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How Do I Do Intermittent Fasting

Does Intermittent Fasting Work If You Eat The Same Calories

How to start Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a weight-loss strategy that involves eating fewer calories for short periods. As many people believe, it can be done with or without food and does not mean restricting your diet to a single day a week. Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal. This means you will eat more often than other types of diets but still consume fewer total calories.

Is 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Right For You

16/8 intermittent fasting can be a sustainable, safe and easy way to improve your health when paired with a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle.

However, it shouldnt be viewed as a substitute for a balanced, well-rounded diet rich in whole foods. Not to mention, you can still be healthy even if intermittent fasting doesnt work for you.

Though 16/8 intermittent fasting is generally considered safe for most healthy adults, you should talk to your doctor before giving it a try, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

This is key if youre taking any medications or have diabetes, low blood pressure or a history of disordered eating.

Intermittent fasting is also not recommended for women who are trying to conceive or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you have any concerns or experience any adverse side effects while fasting, be sure to consult your doctor.

16/8 intermittent fasting involves eating only during an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.

It may support weight loss and improve blood sugar, brain function and longevity.

Eat a healthy diet during your eating period and drink calorie-free beverages like water or unsweetened teas and coffee.

Its best to talk to your doctor before trying intermittent fasting, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

A few small human studies have shown evidence that intermittent fasting can have health benefits for those with diabetes. These include:

  • Weight loss
  • Lowering insulin requirements

A long-term study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that a fasting state can support several benefits including:

  • Lessening inflammation
  • Dehydration
  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Low energy levels
  • A significantly increased risk of low blood sugar
  • High blood sugar resulting from a surge of stored glucose from the liver when low blood sugar levels result from fasting

Its important to note that more research is needed to definitively back up the claims of side effects from intermittent fasting and to confirm the severity of such untoward reactions.

Because of the likeliness of side effects from fasting when a person has diabetes, its important to consult with your healthcare provider before deciding to start any type of fasting diet.

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Do Pick The Right Fasting Plan For Your Schedule

This is something I always struggled with as a beginner knowing which plan to pick for my busy schedule.

After doing a ton of research I found that there are 2 main intermittent fasting plans one where you fast every day for a set amount of time, the second being where you choose two non-consecutive days in the week and greatly limit your calorie intake.

I personally chose the first option and combined it with a slight calorie decrease as I was worried vastly limiting my intake on only 2 days would make me feel sluggish and tired.

I only fasted for around 6 hours though rather than 8 hours as often recommended and did eat a super nutritious and filling breakfast and dinner with snacks in between. I definitely did not starve. That is absolutely NOT the goal here.

When fasting every day its best to select a time that matches your daily schedule. I chose to fast between breakfast and dinner, which actually worked pretty well.

Once I was busy with my work, I barely noticed I hadnt had a full meal in a few hours.

When fasting, its always a good idea to consume the majority of your calories in the morning so youre ready for the day ahead.

Dieticians recommend this .

I caught up with an NYC dietician in this post to see whether eating late at night actually led to more fat storage.

What Is The Ideal Intermittent Fasting Time

Does Intermittent Fasting Work? A Science

You should base your intermittent fasting time on your schedule, what feels good and what you can do consistently.

As I mentioned before, Im following the leangains intermittent fasting plan, which means Im fasting 16 hours a day and eating within an 8-hour eating window.

Here is what my intermittent fasting time breakdown looks like:

Eating window: 11 am 7 pm

Fasting window: 7 pm 11 am

An easy way to figure out your fasting schedule is to think about the time you usually stop chowing down for the day.

Lets say you typically stop eating by 8 pm, and you would like to do a 12-hour crescendo intermittent fasting plan.

Your time breakdown may look something like this:

Eating window: 8am 8pm

Fasting window: 8pm 8am

Youre not always going to be spot-on with your timing, so dont be too hard on yourself if you eat a little later or earlier than you intended to. It happens to everyone, including me.

Intermittent fasting is an amazing tool to help you improve your overall health, but you cant maximize your results if youre making rookie mistakes. Check out Intermittent Fasting Mistakes: 14 Things You Must Avoid For Success to learn how to avoid making the most common intermittent fasting mistakes.

Recommended Reading: What Do I Eat When Intermittent Fasting

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.

Intermittent Fasting: A Complete Guide On How To Intermittent Fast

    Intermittent fasting has become a wellness trend. In 2019, it was Googles most searched diet, overtaken by the keto diet

    Intermittent fasting has become a wellness trend. In 2019, it was Googles most searched diet, overtaken by the keto diet in 2020 .

