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How Many Hours Can You Eat On Intermittent Fasting

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What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

How Often Should You Do Intermittent Fasting?

Greater Fat Burning: Research has shown that fasting for relatively long periods may result in greater fat burning and accelerated fat loss, even when daily calorie intake remains the same. Most people find that they can have a few more of their favorite cheat foods during the feeding window and still see results

Adherence: IF is relatively easy to do, and it’s a diet you don’t have to discontinueâever. You can do intermittent fasting long term with no adverse health effects. Instead, you’ll see health benefits from IF.

Hour Fast: The Takeaway

If you want to lose weight, focus better, and reduce chronic inflammation, a 20 hour fast may be right for you.

20 hour intermittent fasting is likely closer to our evolutionary diet than most of the so-called healthy diets that are trendy today. After a successful hunt, our ancestors feasted. Then they fasted until the next successful hunt. From this perspective, our metabolism is optimized for a fasting and feasting cycle.

20 hour intermittent fasting is considered a more intensive IF plan. As with any fasting protocol, its important to listen to your body and make adjustments when necessary. There are numerous gentler approaches to try if the 20 hour fast feels too extreme.

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The Benefits Of Fasting Don’t Kick In At The Same Time For Every Person

Experts agree that your personal habits will play a role in when exactly certain health benefits will kick in.

“There are very few definites here,” says Vincent Pedre, M.D., an integrative physician and gut health expert who frequently recommends intermittent fasting diets to his patients.

“Where you start seeing those benefits depends on what you eat, how healthy your gut health is, what kind of physical activity you’re doing, etc.”

For example, letting calories slip into your fasting window, overeating calorie-dense foods like pizza during your eating window, not prioritizing sleep or physical activity, or making one of these intermittent-fasting mistakes could all delay or counteract the benefits of intermittent fasting.

Even if you’re formulating the rest of your diet and lifestyle perfectly, it’s important to understand that the different health benefits associated with intermittent fasting will likely kick in at different durations of fasting.

For example, weight loss may be triggered by a relatively short fasting window, while entering ketosis or triggering autophagythat “self-cleaning” cellular process that boosts brain functioning and maybe even longevitymay take significantly longer.

Unfortunately, not enough research has been conducted on all the different forms of intermittent fasting to provide any hard-and-fast rules.

Recommended Reading: Does Fasting Help Lose Weight Faster

Fasting For 2 Days A Week

People following the 5:2 diet eat standard amounts of healthful food for 5 days and reduce calorie intake on the other 2 days.

During the 2 fasting days, men generally consume 600 calories and women 500 calories.

Typically, people separate their fasting days in the week. For example, they may fast on a Monday and Thursday and eat normally on the other days. There should be at least 1 non-fasting day between fasting days.

There is limited research on the 5:2 diet, which is also known as the Fast diet. A involving 107 overweight or obese women found that restricting calories twice weekly and continuous calorie restriction both led to similar weight loss.

The study also found that this diet reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity among participants.

A small-scale study looked at the effects of this fasting style in 23 overweight women. Over the course of one menstrual cycle, the women lost 4.8 percent of their body weight and 8.0 percent of their total body fat. However, these measurements returned to normal for most of the women after 5 days of normal eating.

Branch Chain Amino Acid Supplement

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A final IF-approved supplement is the BCAA. While this muscle-building aid is most beneficial for the individual who enjoys fasted cardio or hard workouts at the crack of dawn, it can be consumed all throughout the day to prevent the body from going into a catabolic state and preserve lean muscle mass. Note: If you choose to follow a vegan diet pattern, this supplement may be off-limits, as most are sourced from duck feathers.

Also Check: Can I Eat Anything While Fasting

What Is An Intermittent Fasting Diet

In general, intermittent fasting refers to any eating schedule that alternates periods of going without food with meals. There are many different types of plans, including those that restrict calories for only certain hours of each day or certain days of the week. The main difference between IF and traditional calorie-restriction diets is that IF doesnt limit portions or foods, only when you eat them.

The review, which included more than 25 studies that looked at intermittent fasting in humans, found that IF consistently resulted in people consuming fewer total calories between 10 and 30 percent fewer than they had been eating at the onset of the studies which led to weight loss.

The review also included safety considerations and practical advice for how these diets should be implemented in everyday life.

Fasting May Improve Blood Sugar Control

Some studies have found that intermittent fasting can improve blood sugar control in those with type 2 diabetes.

A study in 10 people with type 2 diabetes found that a fasting goal of 1820 hours a day lead to a considerable decrease in body weight and significantly improved fasting and post-meal blood sugar control .

However, another recent study showed that intermittent fasting increased the chances of hypoglycemia , even when taking lower doses of blood-sugar-reducing medications .

