Weight loss is all about the caloric deficit. The idea is to reduce total calorie intake and you’ll start losing weight. Intermittent fasting does this for you.
When you don’t eat for a specific duration, you’re actually reducing your calorie intake – and it works. Several studies like this and this show that overweight and obese people burn fat and lose weight with intermittent fasting.
But it doesn’t always get so easy.
If you have tried losing weight with intermittent fasting, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. People face tons of challenges when they try to lose weight with intermittent fasting.
We at Wise Jug conducted a survey and asked respondents to identify the biggest intermittent fasting challenge they’re facing. The two biggest challenges we identified were not losing enough weight (30%) and cravings (27%).
Over 1400 people from all over the world participated in the survey. We cannot generalize the results, but if you’re trying to lose weight with intermittent fasting, the probability of facing one of these challenges is fairly high.
So not losing enough weight or unable to lose weight with intermittent fasting is the biggest challenge that people face.
Does it mean intermittent fasting doesn’t help with weight loss?
If a hefty 30% of people, who have tried intermittent fasting at some point in time in their life, say that it didn’t help them lose weight or it didn’t help them lose enough weight, then we need to revisit the hypothesis that intermittent fasting helps with weight loss.
Scientific research shows that intermittent fasting helps lose weight and it has several other benefits too. There are tons of research papers published in peer-reviewed journals that clearly show that intermittent fasting is a real deal.
Not just weight loss but it has several other benefits.
Here are some of the science-based benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Weight loss (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- Change in cells, genes, and hormones function (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
- Reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes (13, 14)
- Better heart health (15, 16, 17)
- Prevent cancer (18, 19, 20, 21)
- Help you live longer (22, 23, 24)
- Brain health (25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
- Reduction in oxidative stress (31, 32, 33)
- Reduction in body inflammation (34, 35, 36)
Intermittent fasting has a lot to offer provided you do it right.
There is no question about its effectiveness and its ability to burn fat. So if it isn’t working for 30% of people, what’s the issue?
There could be several reasons as to why intermittent fasting doesn’t work at all or why it fails to deliver optimal results.
Sometimes a small tweak or a tiny hack can turn the tables.
This guide is all about such hacks, techniques, strategies, and tactics that will help you lose more weight with intermittent fasting. And if you’re facing any challenge (as discussed in the chart above), you’ll be able to overcome it.
Even if you’re losing weight with intermittent fasting, this guide will show you how you can lose more weight with little additional effort.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
7 Science-Based Techniques to Lose More Weight with Intermittent Fasting
What should you do if you’re interested in losing more weight with intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a natural weight loss technique so it is slow. This is what most people don’t like about it. If you’re losing, say 4 – 5 pounds a month, you’d like to lose more, and there is nothing wrong to have such a desire.
If you want to lose 50lbs, you cannot wait for 10 months, right?
So if you’re already fasting and it has been working for you but you want to lose more weight quickly, there are several techniques that can help you achieve your weight loss goals fairly quickly.
1. Fast for 16 hours or more
According to Dr. Naiman, the optimal duration of a fast is between 18 and 24 hours as this is the time when a normal human body sees a massive drop in insulin and an increase in lipolysis. This means your body needs to fast 18 hours or more before it can start breaking down fat.
If you’re fasting for a mere 5 hours a day (assumption), your body doesn’t reach the point where it starts burning stored fat.
When you fast, your body burns glycogen for the first 12 to 16 hours or more. As long as your body burns glycogen (stored sugar), you don’t lose weight.
You want your body to burn fat and that will happen when all the glycogen has been consumed. It takes your body at least 12 hours to reach that point, according to this research.
And 12 hours is minimum.
What does this mean?
It means if you fast 8 hours a day, it won’t move the needle even if you fast for a year. Well, it doesn’t mean it is totally pointless, it does work with controlled diet and workout but it won’t help you lose a lot of weight if you’re totally relying on IF for weight loss.
You need to fast for 12 hours minimum.
If you need to lose more weight, fast for 16 to 18 hours a day.
You cannot jump to 18 hours immediately so you have to do it gradually by extending your fast duration step by step. I’m sure you know how to do it.
Now I know fasting 18 hours a day itself is a big challenge. It means inviting deadly cravings.
The best approach is to start your fast after dinner. This way, you’ll spend most of your fast sleeping which will make your life a bit easier.
Once you’re able to fast 16 hours a day, don’t stop there. Add another hour, then another, and another.
Keep pushing yourself.
It may sound hard but you should start walking if you want to lose more weight with IF.
When you walk with an empty stomach, your body starts burning fat instead of muscle glycogen. This is because your body saves its glycogen for high-intensity activities.
