So Is Intermittent Fasting As Good As It Sounds
I was very curious about this, so I asked the opinion of metabolic expert Dr. Deborah Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Here is what she told me. “There is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective,” she confirmed, though generally she recommends that people “use an eating approach that works for them and is sustainable to them.”
So, heres the deal. There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes.
What Should I Eat And Drink During A Fast
During a fast, you can drink water and other calorie-free beverages, such as tea or black coffee. Many people also drink bone broth, which contains nutrients that support your body during a fast. Drinking liquids also help counteract fatigue and curb hunger.
If youre following an intermittent fasting pattern that involves restricting your calories on fast days, you should focus on low-calorie, high-protein and high-fiber foods that will help you stay full.
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.
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Try Sticking To The Following Foods On The 1: 8 Diet:
- Whole grains: Ones like rice, oats, barley, wholegrain pasta and quinoa will keep you fuller for longer.
- Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds will keep you full.
- Fruit: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges and pears will offer good vitamin sustenance.
- Vegetables: Broccoli and leafy greens are especially good for making sure youre eating enough fibre.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados.
Fasting Can Even Slow Down The Aging Process
Im seeing more and more science showing major benefits of intermittent fasting, so this way of eating is definitely more than a trend. Its also fascinating that so many animal studies have consistently shown that caloric restriction, which includes fasting, slows aging and extends life span.
No wonder scientists became so curious about the effects of fasting in humans!
How To Get Started With Intermittent Fasting
There are two schools of thought with regard to how to structure your fasts. The first is fairly different from what’s described above it’s commonly known as 5:2, meaning you eat normally for five days of the week and fast for two. That may work for some, but two days of virtual starvation doesn’t sound very appealing.
I prefer the daily method: Fast for at least 16 hours per day. The aforementioned New England Journal of Medicine study was based on an 18:6 structure: 18-hour fast, six-hour window.
“16:8 is a great place to start,” Stephens says, “but it may not be a weight-loss window for many people. That’s because fat-burning ramps up between hours 18 and 24 of the fast. 19:5 was a great weight-loss sweet spot for me, and I lost at about a pound per week when doing it. With 19:5, you fast for 19 hours a day and have an eating window of five hours. Your sweet spot may be different from mine, of course. Maybe it will be 18:6 or 20:4.” Experimentation is key, she adds.
Before you embark on this journey, I recommend reading CNET writer Caroline Roberts’ guide to doing intermittent fasting safely.
If your eating window doesn’t include breakfast, you can still drink coffee as long as it’s black and unsweetened.
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.
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Weight Loss Story: I Lost 21 Kilos Without Going To Gym And By Simply Following Intermittent Fasting
Pintrestweight loss journeyName:Height:City:Highest weight recordedWeight lost: Duration it took me to lose weight:The turning point:My diet:My breakfast: My lunch:My dinner:Pre-workout meal:Post-workout meal: I indulge in:My workout: Low-calorie recipes I swear by: Fitness secrets I unveiled: How do I stay motivated?How do you ensure you dont lose focus?What shape do you see yourself 10 years down the line? What are the lifestyle changes you made?
Research Review Shows Intermittent Fasting Works For Weight Loss Health Changes
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- Intermittent fasting can produce clinically significant weight loss as well as improve metabolic health in individuals with obesity, according to a new study.
Intermittent fasting can produce clinically significant weight loss as well as improve metabolic health in individuals with obesity, according to a new study review led by University of Illinois Chicago researchers.
“We noted that intermittent fasting is not better than regular dieting both produce the same amount of weight loss and similar changes in blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation,” said Krista Varady, professor of nutrition at the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences and author of “Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.”
According to the analysis published in the Annual Review of Nutrition, all forms of fasting reviewed produced mild to moderate weight loss, 1%-8% from baseline weight, which represents results that are similar to that of more traditional, calorie-restrictive diets. Intermittent fasting regimens may also benefit health by decreasing blood pressure and insulin resistance, and in some cases, cholesterol and triglyceride levels are also lowered. Other health benefits, such as improved appetite regulation and positive changes in the gut microbiome, have also been demonstrated.
The review looked at over 25 research studies involving three types of intermittent fasting:
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Choose Your Best Protocol
Krystal began her intermittent fasting journey about a year ago, and she experimented with various protocols until she found the right protocol.
I alternate what kind of fasting I do. Sometimes I stick with a traditional 16:8 fasting period, other times I will do a longer time frame, she says. My longest fast was five days.
Though five days might seem a bit overwhelming to a beginner, Krystal urges readers to find whats best for them. For her journey, Krystal admits, I read a lot about the health benefits of fasting, plus with following a ketogenic diet fasting came naturally as my hunger levels decreased.
What Is A Whole Food Diet
In other words, it involves a lot of cooking because whole foods do not involve anything processed. That means no premade sauces, dips, or convenience foods like chocolate bars, sweets, or ready-meals. It also includes things like tinned vegetables and white bread.
Why? Processed and convenience foods are often high in salt, saturated fat, and additives in comparison to anything homemade. Because of this, their toll on your overall health is higher.
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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.
Best Hacks For Sticking With A Whole Food Diet
Here are some tips to help you stick with a whole food diet and develop this lifestyle.
1. Practice Batch Cooking
Especially in the beginning, if youve been used to eating more convenience-based or packaged foods, youre likely to feel like you spend the majority of your life in the kitchen. So, Id suggest getting your cookbooks out and planning around five things to make per week. If you make double, or even triple portions depending on your household, youll have enough quantity to last several meals.
For example, his could be homemade granola. Make it once, and thats breakfast sorted for a week. Whole food diet ingredients like oats, quinoa, buckwheat, nuts, and seeds are all delicious, and great nutritional resources to keep you feeling full until lunchtime.
