This article is a quick review, without full explanations. Understanding all the benefits, along with the research backing the conclusions of intermittent fasting, ketosis, etc, requires following the links within the corresponding sections.
Daily intermittent fasting is very effective not only for weight loss, but also for overall health. You only eat in an 8 hour window, and especially not too late, at least 3-4 hours before bed. Preferably you stop eating 6 hours before sleep. Not eating late will help maintain your circadian rhythm. Consider that your body's repair metabolism happens during deep sleep, and digestion competes with that. Consider it takes 2 hours to fully empty the stomach from a big meal, and another 6 hours for transit through the small intestine.
As you are fasting, your body uses up available glucose (glycogen) and your body will begin to invoke ketosis. If you never fast, your body is very inefficient at burning fat, and you will feel weak. After “working out” your body's ability to use fat for fuel, you won't feel as weak during fasting periods. After 12 hours of fasting, you might start to have increased ketones, but full ketosis will not be achieved until about 2200 calories of glycogen in the liver and muscles are used up. The ketogenic state is not an on/off switch. The change is gradual as the use of glucose and fat for fuel overlap.
You have less appetite while maintaining the ketogenic state. Nothing drives hunger more than tanking insulin levels after a simple carbohydrate meal.
Other ways to be in ketosis is to eat a ketogenic diet.
You can try extending your daily ketosis by having your first meal be mostly fat. A small first meal keeps you from crashing, as a large meal will have all your energy going towards digestion. It's also good timing for your supplements, as most nutrients require fat for absorption.
Coffee helps curb hunger, so you can skip breakfast and drink plain black coffee. I drink one cup of cold brew every morning. You can also keep from being hungry towards the very end of your fast by exercising. At least for me, I seem to not be hungry while cycling or running. I fast from 18 to 20 hours a day, but beginners can start with 12 hours a day.
It's important to have a positive attitude, and that is achieved by treating yourself well, through positive reinforcement and meditation.
Also, if you are not bored, if you are busy with projects, it will be a lot easier to maintain your fast. You'll likely be too busy to notice you are hungry.
I often wake up too early, after 6 hours of sleep, and after a while I feel both tired and famished. I skip the morning coffee knowing I'll be going back to sleep at most two hours later. I then sleep an additional 3 hours, and wake up refreshed and not feeling hungry at all. The same hunger is there late at night when I feel tired. The best you can do for yourself is avoid snacking and go to sleep.
Also beneficial for weight loss, is a natural and low-gas fiber supplement.
Aside from many other health benefit of fiber, it helps to reduce the calorie density of the food you are consuming:
By reducing the calorie density, you will feel full after consuming less calories.
Another benefit of eating high-fiber foods, or supplementing with fiber, is that you will have a lesser glycemic response. Your digestive system will take more time in absorbing the calories, giving you steady energy. Steady energy will offset sugar cravings. Soluble fiber will also keep you hydrated, because the fiber will absorb the water and release it slowly as your body has need for it. Without fiber you pee out more of the water you drink.
There are times where you may confuse hunger with thirst. There are also times when plain water just doesn't seem at all appetizing.
One trick I have found that gets me well hydrated, is to have water with fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice. That can make all the difference in turning water into a satiating drink, because in addition to your thirst, you may be craving antioxidants, like vitamin C. A squirt of lemon juice has very few calories. You are ok to cheat during your fasting period with some lemon flavored water.
Drinking plain herbal tea, such as peppermint, also helps if you feel hunger in the evenings, or whenever you are in your fasting period.
I have a hypothesis that hunger levels may be partly dependent on satisfying needs for nutrition, such as vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients, and not just the amount of energy intake. If you eat foods that are high in carbs, but low in nutrients, you will remain hungry until your nutrient requirements are satisfied. Thus, the hunger you feel while consuming high carb low nutrient foods will lead to the consumption of more carbs than you need, which leads to weight gain.
Aside from eating healthy, one way to increase the nutrient to calorie ratio of your food intake, is with dietary supplements. With modern commercial farming, the nutrient density of foods is less due to GMO engineered for food size, and due to the lesser quality of soil. And last, but not least, processed foods are lower in nutrient density.
If you follow all these guidelines, it's super easy to lose weight. Hard is not fasting, eating lots of meals throughout the day, and just trying to cut down calories. When you eat after a fast, the food is so delicious and it is well worth the wait to have it. It is living in the best sense. Eat slowly and relish in every bite. Have as much as you want, just don't eat so much your belly hurts!
If you are a menopausal or perimenopausal woman, you may have an additional challenge. The following article covers some advice: Weight Management Module for Perimenopausal Women: A Practical Guide for Gynecologists, Chopra et al 2019
Related article: Zero Calorie Sweeteners