Last Updated on February 9, 2023 by Lori Geurin
If you’re like most, you’ve probably tried every diet and weight-loss plan out there at least once. You might have even lost a bit of weight, but then you gained it all back—plus some. And you may feel frustrated and discouraged like you’ll never be able to lose the weight and keep it off for good. I get it—I’ve been there myself.
But what if I told you there’s a way to lose weight and keep it off without counting calories, giving up your favorite foods, or spending hours at the gym? Intermittent fasting (IF) is that way. Intermittent fasting is not a diet; it’s simply a pattern of eating in which you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.
You may have heard of intermittent fasting before, but you might not know much about it or how it works. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you everything you need to know about intermittent fasting results for women, including:
- The different types of intermittent fasting schedules
- How intermittent fasting can help you with weight loss
- Tips for how to intermittent fast
- And more!
So, if you’re ready to learn more about intermittent fasting and get started on your own weight-loss journey, keep reading.
- What Is Intermittent Fasting?
- How To Fast Intermittently
- How To Lose Weight By Fasting
- Tips for How To Intermittent Fast
- Fast With Food?
- Clean Fasting vs. Dirty Fasting
- Fat Burning Fasting
- Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
- Final Thoughts About Fasting Intermittently
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What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern in which you cycle between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but when you should eat them.
IF is a timing method, not a diet. That means you can eat whatever you want—as long as you do it within the eating window that intermittent fasting prescribes.
How To Fast Intermittently
There are so many different ways that you can intermittent fast. The wonderful part about fasting is that you may create your fasting plan based on your needs, current health, and lifestyle.
Popular Schedules for Intermittent Fasting
Here are some of the most popular intermittent fasting schedules.
Circadian Rhythm Fasting
The simplest of all intermittent fasting schedules is the circadian rhythm fast. This intermittent fasting method involves fasting for 12 hours. For example, you could stop eating at dinner at 6 pm and then not eat again until breakfast the following day at 6 am. This is a great one for beginners.
There are many different ways to intermittent fast, but one of the most common methods is the 16/8 method, which involves fasting for 16 hours and eating for eight hours. This is also known as the “lean gains” method, as it’s often used by athletes or bodybuilders trying to gain muscle while losing fat.
Another popular intermittent fasting schedule is 18/6, which means you fast for 18 hours and eat within a 6-hour window. This is an excellent method for beginners because it doesn’t require such a long fasting period.
And there’s the 20/4 intermittent fasting schedule, which involves fasting for 20 hours and eating for four hours. This more advanced intermittent fasting method may not be suitable for beginners.
RELATED: The 5-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet Plan
The 24-Hour Fast
This involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice per week. For example, you could eat dinner on Monday night and then not eat again until dinner on Tuesday night.
The 36-Hour Fast
This is similar to the 24-hour fast, except you would extend your fasting period to 36 hours, for instance fasting from dinner on Monday night until breakfast on Thursday morning.
Alternate Day Fasting (ADF)
With this method, you would fast every other day and eat normally on non-fasting days. For example, you could eat normally on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and then fast on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
The 5:2 Diet
This intermittent fasting schedule involves eating 500 calories (600 for men) two days per week and eating normally the other five days.
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How To Lose Weight By Fasting
Now that you know a little bit more about intermittent fasting let’s talk about how it can help you lose weight.
When you intermittently fast, your body goes into a “fasting state.” In this state, your body starts to burn stored fat for energy.
The key to intermittent fasting and weight loss is that it helps you eat fewer calories overall. When you fast, you’re naturally more likely to eat less because you’re not as hungry. (Sounds crazy, I know, but it’s true!)
RELATED: How To Stay Motivated To Lose Weight
And, when you do eat, you’re more likely to be mindful of what you’re eating and make healthier choices.
So, intermittent fasting is a great option if you want to lose weight. Just remember that intermittent fasting is not a diet—it’s simply an eating pattern. That means you can eat the foods you love if you do it within the eating window that intermittent fasting prescribes.
Plus, intermittent fasting can help boost your metabolism.[*] So, if you want to lose weight, intermittent fasting is a great option.[*]
Find out how intermittent fasting eliminated my hypoglycemia symptoms for good!
