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Beginner Guide To Intermittent Fasting

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Should I Try Intermittent Fasting

Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting | Jason Fung

Now that were through a lot of the science stuff, lets get into the reality of the situation: why should you consider Intermittent Fasting?

#1) Because it can work for your goals. Although we know that not all calories are created equal, caloric restriction plays a central role in weight loss.

When you fast, you are also making it easier to restrict your total caloric intake over the course of the week, which can lead to consistent weight loss and maintenance.

#2) Because it simplifies your day. Rather than having to prepare, pack, eat, and time your meals every 2-3 hours, you simply skip a meal or two and only worry about eating food in your eating window.

Its one less decision you have to make every day.

It could allow you to enjoy bigger portioned meals and STILL eat fewer calories on average.

Its a point that Coach Matt makes in this video on intermittent fasting:

#3) It requires less time . Rather than having to prepare or purchase three to six meals a day, you only need to prepare two meals.

Instead of stopping what youre doing six times a day to eat, you simply only have to stop to eat twice. Rather than having to do the dishes six times, you only have to do them twice.

Rather than having to purchase six meals a day, you only need to purchase two.

#5) It can level up your brain, including positively counteracting conditions like Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and dementia.

#6) Plus, Wolverine does it:

#7) Boy George is a fasting fan :

Eat Well When Youre Not Fasting

One of the big challenges of a fasting diet is the inclination to over-consume during non-fasting periods. While you dont necessarily need to count calories or restrict food intake when youre not fasting, you should prioritize eating healthy, whole foods.

If you counteract your fast with a day of overzealous bingeing on highly processed sugars, you may not see the changes or benefits associated with intermittent fasting.

Practical Benefits You Did Not Know

Although I came to intermittent fasting because of its remarkable health benefits, it is the practical advantages in everyday life that are why I have stuck with it.

After a few weeks, even beginners will find that intermittent fasting makes life far more straightforward because of the following facts.

1. Its Incredibly Simple

Unlike most dietary advice, Intermittent Fasting is simple for beginners. Classic 16/8 intermittent fasting has two rules:

  • No breakfast
  • No snacks

Bottom line. The simpler the rules, the easier it is to implement methods in everyday life.

2. Intermittent Fasting Is Cheap

Intermittent fasting is not only free, but youll save yourself money doing it:

  • No breakfast
  • No expensive exotic superfoods
  • No gym subscription

Even though marketing has taught us otherwise, less can be better. Youll feel it in your checking account.

3. It Saves Time

The food industry loves diet tips that involve multiple meals because no one can cook six times a day. Hence, these tips create a need for more convenience foods.

On the other hand, with intermittent fasting, you can focus on 1-2 meals and prepare them relaxed using real food. Or simply skip a meal when there is no time.

This way, on stressful days, youll save yourself the junk food, the post-meal productivity slump, time, and money.

4. Fasting Is Executable With Any Diet

Intermittent fasting is not a trendy special diet but rather an omission.

On the contrary, you have to choose what not to prepare and eat today.

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Fasting For 2 Days A Week

People following the 5:2 diet eat standard amounts of healthful food for 5 days and reduce calorie intake on the other 2 days.

During the 2 fasting days, men generally consume 600 calories and women 500 calories.

Typically, people separate their fasting days in the week. For example, they may fast on a Monday and Thursday and eat normally on the other days. There should be at least 1 non-fasting day between fasting days.

There is limited research on the 5:2 diet, which is also known as the Fast diet. A involving 107 overweight or obese women found that restricting calories twice weekly and continuous calorie restriction both led to similar weight loss.

The study also found that this diet reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity among participants.

A small-scale study looked at the effects of this fasting style in 23 overweight women. Over the course of one menstrual cycle, the women lost 4.8 percent of their body weight and 8.0 percent of their total body fat. However, these measurements returned to normal for most of the women after 5 days of normal eating.

Sowhat Is Intermittent Fasting Exactly

Intermittent Fasting: The unstoppable Intermittent Fasting Beginners ...

Intermittent fasting is when you allow yourself to eat only during a specified window of time each day, explains Alissa Rumsey, RD, a NYC-based dietitian and the owner of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness. It usually involves fasting for a certain number of hours or even days that are spaced out during the week, and theres no right way to do this, says Sonya Angelone, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Read Also: What Can I Eat If I’m Fasting

What Effect Will Fasting Have On My Metabolism

One of the main concerns people have when it comes to intermittent fasting is that it can cause long term damage to their metabolism. A lot of this worry comes from what we know about the long term starvation that comes hand in hand with malnutrition or issues like anorexia.

Whilst it is a well documented fact that long term calorie restriction and/or fasting can reduce your metabolism. Studies have shown that short term fasting can actually increase your metabolism by up to 14%.

This is most likely because Intermittent fasting is not starvation but rather a new eating pattern. Whilst the pattern has been shown to reduce appetite in overweight people, it does not put the body under the same amount of stress that starvation does.

Not only can intermittent fasting boost your metabolism, but it can also cause your body to produce more Norepinephrine. This is a fat burning hormone that also makes you more alert.

