stages of fasting

Stages of fasting by the hour: All you need to know

June 21. 2023

Intermittent fasting may have started as a weight-loss strategy, but now it is a trendy and widespread lifestyle. It is an eating pattern consisting of abstaining from foods and drinks for a specific time. Fasting consists of a few stages, which all have different effects on your body. What makes fasting convenient and a perfect way to lose weight is that there are no specific foods you should and shouldn’t eat. It is only time-limited, meaning there is only WHEN (and not what) you should eat.

Fasting has been in practice since ancient times. It is also involved in many religions, and it’s done for spiritual reasons. As a result, we are able to function without food for an extended period of time, for much longer than we think. You don’t have to worry about your body not absorbing nutrients or feeling hungry. With this practice, you will get all the essential nutrients you need to stay healthy while you efficiently lose weight. Do you want to learn more about the stages of fasting? Continue reading this article to find out more.

Can intermittent fasting help me lose weight?

For decades, people have used intermittent fasting for many purposes, one of them being to lose weight. Nowadays, this method continues to be one of the favorite practices for individuals trying to shed away a few pounds. Fasting is an eating pattern that involves periods of fasting – not eating – that last a few hours. Some fasting methods only involve reducing your calorie and food intake instead of not eating. During the fasting period, you don’t consume calories or consume fewer than usual; this reduces your daily calorie intake. That will help you lose weight and reduce body fat. Fasting is also combined with popular weight loss treatments, such as Ozempic weight loss, to obtain even more substantial results.

Different methods of fasting

Besides the stages of fasting, there are many different methods that all have one thing in common: the fasting period. And during this period, you shouldn’t consume any food. Finding the suitable fasting method for you is essential to success and achieving your weight loss goals. These are three of the most chosen fasting methods:

The 16/8

This method is also called the Leangains protocol; it is one of the most popular ones. It consists of skipping breakfast and limiting your daily eating to 8 hours. During that 8-hour window, you can eat normally; no need to count calories. For the remaining 16 hours of the day, you must fast, which means no food intake.


This method involves fasting for the whole 24 hours, once or twice a week. Many people choose eat-stop-eat fasting due to its flexibility. It doesn’t require you to follow any specific diet or cut back on any foods. The only rule is abstaining from eating for one or two nonconsecutive days a week.

The 5:2 diet

This method involves fasting for only two days a week. It is perfect for dieters who find it too difficult to cut back on what they eat all seven days of the week. With the 5:2 diet method, you can eat regularly for five days and then for two nonconsecutive days consuming a max of 600 calories per day. You don’t need to count calories during the five non-fasting days, but for the diet to work, you must still try to eat healthily.

Generally, individuals separate the two fasting days. For example, they fast on Tuesday and Thursday and have a regular food intake for the rest of the week. Experts recommend you let one non-fasting day between the two fasting ones. Studies on the 5:2 fasting diet showed that the amount of weight you lose when reducing calories twice a week is very similar to the one you lose when you use a continuous calorie restriction method.

All three of these methods will result in weight loss as long as you don’t overeat during your eating window. There are no prohibited foods, but that doesn’t mean you should overindulge. It would help if you still watch your food intake when using fasting to lose body fat. If you reduce your calorie intake, you can end up losing even more weight. If you overeat during the non-fasting period, you can end up wondering: Why am I not losing weight on Ozempic and fasting?

What can I eat or drink while fasting?

There are many different types of intermittent fasting; which foods are allowed will depend on the method you are following. Some methods are less limiting, while others require you to restrict your food intake to a lower number of calories a day. As mentioned, no food is banned when fasting, but you must still try to eat healthily. If you are using fasting to boost a weight loss medication, there are certain Ozempic or Mounjaro foods to avoid. Those tend to be greasy and fatty foods that prevent you from losing weight.

What about beverages? While in the fasting stage, you can drink water and non-calorie drinks such as tea and back coffee. In fact, Ozempic and coffee can potentially benefit your weight loss journey. When drunk in moderation, this beverage’s many properties can help you increase Ozempic effects.

How long will it take to lose weight when fasting?

How fast you start seeing weight loss results depends on the method you choose. More extended periods of fast lead to more effective and timely results. However, other factors also play a role in how quickly you begin losing body weight. Your physical condition, age, biological background, lifestyle habits, stress levels, and health conditions also determine the speed of the process. Generally speaking, in most cases, people lose about 11 pounds in a 10-week period.

