Figure Out A Meal Plan
A person interested in losing or gaining weight may find it helpful to plan what they are going to eat during the day or week.
Meal planning does not need to be overly restrictive. It considers calorie intake and incorporating proper nutrients into the diet. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the MyPlatePlan, which focuses on showing a person food group targets for each day.
Meal planning offers many benefits, such as helping a person stick to their calorie count and ensuring they have the necessary ingredients on hand for recipes, quick meals, and snacks. As a potential bonus, meal planning could save money if it helps people waste less food.
Not all calories are the same. Although these fasting methods do not limit the number of calories a person consumes during eating periods, it is essential to consider the nutritional value of the food.
In general, a person should aim to consume nutrient-dense foods, or foods with a
- 2018 review of studies , calorie restriction and intermittent fasting can help the body activate a healing process called autophagy, which essentially means that the body digests or recycles old or damaged cell components.
Fasting dates back to ancient humans, who often went hours or days between meals because obtaining food was difficult. The human body adapted to this style of eating, allowing extended periods to pass between food intake times.
Research also suggests that fasting has a variety of other benefits.
Fasting On Alternate Days
This diet scheme has several variations, which involve fasting every other day, hence, alternate-day fasting.
However, alternate day fasting is quite an extreme type of intermittent fasting for weight loss and may not be suitable for beginners or people with medical conditions. In addition, there may also be some difficulty in maintaining this fasting in the long run.
Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Faqs
Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, its time to answer your other questions.
Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.
How Much Weight Will I Lose?
The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors.
One study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that average weight loss on an intermittent fasting diet was around 9lbs after 12 months, and weight loss was most successful in those who strictly adhered to their chosen diet.
Can I Work out While Fasting?
Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.
If you are a hardcore athlete who often exercises for an hour or more each day, intermittent fasting may not be the best choice for you as this amount of exercise requires fuel to keep you moving and build muscle. However, light to moderate intensity workouts 2 to 4 times a week should work with intermittent fasting.
The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are strength training workouts. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts. Combine these with lighter forms of exercise like walking, jogging, or yoga.
Wont I Lose Muscle When I Fast?
Is Fasting Safe?
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Why Fasting For Weight Loss Can Backfire
When you eat less than you need and you lose weight, your body goes into a starvation mode. To save energy, your metabolism slows down.
When you’re done fasting and you go back to your usual diet, you may regain the weight you lost, and then some.
On a fast, your body adjusts by curbing your appetite, so you will feel less hungry at first. But once you have stopped fasting, your appetite revs back up. You may feel hungrier and be more likely to overeat.
Fasting every other day has similar results. It helps people lose weight, but not for long.
In one study, people who fasted every other day shed weight, even when they ate all they wanted on days when they weren’t fasting. But the weight loss didn’t last over time.
Keep Fat Intake Moderate
When youre trying to drop pounds or kilos quickly, eating less fat may seem to make sense.
However, its not a good idea to eat a diet thats low in both carbs and fat. Youll likely end up feeling deprived within a few days or weeks and it certainly isnt sustainable long term.20Theres no need to fear fat.
That said, eating excessive amounts of fat isnt a good strategy for quick weight loss either. Even on a very-low-carb diet, eating more fat than your body needs can slow down rather than speed up weight loss.21
So dont add large amounts of butter, heavy cream, or other fat to your food. Also, avoid or minimize your intake of fat bombs and similar treats that provide very little protein or other nutrients.22
Instead, eat enough fat to add flavor and richness to your food but not so much that you feel stuffed. Let your body burn its stored fat rather than the fat you are eating.
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Keto And If Diet Plan
Maybe youre thinking about trying the keto diet or experimenting with fasting. Perhaps youre already doing both. Either way, weve provided a sample daily and weekly layout of what a plan might look like for someone on a keto diet who is also integrating some alternate-day fasting and 16:8 time-restricted feeding into their regimen.
6:00 am: Water and/or black coffee
9:00 am: More water or black coffee.
12:00 pm: TRF ends. Have a keto-friendly meal: maybe a salad with grilled chicken topped with olive oil and feta cheese, avocado, and some hard-boiled eggs or bacon bits.
3:00 pm: Snack on some nuts or have some nut butter, and maybe coffee with some MCT oil or coconut oil.
6:00 pm: 8 12oz of a fatty cut of meat plus some vegetables maybe brussels sprouts cooked in butter.
8:00 pm: Small snack of nuts, blueberries, and a piece of strong dark chocolate for dessert. This is your last meal of the day.
Monday: Same eating window as yesterday: 12 8 pm.
Tuesday: Fasting day. No calories were consumed today.
Wednesday: Eating period of 12 8 pm. You might be hungrier today since you fasted yesterday, especially if you did an early morning workout today.
Thursday: Fasting day
Friday: 12 8 eating window. Work out in the morning or, if you want to do a fueled workout, do so in between lunch and dinner.
Saturday: Fast day
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How Long Does Intermittent Fasting Take To Show Results
You might begin to first notice a difference in your body about 10 days after you begin intermittent fasting. It could take between 2-10 weeks for you to lose significant weight. You might lose up to a pound each week.
Usually, the first signs you will notice that scream that your intermittent fasting is working is less bloating. Your midsection might look trimmer just over your first week of intermittent fasting.
Observing weight loss will take a little longer as your body needs some time to adjust to this new diet.
At about the second week is when most people first notice that they have dropped their first few pounds. If you have still not lost any weight by week two, stay consistent for about four or five more weeks and your results should come in soon enough.