    Some call it a fad, others the best thing since sliced bread. Everyday you hear about a new celebrity like Jennifer Aniston or Jay-Z who endorse the diet, or are rumoured to privately stick to its tenets. Whatever the consensus, theres no denying the history and context of intermittent fasting goes far beyond best-selling wellness books or temporary trends.

    A growing amount of scientific research shows the benefit of occasional breaks from food. But whats the truth behind intermittent fasting? And is it something you should try?

    In this complete guide, well explore the historical context of fasting, look at different intermittent fasting plans, and give you all the fuel you need to consider whether to integrate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle routine.

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    The Science Behind Intermittent Fasting

    There are thousands of information out there about the true science behind intermittent fasting. I read numerous researches and can tell you that most of them agree that periodic fasting is good for us.

    Science has proven that after 12 hours of fasting, the growth hormone works at its best because the insulin level is very low. Also, after 24h of fasting certain cells in our guts start to regenerate. I even managed to find articles where people give their testimonies about treating serious diseases with fasting, such as cancer.

    Cole Robinson said the great thing in one video on his YouTube channel: Of course it heals your body, no sickness can live if you dont feed it!. That makes sense because if you dont feed something, it will eventually die!

    If you are really interested in the science behind intermittent fasting Google will answer many questions for you. Personally, I read everything I needed to know, and Im doing intermittent fasting for a long time now and it seems there is nothing wrong with me

    Who Should Not Do Intermittent Fasting

    How Often Should You Do Intermittent Fasting?

    Well, if you suffer from high blood sugar, have heart issues, or any serious health conditions then refrain from making any significant changes to your dieting without first seeking professional guidance from a doctor and nutritionist.

    Intermittent fasting can be dangerous for some people who have diabetes and heart issues due to the restriction of nutrients for an extended period of time. And those with heart issues should be careful to maintain healthy electrolyte levels.

    Also, those with eating disorders should not do a fasting regime without consulting with a doctor because a lack of self-control is a big issue for many sufferers which can be detrimental to health. But on the other side of the spectrum, if you know that you may not possess the discipline to be consistent then you might want to implement a typical calorie-restricted diet until you develop better habits conducive to sticking with the eating regime.

    Another group who should not attempt to implement intermittent fasting is pregnant women since it may adversely impact the function of ovulation and menstruation according to one study.

    Recommended Reading: How Many Pounds Can You Lose On Intermittent Fasting

    Can You Drink During Intermittent Fasting

    You can drink water, coffee, and other zero-calorie beverages during the fast, which can help reduce feelings of hunger. Its very important to primarily eat healthy foods during your eating window. This method wont work if you eat lots of processed foods or an excessive number of calories.

    How To Do Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss

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    As more and more studies appear on the benefits of intermittent fasting, more and more people are giving it a try. If youve never tried it, it might seem a little intimidating at first, but intermittent fasting is actually nothing to fear. In fact, it might become something you enjoy once you start reaping the myriad of benefits.

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    How Is My Athletic Performance Affected While Intermittent Fasting

    Again, this depends on your fasting plan. A lighter schedule, such as 16/8 intermittent fasting, is easy to combine with working out. However, other methods, such as OMAD and multi-day fasting, may be more difficult for those who count on their athletic performance for competitions or their vocation.

    A study was conducted in 2009 during Ramadan, a month-long fast from sunrise to sunset in Islamic practice, which involved testing practicing Muslim athletes and their athletic performance. The results stated that the fast imposes a major challenge to Islamic athletes. They experienced fatigue however, the effects were lessened with those who were conscious about getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods.

    Another study confirmed the fact that proper sleep habits and nutrient intakeboth hydration and caloricaided in better performance. In short, if you are a competitive athlete whos practicing intermittent fasting, you need to concentrate on the basics of quality sleep, staying hydrated, and being conscious about when and where your calories come from.

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    And Some Of The Donts Of Intermittent Fasting:

    Intermittent Fasting
  • Do not do your exercises in the evenings on fast days. Exercise has been shown in a lot of people to trigger hunger. Meaning you might be tempted to eat when you shouldnt.
  • 2. Do not add a lot of milk to your coffee. Only use half or teaspoon of milk when having tea or coffee. Milk does contain lactose which is sugar. This could derail the plan. Only use a small amount.

    3. Use your fasting period to do stuff. Dont sit idle. Getting busy will stop you thinking about food.

    4. Dont keep changing your feeding window if you are on the plan that allows food at certain times. If your eating window is between 12 Noon and 8pm, try and maintain that consistency every time. Its all about teaching your body to adapt to a new way of eating and fasting.

