Any Tips on Fasting? (Weight Loss Journey)

Hi everyone,
Does anyone have any tips for fasting for weight loss? I've been able to go 4 hours, but how do I add more time in between eating? I've heard a lot of success stories when it comes to losing weight via fasting, so anything helps.


  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 12,089 Member
    How many calories do you take in each day? Not aim to take in... but actually take in?
  • wilson10102018
    wilson10102018 Posts: 1,306 Member
    Don't bother. Fasting doesn't do anything but help reduce the time when you are snacking. Seriously, none of that stuff about when you eat or what you eat when or how your meals are spread out has any significant effect on weight loss.
  • BarbaraHelen2013
    BarbaraHelen2013 Posts: 1,917 Member
    I’m sorry, but 4 hours between eating is not ‘fasting’!

    That’s just normal meal interval for some people. As already stated ‘fasting’ has no benefits beyond artificially limiting the amount of calories you can consume in a given period. If you can’t go longer than 4 hours without food then I suspect any of the trendy forms of fasting you’ve heard about won’t work for you.

    Personally, I eat dinner around 7-7:30pm then don’t eat again until 1:30-2pm the following day - but I don’t ‘fast’ - that’s just the eating pattern that suits me. It’s how I’ve eaten all my adult life. I’ve managed to be mildly overweight doing that due to portion sizes - I’m very petite so ‘normal’ package stated portions are too big for what I realistically need.
  • vhoffman77
    vhoffman77 Posts: 1 Member
    You are just starting out. I suggest you wait every three or four hours between eating, but eat small high protein snacks that are low calorie in between meals. Example of a snack that you can eat would be cooked broccoli, raw Celery, a two cups of grape tomatoes. Stay away from fruits because they release insulin and make you want to eat more. Stick to low sugar veggies (no carrots or potatoes). Cook these veggies in the microwave or baked without oil or grease on parchment paper in the oven. When you eat a full meal go for a walk immediately (30 minutes) after. Go for a walk up for about 20-30 minutes. Listen to a book/podcast and multitask. You will remember more and you will train your motabolism to use rather than store your calories. Have two major meals 12 hours apart with 3 to 4 snacks of veggies as mentioned above. As you get use to the "fasting" drop a snack or lessen the amount you eat in the snack...I say cut it out but lessen it till you drop it off completely. This can be incrimental as each month goes by. The first month is 4 snacks 2 big meals. With a 20 minute walk after breakfast, lunch, or dinner. HTen next month lessen one of the snacks and add another 20 minute walk after another meal or extend the one walk. THen next month get rid of the one snack and still keep the two walks or one long walk. The third month spread out the thin out one more snack, etc. Keep it for two months with two walks. Add a cheat day on Sunday where you can have three big meals, but keep away from two snacks. Take two walks for 20 minutes. This incrimental increase in fasting will all your body to get use to the "fun" without you getting "Hangry" with others or yourself. Stay away from protein powders because they are designed to make you gain weight not loose it, and you are going to stay hungry because it leaves your body quickly. At best if you want ot try it, mix it with a peanut butter and eat it with a dessert of an apple and nuts. Red delicious and chocolate protein powder mixed in to peanut butter is yum, and red delicious with pistachios is a good salty sweet combo. Try to get a low sodium version of the nuts when possible, but some salt is okay, but none is just doesn't taste as good. Eventually you will be able to eat two big meals or one big meal with no snacks. Your metabolism will adjust. One other trick is to offer your "suffering" up for those who truely don't have anything to eat, and know that God sees your efforts and will hear your prayer of offering up something you want so someone(s) else can have somethings they need. God Bless. and remember to start out slow...and build. The one meal a day is very hard so if it takes you years to get there or never at all that is okay. the point is it is a journey, and you don't want to put your body in starvation mode so ALWAYS ALWAYS eat atleast 1200 calories a day and not a drop less otherwise you will just get fat and throw your hormones out of wack which you won't feel for a few weeks and that can effect family friends and work in negative ways.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 8,261 Member
    4 hours?

    surely that is just normal for most people - even people like me who often post on here to say IF, OMAD etc are not for me, I am better off eating several smaller meals/snacks per day

    Not counting overnight - I dont eat for the 7 or so hours I am in bed asleep - I still have periods of 4 hours non eating - my lunch break at work finishes at 1:30 and I don't eat anything else until at least 5:30 when I get home from work, usually later.
    Variations on this are common for most people - this is by no means fasting in any way, shape, or form.

    My tip for fasting for weight loss - don't do it.

