Not Fasting Long Enough
Another thing that can mess up your fast is not fasting long enough.
All the real benefits of fasting happen if you fast for at least 20 hours and even more. Thats where you only start to trigger stem cell growth and autophagy.
If youre trying to lose fat then it doesnt matter as much how long you fast because youd have to be in a caloric deficit for the entire day. However, caloric restriction and eating less doesnt necessarily equate with the health benefits of fasting.
In fact, breaking the fast and eating at a caloric restriction may make you more prone to catabolism and lower thyroid more so than fasting because youll break the fast but because youre not giving your body adequate nutrients youll go into a semi-starvation mode.
Thats why its always much better for both your metabolism, fat loss, as well as general health to prolong your fast as much as you can every day to extend the fasted state.
Of course, there are some situations where you want to break the fast and eat as to promote reproductive hormones, muscle growth, or general satiety but a more time restricted eating schedule will be more effective for the fast.
What Breaks A Fast: Supplement Edition
Last week, I explored the impact of all the various foods, beverages, and food-like substances people consume while fastingand hoping to maintain a functionally fasted state in the post, The Definitive Guide To What Breaks a Fast. Does MCT oil break the fast? What about coffee, tea, or bone broth?
There were more than a dozen, and I even did a follow-up. Today Im going to discuss whether commonly-consumed supplements break the fast.
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Will Taking Medications Break Your Fast
The answer depends on two factors: the type of fast youre on and the type of medication.
Most intermittent fasting diets allow you to have water or tea. But only as long as they are unsweetened, or contain added calories. In this case, taking medication will not break your fast. However, on a fast during which you are abstaining from any food, medications will be considered breaking the fast.
Prescription medication and antibiotics are free of calories, sugars, or other ingredients that would break the fast. This isnt available for all supplements though. Gummy multivitamins, protein powders, or supplements containing any form of sugar could count as breaking your fast.
BCAA supplements could also break your fast because they raise insulin levels. These supplements are usually recommended post-workout. So if you exercise in a fasted state, they can be a good way to break the fast. In addition, they maximize the benefits of your workout.
Classic multivitamins, HMB, fish oil, probiotics, prebiotics, or individual vitamins and minerals are less likely to break the fast. Thats because they are formulated as calorie-free supplements.
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What About Medications During Extended Fasting
If youre fasting for days at a time, obviously its hard to take your medication with food.
If you absolutely NEED to take the medication with food, heres a tip:
Have a couple tablespoons of chia seeds beforehand, or some bone broth. They wont really disrupt your fast that much, but they give your med something to mix with in your stomach.
If Shouldnt Be Mixed With Certain Medications
If you take medications which need to be taken at the same time every day or with meals, IF might not be for you. For example, the effectiveness of progestin-only birth control for contraception may be reduced with drastic dietary changes, according to Planned Parenthood. Other medications which might be affected by fasting include blood thinners, anti-psychotics, antidepressants, and transplant drugs.
In addition, its important to note that certain medications must be taken with food, including fat-soluble vitamins , drugs which require food for absorption, and some medications which may upset the stomach. Make sure to talk with your doctor and pharmacist about how to take your medications safely if youre trying out IF.
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Potential For Poor Fetal Growth
Pregnant parents are advised not to restrict food during pregnancy to encourage optimal fetal health.
When the pregnant woman does not consume enough calories, the body attempts to break down fats, increasing ketonuria and ketonemia which are ketones in the urine and blood,” says Dr. Adashek. If the nutrient intake of the parent is inadequate, their health and the baby’s may suffer. For instance, if the parent does not ingest enough calcium, it could interfere with the development of a healthy skeletal structure.
Ibuprofen No Good At Cold Treatment
“I was a little surprised that ibuprofen didnt help versus a placebo in reducing discomfort, said Brian Oostman, DO, a family doctor with Dreyer Medical Clinic in Oswego, Ill. It goes against what we say.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at the effectiveness of ibuprofen, paracetamol , and steam inhalation at treating symptoms associated with respiratory infections in 889 people. The results showed no benefit in using ibuprofen in combination with or instead of paracetamol in relieving cold symptoms. Steam inhalation was also ineffective.
In fact, the study showed that return visits to the doctor for new or unresolved symptoms were more common among those who took ibuprofen than those who took acetaminophen .
I do think this changes how we should use ibuprofen for patients just simply for the pain aspect of treating for sore throat and ear pain, Dr. Oostman said. However, he said ibuprofen still works for headaches associated with colds and for more complicated lung infections.
