Intermittent fasting and weight loss

Can we lose weight by means of intermittent fasting? Is it good for our body and our health? How do we do this and where do we start?

Don’t worry, we’ll share the key points if you want to get started.

What is intermittent fasting?​

Simply put, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between two periods:

  • Food intake period
  • Fasting period​

It is imperative to understand that fasting does not mean “eating less” but “eating over defined periods.”​

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?​

According to research, a greater period of rest for the digestive system allows one to:

  • decrease blood glucose (sugar) and insulin levels,
  • reduce digestive inflammation and
  • make the elimination of toxins more effective.​

Intermittent fasting therefore has health benefits – for some people. And we emphasize the latter. Indeed, while intermittent fasting is a true elixir of health for some, others will see no benefit in practicing this eating pattern.

Why is that so? It’s because each individual has their own way of working. What is true for one does not always hold true for the other.​

3 main methods of fasting

methods of intermittent fasting

For many, intermittent fasting means “skipping a meal during the day.” In reality, it’s a bit more complex than that. It is also recommended for supervision by a health and nutrition professional.

The most popular method is the “16/8″​ intermittent fasting.

This fasting is the easiest to implement. It is the one we recommended to you, if you are tempted to try this experience. Breakfast or dinner is usually skipped.  This results, for example, in an eating period between 12 am and 8 pm, or between 9 am and 5 pm.​

A more difficult method is the “20/4” intermittent fasting.

Fasting period lasts for 20 hours.

Food intake period covers 4 hours.​​

The food intake window is much narrower: Usually people opt for the time slot from 1 pm to 5 pm.​

The “24-hour” fasting day

This amounts to not eating anything for a maximum of one to two non-consecutive days per week.

How does one know what type of intermittent fasting is for them?

type of fasting

The type of fasting that will suit you the most is the one that best adapts to your way of life.

You must pay close attention to your feelings.​ If you do not feel any sense of well-being, it may be that this eating pattern is simply not for you.

On the other hand, it is very important to be supervised by a nutrition professional so as not to risk causing dietary deficiency or imbalance.​ Many people consider it enough to skip a meal and maintain other eating habits, but it is necessary to ensure that you eat sufficient, balanced and healthy food.

Is it possible to lose weight through intermittent fasting?​

intermittent fasting and lose weight

People who want to practice an intermittent fasting method are often motivated by the desire to lose weight.

Indeed, with this eating pattern, calorie intake is reduced a bit, in particular by removing excess food intake such as snacking, as there are fewer periods to eat.

Be careful, however: fasting should not be considered a form of diet. Fasting is a way of life, while a diet should just be temporary. Besides, we do not recommend that you go on a diet if you are looking to lose weight.

Unlike in a diet, no food category is removed in fasting, and one should not reduce their total daily calorie intake. Calculate your daily calorie needs on the Nutri Coach app. Humans cannot afford to reduce their nutritional needs in the long term without taking great risks to their health.

Moreover, instead of losing weight, it is the guaranteed Yo-yo effect (weight instability) resulting from the vicious “restriction-binge” cycle that will kick off.​

Intermittent fasting must be practiced without any feeling of restriction, hunger or deprivation.​

The weight loss achieved through intermittent fasting is extremely variable: between 0 and 11 lb less for the most fortunate ones.​

Contraindications to intermittent fasting​

Intermittent fasting is not for everyone.

It is not recommended that you embark on this lifestyle if you are:

  • a child or teenager (growth period),​
  • an elderly person (higher risk of undernourishment),
  • a pregnant or breastfeeding woman (greater nutritional needs),
  • a sportsperson (greater nutritional needs), or
  • a person who has or has had eating disorders (at risk of exacerbating or causing these eating disorders to reappear).

Intermittent Fasting : Conclusion

intermittent fasting conclusion

Intermittent fasting has some advantages as well as disadvantages. It’s only you who can tell if this method is right for you or not.​

The possible disadvantages of intermittent fasting are:

  • a form of bodily stress,
  • fatigue,
  • a yo-yo effect on one’s balance,
  • an impacted social life, and
  • eating disorders.

Nutritional monitoring and the quality and balance of meals are paramount.

Lastly, don’t forget to break free from fasting if this method doesn’t suit you!

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. Ajay Kumar

    Metabolic aspects of intermittent fasting need to be highlighted viz calcium metabolism…

  2. Deborah Riley

    This method sounds easy to adapt to and conforming to a new way of life.

    1. Mary Jane

      I have only done the 16/8 for 2 days and I gained 1 pound!!! I know my calorie intake has gone why a gain? I’m going to give it a 5 day trial, then decide if I need to tweek the meal I’m giving up.

      1. Emily

        Hi Mary Jane, maybe you have some water retention? Maybe you were close to or during your period? Were you stressed? Did you change your total caloric intake or the type of food you ate? There are so many things to take in consideration…
        Nevertheless, I would like to remind you that intermittent fasting is not a method to lose weight. It is a different way of eating, the main goal of which is to allow your digestive system a longer resting phase!
        I hope this comment is helpful for you.
        Don’t hesitate to keep us informed,

  3. Alice Thomas

    Fasting isn’t a problem for me. This will help one balance an inconsistent eating lifestyle. I agree metabolic aspect should be highliggted

    1. Sonya

      I want to try intermittent fasting. The only thing is I have to start out my day eating because of the medication I’m on. After that it’s not a problem.