Though lowering blood sugar levels in a safe way is beneficial, hypoglycemia can be dangerous and lead to serious complications .

For this reason, people with diabetes who are interested in trying out intermittent fasting should consult with their doctor first.


Methods of intermittent fasting like the Warrior Diet may help reduce weight, improve brain health, lower blood sugar and reduce inflammation.

Despite potential health benefits of the Warrior Diet, there are some downfalls to this way of eating.

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What Should You Eat While Following If

There are technically no restrictions on what foods you can eat when youre not fasting.

Based on our research, we know that food quality is important to ensure a healthy gut, stabilize blood sugar and fat responses, and avoid dietary inflammation.

Eating a healthy, varied diet is great for your overall health. Incorporating a wide range of plants in your day will feed the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and help to make sure your body gets the nutrients it needs.

High-quality sources of fiber and protein can help you feel fuller longer.

Try to include:

  • vegetables

  • lean protein, such as poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes like lentils and peas

What you choose to eat can also depend on what youre trying to achieve through intermittent fasting.

How Can I Fast If I Work The Night Shift

Intermittent Fasting: A Two-Month Experiment. Does It Work? | Talking Point | Full Episode

We recommend fasting through your shift and having your meals at home. Eat at home before you go to your night shift. While you work, use bone broth or coffee while you adjust. When you get off in the morning, have your breakfast at home and go to sleep. This way you get in 12 hours of fasting and avoid eating during the night when digestion is slowest. Another alternative is going to sleep immediately after you get home. When you wake up, have your first meal and eat again before your night shift.

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How Long Does Intermittent Fasting Take To Show Results

You might begin to first notice a difference in your body about 10 days after you begin intermittent fasting. It could take between 2-10 weeks for you to lose significant weight. You might lose up to a pound each week.

Usually, the first signs you will notice that scream that your intermittent fasting is working is less bloating. Your midsection might look trimmer just over your first week of intermittent fasting.

Observing weight loss will take a little longer as your body needs some time to adjust to this new diet.

At about the second week is when most people first notice that they have dropped their first few pounds. If you have still not lost any weight by week two, stay consistent for about four or five more weeks and your results should come in soon enough.

Best Foods To Eat While Intermittent Fasting

Of all the fad diets of the moment, intermittent fasting has garnered much attention for its convincing evidence in scientific literature. Throughout history, fasting has been utilized as an expression of political dissent, desire for spiritual reward, as well as a therapeutic tool. And it’s recently gained widespread traction among fitness gurus for its touted weight loss and anti-aging effects. But that brings the big question: Is there an ultimate intermittent fasting guide so you know what to eat while you’re on this diet?

First, let’s take a step back and break down the basics: How does the diet work when it comes to these major intermittent fasting health benefits? Scientists postulate that the anti-aging benefits are largely due to increased insulin sensitivity, and weight loss is related to an overall reduced calorie intake because of a shortened feeding window. Simply put, when you have less time during the day to eat, you eat less. Easy, right? But a key concept, as with any diet, is determining feasibility for your lifestyle.

One study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology showed diet-induced weight loss typically leads to a 70 percent regain in weight, so finding any type of weight-loss plan that works best for you and won’t cause you any damage in the future is the key.

For starters, here’s a breakdown of typical intermittent fasting schedules:

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Hour Fast For Increased Bdnf

BDNF-1, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, is another important endogenous hormone. While HGH is correlated with increased muscle cell production, BDNF-1 is associated with increased brain cell creation. Neuropsychiatrist John J. Ratey aptly calls it Miracle-Gro for the brain.

Higher levels of BDNF are correlated with faster learning and neural pathway development. Conversely, lower levels of BDNF are correlated with degenerative diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers.

Its not yet known why fasting boosts BDNF-1, but the connection makes logical sense from an evolutionary perspective: In ancient times we wouldve needed to think faster in times of caloric scarcity, and it appears BDNF is the neurological ingredient that helps us to rise to the occasion.

And Some Of The Donts Of Intermittent Fasting:

What is Intermittent Fasting and the What Are the Benefits?
  • Do not do your exercises in the evenings on fast days. Exercise has been shown in a lot of people to trigger hunger. Meaning you might be tempted to eat when you shouldnt.
  • 2. Do not add a lot of milk to your coffee. Only use half or teaspoon of milk when having tea or coffee. Milk does contain lactose which is sugar. This could derail the plan. Only use a small amount.

    3. Use your fasting period to do stuff. Dont sit idle. Getting busy will stop you thinking about food.

    4. Dont keep changing your feeding window if you are on the plan that allows food at certain times. If your eating window is between 12 Noon and 8pm, try and maintain that consistency every time. Its all about teaching your body to adapt to a new way of eating and fasting.

