The Foolproof Way to Burn Fat and Lose Weight (with Zero)

Rich LaFountain, PhD

Weight loss is not easy. Most diets have a paltry 20% success rate, and that’s in the short term; the vast majority of people who succeed at losing weight gain it back.

Zero, however, relies on something your body is already designed to do: Burn fat through intermittent fasting. This is a safe, foolproof, and science-backed way to unlock your fat-burning potential so you can lose weight and gain health.

Okay, So How Do You Actually Lose Weight?

According to the laws of physics, weight loss requires an energy deficit. That’s why calorie counting remains the go-to strategy for most people trying to lose weight: fewer calories = less energy = weight loss. However, if you’re one of the 80% of people who have regained the weight you lost, you know there’s much more to the human health equation than calorie math.

The problem with counting calories is that it makes weight loss more difficult than it needs to be. Every meal or snack is another tedious math equation coupled with a side of deprivation. Even if you’re able to lose weight following this plan, you’re unlikely to maintain the diet for long — meaning you often regain the weight, and then some. Enter: the never-ending cycle of yo-yo dieting and self-blame.

If counting calories is something you’ve tried before (perhaps multiple times), or if you simply don’t enjoy doing math at every meal, it’s time for something different — and better. Zero provides a simple, straightforward path to burning fat, losing weight, and keeping it off. Built upon the science-backed foundation of intermittent fasting, Zero helps you achieve a natural, unintentional reduction in caloric intake that, combined with a metabolic shift towards burning fat, results in healthy, sustainable weight loss. (And instead of a side of deprivation, you get additional metabolic health benefits, including improvements in blood glucose, inflammation, circadian rhythm, and hormone regulation.)

Flipping the Metabolic Switch, Burning Fat, and Fasting: A Solution That Works

Central to what makes Zero such a powerful weight-loss and health-gain strategy is the way that your body produces energy during extended overnight fasting. When you’re eating regularly throughout the day, your body uses glucose as its primary fuel source and is more focused on growth, which means you are more likely to build tissue — including adipose tissue if you have a surplus of energy. When you fast for 12 or more hours, on the other hand, your body naturally shifts towards burning fat as its primary fuel.

The ability to metabolically “switch” to prioritizing fat burning is a biologically conserved process — it’s coded into your DNA! That’s what makes it so simple and easy to access; no need to white-knuckle your way through an agonizing diet or punishing exercise regime. Zero helps you activate and amplify your innate fat-burning ability to achieve healthy, sustainable weight loss. Importantly, we use your personalized data to show you exactly where you are on your fat-burning journey within every fast, every day.

When you start a fast, you can see your predicted fat burning on the all-new Zero Timer (available to all Members in early 2024). There are a number of factors that influence when you’ll enter peak fat burning and how long you’ll stay there before your fast ends, like fast length, activity, nutrition, sleep, and stress. We go into each factor below, but the thing to note is that as you make adjustments to these various factors (extending your fast, for instance), you’ll start to see your fat burning change right on the Timer. With each adjustment, Zero tells you how close you are to reaching your full fat-burning potential for that fast!

The Foolproof, Science-Backed Way to Lose Weight

Intermittent fasting with Zero is the foundational first step to burning fat and losing weight. Then, building in synergistic, complementary habits helps you take your fat burning to the next level.

#1) Extend Your Overnight Fast to 12–18 Hours

The first step to losing weight by increasing fat burning is to extend your overnight fast, i.e., the longest period of time when you’re not eating (because you’re hopefully sleeping!), to 12–18 hours. This lengthier break from eating not only amplifies the rate at which your body burns fat for fuel but it also spontaneously reduces your energy intake by 20–30% without any of the baggage of calorie counting.

Let Zero Help: Try committing to the 28-Day Fasting Challenge; consistency is everything when it comes to burning fat and losing weight! Each day, you’ll have the opportunity to reach peak fat burning — just check your Timer to view your progress.

