Intermittent fasting has become a popular weight loss strategy – for good reason! It’s a flexible eating pattern that can help you shed unwanted pounds while also providing a range of other health benefits.
However, what happens once you’ve reached your weight loss goal? Can you continue intermittent fasting, or should you switch to another eating pattern?
In this blog post, you’ll learn why it’s worth making intermittent fasting your permanent companion and how you can integrate it into your life long-term to maintain your results.
Why it makes sense to continue intermittent fasting as a lifestyle once you’ve reached your weight loss goal
You’ve just reached your weight loss goals and feel a bit lost now because you don’t know if or how to continue with intermittent fasting?
We can tell you one thing: Giving up on your new, healthy fasting habits would really be a pity!
Because intermittent fasting is not just a diet or a quick fix for weight loss, it’s a lifestyle that offers a range of mental and physical health benefits beyond just shedding unwanted pounds.
1. It helps you maintain your weight loss
Making IF your life companion helps you maintain your weight loss by keeping your caloric intake in check and preventing overeating.
In case you’re afraid of continued weight loss because of going on with fasting, we can calm you down. There are many ways to adjust your fasting routine to prevent unintended weight changes (more on this topic further below).
2. It improves your overall health and boosts longevity
Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve various markers of metabolic health, including blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol levels.
Furthermore, regular eating breaks lower inflammation processes in the body and therefore reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
How to maintain your achievements while enjoying the benefits of fasting
1. Adjust your fasting schedule
Once you’ve reached your goal weight, your focus should shift from weight loss to weight maintenance.
If you’ve been following a fasting schedule with rather long fasting periods such as 18:6 or OMAD, it makes sense to switch to a less intense plan like 16-8 (or one with even shorter fasting periods). By doing so you prevent further weight loss while still taking advantage of all the other benefits of fasting.
Also adding more non-fasting days is a good strategy to prevent a calorie deficit and associated weight loss.
If you notice that you are regaining weight by shortening your fasting periods, simply extend the periods a bit again.
Feel free to experiment with different schedules until you find the one that keeps you in balance.
2. Incorporate more whole foods
Intermittent fasting is not just about when you eat but also what you eat. Focus on incorporating more whole, nutrient-dense foods into your diet, such as vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. These foods will help you keep full and provide your body with the nutrients it needs.
A good approach is to stay mindful of what you’re eating and how much you’re consuming. This does not mean that you have to count calories or are not allowed to treat yourself. Enjoying our favourite foods is part of life. But it’s important to do so consciously.
If you’re feeling insecure when it comes to determining appropriate portion sizes, check out our simple rule of thumb here.
By the way: Your nutrition is also a good lever to stabilize your weight. If you want to continue the fasting plan you used to lose weight before, increase your calorie intake and go for slightly bigger meals than usual and/or add some healthy fats (e.g., avocado, an extra spoon of olive oil etc.).
Also including an additional snack in your eating window is an option to prevent further weight loss. Check out this blog post to get some inspiration for nutritious and delicious treats.
3. Keep track of your weight and measurements in the BodyFast app
Even after reaching your goal weight, it’s important to keep track of it. During the changeover period it makes sense to weigh yourself once a week, and take your measurements once a month.
Doing so helps you assess whether or not strategy changes are necessary to find your long-term fasting routine. Later (when your new routine has settled in) you can increase the intervals between weighing dates.
4. Stay active
Intermittent fasting and physical activity are a great team because they help you maintain your weight loss success while taking care of your overall health. They both strengthen metabolic health and increase longevity through various overlapping mechanisms such as promoting autophagy and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Long story short: Combining the two will help you considerably to maintain your fasting achievements.
Intermittent fasting is your ticket to a long and healthy life
In conclusion, intermittent fasting can be a sustainable way of eating even after you’ve reached your weight loss goal. By adjusting your fasting schedule, keeping track of your weight and measurements, incorporating more whole foods, and staying active, you can continue to reap the benefits of this flexible eating pattern without having to fear a loss of your achievements.
Remember to listen to your body, and make adjustments as needed to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself both physically and mentally.
Ready to find your optimal maintenance fasting plan?
The BodyFast app provides you with a series of gentle fasting programs that help you stabilize your results, such as “Relaxed Fasting” or our “14-10 Special”.
In addition, the BodyFast Coach supports you in building your personal maintenance routine with colourful and yummy recipes, supportive weekly tasks, daily motivational Coachings, and more.