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How Long Should I Fast Intermittent Fasting

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Ive Made The Decision To Fast So How Long Should I Fast For

How Long Should You Fast With Intermittent Fasting?

There arent any studies right now that state exactly how long one should fast. Researchers, like Dr. Peterson, are working on that. The minimum amount of time it takes to make fasting efficacious hasnt been proven via study, but the prevailing notion is its somewhere between 12 and 18 hours. But it can take a few days sometimes weeks of fasting regularly for your body to start burning fat for fuel. Brooke Alpert, nutritionist and author of The Diet Detox, suggests starting by moving your last meal to around 7 p.m. She said the reason for this is our bodies are better at doing some things at certain times. Our bodies are better at processing sugar in the morning than at night, said Dr. Varady. So eat bigger meals in the morning, for example.

And how often do you have to do daily intermittent fasting to see the benefit? Again, there hasnt been a study thats shown exactly how many days you need to fast, but a recent study in rodents showed they get about the same benefits fasting five days per week as they did fasting every day. The great thing is that were learning is that this type of fasting isnt all or nothing, said Dr. Peterson.

It May Decrease Inflammation

Inflammation caused by oxidative stress is thought to be the cause of many diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers .

Studies have demonstrated that intermittent fasting may be an effective way to reduce inflammation in your body.

One study in 34 healthy men found that the 16:8 intermittent fasting method decreased levels of TNF- and interleukin 1 beta , substances that promote inflammation .

Another study in 50 people found that those fasting for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan had significantly lower levels of the inflammatory markers IL-6, C-reactive protein and homocysteine, compared to non-fasting individuals .

What Is Intermittent Fasting

You naturally fast while you sleep everyday. Intermittent Fasting takes this “fast” a little bit further. In order to truly “fast”, you need to wait at least 12 hours from your last meal to eat your first meal . 12 hours of fasting is when autophagy starts to kick in and your cells begin cleaning themselves out .

Ideally, you want to aim for a 16 hour fast with an 8 hour “eating window” to maximize your fat burning results while still getting the nutrients you need from your meals to maintain fat burning.

However, it’s important to note that this does NOT mean just skipping a meal OR restricting your calories. I review all of these details in my Complete Intermittent Fasting Program.

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Benefits: Weight Loss And Cleansing

Burning fat has several benefits for your health the first being weight loss. Ketosis is a predictable way to target fat stores that otherwise remain untouched even with a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, getting rid of that extra fat has a detoxifying effect on the body. Your bodys natural defenses use fat stores to store toxic metals and other toxins so they cant wreak havoc on your system. However, during ketosis, these toxic metals and toxins are safely expelled from your body as fat reserves get used up. This cleansing effect may temporarily alter some people’s complexion or cause other signs of a healing crisis.

Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting

What Breaks A Fast: Dos And Donts Of Intermittent ...

There are several methods of intermittent fasting, varying in the fasting period and the calorie allowances. Since different methods may suit different people, you may want to experiment to see what works best for your lifestyle and preferences.

Before embarking on an intermittent fast or deciding how often to fast, it is important to talk to a medical professional about potential benefits and risks, especially if you have a medical condition.

Below are 7 popular methods of intermittent fasting:

  • 16/8 method: Involves fasting for 16 hours and restricting the eating window to 8 hours. Within the eating window, you can fit in 2-3 or more meals.
  • 12-hour fast: Involves a 12-hour fasting window every day. The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include sleep in the fasting window.
  • The 5:2 diet: Involves eating normally for 5 days of the week and restricting calorie intake to 500-600 calories for 2 days of the week.
  • Alternate-day fasting: Involves fasting every other day either by not eating anything or eating about 500 calories on fasting days.
  • Eat stop eat: Involves 1-2 complete 24-hour fasts per week. Fasting from dinner one day to dinner the next day amounts to a full 24-hour fast. This is an extreme form of fasting and is not recommended.
  • The warrior diet: The warrior diet involves eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables during the day and eating 1 huge meal at night within a 4-hour eating window.
  • Read Also: Can You Drink Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting

    What Should I Eat Or Drink While Intermittent Fasting

    Obviously, you donât eat anything or consume any calories during your fasting hoursâsimply put, donât eat any food or shakes. Water, of course, is perfectly fine. Other than that, opt for zero-calorie, unsweetened beverages. My personal favorites include black coffeeâwith no milk, cream, sugar, butter , or anything else in itâand plain, unsweetened teas like black tea or green tea.

    When it comes to calorie-free drinks with artificial sweeteners , thereâs a bit of uncertainty. Thereâs some evidence to show that some artificial sweeteners cause an insulin response, which would then blunt your ability to burn fat and contradict the point of being in a fasted state, but thatâs up for debate in the scientific community.