It has also been proven that Intermittent fasting is better for your metabolism than calorie restrictive diets.

Chapter : Who Can Benefit From Intermittent Fasting

The answer to the first part of this question is pretty easy:

Just about everyone can benefit from intermittent fasting.

There are a few groups that are usually advised not to do any type of fasting. But this is more out of an abundance of caution than any real evidence of harm.

Based on everything Ive learned, I can confidently say that intermittent fasting is beneficial for the vast majority of people.

Recommended Reading: Does Fasting Help You Lose Weight Faster

How Long Should You Fast

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is, how long should I fast? Well, that depends on what health benefits you are hoping to achieve. The longer you fast, the more the benefits add up.

However, that doesnt necessarily mean longer is better for everyone. For example, if youre hoping to increase ketones, a 17 hour fast may be what you need, however if youre trying to heal a musculoskeletal injury, youll want to work your way up to a 72 hour fast.

Here are the benefits of fasting broken down by hours fasted:

Watch my full Youtube video to figure out which fast will work best for you, and download my fasting benefits chart that provides guidance on the benefits during each type of fast.

Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

Beginners Guide To Intermittent Fasting – 4 Simple Steps To Start – Regenexx

When you dont eat for a while, a lot of changes take place in your body. The studies have shown that intermittent fasting has a lot of advantages. It is not just about losing weight.

Here you can find some other benefits.

  • Intermittent fasting reduces insulin resistance. Insulin blood level drops significantly by 3-6%.
  • Some diseases can be prevented with the help of intermittent fasting such as type 2 diabetes, cancers, heart conditions, neurodegenerative diseases and much more. This happens because of reducing LDL cholesterol, blood sugar, blood triglycerides and inflammatory markers.
  • By increasing the brain hormone BDNF, intermittent fasting improves brain health. It also boosts your thinking and memory.
  • Reduction of inflammation is one of the key benefits. It enhances the bodys resistance to stresses

Recommended Reading: How Many Hours Intermittent Fasting

What Can I Drink While Fasting

You can drink anything that doesnt have calories! Ideally, also avoid beverages sweetened with artificial sweeteners, as these can impact your metabolism through your gut microbes. Some artificial sweeteners raise your insulin levels more than others , but theres a connection between many artificial sweeteners and negative gut microbe changes, insulin resistance and metabolic disease. While a recent meta-analysis suggests we need further research, it may be best to avoid sucralose, aspartame and saccharin in general.

While fasting, you can drink things like black coffee, unsweetened hot and cold teas, water with added electrolytes, carbonated water, water with lemon, etc. Learn more about what you can drink while fasting here.

If you are feeling like you need a little pick-me-up during a longer fast, you can enjoy some bone broth, some kombucha tea or other beverages with very small amounts of natural flavorings or healthy fats added. For example, you might enjoy some coffee with a little bit of butter or coconut oil added.

Intermittent Fasting Lowers Your Risk Of Other Chronic Diseases

Having diabetes increases your risk of basically every other chronic illness. Heart disease, stroke, dementia , obesity, cancer, kidney failure you name it.

So without over-complicating things, heres the simple logic:

Anything you can do to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes will also reduce your risk of most other chronic diseases.

And if you can reduce your risk of those other chronic diseases, youll be less likely to die a premature death, or become sick or disabled.

Thats probably a good thing.

Recommended Reading: What Is Normal Fasting Blood Sugar Level For Adults

Other Names For Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting can also be called time-restricted eating . This refers to the fact that you eat all your food for the day in a shorter window of time. I prefer this term.

Occasionally youll also hear time-restricted feeding . This means the same thing as TRE, but usually in the context of animal studies.

The 4 Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

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Aside from the weight loss and long life expectancy benefits of intermittent fasting, here are 4 major benefits of intermittent fasting:

1. Intermittent fasting saves precious time and money

On a normal diet plan, youd spend a lot of time and money, shopping, prepping and cooking up to six meals a day.

Intermittent fasting saves you valuable time and money, because youd eat less meals each day, and spend much less time thinking about what you should eat.

2. Intermittent fasting simplifies your life

To piggyback off the previous point, intermittent fasting reduces the number of decisions youd have to make each day, and creates more energy for you to tackle your most important tasks.

Whilst most diet plans are complex, expensive and overwhelming, intermittent fasting is free, extremely simple and convenient.

3. Intermittent fasting strengthens your willpower

There will be many periods during intermittent fasting when youd crave to eat food and resist the urge to eat.

Each time you do so, youll develop your willpower muscles, and strengthen your ability to resist temptations and distractions in other areas of your life.

4. Intermittent fasting improves focus and concentration

Studies have shown that intermittent fasting doesnt have any negative effects on our memory, focus and concentration abilities. In fact, intermittent fasting may actually improve our focus and concentration.

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Fasting For Weight Loss

The reason youre most likely here is to find out can intermittent fasting help you lose weight? This is after all the most common reason people try IF in the first place.

