Is Intermittent Fasting Right For You
Intermittent fasting is safe for many people, but it’s not for everyone. Skipping meals is not recommended for people under 18, those with a history of disordered eating, or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Athletes may find it difficult to fuel and refuel appropriately for an active lifestyle. If you have diabetes or other medical issues, talk with your health care team before starting intermittent fasting.
Also, note that the key to weight loss with intermittent fasting is not to overeat during your eating windows. Eating fewer calories than you expend remains the basis for losing weight.
Shortening the eating window may make it difficult to get the vitamins and minerals you need. While on this diet, it is important to eat meals made from quality, healthy ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein.
Intermittent fasting can be dangerous if taken too far. A technique called dry fasting restricts food and fluid intake, resulting in severe dehydration and posing serious health concerns. Malnutrition can occur if the caloric restriction is too severe, such as averaging fewer than 1,200 calories a day long term.
Romi Londre is a dietitian in Nutrition in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
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What Can I Eat While Intermittent Fasting
During the times when youre not eating, water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted.
And during your eating periods, eating normally does not mean going crazy. Youre not likely to lose weight or get healthier if you pack your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items and treats.
But what Williams likes about intermittent fasting is that it allows for a range of different foods to be eaten and enjoyed. We want people to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food, she says. She adds that eating with others and sharing the mealtime experience adds satisfaction and supports good health.
Williams, like most nutrition experts, regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat, whether youre trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.
Dont Fast On Active Days
It’s crucial to make sure you’re giving your body enough food to fuel upcoming activities. So if you’re going to fast Mondays and Wednesdays, don’t put more demands on your body with an intense spin class, or other serious workout. Make fasting days your rest days. Or at the very most, plan to do some stretching or light yoga.
In other words, timing matters. Think of your body like a car: You need to fill the gas tank before you go for a long drive, not the next day. The difference between a car and your body, however, is a car with no fuel will stop, while you can push your under-nourished body to keep moving. But slogging through workouts will only wear your body out, and up your risk of injury.
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Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss: What The Science Says
Here’s what evidence says about the efficacy and safety of different styles of intermittent fasting for weight loss
Intermittent fasting for weight loss can be an effective way to lose unwanted fat, particularly in those with obesity and metabolic syndrome. Multiple studies have found that the metabolic impact of intermittent fasting, coupled with the calorie deficit that it tends to generate, can help to create a downward trend on the scales.
There are different styles of intermittent fasting, so if you’re looking to embark on this approach it’s important find the right eating pattern for you. Whether its a more extreme form like the 5:2 diet, or a gentler approach such as 16: 8 intermittent fasting, intermittent fasting should be sustainable and fit with your lifestyle.
In this article, we’ll break down the science behind intermittent fasting for weight loss, and which approaches are most effective. Plus, we’ve spoken to experts in cardiometabolic health and oncology about the best ways to lose weight sustainably and safely through intermittent fasting. Remember, it’s best to consult a qualified medical professional or registered dietitian if you are considering making significant changes to your diet.
Which Fasting Schedule Is Easiest To Implement
Ive found that for most women, the 12 to 16-hour fast is the easiest to implement. We often wake up and immediately start doing something, both for ourselves and our families, so grabbing a cup of coffee and getting ourselves going till midday isnt that difficult.
I also find that planning to be finished with dinner around 7 pm and skipping evening snacks helps narrow the fasting window to before noon the next day.
If late-night snacking is an issue for you as it is for me, try sipping warm tea in the evenings. Ive found that this keeps me from aimlessly walking by the pantry in search of a snack.
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How Can Intermittent Fasting Help With Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting can be effective in reducing body weight in people of every size, according to a report in Nutrition Reviews . Most studies focused on alternate day fasting or whole-day fasting trials, but there is also evidence to support the success of time-restricted eating. As well as weight loss, intermittent fasting can have cardiometabolic benefits for those with obesity, as found in another review in the 2021 Annual Review of Nutrition .
Similar to the way the keto diet helps with weight loss, intermittent fasting can put you into a state called ketosis where you are using ketones as fuel. A study in the journal of Cell Metabolism indicates that in the state of ketosis, the body metabolizes fat and produces ketones, which the body can use as an alternative energy source.