    To be on the safe side, I recommend not drinking artificially sweetened beverages during a fast. If youâre absolutely dying for something other than water or plain coffee or tea during the last few hours of a fast, opt for a sparkling water thatâs very lightly flavored with something like natural lime.

    Are There Any Potential Downsides To Intermittent Fasting

    IF has been shown to improve the quality of life for many people, but there are some downsides to intermittent fasting. There is a risk of developing hypoglycemia, which can result in dizziness, lightheadedness, and confusion.

    Some people may experience stress, anxiety, or irritability when trying IF. Furthermore, suppose you have a history of eating disorders. In that case, it is not recommended that you try intermittent fasting because there are risks involved with certain types of IF that could trigger these behaviors in an individual who has already been struggling with them.

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    Potential Intermittent Fasting Side Effects

    Intermittent fasting is a term people use to describe patterns of eating that include regular periods of fasting in which they consume very few or no calories (

    • lower blood pressure
    • reduction in markers of oxidative stress
    • improved blood sugar control

    These findings have led to the increased popularity of intermittent fasting regimens like:

    • time-restricted feeding
    • alternate-day fasting
    • periodic fasting

    If youre interested in trying out intermittent fasting, youre probably curious to know whether it has side effects.

    The short answer: Intermittent fasting is safe for most people. However, studies have shown that intermittent fasting does have some minor side effects. Plus, its not the right choice for everyone (

    Intermittent Fasting Good For Reversing Insulin Resistance And Muscle Building

    Dr. Don Brown – Intermittent Fasting: How often and how long should I fast?

    You may start intermittent fasting because you want to reverse your insulin resistance. That objective might take you a little longer to achieve, so you could be fasting intermittently for say 5 6 months.

    If your objective is to build muscle with intermittent fasting, then it may take you as long as 4 6 months or even longer. With muscle building, you will want to consider adding a workout regime to the fasting.

    You also should consider doing your workout routine which must include resistance training towards the last 2 hours of the fasting window to accelerate the process.

    In essence, I am saying the workout should be the last activity you do before you resume eating. That has been shown to be very effective.

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    So How Long Should You Fast For

    Whew, that’s a lot to take in! Bottom line, though, is that the ideal fasting window will vary depending on the individual. “What matters more, I think, is the duration of fasting that works for you,” says Pedre. “If you can’t stick with it or it isn’t working for whatever reasonsay, you can’t concentratethat’s a sign benefits are starting to drop off and you may need to scale back.”

    How Long Should I Intermittent Fast To Lose Weight

    To lose weight, it is recommended to intermittent fasting, men can fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours while women are recommended to fast for 14 hours and eat what they want for the remaining 10 hours.

    You are not expected to eat any food during the fasting but can drink as many no-calorie drinks as you want and it can be done once or twice per week or every day.

    Recommended Reading: Can You Drink Alcohol While 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.

    What Should You Eat

    Intermittent Fasting States

    Most diets focus on eating healthy foods, and intermittent fasting is no exception.

    Do keep in mind that your body needs nutrients to function optimally. When you eat junk and processed foods that are not nutritious, you wont be able to lose weight.

    During your eating period, you should eat and drink:

    • Water
    • Probiotics like yogurt
    • Fermented foods and drinks such as sauerkraut

    If you follow an intermittent fasting routine, avoid eating a lot of red meat and alcohol. If you must, restrict your meat intake to once in a while and drink wine instead of other alcohol. Also, avoid eating sweet foods and desserts as much as possible for the best results. In case your nutritional needs are not met by your diet, do take some vitamin and mineral supplements.

    Also Check: 14:10 Fasting

    Popular Ant Dishes Around The World

    Cultural practices strongly influence who eats insects, and while most Western countries refrain from it, insects are an important food source in many regions of the world .

    As you can imagine, there are numerous ant species, and not all of them tend to be consumed.

    Here are some of the most popular edible ants and the countries in which they are eaten:

    • Leaf-cutting ants. Leaf-cutting ants are especially popular in Latin American countries, including Mexico, Colombia, Panama, and Brazil. Their name comes from their ability to cut leaves to feed fungi, which they use to feed their larvae .
    • Weaver ants. Weaver ants are consumed in China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. Theyre called weaver ants because they weave the leaves of living trees with silk to form their nests .
    • Honey ants. Honey ants are commonly consumed by Indigenous communities in Australia. Theyre also called honeypot ants because they use their stomachs to store honey to feed their colony in times of scarcity .
    • Black ants. Black ants are typically consumed in China and Kenya .


    Ants are commonly consumed in many Asian, African, and Latin American countries. Some of the most popular types of edible ants are leaf-cutting, weaver, honey, and black ants.