    5. Do not go to social events where the place will be awash with food on your fast days. The temptation of having so many food choices and so much food around might be too much for you to resist.

    6. On your feed days or eating window as the case may be, you should exercise caution in how much food you consume. Theres no need to stuff your face with so much food in an attempt to compensate for the fast period.

    It is not a feast or famine ethos and you should refrain from seeing it as such. Eat sensibly!

    Above all, be resilient. Its not as hard as it appears. Start small and build up.

    If you like your coffee, you may be also interested in the answer to the question: does coffee break a fast?

    Suggested further reading:

    Recommended Reading: What To Expect When Intermittent Fasting

    Hour Fast For Improved Productivity

    Fasting for 20 hours a day often leads to marked increases in productivity.

    For one, meal prep and cleanup time is dramatically reduced. You can skip your lunch break at school or work and instead spend that time listening to a podcast, going for a walk, or reading an informative book. Theres no longer any need to resort to unhealthy fast-food meals, either.

    Instead of worrying about meals, 20 hour intermittent fasting frees you up to enjoy your work and cherish your play.

    Hour Fast For Cellular Health

    Death and rebirth are a part of life even on the cellular level.

    20-hour fasting can catalyze the death/rebirth cycle, which when it comes to cells is known as autophagy. Just like a car needs the occasional spare part or oil change to run at its best, your body needs to undergo certain maintenance processes to stay functioning at a high level.

    Fasting for 20 hours a day helps your body heal, repair, and recycle needed components. It also gives cells in the digestive tract time to rest and restore their tight junctions, reducing the likelihood of leaky gut.

    During the fasting period your bodys production of stem cells skyrockets. These special cells are associated with increased energy, reduced cellular wear and tear, and other known markers of youthfulness.

    Lead researcher Dr. David Sabatini concluded that his MIT-based study provided evidence that fasting induces a metabolic switch in the intestinal stem cells, from utilizing carbohydrates to burning fat. Further, this switch enhanced function significantly.

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    A Recap On Intermittent Fasting & How It Works

    Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between fasting and eating, according to a specific schedule or caloric intake. Popular methods of intermittent fasting are the 16/8 method, 5/2 method, alternate-day fasting, one meal a day , Eat Stop Eat, the Warrior Diet, and spontaneous meal skipping.

    Can I Sip On Bcaas During My Fast

    How to do Intermittent Fasting for Serious Weight Loss Dr.Berg

    When you’re consuming branched-chain amino acids , you’re not truly fasting.

    There are 20 aminos that are used as the building blocks of protein, including the nine essential amino acids as well as the 11 nonessential aminos. If you consume just one of them, you’re essentially taking in protein and are technically not fasting.

    One exception is if you train in a fasted state. In that case, you can sip on aminos during your workout. The benefits of BCAAs for your workout outweigh any potential negatives.

    Amino acids that aren’t proteinogenic can be consumed during fasting. For example, it’s OK to have beta-alanine, betaine, D-aspartic acid andâeven though they’re not technically amino acidsâL-carnitine and creatine, especially if you’re training in a fasted state.

    Nutrition is only one aspect of successful weight loss. You also need a solid training plan. Pair Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred program on BodyFit Elite with intermittent fasting and get ready for serious results.

    About the Author

    Jim Stoppani, Ph.D. [

    Jim Stoppani holds a doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Connecticut and has been the personal nutrition and health consultant to numerous celebrity clients.

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    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.

    What Can I Drink While Fasting

    You can drink anything that doesnt have calories! Ideally, also avoid beverages sweetened with artificial sweeteners, as these can impact your metabolism through your gut microbes. Some artificial sweeteners raise your insulin levels more than others , but theres a connection between many artificial sweeteners and negative gut microbe changes, insulin resistance and metabolic disease. While a recent meta-analysis suggests we need further research, it may be best to avoid sucralose, aspartame and saccharin in general.

    While fasting, you can drink things like black coffee, unsweetened hot and cold teas, water with added electrolytes, carbonated water, water with lemon, etc. Learn more about what you can drink while fasting here.

    If you are feeling like you need a little pick-me-up during a longer fast, you can enjoy some bone broth, some kombucha tea or other beverages with very small amounts of natural flavorings or healthy fats added. For example, you might enjoy some coffee with a little bit of butter or coconut oil added.

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    Best Foods To Eat When Intermittent Fasting

    When intermittent fasting, the following properties characterize the best foods to eat:

    • They are rich in nutrients, especially electrolytes
    • Their carbohydrates are primarily limited to dietary fiber
    • They are easily digestible and flatter the intestinal flora

    On top of that, the following list of the 24 best foods to eat when intermittent fasting brings additional benefits to your daily life.

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