    Just work out how many calories you should be eating to lose weight -MFP has a simple guide to doing this or ask for help if you are not sure - and then divide that number over the day in whatever permutations suit you.
  • gpanda103
    gpanda103 Posts: 189 Member
    I think the other comments are misunderstanding the post. I’m pretty sure OP means they go 4 hours after waking up, so it’s probably a ~12 hour fast. Honestly, if you don’t like fasting you don’t have to do it. The best tools at your disposal for fasting is staying busy, and drinking lots of water, or various 0 cal beverages if you’re into that.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 8,261 Member
    You may be right gpanda - and that does make more sense as a question.

    can you clarify what you meant OP?

    Although my advice is still the same - don't do it unless you want to and it has some purpose for you, there is no magic thing about going any length of time without eating

    btw, everything in vhoffman's long post above my previous one; unneccesary

    there is no fasting time that is neccesary for weight loss, let alone following all the detailed instructions in that post
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 12,089 Member
    edited April 2022
    So. Not sure if the original poster @Beilman_emily is around? I see your original post introducing yourself to the community and this one. Based on the question I would first of all ask... did you setup MFP? Did you set, given the amount of weight you have to lose, a 1lb per week goal as opposed to starting off with something more aggressive? Have you started counting calories yet? How do you split your daily intake currently before you start worrying about fasting and increasing the time between meals.

    Fasting, low carb, low fat, time restricted eating, what have you, are all SOME of the methods you can use to manage your eating so you can keep your day within your caloric parameters.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,813 Member
    Try it if you think it will help make eating at a sensible deficit easier.
    Don't do it if you think it will make the process harder for you.

    Personally I mostly skip breakfast as I like to eat the majority of my food later in the day but I don't stick rigidly to set times or schedules as that just irritates me for no good reason.

    You will find dieting success stories from people eating in wildly different ways as long as those ways personally suited those people. I'm all for experimentation within a healthy overall diet but the best plan tends to be a personalised plan.
  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,457 Member
    vhoffman77 wrote: »
    eat small high protein snacks that are low calorie in between meals. Example of a snack that you can eat would be cooked broccoli, raw Celery, a two cups of grape tomatoes..

    You suggest the OP eat "high protein snacks" and then proceed to suggest snacks that are absolutely even remotely high protein? The rest of the post isn't much better in terms of advice, given that there are flat-out untruths (for example, "training" your metabolism, the protein powder comment, etc) sprinkled throughout...
  • 4Phoenix
    4Phoenix Posts: 232 Member
    edited April 2022
    It is critical that you find what works for you. What I do may not work for you. I stop eating at 7:00 and break my fast at 12-12:30 the next day, I wait until I'm hungry to break the fast. This is how I add hours to my fasting, by incorporating it into sleeping overnight.

    You will discover your plan that works for you. The one area that is common to all of us is caloric deficit. Fasting does create a deficit, but you can do that without fasting. Fasting has many benefits besides a calorie deficit. You might want to do some research on fasting....Dr Jason Fung is a highly regarded fasting expert. I don't follow his dietary food guides, but he might help you decide if you want to implement it into your program.

    Losing weight is a dedicated life style.....I would suggest you start with your plan for a deficit and what foods you enjoy that will provide nutrient density within your calorie parameters. For me, it has to be a program I can live with and enjoy. If fasting appeals to you, IF is probably the easiest way to start. Each of us must discover what we can live with and will produce results. I'm wishing you much health and success on your journey! 🌹
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,547 Member
    When I've done IF I've always included the hours after my last meal through the hours I'm asleep and then the morning hours until lunch in my fasting...typically my fasting has been 8:00PM to noonish with a 16:8.

    Note that there isn't anything magical about this. I've lost weight, maintained weight, and gained weight with a 16:8 protocol. It's simply a method of controlling calorie intake.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 26,542 Member
    I'm a former faster and my current tip for fasting is don't bother unless skipping a meal is something that already works for you - there's nothing magical about fasting - it's just one of many ways to create a calorie deficit.

  • Seasonal_One
    Seasonal_One Posts: 49 Member
    4Phoenix wrote: »

    Losing weight is a dedicated life style.....

    What a great statement! This could be added properly to so many threads here. I'll think about this, the next time I read here about a two month plateau. Thanks for posting this.
  • AemiliusRoswell
    AemiliusRoswell Posts: 3 Member
    edited May 2022
    Hi all!

    So very sorry for not responding. Notifications never reached me, haha. So it turns out I wasnt exactly counting the time I was asleep in my total fasting time, (thank you @gpanda103!) and since then I have gotten up to ~14-15 hours. While doing this I have also been tracking my calories and making sure that I stick as close as I can. For me, I found that "boredom snacking" was my biggest issue so I've also been trying to find ways to combat that. (Also forgot to mention that I also have been going on walks whenever I have the time between classes.) I weighed myself three days ago and I've lost 3 lbs, so I'm pretty happy with that so far! I'll have to check my notifications more often, haha. Thank you all once again!