Common Myths About Intermittent Fasting
Many people panic about fasting, even though it is a thoroughly natural state.
Yes, there were times in human history when there were neither refrigerators nor supermarkets open in winter.
As a logical consequence, humanity has always had to fast for many days. Nevertheless, in the age of abundance, persistent myths have evolved that are difficult to get out of our heads.
1. Intermittent fasting Slows Down the Metabolism
Over decades of advertising campaigns and poorly researched tips, conventional wisdom has developed that is hard to get off the horizon:
- Never skip breakfast
- Snacks help with weight loss
- Many small meals boost your metabolism
- You need to eat six times a day to lose weight
Conversely, the perception arose that fewer meals a day slow down the metabolism.
Nonetheless, eating more often to lose weight is just as silly as it sounds.
Accordingly, studies confirm that people who eat snacks eat more throughout the day .
In addition, it is a fact that snacks do not help people lose weight .
Contrary to this myth, scientists proved more than 50 years ago that fasting improves metabolism .
Due to the release of growth hormone, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, our ancestors were able to search for food longer, precisely when it was scarce.
Therefore, the hormones also ensure that the basal metabolic rate remains high .
This way, nature ensured the survival of the species .
2. Intermittent Fasting Causes Muscle Loss
3. Fasting Induces Dangerously Low Blood Sugar
What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting Schedule What Is The Ideal Time You Should Be Fasting How Long Should You Fast
I keep getting these questions and I get it. You want to know what the best intermittent fasting schedule is. You want to make sure if you are fasting youre going about it right. We all have different reasons for fasting. Some fast for the incredible health benefits it offers, others are in it for the fat loss or both. When it comes to dropping fat intermittent fasting is a great tool to add to your arsenal.
One thing I usually recommend to those new to the intermittent fasting lifestyle is NOT announcing it to everyone. There is always that one person who is gonna tell you its unhealthy, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and starving yourself is not the answer to weight loss. The fact that youre reading this tells me already know this and there is a high probability youve started intermittent fasting already.
Did You Know That Some Foods Can Hinder Fat Loss
Some foods like alcohol, sugar, and gluten can hinder your fat loss.
Avoid consuming them during your fasts, and make sure that you have a diet rich in proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
In this way, youll be able to achieve:
1- Mental clarity
3- Increased energy levels throughout the day
4- Better digestion
5- Weight loss and muscle gain
6- Better sleep at night, etc.
Recommended Reading: Intermittent Fasting And Workout Schedule
Ways To Use This Information For Better Health
Adapted from a Harvard Health Blog post by Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Intermittent Fasting: The Positive News Continues
Theres a ton of incredibly promising intermittent fasting research done on fat rats. They lose weight, their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars improve but theyre rats. Studies in humans, almost across the board, have shown that IF is safe and effective, but really no more effective than any other diet. In addition, many people find it difficult to fast.
But a growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make IF a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention.
You May Like: How Often Should You Do Intermittent Fasting
Risk Of Further Vitamin Mineral And Other Micronutrient Deficiencies
Likely the biggest problem with regular fasting is that one aggravates or induces micronutrient deficiencies. Micronutrient deficiencies are very common. Most people, even those that eat healthy, are deficient in various micronutrients or take in suboptimal levels, typically without even knowing it. For example, studies show that about 70 percent of people are not consuming enough magnesium, a very important mineral for health and longevity. Many people are deficient in optimal levels of iodine, B vitamins, iron , omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin K, zinc and so on.
These deficiencies lead to all kinds of health problems, from brain fog and fatigue to an increased risk of cancer, Alzheimers and accelerated aging.
Fasting, which means eating less, can further lead to deficiencies, which in the long term can compromise your health and accelerate aging.
So if you fast, make sure you take supplements. Because even if you eat healthy, you do need supplements.
What Are Other Health Benefits For Intermittent Fasting
There is still not enough research on whether intermittent fasting can help manage chronic conditions. If youre thinking of intermittent fasting, check with your health care team first. Any type of fasting could be dangerous if youre on certain medicines or have certain conditions. A health care provider can review your health history and provide you with guidance.
Its important to try methods that make you happy and dont cause your mind and body harm. If following a set of rules of when you eat seems stressful, then intermittent fasting may not be right for you.
For more advice on nutrition, reach out to a registered dietitian to create a plan to help achieve your health and well-being goals.