One Downside Of If: Loss Of Lean Muscle Mass
While weight loss for cardiometabolic health is a sensible goal, weight loss from any intervention often entails a concurrent loss of lean muscle mass. This has been a notable finding what I might even call an adverse side effect of intermittent fasting protocols. Given the importance of lean muscle mass for revving your metabolic rate, regulating your blood sugar, and keeping you physically able overall, pairing resistance training with an intermittent fasting protocol is strongly advised.
Finally, the weight loss achieved through time-restricted eating is likely different than the cellular adaptations that happen with more prolonged fully fasted states. At this time, it is hard to determine the degree to which the cardiometabolic benefits of fasting derive from weight loss or from underlying cellular adaptations it is likely an interrelated combination of both.
Nevertheless, it seems clear that in a 24/7 world of around-the-clock eating opportunities, all of us could benefit from aligning with our circadian biology, and spend a bit less time in a fed state and more time in a fasted state each day.
About the Author
Richard Joseph, MD, Contributor
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How He Did Ithow One Man Lost 50 Pounds With : 2 Intermittent Fasting
She also fasted for 48 to 72 hours every week for about two months. Im not a medical doctor. I do have a Ph.D. in epidemiology, but I wouldnt recommend anybody do that without speaking to your doctor and doing your own research, she says.
She planned her daily meal for dinnertime so she and her family could all eat together, and she didnt restrict what she ate. Im Haitian and my husband is Nigerian, and we eat everything. I wasnt going to restrict my traditional foods, she says.
Why Does Intermittent Fasting Work
Intermittent fasting works because it allows your blood sugar and insulin levels to drop to a low level.
Insulin is your fat-storing hormone. When insulin levels are high, fat flows into your fat cells and gets stored when insulin is low, fat can flow out of your fat cells and burn.
Also, since insulin is not pushing the sugars that remain in your blood into fat storage, those sugars are available to provide energy for the repair of cells.
This healing advantage is why intermittent fasting is getting a lot of attention right now in the research world for the treatment of chronic disease .
Ready to Try Intermittent fasting? Let me start you off with the easiest method
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Here Are Some Other Intermittent Fasting Risks To Mention:
Muscle Loss: One intermittent fasting side effect that is very common is muscle loss. Intermittent fasting can be a lot worse for muscle loss than if you were not intermittent fasting at all.
Low Energy Levels: Low energy levels are another intermittent fasting side effect that will occur almost immediately upon starting intermittent fasting but tend to resolve after around week 2 or 3.
Constipation: Constipation is an intermittent fasting side effect that many people don’t realize they’ll get, but as intermittent fasters tend to be in a fasted state for so long each day, this really can become quite an issue.
Dehydration: Dehydration is one intermittent fasting side effect intermittent fasters need to be aware of. It can occur for several reasons, such as intermittent fasters having tea or black coffee in the evening containing caffeine. If intermittent fasters consume excessive amounts of caffeine, they will have to restrict their consumption even if it has been shown to help with intermittent fasting weight loss.
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.
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Youre Not Hydrated Enough
Not drinking enough water during your fast may not only leave you dehydrated, but by not drinking enough, youre also missing out on water’s benefits when it comes to quelling hunger.
How to fix it: Drink up! And you can get fancy with your water. Intermittent fasting-approved drinks include: hot tea, black coffee, seltzer water, iced tea, tea or coffee with Stevia.
Frequently Asked Questions Concerns And Complaints
Im a woman. Should I do anything differently?
I havent worked with women on implementing an intermittent fasting schedule, so I cant speak from experience on this one.
That said, I have heard that women may find a wider window of eating to be more favorable when doing daily intermittent fasting. While men will typically fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours, women may find better results by eating for 10 hours and fasting for 14 hours. The best advice I can give anyone, not just women, is to experiment and see what works best for you. Your body will give you signals. Follow what your body responds favorably to.
Also, if youre a female, there is an allfemale page on Facebook that discusses intermittent fasting. Im sure you could find a ton of great answers and support there.
I could never skip breakfast. How do you do it?
I dont. Breakfast foods are my favorite, so I just eat them at 1pm each day.
Also, if you eat a big dinner the night before, I think youll be surprised by how much energy you have in the morning. Most of the worries or concerns that people have about intermittent fasting are due to the fact that they have had it pounded into them by companies that they need to eat breakfast or they need to eat every three hours and so on. The science doesnt support it and neither do my personal experiences.
I thought you were supposed to eat every 3 hours?
Here’s why this was a popular idea for a brief period of time:
Here’s the problem:
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What Is Intermittent Fasting And Why Would You Do It
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesnt change what you eat, it changes when you eat.
Why is it worthwhile to change when youre eating?
Well, most notably, its a great way to get lean without going on a crazy diet or cutting your calories down to nothing. In fact, most of the time you’ll try to keep your calories the same when you start intermittent fasting. Additionally, intermittent fasting is a good way to keep muscle mass on while getting lean.
With all that said, the main reason people try intermittent fasting is to lose fat. We’ll talk about how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss in a moment.
Perhaps most importantly, intermittent fasting is one of the simplest strategies we have for taking bad weight off while keeping good weight on because it requires very little behavior change. This is a very good thing because it means intermittent fasting falls into the category of simple enough that you’ll actually do it, but meaningful enough that it will actually make a difference.
Can You Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting
The answer is 100% yes! By limiting the time you eat, you naturally limit your calorie intake. The best part IF is especially effective in burning fat. Normally your body takes the energy from glucose in your blood.
Problem is, people tend to consume way more food than we actually need for our bodies to run. The energy we didnt use, simply explained, becomes fat.
Thats where the benefit of fasting comes in. About 8 hours after your last meal, your body is out of blood sugar and starts using fat for energy. Thats how you burn fat by basically doing nothing.
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