How Gender Impacts Your Fasting Routine
From a biological standpoint, gender can impact the success of intermittent fasting. Male and female body composition and metabolic systems are different from each other. Physical activity, hormone levels, caloric intake, and fasting impact each of us differently.
Due to these reasons, males tend to benefit from fasting more than females. Females also should not focus on long-term fasting or drastic reduction in caloric intake.
Over thousands of years, the genetic makeup of females benefits most from the constant intake of high-quality calories, which eliminates such fasting regimes as 20:4 fasting from a female routine. The optimal amount of fasting would be 14 hours per day.
For males, skipping breakfast or skipping a day of eating might be just what the doctor recommended.
In both cases, the most important thing is to avoid hangriness, a state when you become very upset while hungry. The key here is to balance out your meals and eat highly nutritious meals throughout the eating window.
Generally, try to eat high-protein and high-fiber dishes to stay satiated for longer.
The Five Stages Of Intermittent Fasting
. In this state, your body starts to break down and burn fat.
Some of this fat is used by the liver to produce ketone bodies . The two main ketones, acetoacetate and -hydroxybutyrate , serve as an alternative energy source for the cells of your heart, skeletal muscle, and brain, when glucose isnt readily available. Did you know that your brain uses up some 60% of your glucose when your body is in the resting state? During intermittent fasting, ketone bodies generated by your liver partly replace glucose as fuel for your brain as well as other organs. This ketone usage by your brain is one of the reasons that intermittent fasting is often claimed to promote mental clarity and positive mood ketones produce less inflammatory products as they are being metabolized than does glucose, and they can even kick-start production of the brain growth factor BDNF! Ketones have also been shown to reduce cellular damage and cell death in neurons and can also reduce inflammation in other cell types.
As their level in your bloodstream rises, ketones can act as signaling molecules, similar to hormones, to tell your body to ramp up stress-busting pathways that reduce inflammation and repair damaged DNA for example.
Within 24 hours, your cells are increasingly recycling old components and breaking down misfolded proteins linked to Alzheimers and other diseases . This is a process called autophagy.
How Long Till You See Results From Intermittent Fasting
Now, most people who use Intermittent Fasting will see much better results in their first month compared to typical diets such as calorie restriction.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says you can only really lose 1-2 pounds a week . This means according to them you can only drop up to 8 pounds in a month.
But most people using Intermittent Fasting typically lose more weight than that. Plus itll feel less restrictive to use Intermittent Fasting compared to calorie counting since you can still eat outside your fasting window.
The first week youre using Intermittent Fasting youll also notice an increase in energy in the mornings. This is a great time to workout and hit the gym as your body burns off more fat for energy in a fasted state.
Plus youll feel better mentally and have decreased brain fog after a few days of Intermittent Fasting. Youll think clearer which will help to translate over to improvements in productivity in your work and school.
But the weekends can be the toughest for those getting started with Intermittent Fasting for their first month. It can be hard to stay fasted when your friends want to hang out or if you want to cut loose on the weekends.
Do your best to stick with your fasting window over the weekends if you want to keep getting results you can be proud of. I make a rule to live and die by the timer app on my phone to not eat until its finished no matter what.
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Can You Lose Weight Without A Calorie Deficit
When people talk about intermittent fasting, they often mention that you dont have to count calories. Thats true! However, thats not to say that you dont need a calorie deficit to lose weight. What most likely happens is that intermittent fasting creates a calorie deficit naturally as your appetite decreases. It may also be that you are decreasing inflammation, which also helps losing weight. If you want to lose weight using intermittent fasting, read Top 5 Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight Using Intermittent Fasting.
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.
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How Intermittent Fasting Works
The primary goal of intermittent fasting for weight loss is to get the insulin levels to decrease to a level where the body will begin to burn stored fat for energy.
