How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Shed Excess Weight

One weight loss strategy that has become very popular recently is known as intermittent fasting. It’s an eating pattern that involves short-term fasts. Fasting for short periods of time prevents you from consuming a lot of calories, which may lead to weight loss if done consistently.

But aside from being a weight loss intervention, intermittent fasting may also help lower your risk of health conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, by lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.

There are several different methods used in intermittent fasting. Among the most widely used methods are:

  • The 16:8 diet
  • The 5:2 diet
  • Eat Stop Eat
  • Alternate-Day Fasting (ADF)
  • The Warrior diet

All methods can be effective, but not all methods will work for everyone. To help you decide which method will work for you, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each:

The 16/8 Diet

This intermittent fasting method is one of the most popular. It restricts calorie consumption to an 8 hour window and requires you to fast for 16 hours.



  • Can be challenging not to eat for 16 hours straight
  • Overeating within the 8-hour eating window could negate the effects of fasting

The 5:2 Diet

This diet plan is straightforward and simple enough to understand. You can eat like you normally would for 5 days and then you reduce your calorie consumption to just 500-600 per day for the other 2 days.


  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Prevents metabolic diseases
  • Offers flexibility since you can choose which days to fast


  • Difficult to eat only 500 calories per day
  • You may feel nauseous or ill on the fasting days

Eat Stop Eat

This diet method is an unconventional approach popularized by Brad Pilon, the person who penned the book “Eat Stop Eat.” It involves abstaining from eating for 24 hours for two non-consecutive days per week and you can eat freely on the other days. The rationale behind a 24-hour fast 1-2x a week is that consuming fewer calories leads to weight loss as well as trigger a metabolic shift that causes your body to utilize fat for energy instead of glucose.


  • Leads to weight loss
  • Triggers a metabolic shift for fat utilization


  • Not eating for 24 hours straight is difficult
  • It may lead to binge-eating after
  • Alternate-Day Fasting
  • This intermittent fasting plan lets you fast (500 calories or less) every other day. But you can eat whatever you want on your non-fasting days.


  • Effective for weight loss
  • Prevents diabetes and metabolic diseases


  • Eating only 500 calories every other day can be extreme for some
  • You could overeat on your non-fast days

The Warrior Diet

This IF plan is based on the eating methods of ancient warriors. Developed by Ori Hofmekler in 2001, it’s more extreme than the 16:8 in that you eat within a 4-hour window (at night) and limit your calories for 20 hours eating only small amounts of food like boiled eggs, raw fruits and veggies.


  • Leads to weight loss
  • Prevents diabetes
  • May slow down tumor progression


  • May lead to overconsumption during non-fasting window
  • May lead to eating pattern disorders
  • Understanding How Intermittent Fasting Affects Hormones

Intermittent fasting may affect your hormones. When you don’t consume anything, your body has to compensate by making several changes in the body in order to get access to stored energy. Changes include adjusting nervous system activity and hormonal levels.

Here are the main metabolic changes that occur when you fast:

  • Insulin levels decrease dramatically, which facilitates fat burning.
  • Noradrenaline is sent to fat cells to break down fats to be used as energy.
  • Human growth hormone levels also increase as much as 5x. This hormone helps burn fat faster.

Intermittent Fasting Lowers Calorie Intake

For the most part, intermittent fasting works because it helps you consume fewer calories.  Studies show it can reduce body weight by up to 8% over a period 24 weeks and can produce weight loss anywhere from 0.55 to 1.65 pounds a week.

So whether you want to lose some extra weight or maintain a healthy weight, you can try intermittent fasting coupled with a good exercise program to achieve your goal. Gyms like Blink Fitness have the facilities you can use for a good workout and also have personal coaches to guide you through the right program.

Check it out this video to learn about intermittent fasting for fat loss:

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