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On Fasting And Having A Cheat Day
Once a week, fast for 12 hours rather than your usual 16 or 18 or your one meal a day. In that time, you can incorporate some other things that you were lacking before while still being mindful about what youre eating. I wouldnt do it more than once a week because that can induce cravings and make it harder to get back into the habit of fasting.
Attempting To Do Too Many Things At Once Over Train Under Eat And Try Fasting
If you have spent a number of years eating badly and not exercising and you would like to try IF, dont bite off more than you can chew at the start. Ease yourself into fasting and training gradually dont start training five times per week, fasting every day and restricting calories when you do eat from day one. The combination can lead to adrenal fatigue. Your body thrives with a little bit of physical stress here and there but too much stress can become a problem.
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Foods That May Interact With Medications
There are specific nutrients that may cause an adverse interaction with particular drugs.
Grapefruits interact with some statins, which are medications used to lower LDL-cholesterol. They contain a chemical that can interfere with your bodys ability to break down the statin, leading to an increased level in the blood and possible side effects like rhabdomyolysis. Lovastatin and Simvastatin seem to be the only drugs for which this is an issue. Typically, its only problematic if you eat large amounts of grapefruit. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist about potential drug/nutrient interactions.
Grapefruit can also interact with calcium-channel blockers, used for treating high blood pressure and heart disease through the same mechanism of inhibiting breakdown and increasing blood levels of the medication. The increase in blood levels can intensify common side effects like dizziness, constipation, and lower limbs swelling.
How To Make Intermittent Fasting Work For You
Intermittent fasting is growing in popularityand its easy to see why. New studies suggest that limiting your eating window to six-to-eight hours each day can increase longevity and support weight loss. Recent data also shows that intermittent fasting can provide additional benefits such as increasing stress resistance and decreasing the risks for diseases like cancer and obesity.
For Vault providers, intermittent fasting checks a lot of boxes when it comes to recommended diets for patients: its easy to understand, less restrictive than other popular diets, and can be extremely effective in optimizing health.
But not everybody has an easy time incorporating intermittent fasting into their routine. Whether youre concerned about how to make it work with your social obligations, medications, or lifestyle, heres how to make intermittent fasting work for you:
If Youre on Medication
If you take medications that require food, that always takes precedent. Thankfully, the schedule of intermittent fasting is flexible, so you can time your eating window to coincide with when you take your medication.
If You Have Type 2 Diabetes
If You Feel Lightheaded or Dizzy
If You Have Social or Familial Obligations
If Youre Having Trouble Getting Started
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Does Your Stomach Shrink When Intermittent Fasting
Your stomach is constantly expanding and shrinking to accommodate your food. You cant consistently change its physical size by eating differently or in really small amounts. For example, not eating wont cause your stomach to shrink over time. And eating small amounts of food wont shrink your stomach either.
How To Optimize Your Fasts For Maximum Hgh Production
Here are a pair of considerations for achieving maximum HGH release through IF.
- Adjusting the Feeding Window
Because the biggest boost to HGH secretion caused by IF occurs during sleep as shown earlier, you should consider the timing of your IF protocol if one of your primary goals is to achieve elevated HGH levels. For optimal HGH production, shift your feeding window to earlier in the day so that you are deeper into the fasted state once you hit the hay. For example, while the standard 16:8 feeding schedule runs from noon to 8 pm for most people, you might want to move your own feeding window to something more like 8 am to 4 pm instead. That means you stop eating at 4 pm, giving yourself a head start on the fast so that your fasting-induced HGH release is even greater during sleep.
- Low-Carb, Whole Foods-Based Diet
Its important to remember that following an IF protocol doesnt offer carte-blanche approval to eat anything you want during your fasting window. You should still focus on eating healthy foods. Avoiding excessive carbohydrate intake will help keep insulin in check and further boost HGH levels.
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How Is Intermittent Fasting Practiced
To begin an IF protocol, you should first understand the basics of the practice: during the fasting window , your caloric intake should be reduced to zero no solid foods, no juices, no candies, no gum. The only exceptions to the ban on foods during the fasting window are black coffee or calorie-less teas like green tea or black tea.
Note: There is substantial disagreement among IF practitioners within the community about whether black coffee and tea are IF-friendly due to concerns over whether these substances interrupt the important physiological changes that result in the health benefits in IF practitioners.
However, for metabolic and hormonal health, black coffee and tea will not negate the health gains you make during your fasting periods and may, in fact, supercharge the effectiveness of your IF protocol in terms of achieving better health outcomes. Just make sure that your coffee or tea contains no calorie-containing additives that would break the fast. Following the fasting window, as you enter your feeding window, you are free to resume your regular eating habits.
