What About Taking Supplements During A Fasting Period
This depends on the fasting schedule you’re following, and you should discuss any supplements with your doctor before beginning to take them, says Palinski-Wade. If you fast for a set amount of hours each day, take your supplements during the eating hours , since most supplements like a multivitamin are better absorbed when taken with food.
If you practice intermittent fasting that involves fasting on specific days, like the 5:2 diet, taking supplements is still recommended to ensure you are meeting your nutrient needs each day. Palinski-Wade recommends taking a high-quality multivitamin daily when following any IF plan.
âGenerally, the small amount of calories found in a chewable/gummy/liquid vitamin would not offset a fast day,â she says. “But do discuss this with your doctor or dietitian first to make sure you can take your supplement on an empty stomach.â
The bottom line: At the end of the day, you want to consume close to zero calories during fasting periods. By avoiding sweetened drinks like soda and bottled iced tea, as well as caloric add-ons in your hot beverages, you can ensure you follow your IF plan correctly and successfully.
What To Drink If You Like The Sweet Taste
Of course, its best to get used to drinking unsweetened coffee or tea. Not only does it make any beverage preparation easier, but it is also simply a cheaper option. However, it doesnt mean you have to totally deprive yourself of the sweet taste. If you like it, you can still have your coffee or tea sweetened. Just make sure to use natural and keto-compliant sweeteners.
Stevia is the best choice if you want your intermittent fasting drinks to be sweet.
I highly recommend using stevia or erythritol which are calorie-free and have no effect on blood sugars.
Stevia is available as tabs, in the liquid form or as powder. Its hundred times sweeter than sugar. Erythritol is in the form similar to table sugar but is less sweet . You can use either one or the other. You can also mix them both. Its hard to overconsume stevia but erythritol may have a laxative effect if you eat too much of it.
VERY IMPORTANT: Trash sugar if you still have it at your home. Stop reading this article and do it now .
What Drinks Should I Avoid While Fasting
During your eating window, there are few limits on what you can or cant drink. Of course, its always best to avoid drinks with sugar or artificial sweeteners. If your intermittent fasting goal is to lose weight, theres no rule that says you cant enjoy the occasional soda, juice, or even a milkshake during your eating window. During your fasting hours, however, its another story.
Steer clear of any drink with more than nine calories. But, dont be fooled by diet soda, despite their no-cal or low-cal sales pitch, they can spike your insulin levels and wreak havoc on your fasting plans. Below are some beverages which might sound fasting friendly, but its best if you dont drink them.
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Can I Drink Herbal Tea While Intermittent Fasting
Although herbal and fruit tea is prevalent here in Central Europe, they are often big surprises. You usually cannot be sure what is inside.
Besides regular dried fruits, candied fruits often hide in fruit tea. Moreover, they often hide in herbal tea as well. And their sugar content will break a fast.
Accordingly, the variance in fruit tea is large . Like green tea, it can contain almost none, just too many for intermittent fasting, or a vast amount of hidden carbohydrates.
Therefore, as with food purchases, the basic rule is: read the label carefully and avoid any suspicious contents. The same applies to herbal tea, which tends to perform better because it does not commonly contain dried fruits.
If you want to be on the safe side, do not drink herbal or fruit tea during intermittent fasting.
Concerns About Intermittent Fasting
The transition from a normal daily eating routine to an intermittent fasting one is definitely not very easy, especially when it comes to the WHEN and WHAT to eat and drink during your IF period.
Initially, you might feel the following symptoms-
- Muscle cramps
- Extreme hunger
The serious consequences, if the diet is not followed correctly can also lead to infertility, failure of long-term weight loss goals, and no nutritional balance.
However gradually, your body adjusts through the IF routine. Meanwhile, you can give a read to these quick reminders while you are still adapting to an IF diet-
- Include fiber in your diet.
- Stay away from artificial sweeteners.
- Take a prescribed IF method rather than self-deciding for it.
- Avoid or at least, limit your alcohol intake while you are on IF
So many diets fail because theyre complicated or too difficult to follow. Well, intermittent fasting breaks the trail here.
With simple basic guidelines discussed above and getting a proper insight into what you can eat or drink during your intermittent fasting, following your fasting schedule wont be rocket science. Anymore!
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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
If You Feel Like You Always Need Something During Your Fast Try This
Ideally, intermittent fasting will help you curb cravings and reduce hunger over time due to its beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity. But if you’re not fueling well during your eating hours, intense cravings can result, making you feel like you “need” that butter-laced coffee first thing in the morning.
