Should I Exercise During 16/8 Intermittent Fasting To Lose Weight
The short answer is yes, you should.
But you dont have to. Exercise is not mandatory for you to lose weight on 16/8 intermittent fasting But it helps a great deal. You will still lose weight if you eat in 8 hours, fast for 16 hours IF protocol without exercise.
When you do add exercise to your 16/8 fasting protocol, its better to do it in the last hour of your fast and eat soon after.
Why is this?
Exercise sensitizes the muscles and makes them receptive to the macro and micronutrients made available from your meals. Thats why eating soon after your exercise sets the stage maximum nutrient utilisation.
In particular, protein synthesis, hence the high protein diet recommended when you exercise. This is highly protective of your muscles, preventing any muscle loss. Not only that, protein synthesis facilitates muscle building, if bulking up is your thing.
If you are going to exercise, then the right exercise that gets the best results for 16/8 intermittent fasting weight loss is high intensity interval training .
Naturally, if you want to really build muscle, then of course you need to lift those weights.
And just in case, you are wondering if you will lose weight on 16/8 intermittent fasting, well take a look at this study.
The participants in that study are trained young men in their 20s and 30s who were already middle-level fitness guys. They were split into 16/8 IF group and Normal Diet group. The study ran over 8 weeks.
What Exactly Is The 1: 8 Diet
Its pretty simple. Basically, during your 16-hour “fasting” period, you limit yourself to black tea, coffee, or diet soda. Then, for the next eight hours, you can eat whatever you want . That’s it.
Scientifically, at least, the 16:8 diet seems to check out. In a recent study published in the journal Nutrition and Healthy Aging, 23 obese men and women followed the 16:8 diet for 12 weeks. Compared to a group that ate normally, those on the 16:8 diet took in 350 fewer calories per day, lost a modest amount of weight , and lowered their blood pressure.
But, keep in mind: This was a small study and few others have examined the 16:8 diet specifically, so its tough to draw any firm conclusions just yet. More research needs to be conducted before we can see if and how it can be implemented into an actual plan effectively, confirms Beth Warren, RDN, founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl.
Still, other types of intermittent fasting show promise. The 5:2 diet, for example , resulted in more weight and fat loss compared to day-to-day calorie restriction in a 2017 study in the International Journal of Obesity.
Intermittent Fasting Is Not Enough To Keep You In Ketosis
The 16/8 fasting window may not be enough to get you into or keep you in ketosis. Even if you do end up in ketosis, if you continue to eat a diet with even a moderate amount of carbs itll probably kick you out of ketosis each time.
This can result in unpleasant side effects such as the keto flu and being overly hungry each time you start fasting again.
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How Much Weight Can You Lose On The 1: 8 Diet
To lose weight on the 16:8 diet, it’s important to match the fasting with healthy eating and exercise. If done so correctly, there’s a typical weight loss of around seven to 11 pounds over a ten week period, according to a review of studies by Sydney Medical School . They found, on average, someone weighing 90kg would lose 5% of their body weight in 10 weeks.
But how much weight you lose on the 16:8 diet depends on eating fewer calories than you’re burning. According to a leading study by the University of Vienna , this energy deficit can be achieved in many ways – but is ultimately the only method of weight loss. When you eat food, your body metabolises it to create energy. This is used for daily activities – everything from breathing to walking around. If you have more energy than what your body burns, the extra is mainly stored as fat. If you have less energy than what your body burns, your body will turn to fat stores for energy. Aka. the calorie deficit.
While intermittent fasting has benefits, eating in a 8-hour period alone will not automatically mean you lose weight. The plan is just one way to achieve the deficit without having to count how many calories you burn in a day . The given eating time aims to automatically restrict the amount of food you can eat, leading to weight loss.
The Intermittent Fasting Workout Plan
Heres what you should do as far as exercise workout is concerned when youre doing the 16/8 intermittent fasting. If you follow this training schedule, youll reap huge benefits.
==> Exercise about 2 or 3 times a week.
==> If you exercise on your fasting days, do your workout towards the end of the fast period. The last hour of the fast period is best for fat burning.
==> Now if you are exercising intensely, you may want to protect your muscle mass. So, Id say take branched-chain amino acids about 30 minutes before your workout. See my article on BCAAs and intermittent fasting here.
Its not mandatory to take BCAAs. So dont sweat it!
==> Take bcaa supplements if you have them. If you dont, you can easily compensate by having a high protein meal after your workout.
==> A good balanced meal of Protein with lots of veggies and starchy carb will suffice.
==> Have your main meal soon after your workout. Prepare your meal in advance, so you are not tempted to go for takeouts or some junk food.
