Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan
Learn the secrets to building an intermittent fasting meal plan thats easy to follow and that supports your health goals.
In this post, I share everything you need to know to build your own or keep reading to print a done-for-you intermittent fasting meal plan pdf.
The best way to achieve your health goals is to have a plan to get there and, if youre practicing intermittent fasting and want to eat healthier meals or lose weight, having a meal plan is the best way to get there.
There are 3 elements that any meal plan should have it must be easy to follow, it must be kept simple and organized, and must have delicious foods that can be made quickly with easy-to-find ingredients.
Ill share more on how to do this yourself below but if reading that is overwhelming or are new to intermittent fasting, check out my Intermittent Fasting eBook.
Intermittent Fasting Book + Meal Plan
Everything you need to jumpstart your intermittent fasting journey: full eBook, meal plan, plus recipes!
Vitamin D Fortified Milk
The recommended intake of calcium for an adult is 1,000 milligrams per day, about what you’d get by drinking three cups of milk per day. With a reduced feeding window, the opportunities to drink this much might be scarce, and so it is important to prioritize high-calcium foods. Vitamin D fortified milk enhances the body’s absorption of calcium and will help to keep bones strong. To boost daily calcium intake, you can add milk to smoothies or cereal, or even just drink it with meals. If you’re not a fan of the beverage, non-dairy sources high in calcium include tofu and soy products, as well as leafy greens like kale.
Fasting Tracker: Best Fasting App For Night Fast
The fasting tracker has a simple user interface that gives you the liberty to create your fasting plans. It also has a weight-loss tracking feature and presents visuals to understand your progress. Fasting Tracker is the best fasting app free for night fast. You can swap among various diets: skip a meal or fast for longer, fast within a day, follow eat-stop-eat, 36-hour fasting, 48-hour fasting, and others.
- Manage history: add, edit, and delete
- Weight loss progress charts
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Fasting For A Week: Detailed Plan
Intermittent fasting refers to an interval that is comfortable for you. Many people find it easier and more habitual to skip breakfast but difficult to refuse dinner after a hard day. Below is an example of an intermittent fastingmenu for weight loss. There is no breakfast in this example, but you can easily pick snacks by adding cheese, eggs, or porridge to your taste.
- Lunch: baked eggplant, grilled meat
- Snack: yogurt, 1-2 fruits
- Lunch: chicken with brown rice
- Snack: granola, yogurt, 2 dark chocolate pieces
- Dinner: baked turkey with vegetables
- Lunch: vegetable salad with chicken and mushrooms
- Snack: fruit, yogurt, a handful of nuts
- Dinner: fish baked with vegetables
- Lunch: whole grain pasta with beef stew
- Snack: yogurt, granola and berries
- Dinner: grilled seafood and fresh vegetables
What To Drink During Intermittent Fasting
To get all the health benefits of Intermittent Fasting such as fat loss, increased metabolic rate, lower blood sugar levels, boost in the immune system and others, you have to restrict from consuming any caloric food. But you can still consume non-caloric beverages because they do not break your fast and allow you to get all the benefits of fasting.
This is because non-caloric beverages do not cause the release of insulin, and as a consequence, do not interfere with fat burning and autophagy .
This would include:
- Plain black coffee
- Plain tea
Got more questions about Intermittent Fasting Drinks? Weve got more information in our blog post What Can You Drink During Intermittent Fasting.
Also Check: How Does Fasting Make You Lose Weight
Intermittent Fasting May Affect Men And Women Differently
There is some evidence that intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for some women as it is for men.
One study showed that blood sugar control actually worsened in women after three weeks of intermittent fasting, which was not the case in men .
There are also many anecdotal stories of women who have experienced changes to their menstrual cycles after starting intermittent fasting.
Such shifts occur because female bodies are extremely sensitive to calorie restriction.
When calorie intake is low such as from fasting for too long or too frequently a small part of the brain called the hypothalamus is affected.
This can disrupt the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone , a hormone that helps release two reproductive hormones: luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone (
For these reasons, women should consider a modified approach to intermittent fasting, such as shorter fasting periods and fewer fasting days.
Intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men. To reduce any adverse effects, women should take a mild approach to fasting: shorter fasts and fewer fasting days.
Intermittent fasting not only benefits your waistline but may also lower your risk of developing a number of chronic diseases.
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Cons Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is one way to regulate your calorie intake and work toward improving your metabolic health.
Though the eating pattern can certainly be part of a healthy diet, it will likely take some adjusting to in the beginning. Plus, simply put, intermittent fasting is not right for everyone.
