Is Intermittent Fasting Safe
Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis. But intermittent fasting isnt for everyone.
Williams stresses that before you try intermittent fasting , you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
- Children and teens under age 18.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
- Those with a history of eating disorders.
But, Williams says, people not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. It can be a lifestyle change, she says, and one with benefits.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.
The Daily Calories Intake During Interval Fasting
Counting calories is not sufficient, and you dont need to count calories. However, a low intake of food can make it difficult for you to succeed in the long run.
If you tend to eat far too much or far too little food, it can make sense to check your calories as part of an initial control during Intermittent Fasting.
At least until you have learned how much food you can or should eat in your relatively short 8-hour eating phase.
You can calculate your total daily calorie requirement using basal metabolic rate and power metabolic rate. And try to consume at least 80 percent of it.
Of course, it doesnt matter if you eat only half of your calories one day and maybe even exceed your needs the next. A change in the amount of energy consumed daily is even quite beneficial to keep the metabolism at a high level during short-term fasting.
On a weekly average, however, you should not be below this 80 percent threshold to take advantage of Intermittent Fasting in the long term and to avoid damaging your metabolism.
Burning Fat Vslosing Fat
Before we carry on, lets go through the differences between burning fat, fatoxidation, and losing fat.
- Fat Oxidation is the process of burning fatty acids in the mitochondria. It refers to which fuel substrates are used in the Krebs cycle to produce ATP. You can have high levels of fat oxidation due to eating more dietary fat, fasting or while youre exercising but whether or not youll actually lose fat depends on your daily calorie balance.
- Losing fat means youre actually losing body fat. You can lose body fat without burning primarily fatty acids during the day. But if youre at a calorie deficit, eventually you will tap into oxidizing the fatty acids stored in your adipose tissue.
- Burning fat is just a term used to describe fat burning. What it actually means is context-dependent and people just use it to either explain what their goals are, how they exercise or how they feel. Its basically synonymous with both fat oxidation and losing fat.
When it comes to exercise, then fat oxidation in the mitochondria occurs in the absence of glucose. High-intensity exercise like sprinting and weightlifting exceed 65% of your VO2 max, which requires glycogen to be used for energy. Lower intensities that stay under 65% like jogging, cardio or easy calisthenics burn primarily fatty acids because the intensity is lower.
Also Check: How To Intermittent Fasting To Lose Weight
Tips For Intermittent Fasting
- Increase the fluid intake a day or two before you start fasting.
- Consume raw foods from vegetable and fruits to nuts etc. while avoiding processed foods, sugars, and dairy.
- Initially fast for only a few hours, preferably during the morning as it helps the body to rev up for another day by eliminating the debris body might have collected while you slept.
- Avoid taking any calorie-free drinks and beverages that use artificial sweeteners as they tend to stimulate your appetite just like any drink that contains sugar, which makes you overeat.
- Avoid gorging at your first meal after the fast as binging will not only diminish the benefits of fast but also make you feel awful.
Accounting For The Thermic Effect Of Food
Next, you need to account for the thermic effect of food. This is essentially the calories that your body burns simply because you ate. Since protein has the highest thermic effect, meaning you burn off the most calories to break it down, and you’re using a higher protein intake while on this diet plan, that means that you’ll need to use a slightly higher value here.
To account for this, take the number you got in the first part and multiply by 1.2. This adds digestion onto things.
Recommended Reading: Is Fasting Bad For You
What Does Intermittent Fasting Do
Intermittent fasting is about when you eat, not what you eat. Itâs essentially blocking out times during the day or during the week when you fast or refrain from eating. Some popular versions of intermittent fasting include
- The 16:8 schedule
- The 5:2
- Alternate-day fasting, or periodic fasting with occasional consecutive fasting periods
Scientists think when we stop eating for extended periods of time, our bodies undergo a âmetabolic switch,â where the body moves from using glucose for energy to fatty acids and their descendants â molecules called ketones .
Matthew Phillips, a neurologist at Waikato Hospital in New Zealand, tells Inverse the switch gives our bodyâs cells a âmild bioenergetic challenge of nutrient deprivation by hunkering down and focusing more on maintenance, stress resistance, repair, and metabolic efficiency, rather than growth.â
Intermittent fasting may or may not result in an intake of fewer calories naturally, and people who fast intermittently may or may not have weight loss in mind. Proponents of intermittent fasting talk about their reduced inflammation, improved energy, mental clarity, and improved diabetes management but research on humans in the long term is not yet conclusive.
What experts say about intermittent fasting vs. calorie restriction
â there are health benefits that go beyond this calorie restriction.â
Intermittent fasting and ârealâ people
Thinking About Your Activity Level
Finally, last but not least, you need to think about your activity level. Those who are more active throughout the day are going to be burning up more calories total, so this needs to be considered. If you’re working a desk job, you’ll hardly burn any further calories, while if you’re on your feet all day long, you’ll be burning up far more.
Use this as a guideline.
