Many weight loss diets have a lot of rules and complexities.

Intermittent fasting keeps things simple, and it has become a very popular eating pattern to lose weight.

This article looks at 5 reasons why intermittent fasting and weight loss go hand-in-hand.

What Is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern where you strategically skip one or more meals for a set period of time.

So unlike other diets, the focus is not on how to cut calories from each meal, but rather cutting out the entire meal itself.

This makes IF one of the least complex eating patterns to follow and is one of the big reasons behind its growing popularity.

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The other main reason is how useful it is for losing belly fat and its associated health benefits (1).

Summary: Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves strategically skipping meals rather than focusing on calories.

1. Weight Loss Requires A Caloric Deficit… Intermittent Fasting Does This Automatically

The reason any weight loss diet works is because it reduces your total calorie intake (2).

This means you’ll burn more calories than you consume (called a caloric deficit), leading to weight loss.

Intermittent fasting is no exception to this rule.

Skipping entire meals greatly reduces your calorie intake… So much so that you don’t really have to worry about calories in the meals you do eat.

For example, you’ll save about 500 calories each day by skipping a breakfast of peanut butter toast and orange juice, as well as whatever you might eat or drink for morning tea.

Given the average woman might aim for 1600-1800 calories per day to lose weight, that’s a whopping 30% of calories saved instantly.

If you skip the morning food, even indulging in two large 750 calorie meals later that day, plus a 300 calorie dessert (totalling 1800 calories) would keep most on track for weight loss.

Summary: Weight loss requires you to consume fewer calories than you burn. Missing one meal per day by fasting can save around 30% of calories in one go.

2. Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Actual Fat, Unlike Most Diets

When someone says they want to lose weight, they actually mean they want to lose body fat.

Ideally you don’t want to lose muscle mass, nor do you want to  lose much water (such as when you first cut carbs or if you do a detox). This type of weight loss does not reduce fat stores and serves no good purpose.

Research indicates that fasting helps you lose more fat mass and less muscle mass or water weight than very low calorie diets or weight loss cleanses and detoxes.

This review study found that intermittent fasting helped people cut 4-7% from their waist circumference over a period of 24 weeks. That means they lost actual belly fat, which is the harmful fat around the organs (3).

These findings are in line with a more recent review study that looked at all the current e

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Joe Leech
Dietitian
Joe Leech is a qualified dietitian who believes that conventional medicine and natural medicine do not have to be mutually exclusive. He draws from the best of both areas when giving dietary advice to treat diet-related conditions. His website is Diet vs Disease.