top of page

Is Intermittent Fasting Good for Fat Loss?

Updated: Nov 2, 2022


Does eating breakfast cause weight gain?



Is there something magical about restricting all your meals into an 8-hour window each day?


If you've tried Intermittent Fasting to lose weight - or considered it - this article breaks down what I.F. is, some signs I.F. might not be working for you, and how to lose body fat without fasting.


WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?


Intermittent fasting is an eating schedule that switches between fasting and eating on a regular schedule.


Some IF schedules promote an 16:8 rotation (16 hours fasting, with all meals consumed within an 8 hour window), while others promote eating normally 5 days a week and eating under 500 calories the remaining 2 days (5:2 fasting.)


Some versions of IF even include 24-hour fasts.



HOW DOES I.F. WORK FOR FAT LOSS?


To lose fat, you must consistently be in a calorie deficit: the number of calories consumed must be less than the number of calories being expended.


By limiting the amount of time spent eating each day, some people find it easier to control their calorie intake and achieve a calorie deficit.


Fasting only works for fat loss if it helps you achieve a calorie deficit - just like any other fat loss method or strategy.


"I'M CURRENTLY FASTING AND SCARED THAT I'll GAIN WEIGHT IF I STOP"


Sadly, we hear this a lot in Fat Loss Lifestyle School. Clients who have jumped on the Intermittent Fasting bandwagon are often afraid to resume eating earlier in the day, or they believe their lack of appetite is a sign they should keep fasting.


Some signs that Intermittent Fasting is not working for you include:

  • You drink coffee, BCAAs, or other supplements all morning to suppress your appetite so you don't "break your fast."

  • When your feeding window opens, you have a hard time controlling calorie intake.

  • You experience low energy throughout the day.

  • You're not losing body fat and you're having a hard time building lean muscle.

Our appetites are highly trainable, and once you reintroduce an earlier first meal, your appetite will soon acclimate.


You will only gain weight/body fat if you consume more energy (calories) than you expend. You can easily achieve a calorie deficit from eating evenly spaced meals throughout the day.

WHY WE DON'T PRACTICE INTERMITTENT FASTING IN FAT LOSS LIFESTYLE SCHOOL

Here's a snapshot of the typical woman who signs up for FLLS: - She's done every diet on the market. - Her hunger hormones are imbalanced, leading to frequent hunger, over-eating, and snacking. - She experiences frequent, powerful urges to eat high-sugar, high-carb, and/or high-fat foods. - She's in a high-stress environment at work, home, or both . - She has a full plate and feels overwhelmed by fitness and nutrition. Why would we add more stress to an already-stressed-out woman by making her go without food for 16 hours at a time?


We’ve helped so many women transition away from IF in our program because it ISN’T working for them.

When they stop IF, they see a resurgence in their energy levels, less hunger, fewer cravings - AND they start seeing fat loss results again.


They start to feel better because they are eating a high-protein, high-fiber meal within a few hours of waking.

They get fat loss results because they are in a calorie deficit. This is where fat loss comes from - not from when you eat (or don't eat) your meals.


Intermittent Fasting May Affect Women Differently


"Most IF studies have small sample sizes of specific groups—clinically obese patients, athletic men, or mice—so the results may not easily translate to the general population. This is the problem with a lot of studies,” says nutrition scientist Stacy Sims.


“In the fitness industry, people see things that work in clinical populations and think, ‘Hey, we can use this to get leaner and fitter,’ without really looking at the implications. Then something like IF gets media attention and buzz, and then the science starts to catch up and shows that there are a lot of implications that don’t get discussed.”


Many of the benefits of IF - improved insulin sensitivity, improved blood sugar, etc. - can be achieved by following any other method that results in weight loss. Many of the studies on which IF zealots base their miraculous claims ("It reverses aging!") were done on rats - not humans: "Most studies assessing IF and aging are conducted on animals. Furthermore, evidence regarding biomarkers of aging and cognition is mixed, and the conclusions of these studies cannot yet be generalized to the larger population." [Source]



INTERMITTENT FASTING: THE BOTTOM LINE


IF may work for some people, but it is not necessary for fat loss.


Most of the fasting benefits touted by IF enthusiasts can be achieved by traditional, non-fasting calorie restriction.


Intermittent Fasting is one way OF MANY to achieve a calorie deficit, but in our experience coaching thousands of women since 2013, it tends to be a strategy best kept for those at a more advanced level.


Even then, because women are sensitive to stress (especially as they age), it should be used sparingly and not in conjunction with an intense training schedule.


You can get fat loss results without fasting. For fat loss, the most important factors are energy balance (how much you eat) and food quality (what you eat), not when you eat.


Ready to lose body fat, build lean muscle, and change your lifestyle WITHOUT fasting? The next FAT LOSS LIFESTYLE SCHOOL starts soon.


Read more on this topic:



52 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page