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.
My Mornings Were Either Mega
In the beginning, I couldn’t focus at all in the morning. I was so distracted by my hunger that I couldn’t get through tasks without daydreaming about later meals or scrolling through food-centric Instagram accounts. Before the fast, I was much more productive before lunch, so this was a weird change. It even extended into the weekend. I flew to see family, and I had a hard time making myself get up and get moving before lunch. My last day with family was when I bumped my fasting up to 16 hours, and by the time I got back to work and the city, my mornings finally felt productive again. The weekend solidified the fact that I was getting used to being hungry, so I utilized that feeling when I was back at work. I busied myself until the time before lunch flew by. Essentially, just like with any diet, it takes awhile to get going and get used to the changes.
How Can I Suppress Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
Eat high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, and high protein foods, including meat, fish, tofu, or nuts, during your eating window, Varady advised. Chewing high-fiber gummies can also help.
Drink lots of water. People tend to think they’re hungry, when they are really just thirsty, she said.
Go for black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or licorice herbal teas. These beverages may have appetite-suppressing effects, Varady noted.
Watch less TV: I know this sounds strange, but while you are watching TV, you are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. This can make you feel hungry, when in actuality, you are not hungry at all, she said.
Remember, being “a little hungry” is the best thing that can happen to you, wrote Madelyn Fernstrom, health and nutrition editor at NBC News, calling it a “true mind-body connection” that helps you recognize fullness.
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What To Drink During Intermittent Fasting
Its probably no surprise that you should drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated during both phases of IF. But you arent limited to drinking water.
You can also have zero-calorie beverages during both the fasting and eating window. However, artificial sweeteners in diet sodas can trigger sugar cravings.
Another option is bone broth. Bone broth is notorious for its incredibly high nutritional value and also helps to fight food cravings. However, while bone broth isnt likely break your fast, it still has some calories, and our advice is to avoid extra calories during your fasting period. It will be easier for your body to start burning calories, and youll feel the positive effects of intermittent fasting way sooner!
to find the best bone broth recipes.
Many people find that having a cup of tea or coffee in the morning helps them stay on schedule and skip breakfast. Just remember to stick with black coffee and not add any cream or sugar.
Read more on: What Can You Drink During Intermittent Fasting?
Disadvantages Of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
16/8 intermittent fasting is beneficial for health, but ifit is not done in the correct way it canlead to disadvantages.
- Because the eating window is only for 8 hours,some individuals may tend to overeat in order to make up for the fasting hours.Such an action may not enhance weight loss. This may even lead to bloating,hyperacidity and other digestive problems.
- Following an unhealthy diet for a prolongedperiod of time may lead to unhealthy eating habits.
- At thebeginning of 16/8 intermittent fasting, some of you may experience weakness,fatigue, headache and dizziness. In theinitial stage, these symptoms are common,but they will subside with time, as you get used to it.
- It is always better to ask your doctor and aregistered dietician before you start with any kind of intermittent fasting.
- One should keep in mind that. The results of16/8 intermittent fasting depend on yourfood choices. Hence, try to incorporate healthy foods and make sure you drinkplenty of water throughout the day.
- 16/8 intermittent fasting is a safe and healthypractice. If you have any underlying medical condition, ask your doctor beforestarting intermittent fasting.
- Intermittent fasting is not suitable for children,pregnant women and lactating mothers.Women who are trying to conceive must also avoid it.
- Do remember to eat healthy foods during youreating period.
- If you experience any negative symptoms for aprolonged period of time, consult your health physician immediately.
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Simple Intermittent Fasting Plans For Beginners
When you start intermittent fasting, you will surely think about how it will affect your body, metabolism, and mood.
Thats why the following two plans for beginners have proven to bring minimal changes to your everyday life through intermittent fasting.
Moreover, their rules are so simple that beginners can easily follow them.
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.
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Best Time To Eat Intermittent Fasting
As stressed out in the previous points, your daily routine will determine the best time to eat when intermittent fasting.
For the following reasons, in my opinion, the evening is the best time to eat when intermittent fasting:
- Work is over
- There is time to prepare quality food
- You can dine with your family
- You could exercise in a fasted state
- Now your body wants to rest and grow
- And you can finish off the day relaxed
Improved mental focus is one of the main practical benefits of intermittent fasting. With the largest meal of the day, focus fades away, and the body relaxes. Therefore it only makes sense not to have planned any mental or physical exertion afterward.
When I want to exploit the mental clarity of fasting to get things done, I often extend the fasting period.
As a result, I am on one meal a day schedule. So I get more things done while only cooking once and finishing earlier.
