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How Many Hours Should I Do Intermittent Fasting

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What Is Clean Or Dirty Fasting

How Often Should You Do Intermittent Fasting?

Surprisingly, you can follow a clean fasting schedule or play it out a little bit dirty.

These terms refer to defining what kind of foods break the fast. The clean path defines a zero-calorie approach: you cannot drink or eat anything other than water, plain black coffee, green tea, or any type of herbal tea.

While dirty fasting, you might consume drinks that contain less than 50 calories, such as lemon water, coffee with MCT oil, bone broth, or zero-calorie drinks. You might even enjoy a piece of gum or an occasional mint.

Both of these methods are valid. As a beginner, you might want to start fasting dirty and go clean once you get a handle on your new routine.

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.

It May Be Difficult For Some People To Stick To

One of the most obvious limitations of the Warrior Diet is that it restricts the time during which you may eat substantial meals to a four-hour period.

This can be difficult to stick to, especially when participating in normal social activities like going out to breakfast or lunch.

While some people may feel great when consuming very small amounts of calories over a 20-hour period, others may find that this way of eating is not ideal for their lifestyle.

Read Also: What Is The Best Eating Window For Intermittent Fasting

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.

Do You Even Need Cardio When Intermittent Fasting

The low

IF is a great way to control your eating tendencies. Unfortunately, I have always been a binge eater, and, for me, having a small eating window is an effective way of helping me keep within my appropriate daily calorie intake.

At the same time, I enjoy knowing that I am benefiting in many other ways from the extended fast each day.

Fasting for 13 or more hours per day has a ton of benefits aside from weight loss. These include giving your digestive system a rest, cleansing virtually all your cells through autophagy, and possibly even extending life!

Although an active lifestyle will certainly help, you can still lose weight by intermittent fasting alone, without exercise. The point is, not only will doing some cardio speed up your results tremendously, the added benefits of the exercise for your heart and lungs, muscles and bones, as well as your brain and mood, add up to something that you really should do for yourself. So keep fasting, but get some cardio in there at the right time.

Recommended Reading: How To Lose Weight Fast Through Intermittent Fasting

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.

The Fasting And Hormone Connection

To put it simply, intermittent fasting can cause hormonal imbalance in women if its not done correctly. Women are extremely sensitive to signals of starvation, and if the body senses that it is being starved, it will ramp up production of the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin.

So when women experience insatiable hunger after under-eating, they are actually experiencing the increased production of these hormones. Its the female bodys way of protecting a potential fetus even when a woman is not pregnant.

Of course, though, many women ignore these hunger cues causing the signals to get even louder. Or, worse, we try to ignore them, then fail and binge later, then follow that up with under-eating and starvation again. And guess what? That vicious cycle can throw your hormones out of whack and even halt ovulation.

In animal studies, after two weeks of intermittent fasting, female rats stopped having menstrual cycles and their ovaries shrunk while experiencing more insomnia than their male counterparts .

Unfortunately, there are very few human studies looking at the differences between intermittent fasting for men and women, but the animal studies confirm our suspicion: Intermittent fasting for long periods of time can sometimes throw off a womans hormonal balance, cause fertility problems and exacerbate eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder.

But there is a solution

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Thai Prawns With Pineapple & Green Beans

Filled to the brim with proteins, these Thai prawns with pineapple and green beans are a gastronomic masterpiece. They are quite easy to make and take not that much time

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar


  • Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large wok and saute the lemongrass and ginger until golden. Add the pineapple, beans, and cherry tomatoes, and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes, until the beans are just cooked. Add the prawns and the sauce and stir-fry for another 3-5 minutes. Throw in most of the basil leaves. Serve with lime wedges and the remaining basil leaves scattered over.
  • Nutritional value of 1 serving:

    Calories: 228, carbs: 20g, fats: 7g, protein: 22g

    Should You Do Cardio At The Beginning Of Your Fast

    How Many Days a Week Should You Do Intermittent Fasting

    Some people prefer to have their eating window in the first part of their day, from breakfast to lunch. In this scenario, you might want to do your cardio late afternoon, a few hours after your last meal.

    This is OK, I mean it works. But is not really ideal for most people because the exercise will make you hungrier than you would normally be, fairly early into your fast. This may lead to trouble sleeping, or greater temptation to end your fast prematurely.

