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How Long Should You Do Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent Fasting And Ketosis

How Long Should You Fast With Intermittent Fasting?
Ive recently read that ketogenic diets can lead to renal tubular acidosis. How concerned should I be? Whats your opinion on this?

I would not be concerned. As a nephrologist, I am referred all cases of RTA and I have perhaps seen only 3 or 4 cases in the last 15 years all of which were not related to diet. RTA would be amongst the very lowest of my concerns with a ketogenic diet.

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!

Can I Exercise During Fasting

Yes. You can continue all your usual activities, including exercise, while fasting.37 You do not need to eat before exercising to provide energy.38 Instead, your body can burn stored energy for fuel.

However, for long-duration aerobic exercise, eating before exercise may increase performance.39 Its also important to drink fluids and replenish sodium around exercise when fasting. This is good to know if youre competing. Learn more

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How Often Should I Intermittent Fast

Intermittent fasting differs from basically every other diet out there in that its all about when you eat, not what you eat. In fact, intermittent fasting isnt really a diet at all. You dont have to reduce or eliminate certain foods, all you have to do is commit to a pattern of eating. If youre new to the idea of intermittent fasting, you probably have a lot of questions about timing. Once youve found the right intermittent fasting schedule for you, you might begin to wonder how often should I intermittent fast, period.

How Often Should I Intermittent Fast? It Depends

The answer to the question how often should I intermittent fast might frustrate you, or it might feel freeing: it depends. If youre just starting out with intermittent fasting, implement the fasting schedule you picked every other week, or even every three weeks. Give your body time to adapt to this new approach to eating. To maximize the benefits of intermittent fasting, however, especially its ability to rev up your bodys fat burning capacity, youll probably want to implement a regular, weekly fasting schedule. That might mean establishing daily fasting and feasting windows, drastically reducing your caloric intake on certain days of the week, or even going full days without eating.

The most important thing is to pay attention to how your body is responding to your fasting schedule and be open to shifting things around as needed.

Intermittent Fasting: Keep It Flexible

The Bottom Line On How To Do Intermittent Fasting

A Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting

Theres no single solution on how to do intermittent fasting for everyone, but just about any healthy person can benefit from the practice.

Those who are intimidated by stricter fasting methods might try skipping meals first, then moving into a 16:8 fast. If you find these beneficial, move on to an alternate-day fast where youll consume 500 calories on fasting days. Finally, try a full 24-hour fast one day per week.

Intermittent fasting is generally safe to do as often as youd like. Just make sure youre eating enough food in between and eating whole foods. And lastly, dont be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you.

Read Also: What Can I Have During Intermittent Fasting

Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting

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.
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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.

    How Long Can We Last Without Food

    How Often Should You Do Intermittent Fasting?

    Once you start fasting, you may feel ravenously hungry as your mind is flooded with images of your muscles disintegrating into thin air. This is simply how your mind reacts to the threat of starvation just because it feels like you will lose all your muscle and starve doesnt mean you will.

    In fact, Mahatma Gandhi survived for 21 days without food while only taking in sips of water. During times when people had no food or water at all, they were able to survive for 10 to 14 days. However, these are just anecdotes what does the science say?

    Many studies have been done during hunger strikes and religious fasts confirming that humans have the capacity to survive even longer than Gandhi did during his fast.

    One monk, for example, set out to do a 40 day fast with medical supervision while maintaining his daily activities in the monastery. After 36 days, the medical professionals had to step in due to profound weakness and low blood pressure when standing. Although the monk fasted for 15 days longer than Ghandi, the medical professionals were able to stop the fast in time so that he could recover.

    Another study tracked 33 political prisoners who were on hunger strike. The prisoners fasted for 6-24 days before being hospitalized for dehydration due an inadequate intake of fluids and electrolytes . Breaking their fast was described as being uncomplicated.

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    /5factors That May Impact The Resultgetty

    10 weeks is an ideal time to shed a minimum 3 kilos when following intermittent fasting dedicatedly. But the result may differ from person to person depending on their metabolism. Weight loss is a time taking process and hence it takes time to show results. So, if you are losing weight rapidly when following any kind of diet then it is an indication that you are doing something wrong. You should immediately re-evaluate your calorie intake.

    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 (

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    Benefits Of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting

    16/8 intermittent fasting is a popular diet because its easy to follow, flexible and sustainable in the long term.

    Its also convenient, as it can cut down on the amount of time and money you need to spend on cooking and preparing food each week.

    In terms of health, 16/8 intermittent fasting has been associated with a long list of benefits, including:

    • Increased weight loss: Not only does restricting your intake to a few hours per day help cut calories over the course of the day, but studies also show that fasting could boost metabolism and increase weight loss (
    • ).


    16/8 intermittent fasting is easy to follow, flexible and convenient. Animal and human studies suggest that it may increase weight loss, improve blood sugar levels, enhance brain function and extend longevity.