Here are a few downsides you could encounter when first trying intermittent fasting.
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Is Intermittent Fasting Safe And Healthy
In general, Intermittent Fasting is safe for most people, but you have to know the risks too.
It is also a good time to say that this article should and does not intend to replace advice from your doctor and you should always consult your physician before planning any fasting and especially extended fasting .
Now that we made it clear, here are some of the cases that does not go well with intermittent fasting:
- if you have a diabetes
- if you take medications for blood pressure or heart disease
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- if you have a history of disordered eating
- if you dont sleep well
- if you are under 18 years old
Also, you should be a lot more careful if you are practicing extended fasting, which depending on the source you follow will be continuous fasting for either anything more than 24, 48 or 72 hours. There is a general consensus that any fasts longer than 72 hours should be done under strict medical supervision.
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Examples Of Different Intermittent Fasting Schedules
If youre considering giving fasting a shot, there are a few different options for working it into your lifestyle.
Daily Intermittent Fasting
Most of the time, I follow the Leangains model of intermittent fasting, which uses a 16hour fast followed by an 8hour eating period. This model of daily intermittent fasting was popularized by Martin Berkhan of Leangains.com, which is where the name originated.
It doesn’t matter when you start your 8hour eating period. You can start at 8am and stop at 4pm. Or you start at 2pm and stop at 10pm. Do whatever works for you. I tend to find that eating around 1pm and 8pm works well because those times allow me to eat lunch and dinner with friends and family. Breakfast is typically a meal that I eat on my own, so skipping it isn’t a big deal.
Because daily intermittent fasting is done every day it becomes very easy to get into the habit of eating on this schedule. Right now, you’re probably eating around the same time every day without thinking about it. Well, with daily intermittent fasting it’s the same thing, you just learn to not eat at certain times, which is remarkably easy.
Weekly Intermittent Fasting
One of the best ways to get started with intermittent fasting is to do it once per week or once per month. The occasional fast has been shown to lead to many of the benefits of fasting we’ve already talked about, so even if you don’t use it to cut down on calories consistently there are still many other health benefits of fasting.
Best Foods To Eat While Intermittent Fasting
Of all the fad diets of the moment, intermittent fasting has garnered much attention for its convincing evidence in scientific literature. Throughout history, fasting has been utilized as an expression of political dissent, desire for spiritual reward, as well as a therapeutic tool. And it’s recently gained widespread traction among fitness gurus for its touted weight loss and anti-aging effects. But that brings the big question: Is there an ultimate intermittent fasting guide so you know what to eat while you’re on this diet?
First, let’s take a step back and break down the basics: How does the diet work when it comes to these major intermittent fasting health benefits? Scientists postulate that the anti-aging benefits are largely due to increased insulin sensitivity, and weight loss is related to an overall reduced calorie intake because of a shortened feeding window. Simply put, when you have less time during the day to eat, you eat less. Easy, right? But a key concept, as with any diet, is determining feasibility for your lifestyle.
One study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology showed diet-induced weight loss typically leads to a 70 percent regain in weight, so finding any type of weight-loss plan that works best for you and won’t cause you any damage in the future is the key.
For starters, here’s a breakdown of typical intermittent fasting schedules:
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Can You Do Intermittent Fasting While Working Out
You can still work out on fast days, but stick to low-intensity work and try to get it in toward the start of your fast window rather than the end when your carb stores are totally depleted, Tinsley advises.
Also: Save your fast-day meal till after the workout, Varady adds. In our studies, people got really hungry after they exercised, so a lot would cheat if theyd already eaten their 500 calories for the day, she explains.
Save high-intensity interval training and heavy weight training for feed days/during your feed window, if you can, when you have the calories for fuel and nutrients for recovery. But if your training schedule calls for a grueling workout on a fast day that cant be moved, add the calories burned to your count for the day so you dont burn through muscle. At 200 or 300 calories, you dont need to compensate, but if you burn 500 or more on a fast day, instead of just 500 maintenance calories with 50g of protein, eat 1,000 calories with 80g or more of protein, Varady advises.
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Best Intermittent Fasting Apps To Keep You Fit In 2022
Proven to be effective, Intermittent Fasting is being incorporated into peoples weight loss programs all around the world.
Its backed with solid evidence as more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon and seeing incredible results.
The fact that fasting has the potential to reprogram your metabolism only adds to the effectiveness of this weight-loss method, as we all know the key to losing weight is to eat fewer calories than the maintenance level.
