Fasting vs. Calorie-Restricted Diet

Pippa Palmira
Mar 4 · 6 min read

Which One Accelerates Your Weight Loss?

This is a good question, and its answer will most probably shock you because it clears the air regarding numerous misconceptions and myths which have often been regarded as truths in the weight loss area.

Infact, Benjamin Franklin once mentioned that resting and fasting are the best of all other medicines.

But is his statement right? And what is the difference between a calorie-restricted diet and fasting?

To begin with, when it comes to calorie-restricted diets, you will still be eating. Fasting, on the other hand, means that you will not eat anything. A calorie-restricted diet says that the number of calories you consume on a daily basis must be about 500 to 700 less than what you need.

You could learn more about your exact calorie numbers on

It is essential that you can differentiate between zero-calorie consumption and calorie restriction. Fasting has nothing to do with calorie restriction. It might be one of the best things you could do to the body.

Fasting has nothing to do with calories since you will not be consuming anything. Fasting could last from a mere 24 hours to 12 days or more. Do not scare yet. It is not great torture.

This article explains why.

Different Physiological Response

A majority of individuals who are looking to shed their weight will instantly cut their calorie intake. And the problem lies in the fact that they still consume a little. When you eat, the pancreas releases insulin. The little food you consume is the difference between calorie restriction and fasting.

Every time you eat, the body has food it will burn for energy. It relies on glycogen and insulin in the body. When these two components are not available, the body enters a starvation mode and retains most of its fat. This happens because you have eaten less than you usually do.

When fasting, the glycogen levels in the body are depleted, and the body does not release insulin. The body then starts burning the fat deposits for fuel. The body does not get into starvation mode since there is no food intake every time.

This is one big difference.

The Benefits of Fasting

Tests and studies have found that fasting is severe at the beginning. During the first three days, the body often feels hungry. Humans are creatures of habit.

If you always have your lunch after 12 PM, the body releases ghrelin at that time, which is a hunger hormone.

The tummy will keep growling, and you will be hungry. But if you do not take anything by 3 PM, the chances are that you will no longer feel hungry. Your hunger wave will probably have disappeared and come back at dinner time.

The important aspect for you to successfully fast is acknowledging the hunger waves and allow them to pass without falling for them. After 2 or so days, you will discover that you are no longer hungry. After some days of fasting, the production of ghrelin decreases.

This fact helps dispel the greatest myth of all others. Fasting does not cause you to feel incredibly hungry as times goes by. In fact, the converse is what occurs.

Your body will get used to it and burn its fat deposits for energy. This process is referred to as ketosis and is one of the quickest and healthiest ways to lose weight.

Another popular notion is that you will not have a lot of energy because you have taken nothing. Again, the opposite is what holds true. When fasting, you will surprisingly discover that you have a lot of energy and clarity of thought.

But will I not lose muscle?

The truth is that you will not. This is another great myth. While your body requires insulin and carbohydrates to synthesise proteins, fasting tends to increase the levels of the human growth hormones.

Additionally, the body tends to release leucine, which is a branched-chain amino acid. This chain amino acid bears an anabolic effect on your body and is even better than the much-loved protein shakes that people consume. And if you are exercising, the body’s muscle mass will not get burnt off.

Ideally, you should fast for 5 to 12 days. Fasting is only tricky in the first few days as you get accustomed to it. And once you make it through the early days, you will be in a position to hit a week or more.

When fasting, autophagy will probably occur. This is the process through which your body burns off dysfunctional and unhealthy cells. It is during this process that growths and tumours get destroyed. It is similar to detox but more powerful. Your body will be spring cleaning, and the chances are that you will feel better towards the end of the fasting period.

Mentioned above were a few benefits of fasting. Now let us delve into what you will not get from your calorie-restricted diet.

Disadvantages of Calorie Restriction

Calorie-restricted diets are known to have a single benefit, although it is considered an illusion. These diets are more straightforward to adopt. After all, you are consuming food but taking less of it.

Here is what will happen to your body though. You will always feel hungry and think about food every time. It is for this reason that some people give in and eat secretly. Their bodies have a craving for food since the production of ghrelin does not reduce when you take fewer calories.

Provided you are consuming something, however small it is, your body will not get into ketosis mode. This is because its metabolism has not made a switch.

Your body still uses glucose and carbs rather than body fat for energy. This implies that your weight loss process is delayed and you will end up losing less weight for a specific period.

You will feel hungrier, shed fewer pounds, and experience muscle loss (since leucine and HGH production is not taking place in large volumes). Simply put, you will be suffering more and witnessing fewer results. What’s even worse is that calorie restriction tends to slow down your metabolism.

What Should You Do?

You should try fasting even when it sounds difficult. There are several ways you could achieve this. You could go for days without food but consume a lot of water. Alternatively, you could adhere to a ketogenic diet in conjunction with an intermittent fasting regimen.

You could fast for 22 hours in a day and eat during the last 2 hours. The aim is to take in fewer carbs. Failure to consume carbs will result in insulin spikes. Since insulin is required for glucose to enter the body cells, fat storage will be minimal. Your body will transform into a fat burning machine.

What primarily matters is your ability to control your the body’s insulin levels. The body utilises hormone-sensitive lipase to disintegrate fats for energy. Insulin released by the pancreas will work against this hormone.

The consumption of refined carbs will create an insulin response which goes ahead to disrupt the fat burning process in the body. This means that you will need to cut down on the consumption of such detrimental carbs.


In conclusion, you could accelerate weight loss through fasting. It might sound unhealthy and extreme, but it isn’t. The human body is evolved to fast.

If you have ever taken time to think about it, you will wonder how our forefathers would go for days without having a meal, deep in the jungle hunting and none of them died, and there were zero cases of obesity.

You need to try fasting. Be it full fast or intermittent fasting, give it some thought. The beginning could be sour, but the rewards of the sacrifice are sweet.

Hunger pangs will go away. You will be more energetic and have heightened senses. With fasting, that excess fat will melt faster than you’ve ever thought.

Pippa Palmira

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