However, the process may speed up if you combine fasting with medical treatment. And you may lose even more body weight. Joining Ozempic and fasting forces is very common; these two weight loss tools pair exceptionally well and can increase your weight loss efforts. How long does Ozempic take to work? Most individuals see substantial results around the 8th week, while others start experiencing weight loss sooner.

Health benefits of intermittent fasting

It’s well known that fasting has tremendous results in weight loss and weight control, but let’s see other positive effects it has on your body:

Inflammation: it reduces markers of inflammation which can be key drivers of many chronic diseases

Heart health: some health conditions, such as diabetes or obesity, can cause blood pressure to increase. The fasting method improves blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and blood triglycerides

Insulin resistance: it reduces insulin resistance by lowering blood sugar and insulin levels

Brain health: it increases the brain hormone and can aid the growth of new nerve cells

Reduced appetite: during the second fasting state, ghrelin hormone levels decline. That leads to decreased appetite, like with appetite suppressants such as Phentermine for weight loss.

Stages of fasting

When you know the basics, we can get into more detailed research of fasting stages and their benefits.

Stage one: stable blood sugar

About eight hours after eating, you enter stage one of intermittent fasting. At this point, your blood glucose begins to drop, so you might feel hunger and food cravings and have trouble concentrating. These symptoms pass quickly, so don’t give up! By 12 hours, your body begins to use stored glucose, which stabilizes your blood glucose levels.

Note: This is considered short-term fasting, and it can lower your blood sugar levels but also increase insulin levels. That makes it perfect for people who have type 2 diabetes or any other blood glucose control issues.

Stage two: ketosis and fat burning

After 12 hours of fasting, you may enter the early stages of ketosis. You can reach full ketosis after 16 to 18 hours. Ketosis is a process in which your body stops using glucose as a primary fuel and begins burning stored fat. Your liver converts fat into ketone bodies that power your muscles, heart, and brain. This stage has a few benefits that lead to losing weight. First, this stage is ideal for losing weight because you don’t have any food in your system, so your body burns those stored fats. That is linked to a decrease in ghrelin levels which takes us to the next benefit – appetite suppression. Ghrelin is a hormone that makes you want to eat, so a decrease in its level means decreased food cravings. Also, your hunger is starting to settle down during this stage, which means fasting itself is starting to get easier.

Note: If your goal is to lose weight and get rid of stored fat, you can boost the intermittent fasting results with lipo C injection treatments. These treatments are completely safe and give excellent results as they target stubborn and hardly reachable fat in your body.

Stage three: autophagy and anti-aging

When your body is under extended fasting, the cells in your body become more efficient, and one thing they do is turn on autophagy which means self-eating. During this fasting state, your cells replace everything that isn’t functioning correctly or is damaged and old. So if you’re up for anti-inflammatory or anti-aging benefits, then fasting for a whole day will help.

Stage four: growth hormone and recovery

This fasting state occurs after 36 or more hours, and it’s a turning point between intermittent fasting and long fasting. After so much time fasting, your growth hormone levels begin to shift. Secretion of HGH is increased, as well as the frequency of the secretion. That can help build muscle and speed up the healing process for wounds and muscle injuries.

Stage five: stem cells and immune function

This final stage of fasting begins after a full three days without food. Before presenting all the benefits, we have to note that this is a serious undertaking, so make sure to consult a doctor or weight loss clinic in Chicago before aiming for this stage. If you go for it, make sure to drink plenty of water tea and fill your body with electrolytes. If you feel lightheaded or unwell, please stop fasting.

As for the benefits of this stage, fasting triggers cell production, which leads to a near-complete rejuvenation of your immune system. This process triggers the creation of brand-new cells that can replace your old immune cells.

Before the first stage, there is a beginning period called the feeding period. “Feeding” starts immediately after eating. Your meal consists of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat, which means glucose is available. A larger amount of glucose means that insulin signals the body to store some of it, so it can be used when you’re not eating, as glucose is used as an energy source.

Final thoughts

When you know the stages of intermittent fasting, you can adapt fasting to your lifestyle, health, and goals. The longer you’re fasting, the less you need to fill up after breaking your fast, which leads to a calorie deficit, and that’s how and why you end up losing weight. But because you can experience some unpleasant side effects if you fast for too long, try tracking your fasting period to keep your body away from dangerous situations. You can also keep track of your progress.

If you want to see how you and your body react to such a lifestyle, you can try fast mimicking. There are plenty of fast-mimicking diet recipes to try out.

Keep in mind you can schedule a call with us any time if you need help deciding or you want to find out more about weight loss diets and programs that suit you.

Nurse Walton


Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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