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Intermittent Fasting for Men: Everything You Need to Know
Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting for Men: Everything You Need to Know

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on October 28, 2022
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9 min

Intermittent fasting has been proven as a good method of weight loss, but does it have the same effects for men as for women? We take a closer look.

Intermittent fasting for men
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Intermittent fasting is a dieting method that involves interval-based eating. There are many styles to try, and it has been proven to be an effective weight loss method. The eating window for each different style may vary, but the dieting method has shown many health benefits, no matter the type.

Intermittent fasting is thought to affect men and women differently. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at intermittent fasting for men, the benefits of intermittent fasting for men, and how to get it right.

Take a look now to learn more.

Intermittent Fasting for Men: Is It Effective?

Intermittent fasting is an effective weight loss method for men. It has been shown to be a good way to lose weight, especially for men who have struggled to reduce their body weight in the past with other dieting methods. It is important to note that most research only shows the benefits of intermittent fasting for men in the short term, and longer-term studies are needed to confirm its efficacy.

In addition to the weight loss seen with the intermittent fasting diet, the eating style has also been shown to have many other health benefits.

To begin with, intermittent fasting has a positive effect on blood sugar and has been shown to improve insulin resistance. This makes intermittent fasting a good potential diet for those with elevated blood sugar levels as well as those with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes as a method of blood sugar control.

Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. This can help reduce your risk of many chronic conditions and protect your DNA from damage from free radicals.

Some animal studies have shown that intermittent fasting can reduce the risk of developing heart conditions by decreasing heart biomarkers like high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol, and inflammatory markers.

Lastly, intermittent fasting has been linked to increased autophagy in cells. Autophagy is the process by which cells are repaired, recycled, and renewed. It is linked to longevity, and reduced autophagy may play a role in the risk of developing neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease.

In effect, it appears that intermittent fasting has a positive effect on men’s health and is an incredibly effective weight loss method. There are many intermittent fasting styles, including alternate-day fasting and the 14:10 method, so results may vary.

What Are the Fasting Rules for Men?

If you’ve read up on the many benefits of the intermittent fasting dieting method and are thinking about trying it to reduce your body weight, take a look below to find out more about how you can ensure the diet is as effective as possible.

#1 Let your body adapt

Fasting can have some negative side effects. Getting used to long periods without food can be hard on your body, and, as such, you need to let your body adapt to the method first. We recommend beginning your fasting journey by following a less-challenging method of IF, like the 12-hour fast.

In this style of IF, you have a 12-hour fasting period and a 12-hour eating window. The shorter fasting window allows your body to get used to time without food. From here, you can build up to trying methods with a shorter eating window and a much longer fasting window, like the 16:8 method.

It is important to be kind to your body during weight loss. If you ever feel ill during a fasting period, it is incredibly important that you stop fasting.

#2 Use an app

There are many intermittent fasting apps out there that can help you lose weight using this method. An app will be able to help you understand the IF weight loss method you have chosen, and it will remind you when to start fasting.

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The DoFasting app is a good companion to your IF weight loss. It has a space to track your calories, food intake, activity, and weight loss progress. It also has a fasting timer to let you know when your fasting schedule has begun.

You’ll find a lot of educational content on the app, too. It is all curated by medical experts. The app also has thousands of fasting-friendly recipes and a ton of workouts that are suitable for the intermittent fasting method.

#3 Choose the right schedule

There are many styles of intermittent fasting you can try, and the one you choose is very personal. Different methods include the 5:2 method and the 24-hour fast.

You should choose the right schedule for your lifestyle. While we recommend beginning with an easier method, you should do some research as you work your way up to more challenging styles to find the one that fits best into your life.

#4 Stay consistent

Though it can be difficult, fasting works best if it is done consistently. This means that sticking to your schedule is the best thing you can do for sustained weight loss. If you struggle with hunger cravings during longer fasting periods, you could try using appetite suppressants until they get easier.

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Is Intermittent Fasting for Men Effective for Weight Loss?

Generally, intermittent fasting is used for weight loss, and it has been shown to be an effective way for men to lose weight. Weight loss on intermittent fasting works in a few ways. To begin with, it enforces a calorie deficit by reducing the amount of time you have to eat.

Time-restricted eating means you are required to eat all of your meals in a much shorter time than usual. This means you will probably eat less and be at a calorie deficit. A caloric deficit means you consume fewer calories than you burn, which is the only way to actually lose weight.

In addition, long periods of fasting induce the metabolic state of ketosis. In this state, the body burns stored body fat for fuel rather than blood sugar. This makes intermittent fasting a really effective method of shedding excess fat cells. Indeed, research has shown that IF dieters have lost 3–8% of belly fat.

Lastly, intermittent fasting improves metabolic health. It is actually thought to have a profound impact on your metabolism, helping you burn calories much more quickly.