    Muscle Loss Prevention And Autophagy

    6 Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting

    Before the Nobel Prize was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi, other researchers were making groundbreaking discoveries about autophagy. In 2009, an article was published in Cell Metabolism entitled Autophagy Is Required to Maintain Muscle Mass. In this article, researchers described how deactivating an important autophagy gene resulted in a profound loss in muscle mass and strength.

    This happened because autophagy is necessary to clean up damaged proteins and mitochondria in muscle cells. If autophagy is never activated then the proteins and mitochondria will remain damaged and the muscle cells will begin to die, which causes a loss in muscle and strength.

    This seems counter-intuitive because we assume that the nutrients we eat will repair the damage, but it makes sense when you think about it another way.

    If you want to refurbish a room, it is best to clean the room and remove the old furniture before you put the new furniture in. The same thought process applies to your cells. We must use intermittent fasting to let autophagy clean the room of the cell before we put in new furniture. If we dont, our cells can become cancerous.

    Also Check: Can You Eat Anything While Intermittent Fasting

    Should You Do Intermittent Fast Every Day

    If you can follow a daily intermittent fasting schedule, your body gets used to the cycle, and you may not feel as hungry as you do when you start. Your body adapts to the change in eating patterns.

    Lets face it we are used to eating several times a day. And if you gradually ease into intermittent fasting, you will find it gets easier.

    However, suppose you feel that you simply cannot do this. In that case, you can try expanding your eating window to 12 or 14 hours and eating a lot of vegetables and fruits, which are filling and yet not very calorific.

    Do you find this very restricting? Then opt for skipping meals occasionally. Whatever method you adopt, know that eating fewer calories and eating healthier will enable you to lose weight and improve your health.

    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.

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    Options For Intermittent Fasting

    There are several different intermittent fasting methods discussed online. Here are a few of the most popular ones.

    • Crescendo MethodThe Crescendo Method is one of the best ways to ease into intermittent fasting without shocking your body or aggravating your hormones. It doesnt require you to fast every day, only a few days per week, spaced throughout the week. For example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.Fasting Window: 12-16 hours
    • Have a previous history of eating disorders
    • Have difficulty sleeping

    Additionally, intermittent fasting is meant to complement a healthy diet and lifestyle not act as a way to remedy five days of eating nutritionally-bankrupt foods, such as refined sugar, processed foods and fast foods.

    What If Pattern Should You Follow

    How often should you do intermittent fasting?

    The intermittent fasting pattern is divided into two parts, the fasting window, and the eating window. There are several IF patterns like 16/8, 18/6, 15/9, etc. Its up to you and your lifestyle, which one you follow.

    18/6 According to an article published by The New England Journal of Medicine, 18/6 IF pattern accelerates metabolism rate, increased stress resistance, protect you from diseases including cancer and obesity as well as increase longevity.

    16/8- A study published online on Oct 13, 2016, demonstrated that 8 weeks of 16/8 fasting method with resistance training could improve some health-related issue, decrease body fat mass, and maintain muscle mass in resistance-trained males.

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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 Secret To Intermittent Fasting For Women

    By Amy Shah, MD

    May 22, 2016

    Chances are if you are health and fitness savvy, youve heard of intermittent fasting and its benefits for fat loss and overall health.

    But did you know that, if youre a woman, fasting could lead to hormonal imbalance and could lead to fertility issues if not done properly? Here, well discuss the best ways for women to enjoy the positive aspects of intermittent fasting without putting their health at risk.

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    Intermittent Fasting And Type 2 Diabetes

    I am a type 2 diabetic off all meds and have been on a LCHF diet for 8 months. When I try fasting for multiple days my blood sugars scores are in the low 60s and have been taught that this range is to low and need to have some food. Is this normal when fasting and short term affect. Is it normal for sugar levels to be low during fasting? Also ketone levels average per day is 2.5.

    If you are taking blood sugar medications, then you must be very careful to avoid low sugars and work with your doctor. Otherwise, your body should be able to manufacture new glucose during fasting, although in rare cases, some people still develop hypoglycemia.

    Sugars should normally be low during fasting and ketones increased. This is the normal situation as ketones are produced as energy for the brain.

    Does the presence of ketones in the urine indicate improved insulin in someone with T2 diabetes when the ketones are the result of ketogenic diet?

    Ketones are produced by the body when insulin levels are low for the brain to use as fuel. Some people measure it to make sure that their diet is sufficiently low in carbohydrates

    What exactly does eGFR of 80ml/min mean in a type 2 Diabetic and what can the patient do to prevent further kidney disease?

    An eGFR of 80 is pretty close to normal. The only way to prevent diabetic kidney disease is to get rid of the diabetes. Anything else is just rearranging chairs on the Titanic

    What is best fasting regime to help diabetic who had high HbA1c above 10 ?

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