Since a single meal per day is larger, the evening or late afternoon is the best time to eat during intermittent fasting when leveraging its flexibility.
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That being said, exercise before you eat because people get hungry about half an hour after they finish working out and may find it too hard to stick to their plan if they cant eat anything at all afterwards, Varady noted.
If youre on the 16:8 plan, exercise before or during your eating window. If youre doing alternate day fasting and are exercising on your 500-calorie day, save food for after your exercise session.
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What To Eat After 16 Hours Fasting
Try balancing each meal with a good variety of healthy whole foods, such as: Fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges, peaches, pears, etc. Veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens, tomatoes, etc. Whole grains: Quinoa, rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, etc. Healthy fats: Olive oil, avocados and coconut oil.
Can You Eat Whatever You Want On Intermittent Fasting Here’s What The Experts Said
© POPSUGAR Photography / Maria del Rio Can You Eat Whatever You Want on Intermittent Fasting? Here’s What the Experts SaidSome people believe it’s not necessarily what you eat but when you eat it that matters. Those who practice intermittent fasting rave about the weight-loss benefits, improved digestion and mood, and ability to crush sugar cravings.
Intermittent fasting decreases insulin levels and increases human growth hormone, which optimizes your body’s ability to burn fat.
And while there are different ways to practice IF – some do the 16:8 method, where they fast for 16 hours and eat in an eight-hour window, while others do 5:2, where they fast for two days a week and eat normally the other five – many people are confused about what exactly they should eat during their feeding window.
It’s true that intermittent fasting gives you a little more freedom to eat what you want.
Since you are typically only sitting down to one or two larger meals, you can eat more calories per meal than you would if you ate three or five meals a day.
“Technically, there are no diet restrictions with intermittent fasting,” explained Kristin Koskinen, RDN. “It’s an eating style based on food timing rather than diet composition.”
Before you try intermittent fasting, be sure you talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian, especially if you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or another chronic condition. Many people swear by the benefits of IF, but it’s not for everyone.
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What Can You Eat While Fasting
As previously stated, any amount of calories will, technically, break your fast. Even foods with extremely low calories, like celery, still contain fiber and other nutrients that could potentially trigger your bodys digestive process. Its also possible that the effect of chewing may get your digestive system working, which will actually make you feel hungrier. Therefore, it is not generally recommended to eat during the fasting window.
However, everyone is different, and you should always find what works and feels best for you. Whats key to any weight loss planand essential to learning how to curb hunger during intermittent fastingis consistency. If a small boost helps you see your fasting window through to the finish, and to start fasting again when scheduled, then go for it! And, as always, if youre feeling faint or ill, you should listen to your body and eat or drink when needed.
Plus, even if your body is no longer in fasting mode, you can still benefit from some of its processes fat-burning ketosis, for example, still occurs after feeding, so long as you remain under 50 grams of carbs per day. Keeping your blood sugar levels stable is also possible after fasting just stick with low carb foods to avoid spiking your blood sugar, and keep your body in fat-burning mode. Ultimately, whats important about intermittent fasting is finding the right tools that help you stick to your routine, rather than preserving the technicality of the fast.
Intermediate Fasting Meal Plan
With this plan you will be eating only between the hours of 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. for a full 18 hours of fasting within a 24-hour period.
I personally practice this plan during the workweek. I’m not a breakfast person, so I just enjoy a few cups of herbal tea to start my day.
Even though you are skipping breakfast, it’s still important to stay hydrated. Make sure to still drink enough water. You can also have herbal tea, The catechins in tea have been shown to enhance the benefits of fasting by helping to further decrease the hunger hormone ghrelin, so you can make it until lunch and not feel deprived.
Since you’ve increased your fasting period an extra four hours, you need to make sure your first meal has enough healthy fats. The burger in the 8-to-6-window plan will work well, and you can add more fats in with your dressing or top with an avocado!
Nuts and seeds make great snacks that are high-fat and can be eaten around 2:30 p.m. Soaking these beforehand can help neutralize naturally occurring enzymes like phytates that can contribute to digestive problems. Eat dinner around 5:30 p.m., and just like in the 8-to-6-window plan, a dinner with some sort of wild-caught fish or other clean protein source with vegetables is a great option.
