Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss: Explained for Beginners

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Intermittent fasting for weight loss is a great tool and extremely effective approach for reaching your fitness goals. Here, you will learn what it is, and why you should start using it.

So, what is intermittent fasting?

In simple terms, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of fasting and eating.

Most people already do this during sleep.

There are several different ways you can incorporate intermittent fasting.

Generally, the most popular way of doing this is by only leaving an 8-hour period for eating. Also known as the:

16/8 Method – (I use this one)

When utilizing this approach, you would skip breakfast in the morning and wait until noon to consume your first meal.

Now you have gone 16 hours without eating any food. This is considered the fasting period. After the fast period is over, you can now eat until you hit the 8-hour mark.

5:2 Diet: Fast for 2 days per week –

With this method, you would do two (usually start off with one and build up to two) 24-hour fasts for the week.

During the fast, you would limit yourself to 500-600 calories for the day.

The best way to do this would be to start the first fast on a Monday and then wait till later in the week, such as Thursday to do the second fast.

3.Eat-Stop-Eat:  Brad Pilon’s Method-

For this fast, you would fast from dinner to dinner. For example, 5pm one day to 5pm the next.

So, why should you start using this method?

Before I dive into that, let me first reassure you that by fasting, you are NOT decreasing your metabolic rate.

I thought by eating 6 meals/ eating every 2-3 hours I was boosting my metabolism.

Won’t I slow my metabolism down?

No, you will not!

This is a myth!

There are many studies that have completely debunked this theory!

This myth was thought to be true, but do not be fooled.

A meta-analysis study that was conducted on eating frequency showed NO DIFFERENCE between eating small meals spread out through the day vs three large meals. (source)

This would be useful for someone who has issues with portion control. Other than that, it makes no difference whether you consume 2000 calories in 3 meals, or spread it out with 6 meals.

In the end, you still have consumed the same number of calories, so weight loss benefits with this method have proven to be no more effective than the standard American eating schedule (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

On the other hand, there are SEVERAL studies that show intermittent fasting can help with increasing metabolic rate/health, improve weight loss, protect against disease, and may help you live a healthier and longer life. 

In fact, humans have been doing this for thousands of years.

Sometimes, it was the only way for us to survive. Food wasn’t always plentiful and easily available to us in grocery stores.

At one point in time, we did have to hunt and gather.

It is clear that fasting has been a very natural part of human evolution.

The reason why so many people are using this method today is because of its weight loss benefits. Intermittent fasting has been shown to increase the natural metabolism by 3-12%. (source)

It is very effective way to limit your calories while burning fat. 

Intermittent fasting has a very POSTIVE effect on some key weight loss hormones.

  • Insulin sensitivity improvesInsulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to utilize food for energy. By improving your body’s insulin sensitivity, your natural resting insulin levels will be lowered. This will cause your body to burn fat (boosted metabolism).
  • Release of human growth hormone (HGH) increases significantly – In some studies, HGH was 5-10 times higher in individuals fasting vs non-fasting. (source)
  • Normalizes leptin – Leptin is the hunger hormone. It tells your body when to eat and when to stop. When incorporating intermittent fasting, it can help regulate leptin to normalized levels.

Research also shows that intermittent fasting may protect you from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease by improving autophagy.

Another plus to fasting is it helps retain lean muscle mass.

You want lean muscle mass!

The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you burn at rest. Fasting has been proven to be more effective than a standard calorie restrictive diet for retaining lean muscle tissue.(source)

It’s also WAY MORE convenient!

It’s a total pain in the @## to be eating so often (as I used to eat 6 meals a day!). I Just recently experimented with this method.

I have to say I absolutely love it!

It’s made my busy schedule (father, full-time job, online entrepreneur, gym) a lot easier by not worrying about eating, eating, and then eating at least 3 more times.

Now, please keep in mind this is NOT THE SOLUTION TO ALL WEIGHT LOSS problems!

It has to be implemented the correct way.

This will not by ANY MEANS be beneficial for you if the majority of your calories are coming from beers, burgers, and candy bars!

Let’s be realistic here, MOST of your foods should come from nutrient-dense foods. If you need more information on what foods you should be eating, be sure to check out my article: Weight Loss In Seven Easy Steps.

Some things to be wary of:

Make sure you are not binge eating!

The main culprit behind binge eating is BOREDOM!

I know when I’m sitting on the couch, it’s almost instinct to get up and go straight to the fridge.

Please don’t do this, other wise you are only hindering any results you will get.

Instead, find things to keep you busy besides sitting on the couch.

Try to do active things like going for a walk, go to the gym, or go for a bike ride. If you need to stay in the house for whatever reason (weather keeps me trapped in), start cleaning. The Idea is to keep yourself busy to prevent yourself from just sitting around.

If you must sit on the couch, just make sure you are drinking PLENTY of water. This will help ward off any hunger cravings you might get from fasting.

Another note to add:

When you are using intermittent fasting, make sure to drink water (as I just mentioned), coffee (black – no cream or sugar), tea, or apple cider vinegar. You can drink all of these or only some of them, but make sure to have NOTHING else while on the fast.

Intermittent fasting is an excellent way to lose weight, especially for convenience purposes! The key to weight loss success is, you should ALWAYS have a plan in mind.

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      Author

      Thanks for writing in rahul. To answer your question, Yes! It doesn’t matter what age. Remember intermittent fasting isn’t an all cure for weight loss, obviously, a healthy diet should always be incorporated in conjunction with fasting. That being said, if you were to change your eating habits to follow a schedule similar to the 16-8 method, you would definitely notice some changes in your overall health and potentially weight loss, especially if you are consuming nutrient-dense foods.

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