This post simplifies why and how intermittent fasting works for women and the hours needed to take effect.
The content in this post is not meant to be medical advice; on the contrary, it’s first-hand experience from having practiced IF since 2006 for the benefits and under medical supervision. Please consult your medical practitioner for advice about your medical condition.
Does Intermittent Fasting Work for Weight Loss?
There are two main reasons intermittent fasting works for people trying to achieve weight loss; the first one is that most people tend to reduce their total daily caloric intake, and the second is because a fasting schedule provides structure to people’s meals without altering what they eat.
According to a 2022 Harvard Study, intermittent fasting may help with weight loss and if this is your goal; the great news is that the research in this area continues due to its popularity and various medical applications; from diabetes to cancer to weight loss, a lot of studies are being done.
And while beneficial, intermittent fasting alone is not a magic pill; it’s meant to be used along with eating a variety of healthy foods that support your body’s nutritional needs.
How and Why Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent fasting works by alternating when you eat and when you don’t eat. This “on-and-off” method is where the “intermittent” comes in. When you fast or, omit to eat (don’t eat), your body is able to focus all of its energy on other processes.
After 14-16 hours of fasting, your body enters an autography phase, where it can shift its focus to cellular repair, hormones, and burning fat. Without intermittent fasting, most people eat throughout the day and late into the night; making it easier to consume more calories than necessary.
If losing weight is your goal, intermittent fasting can be very helpful in providing you with a structure to your meals -the “when” you eat. What you eat is based on your dietary needs and can be organized inside a weekly meal plan that takes your eating windows and fasting windows into consideration.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
After a few days of practicing intermittent fasting consistently and having adjusted to this new way of having a schedule for their meals, most people begin to experience the following benefits of intermittent fasting:
Many people experience increased alertness and focus in the morning while fasting. This benefit in cognitive function is due to the body having had the time to repair itself fully at night which continues throughout the morning until the fast is broken by eating your first meal.
While a lot of people report rapid weight loss within the first ten days of beginning their intermittent fasting journey, this is often attributed to a significant reduction in how much food is consumed. For long-term sustainable weight loss, focusing on a healthy lifestyle that includes nutrition and exercise is recommended.
People that focus on providing their bodies with nutritious foods during the day, often report better quality of sleep. On the contrary, people that drastically reduce their food intake (cut calories) report increased insomnia.
How Fast Does Intermittent Fasting Work’
Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting work right away; meaning, as soon as your body enters the autophagy stage. In as little as 12 to 14 hours of fasting (not eating) your body enters this fasting state where it can begin to repair itself and begin to work.
Many people experience the benefits of fasting with weight loss quickly, in as little as ten days, but this is often the result of limiting the amount of calories they consume. For sustainable long-term weight loss, it’s recommended that intermittent fasting is used in conjunction with healthier lifestyle changes.
To reap the full health benefits including reduced inflammation and its symptoms, lowered cholesterol (these results are mixed), reduced arterial blood pressure, and insulin resistance can take time, weeks, or months since these require monitoring and a commitment to the practice.
How Many Hours Does it Take for Intermittent Fasting to Work
In as little as 12 hours your body can enter this stage of fasting, where it sends signals to the metabolism, hormones, and cells that it’s no longer taking on food and the body can shift its energy and resources into these other processes. This means that you need a minimum of 12 hours of fasting (not consuming food) for it to begin to work.
Does Intermittent Fasting Work Without Exercise
If you are looking for a magic pill to lose weight without having to exercise, intermittent fasting is not it. Intermittent fasting is simply a schedule for your meals so you can make healthier eating part of your weight loss journey.
While a lot of people follow a ketogenic diet along with intermittent fasting; you can practice intermittent fasting without eating keto and by eating meals that include a variety of fresh and healthy ingredients.
Does Intermittent Fasting Work Long Term?
There are many people that practice intermittent fasting consistently long term while others practice intermittent fasting on and off throughout their lives; it all depends on their goals and why they’ve chosen to incorporate it.
If long-term health and wellness is a priority for you, intermittent fasting can be a good tool to use in addition to making other dietary and lifestyle improvements.
If you’re just getting started and want to keep it simple, this eBook is for you.
Intermittent Fasting Book + Meal Plan
Everything you need to jumpstart your intermittent fasting journey: full eBook, meal plan, plus recipes!