Walking, being a low-intensity activity, burns fat provided you walk when you’re fasting.
The time when you walk is crucial.
If you’ll walk right after taking your last meal, your body will burn glucose instead of fat. This isn’t the right time to walk.
However, a mild walk for 20 to 30 minutes before breaking your fast will burn fat as that’s the point where your body will try to save glycogen and will switch to fats and ketones.
If you start your fast after dinner, morning walk best suits you.
You don’t have to jog, you don’t have to run, all you have to do is walk for half an hour – and that’s it. A high-intensity workout will have a different impact on your body (discussed later).
The idea here is to make your body go into ketosis quickly and this will only happen with an empty stomach and a low-intensity activity like walking for a few minutes.
This is sure to help you burn more fat quickly with IF.
3. High intensity interval training (HIIT) works best
This should be surprising or maybe scary.
Don’t panic and keep reading if you really want IF to do wonders.
HIIT workouts are considered best for weight loss. HIIT refers to any workout where you do intense workout followed by a rest period. For instance, sprinting for a minute as fast as you can and then taking rest for next minute.
HIIT increases the release of catecholamines. These hormones break down fat into fatty acids so your body can use them. According to a study:
“Fast sprinting caused the body to release high levels of a specific group of hormones, called catecholamines, which drive the release of fat, especially abdominal and visceral fat, from fat stores so it can be burned by working muscles.”
A high intensity workout will burn glycogen at a much faster pace because your body needs energy. Once all the glycogen or most of it has been consumed, your body will start using stored fat.
Catecholamine only releases after a high-intensity workout. If you keep walking for an hour, your body won’t produce catecholamine. Low-intensity exercise doesn’t produce catecholamine so if you’re really interested in losing more weight with IF, you need to do a high-intensity exercise.
You don’t have to do it for minutes. A 10-second sprint or any HIIT workout will do the trick.
Here is what you should do.
It is best to start your fast after dinner. Do HIIT in the morning when you’re already 12 to 14 hours into your fast. Sprint for 10 to 20 seconds and then take rest.
If you prefer any other HIIT, you can switch to it such as squat jumps, lunges, jump rope, etc. Your choice.
If you can stick with following HIIT, it’d be best.
- Sprint (10 seconds)
- Squat jumps (10 seconds)
- Lunges (5 each leg)
- One minute break
This HIIT will make your body convert a lot of stored fat into fatty acids. Now that your body has converted fat, you want your body to consume it. This is why you should spend your post-workout time wisely.
According to a study:
“Even though carbohydrates were the predominant fuel source during the actual workout, for more than 3 hours afterward, fats became the main contributor to energy.”
This means you have to make sure that you adjust your HIIT in such a way that you don’t break your fast for at least 3 hours after HIIT. This is how your body will actually rely on those fatty acids that it created during the workout.
Breaking your fast right after a workout is a bad idea because your body won’t necessarily consume all those fatty acids that it burned during the workout. It might switch to carbs that you’ll eat.
This is why I recommend you walk for 10 to 20 minutes after HIIT and then break your fast after 3 hours of HIIT. This will give your body enough time to rely on fatty acids that are already in your bloodstream. Don’t let your body convert them into fat again.
4. Drink (water) as much as you can
Increase the intake of fluids during your fasting hours. Health-friendly fluids like water, calorie-free beverages, non-caffeinated drinks, coffee, tea, green tea, and juices will help you stay hydrated and will help your body burn fat.
As long as you drink anything that has less than 50 calories, your body will stay in the fasted state. This makes coffee, tea, and several beverages your best bet.
A study found that drinking water reduces weight and helps reduce caloric intake as it gives you a feeling of satiety. Another study found that green tea increases fat burning process in the human body and decreases hunger.
The reason why liquid intake helps you lose weight is that every time you drink something, your body has to work hard to process it. Whenever your body is at work, it burns fat or glycogen. During fasting, you’re more likely to burn fat.
Now when I say drink as much as you can and whatever you like, it doesn’t mean you can take all those smoothies and high-calorie drinks. Don’t do it.
It is recommended to stick with water, green tea, and your favorite non-caloric beverage.
You have to be very careful. You might end up providing your body with up to 800 calories with liquids in the fasted state and this is one reason why a lot of people don’t lose weight with IF.
You’ll never know and you’ll be constantly ruining your IF with liquids so you have to be very cautious as to what you drink during the fasted state.
Water should be your top priority. Here is why.
According to a study published in The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, drinking 16 ounces of water can increase human body’s metabolic rate by a whopping 30%. If you increase your water intake by 1.5 liters per day during the fasted state, your body will end up burning an extra 200 calories.
