Making It Work For You
For some people, aspects of intermittent fasting may be a great way to control how many calories you consume.
- If you often find yourself mindlessly overeating in the evening, setting an eight-hour window to eat within may help stop this happening. Make a point of not eating after dinner and waiting until the next day to eat again. If you follow the 16:8, for example, that would be eating dinner at 6pm and waiting until 10am the next day to eat again.
- If you find it hard to cut out complete food groups or certain favourites, the 5:2 diet means you can still enjoy these on your normal eating days .
- During normal eating periods, make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet dont just overeat on junk food.
Intermittent Fasting Can Be Hard But Maybe It Doesnt Have To Be
Initial human studies that compared fasting every other day to eating less every day showed that both worked about equally for weight loss, though people struggled with the fasting days. So, its very reasonable to choose a reduced calorie plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet. But research suggests that not all IF approaches are the same, and some IF diets are indeed effective and sustainable, especially when combined with a nutritious plant-based diet.
We have evolved to be in sync with the day/night cycle, i.e., a circadian rhythm. Our metabolism has adapted to daytime food, nighttime sleep. Nighttime eating is well associated with a higher risk of obesity, as well as diabetes.
Based on this, researchers from the University of Alabama conducted a study with a small group of obese men with prediabetes. They compared a form of intermittent fasting called “early time-restricted feeding,” where all meals were fit into an early eight-hour period of the day , or spread out over 12 hours . Both groups maintained their weight but after five weeks, the eight-hours group had dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity, as well as significantly lower blood pressure. The best part? The eight-hours group also had significantly decreased appetite. They werent starving.
Just changing the timing of meals, by eating earlier in the day and extending the overnight fast, significantly benefited metabolism even in people who didnt lose a single pound.
Best Intermittent Fasting Apps To Track Fasting
Sometimes technology can really be our best friend and help us stick to our commitments.
If you need extra support or simply want to make your life easier, there are a number of intermittent fasting apps available on the market to help you out.
We have reviewed several apps and made our list of the best intermittent fasting apps. Heres our top 2:
- Life Fasting Tracker
You can find a comprehensive review of all 6 intermittent fasting apps here, to get more information on the pros and cons of each fasting app, costs, and other features.
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When Trying Intermittent Fasting Both The Quantity And Quality Of What You Eat During Your Eating Window Matter
Intermittent fasting is a trendy topic that arises repeatedly in my clinic these days. I get it: restrict the time period when you eat, but within that time window eat as you normally would. No calorie counting. No food restrictions. Simple and flexible. In an on-the-go world, intermittent fasting has come into vogue as a potential pathway toward sustainable weight loss.
Is Intermittent Fasting A Reliable Strategy To Achieve Weight Loss
To date, the answer has remained murky due to the quality of the evidence, which often involves very small sample sizes, short intervention periods, varied study designs , different fasting protocols, and participants of varying shapes and sizes. The data on intermittent fasting and its impact on weight loss largely involves studies that employ the time-restricted eating methodology of intermittent fasting. A recent compilation of the evidence suggests that limiting your eating window might indeed help you shed a few pounds.
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Is 1: 8 Fasting Healthy
Intermittent fasting 16:8 has not been shown to be harmful to the average healthy person, says Michal Mor, PhD, co-founder and head of science at Lumen .
Fasting has been shown to help individuals restrict their caloric intake and lose weight and may also reduce the risk of obesity-related health conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as some chronic diseases.
Whilst studies, such as one published in the Canadian Family Physician journal, have shown that intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss in the short term, a review in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that this is due to an energy deficit created from limiting your eating window, says Jones. There may also be some considerations for fasting women.
Put simply, if you can only eat for a short period of time, youre less likely to eat as much. Of course, this depends on the foods you eat. You could eat very calorie-dense foods, which are unlikely to leave you in an energy deficit. But ultimately, there isnt strong evidence that intermittent fasting is superior to the standard calorie restriction diet. Many studies have found intermittent fasting and traditional calorie restriction have similar weight loss outcomes.
According to a study published in Nutrients , theres also mixed evidence on the health benefits of intermittent fasting for cardiovascular disease risk factors, says Jones, with more research needed before we can conclude any benefits.
