undeniable that some IF can help people lose weight, but too much might backfire.

So, how do you reach that sweet spot where you’re fasting just enough to get the advantages but not too much that you’re experiencing unwanted effects?

In Chapter 8, we’ll delve deeper into that topic. For the time being, ease into fasting by eating less on your “fasting” days, but not completely. We discovered that when people eat up to 20% to 25% of their regular daily energy consumption, they don’t feel deprived and are more likely to stick to the diet.

For a person weighing 200 pounds (91 kilograms), this may mean:

  • They eat a “normal” diet four days a week, perhaps 3000 calories each day.
  • They eat 25% of that, or 750 calories, three days a week.

This adds up to around 2035 calories per day over time, or roughly 10 times their body weight in daily calories.

That’s a recipe for a great, consistent fat reduction progression that an average individual could probably maintain, especially with coaching and support.

 

References

To see the information sources mentioned in this article, go here.


There are several different approaches to intermittent fasting, with each having their own benefits and drawbacks. Most people who use intermittent fasting cannot control their hunger, and feel like they are starving all day long. This is because their bodies are treating the food they eat as if it were a high calorie meal, so they end up eating more than they need, which leads to weight gain.. Read more about how long does it take for 16/8 intermittent fasting to work and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can you lose in a month with intermittent fasting?

You can lose up to about 2 pounds a week with intermittent fasting.

Which method of intermittent fasting is best for weight loss?

Intermittent fasting is a dieting strategy that involves alternating periods of fasting with non-fasting. It has been shown to be effective for weight loss in both animals and humans.

How long until you start losing weight on intermittent fasting?

I am not losing weight on intermittent fasting.

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