A personalized IF plan is very straightforward and easy to implement. In its most basic 16:8 iteration, the daily IF schedule looks like this:
On The Best Fasting Method To Lose Weight And How To Overcome Plateaus
Theres not necessarily going to be one fasting method that works for everyone. You may see someone have great success with one, and then you try it and you dont like it because its not sustainable for you. So, dont be afraid to play around with it. In general, it is easier to lose weight with intermittent fasting the more weight you have to lose. If you need to lose a hundred pounds, you by fasting for 18+ hours, for example. As you drop the weight, you may find that you need to switch it up more. What I generally recommend for weight loss is schedule variation. Whatever you do for too long, your body adapts to. So 18:6 is a great place to start. But if you dont find that youre losing the weight you want with 18 hours of fasting, thats when I would throw in a few days of one meal a day and alternate.
dont forget about the other things in life that can cause weight gain or stress. If youre sleeping less than six to seven hours a day, thats associated with weight gain. If you have a lot of emotional stress going on, that can also affect your ability to lose weight. Alcohol is another reason for a plateau. Pick one day a week to drink alcohol and practice moderation. And if you cant moderate, its probably best to cut it out or only have it once or twice a month until you hit your goal weight.
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Vyvanse And Ritalin Are Different Types Of Drugs
Two types of medications are used to treat adult ADHD: stimulants and non-stimulants. The stimulant medications will typically contain either amphetamine or methylphenidate. Vyvanse, as well as Adderall, both contain amphetamine . Ritalin and Concerta, on the other hand, contain methylphenidate.
Both work similarly to treat ADHD, but some people respond better to one than another. So if you arent getting results from one type of medication, your provider may have you try the other.
Risks In Older Adults
report that older adults have a greater risk of complications relating to mixing medication and alcohol. The risk is higher because a persons body becomes less able to break down alcohol with age.
People are also often likely to take more medications that could interact with alcohol as they get older.
The authors of a study on drug-alcohol interactions
People should take ibuprofen for the shortest possible time at the lowest manageable dosage. A doctor can provide advice on safe long-term methods of pain management.
Some combination medications, such as cold medicines, headache medicines, and prescription pain relievers, contain ibuprofen. Therefore, it is important to read the labels on all medications before taking them to avoid exceeding the safe amount of ibuprofen.
People should also be wary about taking ibuprofen to ease a hangover, as they may still have alcohol remaining in their system. The stomach may also be more sensitive than usual at this time.
Drinking alcohol only in moderation can prevent unwanted side effects. According to , moderate drinking means a maximum of one drink for women and two drinks for men per day.
They state that each of the following counts as one alcoholic drink:
- a 12-ounce beer that contains 5 percent alcohol
- 8 oz of malt liquor that contains 7 percent alcohol
- 5 oz of wine that contains 12 percent alcohol
- 1.5 oz or a shot of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquors, such as gin, rum, vodka, or whiskey, that contain 40 percent alcohol
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The Bottom Line On Intermittent Fasting And Hgh
For many patients with an HGH deficiency, the combination of HGH therapy and IF is a powerful dual treatment modality that offers impressive results. If you or a loved one has experienced the signs of an HGH deficiency and would like to explore your therapeutic options with one of our experienced providers, contact us today.Together, we will get started ASAP on your journey to recovered hormonal health.
Eating The Wrong Foods In Your Fasting Window
The Intermittent Fasting mistake of eating the wrong foods runs hand in hand with overeating. If you have a fasting window of 6 hours and fill it with refined, fatty, or sugary foods, you are not going to feel well at all.
Eat nutritious whole foods as described in my post, Eating Clean for Beginners. Lean proteins, healthy fats, nuts, legumes, unrefined grains, and wholesome veggies and fruits become the mainstay of your diet. As well, in between fasting, follow these clean eating tips:
- Cook and eat at home as opposed to in a restaurant
- Read nutrition labels and become familiar with forbidden ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and modified palm oil
- Watch your sodium intake and beware of hidden sugars
- Avoid processed foods and cook whole foods instead
- Balance your plate with fiber, healthy carbs and fats, and lean proteins
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On Fasting When You Work The Night Shift
I recommend fasting through your shift and having your meals at home. Eat at home before you go to night shift. While you work, you may use bone broth or coffee while you adjust. When you get off in the morning, have your breakfast at home and go to sleep. This way you get in 12 hour periods of fasting and avoid eating during the night when digestion is slowest and the insulin responses are the highest. Another alternative is going to sleep immediately after you get home. And then when you wake up, have your first meal and then eat again before your night shift.