We Fasted 2 Days A Week Heres What Happened
Fasting just one day a week worked great for Precision Nutritions co-founder, John Berardi, PhD. Sure, on that first day without food? Hunger dogged him. His family also reported that he was quite crabby.
But he adapted. And with an eat anything day once a week to counteract his eat nothing day, everything felt doable. After roughly five weeks of fasting, I was barely uncomfortable at all, says Dr. Berardi. And by my seventh or eighth fast, I was having great days.
Dr. Berardi lost 12 pounds of body weight during the first eight weeks on this schedule.
Dr. Scott-Dixon? She had similar experiences.
But when they both tried to add a second fasting day? Everything went sideways.
Within two weeks, Dr. Berardis morning weight plummeted from 178 pounds to 171, with an estimated 4 additional pounds of fat lost but he lost 3 pounds of lean mass, too.
He felt small and weak, and was losing too much weight too fast.
People commented on how drawn and depleted Dr. Berardi looked. And he was exhausted. Training became a struggle. Even getting off the couch was a struggle.
Dr. Scott-Dixon had a similar experience.
In particular, people commented on how awful my face looked, she says. Family members worried that I had a terminal disease.
The lesson:When it comes to fasting, do just barely enough to meet your goals.
And maybe even a little bit less than you think you need.
So Which Intermittent Fasting Schedule Is Best For Weight Loss Whichever One You’ll Actually Stick To Tbh
In short, the one that’s easiest for you to follow. “It is all about sustainability for the individual,” says Lemein. “If one of these diets work well for you and your lifestyle and preferences, then you will likely see some success. If not, then you’ll likely not see the results you’re are looking for, as the sustainability piece will not be there.” That means picking a diet that work best with all the lifestyle factors you need to consider, like your work schedule, family dynamic, living situation, commute time, and travel commitments, notes Lemein.
It’s worth pointing out, though, that the 16:8 diet seems to be the most doable for a lot of people who are into IF. The 16:8 method also scores points for preventing overeating at night, which can often be a big obstacle for weight loss. And sticking to an eight-hour eating window during daylight hours allows your metabolism to run as itâs supposed toâyou fuel up for energy during the day , and stop eating for rest and recovery at night, per a 2017 article in the journal Nutrition Reviews.
The bottom line: All intermittent fasting schedules may lead to weight loss if you can follow them sustainably, and the 16:8 method may be the easiest way to follow an IF diet.
When Should I Exercise
When Varady and her colleagues conducted a study that combined alternate day fasting and exercise, they allowed the participants to pick whether they wanted to exercise on a feasting or fasting day, and found there was no strong preference one way or the other. But the researchers were surprised the dieters actually reported feeling more energetic on fasting days.
That being said, exercise before you eat because people get hungry about half an hour after they finish working out and may find it too hard to stick to their plan if they cant eat anything at all afterwards, Varady noted.
If youre on the 16:8 plan, exercise before or during your eating window. If youre doing alternate day fasting and are exercising on your 500-calorie day, save food for after your exercise session.
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Works Well With A Nutritious Whole Foods Diet
Because intermittent fasting is focused more on when rather than what you eat, its generally easy to implement in conjunction with your current diet.
You wont necessarily need to buy any special foods or diverge much from what you typically eat.
If youre already content with the state of your current diet but looking for other ways to continue boosting your overall health, fasting might be something you want to explore.
For example, intermittent fasting might work particularly well for someone who wants to pair it with a resistance training program and a high protein diet .
Still, this isnt meant to imply that what you eat doesnt matter. Theres no doubt that youll reap the most benefits from intermittent fasting by eating a variety of nutritious foods and limiting ultra-processed foods during your eating window.
Intermittent fasting is often used to manage weight and metabolic health. The eating routine might help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood fat levels. For some people, it also works as part of a healthy long-term diet pattern.
How To Use This Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss Meal Plan
This intermittent fasting for weight loss meal plan can be easily adapted to whatever intermittent fasting method you are using. On your fasting days, eat enough to feel satisfied, dont stuff yourself. If you dont need one of the foods provided on the meal plan, dont eat it. If you are hungry for more food than what this meal plan offers whether on your fasting or nonfasting days, then eat more.
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Intermittent Fasting : 2 Aka The Fast Diet
How: 2 days per week restrict calories to 500-600, 5 days per week eat normally
5:2 Intermittent Fasting lets you eat normally 5 days per week and restricts your calorie intake to 500-600 per day during the other 2 days. When choosing your fasting days, keep in mind that there should be at least one regular eating day in between.