“A few issues that arise when people get super hungry during fasts are that they might not eat enough during eating hours, or they might be eating foods high in carbohydrates that spike and crash their blood sugar,” says B.J. Hardick, D.C. “Keeping a food journal can help ensure you’re eating enough of the right foods. If you’re doing both things correctly and still aren’t losing weight, dial back the fast an hour or two and see if that helps.”
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Fasting And Diet Coke
One of the best-known sweeteners is aspartame, which has also been the basis for diet coke for decades.
Although calorie-free aspartame does not affect blood sugar levels, it increases insulin levels more than table sugar .
Therefore, the sweetener in diet coke prevents not only autophagy but also fat burning.
With this in mind, it is probably no coincidence that people who consume vast quantities of diet drinks are significantly overweight on average.
Concerns And Adjustments With Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is becoming popular, but it’s still not the normal thing to do. As a result, you may have some concerns about it or you may want to make some adjustments to your intermittent fasting schedule. Here are some common questions I’ve seen that should help point you in the right direction.
What if I ate my first meal at breakfast, skipped lunch, and then ate my second meal at dinner time?
This idea would work well for one reason, but not well for another reason. Let’s talk about both.
First, if your goal is to lose weight, then skipping lunch should help because it decreases the number of calories that you’re eating throughout the day. As I said in my article on lessons learned from 1 year of intermittent fasting, even if you try to eat two large meals instead of three regular meals, it’s hard to get the same number of calories. Even if you want to eat more, you often end up eating less.
So the end result of skipping lunch is that you would probably reduce your overall caloric intake and end up losing weight.
However, one of the primary benefits of intermittent fasting is that it puts you in a fat burning state. In other words, fasting makes it more likely that you’ll burn fat and not muscle.
In other words, you need to have at least 8 to 12 hours off from eating before your body enters the fasted, fatburning state. This is why you want to squish your meals into a smaller time frame rather than spreading them throughout the day.
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Can Black Tea Break Your Fast
So back to black tea. During the fasting period, you are only allowed to drink water and other non-calorie beverages. These beverages can be tea, coffee, and maybe lime juice added water.
It is recommended to take liquids during fasting because you can feel full after you drink these beverages. It will also keep your stomach active, which is an essential thing while doing fasting.
However, the tea you are drinking mustnt contain any additives. These include sugar alternatives, sugars, honey creams, dairy anything else that you can think of. But you can add lime juice to black tea because it does not contain any calories.
However, some people complain that they feel hungry after drinking black tea or coffee during fasting. This might be because they use to eat something while they drink black on typical days.
So, after drinking tea, they immediately crave food which was their habit. However, you can control these cravings by being motivated or avoiding drinking tea, and opt for water only.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
A proper Intermittent fasting plan can help you curb weight gain, lower oxidative stress, and inflammation. Furthermore, it also reduces blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health. Research suggests that intermittent fasting increases the levels of the fat-burning hormone, improves insulin sensitivity, and normalizes insulin levels.
While drinks may seem negligible when considering your intermittent fasting journey, in reality, they play an immense role. The simple rule is, consume drinks with little to no calories. Make sure you avoid sugars at all costs since they bring in a considerable amount of calories. While fasting, if you consume calories, it breaks the whole point and purpose, doesnt it? Hydrate yourself consistently and keep a check on calories.
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Intermittent Fasting Side Effects Beginners May Experience
Most people are used to burning only sugar for energy because of the Western Pattern Diet . Therefore, switching to fat burning for the first time can bring the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain
These physical symptoms are also known as the keto flu because the ketogenic diet requires the body to get used to burning fat for energy in the same way.
The trigger for this is the depletion of carbohydrate stores. Before the body can go into ketosis, it preferentially consumes glucose, which comes from glycogen in the liver and skeletal muscles.
Glycogen is a branched multisugar, with about 2-3 grams of water for every gram of carbohydrate.
Since this causes the body to flush out a considerable amount of water and electrolytes, physical symptoms can occur, most notably headaches and dizziness.
However, these disappear permanently once the body is fat-adapted. If you prepare for it, you can also prevent the keto flu while intermittent fasting, even as a beginner.
Can You Drink Milk During Intermittent Fasting
Since 100 ml of milk contains not only 5 g of lactose but also approximately as much protein, it makes the difference .
Even a milk shot impairs intermittent fasting since it spikes blood sugar and insulin levels mostly if its skimmed and low-fat.
Both milk powder and vegetable milk drinks are industrially produced and are not suitable for fasting due to their composition.
