How Much Weight Can You Lose with Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting and weight loss— does the diet live up to its hype? When it comes to weight loss diets, it can be extremely daunting to even know where to start. It seems like every week, there’s a new fad diet or influencer trend going around. But what does science have to say about all of the different diets, plans, supplements, and more? That’s what we like to present to you here at Elite Health Online! Let’s bypass all of the fluff and get right to the good stuff— research-based answers to your burning weight loss questions! As for intermittent fasting, can this approach to eating help you lose weight? What is so special about timed eating intervals? Read on to find out how much weight you can lose on intermittent fasting, and how you just might want to give it a try!
Does Intermittent Fasting Work for Weight Loss?
Good question! Intermittent fasting has been studied extensively for its many potential benefits. From increased insulin sensitivity, to possible prevention of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, intermittent fasting has quite an impressive array of potential health benefits! Of course, every person is different, so you should always consult with a health care practitioner for your unique needs before starting any new diet or fitness program. That being said, intermittent fasting is general well tolerated by most individuals— so much so that it’s possible that in some cases, people may be doing it without even trying!
How can that be possible? Well, if you are one of the many people who doesn’t typically feel hungry or eat breakfast right away in the morning, depending on what time you finish eating in the evenings, your body may naturally be aligned with an intermittent fasting model.
Eating in a window of eight hours and fasting for sixteen is one of four different models that people usually follow when intermittent fasting. This one is probably the most popular and common plan, and we’ll get into that here in a minute! But first, why even bother with giving intermittent fasting a try for weight loss purposes?
Multiple randomized clinical trials have shown some extremely promising results. These studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help to reduce weight and improve both metabolic and cardiovascular health! That is a big deal!
Meta-analyses of many studies shows links between intermittent fasting and weight loss. According to the meta-analyses, intermittent fasting may be a great tool for weight loss for people with obesity.
More studies have shown that people can lose between 0.55 and 1.65 pounds per week with an intermittent fasting diet. That is slow and steady weight loss, right there!
Why do we want slow and steady weight loss? First of all, if any diet promises rapid, huge number weight loss per month, you should probably run. That is a classic sign of a fad diet, which will likely either not work at all, or have poor health results overtime both physically and mentally. Aiming for a slower approach to weight loss will help to support a sustainable lifestyle, as opposed to crash diets which set you up for the never ending “yo-yo dieting” we are likely all too familiar with. No, thanks! We’ll take the gentle approach, thank you very much. If any diet feels extremely restrictive to you, it may be a good sign to switch it up, because the feeling of restriction is the biggest setup for a binge.
When you heavily restrict, binging is basically inevitable, no matter how much willpower you have. You can’t outsmart your own body, and eventually your primal instincts will take over! We could go on and on about this classic way that diet culture lets us down, but we’ll keep it brief for this topic. If you have tried all of the restrictive diets in the past, but can’t seem to hold onto the results, intermittent fasting could be a possible solution for you! On intermittent fasting, it’s not the types of foods that are restricted. You can eat anything, really, as long as you are eating in your “window.” Of course, you always want to aim for a varied, balanced diet with plenty of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and fruits and veggies, but you won’t be cutting out entire food groups here! If you find programs like the keto diet or calorie counting plans to be triggering or unsustainable for you, you may enjoy the food freedom on intermittent fasting!
How Long Should I do Intermittent Fasting to Lose Weight?
Intermittent fasting can be practiced for a life time for some, while others might feel the need to intermittent fast in phases. Just like everything else when it comes to the body, everyone is different, and you should always listen to your own body to see what feels best to you! That being said, if you are interested in intermittent fasting for weight loss, you may be excited to know that some studies have shown that weight loss can happen within the first week! It likely won’t be huge numbers, and shouldn’t be! Please be careful to ensure that you are still consuming enough calories to keep your body functioning optimally, even if your goal is a calorie deficit for weight loss. If you are under fueling, you may experience many unhealthy symptoms, such as dizziness, weakness, muscle wasting, period loss for women, and in some cases, even malnutrition. This goes for any diet or eating plan you choose!
When intermittent fasting, you can enjoy all of the foods you love during the time that you choose to allow yourself to eat. While this may seem like a rigid rule to some, it doesn’t actually have to be so militant to still be effective over time. If you break your fast early one day out of the week, don’t sweat it! You want to sustain this lifestyle for the long run, not make yourself miserable for a few weeks before giving up.
We’re all about the long game! Be kind to yourself, and make sure that you are fueling yourself with foods that will nourish your body and fuel your gains at the gym.
Alright, we’ve discussed the benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss, and how to make sure it’s sustainable for you! Let’s now jump right in to the different types of intermittent fasting windows that you can choose from!
4 Types of Intermittent Fasting
This is pretty self-explanatory, but this type of intermittent fasting consists of a 20 hour long fast, followed by a 4 hour eating window. Check in with you schedule to see it your life is compatible with this model. Some people like this model for its simplicity, and its alignment with an extremely busy work schedule where not a lot of time is left over for meal prepping and eating anyway. However, some people may feel too restricted, and end up over-consuming during the 4 hour window. So just be mindful of how your body and mind feel when you try this plan!
This is the most popular model, because it fits most people’s schedules without too much interruption! Many people like to basically eat a larger lunch and dinner, then essentially skip breakfast and snacks after that. This might look like having a meal every day at noon, and another one from 7 to 8, with any snacks in between that your body needs. That’s it! An eating window of 8 hours between 12pm and 8pm followed by a 16 hour fast until noon the next day really is that simple. This one is perfect for those of us who don’t naturally feel super hungry in the morning anyway, and are just fine going without breakfast first thing.
This one is just like the previous one, but with a bit more wiggle room. This is a milder version of the 16/8, where you can eat during a window of 10 hours, and fast for only 14. If you’re unsure how your body will react to intermittent fasting, this might be a great place to start!
This one falls between number 1 and 2, consisting of a 6 hour eating window, followed by an 18 hour fast. Depending on your schedule, you might choose to set this one up by eating your first meal at 12pm, finishing dinner by 6pm, and fasting until the next day at noon. Many people enjoy the ease of having less time during the day to have to figure out what to eat, meal prep, and plan. If you feel too restricted or hungry during the fast of this plan, try bumping down to the 16/8 or 14/10 plan to see similar results.
Speak to a Weight Loss Specialist
If you are looking to lose weight with intermittent fasting, you may benefit from speaking to one of our experts now! We can help you reach your goals by finding the right support for you, whether that may be supporting your hard work and weight loss efforts with something like our Semaglutide, or by making sure your hormone levels are optimal and balanced for your goals! Let’s work together to help you reach your weight loss ambitions as a team. We’ve got your back!
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Keep crushing it, warrior!