Does Intermittent Fasting Really Work for Weight Loss?

Posted: May 1, 2024 | By: Shanon Peckham

intermittent fasting weight loss

With approximately 42% of the U.S. population struggling with obesity,10 and 39% of the world population being overweight,11 weight loss is at the top of our minds. It’s no secret that maintaining a healthy weight starts with good nutrition and appetite control. What if we told you there’s a third key component? You may be surprised to learn that the timing of your meals can play a large role in how your body metabolizes and stores fat. Today, we’re going to explore how intermittent fasting can help with weight management.

Time of Day

Much like our circadian rhythm makes us sleepy to tell us when it’s time for bed, it also guides us to be hungry when we’re most active: during the day. If we eat when our natural rhythm expects us to (when we’re busy), we process foods quickly into energy. If we eat outside of that window (late-night while watching TV), we add pounds faster because our bodies are in rest and fat-storage mode.1,2 You can see this process play out in nocturnal animals too, even though they’re on the complete opposite schedule. According to a 2022 study,3 mice who were fed at their most active time (night) put on fewer pounds than the mice who were fed during other times.

Intermittent fasting is based on this idea of eating only during certain “windows” or time frames,4 and the science is there to support how effective it can be at fighting obesity. In a review of over 40 separate human studies on intermittent fasting, participants lost up to 13% of their body fat on average while fasting intermittently.5 Pretty impressive, right?

How Often

But it’s not just about when you eat, it’s also about how often you eat throughout the day. When you fast, amazing things happen to your metabolism. Fasting not only lowers insulin levels, it also enables stored fat to be turned into energy.2 In other words, it can naturally balance your blood sugar and burn fat, which can help you maintain a healthier weight and may even protect against serious health conditions like diabetes. “Many things happen during intermittent fasting that can protect organs against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, even inflammatory bowel disease and many cancers,” Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Mark Mattson explained.1

When paired with a healthy diet, intermittent fasting may also give you a natural energy boost. The body produces more ketones during fasting periods, which enables you to produce more energy.6,7 Additionally, keeping yourself from snacking before bed can help you sleep better and more consistently, which means better energy for you the next day.8,9

Want to learn more about IF? KEEP READING: The Top 5 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

How to Fast Properly

Like any diet or eating plan, intermittent fasting should be approached with some caution. If you have a health condition, eating disorder, or are pregnant, we recommend consulting with your doctor before trying fasting. And while there’s absolutely room for healthy snacking in intermittent fasting plans, the “feasting” portion of the day is not for binge eating whatever you want. Likewise, a longer fast does not necessarily equate to more fat lost – it may actually encourage weight gain.1 Your body still needs a healthy, sustainable diet and exercise plan to maintain itself, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself as you dive into intermittent fasting.

Youngevity’s YFast Program

We love IF so much, we created an entire nutritional program around it! While there are many intermittent fasting programs available, none have the nutritional powerhouse support that has been a Youngevity cornerstone since day one. With our 90 For Life foundation, plus an incredible line of the best supporting products, you’ll be able to fuel your diet with nutrient-rich foods to help keep you nourished, energized, healthy, and enjoy your life to its fullest. Check out our products, recipes, fasting tips, and so much more here!


1 Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work?, Johns Hopkins Medicine

2 Intermittent fasting: The positive news continues, Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, 2021

3 How timing of eating affects metabolism and weight gain, National Institutes of Health, 2022

4 Diet Review: Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss, The Nutrition Source, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

5 Intermittent fasting and weight loss, 2020

6 Fasting: What You Need to Know, Sutter Health

7 The Effect of Fasting on Human Metabolism and Psychological Health, 2022

8 Relationship between food intake and sleep pattern in healthy individuals, 2011

9 Associations between bedtime eating or drinking, sleep duration and wake after sleep onset: findings from the American time use survey, 2021

10 Adult Obesity Facts, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

11 Obesity and overweight, World Health Organization

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