Melinda Gong, RD CDCES CSOWM, is a registered dietitian at UC Davis Health. She is certified as a diabetes care and education specialist and a weight management specialist. She conducts health classes that focus on empowering people to self-manage their health. If youre interested in taking a class to learn more about nutrition or any other health condition, check out our Health Education Classes.
Recommended Reading: Does Intermittent Fasting Target Belly Fat
The Best And Worst Diets For Sustained Weight Loss According To Registered Dietitians
So, does it actually lead to weight loss? Anecdotal evidence has led proponents of the plan to believe so. For the people who can adhere to IF, it does work, Kumar says. But fans of the approach claim theres so much more to IF than just a lean body. Lori Shemek, PhD, a nutrition and weight loss expert in Dallas and author of How to Fight FATflammation, explains to clients that IF may improve their insulin sensitivity , reduce inflammation, and boost longevity by bettering the health of your mitochondria , she says.
You Are Eating The Wrong Type Of Food
Many other diets come with a list of foods that you can and cannot eat. However, that is not how intermittent fasting works.
Intermittent fasting lets you eat anything you would like within a specific eating window.
Because intermittent fasting does not restrict your diet, it is easy to slip right into unhealthy feeding habits. Binging on unhealthy processed foods even if it is only in your eating window could be responsible for your slow results.
Stuffing too many calories during your eating periods is also counterproductive.
During your intermittent fast, consider changing your meal plan. Toss out the unhealthy processed food and switch to healthier options. Think of foods like whole grains that are rich in dietary fiber.
Furthermore, sugary foods could send your blood sugar levels through the roof and contribute to reduced insulin sensitivity.
Staying away from sugary foods protects you from sugar highs and the sugar crash that results after. It also helps keep your blood sugar within the normal range.
Don’t Miss: What Is Water Fasting In Keto
The Leangains Method Aka The 16/8 Method By Martin Berkhan
Method: Dont eat after dinner, then skip breakfast the next day.
Suited for: Devoted gym-goers who want to build muscle and lose fat.
- Women = Fasting time 14 hours, feeding time 10 hours.
- Men = Fasting time 16 hours, feeding time 8 hours.
- Calorie-free drinks permitted during fast .
- Start fast after dinner so sleeping takes up most of fasting time. .
Ex. If you finish your last meal at 8 pm on Monday and then dont eat until 12 in the afternoon on Tuesday youve completed your 16 hour fasting time.
- Most natural fasting time .
- Still able to eat 2-3 meals during feeding time.
- Fits most peoples schedule .
- Meal frequency is irrelevant .
Cons: Lean gains has strict guidelines of what to eat especially if youre working out.
Does Intermittent Fasting Work For 50 Year Old Women
Women in their 50s experience hormonal changes that put their bodies and if that promoting storage mode. Before, their bodies had the hormonal advantage of easily burning fat off. But the opposite happens with perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
With menopause, there is a drastic decline and the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. These three hormones alone have a big impact on your ability to lose and gain weight . As a result, youre more likely to store weight in stubborn spots such as your belly and hips.
Estrogen and progesterone also play a significant role with your skin texture, muscle tone, and body shape . With these hormones lower in your 50s, youll be more likely to lose muscle and distribute fat to new stubborn spots like your hips and belly .
This is why its so hard to lose weight for women in their 50s, but not all hope is lost. So how does a 50-year-old woman drop weight when her hormones are out of whack. Women in their 50s have a complicated physiological machine they have to now work with so all conventional diets need to be thrown out the window.
Intermittent fasting is a proven and effective way for women over 50 and younger to lose stubborn weight quickly while also slowing the aging process. What dieting you once were able to use to get results most likely wont work or be as effective as it once was. So youre going to have to step up your game to get rid of that stubborn weight, and intermittent fasting can be the key.
Also Check: Should I Try Intermittent Fasting
People Who Shouldnt Intermittent Fast:
- People who suffer or experienced eating disorders.
- Women who are attempting to conceive or have issues with fertility.
- Pregnant women, nursing mothers.
- Children and individuals who have Type 1 diabetes.
- People sensitive to drops in blood sugar levels.
- Individuals with known nutrient deficiencies as well as malnourished or underweight.
Women should consult a medical professional before starting any type of fasting due to:
- Fasting not as effective for women compared with men.
- Some women reported their menstrual periods stopped while fasting but returned once they went back to a traditional eating regiment.