Please note, that your results really depends on what you eat during the 5 days of non-fasting, thus stick to the nutritious and whole diet throughout for max results.
For more on the 5:2 diet, check out A Full Guide On 5:2 Intermittent Fasting.
Schedule #: Skipping A Meal Sometimes
Though it may not offer all of the physiological benefits of true IF, meal-skipping offers an easy way to ease into IF.
What it involves
There are a couple of ways to try this schedule.
Level 1: Wait until youre hungry to eat. You might remember this from chapter 4 as IF Lite. So if youre not hungry for breakfast when you wake up, for example, you might wait to have your first meal until 11am.
Level 2? Sometimes, dont eat a meal youd normally eat.
For instance, if youd normally eat dinner, and youre not actually hungry for it dont. Or skip lunch. Or breakfast. Try intentionally skipping a meal once or twice a week and see how you feel.
People who benefit
This is an approachable way for beginners to explore how their bodies and minds respond to hunger.
Youll discover: Are you the type of person who can experience hunger, ride it out, and use what you learn to graduate to more intense fasting schedules? Or are you better suited to regular meals and snacks?
If you try it
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Seven Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
There are many different ways of intermittent fasting. The methods vary in the number of fast days and the calorie allowances.
Intermittent fasting involves entirely or partially abstaining from eating for a set amount of time, before eating regularly again.
Some studies suggest that this way of eating may offer benefits such as fat loss, better health, and increased longevity. Proponents claim that an intermittent fasting program is easier to maintain than traditional, calorie-controlled diets.
Each persons experience of intermittent fasting is individual, and different styles will suit different people.
In this article, we discuss the research behind the most popular types of intermittent fasting and provide tips on how to maintain this type of diet.
There are various methods of intermittent fasting, and people will prefer different styles. Read on to find out about seven different ways to do intermittent fasting.
What Are The Different Types Of Intermittent Fasting
Now that you know all the health benefits, youre probably starting to wonder what ways you can do Intermittent Fasting. There are many ways to do IF.
But here are some of the most common ones:
1. The 12-hour fast: The 12-hour fast is one of the easiest types of IF. All you have to do is eat ALL of your meals within a 12-hour timeframe. So, if you eat breakfast at 8:00AM? You would have your last meal at 8:00 PM. 2.The 16/8 Method: The 16/8 method is similar to a 12-hour fast. But, instead, you take all your meals within an 8-hour timeframe. This can easily be achieved by skipping breakfast. So, for example, if you eat your first meal at 12, you would eat your last meal at 8:00 PM.
3. Eat-Stop-Eat: Do one or two 24-hour fasts each week. For example, not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.4. Alternate-day fasting: Alternate-day fasting is where you have a fast day where you consume only 25 % of your normal caloric intake. On this day, you avoid sugars or starches and eat only protein, vegetables and healthy foods. You then have a feed day in which you can eat whatever you want.
5.The 5:2 Diet: On 5:2 diet you eat how you would normally do, but only consume around 500 600 calories on two days of the week.
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Best Times For Intermittent Fasting
One of the first things I searched for when researching was how many hours Id have to actually go without food. There are several options, so it can get overwhelming rather quickly. You dont want to starve yourself, obviously, but you need to make sure youre eating during a specific window of time or its not going to give you the results youre after.
Here are a few of the most popular options for intermittent fasting:
16/8 Fast for 16 hours, eat for 8. If youre naturally one who skips breakfast, this is going to be pretty easy for you. Stop eating at 8pm, then start eating again at noon the next day. You can still eat 2 or 3 meals during this 8 hour window, and have enough energy to kill your workout!
20/4 Fast for 20 hours, eat for 4. Also known as the Warrior Diet, fasting for 20 hours and eating for 4 can be extremely effective once you get past the initial hunger stage. During the 20 hour fast, you are allowed to eat vegetables so you wont be starving by any means, but it can take some getting used to. Read more about the Warrior Diet.
5:2 Eat normally for 5 days, eat 500 calories for 2 days. For most people, the 5:2 intermittent fasting wont be too difficult. However, you may find yourself especially fatigued on your low calorie days.
How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight
There are many different ways to lose weight.
One strategy that has become popular in recent years is called intermittent fasting .
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves regular, short-term fasts or periods of minimal or no food consumption.
Most people understand intermittent fasting as a weight loss intervention. Fasting for short periods of time helps people eat fewer calories, which may result in weight loss over time .
However, intermittent fasting may also help modify risk factors for health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, such as lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels 30002-0/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 2,
There are several different intermittent fasting methods. The most popular ones include:
- the 16:8 method
- Eat Stop Eat
- alternate-day fasting
All methods can be effective, but figuring out which one works best depends on the individual.