Where To Learn More About Intermittent Fasting
Would you like to access the full 21-day Intermittent Fasting plan and get a detailed 16/8 Intermittent Fasting guide? Also, receive an Intermittent Fasting food list, learn more about Intermittent Fasting and have somebody help you to implement it to your life successfully?
Join our 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge and get all the information you need in one place to successfully master the intermittent fasting lifestyle. And finally, lose that weight youve been dreaming of!
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More on Intermittent Fasting
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Information on this document and our website is for educational and informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a dietitian, physician or another health-care professional. Consult your physician before starting intermittent fasting, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any medical condition, or are taking any medication. Read more here.
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How To Do It
The easiest way to follow the 16:8 diet is to choose a 16-hour fasting window that includes the time that a person spends sleeping.
Some experts advise finishing food consumption in the early evening, as metabolism slows down after this time. However, this is not feasible for everyone.
Some people may not be able to consume their evening meal until 7 p.m. or later. Even so, it is best to avoid food for 23 hours before bed.
People may choose one of the following 8-hour eating windows:
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- noon to 8 p.m.
Within this timeframe, people can eat their meals and snacks at convenient times. Eating regularly is important to prevent blood sugar peaks and dips and to avoid excessive hunger.
Some people may need to experiment to find the best eating window and mealtimes for their lifestyle.
Why Might Changing Timing Help
But why does simply changing the timing of our meals to allow for fasting make a difference in our body? An in-depth review of the science of IF recently published in New England Journal of Medicine sheds some light. Fasting is evolutionarily embedded within our physiology, triggering several essential cellular functions. Flipping the switch from a fed to fasting state does more than help us burn calories and lose weight. The researchers combed through dozens of animal and human studies to explain how simple fasting improves metabolism, lowers blood sugar levels lessens inflammation, which improves a range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma and even helps clear out toxins and damaged cells, which lowers risk for cancer and enhances brain function.
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When Can I Eat On The 1: 8 Diet
If you’re following the 16:8 diet, you can pick any 8-hour window to suit your day.
“The most common hours adopted for the eating period is 12pm to 8pm,” explains Tom Jenane, nutrition and fitness expert at Nature’s Health Box . “The reason for this is because people aren’t normally that hungry in the morning and you don’t want to be consuming too many calories in the evening. This window allows for lunch and dinner as well as healthy snacks .”
But while the choice is yours, research has identified the best time to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner for weight loss. According to a study by the University of Murcia , it’s best to stick to a breakfast in the morning, as skipping the meal is linked to a higher rate of obesity. Meanwhile, a late lunch can hinder weight loss in those trying to reduce fat mass, and a late dinner decreases glucose tolerance, making it easier to gain weight.
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Why When You Eat Matters According To Scientific Research
In a study published in Obesity Journal, researchers randomized 93 overweight and obese women into two groups who ate the same foods. One group ate half their 1,400 daily calories for breakfast. The other group ate half their calories for dinner. While both groups lost weight, compared with the nighttime calorie group, the morning calorie group lost more weight, reduced their waist circumference by more, and lowered their fasting glucose and insulin levels by more.
Timing is everything when it comes to eating, Peeke says. We now realize that we spent so much time studying how much we eat, we never paid enough attention to when we eat.
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Why I Chose To Try Time
The definition of intermittent fasting is pretty basic. Its really just a period of eating, followed by a period of not eating, says Krista Varady, PhD, an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois in Chicago. For over a decade, Dr. Varady has researched the effects of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is kind of an umbrella term, but there are three major types of intermittent fasting. Theres alternate-day fasting, which means that you would eat fewer than 500 calories every other day and eat however many calories you want on the remaining days of the week. Theres also whats called the 5:2 approach to intermittent fasting, which means you would eat fewer than 500 calories for two days per week and however many you want on the other days. And then theres whats called time-restricted eating, which means you can eat within a certain window of time each day, like between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., says Varady.
Given that I was becoming more active through exercise, I wasnt sure that taking in only 500 calories a day would be the best idea for maintaining my energy levels. With that in mind, I decided to try time-restricted eating instead.
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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What Does The New Research On If Mean For You
For most people , a time-restricted eating approach appears to be a safe strategy that is likely to produce some weight loss, assuming you are not changing your current dietary pattern .