The good news is that intermittent fasting has been found to be a good way to lose fast and importantly, to maintain weight loss.

The fundamental way to lose weight is simply to consume less calories than you burn. With intermittent fasting, by reducing your eating window during the day, people tend to naturally consume fewer calories in the time frame that they are eating.

With less time available to eat, habits like snacking and grazing are compressed into a shorter time. In particular if you go for a longer fasting split, for instance a 4 hour eating window with a 20 hour fast, many people will find they simply cant eat as many calories as they used to in such a limited time frame.

But beyond that simple change, intermittent fasting can also create changes in hormones in the body which impact weight loss, as well as muscle retention.

Insulin levels are seen to reduce, whilst HGH and Norepinephrine both increase. This shift from fat storing hormones to fat burning hormones can increase fat loss, whilst minimising the loss of lean body mass.

Short term fasting can increase your metabolic rate, with studies indicating an increase between 3.6 and 14% . Rather than going into starvation mode as some people think and your body slowing down, fasting can actually fire up your metabolism to burn more energy.

Intermittent Fasting For Beginners: The Ultimate 101 Guide

No other diet has experienced as much growth over the past few years as Intermittent Fasting.

The reason for this is effective weight loss, proven health benefits, and a simplified daily routine.

But the supposedly simple diet always raises questions when you start.

Thats why this ultimate intermittent fasting guide for beginners provides you with the framework that guarantees a smooth start.

Recommended Reading: How To Calculate Fasting Time

Set The Time For The Last Meal Of Your Day

Especially in the beginning, many find it easier to fast overnight. Sure, if you spend a large part of your fasting period asleep, feelings of hunger will have much less time to make your life harder.

Therefore, think about when you want to eat your last meal in the evening.

Assuming you usually eat dinner at 7:00 pm, start your fasting period at 8:00 pm.

With 16-8, for example, this means that you fast from 08:00 pm to 12:00 noon and eat from 12:00 noon to 08:00 pm.

All gentle fasting plans like 14-10 or 16-8 can be found in the app in the Standard plans folder, by the way. Our Easy fasting plan is also ideal for getting started. You can find it in the Autophagy plans folder.

If your fasting times dont match your meal times after the start of your week, you can simply move them by tapping the Edit times button, which can be found below your fasting times.

Important: Not everyone likes to skip breakfast when fasting. Some people find it easier to skip dinner. Thats why in the app, some of the plans come in an early and a late version.

Feel free to experiment. If you have the impression that your current plan doesnt suit you be it because of the length or timing of your fasting periods swap or adjust it. You can do that at any time, even during running weeks.

Fast the way it feels right for you!

Intermittent Fasting Side Effects

Intermittent Fasting for Beginners: THE MOST IMPORTANT TIPS

It goes without saying that practicing intermittent fasting can also have side effects, and thats why you need to listen to your body and customize your eating habit according to it.

The most annoying side effect is hunger: at the beginning, you may feel weak, and you may think your brain is not functioning well because of the lack of food. Its a normal reaction that our body has when we change our habits, but this will automatically disappear after a few days of doing it.

Even if IF seems to be recommendable to anyone, you need to be aware of the potential problems it may cause if you have the following problems:

  • Have diabetes
  • Have problems with blood sugar regulation
  • Have low blood pressure
  • Have a history of eating disorders
  • Are pregnant

So make sure you consult your doctor if you want to try Intermittent Fasting and have underlying conditions.

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Intermittent Fasting Recipes So You Can Fast Without Giving Up

Intermittent fasting is known for its uncomplicated and time-saving use in everyday life. Because food can be chosen flexibly, there are hardly any restrictions with regard to certain foods. Therefore, you can benefit from a wide range and variety of recipes! You can find healthy recipes on our website and some simple recipes we are sharing here.

Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan : 1

Eat stop eat or the 6:1 diet has also proven successful because of its simplicity. The restriction is limited to one day a week. You can choose which day you want to fast every week.

On the other days, you can simply keep your usual food routine. This Intermittent Fasting plan has proven itself especially for very active and competitive athletes who train several times a day.

The significant advantage here is that two nights may be hidden in the fasting period. Thus, you are fasting for more than 24 hours if you do not eat for a whole day.

Generally, this results in 36 hours from dinner to breakfast the next day. Hence, you get deeper autophagy and ketosis, but only once a week.

Since eating nothing once a week is a straightforward rule, 6:1 fasting has proven excellent for beginners.

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Daily Fasting Or 16/8

The daily fasting method is usually followed by picking a time period for fasting and one for eating. Most commonly used is the 16/8 method. Breaking the day down into 24 hours, 16 are designated for fasting and meals are consumed over a period of 8 hours. Know that consuming high-calorie, nutrient-deficient food in your eating window will outweigh the benefits of following an intermittent fasting routine.

While you can structure the 16/8 method how youd like, finishing your eating window after 6 p.m. can be a helpful way to obtain a more normal balance while fasting. This could look like finishing your last meal of the day by 6 p.m. and eating your first meal the next morning no earlier than 10 a.m. Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., you can eat normally without restriction.

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