To help you choose the method that fits your lifestyle, heres a breakdown of the pros and cons of each.
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What Is The 1: 8 Diet
The 16:8 diet is a form of intermittent fasting where you break the day into two parts: a 16-hour fasting period and an 8-hour period where you consume all your calories.
The 16:8 stems from the 8-Hour Diet book by author David Zinczenko and Peter Moore , former editor-in-chief of Men’s Health. The two created the plan off the back of the popular 5:2 diet, with the main difference being the longer fasting time between eating sessions. This, they say, gives the body the time it needs to process food and burn away extra fat.
The 8-Hour Diet by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore –
Suzie Sawyer , founder of Nutrition Lifestyle, says, “There are no restrictions on the types or amounts of food that a person can eat during the 8-hour window. This flexibility makes the plan relatively easy to follow.”
It May Help You Eat Less
Switching to intermittent fasting may naturally help you eat less.
One study found that young men ate 650 fewer calories per day when their food intake was restricted to a four-hour window .
Another study in 24 healthy men and women looked at the effects of a long, 36-hour fast on eating habits. Despite consuming extra calories on the post-fast day, participants dropped their total calorie balance by 1,900 calories, a significant reduction .
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For Coaches: Find The Best Intermittent Fasting Schedule For Your Clients
The topic of IF poses quite a few challenges for nutrition coaches. First, some clients really shouldnt be fasting at all. Others might do okay with some fasting approaches, but miserably on others.
And still other clients might come to you convinced that the most extreme fasting method is right for them, even though theyve never fasted before.
How do you navigate these turbulent waters? In this section, youll find advice from Robin Beier, PN2, a German nutrition coach we mentioned earlier in this chapter.
To match clients with an intermittent fasting schedule, consider these questions.
Factor #1: Have they practiced the fundamentals?
A number of fundamental nutrition strategies form the underpinning of all successful IF schedules. Your client will want to have these down before trying any fasting style. Is your client usually
- eating only when physically hungry?
- eating slowly until satisfied?
- consuming minimally-processed whole foods?
- eating balanced meals that include lean protein, healthy fats, smart carbs and colorful veggies?
If possible, try to spend some time on these practices before diving into any of the fasting schedules mentioned in this chapter.
Factor #2: Have they fasted before? If so, how did it go?
Consider asking: What experiences have you had with fasting schedules or meal skipping?
Factor #3: What kind of exercise are they doing? And how often are they doing it?
Factor #4: Whats their lifestyle like?
Two words that can reign in overzealous clients
Fasting On Your Period Is It Safe For Your Health
Fasting when you are menstruating is safe the week prior is the only time to avoid it. In a regular menstrual cycle, your estrogen levels decrease the week before the start of your period. If an egg is not fertilized, the body may experience stress due to the estrogen decline, increasing cortisol levels.
Therefore, adding additional stressors to the body, like intermittent fasting, may be harmful.
Other women may lose lots of blood during the first three days of their period, which may be stressful for the body. If your periods are heavy or you lose a lot of blood, wait until the bleeding reduces in severity before resuming intermittent fasting.
If you follow a 20:4 intermittent fasting schedule, consider reducing your fasting window to 16 hours or 14 hours for the week. After that, you may intensify your fasting and exercise from day 0 of the cycle through day 14.
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What Intermittent Fasting Is Not
Intermittent fasting is not pigging out on the most unhealthy foods possible for 8 hours each day and starve for the other 16. While you can usually get away with a cheat meals here and there with intermittent fasting, the goal is to get healthy while losing weight. Keep that in mind when deciding on what to eat.
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.
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The Effects Of Diet And Fitness On Mortality
Food is not only the fuel your body needs to produce energy, it also contains all the building blocks that are needed to make new cells, as old damaged ones are being replaced, explains Sophie Chabloz, MSc in food science, a nutrition expert and co-founder and CPO of Avea Life.
However, fitness cannot be left out of the health equation. It keeps your muscles and bones strong, keeps a healthy heart pumping, and balances your moods and hormones.
Physical activity and diet also play a major role in the prevention of many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and cardiovascular diseases.
One of the major and most widely debated ways diet and physical activity impact our health is through weight control, says Carson.
Excess fat is associated with the onset of many of the aforementioned chronic diseases.
Beyond weight control, Carson says physical activity and diet can improve other aspects of your health, including the regulation of inflammation, immune function, and muscle mass, which can all extend your lifespan.