Read Also: How To Lose Weight Fast Intermittent Fasting
What To Eat When Intermittent Fasting
Of course, we know that an all-or-nothing approach isn’t always warranted or sustainableand that there are still plenty of benefits to be had in the territory that lies between a strict water-only fast and eating a full-blown meal.
Some foods maintain many of fasting’s benefitswhile keeping you sane. So, many experts say it’s OK to consume certain caloric foods in small quantities to help you stick to an intermittent fasting plan.
Case in point: To help patients stay happy and compliant with their fast, integrative physician Amy Shah, M.D., allows the consumption of 30 to 40 calories from sources that won’t spike blood sugar, like coffee or tea with a splash of unsweetened almond milk. “I call this ‘dirty fasting,'” says Shah. “For me, I like to fast as long as possible with just waterthat might be 13 or 14 hours of a water fastthen I’ll have my tea with almond milk and end at around 16 hours.”
Even Horne agrees that some perks of fasting remain with minimal food intake: “One mechanism that is known to remain active when a small amount of food is consumed is ketosisas long as you consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrates ,” he says. “Some effects, such as the impact of fasting on the gut microbiome, may be different depending on whether it’s a water-only fast or a very-low-calorie diet with a small amount of food consumed, but both may provide some level of benefit when compared to eating a standard amount of food.”
Been On Keto For A Few Months And I Wake Up At 3 Am Every Morning With A Cortisol Rush Any Pre
I think the dawn phenomenon kicks in around at a very high level at around 3 am, but since Im a light sleeper, I totally wake up at 3 am, being alert, and cant easily fall back to sleep. I am not diabetic. Any pre-sleep ketogenic nutrition changes to delay the rush of cortisol so I can sleep uninterrupted until 5 am or later?
Adding a minor amount of carbs in the evenings can help, but also reduces the effect of a ketogenic diet somewhat.
You May Like: What Is Juice Fasting For Weight Loss
How Fast Can You Lose Weight On Intermittent Fasting 1: 6
A persons weight loss pace depends on lots of factors and varies individually. Technically, the more calories you reduce, the faster you shed pounds. However, that is not always the case. Drastic calorie restriction may cause your body to enter the surviving mode, where you may stop burning fat and start burning muscles instead while packing on energy in the form of fat. Experts recommend losing 1-2 pounds a week . Such a weight loss pace is the safest and the most sustainable.
Drawbacks Of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
16/8 intermittent fasting may be associated with many health benefits, but it does come with some drawbacks and may not be right for everyone.
Restricting your intake to just eight hours per day can cause some people to eat more than usual during eating periods in an attempt to make up for hours spent fasting.
This may lead to weight gain, digestive problems and the development of unhealthy eating habits.
16/8 intermittent fasting may also cause short-term negative side effects when youre first getting started, such as hunger, weakness and fatigue though these often subside once you get into a routine.
Additionally, some research suggests that intermittent fasting may affect men and women differently, with animal studies reporting that it could interfere with fertility and reproduction in females .
However, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects that intermittent fasting may have on reproductive health.
In any case, be sure to start gradually and consider stopping or consulting your doctor if you have any concerns or experience negative symptoms.
Restricting daily food intake may cause weakness, hunger, increased food consumption and weight gain. Animal studies show that intermittent fasting may impact men and women differently and may even interfere with fertility.
You May Like: Does Intermittent Fasting Burn Belly Fat
Are There Any Side Effects Of Intermittent Fasting 20/4
Yes, there are. Some downsides of participating in a fasting eating plan include:
- May lead to a binge-eating disorder This is a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food and feel unable to stop eating. Fasting has been linked to the increase in the onset of binge-eating .
- May lead to nutrient deficiencies Since you are eating during a very small window, you are unlikely to consume the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Nutrient deficiencies that can lead to anemia, fatigue, weakness, poor eye health and immunity, short term memory loss, diarrhea, dementia, and skin disorders, muscle loss, osteoporosis, and depression .
- It has no basis in science As we mentioned above, this diet was developed by an ex-military guy who based all his findings from his experience during active duty. He is neither a scientist, nutritionist, nor a dietitian. On the other hand, most of the benefits mentioned have been linked to fasting in general or other forms of intermittent fasting and not the 20/4 method.
Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss
One of the main benefits of an 18:6 intermittent fasting is weight loss. There were many cases of weight loss success with intermittent fasting 18:6, as well as those where people were not that satisfied with the 18:6 intermittent fasting results. So, at the end of the day, the result depends on how well you adjust to this eating pattern, and what your choice of food is.
There are a lot of ways in which intermittent fasting can help you lose weight. Here are some of them :
You May Like: What Is 18 6 Intermittent Fasting
What Is The 1: 8 Diet
The 16:8 diet is a type of intermittent fasting where you break each day into two parts a 16 hour stretch and an 8 hour period. For 16 hours every day, you consume nothing but water, coffee, tea and other unsweetened drinks. Then for the other eight hours of the day, you can eat all your meals and snacks.
The 16 hour stretch sounds like a long time, but if youre getting enough sleep, you should be asleep for about half of that time.