I also love to make big stews, sauces, and curries that can happily be reheated and added throughout the course of a few days.
2. Make Your Own Convenience Foods
Sticking to a new way of eating can be really difficult, especially for your willpower. So, its very important to make it as easy as possible for yourself.
Pre-chop. Pre-chop. Pre-chop.
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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.
Is Fasting An Effective Weight
If you are obese or overweight, fasting is an effective weight-loss method, if you stick to it. But it is no more effective than a diet that restricts your daily calories. We know this because there were no additional weight-loss or cardiovascular benefits of fasting two days per week, over an ordinary calorie-restriction diet, in a study of 150 obese adults over the course of 50 weeks.
But you should also consider how difficult the diet will be to stick to. In a study of 100 randomized obese and overweight adults , the dropout rate was higher with those who were fasting, 38 percent, compared with 29 percent for calorie restrictors and 26 percent for those who kept eating as they normally did.
Some people really struggle with having to monitor their intake and constantly record food in an app every day. So the takeaway of the study was if daily calorie restriction doesnt work for you, maybe alternate-day fasting would be a little easier, said Krista Varady, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the senior author of the study. Theres nothing magical here. Were tricking people into eating less food, in different ways, she said in 2017.
There is some new evidence that shows different forms of fasting are not equal in part because some are easier than others, but also because some forms of fasting better match our bodys natural circadian rhythm, thus lowering insulin levels, increasing fat-burning hormones and decreasing appetite.
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How To Make Intermittent Fasting Most Effective
If youre interested in trying intermittent fasting, its a good idea to start slowly, suggests , a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. I often tell people to try to fast after they finish their dinner for a few nights a week and see how that goes, she says. If youre doing well, then you can gradually increase your fasting window.”
The authors of the review offered insights on what to expect when trying intermittent fasting, as well as some best practices:
Give yourself time to adjust. Side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and constipation subside after one to two weeks of fasting. Drinking more water can help alleviate headaches caused by dehydration while fasting. Headaches are common with fasting, agrees Zumpano. You may want to add a drink with electrolytes, she adds.
Make your diet quality count. There are no specific recommendations for food consumption during intermittent fasting, but the reviewed studies suggest that eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help boost fiber intake, which can help alleviate the hunger associated with fasting.
Dont avoid exercise. Moderate- to high-intensity endurance or resistance training during food abstention can be done, and some study participants reported having more energy on fast days, according to the authors. If you follow an alternate day fasting plan, studies recommend eating your fasting day meal after exercise.
How Much Weight Can You Lose On 1: 8 Diet
To lose weight on the 16:8 diet, its important to match the fasting with healthy eating and exercise. If done so correctly, theres a typical weight loss of around seven to 11 pounds over a ten week period. This is according to a review of 40 different studies published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrincology who found that on average, someone weighing just over 90kg would lose 5% of their total body weight in the ten week period.
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Eating revealed that the 16:8 diet plan can help people lose weight, without having to count calories as the 8-hour fast produces the same kind of calorific restriction and weight loss.
However, whether theres a distinct weight loss advantage achieved on the 16:8 diet compared to other diets remains to be seen. Some studies have demonstrated that theres almost no difference between people who do intermittent fasting compared those who count calories and cut back on unhealthy food.
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Intermittent Fasting: Surprising Update
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
Theres a ton of incredibly promising intermittent fasting research done on fat rats. They lose weight, their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars improve but theyre rats. Studies in humans, almost across the board, have shown that IF is safe and incredibly effective, but really no more effective than any other diet. In addition, many people find it difficult to fast.
But a growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make IF a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention.
How Much Weight Can You Lose With Intermittent Fasting
The amount of weight you can lose through intermittent fasting depends on your starting weight, medical conditions, type of food you eat on your non-fasting days, and other factors like your lifestyle, age, and activity level.
For example, if you choose to eat sugary desserts, drinks, and refined, ultra-processed carbs during your non-fasting days, a fast may not help you lose body fat.
However, if you pair intermittent fasting with healthy eating, you can experience healthy weight loss. A systematic review of 40 studies published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology found intermittent fasting was effective for weight loss, with a typical loss of seven to eleven pounds over ten weeks. If you weigh roughly 200 pounds, that equals a five percent loss of your total body weight in just ten weeks.
You might want a quick weight loss fix, but experts recommend you dont try to speed up the process. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the UKs National Health Service recommend you shoot for a safe rate of one to two pounds per week.
According to the CDC, if you lose weight gradually and safely, youll be more successful at keeping it off. So, the average weight loss per week with intermittent fasting is safe, effective, and long-term.
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Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Everyone
Varady and her colleagues hoped the review would help debunk some myths regarding intermittent fasting. Two such myths that intermittent fasting negatively affects metabolism, and that it causes disordered eating are not true, according to the studies reviewed. People are often concerned that fasting will make them feel lethargic and unable to concentrate, says Varady. Yet many people in these studies reported experiencing a boost of energy on fasting days, she says.
Although its different for each person, I would say that its a very small subset of patients who really notices improved mental clarity or energy with intermittent fasting, says Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, associate professor and obesity medicine physician scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, who was not involved in the review. Many people dont feel great while they are fasting for a variety of reasons. In some cases, their blood sugar might get too low during the fasting period, she says.
There are several groups who should not fast, according to the studies. Those individuals include:
- Those who are pregnant or lactating
- Children under 12
- Those with a history of disordered eating
- Those with a body mass index, or BMI, less than 18.5
- Shift workers, who studies have shown have difficulty with fasting regimens because of the changes in work schedules
- People who need to take medication with food at regimented times