The most complete review on intermittent fasting: why they lose weight during fasting and what helps not to gain weight after editor Natalia Kapitsa has already shared her experience of such a nutritional system, but she was more interested in the results from the point of view of health – it is not important for Natasha to lose weight. Editor-in-chief Natalya Pikus, on the other hand, began the experiment with the aim of adjusting the diet and throwing off the excess. Therefore, here are the results of testing fasting on myself: after two months of intermittent fasting and a month of life after it.

Not about hunger

In general, everything about fasting is usually past me. I can’t stand hunger, for me this is a direct path to EDD (eating disorder). Well, let’s do it – I’m an experienced overweight fighter, I’ve tried enough restrictive diets to understand once and for all – none of them work in the long term. After numerous experiments, heaps of literature and a couple of courses in nutritional science, I became convinced that the best thing you can do for yourself is to understand how the body works and just eat consciously.

For fasting – so it is correct to call intermittent fasting – they gave the Nobel Prize to a Japanese scientist. He discovered the process of autophagy – regeneration that occurs at the cellular level during fasting. If the cell does not receive enough nutrients from the outside, then it donates part of its own elements, and instead synthesizes new proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates, and may, renewed, continue to exist. That is, the body rejuvenates and heals. This process of autophagy starts after 16 hours of fasting, for which everyone has been fasting and killed with such devoted love – from Hollywood stars to lovers of experiments in nutrition.

True, the experiments were carried out only on yeast, which have a similar gene with mammals. But when it stopped us: if there is even the slightest chance to improve our health, we must try.

Note that there is nothing in this study about losing weight. Why, then, is intermittent fasting adored by all those seeking to lose weight? From my own experience I can explain this: this system helps to quickly and stress-free to establish nutrition and reduce the total daily calorie intake. How – I tell.

About the magic of fasting

When you start to change your eating habits, it is important not to be tough, but to introduce the new gradually, one by one. Therefore, when I started to stick to fasting, I did not focus on the quality of the diet at first. I was just getting used to the new system, looking for the most comfortable window for myself. As a result, I realized that it would be easiest for me to finish eating at 18.00 – 19.00 (I started from the last meal), and to have breakfast, respectively, at 10-11 am.

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It was hard to rebuild: the first three days there was a breakdown, I was irritable, I had a headache – the withdrawal syndrome worked, not eating at night was unusual and stressful for the body.

The first week I still had a snack out of habit: coffee and snacks, croissants. But I soon realized that such food on the go deprives me of a normal dinner, which means that closer to sleep I feel hungry.

In the second week, snacks disappeared by themselves: when you need to make three full meals in the 8-hour window, you have no time to snack. At the same time, it is really important that all the main macro and micronutrients remain in the diet, you need to saturate the body with nutrients necessary for work!

Yes, snacks were gone, but out of habit I still ate large portions. And by the end of the week I realized: I no longer need so much food.

By this time, the first results appeared: the swelling went away, I began to feel more comfortable in jeans. Sports loads would speed up the process, but I didn’t feel the strength on them. And I realized long ago: you can’t force events in such matters, you need to give the body time to adapt. Therefore, I concentrated on three things: observing the food and hunger windows, the quality and quantity of food eaten.

The most complete review on intermittent fasting: why they lose weight during fasting and what helps not to gain weight after

And at some point I realized that sweets and snacks had left the diet by themselves. Although before that rare coffee did without this sin. Now I could still eat a slice of cake on my birthday, but that was the exception. I didn’t want desserts. The machine has lined up a classic diet: a hearty breakfast, a lighter lunch and a completely light dinner. A month later, in the evening I started to eat only salads or cottage cheese. It seemed that the body itself chooses the preferred foods. I felt at ease.

When the food was lined up, the desire came to connect the sport – I had strength for it. I started again with a light load – 15-minute posture and cardio complexes. A week later, I connected exercises with elastic bands, then I added a couple of strength training sessions per week. I caught the wave when both health and sports do not require effort, everything happens in a thrill and out of love.

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Why do you lose weight on intermittent fasting?

So, what about the weight, you ask? I tell you: noticeable results appeared in a month. But they didn’t have a chance not to appear – my diet leveled off noticeably: I began to eat a lot of vegetables, fish, lean meat and cereals. Gradually, even the pasta, which I ate in any incomprehensible situation, disappeared from the menu – and this is surprising. Plus sweets and snacks are gone. And when sports were added, it became completely impossible to sort out daily calories. Spending more than you get is the main law of losing weight, and it worked. But it is important that it worked softly, almost imperceptibly: I was always full, I had a lot of energy. In two months, only a couple of times I ate at night, this was due to the female cycle. You could call it a breakdown, but I called it an experiment that made it possible to feel the difference when you go to bed with an empty and full stomach. Feelings were in favor of the empty one.

And what after

I lived according to the fasting system for two months, after that the focus of attention shifted – work and other tasks increased, there was no resource left to control the time of eating. And that’s okay too. But the habit of eating three full meals a day without snacks and choosing a light dinner remained. Now I can eat berries before bed or have dinner after 19, but I still don’t want sweets and snacks. And daily workouts have become a habit. I slip into test jeans like a year ago. A year ago, I was in the best shape in my life.

The most complete review on intermittent fasting: why they lose weight during fasting and what helps not to gain weight after

But weight is still not an end in itself. I am much more pleased with these changes:

– I like that I hear the organism again. At one time I really wanted greens, sprouts, and I ate them in salads for dinner. For some period she stopped eating tomatoes, and then she could not live without cottage cheese for a week. Sometimes I really want fat – and then I eat cod liver, nuts, avocados right for breakfast. Feeling your body is a very cool sensation, at some point I lost it. But thanks to fasting again with the body in close connection.

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Diet has become more diverse. We are so wired that over time we choose the food that is easier to prepare. Boil pasta instead of cereals, dumplings instead of fish, and faster and more satisfying. There are the same dishes, because you cook them already on the machine. I don’t know if I should thank fasting for this, but I suddenly stopped looking for easy ways. Lentils, spelled, bored in the locker, went into action, I began to sprout green buckwheat and mung bean myself. I try not to repeat myself with dishes during the week. As a result, I always find it tasty, beautiful and varied. And there is no need to get satisfaction from eating sweets.

The receptors have cleared. When we often eat something with enhancers or pronounced flavors, we stop enjoying the natural taste of the food. For example, I love just cooked buckwheat – no butter or sauces. Or oatmeal on the water – my mother is amazed how she can like this dish, and I enjoy its slightly sweetish special taste. When the receptors are cleared, even the slightest dessert with added sugar settles on the tongue. The effect is the same as with salty – constantly thirsty to wash away this aftertaste. I remember how, after a long break, I ate butter ice cream – a very small portion, but until the end of the day I could not get rid of this feeling of sweetness, I did not even want to eat.

Specialist comment

avatar Elena Viktorovna Evdokimova

Elena Viktorovna Evdokimova

Endocrinologist, nutritionist, nutritionist JSC “Medicine” (Clinic of Academician Roitberg), member of the Russian Association of Endocrinologists

– Intermittent fasting can be both beneficial and harmful. The main rule is a deliberate, reasonable approach. If you want to lose weight, you can try this method to get your eating habits under control. However, keep in mind that it is the reduction in calorie intake that is important here, and not strict adherence to the “food window”. If your goal is to build muscle, then this is not your option, you need to eat regularly and get enough protein. Do not try to cure diseases with the help of fasting – consultation with a specialist is simply necessary. In short, before deciding to “go on a hunger strike,” ask a professional for advice.

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