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How Long To Do Intermittent Fasting

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Popular Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting

How Long Should You Fast With Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting has recently become a health trend. Devotees claim it can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, and maybe even extend life span.

Every method can be effective, but figuring out which one works best depends on the individual.

Several methods of this eating pattern exist. But before embarking on an intermittent fast or deciding how often to fast, you should speak with a healthcare professional.

Here are 6 popular ways to do intermittent fasting.

Will I Lose Weight

Most likely.64 If you have weight to lose, it is extremely likely that you will lose weight if you do not eat.

In theory, its possible to eat more after fasting, of course, cancelling out the weight lost. But studies generally show that most people tend to eat significantly less overall.65

I call intermittent fasting the ancient secret of weight loss because it might be one of the most powerful dietary interventions for weight loss, yet it has been mostly ignored by doctors and dietitians for a long time.66

The Easiest Way To Get Started With Intermittent Fasting

The best way I can start you off on the right foot to Intermittent Fasting so that mistakes are easily avoided is to stress the importance of eating clean whole foods when you are in a fasting window.

But first, lets take a quick look at the types of fasting so you can determine which one will work the best for you. Thats key, you know. Choose the plan that you think you will have the most success with and dive in. All options are feasibleit depends on your lifestyle and your end goals. Here we go:

  • The 16/8 Method: This means you fast for 16 hours and make healthy food choices the other 8. Try finishing your last meal at 8 pm and then breaking your fast at 12 noon the next day.
  • The 5/2 Method: Here, you eat normally for 5 days during the week and for the other 2 days, you choose meals that limit you to 500-600 calories per day .
  • The Stop-Eat-Stop Method: With this regimen, you fast for 24 hours, once or twice per week. This can be a difficult method to start with if you are accustomed to eating 3 or 4 times a day, presently.
  • The Alternate-Day Method: Alternating eating every other day is the rule with this method. A common way to accomplish this is to eat 500 calories on fasting days and whatever you want when its a non-fasting day.
  • The Spontaneous Meal Skipping Method: For this IF method, you skip meals as it works for you. Although not a regimented method, you can benefit from it.

Also Check: What Foods Can You Eat On Intermittent Fasting

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.

What Can I Eat While Intermittent Fasting

A Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting

During the times when youre not eating, water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted.

And during your eating periods, eating normally does not mean going crazy. Youre not likely to lose weight or get healthier if you pack your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items and treats.

But what Williams likes about intermittent fasting is that it allows for a range of different foods to be eaten and enjoyed. We want people to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food, she says. She adds that eating with others and sharing the mealtime experience adds satisfaction and supports good health.

Williams, like most nutrition experts, regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat, whether youre trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.

Also Check: Which Is More Accurate A1c Or Fasting Glucose

Does Intermittent Fasting Boost Your Metabolism

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves periods of food restriction, called fasting, followed by a period of regular eating.

This pattern of eating could help you lose weight, reduce your risk of disease, and increase your lifespan .

Some experts even claim that its beneficial effects on metabolism make it a healthier way to lose weight than standard calorie restriction (

4 ).

Studies have shown that when it comes to weight loss, intermittent fasting can be just as effective as traditional calorie restriction, if not more so .

In fact, a 2014 review found that intermittent fasting could help people lose an impressive 38% of their body weight in 324 weeks .

A 2016 review concluded that in people who have obesity or overweight, intermittent fasting may be a better approach to weight loss than very low calorie diets (

13 ).

There are a few different ways to try intermittent fasting. Some people follow the 5:2 diet, which involves fasting for 2 days per week. Others practice alternate-day fasting or the 16/8 method.

If you are interested in trying intermittent fasting, you can read more about it in this detailed guide for beginners.

Summary

Intermittent fasting is a powerful weight loss tool. It can also improve your metabolism and metabolic health.

Why You Shouldnt Rely On The Weight Scale

In addition to the weight scale, grab your measuring tape and take an account of your inches from your upper body, hips, waist, stomach and lower body every month. With intermittent fasting, your body is reshaping: Itâs using up stored fat and at the same time, muscle mass is largely retained or even gained .

For this reason, intermittent fasting success often shows up as lost inches rather than big movements on the scale. Over 6 months, women in one study lost 4 to 7% of stubborn, visceral fat .

After the first week of intermittent fasting, youâll probably notice less bloating and a tighter, slimmer look and feel to your midsection.

Some people will enjoy some weight loss by week two, but donât be discouraged if your weight scale hasnât budged. Continue for another 4-6 weeks, and you should see changes. Once the pounds start releasing, expect a 1 to 2-pound loss per week, with inches gone each month.

Read Also: How Does Fasting Help Prayer

My Diet Stayed Clean Af

In my 3-week intermittent fasting results I spoke in great detail about how things just finally clicked for me regarding my relationship with food.

I still feel the same.

Ive had no issues approaching my diet with discipline and self-control since that epiphany and Im so happy to be here.

I only ate when hungry, and then just lean foods!

Tons of fruit, oats, beans, lean meat and veggies.

Still not eating as many veggies as Id like, but we did just subscribe to Imperfect Produce and our first box has arrived.

So far it seems good, but well see over time!

It looks like a good way to get different veggies I wouldnt normally pick up at the store onto our plates!

It May Aid Weight Loss

How Long Does Intermittent Fasting Take To Work? [2021]

Various methods of intermittent fasting, including 20-hour fasting cycles, have been linked to weight loss.

One study, which closely mimicked the Warrior Diet , found that people who consumed meals over four hours in the evening experienced more weight loss than those who consumed the same amount of calories in meals throughout the day.