Sports Scientist Harry Aitken tells GoodtoKnow, Intermittent fasting is a dietary technique in which all food is consumed within a relatively small window of time. Fasting is going for a significant period of time without eating, and intermittent fasting simply brings in a small window of time where you are able to eat.
Intermittent fasting has been popularised and studies have gone on to confirm that it leads to weight loss and fat loss.
The 16:8 diet stems from the book 8 Hour Diet by author David Zinczenko and editor-in-chief of Mens Health Peter Moore, who suggested that a longer fasting time between eating gives the body the time it needs to process the food and burn away extra fat.
Antipsychotics And Metabolic Syndrome
I work as a psychiatrist and there is a lot of attention to weight and metabolic parameters when people use antipsychotics. With risen hunger usually as the biggest problem. Any studies done on this group with LCHF? And do you think it can reverse the perceived starvation/hunger?
To the best of my knowledge, there are no studies on this. My own pet theory is that drugs that act as dopamine antagonists reduce food reward and result in people wanting to eat more to get the same food reward.
In theory, a low-carb diet could help at least partially to reduce this problem, as a low-carb diet tends to reduce hunger.
Also Check: How To Do Intermittent Fasting 16 8
Intermittent Fasting Diet Meal Plan
You can find your suitable 16:8 setting by trial and error method. But the example clock arrangement here is one of the is ideal for most people. We started the eating time at 10 am. You can move forward 1-2 hours or backward 1-2 hours if you wish.
2 boiled eggs1 slice of cheese 5 olives1 slice of whole wheat bread1 tomato
Mix 1 tablespoon of oat bran with 1 bowl of yogurt.
2 kinds of Turkish side dishes2 slices of whole grain bread
You can find detailed recipes of side dishes here. Click the link, choose 2 of them and have them ready for your dinner.
A large bowl of curd cheese salad made with garlic, onion, green pepper, olive oil, tomato, thyme, cayenne pepper1 slice of whole wheat bread
A glass of smoothie made of apples, raw almonds and milk
1 serving of boiled chicken breast2 tablespoons of boiled chickpeas3 tablespoons cooked brown rice
Is The : 2 Diet A Healthy Choice For You
If you’re not sure whether the 5:2 diet is the right intermittent fasting program for you, there are other protocols similar to this plan to consider. Here’s how they compare:
- Warrior Diet:This intermittent fasting protocol involves fasting for 20 hours each day and eating all or most of your food within a 4-hour window in the evening. However, this plan lacks sufficient evidence and is not recommended by nutrition experts.
- 16:8 protocol: One of the most popular intermittent fasting methods, the 16:8 protocol involves consuming all of your calories for the day in an 8-hour window and then fasting for the remaining 16 hours. This method works well for beginners because 16 hours is typically a doable fast, especially if you count your sleeping hours.
- Eat Stop Eat: On this plan, youll observe a complete 24-hour fast once or twice a week. For example, if you stop eating at 8 p.m. on Sunday night, you wouldn’t eat again until 8 p.m. on Monday night. Like the 5:2 diet, youre free to choose your fasting days on the Eat Stop Eat diet.
- Alternate-day fasting:This intermittent fasting protocol involves an ongoing cycle: Fast one day, eat normally the next, and so on. You can eat 500600 calories on your fasting days on this diet. Ultimately, alternate-day fasting ends up as a 4:3 diet, versus a 5:2 diet.
Also Check: Can You Get Into Ketosis By Fasting
How Do I Manage Hunger
The most important thing to realize is that hunger usually passes like a wave. Many people worry that hunger during intermittent fasting will continue to build until it is intolerable, but this does not normally happen.46 Instead, hunger comes in a wave. If you simply ignore it and drink a cup of tea or coffee, it will often pass.47
During extended fasts, hunger will often increase into the second day. After that, it gradually recedes, and many people report a complete loss of hunger sensation by day 3 or 4.48 Your body is now being powered by fat. In essence, your body is eating its own fat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and therefore is no longer hungry. Learn more
How To Know If Youre Eating Too Much Or Too Little
Of course, not everyone has to become a calorie counter during intermittent fasting during the first days or weeks. There are other ways to know if the amount of energy you consumed was sufficient or if you should adjust the amount again.
Your body always sends you signals whether the amount of energy is appropriate or not. For example, if you often feel cold during is an indication that you are not consuming enough food.
Also, if you tend to be more irritable than usual, have frequent headaches, or generally feel somewhat tired and lacking in energy at the end of your fasting phase, this is a sign that you are not eating enough.
Another signal is an initial strong weight loss and sudden stagnation. In this case, you should check your calorie intake during interval fasting. At least for a while to avoid putting your metabolism on the wrong track.
On the other hand, if you feel full of power and feel an increased concentration during fasting, your food quantity during interval fasting is correct.
It is normal to feel hungry or a little cold towards the end of a fasting period. As long as you have a lasting feeling of satiety after a balanced meal, everything indicates that you are doing everything right in terms of quantity.
Besides, your weight loss during interval fasting should not make too big jumps and stagnate only rarely.
And if the weight does stagnate dont worry, it will usually pass.
You May Like: What Can I Drink When Im Intermittent Fasting