I recently, in 2024, had a subscriber ask me if intermittent fasting will slow down his metabolism?… It’s a good question since intermittent fasting is a popular topic these days — AGAIN.
I say “again” because, like any fad diet, it shows up every decade or so, then disappears, and then, reappears… over and over again.
Just like most people’s weight loss attempts — they keep losing the same weight, OVER AND OVER again.
Personally, I think intermittent fasting, just like a ketogenic diet, has lots of health benefits – IF it’s done correctly. Unfortunately, most do it all wrong.
YES, they get benefits at the beginning. But ALL diets work in the beginning. That’s easy.
The hard part is to continue and to have long-term FAT loss. And the keyword here is FAT LOSS, not “weight loss” which is usually valuable muscle.
This is because your body adapts, fat loss slows down, stops, and then reverses. Some will say “I’m still losing weight”, which is true – but now they are losing a lot more valuable muscle, instead of fat.
This is how your body survives. Its only goal is to adapt. And, in the process, your metabolism slows down in order for you to survive and not keep losing weight forever.
Two Popular Intermittent Fasting Protocols
There are two popular types of intermittent fasting.
There’s the weekly 5:2, which is eating normally for 5 days and then fasting for 2.
Then there’s the daily 16:8. Which is fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8.
And people do lose fat and weight because of this and the primary reason for many is the fact that they are simply eating less calories, which is great.
Yes, intermittent fasting has beneficial hormonal changes – such as higher growth hormone, testosterone, lower insulin levels, and so forth… initially, at the beginning.
But all of that stops working after a few weeks and months. However, the improved insulin sensitivity continues.
And I know this because, after 30 years, I’ve seen hundreds of blood tests with all sorts of various diets. Not just after a few weeks, but long-term, such as 6 and 12 months and 2 years later, when the REAL problems start to show up.
When people’s metabolisms, hormones, thyroid, and so forth have really shut down. When they’re barely eating anything and still can’t lose any weight.
They ALL Slow Down Your Metabolism
Simply stated, any diet that restricts calories too much, too fast and for too long, will slow down your metabolism.
I know of a few experts and doctors who eat just ONE meal a day and they brag about how much weight they’ve lost. But they’re barely eating 600-1000 calories. TRUST ME, their metabolisms have shut down, along with their hormones.
And it shows since they just look skinny fat, with almost no muscle.
If you want to do intermittent fasting and still optimize your hormones, I suggest you CYCLE it.
Every 6-12 weeks, take 3-7 days off and eat normally and increase your calories by 10-20%. This will jump-start your hormones, and reboot your system.
If you feel the fat loss has stopped for a couple of weeks, that’s a clue to stop, consume extra calories and then start again with the diet. For some, this happens faster and sooner than others.
Remember, it’s all about your hormones. Your body will adapt by turning off your fat-burning hormones.
IT will sense mild starvation and will do its best to preserve fat and start burning muscle slowly. It will for sure, increase cortisol levels and other stress hormones, which TRUMPS all other hormones — growth hormone, testosterone, insulin, IGF, etc.
So, there you have it – cycle this and any diet.
I also have an article titled, “The Real Secret To Long-Term Fat Loss and Why 93% of Diet and Exercise Programs Fail”.
Use the proven formula to increase your metabolism and speed up your fat-burning results – regardless of what diet you follow.