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After a meal, you pass through four different metabolic states as your body digests the food, explains Dr Deborah Lee, MD, from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy . These are: the fed state, the post-absorptive state/early fasting state, the late fasting state, and starvation.
Having worked for many years in the U.K’s National Health Service, initially as a GP, and then as Lead Clinician for an integrated Community Sexual Health Service, Dr Deborah Lee now works as a health and medical writer, with an emphasis on womens health. She is a menopause specialist.
Is It Ok To Skip Breakfast
Yes, Varady said. The notion that omitting a morning meal is bad for your waistline likely began with studies sponsored by cereal companies, and most of that research looked at the effects of breakfast skipping on cognition in children, she noted: Im not sure how that all got translated to body weight.
Another analysis, by obesity and nutrition researcher David Allison, found there wasnt scientific data to definitively support a link between eating breakfast and weight loss, or skipping breakfast and weight gain.
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How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight
There are many different ways to lose weight.
One strategy that has become popular in recent years is called intermittent fasting .
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves regular, short-term fasts or periods of minimal or no food consumption.
Most people understand intermittent fasting as a weight loss intervention. Fasting for short periods of time helps people eat fewer calories, which may result in weight loss over time .
However, intermittent fasting may also help modify risk factors for health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, such as lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels 30002-0/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 2,
There are several different intermittent fasting methods. The most popular ones include:
- the 16:8 method
- alternate-day fasting
All methods can be effective, but figuring out which one works best depends on the individual.
To help you choose the method that fits your lifestyle, heres a breakdown of the pros and cons of each.
Should You Mix Intermittent Fasting And Exercise
Combining fasting with exercise is generally a great way to boost your metabolism and improve your overall health. Everyone should increase their heart rate for 150180 minutes per week or about 30 minutes per day to stay healthy. However, if youre trying more strict fasting regimens such as the Warrior diet, you shouldnt train too hard.
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How Can I Suppress Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
- Eat high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables and high-protein foods, including meat, fish, tofu or nuts, during your eating window, Varady advised. Chewing high-fiber gummies can also help.
- Drink lots of water. People tend to think they’re hungry, when they are really just thirsty, she said.
- Go for black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or licorice herbal teas. These beverages may have appetite-suppressing effects, Varady noted.
- Watch less TV. I know this sounds strange, but while you are watching TV, you are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. This can make you feel hungry, when in actuality, you are not hungry at all, she said.
Remember, being “a little hungry” is the best thing that can happen to you, wrote Madelyn Fernstrom, health and nutrition editor at NBC News, calling it a “true mind-body connection” that helps you recognize fullness.
The Three Popular Approaches To Intermittent Fasting Are:
- Alternate-day fasting Eat a normal, healthy diet one day and then completely fast or have one small meal the next day. Usually, the small meal is fewer than 500 calories.
- 5-2 fasting Eat a normal diet five days a week and fast two days per week.
- Daily time-restricted fasting Eat normally but only within an eight-hour window each day. For example, skip breakfast, but eat lunch around 11 a.m. and dinner by 7 p.m.
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Intermittent Fasting For Healthy Weight Loss
As weve said, not all weight loss is the same. Its essential to make sure youre losing weight in a healthy way. Can intermittent fasting help with healthy weight loss?
Here, the data are conflicting.
On one hand, intermittent fasting can help improve metabolic health by reducing blood sugar and blood pressure while also improving blood lipid levels.4
On the other hand, two trials suggested that intermittent fasting may not lead to greater weight loss than usual care, or even worse may lead to greater loss of lean muscle mass than usual care or continuous calorie restriction.5
A healthy weight loss intervention also should be relatively easy to comply with and maintain long-term. Fortunately, intermittent fasting may fit that criteria.
One study reported that working adults found time-restricted eating with an eight-hour eating window easy to comply with and maintain for three months.6
That fits with frequent clinical experience suggesting many people easily adapt to time-restricted eating, especially when they follow a low-carb or high-protein diet that helps improve satiety and reduce appetite.7
So, in terms of convenience and ease in your approach to healthy weight loss, intermittent fasting seems to be a winner.
