You’re doing everything right.
You’ve cut out sugar, you’re eating healthy foods, and you’re exercising regularly.
So why aren’t you losing weight? Or worse, why are you gaining weight?
Can intermittent fasting cause weight gain?
Intermittent fasting shouldn’t cause weight gain, BUT If you do happen to increase weight when starting out there are a few reasons that may be causing this.
When you deprive your body of food for extended periods, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy.
This can lead to weight gain, not weight loss. Your body may be adjusting, especially if you’ve just started out.
In addition, you could be overeating too many calories during your eating window.
Even though you fast, you still need to be mindful of eating a healthy diet, intermittent fasting doesn’t allow you to eat what you want in that eating window.
If you are a coffee lover, you might drink too much caffeine, which will boost your blood glucose levels and prolong the increase.
This makes you less insulin-sensitive, and your body will store fat more efficiently.
Whilst Intermittent fasting is a bit of a trending diet (at times) it has been shown to have many health benefits, including weight loss, increased energy levels, and improved brain function.
If you’re thinking of trying intermittent fasting, here are a few tips to help you get started on the path to success.
Pick a fasting plan that fits your lifestyle.
There are many ways to fast, so you must find a plan that you can stick with.
If you’re new to fasting, you may want to start with a 16-hour fast followed by an 8-hour eating window.
This means you would eat all of your meals within 8 hours and fast for the remaining 16 hours.
It’s crucial to stay hydrated when you’re fasting, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
You may also want to drink unsweetened herbal teas and bone broth, which can help to stave off hunger and keep you hydrated.
Eat healthy foods when you break your fast and avoid processed and junk foods.
When you do break your fast, it’s essential to eat wholesome, nutrient-rich foods that will give you sustained energy throughout the day.
Try incorporating plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins into your meals.
Don’t indulge in any snacking during your fasting period.
If you find yourself getting hungry during your fasting period, it’s best to try to tough it out until your next meal.
Snacking will only break your fast and make it harder for you to reach your goals.
Intermittent fasting is not a quick fix for weight loss.
It’s a sustainable lifestyle change that can lead to long-term success.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.
Just keep at it, and eventually, you will start reaping the rewards of your hard work!
When embarking on any type of new diet or lifestyle change, it’s helpful to seek support from others doing the same thing.
Many online forums and support groups are dedicated to helping people succeed with intermittent fasting, so take advantage of these resources if you need extra motivation or advice.
Why Am I Gaining Weight After Stopping Intermittent Fasting?
If you’ve been intermittent fasting, you might see some weight gain once you stop.
Your body would have likely gotten used to having less food and, as a result, might lower your metabolism to stop burning calories.
Since you have a lower metabolism, you might gain weight if your calorie intake suddenly increases and your fasting window increases.
It’s a material change to your diet/lifestyle, after all.
In addition, if you’ve stopped exercising because of the lack of energy, your metabolism would have dropped even further.
Intermittent fasting triggers your body into a caloric deficit, so when you step away from this program, your body will naturally increase its calorie intake to make up for the deficit.
This sudden change can initially lead to some weight gain, but it will normalize over time if you continue healthy eating habits such as balanced meals and regular exercise.
Intermittent fasting is a popular trend many are trying to achieve better overall health and wellness.
What Are The Side Effects Of Intermittent Fasting?
Although intermittent fasting is generally accepted to be good for health, there are possible side effects to be aware of
The most common are headaches, which may be connected to the body adjusting to the new eating routine.
Stomach discomfort from not having food in a regular time frame is also standard.
Depending on how long you fast, some studies have reported lightheadedness or fuzziness, as others had experienced during longer fasting periods.
Others report some fatigue because of the lower calorie intake, hunger pangs, and dehydration, so remember to drink plenty of fluids.
Bad breath and sleep disturbances can also occur.
If any of these side effects occur following intermittent fasting it may be a good idea to modify your routine or speak to your doctor.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellness, so make sure you take care of your own body and its needs first!
Does Intermittent Fasting Cause Belly Fat?
Intermittent fasting is unlikely to cause belly fat unless you are eating too much during your eating window.
Fasting correctly should actually reduce your waist size and visceral fat in the long term.
This is because intermittent fasting helps keep blood sugar levels stable and hormones balanced, both of which are essential factors that play into the storage of abdominal fat.