- First meal, 12 p.m.: Grass-fed burger with avocado
- Snack, 2:30 p.m.: Nuts and seeds
- Second meal, 5:30 p.m.: Salmon and veggies
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What Is The Best Way To Break A Fast And Begin Eating Again
Dont take the end of your fast as an excuse to go wild with unhealthy foods thatll undermine the potential success of the diet. The principles of healthful eating and breaking a fast are the same whether or not it’s a normal overnight fast or time-restricted eating, Lowden says. Focus on breaking your fast with a healthy, balanced meal filled with lean proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Pay particular attention to protein, especially if you have diabetes. In order to maintain normal sugar levels and avoid worsening insulin resistance, we always recommend eating a form of protein with every meal, particularly when you’re breaking a fast, Lowden says. Protein doesnt break down into glucose as efficiently as carbs, so it has a slower, less immediate effect on blood sugar levels, according to Diabetes.co.uk.
Gottfried says having a healthy source of carbs when breaking your fast will help restore depleted glycogen levels. She recommends a Mediterranean-style meal with 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat.
What Are The Different Types Of Intermittent Fasting
The most popular are:
- 16:8 This method calls for 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating during the day. Followers of this method most commonly will skip breakfast and eat between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. or noon and 8 p.m. The rest of the night and morning is spent fasting. Dr. Lowden says this approach is commonly referred to as time-restricted eating.
- Alternate-day fasting This involves limiting your calories to 25 percent of your usual calorie intake followed by a normal eating day, according to a study published in October 2014 in Translational Research. For instance, you might severely restrict calories on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then eat normally on the other days.
- 5:2 fasting A very low number of calories is allowed on the two nonconsecutive fasting days of the week. The other five days have no eating restrictions, per Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
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The If Diet I Followed
I chose to go with the 8:16 diet, because there was no way I wanted to go two whole days without eating. Smith agreed, noting that “for most people the 12-14 hour overnight fast is feasible.” When I asked her advice, Smith recommended that I actually work my way up to the 8:16 method: start by doing 12 hours on, 12 hours off until I could work my way up to 8 on, 16 off. Every day ended up looking different for me, but on an average day my schedule looked like this:
7:30 a.m. Wake up8:30 a.m. Walk 30 minutes to work, Grab a coffee10:30 a.m. Snack 12 p.m. Snack 2 p.m. Lunch6:30 p.m. 1 Hour of Exercise7:45 p.m. Dinner11 p.m. Sleep
This routine is fairly welcoming to the IF diet, but my weeks contain a lot of random things from babysitting to dinner with friends, so I was worried that my slightly chaotic lifestyle would inhibit my success. All that said, I still thought it was worth a try.
What About Taking Supplements During A Fasting Period
This depends on the fasting schedule you’re following, and you should discuss any supplements with your doctor before beginning to take them, says Palinski-Wade. If you fast for a set amount of hours each day, take your supplements during the eating hours , since most supplements like a multivitamin are better absorbed when taken with food.
If you practice intermittent fasting that involves fasting on specific days, like the 5:2 diet, taking supplements is still recommended to ensure you are meeting your nutrient needs each day. Palinski-Wade recommends taking a high-quality multivitamin daily when following any IF plan.
âGenerally, the small amount of calories found in a chewable/gummy/liquid vitamin would not offset a fast day,â she says. “But do discuss this with your doctor or dietitian first to make sure you can take your supplement on an empty stomach.â
The bottom line: At the end of the day, you want to consume close to zero calories during fasting periods. By avoiding sweetened drinks like soda and bottled iced tea, as well as caloric add-ons in your hot beverages, you can ensure you follow your IF plan correctly and successfully.
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Skip These Drinks When Fasting
Merotto gives a thumbs down to these beverages during fasting windows:
Sweetened tea or coffee Once you add sugar, flavored syrup, milk or cream, these drinksdecaf or caffeinatedwill officially break your fast.
Alcohol Beer, wine, cocktails, and spirits are a hard no for Merotto. These all contain calories and should be consumed only in moderation, if at all, during the non-fast portion. If youre following a calorie-limited fast, note that alcohol will replace some of your food calories.
Diet soda or soda While most diet sodas are technically calorie free, we dont have enough evidence as to whether they should be consumed during a fast, says Merotto. There is some evidence that artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame often contained in diet sodas may cause a rise in insulin response due to a chemical reaction in the brain similar to when actually sugar is consumed. More research is needed, but neither diet sodas nor their sugar-laden regular soda counterparts have been shown to be supportive of weight loss goals, she says.
Protein shakes or smoothies Protein supplements and powders contain calories and will trigger an insulin response, breaking a fast, Merotto says. They can, however, be a good way to break a fast as protein is very satiating, and can act as a quick and convenient recovery drink for those who work out in the mornings before ending their fast.
Should You Try Intermittent Fasting?