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.
Intermittent Fasting Can Help Weight Loss
IF makes intuitive sense. The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbohydrates, particularly sugars and refined grains , are quickly broken down into sugar, which our cells use for energy. If our cells dont use it all, we store it in our fat cells as, well, fat. But sugar can only enter our cells with insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas. Insulin brings sugar into the fat cells and keeps it there.
Between meals, as long as we dont snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar, to be used as energy. We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down. The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.
How To Do Intermittent Fasting
To adopt intermittent fasting, you have to abstain from eating for 16 hours. Yes, if you have eaten dinner for this, then the next day you will have lunch only after the completion of 16 hours. You have to skip breakfast. Along with this, you will also have to fix the time between lunch and dinner.
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Ways To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier
Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight and stay healthy, but it isnt always easy to stick to it. You might find it hard to stick to your fast, especially in the first few weeks while your body adjusts. Maybe youre constantly thinking about food, or you cant seem to fit your workouts properly in your new eating schedule. Does this sound familiar? Then this article will certainly help you. Here are 10 ways to make intermittent fasting easier.
What Should The Grand Feast Look Like
When on a fat loss diet I like to eat around 10 calories per pound of goal bodyweight per day. This may seem on the low side for calories but thats why fasting and fat loss go hand in hand. You can still eat massive meals and not feel deprived all while still being a caloric deficit!
This level of calories has never failed me at getting lean even with the absence of cardio.
Depending on what your goal weight is this may give you 600-1200 calories to play with. I generally keep this meal around 800-1000 calories in size. I recommend keeping this meal high in protein with moderate amounts of fat and carbs.
If you are having a very lean source of protein then you can use fats more sparingly . If you are going for a fattier cut of meat then I recommend staying away from any additional fats.
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You Keep Breaking Your Fast
If you are used to snacking in between meals, staying without food for an extended fasting period could be difficult and affect your intermittent fasting results.
Consistently breaking your fast before your fasting window is up could be responsible for your lack of progress with intermittent fasting.
Your fasting period might be too long and switching your eating schedule a bit might be helpful. Consider reducing your fasting period to about 10-12 hours and begin to increase it as time goes on.
Moving up slowly allows your body to get used to going extended periods without food, therefore, you are less likely to break your fast prematurely.
When you can tolerate going longer without food, you could move up to the 16:8 intermittent fast. Here, you will have eight hours for feeding.
The Skinny On Intermittent Fasting
Humans have been fasting for religious and cultural reasons for thousands of years, but it’s become popular in mainstream culture only in the last decade or so. Intermittent fasting as a dietary regimen involves cycling through periods of restricted food intake and periods of unrestricted intake. The length and frequency of these cycles vary. Some people choose to fast for one entire day once or twice a week, others fast on alternate days and others fast for a designated time period each day.
Anecdotally, people who adhere to this dietary regimen claim it gives them sharper focus, helps them reduce their calorie intake for weight loss, revs their metabolism, helps them take their focus off food, helps with chronic medical conditions, boosts their energy levels and saves them time and money. Some of these are highly subjective benefits, yet others are beginning to be scientifically investigated. Although the research is nascent, there is some evidence that this dietary pattern can do what its proponents claim.
As for its other health benefits, a July 2017 review in the Annual Review of Nutrition analyzed results from 18 studies and concluded that intermittent fasting may have positive effects on the following biological and physiological systems that influence metabolic regulation and the development of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer:
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Meal Day For Optimising Your Overall Health
The 2 Meal Day is proving to be a simple and effective strategy for avoiding major dietary changes while achieving strong effects not just for one disease risk factor, but for an array of factors that constitutes the foundation for metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and possibly even neurodegenerative diseases. Most importantly it is becoming a way of life for so many people.
The Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting with 2 Meal Day:
Reduces Insulin Resistance, and Metabolic Syndrome Lowering Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease and Strokes
IF has been shown to combat the worldwide problem of Metabolic Syndrome defined as having a high amount of visceral fat, combined with insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides, and/ or high blood pressure.