    If you really want to be sure that you are actually progressing, then you need to be monitoring your body fat. just because youre losing pounds doesnt mean youre getting less fat, you could be losing lean mass. Conversely, if youre trying to bulk up you may think that youre gaining muscle, but you could actually be gaining more fat than you realize. To be sure, check out this Omron handheld body fat reader available on Amazon. This is the one I have at home and I use it regularly to give me a clear and accurate reading of my body composition.

    Also Check: What Foods To Eat While Fasting

    Exercising With 2 Meal Day

    Fasted training can help you to become more metabolically efficient

    The 2 Meal Day plan comes with a full library of workouts that are specially designed to facilitate your bodys ability to burn fat and as a result, increase fat loss!

    Studies demonstrate that a bout of aerobic exercise performed in the fasted state as compared with non-fasted state increases the reliance on fat and subsequently reduces the reliance on carbohydrate as a fuel during exercise, with several publications showing that fasted exercise oxidises around 20-30% more fat.

    Being less dependent on carbohydrates for energy is a good thing, you will end up feeling less hungry because your body knows how to tap into fat reserves for energy, rather than being dependant on the food you eat. Not craving high energy foods all day can be a big help when you are trying to lose weight and be healthier.

    Long-term dependence on carbohydrates can lead to Insulin resistance which is one of they are driving factors in metabolic disease and type 2 diabetes. Following the nutritional and exercise components of the 2 Meal Day plan will not only help you lose weight but can be highly effective in combating against metabolic diseases like these.

    Benefits To Gut Health

    Short periods of fasting, such as skipping breakfast , may benefit your gut microbes, explains Professor Tim Spector of Kings College London in his book Spoon-Fed. Although research in the field is in its early stages, accumulating evidence suggests that during fasting, certain species of microbes replicate and feed off carbohydrates in the gut lining. This makes the gut barrier healthier and more efficient.

    One explanation for this could be that gut microbes follow a circadian rhythm like you do. Microbe communities, like us, may also need to rest and recuperate as part of a daily circadian rhythm which could be important for our gut health, writes Spector.

    Everyones body responds differently to skipping meals, so Spector suggests experimenting by giving breakfast or another meal a miss to see how you feel. Leaving a minimum of 12 hours between eating, even if its only occasionally, could improve your mood and energy levels in the short term , he argues.

    Also Check: Should I Be Intermittent Fasting

    May Help Protect Against Alzheimers

    Note that these results are from research done on animals and not humans. In 2017, a study posted online revealed that intermittent fasting, in general, may help protect against Alzheimers disease through the restoration of Aquaporin-4 Polarity . Later in 2018, another study suggested that intermittent fasting protects against this disease through the increase of lipoproteins to the brain .

    How To Successfully Do The : 4 Intermittent Fast

    6 Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting

    The Warrior Diet plan involves fasting for 20 hours during the day followed by overeating in a 4-hour window at night.

    For example, you may set your feeding window at 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. During this time you can eat as much as you want with an emphasis on unprocessed, organic whole foods particularly those high in dietary fats and protein.

    After 10:00 pm, you fast or eat very small portions of specific foods such as raw fruit and vegetables until 6:00 pm the next day. Its important youre eating as fewer calories as possible during this time.

    The method is best suited for people who have tried intermittent fasting before or who already consume a low-carb/ketogenic diet.

    Hofmekler recommends you follow a three-week, three-phase plan initially before starting the Warrior Diet. This helps the body adapt to the eating and fasting schedule and become accustomed to using body fat as energy. This three-week introduction includes:

  • Phase 1 Detox4-hour evening eating period: consume salad with a dressing and a large or a couple of smaller meals of plant protein, whole grains, cheese and cooked vegetables.20-hour fast: consume vegetable juices, bone broth, yoghurt, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, raw fruit and raw vegetables. Black coffee, tea, water and small portions of milk can be consumed during the fasting period.
  • Once you have completed the three-phase diet, it is recommended you start it again before following the 20:4 guidelines.