      1. Emily

        Hello, if you are taking medication, you should always ask your doctor for advice. It is important 🙂 Take care of yourself.

  4. Mary Palmieri

    Can I drink diet soda or diet ice tea while fasting?

    1. Emily

      Hello Mary 🙂
      Sodas contain sugars, so if you consume them, you are breaking your fast.
      By opting for diet sodas or diet ice tea, it is more or less the same thing, sweeteners (which replace sugars) are very controversial by science.
      During the fasting period, you can only drink water. Don’t force yourself to fast, if you need energy to last until the next meal, I recommend you to have a balanced breakfast (see blog, nutrition part).

  5. Nanette Marie Pentz

    So no to ice cream occasionally??

    1. Emily

      Hello Nanette Marie Pentz
      During the fast, you can eat whatever you want, as long as it is ingested during the food intake periods.

  6. Tim Elliott

    I have headaches during fasting what do you suggest?

    1. Emily

      Hello Tim Elliott,
      The headache can be caused by dehydration. Are you drinking enough? If not, maybe this method is just not for you. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor to check that everything is fine. Take care

  7. Joseph

    I’ve been doing the 16-8 fast for the past 2 months a love it. Do I need to or should I do a 24 hr fast at some point?

    1. Emily

      Hello Joseph,
      I’m glad to know that you feel good with the 16-8 fast you are doing. You can try it out of curiosity to see how your body reacts, if you like it more or less. Sometimes you have to try several things to find what is best for your body. It’s very personal.

    2. Jeraldin Smith

      I been during intermittent fasting for 11 month, but i been adding sugar to my coffee. So now I can’t do sugar any more.

      1. Emily

        Hello Jeraldin Smith,
        Did it work for you? Did you still feel an improvement in your digestion? If so, you can keep the sugar in the coffee if you like. Fasting methods can be followed perfectly, but the most important thing is to feel good and sometimes doing your own method is better for yourself. Don’t be too strict in your food choices, follow your instincts too. Above all, you should feel good. <3

  8. Yvonne Hill

    Can you do a 14 hour fast and 10 hour food intake?

    1. Emily

      Hello Yvonne Hill,
      I encourage you to try it, if it makes you feel better, then it’s better for you. Every body is unique. You shouldn’t hesitate to go outside the existing methods.

  9. Melissa Ross

    I tried fasting before and it just didn’t work for me. I need to eat three nutritionally balanced meals a day. I also drink plenty of water. exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep.

  10. Ari

    12pm -8pm or 12am 8pm?

  11. Jeffrey Pitchford

    Can I drink coffee in the morning?

    1. Emily

      Hello Jeffrey 🙂
      Yes you can, but without sugar!
      Only certain liquids are compatible with intermittent fasting: water, tea, herbal tea or coffee (without sugar). It is advisable to drink water throughout the day, but also tea or coffee to help fight the feeling of hunger.

  12. Lala

    Can I drink unsweetened almind milk with no sugars or added sugar during the fasting stage?

    1. Emily

      Hello Lala
      Only certain liquids are compatible with intermittent fasting: water, tea, herbal tea or coffee (without sugar). Almond milk, even without sugar, contains some calories. During the fasting period, the concept is to not consume a single calorie. If it seems unpleasant or difficult, do not force yourself, perhaps your body is not friendly with intermittent fasting and this is not a problem. The most important thing is to listen to your body, what makes you feel good or not.

  13. BEA

    What about a 16/8

    1. Emily

      Hello BEA,
      With the 16/8, breakfast or dinner is usually skipped.
      – Fasting period lasts for 16 hours.
      – Food intake period covers 8 hours.​​
      for example, in an eating period between 12 am and 8 pm, or between 9 am and 5 pm.​

  14. Liliana

    after my 16 hours of fasting can I eat any kind of carbs ? Thank you

    1. Emily

      Hello Liliana,
      After the fasting period, you can eat whatever you want, but I recommend you to eat healthy and balanced food in order to get your nutritional intake. 🙂

  15. Michelle

    What should I eat when 16-8 fasting
    Are there specific foods I should not eat

    1. Emily

      Hello Michelle,
      During the hours of fasting, you should not eat anything. As far as drinks are concerned, you can drink water, tea, herbal tea or coffee without sugar.
      During the food intake, the ideal is to eat according to your nutritional needs, as healthily as possible.
      I invite you to read this article for help:

  16. Audrey

    Can I drink coffee with half and half cream while fasting

  17. Sangita Mohta

    I have been fasting a window of 5 hours and I lost 7 kgs in 2 months along 1 hour brisk walk daily.But from last week there is no progress at all.I and 80 kgs now.I am pure vegetarian.I don’t intake sugar at all.

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