Editorial: Intermittent Fasting – The enigma of weight loss

Editorial buttonEditorial button

So how exactly does intermittent fasting help lose weight?

Fasting Scale
Fasting Scale

I have been trying unsuccessfully to lose weight. I am not sure how to make this work and I think the problem I am having is that I am not sticking to the diet and I am drinking too much alcohol. I have been trying to implement intermittent fasting by the 16/8 rule since many people here swear by it. I have read at least a dozen articles and read 3 books and it makes sense biochemically.

But here’s the truth: Most diets don’t work in the long term because they’re not designed to result in weight loss sustainment. Cutting out a single food forever is next to impossible to maintain. If you are hungry all the time, you are likely yo fail.

In the past, I tried something similar by just eating for a 6-8 hour window, but I just did not call it by the name: Intermittent Fasting. The funny thing is that I was able to lose weight and keep it off using this method. Several questions come to mind when I started this diet:

  1. Does it rely on the fact that you end up eating fewer calories because you have a smaller eating window? Yes. I currently eat 3-4 meals per day. If you avoid eating for several hours at the beginning of the day. the theory is that you will eat fewer calories.
  2. Will I still lose weight at a faster pace or does the whole idea revolve around the fact that I would eat fewer calories? Yes, you must eat fewer calories. Will you lose at a faster pace? Maybe and maybe not. It is not magical, you must cut calories and the larger deficit should result in faster weight loss.
  3. Is there any scientific reason for the 16/8 fast or is the window somewhat flexible? There are many alternatives, but you have to find one you can maintain. Regarding the fasting period, some people fast 12 hours some 16, 20, or even 24 hours. That really depends on what you’re comfortable with and what you can sustain. I have tried all of these periods and found that the most comfortable period for me was 16:8.

The bottom line: Intermittent fasting is what I did in high school and college and it just plain works for me. I failed twice in the last 12 month with this method. It happens that this failure was all base don what I was eating. I cur out alcohol and sweets and I have experienced smooth sailing.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

Be the first to comment on "Editorial: Intermittent Fasting – The enigma of weight loss"

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.