Whats more, those who ate one meal per day showed significantly reduced fat mass and greater muscle mass .

A recent review of six studies concluded that various types of intermittent fasting, ranging from 3 to 12 months, were more effective at promoting weight loss than no dietary intervention.

However, the review found that there were no significant weight loss differences between dieters using intermittent fasting or continuous calorie restriction , meaning that calorie restriction without fasting was equally effective .

Additionally, although reducing calorie intake is the most common outcome of the Warrior Diet, some people following this eating pattern could technically consume too many calories during the four-hour overeating period and experience weight gain.

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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.

Intermittent Fasting Tips For Success And How To Start

When starting a new healthy habit, it’s important to think about what challenges you may face or barriers that may arise during the process.

This is actually a crucial step in planning SMART goals, a common tool used by health coaches to help clients set achievable goals that last long term. When it comes to intermittent fasting there are a few common challenges or questions that tend to arise:

  • What do I eat during my non-fasting period?
  • What happens if I feel dizzy or nauseous?
  • Is intermittent fasting safe?
  • How long should I intermittent fast for?

Read Also: Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Women

Isnt Fasting The Same As Reducing Calories

No, not necessarily. Fasting can reduce the time you spend eating and primarily addresses the question of when to eat.62 Calorie reduction addresses the question of what and how much to eat. They are separate issues and should not be confused with each other.

Fasting may reduce calories but its benefits extend far beyond that.63Learn more

Intermittent Fasting: What It Is And How I Do It

The Intermittent Fasting Trend: What Is the Best Way to Do It?

Here’s a simple definition of intermittent fasting: you eat your normal amount of food in a smaller time frame. It’s not a diet, it’s just a pattern of eating that reduces your eating window each day to about 8 hours.

For example, I usually eat my first meal around 12pm or 1pm and then I can continue eating until my final meal at 8pm. After that, I fast until the next day at 12pm. That breaks out to about 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating each day. I do this almost every day.

I’m not going to dive into the details of intermittent fasting in this article. I have previously written a 3,000 word beginners guide to intermittent fasting and a lengthy question and answer guide on intermittent fasting. If you have questions about how it works and the science behind it, read those articles.

And if you want even more information, I was also interviewed on the Fat Burning Man podcast and the Jimmy Moores live show about intermittent fasting .

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You Are Not Eating Enough Protein

If you find that your meals cannot carry you across your fasting period to your next eating window, then you might need to adjust your diet.

Consider including more lean protein in your diet. It does not matter the type of protein, vegan and animal protein, all are fine.

Proteins can help keep you full till your next meal. Furthermore, if you are exercising during this period, proteins are important for building your muscles and protecting your bone health.

Your meals should have healthy fats, carbs, leafy greens, and proteins.

Female Intermittent Fasting Results After 1 Month

First off Ive noticed in my years as a personal trainer and nutrition coach that women tend to lose a little less weight than men with Intermittent Fasting. Im not sure the physiological reasons for this but women just tend to lose a little less than men. But that doesnt make it any less effective for them.

Women tend to lose about 10-15 pounds in their first month using Intermittent Fasting.

If youre a woman then youll also notice a slimmer midsection with less belly fat and a tighter tummy. You can also expect to drop a few pant sizes in one month as your body loses weight and burns off more fat. Plus youll notice your arms and legs will appear more toned than before.

But if you have a lot of weight to lose then women can easily lose more weight than this. 20 pounds can be achieved with Intermittent Fasting in your first month if youre already carrying 40+ pounds of excess weight on your body.

Many postpartum women can lose a good chunk of baby weight they gained during the pregnancy. Lots of women can get back to their pre-baby weight after a few months of Intermittent Fasting.

Make sure you also take a before and after picture to see visual changes in your bodys appearance after the first month of Intermittent Fasting. Measuring your inches as well will help to give you an overall picture of how much weight and fat you lost over the first month of fasting.

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Not Exercising When Intermittent Fasting

Some people think they cant exercise when in a period of IF, when in fact, its the ideal scenario. Exercise helps you use up stored fat. Additionally, the Human Growth Hormone is increased as you work out, helping you to build muscle. However, there are tips to follow to maximize your workouts.

To get the best results from your efforts, keep these points in mind:

  • Time your workouts for during the eating periods and then eat healthy carbs and proteins within 30 minutes of the exercise
  • If the type of exercise is intense, make sure you eat before so that your glycogen stores are available
  • Base your exercise on the fasting method if you are doing a 24 hour fast, do not plan an intensive activity that day
  • Stay hydrated during the fast and especially during the workout
  • Listen to your bodys signals if you feel weak or light-headed, take a break or conclude the workout

Intermittent Fasting Can Help Weight Loss

How Often Should You Do Intermittent Fasting?

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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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.
  • Intermittent Fasting Method For Women

    Hands down, the 16:8 intermittent fasting method is one of the most popular ways to practice intermittent fasting, and today I want to uncomplicate this practice for you and help you get started.

    Whether youre looking to incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle for health reasons, weight loss, or its benefits, having a simple schedule to follow can help .

    This post will break down the 16:8 intermittent fasting method and explain:

  • 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Results
  • First, you should consult a licensed medical physician before you jump into intermittent fasting. IF isnt for everyone, and therefore, its something to discuss with a licensed professional.

    The purpose of this post is to give you a simplified version of the confusing rules youll find on the internet when it comes to the 16:8 intermittent fasting method it is not to provide any professional/medical advice.

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