During my one-month intermittent fasting experiment, I lost 10 pounds, gained a ton of confidence, and felt great! And since then, I’ve gone on to experience so many more benefits of this method of eating!
Today I’d like to share with you the top ten most exciting benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss. That way, you, too, can experience the joy of this lifestyle yourself!
1. Intermittent Fasting is Flexible
First, it’s important to note that unlike other calorie-restrictive plans, intermittent fasting is extremely flexible.
You can do it any way you want!
Some people prefer a 5:2 plan, meaning they eat normally 5 days per week and do a complete fast of no calories 2 days.
Others prefer 16:8 (eat all their day’s calories in 8 hours and fast for 16), 20:4 (eat four hours, fast 20), or even 20:1 – just one meal per day. It’s really up to you!
Beyond that, if you’re starving and just can’t make it through one day’s fast – eat!
It’s not like your whole program is ruined if you go off the rails here and there.
It’s really easy to pick back up and try again.
Furthermore, you can plan around special events or holidays.
While I wouldn’t recommend starting intermittent fasting the days before your birthday or a long holiday vacation, you can change your feeding windows around to where you’re eating during the most important time of day if needed.
Since you’re restricting when you eat and not what you eat, intermittent fasting allows you to be as free as a bird.
Who doesn’t love freedom?
2. You Don’t Have To Count Calories
You know what I love? Counting my calories.
Said literally no one ever.
One of the biggest benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss is that you don’t really have to count calories to succeed.
Of course, logging your food and being mindful of what you’re consuming will always help.
I believe I could have lost even more weight than I did during my one-month intermittent fasting experiment, had I diligently tracked my food intake.
But I mean… if you’re super-lazy and just don’t feel like it, it’s good to know that your weight loss plan isn’t going to get shot straight to hell.
Sometimes ain’t nobody got time for that.
But I WILL say that planning your meals (even if you don’t count calories) can still help you maintain your weight loss and even lose more than you would otherwise.
So… NO… you don’t have to track calories and you’ll still lose weight. (Though it will help you lose weight faster if you do!)
3. You Effortlessly Reduce Calories
One of the reasons you don’t have to count calories when losing weight with intermittent fasting is that by restricting when you’re eating, you’re already reducing calories.
For example, my biggest problem is wanting to snack at night while watching TV with hubby before bed.
If it’s a lighter snack like fruit and nuts, or a small bowl of oatmeal or something, it sounds okay, but it really adds up!
Just by eliminating that alone and doing nothing else will have you losing a couple of pounds a month with ZERO additional effort. Genius!
That’s one of my favorite automatic benefits that can’t be ignored!
4. Exercise Is Optional
I hesitate to say this because there are so many more reasons to exercise outside of losing weight.
BUT… it’s true.
You don’t have to exercise to lose weight with intermittent fasting.
Just the calorie reduction alone will have you shedding pounds like crazy.
For me, this really sits well.
While I enjoy exercise and mostly DO exercise, I’ve never completed any workout plan I’ve started.
And I’ve tried quite a few.
I like to go with the flow.
Sometimes I like yoga, sometimes running/jogging, sometimes just taking a stroll.
Other times I’ll do a dance or fitness class, or some calisthenics at home.
With intermittent fasting, anything (or nothing at all) is fair game.
During my one-month intermittent fasting experiment (much like every other month of life, ever), I planned to go hard in the gym.
I wanted to hit my 10,000 step goal, lift weights, do yoga, hit a few classes, etc… none of that happened lol.
And I STILL lost ten pounds!
I keep telling myself I’m going to restart intermittent fasting and work out hard this time… maybe?
5. Intermittent Fasting Is Simple
Seriously, one of the best intermittent fasting benefits for weight loss is how simple it is.
There isn’t even anything to really think about.
In fact, it makes you have to think less.
You don’t wake up in the morning and think about breakfast.
Once you get started working for the morning, you need not consider interrupting your flow to grab food or to purchase any.
Life gets so much easier when you’re not constantly thinking about, preparing, purchasing, or logging food (for those of us who love calorie-counting).
It frees up mental space for other things.
Not eating for a time is literally the simplest approach to weight loss you can take.
6. Intermittent Fasting Is Easily Trackable
There are some really good methods to track your progress.
One of which is my amazing intermittent fasting tracker!
If I’m within my fasting window and I start to feel antsy or hungry, I check to see when I last ate.
If I have like an hour or two left it’s easy to just do something else and push through.
Conversely, as intermittent fasting progresses, it gets much easier.
I’ve completely forgotten to eat and check in to discover I was often at hour 20 or later!