If you increase belly fat, then what you’re eating is the problem
Many factors can contribute to belly fat such as genetics, hormonal imbalances, lack of exercise, unhealthy eating habits, and stress.
It’s essential to recognize what might be causing your belly fat to create an effective plan for addressing it.
Too little exercise combined with too much unhealthy junk food can easily cause extra pounds around the midsection to pile up.
Additionally, stress can lead us to emotionally eat more calories than our body needs or cause us to neglect healthy habits like exercise.
Adjusting some lifestyle habits can help reduce excess abdominal fat over time.
So while intermittent fasting may be beneficial in reducing belly fat over time, it’s still essential to practice sensible portion sizes and have regular physical activity as part of a healthy diet plan along with performing the fast.
The key is to eat foods that will leave you feeling full for longer, such as complex carbs, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Reach for whole grains like quinoa or buckwheat.
Try baked tofu instead of fried chicken and get your filling fats from avocado or nuts rather than snacks with processed oils.
Eating clean, wholesome meals during your eating window has myriad benefits while still allowing you to enjoy everything you love.
Does Intermittent Fasting Mess Up Your Metabolism?
Some studies have found that intermittent fasting can lead to metabolic changes, while other studies have found no significant difference.
While some experience lower metabolism from decreased caloric intake, short fasting periods can cause the body to burn more fat for energy.
If you decide to try intermittent fasting, monitor your weight and energy levels closely.
If you notice any negative changes, it may be best to stop fasting and return to a more traditional eating pattern.
If you’re like most people, you probably think of metabolism as determining how quickly you can burn off calories.
And while that’s technically true, there’s a lot more to it than that.
In fact, your metabolism is a complex system that plays a role in everything from how much energy you have throughout the day to how well your body can repair itself after an injury.
Metabolism is a fascinating biological process that occurs in all organisms and has various implications for overall health.
It refers to the way our body converts what we eat, breathe, and drink into energy.
It affects how quickly calories are burned.
Some people have higher metabolic rates and so can burn calories more quickly than others.
The balance of hormones plays a role in this too.
Metabolism also helps with breaking down food components, turning nutrients such as proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals into substances our bodies can use.
All of these processes are essential to life, giving us energy, allowing us to grow, repair cells damage and make new ones in their place.
Intermittent fasting is a dieting strategy that involves alternating between periods of fasting and eating.
The most common intermittent fasting regimen is the 16/8 method, which consists of fasting for 16 hours and eating during an 8-hour window.
Other popular methods include the 5:2 diet (fasting for two days per week and eating normally the other five) and the eat-stop-eat method, which is fasting for 24 hours once or twice per week.
Does Fasting Promote Weight Gain?
The main goal of fasting is to lose weight, not gain weight.
However, you’ll still need to watch your calorie intake during your eating window so you don’t overeat the number of calories that you need in a day.
Also, you might be hungry and overeat during meals, so keep your meals small but frequent during your eating period.
To properly intermittently fast, you can do a few things to ensure success.
- Choose the right fasting method for you.
There are many ways to intermittently fast, so it’s important to find the method that best suits your lifestyle and goals.
If you’re new to fasting, starting with the 16/8 method is the most popular and common.
This involves fasting for 16 hours each day and eating all of your meals within an 8-hour window.
This is a great way to ease into fasting and is generally well-tolerated by most people.
- Don’t go too long without eating (especially when just starting)
One of the most common mistakes people make when intermittent fasting is going too long without eating.
This can lead to feelings of intense hunger, irritability, headaches, and fatigue.
If you’re new to fasting, start with a shorter fasting window and gradually increase the amount of time you fast as your body adapts.
- Eat balanced meals (you are what you eat)
Just because you’re eating fewer meals doesn’t mean you should skimp on nutrition!
Make sure each meal contains a balance of lean protein, high fiber, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.
This will help keep you feeling satisfied and will help minimize cravings throughout the day.
- Stay hydrated
It’s important to stay hydrated when intermittent fasting, especially if you’re exercising regularly.
Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and consider adding an electrolyte-rich beverage like coconut water or bone broth to your diet if you’re feeling particularly depleted.
- Be patient
Don’t expect miracles overnight! It takes time for your body to adjust to any dietary change, including intermittent fasting.
Be patient and give yourself at least a few weeks to see how your body responds before making any significant changes or decisions about whether or not this lifestyle is appropriate for you.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.