I’ve been doing the 16/8 (more like 17/7) intermittent fasting protocol daily but having some issues with calorie and carbohydrate regulation. Last week, I actually fasted 21 hours on Friday and 20 hours on Sunday. An interesting side effect was that my Leptin (appetite satiety hormone) was immediately regulated! The effect lasted 4 days.
I ate whatever I liked and tracked my carbs/calories. I naturally dropped about 500 calories below maintenance and was at 150 net carbs or less.
My conclusion is that, for most people, the 5:2 method of fasting will probably yield faster weight loss results (fasting for 20+ hours, 2 days per week and eating only 500-600 calories on fasting days).
Unfortunately on day 5, I had to eat breakfast and started getting hot flashes, insomnia, and body chills. So I don’t think it’s a good idea yet for me to fast that long with my hypothyroid and adrenal issues. Maybe I can occassionally do a longer fast as I acclimate to fasting. It was amazing the immediate effect it had on lowering my appetite.
Probably I do need to reduce calories and carbs and increase my protein. I might not quite be running out of glycogen by 16 hours. I started feeling really good at 18. So my long-term goal is definitely to fast for longer periods, but for now I’ll continue to just skip breakfast and work on my macros and maybe a bit more exercise.
Weight loss isn’t the only reason I’m fasting – eating less frequently also lowers my insulin and gives my body a longer window to repair oxidative damage. So I’m still seeing benefits from the 16/8 plan.