Boost the Immune System
Fasting not only protects against immune system damage a major side effect of chemotherapy but also induces immune system regeneration, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.
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Increase in Autophagy
Autophagy is a cellular maintenance process stimulated by fasting that is critical in disease resistance, longevity and general body and brain vitality.
Improves Metabolic Flexibility
Potential Slowing Down The Ageing Process
Having said that IF has been shown to be incredibly effective at promoting fat loss and retaining lean muscle mass, which is the holy grail of weight loss.
Should You Drink Coffee In The Fasted State
Consuming 2-3 cups of coffee while fasting will accelerate your metabolism, reduce your appetite and make you feel good. If you are going to be working out then the coffee will have a positive impact on your strength and stamina.
My absolute favorite type of intermittent fasting coffee for fat burning and reduced appetite is Fasting Fuel. I drink it almost every day.
The effects of coffee seem to last up to 6 hours so even if you train later in the day you should still get an extra kick from the morning coffee. Furthermore, coffee is a rich source of antioxidants and has been shown to have numerous health benefits.
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Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
While researchers are still studying intermittent fasting, some research has shown it offers some health benefits. For starters, its common to lose weight when following intermittent fasting. Thats because your body is using fatnot glucoseas its energy source. Additionally, if you make wise food choices when you do eat, youre likely eating fewer calories than before you started intermittent fasting. If you add exercise to the mix, its a great combination for not only weight loss, but also improved health benefits. Intermittent fasting may help people who have cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, and some cancers. Intermittent fasting may also help lower your bad cholesterol and improve symptoms of arthritis.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before you begin intermittent fasting. They will help you decide if its a good fit for you. They will consider your current health, medicines, and health history when making their recommendation. If you have certain chronic health problems such as diabetes or heart disease, you may need to adjust or monitor your eating patterns.
Should I Eat 6 Small Meals A Day
There are a few main reasons why diet books recommend six small meals:
1) When you eat a meal, your body does have to burn extra calories just to process that meal. So, the theory is that if you eat all day long with small meals, your body is constantly burning extra calories and your metabolism is firing at optimal capacity, right? Well, thats not true.
Whether you eat 2000 calories spread out throughout the day, or 2000 calories in a small window, your body will burn the same number of calories processing the food .
So, the whole keep your metabolism firing at optimum capacity by always eating sounds good in principle, but reality tells a different story.
2) When you eat smaller meals, you might be less likely to overeat during your regular meals. I can definitely see some truth here, especially for people who struggle with portion control or dont know how much food they should be eating.
However, once you educate yourself and take control of your eating, some might find that eating six times a day is very prohibitive and requires a lot of effort. I know I do.
Also, because youre eating six small meals, Id argue that you probably never feel full, and you might be MORE likely to eat extra calories during each snack.
Although grounded in seemingly logical principles, the six meals a day doesnt work for the reason you think it would , and generally only works for people who struggle with portion control .
Thats why we made this:
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A History Of Max Lowery Intermittent Fasting And The Creation Of 2 Meal Day
Intermittent Fasting has been the most important discovery in my health and fitness journey. I stumbled across it completely by accident four years ago and I havent looked back since. It has had such a profound effect on my life that I set out on a mission to make it as accessible as possible for everyone else.
Over the course of 5 years of research and self-experimentation, I learnt that for all the good intermittent fasting can do for people, there was a lot that was wrong with the methods I tried. Some of the main problems I found were that some were too restrictive focusing on restricting certain food groups, calorie intake, or obsessing over time periods. Others were far too complicated to follow, and some focused on the entirely wrong aspects.
All of these came together to make me believe that there was not an Intermittent Fasting protocol out there that could be easily taken on by most people, so they could reap all the benefits for themselves this resulted in my creation of 2 Meal Day the simplest and most effective method of Intermittent Fasting.