==> Eat as normal on fasting days that you are not exercising. You dont need to exercise every fasting day, by the way.
Mix it up. You can do Paleo-style in your non-exercise days by having a meal of Veggies, Healthy fats and Protein .
When you mix it up, you will be carb cycling and that would be in keeping with what I refer to as the Depletion-Repletion way of eating.
A typical high carb meal will be:
A typical low carb meal will be:
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Is Intermittent Fasting Safe
Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis. But intermittent fasting isnt for everyone.
Williams stresses that before you try intermittent fasting , you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
- Children and teens under age 18.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
- Those with a history of eating disorders.
But, Williams says, people not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. It can be a lifestyle change, she says, and one with benefits.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.
Intermittent Fasting And Weight Loss
Data shows diets dont work. Theyre unsustainable in the long run and not that useful for weight loss. Yes, youll lose a few pounds initially, but research shows those changes dont last. Intermittent fasting is a fantastic alternative. Since IF is a lifestyle transformation, its more sustainable than any fad diet that tempts you.
Many research studies confirm IF is a sustainable weight-loss method and a valid option if weight loss is your goal. One 2018 study shows IF is also beneficial because it can help you lose weight without focusing on calorie counting an added benefit if you dont want to work that hard.
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What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
One of the most popular and the best intermittent fasting plans for weight loss is the 16/8 method. This method is known for its effects on healthy weight loss.
This fasting comprises of two-time spans, an 8-hour period and a 16-hour period. During those 16 hours, you eat nothing but zero-calorie liquids like water, tea, or coffee. During the remaining 8 hours, you can eat all your snacks and meals.
You can stay asleep for half of those 16 hours as it may otherwise seem like a pretty stretched time.
This method is popularized for its effective results in weight loss and its popularity is based on a number of successful results.
Hour Fast Benefit #: A More Youthful Appearance
In more recent times fasting has become known for its ability to turn back the biological clock. Many people who take up intermittent fasting notice dark under-eye circles disappearing and fine lines smoothing out.
These benefits may sound too good to be true, but theyre backed by science. Recent studies have shown that intermittent fasting boosts human growth hormone or HGH. Fasting for just 24 hours can boost HGH levels by 1300-2000%!
HGH is an essential hormone that helps build and repair tissues as diverse as your skin, brain, and other organs. By improving cellular turnover, HGH may help your skin look fresher and more youthful. It may also increase your bodys muscle mass, in turn making fat loss even easier.
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Is 1: 8 Fasting Healthy
Intermittent fasting 16:8 has not been shown to be harmful to the average healthy person, says Michal Mor, PhD, co-founder and head of science at Lumen .
Fasting has been shown to help individuals restrict their caloric intake and lose weight and may also reduce the risk of obesity-related health conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as some chronic diseases.
Whilst studies, such as one published in the Canadian Family Physician journal, have shown that intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss in the short term, a review in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that this is due to an energy deficit created from limiting your eating window, says Jones. There may also be some considerations for fasting women.
Put simply, if you can only eat for a short period of time, youre less likely to eat as much. Of course, this depends on the foods you eat. You could eat very calorie-dense foods, which are unlikely to leave you in an energy deficit. But ultimately, there isnt strong evidence that intermittent fasting is superior to the standard calorie restriction diet. Many studies have found intermittent fasting and traditional calorie restriction have similar weight loss outcomes.
According to a study published in Nutrients , theres also mixed evidence on the health benefits of intermittent fasting for cardiovascular disease risk factors, says Jones, with more research needed before we can conclude any benefits.
How To Do 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
I should mention that this method of eating was made popular by Nutritional Consultant, .
He christened it Leangains protocol.
is a maverick by all accounts who has a habit of breaking popular diet rules. He still gets results using the 16/8 method. He is quite muscular and has as little body fat percentage as you will find anywhere else.
See his picture below:
He exemplifies what is achievable when you adopt this method of eating. I should mention that Martin Berkhan did not achieve that 16/8 intermittent fasting result overnight.
As you can tell, he does incorporate workouts in his 16/8 regime. You are not going build muscle without some serious commitments to workout.
You will shed fat with 16/8 IF even if you dont exercise at all but you wont add to your muscle bulk without pumping some iron.
How do you start 16/8 intermittent fasting as a beginner?
In truth, you can manipulate the 24-hour clock to suit your lifestyle.
Fast for any stretch of the 24 hours in a day in any 16-hour window.
What do I mean by that?
Your 16-hour fasting period could be between 7pm to 1pm the next day, 3pm to 9am the following day, 12 midday to 6am the next day. A night worker who sleeps during the day can fast from 8am to 12 midnight the next night.
