Intermittent fasting (IF) has become one of the most talked about diets for weight loss. In fact, some proponents insist that intermittent fasting is the “best diet for fat loss.”
Recent research involving individuals with metabolic syndrome has found that a 10-hour feeding window (and 14-hour fasting window) was associated with weight loss, reduced waist circumference, lower blood pressure and decreased LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
One other interesting finding from the study was that using a 14:10 intermittent fasting protocol led to reductions in visceral fat -- the type of fat that can surround organs and is known to be more deleterious to health than subcutaneous fat (the type of fat you can pinch).
Other previous research comparing 12-hour feeding windows versus 8-hour feeding windows noted that while both groups lost weight and maintained their results, the group following the 16:8 intermittent fasting protocol had lower insulin levels, lower blood pressure and reduced appetites.
One important caveat of both of these studies is that they were in individuals with metabolic dysfunction. The first study used individuals with metabolic syndrome and the 2nd study involved obese men with prediabetes.
Now, based on these results, coupled with the hyperbolic musings of intermittent fasting “gurus” on the internet & social media, you’re likely to believe that intermittent fasting is the only way to lose fat, especially that pesky belly fat.
But, the reality is, there is no “best” diet or best intermittent fasting window to lose belly fat, arm fat, or any other type of fat.
Fat loss, at the end of the day, boils down to calories in versus calories out.
There are no hacks, shortcuts, quick-fixes, diet pills or magic workouts to lose belly fat. Losing belly fat only comes from proper diet and exercise.
Intermittent fasting is one way to structure a diet for fat loss, but it’s not the only one that’s known to help individuals lose weight.
If you need proof, look no further than physique athletes (both natural and enhanced). They routinely eat 4, 5, 6, or even 7 meals per day, don’t limit themselves to a 14-16 hour eating window, and get shredded to the gills.
The truth is that some individuals respond very well to intermittent fasting because it fits their lifestyle. They are better able to adhere to their calorie limits by restricting their feeding window to a tight, defined interval. Others can stick to their daily calorie limits to lose weight by following IIFYM (if it fits your macros).
It always circles back to calories in vs calories out and what works best for your situation. What works best for you may not work the best for your brother, sister, mom, day, son, daughter, or best friend. Conversely, the diet that works best for someone else, may not be optimal for your preferences and lifestyle.
What does work for efficient, continual fat loss is:
- Maintaining high levels of physical activity
- Regularly monitoring body weights
- Tracking calories/macronutrients
- Getting enough sleep
- Managing stress
The methods you take in which to accomplish those tasks are highly individual.
And, if you need help figuring out how many calories to eat to lose weight or an effective training program to build muscle and lose fat, make sure to check out the 1UP Fitness app, available on both iTunes and Google Play.
In the app, we provide comprehensive diet, training, and motivation support to help you crush your transformation challenge, no matter if you’re a novice or seasoned gym rat. You can easily track your daily calories and macros, log your workouts, get customized training, and browse our extensive healthy eating recipe and exercise databases. Best of all, the 1UP fitness app is absolutely FREE, and you can even enter our 8-Week Transformation Challenge where we are giving away $50,000 in Cash and Prizes to 10 Total WINNERS. (5 Female and 5 Male).
- Wilkinson MJ, Manoogian ENC, Zadourian A, Lo H, Fakhouri S, Shoghi A, Wang X, Fleischer JG, Navlakha S, Panda S, Taub PR. Ten-Hour Time-Restricted Eating Reduces Weight, Blood Pressure, and Atherogenic Lipids in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome. Cell Metab. 2020 Jan 7;31(1):92-104.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2019.11.004. Epub 2019 Dec 5. PMID: 31813824; PMCID: PMC6953486.
- Sutton EF, Beyl R, Early KS, Cefalu WT, Ravussin E, Peterson CM. Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes. Cell Metab. 2018 Jun 5;27(6):1212-1221.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.04.010. Epub 2018 May 10. PMID: 29754952; PMCID: PMC5990470.