Here is how it works. When the food we eat is metabolized , it ends up as molecules in the blood stream. One such molecule is glucose . Normally, when there is more circulating blood glucose than the body can use for energy, the excess is stored as fat for future use. But, for glucose to be utilized by the cells, it requires insulin. Between meals the body doesnt require insulin so insulin levels decline. When insulin levels are low, the fat cells release some of the stored glucose, resulting in weight loss.
It May Be Difficult For Some People To Stick To
One of the most obvious limitations of the Warrior Diet is that it restricts the time during which you may eat substantial meals to a four-hour period.
This can be difficult to stick to, especially when participating in normal social activities like going out to breakfast or lunch.
While some people may feel great when consuming very small amounts of calories over a 20-hour period, others may find that this way of eating is not ideal for their lifestyle.
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/8you’re Eating Too Much During Your Eating Window
Once you’re committed and have chosen a plan, you must pertain to the rules of the plan. However, just because you have been fasting for 24 hours or 16 hours, doesn’t mean you indulge in excess eating during your eating window. Do not try and cover up for the time you were fasting, rather practice mindful eating.
Why Might Changing Timing Help
But why does simply changing the timing of our meals to allow for fasting make a difference in our body? An in-depth review of the science of IF recently published in New England Journal of Medicine sheds some light. Fasting is evolutionarily embedded within our physiology, triggering several essential cellular functions. Flipping the switch from a fed to fasting state does more than help us burn calories and lose weight. The researchers combed through dozens of animal and human studies to explain how simple fasting improves metabolism, lowering blood sugar lessens inflammation, which improves a range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma and even helps clear out toxins and damaged cells, which lowers risk for cancer and enhances brain function. The article is deep, but worth a read!
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Intermittent Fasting And Muscle
Two ground-breaking studies have recently been published on the effects of intermittent fasting on males. One group of researchers studied the effects that 16 hours of intermittent fasting had on males that lift weights. They found that muscle mass stayed the same, fat mass decreased significantly, and the males who fasted for 16 hours a day burned more fat for fuel compared to the control group that only fasted for 12 hours.
Another study showed that combining 20 hours of fasting with resistance training resulted in an increase in muscle mass, strength, and endurance, and this was achieved by eating ~650 calories per day less than normal.
The benefits of intermittent fasting translate to untrained overweight and obese individuals as well. One study published in Obesity Reviews found that eating fewer calories is effective for fat loss, but it does come with some muscle loss. However, if the subjects fasted for 24 hours and ate as much as they wanted on the next day for a period of 12 weeks, they lost significantly less muscle mass.
Yes you read that correctly 24 hours of intermittent fasting without any resistance training and these subjects were able to preserve more muscle mass than the subjects that ate fewer calories every day without fasting at all. This finding contradicts our common sense, but when we dig deeper into autophagy we can find the mechanism behind this result.
Simplifying The Mechanisms Behind The Benefits: Autophagy Ketones And Fat Loss
Intermittent fasting is so powerful because you can use it to restrict calories, induce ketosis, and activate the processes of autophagy that are brought about by protein restriction and starvation.
If this scientific jargon is throwing you off, think about what it takes for you to clean your room. You may clean it in your spare time or have a set time on the weekend to do it, but what happens when the weekend comes?
Tasks or chores come up and you prioritize something else. After a week without cleaning, your room is just a bit dirtier than usual, but after a month of being too busy to clean, your room is filthy.
This is what happens to our cells when we eat three or more meals a day that completely fulfills our calorie needs every day. Even by eating the healthiest of foods, your cells still can get backed up with non-essential proteins and toxic compounds so what can you do?
To make sure that you clean your actual bedroom, you fast not from food but from being consumed by other obligations. To make sure that your cells can clean themselves, you must fast from food.
This fasting process will not only activate this clean process for your cells, but it will increase your ketone production and promote fat burning as well. Simply put, by adding intermittent fasting to your keto lifestyle, you can experience the benefits of keto more quickly along with the effects of autophagy.
