The Basics Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is more than just not eating. The goal isn’t calorie restriction the goal is giving your body a break from food so that it can focus its energy on cleansing, rather than digesting.
Your body contains proteins and other structures that constantly become dysfunctional or die. This isn’t a bad thing it’s a necessary process for optimal health. However, if these dead tissues aren’t cleared out from the body, they can cause cell death, contribute to poor cell and organ function and even become cancerous. Enter a process called autophagy.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast. For instance, you might try eating only during an eight-hour period each day and fast for the remainder. Or you might choose to eat only one meal a day two days a week. There are many different intermittent fasting schedules.
Mattson says that after hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. He refers to this as metabolic switching.
Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hours, Mattson says. If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and theyre not exercising, then every time they eat, theyre running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.
Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
What To Eat On Intermittent Fasting And Keto
More and more people report excellent results when combining intermittent fasting with a ketogenic diet. Why?
Since the keto diet, just like fasting, reduces insulin, empties the carbohydrate stores, and burns fat through ketosis, it is an ideal match.
Because fasting taps into body fat for energy, it is the most ketogenic diet of them all.
To unleash the full potential of intermittent fasting through a ketogenic diet, you need a daily calorie intake consisting of 75% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates.
Thereby, 1 gram of fat provides 9 calories, and 1 gram of protein or carbohydrates provides 4 calories, which reduces the amount of fat in relation.
To go keto with the previous lists, all you need to do is to follow these crucial points:
- Avoid foods at the bottom of the carbohydrate list
- Prefer fatty cuts over low-nutrient fillet meats
The fact that lean proteins strongly increase insulin levels was long unknown and doomed classic low-carb diets to failure .
Since the ketogenic diet is based on this fact, it can even improve the following health benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Insulin sensitivity
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Can You Eat Whatever You Want On Intermittent Fasting Here’s What The Experts Said
© POPSUGAR Photography / Maria del Rio Can You Eat Whatever You Want on Intermittent Fasting? Here’s What the Experts SaidSome people believe it’s not necessarily what you eat but when you eat it that matters. Those who practice intermittent fasting rave about the weight-loss benefits, improved digestion and mood, and ability to crush sugar cravings.
Intermittent fasting decreases insulin levels and increases human growth hormone, which optimizes your body’s ability to burn fat.
And while there are different ways to practice IF – some do the 16:8 method, where they fast for 16 hours and eat in an eight-hour window, while others do 5:2, where they fast for two days a week and eat normally the other five – many people are confused about what exactly they should eat during their feeding window.
It’s true that intermittent fasting gives you a little more freedom to eat what you want.
Since you are typically only sitting down to one or two larger meals, you can eat more calories per meal than you would if you ate three or five meals a day.
“Technically, there are no diet restrictions with intermittent fasting,” explained Kristin Koskinen, RDN. “It’s an eating style based on food timing rather than diet composition.”
Before you try intermittent fasting, be sure you talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian, especially if you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or another chronic condition. Many people swear by the benefits of IF, but it’s not for everyone.
Industrial Vegetable Oil And Trans Fats
When processing vegetable oils, the fragile omega-6 fatty acids oxidize through heat, light, air, and pressure.
As a result, these processes change fats that serve as building blocks for your body chemically. Therefore, they promote inflammation, cardiovascular disease, mortality, and weight gain .
Besides the following oils, it is essential to avoid fried dishes and hydrogenated trans fats :
- Safflower oil
- Preservatives and other chemical additives
Another reason why I advise against any kind of sweeteners during intermittent fasting is the craving.
When sweet taste stimulates the brains reward center, but glucose does not arrive due to calorie-free sweeteners, cravings increase .
As with sweeteners, plant-based does not always mean healthy, as we will learn in the next section.
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How To Get Started
16/8 intermittent fasting is simple, safe and sustainable.
To get started, begin by picking an eight-hour window and limit your food intake to that time span.
Many people prefer to eat between noon and 8 p.m., as this means youll only need to fast overnight and skip breakfast but can still eat a balanced lunch and dinner, along with a few snacks throughout the day.
Others opt to eat between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., which allows plenty of time for a healthy breakfast around 9 a.m., a normal lunch around noon and a light early dinner or snack around 4 p.m. before starting your fast.
However, you can experiment and pick the time frame that best fits your schedule.
Additionally, to maximize the potential health benefits of your diet, its important to stick to nutritious whole foods and beverages during your eating periods.
Filling up on nutrient-rich foods can help round out your diet and allow you to reap the rewards that this regimen has to offer.
Try balancing each meal with a good variety of healthy whole foods, such as:
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges, peaches, pears, etc.
- Veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens, tomatoes, etc.
- Whole grains: Quinoa, rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, etc.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, avocados and coconut oil
- Meat, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds, etc.
Drinking calorie-free beverages like water and unsweetened tea and coffee, even while fasting, can also help control your appetite while keeping you hydrated.
Intermittent Fasting Food List: How To Choose The Best Foods
Eating during intermittent fasting is more about being healthy than just rapidly losing your weight. Thus, it is critically important to choose nutrient-dense foods such as veggies, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
The intermittent fasting food list should contain:
1. For Protein
The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Your requirements may vary depending on your fitness goals and level of activity.
Protein helps you lose weight by decreasing energy intake, increasing satiety, and boosting metabolism.
Besides, when combined with strength training, increased protein intake helps build muscle. Having more muscle in the body naturally increases your metabolism, as muscle burns more calories than fat.
A recent study suggests that having more muscle in your legs can help reduce belly fat formation in healthy men.
The IF food list for protein include:
- Poultry and fish
- Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Seeds and nuts
- Whole grains
2. For Carbs
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates .
Carbs are the major source of energy for your body. The other two are protein and fat. Carbs come in various forms. The most notable of them are sugar, fiber, and starch.
Make sure to choose foods that are high in fiber and starch but low in sugar.
The IF food list for carbs include:
- Sweet potatoes
3. For Fats
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You’re Probably Doing Intermittent Fasting The Wrong Wayhere’s Why
A dietitian weighs in on the trendy eating approach, plus the common mistakes people make.
The concept of intermittent fasting seems fairly straightforward. You abstain from eating in intervalssomewhere between 16 or 20 hours a dayor heavily restrict your intake and eat a very low-calorie diet a couple days a week. There are also some IF followers who eat just one meal a day .
Theres quite a bit of research proving that IF works for weight lossand improves things like blood sugar control and cholesterol, which are markers for chronic diseases. Some studies have even found that IF may boost peoples energy and help them sleep better.
/8 Intermittent Fasting: What You Can And Cant Consume
The rules of 16/8 intermittent fasting are pretty strict, and you will have to understand what you can and cannot eat if you want to succeed.
This method breaks your feeding and fasting time into eight and 16 hours, respectively. And since you have only eight hours of your daily 24 to eat, you have to be very careful about what you consume and how you do it. Otherwise, all the sacrifice you did for the 16 hours will be useless.
During the eight-hour feeding window, you do not have the liberty to stuff your face with anything you want and binge on whatever food you get hands on. You will be eating, of course, but you will have to focus your attention on foods that will support your diet and not derail it. Here are some examples of what you can and cannot consume while on a 16/8 intermittent fasting diet program.
What You Can Eat In IF
During your feeding window, the smart thing to do is to load up on high-fiber and high-protein foods. These include beans, nuts, vegetables and fruit. You may also include tofu, lean meats and fish. Some people combine intermittent fasting with other types of high-protein and low-carb diet programs, such as Paleo or Keto, which they apply during the eating window.
Those who have tried it say that such types of meal programs will help maximize the potential benefits of IF. For one, it can help you get into that state of ketosis faster, thus leading you closer to your weight loss goal much sooner.
What You Cannot Eat In IF
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What Can You Drink
Now that you understand the basics of fasting, the question becomes: What can you drink while fasting? The best choice is always water. Your water can be plain or carbonated, as long as there’s no added sugar. You can also flavor your water with a little bit of fresh lemon.
The goal is to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces. That means, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink at least 75 ounces of water in addition to any other fasting-friendly beverages.
What You Eat When Intermittent Fasting Makes The Difference
Whether intermittent fasting works is up to you. Therefore, knowledge about nutrition and fasting is the cornerstone of your health.
Nevertheless, humans confuse intermittent fasting repeatedly with a miracle cure that can justify junk food.
If you want to lose weight and achieve better health with intermittent fasting, you will have to prefer healthy fats to refined carbohydrates.
Equipped with this knowledge and the necessary discipline, you can prevent modern disease, slow down the aging process and appear much more energetic.
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Carbs On 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
Carbs are the major source of energy for your body. There are three different types of carbohydrates: starches, fiber, and sugars.
For instance, fiber is a carbohydrate that aids in digestion, helps you feel full, and keeps blood cholesterol levels in check.
Carbs often get a bad reputation for causing weight gain. Not all carbs are created equal and they are not inherently fattening. You should choose foods that are high in fiber and starch but low in sugars.