Overall Best Fasting Diet For Weight Loss: Intermittent Fasting
The most popular and best fasting diet for weight loss these days is intermittent fasting, which focuses on when rather than what you eat.
Intermittent fasting is the best fasting diet for weight loss that focuses on restricting what you eat for short periods, alternating with longer intervals where you can have any type of food in moderation.
The best part? Youll still get to enjoy tasty foods like pizza!
You May Like: Can You Have Black Coffee When Fasting
So What Is The Best Fasting Method
This brings us to the most important question: whats the best way to fast?
Likely, the best method to fast is a 3 day fast every month or every new season. So, at the start of every autumn, winter, spring and summer you fast for 3 days.
3-day-fasting brings about the best health effects: you enter proper ketosis, induce strong autophagy and studies also show that 3 day fasts reboots stem cells and the immune system .
With shorter fasts, you cant get those effects , or the effects will be less robust.
Proper ketosis is something you can only achieve after a minimum of 2-3 days of fasting period. Ketone levels in the blood start to increase sooner than that, but achieve significantly higher and more ideal levels after at least 2 days.
In fact, if you start fasting, the following 4 things happen:
How Much Should You Eat During Non
When you do eat during IF, you dont have to worry about being super restrictive. Of course, eating like every day is Thanksgiving doesnt make a lot of sense if you are trying to lose weight, whether youre fasting intermittently or not. Instead, focus on eating enough that you dont feel physically hungry between meals.
Some researchers note that people generally dont overeat during the non-fasting hours, especially once it becomes part of a routine. You should always make sure you continue to drink plenty of water, which not only keeps your system hydrated but also helps you feel less hungry.
Before you get started, check with your healthcare practitioner to see if intermittent fasting is a good idea for you. This is especially important if youre severely underweight, taking blood sugar-lowering drugs, or are experiencing adrenal insufficiency. Right now, I know my adrenal health is not where it should be. If I go a long time without eating, my blood sugar drops too low and I can get spacey, shaky and irritable. Thats why, for now, Im holding off on more rigorous fasting than time-restricted eating.
Don’t Miss: Fasting Diet How Much Weight Loss
Intermittent Fasting Health Benefits
Fasting sets in motion impressive processes in our body. Thanks to advances in biochemistry and medicine, we are getting a better understanding of what fasting does.
Here are the main health benefits of intermittent fasting for beginners that research can explain to date:
1. Weight Loss
With numerous diets, the question arises whether losing weight will work. Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, is different.
When you dont eat, the energy expended must come from your energy stores. If stored carbohydrates are gone, the body must tap into stored fat for energy .
In doing so, the body burns not only fat right under your skin but also visceral fat in organs, which is particularly harmful .
2. Muscle Gain
16/8 Intermittent fasting has been known among bodybuilders for decades as a strategy for muscle building.
Moreover, fasting is the most effective way to stimulate human growth hormone naturally .
HGH promotes bone, cartilage, and muscle development. As a result, you get bigger, stronger muscles and protection against age-related bone and muscle loss .
Accordingly, intermittent fasting combined with appropriate weight lifting helps build and maintain muscle mass.
Fasting activates autophagy, which directs damaged, harmful and toxic compounds out of the body and recycles proteins.
Thus, it helps fight cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, liver, or autoimmune diseases.
5. Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
8. Gut Health
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.
Also Check: Which Intermittent Fasting Works Best
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.
Whats The Best Protocol For Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, there is no best protocol the best protocol is one you can stick with. You might want to keep your fasting window to a minimum. Or, you may prefer fasting for the majority of your day.
Common intermittent fasting protocols are:
- The 16:8 Method: Fast for 16 hours and eat all of your days food within eight hours, seven days a week.
- The 23:1 or One Meal a Day Diet: Fast for 23 hours and eat one meal a day in a one-hour window.
- The 5:2 or Fast Diet: Eat as you typically would for five days and limit daily calories to 500-600 for two days in order to fast.
- Eat, Stop, Eat: Similar to the Alternate Day Fast, but you choose to fast for an entire day once or twice per week and return to your routine eating habits the other days.
For an in-depth look at the various types of intermittent fasting protocols, check out this guide to learn more about which regimen might fit for you.
Recommended Reading: Why Does Fasting Work For Weight Loss
Recommended Reading: Can I Drink Water During Intermittent Fasting