The weight loss effects of time-restricted eating derive primarily from achieving a negative energy balance. If you maintain your regular diet and then limit the time window during which you eat, it is likely that you will eat a few hundred fewer calories per day. If this is sustainable as a lifestyle, it could add up to modest weight loss that can produce beneficial improvements in cardiometabolic markers such as blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and average blood sugar.
But and this is a big but if you are overcompensating for the time restriction by gorging yourself during your eating window, it will not work as a weight loss strategy. And it may indeed backfire. The other two levers in your dietary pattern the quantity and quality of what you eat during your eating window still matter immensely!
What Can You Eat On The 1: 8 Diet
- Whole grains: Rice, oats, barley, wholegrain pasta and quinoa.
- Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.
- Fruit: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges and pears.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, spinach and other leafy greens.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados.
The great thing about the 16:8 diet is that you can eat anything you want, within reason, but it’s important to choose whole foods and those high in vitamins during the eating period.
“Many people fail the 16:8 diet by packing in too many calories into the 8-hour period, often trying to get some in before the 8 hours ends, says Jenane. You should still be following a strict diet with a complete nutritional breakdown, to ensure you are consuming a targeted number of calories, not to mention macro nutrients and ensuring youre not consuming too much sugar.
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How Much Weight Can You Lose Fasting
So you want to know how much weight you can lose with fasting? Youll find out everything you need to know here
Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular dieting trends and for a good reason. Fasting might seem new in popularity but its been around since the dawn of mankind . Only in the last couple hundred years or so has food been readily available to the point you can drive to the grocery store for a bag of potato chips.
But throughout the rest of mankind food was a lot harder to come by. So our bodies evolved to go long periods without any food coming in. This process resulted in the burning of fat stores for fuel. And today intermittent fasting means more weight and fat loss for you.
Yet not everybody doing an intermittent or intermediate fasting diet is going to get the best results. A lot of your results are going to depend on a few factors that you should know about to lose the most amount of weight.
Body Weight And Metabolic Disease Risk
There is limited evidence that intermittent fasting produces weight loss comparable to a calorie restricted diet. Most studies on intermittent fasting in humans have observed weight loss, ranging from 2.5% to 9.9%.
The reductions in body weight can be attributed to the loss of fat mass and some lean mass. For time restricted eating the ratio of weight loss is 4:1 for fat mass to lean mass, respectively. Alternate-day fasting does not affect lean body mass, although one review found a small decrease.
Alternate-day fasting improves cardiovascular and metabolic biomarkers similarly to a calorie restriction diet in people who are overweight, obese or have metabolic syndrome. As of 2021, it remains uncertain whether intermittent fasting could prevent cardiovascular disease.
Intermittent fasting has not been studied in children, elderly, or underweight people, and may be harmful in these populations. Intermittent fasting is not recommended for people who are not overweight, and the long-term sustainability of intermittent fasting is unknown as of 2018.
A 2021 review found that moderate alternate-day fasting for two to six months was associated with reductions of body weight, body mass index, and cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight or obese adults.
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Is Intermittent Fasting Safe
Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis. But intermittent fasting isnt for everyone.
Williams stresses that before you try intermittent fasting , you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
- Children and teens under age 18.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
- Those with a history of eating disorders.
But, Williams says, people not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. It can be a lifestyle change, she says, and one with benefits.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.
How Do Fasting Diets Work To Help Rev Weight Loss
The idea behind intermittent fasting is that it increases your metabolic rate, which helps you burn more calories. And by restricting the time periods during the day when you eat, you take in fewer calories each day.
Going into diet change, I knew there was only early evidence that fasting can lead to temporary weight loss, and that more research is needed especially on the potential long-term health effects of this diet. As it stands, experts warn that fasting may not be safe, or smart, for everyone. Fasting is not recommended for some groups, such as pregnant or lactating women, some people with diabetes, people dealing with eating disorders or issues such as low blood sugar, according to the Mayo Clinic. Thats why experts stress that its important to consult your healthcare team before trying any type of fast.
Despite the lack of comprehensive research on intermittent fasting, this eating style has helped me lose weight, regain my energy, and become more mindful about my eating choices.
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