You may already be familiar with some methods of Intermittent Fasting and not even realise it The two most popular methods of Intermittent Fasting at the moment are the 5:2 and the 16:8. Here is a brief summary of each of these methods and the limitations I felt they had.
Fast For 12 Hours A Day
The rules for this diet are simple. A person needs to decide on and adhere to a 12-hour fasting window every day.
According to some researchers, fasting for 1016 hours can cause the body to turn its fat stores into energy, which releases ketones into the bloodstream. This should encourage weight loss.
This type of intermittent fasting plan may be a good option for beginners. This is because the fasting window is relatively small, much of the fasting occurs during sleep, and the person can consume the same number of calories each day.
The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include the period of sleep in the fasting window.
For example, a person could choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They would need to finish their dinner before 7 p.m. and wait until 7 a.m. to eat breakfast but would be asleep for much of the time in between.
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So Is Intermittent Fasting As Good As It Sounds
According to metabolic expert Dr. Deborah Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, says “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.” But still 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.
Frequency Of Intermittent Fasting
Now that you understand how to do intermittent fasting, it raises a question: How often should you fast?
The answer varies from person to person. Most people implement the above schedules every week or every other week. If youre new to fasting, start with a moderate schedule, trying it every other week or every three weeks. If your body adapts well, aim for a regular weekly schedule.
Theres no wrong answer here. Pay close attention to how your body responds to your fasting schedule and adjust it as needed. Keep in mind that life changes can happen. You may need to tweak your schedule to allow for social gatherings, vacations, and physical activity or competition.
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A Reality Check But Do Not Be Scared
Now heres a reality check. A 36-hour fast will not come easy for most people. That much I know. But you dont have to set your sight that high. At least not when youre a rookie anyway.
If you are new to intermittent fasting, go for the bare minimum of 16 hours first. Thats the 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol. The 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol gives you an 8-hour eating window which is not that hard to accomplish.
Once you conquer that, then you can gradually increase the fasting interval by adding one extra hour each time. There are people who will fast for 3 days or longer. Dont be jealous of them. Do what you are comfortable with, okay.
My longest fast was 36 hours but now I only do 24 hours on each fasting episode and I am happy with that. Serves my needs. Which leads me to:
Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting: Next Steps
Intermittent fasting can potentially have some very positive benefits for somebody trying to lose weight or gain lean body mass.
Men and women will tend to have different results, just like each individual person will have different results. The ONLY way to find out is through a conversation with your doctor and self-experimentation.
There are multiple ways to do an Intermittent Fasting Plan:
- Fast and feast regularly: Fast for a certain number of hours, then consume all calories within a certain number of hours.
- Eat normally, then fast 1-2x a week: Consume your normal meals every day, then pick one or two days a week where you fast for 24 hours. Eat your last meal Sunday night, and then dont eat again until dinner the following day.
- Fast occasionally: probably the easiest method for the person who wants to do the least amount of work. Simply skip a meal whenever its convenient. On the road? Skip breakfast. Busy day at work? Skip lunch. Eat poorly all day Saturday? Make your first meal of the day dinner on Sunday.
After that, get started! Take photos, step on the scale, and track your progress for the next month.
See how your body responds.
See how your physique changes. See how your workouts change.
And then decide if its something you want to keep doing!
4 years later, I have no plans on going back to eating breakfast. Sorry General Mills and Dr. Kellogg!
If youre worried about all of this stuff, or arent sure when to eat and stop eating, try out our new app!
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How Safe Is Intermittent Fasting
The 12 hour intermittent fasting Keto or Ketogenic diet and other carbohydrate-restricted diets aim to achieve ketosis, which is an accumulation of acidic ketones in the blood. As much as the outcomes are great, ketosis can cause liver, brain, and kidney damage. It is unsafe for individuals with chronic disorders such as diabetes and heart disease. Your blood sugar should also be stable for you to follow this diet plan. Therefore, it is important to discuss with your doctor and seek guidance from a licensed dietitian before beginning 12 hour intermittent fasting.
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