    5 ).

    Whats Your Intermittent Fasting Objective

    You may start intermittent fasting because you want to lose some weight, let say 11 lbs. Choose a plan and go with it until you hit that target of 11 lbs.

    Or you may want to lose a certain percentage of body fat.

    Get yourself an electronic body fat estimator and latch on to a plan and off you go. Monitor what you are doing, to see if you have lost the percentage of body fat you plan to lose.

    If it takes you 8 weeks to lose 11 lbs, then its up to you if you wish to continue or not.

    It is difficult for anyone to prescribe how long you should or can do intermittent fasting for. Because I, for instance, do not know you personally. Only if someone is coaching you on a one-to-one basis can they tell you how long you should do intermittent fasting for.

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    Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent fasting is a process that cycles between brief periods of fasting with no food or any significant calorie reduction, this routine does more than help lose weight alone.

    Many things happen to the body during intermittent fasting and below are some of the benefits:

    • Intermittent fasting prevents diabetes and obesity
    • Possibly increased energy
    • It may help reduce blood pressure
    • Reduces inflammation levels
    • It may reduce cancer risk
    • Intermittent fasting reduces tissue damage in surgery and improved results.

    What Intermittent Fasting For Teens Ultimately Comes Down To

    How Long Should I fast? | Intermittent Fasting, how it works?

    With no definitive research to back up the claims on intermittent fasting for teenagers, take my advice with a grain of salt.

    As far as I can see, there are no mechanisms in which intermittent fasting will stunt your growth or cause any harmful health effects growing up.

    In fact, one could even argue that intermittent fasting could help with growing taller because of the increase of human growth hormone during the fasting period.

    Who knows, this could lead to increased growth height as long as you are supplying your body with the nutrients it needs, along with the other awesome benefits from intermittent fasting.

    My final thoughts on this matter are that intermittent fasting for teenagers ultimately comes down to locking in your nutrition based on your goals and supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to grow and develop.

    Well, thought out diet plans for teens should not take intermittent fasting to the extreme by fasting for hours on end.

    Finally, remember that you dont need to get down to 6 or 7 percent body fat. If I were a teenager, I would simply stay around 10 to 15% and focus on getting stronger in the gym.

    Your Kino Question For The Day: Have any of my teenage followers been using intermittent fasting? What has been your experience? What are your biggest concerns with fasting? Let me know in the comments below.

    Recommended Reading: Is 119 High For Fasting Blood Sugar

    Intermittent Fasting May Benefit The Heart

    According to the Intermountain Medical Center, intermittent fasting plays a role in keeping the heart healthy.

    This is great news considering heart disease is a leading cause of death around the world.

    Intermittent fasting helps to lower blood pressure, which is good for the heart.

    LDL and total cholesterol levels will also be improved.

    Blood sugar levels will benefit from intermittent fasting as well.

    Keeping the heart healthy will help to prevent heart disease.

    If you have a history of heart disease in your family, intermittent fasting is something you may want to consider.

    Understanding And Avoiding Refeeding Syndrome

    Refeeding syndrome is a very rare side effect of resuming food consumption after periods of malnutrition or extended times without eating. Its defined as the potentially fatal shifts in fluids and electrolytes that may occur in malnourished patients.5

    The key clinical markers of this are very low blood phosphorus levels, or hypophosphatemia, as well as low blood serum levels of potassium, calcium and magnesium.6 These shifts can cause heart rhythm abnormalities, cardiac failure, respiratory problems, convulsions or coma.

    Refeeding syndrome was first described among the severely malnourished North Americans who were held as Japanese prisoners of war during World War II.7 It has also been observed upon the treatment of long-standing anorexia nervosa and alcoholic patients in recovery.8

    During the refeeding period, insulin and counter regulatory hormones such as cortisol and noradrenaline are suddenly re-activated. This causes the movement of the major intracellular ions like phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium into our cells. However, due to the overall depletion of our body stores, this becomes quite excessive and leaves us with too little of these ions in the blood. This is what causes the major symptoms of refeeding syndrome:

    • Fatigue

    These symptoms typically appear within two to four days of the start of refeeding.

    Recommended Reading: Intermittent Fasting And Drinking Alcohol

    Why Should I Fast

    There are many benefits of intermittent fasting. They include weight loss, reduced inflammation, improved lipid levels or biomarkers of heart health, improved blood sugar control, improved insulin sensitivity and increased cellular recycling known scientifically as autophagy. Overnight fasting can also help prevent weight gain and preserve metabolic health and glycemic control. Intermittent fasting may be particularly beneficial for overweight individuals in terms of improving their expected healthspan, or length of healthy life.

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