So you’ve probably been wondering… what’s all the crazy hype around intermittent fasting about? For a few years now, we’ve been bombarded in the news and on social media about how intermittent fasting is all the rage.
But does intermittent fasting actually work for weight loss?
And since there are so many versions out there, WHAT really is the best method for women?
Well, I’m here to tell you from personal experience that I’ve had incredible success with intermittent fasting—specifically for weight loss. But I only felt more energized and healthy once I figured out what method worked best for my body.
Here’s the deal.
The kind of results you can get from intermittent fasting for weight loss can vary greatly depending on your current health status, weight, age, and other factors. And it’s certainly not for everyone (I’ll get into why shortly!).
If you have any history of diabetes or eating disorders— intermittent fasting may not be right for you, so it’s essential to discuss a diet change like this with your doctor.
However, gaining a deeper understanding of intermittent fasting and the different methods of fasting helps you decide what will warrant the best results.
A review of 40 different studies tells us that intermittent fasting can be effective for weight loss, with a typical loss of 7-11 pounds over 10 weeks.
Pretty great, right?
And for us women… that’s HUGE! How often are we comparing our weight loss goals to our fellow men? While they’re shedding weight with no problem, our scale may never seem to drop even an ounce.
It’s all about your body’s metabolism, and realizing that men and women’s bodies are different– so you need different things!
A fasting method that works well for your husband, brother, or son may not have the same positive effect on you.
So let’s get into what exactly intermittent fasting is, and then discover how intermittent fasting for weight loss can benefit you!
What is Intermittent Fasting?
If you know me, you know I’m all about working towards a healthy metabolism. And metabolic flexibility is the name of the game if you’re looking to lose weight, gain energy, and increase your mental clarity.
So of course, one of my favorite ways to boost that metabolism is through intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is an approach to eating that focuses on when and how much you eat. Research shows that intermittent fasting has remarkable benefits for our metabolic functioning when balanced with the right food and exercise.
It’s different from other diets because it’s most effective when it’s time-based. You focus on alternating periods of fasting with periods of eating.
How does Intermittent Fasting Actually Work?
In general, we typically all fast overnight, but intermittent fasting for weight loss goes beyond this so you pay even closer attention to the times of day you start and stop eating.
Most fasting protocols range from fasting for 12 to even up to 48 hours. But these fasts should be decided based on your body and your needs, as we know everyone is different.
Studies continue to tell us that intermittent fasting is one of the top methods that people stick with for their dieting goals. It puts YOU in charge of your eating habits.
It has empowered me to pay closer attention to when and what I eat, with an emphasis on portion control and healthy habits.
And the best part is… it doesn’t leave you feeling drained, starving, or cranky. You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to the right intermittent fasting method for you.
4 EPIC Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can boost physical and mental health– I’ve felt it myself!
Ever since I’ve adopted intermittent fasting for my body, I’ve felt more energized and clear-minded.
Here are some of the top benefits of intermittent fasting:
#1 – Intermittent Fasting Works for Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting methods have been wildly popular because of the success people have with weight loss. When you fast regularly, you can experience a loss of excess unwanted weight and visceral fat.
Sticking to a consistent intermittent fasting method can help you shed that excess belly fat and help you reach your health goals fast.
#2 – Intermittent Fasting Improves Your Metabolism
You know this one’s my favorite! Intermittent fasting is so good for giving your metabolism that kick in the butt it needs to thrive.
When consistently following your chosen intermittent fasting method, you can experience:
- Increased energy levels
- Naturally stabilized blood sugar
- Reduced insulin resistance, lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes
A rocking metabolism with all-day energy and balanced blood sugars goes such a long way in optimizing our health.
#3 – Intermittent Fasting Can Sharpen Brain Functioning
Intermittent fasting has actually been shown to improve cognitive function and protect against neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s.
Not only does intermittent fasting clear your brain fog, improve your focus, and help boost your cognitive abilities, but it also helps prevent these long-term complications that can arise in your brain over time.
#4 – Intermittent Fasting Detoxifies and Rejuvenates Cells
Research tells us that intermittent fasting can help slow the aging process. And aren’t we all striving for youth and longevity? It can help decrease inflammation, and promote cellular repair and regeneration.
It’s also said to offer positive changes in the function of hormones, cells, and genes. It can improve your cardiovascular health, and some studies even say that intermittent fasting can help reduce your risk of developing cancer.
If you’re consistent with your intermittent fasting method, these are benefits that can impact your entire lifetime.
The Top 6 Types of Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
So we know intermittent fasting is ALL the rage for weight loss these days. But finding the right type of intermittent fasting method is key to seeing results.
Let’s dive into the common types of intermittent fasting and what you need to know.
#1 – Hour-Based Intermittent Fasting Methods
The most common methods of intermittent fasting are those that break up your 24-hour day into non-fasting and fasting periods. You’ll commonly hear of the 16:8, 14:10, or 12:12 intermittent fasting schedules.
- 16:8 Intermittent fasting is when you fast for 16 hours of the day and eat for the other 8 hours. For most people, that means skipping breakfast and eating for the first time at noon, then finishing your last meal of the day by 8 pm with no snacks afterward.