4 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Men

Intermittent fasting comes with numerous health benefits for men, no matter which eating pattern they try. Below, we have summarized some of the best health benefits of the intermittent fasting schedule.

#1 Lowers cholesterol

Intermittent fasting has been shown to lower cholesterol in men. High cholesterol levels are a biomarker of poor heart health and can lead to many heart conditions, including heart disease. By following an IF eating plan, you could lower your cholesterol levels.

#2 Helps to lose stubborn weight

Intermittent fasting can help men lose weight and stubborn body fat. Studies have shown that this eating pattern helps men lose visceral fat in the abdominal area, known as belly fat.

IF helps speed up your metabolism, ensuring you burn the calories you consume, and it forces a calorie deficit by allowing time for fewer meals than usual. In addition, extended periods of fasting induce the state of ketosis. In this state, the body burns fat cells for fuel.

#3 Boosts testosterone levels

Intermittent fasting plays a role in testosterone production. An increase in testosterone can have many benefits, including regulating insulin levels and increasing insulin sensitivity, reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and reducing body fat.

#4 Reduces the risk of heart disease

As intermittent fasting helps lower blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and cholesterol levels, it helps reduce your overall risk of cardiovascular illnesses. All of these biomarkers point to cardiovascular disease and can increase your risk of developing a heart condition.

Does Intermittent Fasting Impact Testosterone?

Yes, intermittent fasting is thought to boost testosterone production, though the mechanism which brings it about is not yet fully understood. Testosterone levels differ between men, and intermittent fasting’s impact on these levels will also differ.

A boost in testosterone can be good for your health. It can improve the regulation of insulin levels, which is good for people with elevated blood sugar and can reduce insulin resistance. It also reduces cortisol levels, which can improve weight loss, and has an impact on the hormone adiponectin, which improves the oxidation of fatty acids.

Low levels of testosterone may have a negative impact on your health, too. Low testosterone may leave you feeling lethargic, which can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle and, therefore, more chance of weight gain.

Additionally, low testosterone can lead to a lack of ability to concentrate, reduced bone density, reduced strength, depression, irritability, and low self-esteem.

If you are concerned you have a low testosterone level, it may be worth speaking with a doctor. While some research suggests intermittent fasting could have a positive impact on testosterone levels, the extent of this impact isn’t known yet.

You should not rely on intermittent fasting to increase your testosterone levels and should, instead, speak with your healthcare provider.

Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Metabolism?

Intermittent fasting has been found to have a positive impact on your metabolism. It is thought that short-term fasting will boost your metabolic rate by up to 14%. Your metabolism or metabolic rate is the speed at which your body burns consumed calories. You use some calories for general life functions, like breathing.

On top of the natural bodily functions, you can burn more calories by increasing your physical activity. Indeed, there are lots of methods of burning more calories each day. You can actually burn calories while sitting down, too.

While some people are born with a faster metabolism and can lose weight relatively easily, others struggle. These people may turn to an eating routine, like intermittent fasting, to boost their metabolic rate.

Is It Possible to Lose Muscle While Fasting?

Many men who begin intermittent fasting wonder whether this dieting method helps them gain or lose muscle mass. Well, the good news is that you can build lean muscle mass while on an intermittent fasting plan as long as you take some necessary steps.

Though studies have shown no muscle mass loss from intermittent fasting, it is not the best method of eating if you are trying to gain muscle. That being said, if you want to maintain your muscles during fasting, you must ensure you properly nourish yourself during your feeding window.

This means making sure you are eating enough protein-rich foods to build muscle and aid recovery. Protein is a great macronutrient to eat during your feeding window as it will help you to feel more satiated and could make fasting easier.

On top of eating enough protein, you should also incorporate weight training into your exercise habits. Lifting weights or engaging in resistance training is a good way to build muscle and ensures your body doesn’t burn muscle mass during longer fasting periods.

Research supports this evidence and found that the men who were assigned the fasting diet within the study did not lose any muscle mass, despite following an intermittent fasting schedule.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Intermittent fasting is a healthy diet for most men to follow to encourage weight loss and enhance overall health. It involves eating and fasting periods, and there are many styles to choose from, including the 20:4 method and the 36-hour fast.

Intermittent fasting has positive effects on men with high blood sugar, may reduce biomarkers of cardiovascular disease, and could increase testosterone levels, helping you lose weight and body fat.

During your eating window, you are encouraged to continue healthy eating, avoiding processed foods and eating the correct amount of all the different macronutrients to maintain good overall health.

It is important to note that IF may not be suitable for some men, including those with a history of disordered eating, those with conditions that could be exacerbated by fasting, and those with sleeping problems.

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting has been shown to be an effective weight loss method for men. It also comes with numerous health benefits that enhance overall health, reduce the risk of future illness, and help you balance hormone levels.

If you’re considering trying IF, check out the DoFasting app. It makes for a fantastic companion to the diet and can help you better understand the fasting way of eating.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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