Tips for How To Intermittent Fast
If you’re new to intermittent fasting, here are a few tips to help you get started:
Start with a shorter fasting period.
If you’re just starting, it’s best to start with a shorter fasting period, like 12 hours. Once you get used to intermittent fasting, you can start increasing your fasting periods.
Drink plenty of water.
When you’re intermittent fasting, it’s essential to stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Eat healthy foods.
You’ll still want to eat healthy foods when you’re done with intermittent fasting. Focus on eating plenty of vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Don’t go too long without eating.
If you start feeling faint or dizzy, it’s probably time to break your fast.
When you intermittent fast, you may lose electrolytes through your urine. To replenish them, drink plenty of fluids and add a little Himalayan pink salt to your water. Otherwise known as sole water (pronounced so-lay), this water contains 84 trace minerals, including sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Sole water is a wellness trend (that has not been scientifically proven) however, many intermittent fasters find it helps with cramping, headaches, and other intermittent fasting side effects.
Do a trial run.
Before you commit to intermittent fasting long-term, doing a trial run is best. Try intermittent fasting for one month and see how you feel. If you don’t like it, no problem! You can always go back to your old eating habits. But, if you find that intermittent fasting works for you, you can continue doing it as long as you’d like.
RELATED: 16 Great Fitness Gifts For Guys Who Like To Work Out
Fast With Food?
You may have heard of doing bone broth fasts or intermittent fasting with food. This simply means that you intermittent fast but consume bone broth or other liquids during your fasting periods.
Some people find intermittent fasting with food more sustainable than intermittent fasting without food. If you’re interested in trying intermittent fasting with food, at least in the beginning, it may help you transition into fasting without food.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret, fasting with food is not actually intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and not eating (fasting). When you intermittent fast with food, you’re not actually fasting because you’re still consuming calories.
So, if your goal is to lose weight through intermittent fasting, I recommend intermittent fasting without food. Or, at least make this your goal and use intermittent fasting with food as a stepping stone if needed.
Clean Fasting vs. Dirty Fasting
When intermittent fasting, you may hear people talk about clean fasting and dirty fasting.
Clean fasting means you don’t consume any calories during your fasting periods—not even from liquids like bone broth, coconut water, or cream in your coffee.
RELATED: Does Black Coffee Break a Fast?
On the other hand, dirty fasting means consuming calories during your fasting periods, usually in the form of protein powder, bone broth, or other liquids.
If your goal is to lose weight, I would recommend clean fasting. Intermittent fasting results are usually better with clean fasting because you’re truly intermittent fasting (not consuming any calories).
For more on clean fasting, check out What Is Clean Fasting And How It’ll Boost Your Fasting Results.
Fat Burning Fasting
When intermittent fasting, your body will go through different phases. Initially, your body will burn glycogen (sugar) for energy. Once your glycogen stores are depleted, your body will start burning fat for energy.
When does the body start burning fat during fasting?
This process usually takes about 12-24 hours[*]. So, if you intermittent fast for 24 hours, your body will start burning fat around the 12-hour mark.
Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight and feel great. It’s a sustainable eating pattern you can do for as long as you like. Plus, intermittent fasting has been shown to boost your metabolism and increase fat burning[*].
If you want to lose weight and feel great, intermittent fasting is an excellent option. Give it a try and see how you feel!
Final Thoughts About Fasting Intermittently
If you’re ready to start intermittent fasting, great! Remember to give yourself grace and be patient as you transition into this new way of eating.
If intermittent fasting is not for you, that’s okay too! There are many other sustainable weight loss methods out there. The most important thing is finding an eating pattern that works for you and helps you reach your health goals.
Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Results: Intermittent Fasting Tracker
Keeping track of your intermittent fasting schedule can help you stay on track and see results. Check out this intermittent fasting tracker I created to help you get fantastic results!
Now, I want to hear from you!
Have you tried intermittent fasting? What were your results? Let me know in the comments below!
If you liked this blog post, please share it with your friends. Thank you for reading, and happy fasting!
Up next, 7 Ways to Stay Motivated When Fasting: Tips for Intermittent Fasting Success.