    You May Like: Is Intermittent Fasting Bad For You

    How Does It Differ From The 1: 8 Method

    This plan may sound very similar to the 16:8 intermittent fast with just a smaller feeding window, however, it is actually very different to execute. Heres why:

  • You are fasting the majority of the day whereas on the 16:8 most of your fasting time is done while you are sleeping which makes it much easier to stick to.
  • You are able to eat a small portion of specific foods during your 20-hour fasting window on the Warrior Diet.
  • The four-hour eating window makes it much more difficult to consume your daily calories and meet your nutrient needs in such a limited time. Its much easier to achieve this in eight hours.
  • The original Warrior Diet places a much greater emphasis on the types of food you should be eating throughout the day and during your four-hour overeating period. Although the modern 20:4 diet has relaxed to allow you to eat what you want in your 4-hour window.
  • The original Warrior Diet also included an exercise plan to maximise the fitness and weight loss benefits while dieting.
  • How To Stay Focused

    With so many resources pertaining to intermittent fasting, not all the information you find online can be trusted. Poorly informed or false sources can give IF a bad rep, which Krystal felt firsthand.

    The biggest challenge is probably other peoples perceptions of fasting and overcoming the idea that not eating is dangerous or an eating disorder, said Krystal. Ive found that having information about why I do what I do helps me stay focused.

    Also Check: Can I Take Supplements While Fasting

    So Should I Do Intermittent Fasting Daily

    The answer depends on your routine and schedule. For some people who work Monday-Friday and then have the weekends off, they may prefer to only intermittent fast during the weekdays so they can enjoy their weekend. There is nothing wrong with fasting only 4-5 days out of the week. The problem many people run into during the weekend is that they stay up much later compared to the weekdays, so in order to fast like normal they would have to push their first meal back super late in the day.

    For example, say that Monday-Friday you usually stop eating at 8pm and eat at noon the next day , but then on the weekend you stay up late . That means the following day you wouldnt be able to eat until 4pm, which makes it much harder for those who enjoy staying out late during the weekends to continue their normal weekday intermittent fasting routine.

    So rather than stress and worry about it, you can simply not practice intermittent fasting on Saturday and/or Sunday, and then continue your normal intermittent fasting routine on Monday.

    So should you intermittent fast daily?

    The Backstory On Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss â How I Fast 20-22 Hours A Day!!

    IF as a weight loss approach has been around in various forms for ages, but was highly popularized in 2012 by BBC broadcast journalist Dr. Michael Mosleys TV documentary Eat Fast, Live Longer and book The Fast Diet, followed by journalist Kate Harrisons book The 5:2 Diet based on her own experience, and subsequently by Dr. Jason Fungs 2016 bestseller The Obesity Code. IF generated a steady positive buzz as anecdotes of its effectiveness proliferated.

    As a lifestyle-leaning research doctor, I needed to understand the science. The Obesity Code seemed the most evidence-based summary resource, and I loved it. Fung successfully combines plenty of research, his clinical experience, and sensible nutrition advice, and also addresses the socioeconomic forces conspiring to make us fat. He is very clear that we should eat more fruits and veggies, fiber, healthy protein, and fats, and avoid sugar, refined grains, processed foods, and for Gods sake, stop snacking. Check, check, check, I agree. The only part that was still questionable in my mind was the intermittent fasting part.

    Also Check: What To Eat When Your Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent Fasting 16/8 Vs 20/: Which One Should You Try

    If you are a beginner, the 16/8 method would be better for you than jumping headfirst into the intermittent fasting 20/4 method. Unlike the latter, the former gives you less time to fast, translating into a longer feeding window. Once your body gets used to the 16:8 variation, then you could choose to attempt a 20/4 intermittent fasting meal plan.

    The 3 Types Of Intermittent Fasting Compared

    Fasting for five days with juice will just leave you cranky and hungry. But fasting for 16-24 hours throughout the week? Thatll leave you energized and leaner.

    Intermittent fasting, as this diet method is known, is just as effective as daily calorie restriction for improving body composition, according to a 2017 study analysis from the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

    Unlike calorie restriction, though, intermittent fasting doesnt require you to count calories all the timeand its better at preventing hunger.

    Furthermore, intermittent fasting is especially good at helping you lose fat while maintaining muscle, rather than losing both , says Krista Varady, Ph.D., an associate professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago and key researcher on intermittent fasting. According to a study analysis in Nutrition Reviews, intermittent fasting also helps improve total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in both overweight and normal-weight people. The best part: Theres virtually no downside.

    There are three types of intermittent fasting: whole-day fasting, alternate-day fasting, and time-restricted feeding.

    Youll see the same benefits from eachthat is, losing fat without losing musclebut, since each type incorporates a different fasting period and fasting frequency, some are better-suited to certain guys and fitness lifestyles.

    Interested? Here are the three types of intermittent fasting, and whether each is right for you.

    Also Check: How Does Do Fasting Work

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