- 14:10 Intermittent fasting is similar but gives you a little wiggle room. Fasting for 14 hours instead of 16 gives you more time throughout the day to get your meals in.
- And 12:12 is a great intermittent fasting method when you’re first starting off. For example, finish your last meal no later than 8 pm, then fast in the morning until after 8 am.
I always break my fast with a balanced breakfast that includes protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Eating a balanced meal for breakfast optimizes my hormones, keeping my metabolism in check.
#2 – 5:2 Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
Now, the 5:2 method of intermittent fasting is when you eat as you normally do for 5 days of the week. But for the other two days, you eat only 20% of your normal calorie intake. This is usually about 500 calories max per day for women.
Research shows that the 5:2 intermittent fasting method can be effective for weight loss and reduction of fat when followed consistently.
#3 – Eat-Stop-Eat
The Eat-Stop-Eat method of intermittent fasting is when you completely fast for a full 24-hour day, either one or two times a week.
This is definitely a more intense version of intermittent fasting for weight loss, and it needs to be done right to avoid fatigue and starvation. If you’re looking to start this method, be sure to ease into it.
Always load up with nutrients on the days surrounding your fast day to avoid cravings and excess hunger.
#4 – Alternate-Day Fasting
Another extreme version of intermittent fasting for weight loss is alternate-day fasting. This is when you fast every other day, and are allowed to eat normally on your non-fasting days.
With this intermittent fasting method, your fasting days can allow for up to 500 calories to keep your energy up, but otherwise, a full fast is recommended.
#5 – Reverse Time-Restricted Fasting
Reverse fasting is taking the same idea of fasting periods as discussed in #1, but rather than fasting through the morning until lunchtime, you’re fasting in the afternoon and evening, until breakfast.
I don’t mean to sound biased, but this may be my favorite intermittent fasting method.
Here’s what reverse time-restricted eating for weight loss can look like:
- You wake up and eat breakfast at 8 am
- You eat normally throughout the day
- Your last meal is a late lunch or early dinner around 4-5 pm
Usually, once you get accustomed to this method you can increase your fasting periods. But the goal for reverse time-restricted eating for weight loss is to keep your meal times earlier in the day rather than later.
#6 – Circadian Rhythm Fasting
Similar to early time-restricted eating, I’ve felt the best results from fasting based on my circadian rhythm, and I encourage those just starting out with intermittent fasting for weight loss to follow this method.
- Circadian rhythm-based intermittent fasting works how it sounds– you eat when the sun is up and fast when the sun is down. What this looks like for me is waking up, getting an energizing workout or morning walk in, then breaking my fast right after when the sun is up– anywhere around 8-10 am.
- Eating in tune with your circadian rhythm corresponds to your surges and dips in cortisol levels. So when your cortisol levels are higher during the day, so is your metabolism– so your food is effectively being broken down for more energy.
Based on that, I try to eat my last meal before sunset so I have plenty of time for my body to digest before lying down for bed.
This method is a surefire way to keep your metabolism rocking. I feel energized and clear-headed, and I sleep great when I eat earlier– allowing my body to break down my dinner well before bedtime.
Plus, I love it because it doesn’t feel as intense as some intermittent fasting for weight loss methods. I don’t find myself starving with a rumbling stomach throughout the day.
The bottom line is– find an intermittent fasting method that feels good for you.
I’m not here to promote fad-dieting, restricting, or cutting out meals– I’m here to help you discover how to best boost your metabolism without feeling restrained.
Get Started Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss!
Intermittent fasting looks different for everyone. But I know it can work for you like it’s worked for me! The key is easing into it, and staying consistent with your plan.
Here are some tips to help you get started with success.
- Choose a suitable method: Make sure you pick an intermittent fasting method that aligns with your lifestyle and preferences.
- Transition gradually: Start by gradually extending your fasting period so your body can adapt.
- Stay hydrated: Water is your friend! Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, herbal teas, and electrolytes during your fasting periods to prevent dehydration.
- Create satisfying and balanced meals: Focus on nutrient-dense, metabolically healthy meals during your eating windows. This means making sure to eat meals that are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fat with minimal processed foods or sugars.
With these simple guidelines, you’ll soon be on track to feeling healthy in your body with intermittent fasting.
The Bottom Line
Okay– so can you tell I’ve joined the intermittent fasting bandwagon? The moral of the story is intermittent fasting can absolutely help you with weight loss.
But– as with any diet change– it’s important to consider your current weight, health status, lifestyle factors, and goals. Again, remember to ease into intermittent fasting, and choose a method that works right for you.
Don’t compare your experience with intermittent fasting to others, and know that your body is adapting at its own rate. Take a balanced approach combining intermittent fasting with a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
You’ll soon start to feel the benefits that intermittent fasting has on boosting your metabolism. And again, for all my best metabolism guidance in one place, check out my Hormone and Metabolism Reset Course! Can’t wait to see you there.
Get My Top Liver-Loving Recipes!
Filling your body with the right fuels has an incredible impact on your hormones and energy. Download my free guide to the best liver-supporting recipes by clicking the button below! Download Dr. Mariza’s Liver-Support Recipe