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Intermittent Fasting Results: Research and Photos
Table of Contents
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating where you alternate periods of eating with periods of abstaining from food, AKA fasting! Practicing intermittent fasting can contribute numerous beneficial results.
In this article, we’ll detail some of the intermittent fasting results you can expect and how intermittent fasting promotes them.
We’ve also collected some before and after photos that show the results of intermittent fasting for weight loss. Though it’s worth noting that weight loss is only the most visible of numerous powerful intermittent fasting results.
Intermittent Fasting Results: A Historical Perspective
Before jumping into the modern Western results of intermittent fasting, let’s acknowledge that intermittent fasting has been around for millennia. In fact, IF has been a foundational part of traditional approaches to medicine across the world.
In Chinese medicine, fasting is used to promote balance and harmony within the body and is often used as a preventative measure to maintain good health.
Modern research on the Chinese practice of a 7-day water fast has shown that it is an effective treatment for thrombosis.
In the traditional Indian approach to medicine called Ayurveda, fasting is used to cleanse the body and mind, and to promote balance between the doshas (the body’s fundamental energy patterns).
In ancient Greek medicine, fasting was often prescribed as a treatment for various medical conditions, including digestive disorders and skin conditions.
Modern Western medicine confirms that intermittent fasting leads to various positive results, and it details the physiological processes of how they come about.
Let’s explore some of the powerful results that you can expect from intermittent fasting.
Reduced Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
Though inflammation is a natural, protective response to injury or infection, chronic inflammation is the root of the most prevalent and deadly modern diseases, including obesity, diabetes, various cancers, and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease.
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can result in the reduction of inflammatory markers such as TNF-alpha, IL-6, and CRP.
Intermittent fasting has also been found to result in increases of anti-inflammatory molecules such as adiponectin, which helps to improve insulin sensitivity.
The fact that intermittent fasting results in a reduction of inflammation make it one of the most powerful lifestyle approaches to controlling your health and wellness.
Intermittent fasting may lead to weight loss by reducing overall calorie intake and increasing fat burning.
A 2020 review of 27 clinical intermittent fasting trials showed that IF resulted in weight loss, ranging from 0.8% to 13.0% of baseline body weight.
A 2014 review found that participants in IF studies lost weight at a rate of .55 to 1.65 pounds per week. And experienced a 4-7% reduction in waist circumference (indicating a loss of belly fat).
It’s believed that Intermittent fasting can result in weight loss in several ways.
- People simply snack less. When you’re fasting you’re not eating. When you’re not eating, you take in fewer calories.
- Raises levels of norepinephrine. This hormone helps break down fat stored on the body
- Increases human growth hormone (HGH) boosting metabolism and fat burning
- Decreases glucose and insulin, which promotes fat-burning
- Reduces inflammation and oxidative stress–both of which contribute to weight gain
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Intermittent fasting has been found to result in better cardiovascular health.
Intermittent fasting supports heart health through a few key factors, including its ability to promote weight loss and improve body composition.
Additionally, intermittent fasting has been found to result in
- lower blood pressure
- to improve blood lipid profiles (such as reducing LDL-cholesterol and increasing HDL-cholesterol)
- improve insulin sensitivity
All of these are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Intermittent fasting has also been shown to result in improved function of the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels.
Additionally, IF’s ability to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress protects the heart, since these are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Increased Mental Clarity
One of the results of intermittent fasting is an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), famously referred to as miracle grow for your brain.
This protein plays a role in neurogenesis–the growth, survival, and function of neurons in the brain.2 BDNF has been found to be important for learning, memory, and overall cognitive function.
Additionally, intermittent fasting has been shown to promote mental clarity and prevent age-related cognitive decline via numerous pathways, including the synthesis of ketone bodies (energy molecules made from fat), butanoate metabolism, pyruvate metabolism, and glycolysis and gluconeogenesis.
Intermittent Fasting Results: Before and After Photos
Here’s a roundup of before and after photos showing the visible results of intermittent fasting. Though these are inspiring, keep in mind that the benefits of intermittent fasting go much deeper!
YouTuber Cam Jones intermittently fasted for 30 days and lost 6 lbs. He followed the 16/8 approach and ate normally during the 8-hour eating window. His benefits would have likely been enhanced by combining IF with keto or carnivore. In fact, most of the before and after photos below result from this dual approach to metabolic health.
Intermittent Fasting Results: The Takeaway
Intermittent fasting has been shown to result in numerous health benefits, including weight loss, reduced inflammation, improved cardiovascular health, cognitive enhancement, and protection against age-related cognitive decline.