Intermittent fasting weight loss benefits, meaning, side effects. Beginner Guide

If you are planning to diet or already dieting, you must have come across this term, Intermittent fasting for weight loss. So, I decided to write an introductory guide to Intermittent fasting for weight loss and it’s benefits.

Does Intermittent fasting work for weight loss?

Before going further, let’s know what is intermittent fasting.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a modern way of fasting which cycles between a specific time period of eating and fasting. In simple words, it requires you to eat for a limited time window and fast for a specific duration.

Many studies have been conducted on Intermittent fasting to see the effect on weight loss and health. According to the American Heart Association,

Intermittent fasting may result in weight loss and even lower insulin resistance.

There are 3 ways of Intermittent fasting to do which I will discuss soon in this article.

I will also talk about some experiments conducted on this to see it’s benefits and study its effect on weight loss.

Unlike other traditional ways of dieting which has strong rules for calorie consumption, intermittent fasting is focused more on fasting and eating-time than just calorie counting.

This does not mean, you start consuming whatever comes across. You still need to eat healthy and safe during your eating window.

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How to do intermittent fasting? Types of intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting for weight loss

Lets now see the ways to do intermittent fasting and what are the schedules for intermittent fasting weight loss.

There are three types of intermittent fasting schedules one can do. Each one requires you a different fasting pattern to follow.

Below are the types of intermittent fasting:

1. Intermittent fasting for weight loss 16:8 method

Time-restricted method: In the 16:8 method of intermittent fasting, you are allowed to eat only for 8 hours and fast for the next 16 hours every day.

This is simple to follow, for example, you can finish your last meal till 8 PM and are not allowed to eat till 12 PM the next day.

This makes you do 16 hours of fasting with 8 hours of eating. You can include 2 or more meals during your eating cycle.

It may look a little difficult for first-timers but slowly with time can adjust easily with this fasting routine.

The whole story is about how you manage your cravings during your fasting cycle. By two weeks, you will start feeling comfortable with fasting.

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Now see the second method of intermittent fasting.

2. The 5:2 diet whole-day fasting method.

In the 5/2 fasting method, it requires you to do fast for 2 days a week and eat normally for the rest 5 days a week.

During fasting, you are allowed to consume up to 500 to 600 calories or 25% of your daily calorie limit in total.

Now let’s see the third and last type of intermittent fasting.

3. Alternate-Day Fasting: The strictest one.

Alternate-Day Fasting method is the strictest method of intermittent fasting. It requires alternating between a 24-hour fast day.

As the name suggests, the cycle of one day fasting and eating the other day.

It may be difficult for many to follow in the long run as it needs more control over hunger several days a week.

Alternate-Day Fasting has two further forms, complete alternate-day fasting, and modified alternate-day fasting.

1. Complete alternate-day fasting:

Complete alternate-day fasting is difficult compared to the other form as it requires no calorie consumption on the fasting day.

2. Modified alternate-day fasting:

In this form, 25% of daily calorie intake or about 500 calories are allowed to be eaten on the fasting day.

There is no formula to find which one is the best intermittent fasting for weight loss. You can choose the one which works best for you. You can consult a medical expert or authorized dietician before following any of the forms of intermittent fasting.

If you want to know more about intermittent fasting to lose weight successfully. You must read this book “The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent“.

The author has beautifully portrayed the effective way of fasting by teaming up with the best selling author. This book is not just about losing weight but also focuses on maintaining good health with the fast. Here is the book: Check here.

Intermittent fasting benefits

Intermittent fasting for weight loss

Now, let’s see some of the benefits of intermittent fasting and some other facts as per some studies. I will also show a few intermittent fasting results as per some experiments.

Benefits of Intermittent fasting:

  • According to one of the studies, it was found that intermittent fasting was able to reduce weight by 4 to 8% and fat loss by 11-16% over 3 to 12 weeks in overweight and obese adults. Read more – Trusted source.
  • Intermittent fasting is helpful in boosting metabolism that can elevate the calorie-burning process.
  • It may be helpful in lowering insulin level which helps in burning fat and can make weight loss happen.
  • Studies on human shown decreased bodyweightglucose, and increased concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Read more – Trusted Source.
  • Intermittent fasting is also helpful in improving cholesterol by decreasing the levels of LDL and VLDL cholesterols. High levels of LDL and VLDL cholesterols are bad for health.
  • Another study showed that intermittent fasting can help retain muscle mass more efficiently than compared to calorie-restricted dieting method. See more – Trusted Source.
  • Intermittent fasting helps reduce oxidative stress. Some studies have shown that it can help fighting inflammation.