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What Are The Minimum Number Of Hours You Can Intermittent Fast & Still Get Benefits
Intermittent fasting is one of the trendiest eating styles of the momentand for good reason. This eating approach can yield a number of impressive results: weight loss, increased fat burn, improved cognitive functioning, reduced inflammation, and potentially even increased longevity.
But all that said, one big question still remains: How long do you have to fast to reap these potentially life-changing rewards? Is there a minimum number of hours you need to restrict food to get the perks?
We asked some leading intermittent fasting experts to weigh in on the topic so you can better tailor your intermittent fasting plan according to your specific goals.
/8you Have Chosen The Wrong If Plan
Choosing the right IF plan is extremely crucial. If you choose a method that does not sync well with your sleep time or your everyday routine, you may end up doing more harm than good. As mentioned before, beginners should start slow and do not straightaway jump to a 24 hours of fasting. If you cannot keep up with it, you may end up eating more calories than usual, leading to unhealthy weight gain.
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But Is Intermittent Fasting Good For You
While some researchhas shown the benefits of IF, such as weight loss, lowerblood pressure and improved metabolic health, more investigation isstill needed, especially regarding long-term outcomes of IF. There is also theaspect of sustainability. Severely restricting calories or not eating for longperiods at a time isnt for everyone. Some researcheven shows that those who do intermittent fasting dont usually stick with itas compared with those trying to lose weight on more traditional diets.
Still, IF has been shown to be an effective form of weight loss but so have other options like eating a well-balanced diet paired withexercise. One studysuggests that IF is not more effective at supporting weight loss or improvingblood sugars than other well-balanced approaches.
Weight loss is never a one-size-fits-all approach, saysTaylor. IF may be sustainable for some people, while others find that this approachjust isnt for them.
If you want to try IF, youll first need to figure out how you are going to incorporate this style of eating into your life, especially when it comes to things like social events and staying active, she advises.
Ready to explore your options? Here Taylor explains some of the most popular IF methods.
So How Does If Work For Weight Loss Exactly
Intermittent fasting is about when you eat, says Charlotte Martin, MS, RDN, CPT, owner of Shaped by Charlotte, LLC. Depending on the IF approach, youre either shortening the eating window each day, or engaging in about 24-hour fasts one or more times a week. One of the most popular approaches is the 16:8 method, which is when you fast for an 16-hour window, like from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. the next day.
Essentially, by restricting your food intake to a shortened time window, you naturally decrease your caloric intake and, in turn, can lose weight. “Not only are you taking in fewer calories, but youre also slowing down your insulin pump, which may boost fat burn,” explains Martin.
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Youre Not Drinking Enough
Intermittent fasting does not mean intermittent drinking.
Your IF regimen might have you refraining from food, but its always better to have water on hand, especially since youre missing out on the hydration youd often get from fruits and veggies.
A 2009 study found that people ate at certain times of the day whether they were hungry or not and generally drank water as a sidekick to meals whether they were thirsty or not. McKiernan F, et al. . Thirst-drinking, hunger-eating tight coupling?
This means that if youre skipping meals, its naturally important to stay vigilant about drinking enough water through your fasting period.
Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, headaches, and hunger pangs, so always make sure youre sipping H2O between feasts.
Break Your Fast With Modestly
Breaking your fast by bingeing on large portions of junk foods will turn out to be counter-productive. When you’re fasting for 12 to 14 hours, you are likely to be ravenous when the fasting window ends. But overcome your instinct to eat lots of food and instead break your fast with a modestly-sized and healthy meal.
Intermittent Fasting for weight loss: Break your fast with modestly-sized meals
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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.
Benefits: Personal Goals And Growth
If you make it this far, the benefit becomes personal. Fasting, especially beyond the first seven days, takes steadfast dedication. What you get out of the fast in these later stages can be a culmination of all the earlier stages or an accomplishment of a personal health goal. For some, it is weight loss, for others, it is a strategy to heal a particular health complication.
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