Intermittent fasting 101: What is it and will it help me lose weight?

In a nutshell, intermittent fasting is just that: fasting intermittently. It’s also referred to as time restricted eating.

It’s limiting calorie intake during certain hours/day or days/week. It’s more of an eating pattern than a diet. It limits when to eat, and not so much what to eat. (Sometimes that’s NOT a great thing) And that’s part of it’s appeal to people who don’t want to count calories or use a food log to track everything.

Some would say that it’s a more natural way to eat because humans evolved without refrigerators, drive-throughs, or 24-hour convenience stores. We now have access to food (including junk food) all day long, so eating several meals per day plus snacks may be less natural than fasting from time to time. It’s only in recent human history that we have access to food all day, every day– so fasting can help with over-consumption.

There are lots of variations on this theme. They include:

  • 16/8 which is 16 hours of fasting, and eating only within the other 8 hours (often 11:00 – 7:00pm or 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm.)
  • 5:2 days of fasting, where you eat regularly for five days of the week, then take in just 500-600 calories/day for the other two (non-consecutive) days.
  • There’s also the fasting mimicking diet where a few times per year, you calories restrict for 5 days straight, mimicking a fast.

 

IS INTERMITTENT FASTING EFFECTIVE FOR WEIGHT LOSS?

 

Intermittent fasting can help folks to lose weight because it can help you to eat fewer calories, and burn more calories too.

Lots of people say they have success with it. But what do the studies say?

According to one review study, intermittent fasting helped people to lose 3-8% of their weight over 3-24 weeks. In this study, people also lost 4-7% of their waist circumference (i.e., belly fat).

Another study of 100 people with obesity showed that after a year, the people who fasted on alternate days lost more weight than people who didn’t change their eating pattern. But, (and here’s where it’s interesting) they didn’t lose any more weight than those on a calorie restricted diet. Out of the people who were to follow the intermittent fasting protocol, 38% of them dropped out.

Sticking with a diet (or a healthy way of eating) is one of the keys to weight loss success. So, if you can’t stay with a weight-loss diet, you’re less likely to lose the weight and keep it off.

One of my favourite resources on fasting is The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr.Jason Fung, MD. – if you’re interested in learning more about the benefits.

 

BEFORE YOU CONSIDER INTERMITTENT FASTING

 

Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. People who are underweight, or have eating disorders shouldn’t fast. Neither should women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

Certain medical conditions can be worsened with longer periods of fasting. Also, people taking certain medications can be prone to side effects with intermittent fasting as well. Fasting if you have blood-sugar imbalance can be very hard on the body too.

One of the reasons people drop out of the intermittent fasting eating pattern is that it’s hard to stick with the fasting part. They eat more than the allowed (low-level of) calories when they’re supposed to be fasting. And when they finish fasting, they may overindulge due to the reaction of the appetite hormones and hunger drive while fasting.

Also, the hours and days of fasting can be very difficult. So having strong social support will be key to those intermittent periods of fasting. For some people, sticking to a healthy, nutrient-dense weight loss diet is the key to success, and intermittent fasting might not be for them.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Intermittent fasting seems to work for some people. It can help you lose weight and reduce belly fat. But, it isn’t safe for everyone. It can also be difficult to stick with.

For the best chance of long-term weight loss success, finding a diet, you can stick with is key.

I have been working with fasting personally and with clients so feel free to reach out before jumping into it. Support is a big factor in success!

What about you? Have you or someone you know tried intermittent fasting? What were the results? Let me know in the comments below.

Also, enjoy the recipe below. It’s a great dense snack that will help to keep you full when you’re in your eating window.

 

Recipe (Whole food): Almond Butter Energy Bites

Makes about 12 energy bites

INGREDIENTS

1 cup oats
⅔ cup almond butter or your favourite nut butter
½ cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet and dairy-free if possible)
½ cup flax seeds, ground
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir.
  2. Using a tablespoon to measure, roll into about 12 energy bites.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can roll the bites to coat them in cocoa powder for a bit of extra flavour and to prevent them from being too sticky.

References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/intermittent-fasting-guide/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/not-so-fast-pros-and-cons-of-the-newest-diet-trend

About Me

Hi, I’m Tracy! I create food solutions to feed your life goals. I’m a Nutritionist, chocoholic + superhero fan. Mom to three, wife to one, crazy about all four, and food! When you work with me you’ll learn to savour life and nourish all that it has to offer.

Follow Me

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Ready for the truth no one wants you to know?

There actually IS a secret tool to getting healthier.

Here’s another secret:
It DOESN’T involve giving up treats and wine forever.

In fact, the way I’ve been able to keep my family and I healthy for the last decade has been largely thanks to the 80/20 rule.

This week’s blog (link below) is ALL about moderation. The word you hear SO MUCH, but never really know how to practically include in your life.

Also on the blog, 15 DELICIOUS (and I mean actually delicious) vegetable recipes.