Potential Side Effects Of Intermittent Fasting
A general rule for fasting is that sometimes people get mild symptoms. These symbols indicate that you should immediately break your fast. But fortunately, these are very rare. If you want to continue your fast it is crucial to plan ahead and anticipate how you will respond if you do experience side effects while fasting.
So, lets learn how you can understand you need to stop fasting immediately:
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Can You Lose Weight Just By Intermittent Fasting
There are some studies conducted which claimed intermittent fasting is helpful in your weight loss.
As per this article in the link here, it states that intermittent fasting can reduce weight by 4 to 8% and fat loss by 11-16% over 3 to 12 weeks.
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Why Does Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight
So why does this way of eating help you lose weight? Because it lowers your insulin levels, which reverses the fat-storing process.
Let me explain this process:
The food you eat gets broken down by enzymes in your gut. Sugar is one of the nutrients it gets broken down to. This sugar plays a crucial role in your body: Its used to supply you with energy.
But heres the thing: Most of the time, you make more sugar than the amount of energy you need. What happens to the sugar thats not needed?
Your body stores it as fat, so you have energy at your disposal at a later time. Insulin plays a vital role in this process. Its needed to bring the sugar into your fat cells and keep it there.
Because youre not eating anything on a fast, your insulin level goes down. As a result, fat cells will release stored sugar to be used as energy. And, voila, you lose weight.
But Intermittent fasting has also shown to affect other hormones:
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Intermittent Fasting For Fat Loss: How Powerful Is It
Many people want to lose weight, but what they mean is that they want to lose fat. Unfortunately, most calorie-restricted diets result in muscle loss. Intermittent fasting is an excellent method to lose fat while preserving muscles.
There are many strategies you can try to lose some unwanted fat. For example, maybe you or a friend have tried a popular diet like Whole 30 or Paleoâ¦or maybe this is the first time youâve decided to try a diet.
Either way, looking for the most effective diet thatâs the easiest to turn into a habit is HARD! There are so many articles, websites, books, etc. written on this exact topic. Some are rooted in science and someâ¦well, arenât scientifically-founded.
One dietary strategy that has become popular recently is intermittent fasting. One of the reasons why intermittent fasting has become popular is because it works!
In this article, weâre going to explain how intermittent fasting is an effective dietary strategy for fat loss.
Does Fasting Benefit People Who Don’t Need To Lose Weight Or Who Have Reached Their Goal Weight
Yes, Varady said, citing one of her studies that found fasting helps maintain a healthy body weight lowers triglycerides, which is important for heart health helps decrease blood pressure and improves blood sugar regulation.
A review of research in humans and animals, published in 2019 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found intermittent fasting has “broad-spectrum benefits” for health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and neurologic disorders.
The powerful health effects appear to come from the body flipping a “metabolic switch” during fasting or shifting away from using sugar as its main source of energy and instead converting fat for fuel when a person’s stomach is empty.
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Intermittent Fasting: Men Vs Women
Intermittent fasting may not benefit women as men and may affect differently in each case.
According to one study, eight men and eight women were put on the test to study the effects of 3 weeks of alternate-day fasting on glucose tolerance.
As a result, it was found that glucose response was impaired in the case of women, and men had no change in glucose response. Read more Trusted Source.
Note: Women should take extra care before incorporating this fasting pattern for their weight loss.
Seven Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
There are many different ways of intermittent fasting. The methods vary in the number of fast days and the calorie allowances.
Intermittent fasting involves entirely or partially abstaining from eating for a set amount of time, before eating regularly again.
Some studies suggest that this way of eating may offer benefits such as fat loss, better health, and increased longevity. Proponents claim that an intermittent fasting program is easier to maintain than traditional, calorie-controlled diets.
Each persons experience of intermittent fasting is individual, and different styles will suit different people.
In this article, we discuss the research behind the most popular types of intermittent fasting and provide tips on how to maintain this type of diet.
There are various methods of intermittent fasting, and people will prefer different styles. Read on to find out about seven different ways to do intermittent fasting.
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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
7. Mental and Brain Health