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

It depends upon body factors and can vary from person to person. As stated above in the experiment, with intermittent fasting there is a chance to reduce weight up to 8% and fat loss up to 16%.

 Losing weight with this fast depend on how well you are doing with fasting and types of food your eating. Fasting for up to 20 hours a day can help lose 2 to 3 pounds of fat a week.

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What to eat on intermittent fasting for weight loss?

Though intermittent fasting does not restrict calorie consumption, it is important to consume food rich in nutrients and good for health.

So, you should always focus on eating healthy food and avoid eating any junk food during the eating window of this fasting pattern.

Eating tips for intermittent fasting for weight loss:

  • Try to eat food rich in fiber during your eating windows like beans, veggies, nuts, etc, and high protein food like tofu, cotton cheese, meat, etc.
  • Eat plenty of water, this will not just keep you hydrated but also help in controlling hunger during fast.
  • During fasting, you can eat and drink low-calorie drinks and foods such as black coffee, tea, and vegetables.
  • Avoid artificially flavored drinks as these are not good for controlling your appetite and even bad for health. Soda, soft drinks, flavored milk, etc are all belongs to the same category.

Are there any side effects of doing intermittent fasting?

Some studies found that intermittent fasting may cause minor adverse effects, like feelings of weakness, headaches, feeling of hunger, fainting, or dehydration. Most of the studies have not analyzed adverse effects particularly.

Can you lose weight just by intermittent fasting?

There are some studies conducted which claimed intermittent fasting is helpful in your weight loss.

As per this article in the link here, it states that intermittent fasting can reduce weight by 4 to 8% and fat loss by 11-16% over 3 to 12 weeks.

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Who should avoid intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. Particularly, lactating and pregnant women. Individuals with chronic diseases taking medications for diabetes, heart disease, or blood pressure should avoid doing as per some studies.

Diabetes people should take special caution because fasting can lead to dangerously lowering the blood sugar levels.

Note: You should consult an authorized medical expert before incorporating intermittent fasting for your weight loss.

Can you workout during intermittent fasting to lose weight?

Yes, fasting is all about weight loss and health benefits. If you combine your healthy eating routine with your workout, it will help you lose weight faster.

During, initial days of fasting you may feel little difficulty as your body will be adjusting to new eating routine. But once you are all set with your new fasting pattern, it will not create difficulty during the workout.

If you are worried about losing muscles during intermittent fasting should concentrate on eating protein-rich food during the eating window.

If you are eating proteins, you are less likely to lose muscles during this fasting pattern.

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Can children do intermittent fasting?

It is not a good idea to allow your kids to do intermittent fasting when their body needs more nutrients for growth and energy.

Intermittent fasting: Men Vs Women.

Intermittent fasting may not benefit women as men and may affect differently in each case.

According to one study, eight men and eight women were put on the test to study the effects of 3 weeks of alternate-day fasting on glucose tolerance.

As a result, it was found that glucose response was impaired in the case of women, and men had no change in glucose response. Read more – Trusted Source.

Note: Women should take extra care before incorporating this fasting pattern for their weight loss.

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Intermittent fasting for weight loss – Conclusion.

Fasting is an ancient tradition and is followed for ages in many religions and country including India.

Hindu keep “Vrat”, Ramadan in Islam, and many people keep fast in Jewish and Christianity.

Fasting is part of our culture and this existed for ages not just because of religious beliefs but also as a way of living a healthy and spiritual life.

Also, intermittent fasting is a modern approach and a modified version of olden days fasting, its root lies in the history of fasting methodologies.

If it has worked for ages then it can work in the present and future if followed correctly and under the supervision of medical experts.

I hope you enjoyed reading this small introductory guide to intermittent fasting for weight loss and gained some information. Thanks for reading and I wish you a great healthy and happy life. Lose fat, not Hope. TC :).

I keep sharing my tips, diet plan and lots of motivations for a successful weight loss through my Instagram account. I love writing my own weight loss quotes and share on social media. Check my Instagram account here and never lose your motivation for your mission to fitness.

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Note: Views expressed in this article are for general information and must not be considered final medical advice. Always, consult authorized medical experts or dietician before incorporating any advice, tips, and information shared in this article.