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Ask the experts: How much weight can I lose with intermittent fasting in a month?

Published on:16 December 2020, 18:07pm IST
Thinking of trying intermittent fasting for weight loss? Well, here are some tips by nutritionist Karishma Chawla, including how much weight loss to expect.
Karishma Chawla
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This is how you can use intermittent fasting for weight loss. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Intermittent fasting is an alternative to full fast. It involves alternating cycles of fasting and eating. What it is, is restricting your daily eating to a narrow window of time—let’s say six to eight hours.

In any case, we get into an intermittent state of fasting overnight automatically. If you go to bed at around 10.00 pm at night and you don’t eat breakfast until 7.00 or 8.00 am in the morning, you are in a fasting state in any case. If you can extend this state by another six to eight hours, then you will be able to see an even better effect. This basically means that if you finish eating your dinner by 7 PM seven, your next meal will be around noon the next day. 

Intermittent fasting is a natural concept 

Intermittent fasting for weight loss is more of an instinctive methodology. As and when your body is ready to align with it, you will excel in it. It is also a natural concept to the body. For example, when you feel unwell, it is quite natural to lose your appetite. And considering our ancestors were hunters and gatherers and ate only when they were able to hunt down animals or found fruits and nuts—our body is quite capable or well adapted in handling IF.

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Intermittent fasting might be a good way to lose weight, but it’s not for everyone. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here’s what you can and can’t eat while you’re doing intermittent fasting for weight loss

During the fasting period only water is allowed. Tea, coffee or any other beverages are also not permitted. Some other types of IF may include tea, coffee and other non-caloric beverages. 

Intermittent fasting is an excellent way of losing fat by helping the insulin–the fat storage hormone–to function more efficiently by keeping it down and preventing blood sugar spikes and inflammation. Also this method of fasting helps in healing the body by giving a break to digestion and redirecting the blood flow to the parts of the body that needs healing and care. 

Intermittent fasting also stimulates BDNF. BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a protein that plays a key role in creating new neurons and protects existing ones. It connects one neuron to another and is therefore important in that communication–a process that’s vital for thinking, learning and brain function. The gene that turns on BDNF is activated by intermittent fasting.

As much as the focus is on when you should be eating, I would want to call your attention and encourage you to eat balanced meals for best results comprising of:

  • Complex carbohydrates such as jowar, bajra, rajgira, quinoa, oats and brown rice
  • Lean protein such as eggs, chicken, fish, dals, pulses, nuts and seeds
  • Healthy fats such as coconut oil, ghee, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds
  • High-fibre fruits and vegetables
  • Adequate water, exercise, sleep, and rest

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It is important to understand that indulging into high-caloric foods such as high sugar, high fat, refined flour and processed foods during the eating window will still lead to inflammation and result in yoyo in the fat percentage rather than a sustained weight loss effect. 

This is how much weight you can lose with intermittent fasting

In doing the fast correctly and ensuring that it is aligning with your mind, body and soul–you can expect a good weight loss of anywhere between 2 to 6 kgs a month with excellent inch loss and increase in energy levels and brain function. 

Having said that it is equally important to keep other factors such as age, physical activity levels, medicals, and stress levels in mind while considering weight loss.