The best timeframes to fast for weight loss – according to science

The best timeframes to fast for weight loss - according to science

Fasting is an effective way to lose weight — but we may not need to go too far

I have fasted for about three years now, and although I do so every day, you don’t need to go that far to attain the benefits. Fasting every day works for many people, yet some do not appreciate the restricted food intake — and if you are an extremely active person, it may be a problem. However, as most of us are chained to our desks, it makes perfect sense to use fasting daily to check your health. A study reported a clinical trial that used humans to compare the effects of two popular forms of time-restricted feeding schedules. These results assessed the participant’s body weight and cardiometabolic risk factors. Interestingly, this was the first human trial to evaluate these factors. Patients were allowed to eat whatever they wanted during the four-hour or six-hour eating period. When the participants fasted, they could not eat anything but drink as much water as needed. Therefore, the beverage choice also included caloric-free drinks. Those participants within the four-hour time-restricted group were asked to eat from 1 pm — to 5 pm. The six-hour window group could only eat between 1 pm and 7 pm. Participants in the control group were asked to maintain their current diet and physical levels. This study was followed for ten weeks, considering their weight, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammatory markers. All participants reduced their caloric intake by 550 calories per day. As a result, they also lost about 3% of their body weight (without altering their diet). The study group reduced insulin resistance & oxidative stress levels compared to the control group. But unfortunately, there was no difference in blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol or triglycerides. Significant differences between the four and 6-hour diet groups did not occur. These findings prove that fasting is a promising way for people to lose weight, especially those sick of caloric counting or who have spent years restricting their caloric intake. One exciting part of this study highlighted that participants experienced no difference in weight loss, despite fasting for a more extended period. Further studies are required to dive a little more deeply into this theory, so don’t take this to mean that you shouldn’t fast for longer stretches if the ultimate goal is weight loss.

Key takeaways

This study has proved that you may still succeed with fasting even without restricting your current diet. I have achieved successful weight loss, maintenance and health benefits from eating a wholesome diet and exercising. I was never the lucky person to eat what I wanted and still lose weight. In addition, I have fasted for extended periods and have experienced success with that method. My suggestion is that if you have underlying health issues, you should speak with your doctor first. I began fasting with no known health problems; apart from feeling sluggish, lacking energy, and having digestive issues, I could not lose weight. However, through fasting, I turned my health around and achieved my body’s reshaping goals. At the same time, I can still train with weights, build muscle and maintain my physique. During the journey, I ate (and still do) a wholesome variety of foods and applied the one cheat meal alternative. I am not as strict, but I eat for better health and energy than weight loss. Success with dieting requires a little restriction and commitment to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. Throughout this process, what should be considered are your own goals and a flexible nutritional plan that you may use during your lifetime. Fasting is not a quick fix; it’s a lifestyle habit. It will be much easier to sustain it indefinitely when it suits your life.

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