The easiest way to get started is to utilize intermittent fasting apps on your smartphone so you can keep at it from anywhere. Well be going over some of the best intermittent fasting apps in this list, but before that, lets get some of the basics right.
WARNING: Intermittent Fasting is generally deemed safe but its always a good idea to be cautious and have a word with a healthcare professional before starting on it, as youll be changing your eating patterns using this weight loss program.
Read Also: Why Does Fasting Work For Weight Loss
Zero: Best Fasting App
Zero is the best intermittent fasting app, consisting of the timers, tools, and journals essential for getting started with this eating pattern. It also has a lot of helpful articles on fasting, the best beverages for drinking during the fasting window, and things to do for better sleep. The app also provides the feature of a mood graph that you can rate. This application is easy to use and provides unique features completely free of cost. You can also get the premium version of Zero at $69.99 a year, in which you get complete guidance on fasting from a coach.
Fasthabit: One Of Top Best Intermittent Fasting Apps
If you want to test different fasting plans, then FastHabit is the ideal option. It is one of the best fasting apps with no subscription by which you can keep up with your intermittent fasting schedule. You have to set up the fasting window that you want in the app and then can start it whenever you want. You can also sync this app to apple watch and apple health for inclusive health management. It is also simple to set reminders, track your stats and is best free intermittent fasting app. But for tracking more than this, you will need a premium membership of $2.99.
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Schedule #: Fasting For 12
Near the end of our year-long coaching program, we offer clients a fasting experiment:
Go a full 24 hours without eating.
Its scary, and it makes people uncomfortable. Which is exactly why we do it.
What it involves
There are no rules or protocols. For instance, people can wake up, have breakfast, then not eat again until breakfast the next day. Or they can have dinner on a Monday, then not eat again until dinner on Tuesday. Or whatever suits them.
The point is to simply try the experience of not eating for a while, and see what happens.
Afterwards, eat normally.
People who benefit
A one-day fast can be transformative for anyone who associates the sensation of hunger with emergency. That tends to include people who learned from their parents that they should eat three square meals a day, as well as finish everything on their plate.
Its also great for people who fear being deprived or restricted, assuming that once they start getting hungry, its going to get worse, and worse, and worse .
And finally, its a great first step that allows you to test the waters, seeing if a more extreme fasting schedulesuch once- or twice-weekly fastingmight work for them.
If you try it
What Is Intermittent Fasting How Does 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting Work
7 Day Intermittent fasting diet meal plan All about the IF diet
The Intermittent fasting diet meal plan offers a time-restricted eating pattern.
So, how does this work? It recommends consuming food for only 8 hours of the day and avoiding food for the remaining 16 hours.
Some studies suggest that this method works by supporting the bodys internal clock, the circadian rhythm.
The easiest way to follow the diet is to incorporate this 16-hour fasting period into the time you sleep.
You can make the interval period coincide with the time of the day when you are active.
However, stopping eating 2-3 hours before going to sleep will be beneficial for your health, quality sleep, and weight loss.
So, should nothing be consumed in this 16-hour fasting period? Of course not. You still need to drink lots of water.
Apart from that, you can drink as much tea as you want .
Also, you can drink unsweetened coffee. But thats all. You cannot consume anything that is not zero in calories.
In addition, supplementing this diet with light exercises will always give better results and will bring you the result you dreamed of faster.
This applies to every diet you follow. Now lets look at how we should eat in the intermittent fasting diet meal plan day by day.
According to ClevelandbLab intermittent fasting also helps lower blood sugar levels.
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Science Of Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
To understand the science of intermittent fasting, we need to look into the basics of nutrition.
And it is quite straight-forward: the food we eat gets broken down to molecules and ends up in our blood, which feeds the cells in our bodies.
Part of those molecules are net carbohydrates and our body turns them into sugar so our cells could use it for energy.
To be able to use sugar for the energy we need insulin, which is produced in our pancreas and spikes each time we throw in some food with carbohydrates.
Any excess sugars that we dont utilize get stored in the form of fat with the idea that we will use that fat for energy later, once we have no sugar left.
The best way to NOT end up having huge fat reserves is to spend the same amount of energy you get from food.
However, life is not perfect and many of us have lifestyles that limit our chances to move throughout the day. In fact, office workers tend to spend 75% of their waking hours sitting.
So, what can we do to lose or not gain weight?
One way to do it is to focus on increasing your energy expenditure through increased physical activity or in laymans terms exercising and doing sports. But you knew this one already, didnt you?
Another way though is to focus on consuming less food than you need for the energy that day and as a result, creating a caloric deficit.
And thats where intermittent fasting comes in.