Only unsweetened almond milk moves in a grey zone. After the nut milk is remarkably thin, a splash in the tea will not necessarily break the fast.
The same applies to cinnamon, which also yields exciting health benefits.
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Drinks To Avoid During The Fasting Window
Not many people know what to avoid while they are on a fast. And when you lack such critical information, you might make mistakes that could prove costly in the long run. It applies not only to your diet, but to your drinks as well. Since they also bring in calories, you must be careful and vigilant regarding what you should consume and what you need to completely avoid. So, here are some common drinks you should avoid at any cost, while you are fasting:
If I Choose To Drink Alcohol Which Alcoholic Beverages Have The Least Calories
What if you want to enjoy an occasional drink and still practice intermittent fasting to lose weight? Which alcoholic beverages should you avoid and which ones to choose instead?
Lets take a look at how much calories some of the most commonly used alcoholic beverages have:
- 1 glass of red wine 122 cal
- 1 glass of red wine 121 cal
- 1 glass of red dessert wine 165 cal
- 1 pint of beer 208 cal
- 1 shot of whiskey, vodka, rum or gin 97 cal
- Cosmopolitan 146 cal
- Rum and Coke 185 cal
- Vodka and tonic 189 cal
As you can see, wine, particularly dry white and red wine, would be a better choice than beer or mixed drinks. While spirits contain fewer calories when mixed with soda, juices and other ingredients, these drinks end up being calorie bombs.
Thus, If youre concerned about calories while drinking, avoid beer, dessert wines and mixed drinks. Just make sure to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level and stick to the Center of Disease Control guidelines. This would mean up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. But when it comes to alcohol the less the better.
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What Should You Not Drink During Your Intermittent Fast
As a general rule of thumb, you should stay away from beverages with sweeteners, since they will cause your body to produce an insulin response . This means that you can not drink any sports drinks including Gatorade, Vitamin Water, Bai, Kill Cliff, Fit Aid, etc. We also do not suggest drinking green drinks, as they will break your fast.
During the fasted state, your body cannot ingest anything with caloric value. That means no juice, no milk, no protein shakes, no milkshakes, no smoothies. Once in a fasted state, your body will increase its ability to burn body fat and reduce your appetite. The first few days can be challenging, but after that, youll experience no difference in hunger levels and youll actually adapt to the absence of food relatively quickly.
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Foods To Avoid On 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
During your eating window on any method of intermittent fasting, you should stick to the foods presented above. Foods that you need to exclude from the IF food list are:
- Baked goods
- Fried foods
- Low-quality snacks
All processed foods, junk food, refined grains, trans-fat, processed meat, candy bars should be excluded from your list of foods for the 16/8 intermittent fasting method or any other IF protocol.
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What Are The Health Benefits Of Fasting
While research is ongoing, theres a laundry list of pretty amazing health benefits associated with being in a fasting state. Why? When you refrain from the consumption of food and caloric beverages, youre giving your body time to focus on processes other than digestion.
Early research on animals suggests that during a fast, cells regenerate and clean house a process known as autophagy.2 Autophagy is essentially your bodys natural way of detoxing getting rid of damaged cells, bacteria and viruses by breaking them down and regenerating new healthier cells.2
Another exciting thing that happens when you fast for at least 12 hours: You can start to burn fat!1 Its known as the metabolic switch. Once your body has used all of its glucose stores , it switches to using fat for fuel.1
This is a natural process, Rodriquez says, Its also known as fasting ketosis.
When practiced regularly, intermittent fasting has been linked to the following health benefits:3
- Weight loss
- Reducing the risk of certain diseases
Possible Risks Of Intermittent Fasting
- May not be sustainableit is difficult to endure long periods of fasting, which can prevent long-term compliance
- May not lead to sustained weight loss or long-term improvement in health outcomes
- Not recommended for children, teens, pregnant or lactating women, or people with chronic health conditions
Healthy weight management comes with its benefits: less risk of diabetes, heart disease, joint issues and some cancers just to name a few. It is too soon to say that intermittent fasting is a reliable, long-term method for successful weight management as there are too many important questions that still require research to answer. However, initial results from studies are promising and should encourage future studies that examine the role of intermittent fasting in promoting weight loss and improved metabolic, neurological and cardiovascular health.
1 International Food Information Council. 2020 Food & Health Survey. . Accessed August 31, 2020.
2 St-Onge MP, et al. Meal Timing and Frequency: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2017 February 135: e96-e121. .
3 Stockman MC, et al. Intermittent Fasting: Is the Wait Worth the Weight? Curr Obes Rep. 2018 Jun 7: 172-185. .
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