So keep drinking water when you’re fasting.
Though you should drink water throughout the day, drinking water before breaking your fast will help you lose more weight.
A study found that drinking 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before a meal results in fewer calorie consumptions and it will help you lose 2.6 more pounds than people who don’t do it.
If you happen to drink 2 glasses of water before you break your fast, you’ll have a better chance to lose more weight with IF.
If you have to use tea, coffee, or other beverages, you can choose from the following list. Click on the link to buy your drink from Amazon.
- Sanpellegrino Clementine
- Everly Energy
- BariWise Fruit Drink
- Sparkling Ice Black Raspberry
- Perrier Flavored Sparkling Mineral Water
- Green Tea Extract
- Zenwise Green Tea Extract
- Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
- Death Wish Whole Bean Coffee
- Green Coffee Bean
- Javita Gourmet Instant Coffee
- NatureWise Green Coffee
Choose any beverage from the above list. These beverages will fulfill your body’s fluid needs and at the same time, they will help you lose more weight by helping your body burn fat.
5. Eat healthy
Intermittent fasting, by no means, allows you to eat whatever you want. This is one reason why so many people take months to lose a few pounds. This is, unfortunately, not how it works.
If you’re eating 2 – 3 big meals and fast 18 hours a day, you won’t lose much. IF isn’t about shifting your meals. And if you have shifted your meals to the eating window, this is one big reason why you’re struggling with IF.
You have to eat healthy.
And not just healthy, but you have to reduce the number of calories you consume. You don’t have to reduce them to half but at least do yourself a favor and reduce 500 calories.
So if someone told you that you can eat whatever you desire with IF, you don’t have to listen to that person. Maybe you can listen to them and continue eating whatever you like, and see it for yourself. I’m sure it won’t work.
Here is a list of healthy and nutritious foods that you should try eating as much as you can.
- Fruits and vegetables of all types
- Meat, fish, or any alternative source of meat
- Milk and dairy products
- Stick with baked foods and refrain from eating fried foods
I’m sure you must be eating healthy already as most of the people I know or talk to who fast regularly eat healthy. But just in case if you’re thinking of eating candies, chocolates, pizza, etc., stay away.
6. Fast during the holiday season
Yes, it is surprising.
There are certain months in a year when people gain a lot of weight. Research shows that people gain 50% of their entire weight in November, December, and January. Another study revealed that people gain most weight during Christmas holidays.
It is a fact.
Think of your routine during the holiday season and ask yourself what type of foods you eat.
It is natural. You cannot diet or control your calories in these three months no matter how hard you try. It feels awkward to miss a lunch or your favorite treat.
And you don’t do it, I know.
But you have to change it.
If you fast in these three months, you’ll be able to reduce your weight significantly. You don’t have to miss any feast or function or a lunch or any treat, but you can control when you eat and what you eat at your home, right?
Increase duration between meals and try to stick with your intermittent fasting routine. It will be tough and you won’t be able to stick with the plan for the entire season but even if you manage to fast 3 days a week in these 3 months, you won’t gain weight.
Your primary goal should be: Not to gain weight in these 3 months.
Your secondary goal should be: Lose weight in these 3 months.
Avoid excessive eating and refrain from increasing your calorie intake during Christmas holiday season. And don’t stop fasting.
7. Use apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has several benefits that are scientifically proven so you cannot deny them. Using it during the fast can help you lose weight, reduce appetite, manage blood sugar level and insulin, and much more.
According to a study, obese people who consumed apple cider vinegar daily for 3 months lost belly fat. People who consumed one tablespoon lost 2.6lbs and those who consumed 2 tablespoons a day lost 3.7lbs.
It was revealed in this and this study that people who eat the high-carb meal and take apple cider vinegar (or any vinegar) with their meals eat up to 275 fewer calories for the rest of the day and they also get a feeling of fullness.
Apple cider vinegar works. Though its impact may vary, it doesn’t hurt using a tablespoon daily, right?
What you need to do is add one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it while you’re fasting preferably once a day. This will help you get rid of cravings and it will boost fat burning process as well.
You might not be able to see any significant impact right away. You have to keep using it for a few good months.
These 7 methods are sure to help you lose more weight with intermittent fasting. The only requirement is to be consistent. Don’t lose hope.
Stick with the plan and it will work – eventually.
If you’re interested in reducing cravings, which happens to be the second biggest challenge that people face when trying to lose weight with intermittent fasting, you can download my full IF Mastery guide here that where I have revealed everything about losing weight with intermittent fasting, dealing with cravings, and what to do if you’re not losing weight with intermittent fasting at all.