    5. Do not go to social events where the place will be awash with food on your fast days. The temptation of having so many food choices and so much food around might be too much for you to resist.

    6. On your feed days or eating window as the case may be, you should exercise caution in how much food you consume. Theres no need to stuff your face with so much food in an attempt to compensate for the fast period.

    It is not a feast or famine ethos and you should refrain from seeing it as such. Eat sensibly!

    Above all, be resilient. Its not as hard as it appears. Start small and build up.

    If you like your coffee, you may be also interested in the answer to the question: does coffee break a fast?

    Suggested further reading:

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    Is Weights Or Cardio Better

    While cardio is fantastic for losing weight, weight training can help you build muscle. For overall health, both methods are great in keeping fit and healthy. The simple answer is: It all comes down to your fitness goals and what youre looking to achieve.

    The Backstory On Intermittent Fasting

    IF as a weight loss approach has been around in various forms for ages, but was highly popularized in 2012 by BBC broadcast journalist Dr. Michael Mosleys TV documentary Eat Fast, Live Longer and book The Fast Diet, followed by journalist Kate Harrisons book The 5:2 Diet based on her own experience, and subsequently by Dr. Jason Fungs 2016 bestseller The Obesity Code. IF generated a steady positive buzz as anecdotes of its effectiveness proliferated.

    As a lifestyle-leaning research doctor, I needed to understand the science. The Obesity Code seemed the most evidence-based summary resource, and I loved it. Fung successfully combines plenty of research, his clinical experience, and sensible nutrition advice, and also addresses the socioeconomic forces conspiring to make us fat. He is very clear that we should eat more fruits and veggies, fiber, healthy protein, and fats, and avoid sugar, refined grains, processed foods, and for Gods sake, stop snacking. Check, check, check, I agree. The only part that was still questionable in my mind was the intermittent fasting part.

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    How Intermittent Fasting Works

    Fasting for at least 12 hours changes how your metabolic system works. Your metabolic system is how your body changes the foods and beverages you consume into energy. Most of the time, your body gets its energy from a sugar called glucose. Glucose is found in the foods you eat and beverages you drink. When you eat three meals during a day, your body maintains a steady glucose level because youre eating and drinking frequently.

    However, when you fast for more than 12 hours, your bodys glucose levels start to dip because youre not eating as frequently. When your body doesnt have the glucose it needs for energy, it taps into your bodys fat for energy. When this happens, the fatty acids in your body are absorbed into your blood. They produce a chemical called ketones. Your body then uses the ketones as its energy source. This is called a metabolic switch. Your body is switching from glucose to ketones.

    When your body uses ketones instead of fat, you may lose weight. But, behind the scenes, the ketones also may be having a positive effect on your bodys organs and cells.

    To get the benefits of intermittent fasting, you need to fast for at least 12 hours. Thats how long it takes your body to switch from using glucose for energy to using fat for energy. Additionally, it will take your body a while to get used to this new eating schedule. So dont expect results right away. You may need to wait between 2 and 4 weeks to see or feel any results.

    Should You Do Cardio At The End Of Your Fast

    How to do Intermittent Fasting: Complete Guide

    This is undoubtedly the best time to do your cardio if you are practicing OMAD, or 20/4 or any of the formats that have a very short eating window. This way, you will be able to replace your energy stores and get some fresh amino acids in your system right after you do that your cardio.

    Even for 16/8 and 18/6, you will sacrifice some performance by doing your cardio before you have broken your fast, but this is the second best time to do it.

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    How To Start Intermittent Fasting In 5 Non

    It’s daunting to start fasting, isn’t it?

    • Someone online is poised to finish strong on day 2 of her 3 day fast because shes not even hungry. But instead of getting motivated you say Its only 10 AM and Im already hungry as a ravenous beast, I wont last the whole day, I cant do this today.
    • Hunger pangs and cravings were so strong you didnt make it. Its easier to fast when youre fat adapted, the experts say. But that takes several weeks on a very low carb diet and you dont want to wait that long.
    • Maybe you havent tried it, but youve thought about it. Oh, I cant do that.

    What if there was a calm and confident way to get started? And what if your current abilities were enough?

    Heres how:

    | Instead of seeing it as another difficult duty you owe to your health, make it a self-experiment.

    • Break it down into small but easily doable step-by-step actions that guarantee you will finish,
    • observe and analyze what you discover,
    • draw your conclusion: Is fasting right for you?

    So youre not committing to it, youre here to learn about it. Because like most people, you learn by doing. Doesnt that sound easier already? But

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