No, I’m not going to tell you to make a plain salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Let’s talk about VEGGIES that are delicious and taste like our favourite comfort food.

When we start to rekindle our flame with veggies, we remember how good they can taste and how they make us FEEL.

What’s your favourite FUN way to include veggies in your diet? 

https://tracyhoule.com/how-to-rekindle-the-flame-with-vegetables/

Ready for the truth no one wants you to know?

There actually IS a secret tool to getting healthier.

Here’s another secret:
It DOESN’T involve giving up treats and wine forever.

In fact, the way I’ve been able to keep my family and I healthy for the last decade has been largely thanks to the 80/20 rule.

This week’s blog (link below) is ALL about moderation. The word you hear SO MUCH, but never really know how to practically include in your life.

Also on the blog, 15 DELICIOUS (and I mean actually delicious) vegetable recipes.

No, I’m not going to tell you to make a plain salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Let’s talk about VEGGIES that are delicious and taste like our favourite comfort food.

When we start to rekindle our flame with veggies, we remember how good they can taste and how they make us FEEL.

What’s your favourite FUN way to include veggies in your diet?

tracyhoule.com/how-to-rekindle-the-flame-with-vegetables/
... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

I really enjoyed reading your blog on Veggies! I like the different ideas on how to incorporate more veggies. I love grilled veggies the best but also enjoy making casseroles with different veggies! I cant wait to try some of your new veggie recipes....even the butternut smoothie😬!

If you have some nagging symptoms, its possible that theyre related to the foods you eat!

And were not just talking digestive symptoms.

Even things like headaches, joint pain, or eczema can be related to food that youre sensitive to.

How would you find out if there is a food at the root of your issue?

Through an elimination diet!

Elimination diets are just that - eliminating certain foods. Then you reintroduce them back one at a time to see if you are sensitive to those foods.

It’s a strategic process that can be great… but also not so great.

In this weeks blog - link below - I share the pros and cons of elimination diets and my latest recipe - youll never know that it eliminates the most common allergens (because its so good).

https://tracyhoule.com/pros-and-cons-of-elimination-diets/

If you have some nagging symptoms, it's possible that they're related to the foods you eat!

And we're not just talking digestive symptoms.

Even things like headaches, joint pain, or eczema can be related to food that you're sensitive to.

How would you find out if there is a food at the root of your issue?

Through an elimination diet!

Elimination diets are just that - eliminating certain foods. Then you reintroduce them back one at a time to see if you are sensitive to those foods.

It’s a strategic process that can be great… but also not so great.

In this weeks blog - link below - I share the pros and cons of elimination diets and my latest recipe - you'll never know that it eliminates the most common allergens (because it's so good).

tracyhoule.com/pros-and-cons-of-elimination-diets/
... See MoreSee Less

Did you know that your morning coffee can be HARMFUL to your health based on your genetics?

Have you ever wanted to know what you should and shouldn’t eat, based on YOUR specific body?

Todays blog - link below - is ALL about the details of DNA testing AND how to get started.

It looks at your genes and how your diet interacts with them.

We can use nutrition to create PERSONALIZED diets to:

PREVENT certain conditions

Help you understand your INTOLERANCES

Know how your body REACTS to carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals

Build a nutrition plan for OPTIMAL health

 

🙋🏻‍♀️ I know I carry the CT variant of the GLUT2 gene.

This means I have a higher risk of sugar addiction which can lead to developing Type II Diabetes – but it doesn’t mean I WILL develop diabetes. 

 

Ive been able to ALTER and IMPROVE my diet with this knowledge to make sure I live a long and healthy life.

 

So, let’s get started figuring YOUR genetics and health out!

Have you tried genetic testing?

What’s holding you back?

Let me know in the comments below! ⬇️ 

https://tracyhoule.com/benefits_genetic_testing_for_health/

Did you know that your morning coffee can be HARMFUL to your health based on your genetics?

Have you ever wanted to know what you should and shouldn’t eat, based on YOUR specific body?

Today's blog - link below - is ALL about the details of DNA testing AND how to get started.

It looks at your genes and how your diet interacts with them.

We can use nutrition to create PERSONALIZED diets to:

PREVENT certain conditions

Help you understand your INTOLERANCES

Know how your body REACTS to carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals

Build a nutrition plan for OPTIMAL health



🙋🏻‍♀️ I know I carry the CT variant of the GLUT2 gene.

This means I have a higher risk of sugar addiction which can lead to developing Type II Diabetes – but it doesn’t mean I WILL develop diabetes.



I've been able to ALTER and IMPROVE my diet with this knowledge to make sure I live a long and healthy life.



So, let’s get started figuring YOUR genetics and health out!

Have you tried genetic testing?

What’s holding you back?

Let me know in the comments below! ⬇️

tracyhoule.com/benefits_genetic_testing_for_health/
... See MoreSee Less

Pin It on Pinterest