Healthy carbohydrate-rich foods include:
- Herbal tea
Jenny Craigs Recharge Bar
One of the best fasting snacks, Jenny Craigs revolutionary Recharge Bar is designed to keep you in fat-burning mode without breaking your fast. Its made with high-quality, great-tasting ingredients like macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans and a touch of honey. The specially formulated bar is designed to help you feel less hungry and maintain your fast while following the Rapid Results Max program.
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It May Decrease Inflammation
Inflammation caused by oxidative stress is thought to be the cause of many diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers .
Studies have demonstrated that intermittent fasting may be an effective way to reduce inflammation in your body.
One study in 34 healthy men found that the 16:8 intermittent fasting method decreased levels of TNF- and interleukin 1 beta , substances that promote inflammation .
Another study in 50 people found that those fasting for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan had significantly lower levels of the inflammatory markers IL-6, C-reactive protein and homocysteine, compared to non-fasting individuals .
What Is The Intermittent Fasting Diet
There are quite a few ways to execute an intermittent fasting diet, but the most common two are the 5:2 and 8:16 approaches. While the diet isn’t about counting calories, the idea is that you will naturally reduce your caloric intake by limiting your eating window. “Ultimately, like most diets, it is another approach to cutting calories, which is really the key ingredient for weight loss,” explains Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, CEO and founder of The NY Nutrition Group.
For the 5:2 approach, food is consumed normally five days out of the week, and the other two days require eating just 500600 calories. During the 8:16 approach, your eating window is 8 hours long during the day, and the fasting period is 16 hours .
Experts disagree on whether intermittent fasting is an effective diet to see long-term results. There aren’t many studies on intermittent fasting benefits yet, so findings mostly come from anecdotal evidence from people who have tried IF themselves. Like many diets, success will vary depending on the person. So, while some dieters have experienced benefits such as weight loss and lower blood pressure, in others, IF may also lead to fatigue and binging on unhealthy snacks. “The daytime 8-hour eating can be hard for people, and I find makes people really hungry,” notes Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition and Lifestyle.
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Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
While researchers are still studying intermittent fasting, some research has shown it offers some health benefits. For starters, its common to lose weight when following intermittent fasting. Thats because your body is using fatnot glucoseas its energy source. Additionally, if you make wise food choices when you do eat, youre likely eating fewer calories than before you started intermittent fasting. If you add exercise to the mix, its a great combination for not only weight loss, but also improved health benefits. Intermittent fasting may help people who have cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, and some cancers. Intermittent fasting may also help lower your bad cholesterol and improve symptoms of arthritis.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before you begin intermittent fasting. They will help you decide if its a good fit for you. They will consider your current health, medicines, and health history when making their recommendation. If you have certain chronic health problems such as diabetes or heart disease, you may need to adjust or monitor your eating patterns.
Best Drinks For While Fasting
When someone tells you that you cannot eat, whats the first thing you want to do?
Yep, you guessed itcue the hunger pangs, right?
Thats why its important to keep yourself hydrated during the fasting window.
Otherwise, when its time to eat, youll overeat. One way to stave off hunger is by tricking your starvation mentality with liquid consumption.
And for this purpose, there are certain drinks that are superior to others.
With that said, here are 5 best drinks you can enjoy during your fasting windows:
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How Does The 1: 8 Diet Work
The 16:8 diet works on an hourly basis. So each day you can eat within an 8 hour time frame and fast for the remaining 16 hours. The best part? You dont have to restrict your calories when eating during the 8 hour window. As long as you eat healthily in your 8 hour time frame, youll see the weight drop off.
Experts say that the 16.8 diet restricted schedule gives our bodies the chance to process the nutrients stored in foods and burns away calories. Plus, you wont go hungry like you do on those two fasting days on the 5:2 either.
As Tom Jenane, nutrition and fitness expert explains, The 16:8 diet is a brilliant form of intermittent fasting that has proven results in a number of cases.
Jennifer Aniston is a famous fan of intermittent fasting.
As well as Jennifer Aniston, other Hollywood names who have seen success after following the 16:8 diet include Hugh Jackman, who reportedly used the diet to get in shape for his Wolverine films and actress Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Mistake #: Youre Pushing Yourself Too Hard
Ive been doing IF almost 2 months, mostly OMAD, sometimes 48/72 hours extended fasts. The last 3 or 4 days whenever I break my fast I feel a great regret. I always feel like I could push the fast a little longer. What should I do?
Extending a fast doesnt supercharge the powers of IF. If this sounds familiar to you, please find yourself a counselor who specializes in eating disorders. Im not saying you, or this person here, has an eating disorder, but food should not induce feelings of remorse or regret. Left untreated, this could develop into a larger problem. And also, huge kudos to this person for so bravely speaking up and sharing their food feelings!
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