#2) Move Daily, Especially in the Morning

In order to accelerate your body’s transition to fat burning and amplify your fat-burn rate, you should move or exercise during your fast, ideally towards the end. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to promote weight loss and strengthen your body while preserving muscle. When performed at the end of your fast, exercise accelerates your rate of fat burning, which can positively compound the effects of both your fast and your exercise session. You’ll not only burn more fat while you exercise, but your fat-burn rate will remain elevated even after that session is complete. And while some exercise is always better than none, a combination of strength training and mixed-intensity cardio is the ideal formula for optimal fat burning and muscle retention.

Let Zero Help: If you’re new to fasted exercise, try logging a brisk 20–30-minute first thing in the morning and see how it affects your transition into fat burning. After a few days, go a little longer or pick up the pace!

#3) Bookend Your Fasts with Quality Nutrition

What you eat before and after you fast significantly affects how quickly you transition into fat burning and how long your body prioritizes fat as fuel. Prior to your fast, make your final meal fairly modest and low in carbs to avoid spiking glucose and insulin (which would hinder your transition towards fat burning). Having a smaller, low-carb pre-fast meal will reduce the total time it takes for your body to metabolize that meal, burn through other carbs it has stored in your body, and ultimately liberate fat as your primary source of fuel. You can test this by logging your pre-fast meals with Zero and seeing the impact different types of meals have on your personal progression into fat burning.

When you break your fast, avoid big meals that are high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and especially alcohol. These substances will spike glucose and insulin even faster than normal, thereby yanking your body out of fat burning. Instead, make sure your meal contains plenty of protein and easily digestible fruits or vegetables, so you can reap the fat-burning rewards of your fast for as long as possible. 

Let Zero Help: Start logging your meals, especially pre- and post-fast, so you can start to see how your food influences your progress towards fat burning and weight loss.

#4) Prioritize Sleep

One of the main reasons intermittent fasting is foundational to healthy weight loss and fat burning is because it promotes better circadian rhythm, which in turn regulates hormone levels that affect sleep. And, believe it or not, sufficient, high-quality sleep is crucial to put your body in an optimal state to burn fat!

The best time to start your fast is 2–4 hours before you go to bed. Giving your digestive system time to wind down helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, which facilitates getting the 7–9 hours of sleep your body needs to regulate itself and prepare for a morning shift towards fat burning.

Let Zero Help: Focus on ending your last meal of the day 2 hours before you go to sleep. Too easy? Push it to 3 or 4 hours before bedtime and notice if you start to enter fat burning earlier the next morning.

#5) Relieve Chronic Stress

Chronic stress — the kind that is persistent in much of modern-day living — is a significant barrier to weight loss. This is because in a stressed or fearful state, your body produces hormones like cortisol, which stimulate your body’s “fight or flight” response and cause your body to preserve energy stores (for a prolonged battle or lengthy retreat) rather than burn them. Consequently, this stress-induced energy conservation hinders your ability to burn fat while fasting. 

To get your innate fat-burning machinery back to operating at peak capacity, begin by giving up on stressful diets and calorie counting. Research indicates that fasting is a promising strategy for alleviating metabolic health declines linked with high-stress occupations or lifestyles. If you have your fasting habit locked in, taking breaks for mindfulness, meditation, and even gentle movement can help reduce chronic stress so that you can be successful in your weight-loss and health-gain goals.

Let Zero Help: Try logging your mood when you start and end a fast to quickly and easily increase mindfulness — and keep your fasting practice consistent!

Conclusion: Zero Offers the Simplest, Most Effective Way to Burn Fat and Lose Weight

Zero is the perfect companion on your weight-loss and health-gain journey. By establishing a consistent practice of daily intermittent fasting and adding key habits like fasted exercise, stress management, and rejuvenating sleep, you’ll activate your body’s innate ability to burn fat and lose weight, and finally abandon yo-yo dieting and calorie counting for good.

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