You get the point. It doesnt matter what stretch of the night or day you use as your 16-hour fast period.
Whats important is: you fast for 16 hours at a stretch and you eat all your meals in the remaining 8 hours.
Why is this popular?
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How Often Should You Do 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting
Unlike other intermittent fasting diets, each day of the 16:8 works independently to the other days. This means that technically you can do anywhere from one day of intermittent 16:8 fasting to seven days a week. It all depends on your goals and the advice from your GP.
Evidence differs, however, on whether it’s healthy to do intermittent fasting all the time. While research from Queen’s Medical Centre has proven that short-term fasting boosts the metabolism, longer fasts of around three or more days can actually suppress it and slow it right down. Plus, going without food for a long period of time can lead to an increased level of cholesterol, feeling sick in the morning , dehydration and spells of low blood sugar.
Done For You 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan
Try this intermittent fasting meal plan to start seeing amazing health and weight loss results.
Intermittent fasting is currently one of the most popular health trends in the world, with the 16:8 plan being the most common. But what is it about intermittent fasting thats so good for our waistlines and general health and how do we get started?
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Carbohydrates To Eat When Intermittent Fasting
With intermittent fasting, its smart to focus on whole foods rich in fiber but low in starches.
While starchy foods increase blood sugar and insulin levels, dietary fibers counteract these effects .
For this reason, this list puts net carbs in parentheses:
- Sweet potatoes
Due to its high content of resistant starches, sweet potato is the most digestible variety if you want to replenish your carbohydrate stores.
Unlike conventional starches, resistant starches pass through the small intestine without being converted into glucose.
Instead of being absorbed as sugar, resistant starches are broken down into short-chain fatty acids, on which your gut bacteria can nourish.
We will take a closer look at when to eat carbohydrates during intermittent fasting shortly.
How To Do It
The easiest way to follow the 16:8 diet is to choose a 16-hour fasting window that includes the time that a person spends sleeping.
Some experts advise finishing food consumption in the early evening, as metabolism slows down after this time. However, this is not feasible for everyone.
Some people may not be able to consume their evening meal until 7 p.m. or later. Even so, it is best to avoid food for 23 hours before bed.
People may choose one of the following 8-hour eating windows:
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- noon to 8 p.m.
Within this timeframe, people can eat their meals and snacks at convenient times. Eating regularly is important to prevent blood sugar peaks and dips and to avoid excessive hunger.
Some people may need to experiment to find the best eating window and mealtimes for their lifestyle.
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Do I Need Supplements On The 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
No, you dont need to take supplements when doing 16/8 intermittent fasting. So long as you eat right, you dont need supplements.
But if you are keen on the idea of supplements, then the only supplement you need for the 16/8 intermittent fasting is branched-chain amino acids supplement.
BCAAs are protective of muscle loss and are best taken on your workout days. You dont need to take them when you are not working out. Take BCAAs on your workout days about 30 minutes before you commence exercise.
Theres a lot to be said about the 16/8 fasting method but this guide should be enough to get you going. Dont hesitate. Give it a go.
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What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting 16/8
There are so many reasons that people do intermittent fasting and lots of different ways to do it. The benefits of IF can vary from person to person based on their individual goals and the guidelines they establish for themselves. Here are just some of the health benefits you may see as a result of IF:
- weight loss
- faster entry into ketosis
What Can You Eat On The 1: 8 Diet
The great thing about the 16:8 diet is that you can eat anything you want – within reason. It’s important to choose whole foods and those high in vitamins during the eating period. “Many people fail the 16:8 diet by packing in too many calories into the 8-hour period, often trying to get some in before the 8 hours ends. You should still be following a strict diet with a complete nutritional breakdown, to ensure you are consuming a targeted number of calories, not to mention macro nutrients and ensuring youre not consuming too much sugar,” says Tom.
Why Fasting Everyday Is Not Your Best Plan
One major difference between intermittent fasting and other forms of diets is that you can preserve your bodys basal metabolic rate. Your basal metabolic rate should not drop off when you do intermittent fasting correctly.
So, the eat 8 hours, fast 16 hours per day for weight loss can lose some of its value, if you do 16/8 intermittent fasting every day for say 6 months continuously.
You will still lose weight. But the weight loss of 16/8 intermittent fasting may start to get marginal over time when abused.
What I am trying to say here is: we want to avoid going into the so-called starvation mode where your body adapts to current eating pattern and reduces your basal metabolic rate correspondingly. Energy saving mode, that is.
You want to keep your body guessing. It wont, if you get into a regular predictable pattern.
Dont forget the keyword: Intermittent. Makes sense?
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