Tracking is a fun little component to intermittent fasting for weight loss – definitely a nice little benefit!
7. Intermittent Fasting Yields Fast Results
One of the BEST benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss is just how fast you see results.
I don’t know about you, but I’m both lazy AND impatient.
I know it doesn’t really work this way most of the time, but I want to diet for like 2 days and hop on the scale and see immediate results.
That keeps me going.
Not saying that’s what actually happened to me, but close!
I lost almost 5 pounds my first-week intermittent fasting and felt so much lighter on my feet and less bloated.
That was just the motivation I needed to continue on.
Totally aware that most of it was water weight, and yes some of it came back (I fluctuated up and down the whole month but ended with 10 pounds down), still early wins give that initial motivational boost we all like to see in the beginning.
If you’ve been eating like crap before jumping into intermittent fasting, you can probably expect really similar results.
I think if you’re already close to your goal weight, are relatively fit and eat clean you probably won’t get something as dramatic.
But let me tell you… If you’re spiraling out of control and want something that’s not too hard to implement that will give you a motivational boost right out the gate, intermittent fasting may be of interest.
8. You Understand Real Hunger
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of intermittent fasting I experienced on my weight loss journey was understanding real hunger.
In fact, it was this very experience that led me to the conclusion that I have a problem with emotional eating.
I would never have even considered that a possibility before. Since intermittent fasting, I’m able to identify whether I’m eating because I’m truly hungry, or just because I want to.
Sadly, many times it’s because I just want to… that’s something I’m working on and will write a bit more about later, but I felt it worth talking about now.
Those of us who are fortunate enough to have any amount or quality of food at our disposal at pretty much any time probably rarely or never have felt real hunger.
Even if you’re surrounded by low-quality food or food you don’t really crave/enjoy, if you haven’t CHOSEN to skip meals or been FORCED to – chances are you haven’t.
And you don’t even know that most of the time you aren’t even really hungry.
I’m sure you’ve heard before that drinking water sometimes will stop hunger pangs.
That’s true, but that’s not even what I’m talking about.
When fasting long periods sometimes you feel like, insanely hungry.
Water doesn’t really help. You think you’re going to crumble into a little ball and die.
But seriously if you just stick it out this passes within 5 to 10 minutes and you can easily forget about it.
You might want to eat before 16 or 20 hours or whatever, but you don’t have to.
If the hunger passes, you’re not really hungry.
Intermittent fasting teaches you that.
Which brings me to my next point…
9. Help With Emotional Eating
Intermittent fasting benefits weight loss because as I said before, it helps with emotional eating.
I think the first step to dealing with emotional eating is realizing that you’re doing it in the first place.
Unless you’re thinking about hunger as something that’s not even “real”, you probably don’t consider the why behind your eating.
Though I haven’t really been fasting hard-core (I’m currently doing 13 to 14 hours fasting only), I haven’t lost grip of what I learned during my fasting experiment.
I’m ALWAYS aware of how hungry I am when I eat.
Most of the time I’m not hungry. I know this, I tell myself this.
Lately, it’s been helping me make better food choices or at least eat less, and I’m going to extend my feeding window in the near future.
But the overall point is that it at least somewhat permanently put me in a more mindful place of eating.
Like yeah, you can still make choices that aren’t the best, but wouldn’t you rather at least be aware of all options and reasoning first?
10. You Wind Up Drinking More Water
Finally, a great benefit of intermittent fasting for weight loss is that you really do wind up drinking more water.
Drinking more water is always a good thing, fasting or not.
But it’s doubly encouraged during a fast because it keeps you feeling fuller for longer, and it’s one of the first things you’re told to do when you start to feel hungry.
Sometimes it does keep hunger pangs at bay – not always – but frequently enough to give it a try.
During my intermittent fasting experiment, I probably drank around a gallon of water daily.
All that water worked wonders for clarifying my skin, and it probably also contributed to my losing so much weight so easily.
A tip that I always use for drinking more water while fasting is Mio Drops! My favorite flavor is Black Cherry – and a little goes a long way! 🙂
Final Thoughts – Intermittent Fasting Benefits
I hope you enjoyed learning all about the benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss!
All in all, since starting intermittent fasting, I’ve gone on to lose over 40 pounds (combined with a plant-based diet.)
But I didn’t start out plant-based and that didn’t come until much later!
Intermittent fasting is such a great way to jumpstart your weight loss (and you can always change and tweak the rest later!)
If you decide fasting is right for you, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and that it becomes a beautiful, simple addition to your new slimmer and fitter life.
Happy fasting! 🙂