Does fasting or Intermittent Fasting burn belly fat? Is there something that makes fasting uniquely great at burning fat? Today, we're diving into the details of Intermittent Fasting and fat loss.
Can You Lose Belly Fat By Fasting?
Multiple studies on various forms of fasting, ranging from shorter Intermittent Fasts (12-20 hour daily fasts) to Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) have found that fasting helps to reduce visceral fat (fat stored around the organs in the belly) and reduce the storing hormone insulin.(1) Not to mention, when compared to regular calorie restriction, Intermittent Fasting has been found to be better at keeping muscle mass while losing fat.(2) This is likely due to a variety of hormonal changes that typically occur with fasting, including a dip in the storing hormone insulin as well as a boost in the muscle protecting hormone, growth hormone.
How Long Do You Have To Fast Before You Start Burning Fat?
In order to burn fat through the process called lipolysis (which literally means the breakdown of fat), the storing hormone insulin needs to dip back down. This can happen with shorter fasts (12-20 hours) or even just having periods of not eating between meals (meaning, no snacking). A 2020 review of Intermittent Fasting and weight loss has found fat loss occur with fasts that average a little over 16 hours.(3) However, I've also had clients experience fat loss with 12-14 hour daily fasts (when their meals have been optimized as well).
Although, this can vary GREATLY depending on the type of meals you're eating during the eating window. If you're eating highly insulin spiking foods during the eating window, you may not see much fat loss benefit with Intermittent Fasting. You can checkout the step-by-step details for incorporating Intermittent Fasting with the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle HERE.
How Long Does Intermittent Fasting Take To Work?
How long Intermittent Fasting takes to work can depend on a few factors:
How insulin resistant you currently are.
The types of meals you're eating with Intermittent Fasting.
Typically from my experience, the more insulin resistant, the more likely you'll experience a 1-2 week grace period before weight loss starts to occur. This is due to higher levels of insulin in the blood that can cause lipolysis (that fat burning process) to remain shut off. You can discuss a fasting insulin test with your doctor in order to better understand your current baseline.
As mentioned earlier, if you're consuming highly insulin spiking meals during your eating window, you likely will experience slow (if any) weight loss. You can check out the additional details with my short video below.
Get the step-by-step, meal-by-meal details on how to achieve your weight loss and wellness goals with the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle!
100+ recipes, 8 weeks of meal-by-meal planning, restaurant guidelines, plateau breaker checklist and MORE! Head over HERE to get started!
Autumn Elle Nutrition