What If I Cant Go That Long With A Fast
Lets say you decide to follow the 16:8 protocol, but youve been used to eating every 2 4 hours. This is common because weve been told for years that eating every 2 4 hours keeps our bodies from going into starvation mode. I get it, Ive been there.
First of all, the whole idea of starvation mode is true. But, it pertains to your body burning fewer calories when you reduce caloric intake over the long term. Your body is not going to hold on to fat because you let more than a few hours go by without eating. In fact, the opposite happens. By fasting, you allow your body to access and use stored fat for energy.
So, try to ease yourself into it. Start with a 12-hour fast that begins after your last meal and ends when you wake up. Maybe all youre doing here is replacing an evening snack with decaf tea or coffee.
As your body adjusts, you can extend the fasting period until you reach 16 hours. When youre accustomed to fasting 16 hours, feel free to extend the fast further. This is only if you want to, its not necessary.
My point is that you will benefit more from starting small and being consistent, than from going full throttle and failing to follow through.
So Which Intermittent Fasting Schedule Is Best For Weight Loss Whichever One You’ll Actually Stick To Tbh
In short, the one that’s easiest for you to follow. “It is all about sustainability for the individual,” says Lemein. “If one of these diets work well for you and your lifestyle and preferences, then you will likely see some success. If not, then you’ll likely not see the results you’re are looking for, as the sustainability piece will not be there.” That means picking a diet that work best with all the lifestyle factors you need to consider, like your work schedule, family dynamic, living situation, commute time, and travel commitments, notes Lemein.
It’s worth pointing out, though, that the 16:8 diet seems to be the most doable for a lot of people who are into IF. The 16:8 method also scores points for preventing overeating at night, which can often be a big obstacle for weight loss. And sticking to an eight-hour eating window during daylight hours allows your metabolism to run as itâs supposed toâyou fuel up for energy during the day , and stop eating for rest and recovery at night, per a 2017 article in the journal Nutrition Reviews.
The bottom line: All intermittent fasting schedules may lead to weight loss if you can follow them sustainably, and the 16:8 method may be the easiest way to follow an IF diet.
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
Also Check: Is Fasting Good For Losing Belly Fat
Should I Try Intermittent Fasting
Now that were through a lot of the science stuff, lets get into the reality of the situation: why should you consider Intermittent Fasting?
When you fast, you are also making it easier to restrict your total caloric intake over the course of the week, which can lead to consistent weight loss and maintenance.
#2) Because it simplifies your day. Rather than having to prepare, pack, eat, and time your meals every 2-3 hours, you simply skip a meal or two and only worry about eating food in your eating window.
Its one less decision you have to make every day.
It could allow you to enjoy bigger portioned meals and STILL eat fewer calories on average.
Its a point that Coach Matt makes in this video on intermittent fasting:
#3) It requires less time . Rather than having to prepare or purchase three to six meals a day, you only need to prepare two meals.
Instead of stopping what youre doing six times a day to eat, you simply only have to stop to eat twice. Rather than having to do the dishes six times, you only have to do them twice.
Rather than having to purchase six meals a day, you only need to purchase two.
#5) It can level up your brain, including positively counteracting conditions like Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and dementia.
#6) Plus, Wolverine does it:
#7) Boy George is a fasting fan :
We Fasted 2 Days A Week Heres What Happened
Fasting just one day a week worked great for Precision Nutritions co-founder, John Berardi, PhD. Sure, on that first day without food? Hunger dogged him. His family also reported that he was quite crabby.
But he adapted. And with an eat anything day once a week to counteract his eat nothing day, everything felt doable. After roughly five weeks of fasting, I was barely uncomfortable at all, says Dr. Berardi. And by my seventh or eighth fast, I was having great days.
Dr. Berardi lost 12 pounds of body weight during the first eight weeks on this schedule.
Dr. Scott-Dixon? She had similar experiences.
But when they both tried to add a second fasting day? Everything went sideways.
Within two weeks, Dr. Berardis morning weight plummeted from 178 pounds to 171, with an estimated 4 additional pounds of fat lost but he lost 3 pounds of lean mass, too.
He felt small and weak, and was losing too much weight too fast.
People commented on how drawn and depleted Dr. Berardi looked. And he was exhausted. Training became a struggle. Even getting off the couch was a struggle.
Dr. Scott-Dixon had a similar experience.
In particular, people commented on how awful my face looked, she says. Family members worried that I had a terminal disease.
The lesson:When it comes to fasting, do just barely enough to meet your goals.
And maybe even a little bit less than you think you need.
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Printable Intermittent Fasting Schedule
What is intermittent fasting? Learn the basics, including intermittent fasting benefits, and get a printable intermittent fasting schedule below!
Are you looking to get healthier? There are a lot of different things you could tryfrom simply adding more exercise to your routine to full-blown fad diets. And of course, theres a lot in-between! One popular option that you should explore is intermittent fasting for weight loss and overall health.
What Is Intermittent Fasting
The basic idea behind intermittent fasting is to eat on a specific schedule with long periods of fasting in between. It has many benefits, many of which are still being discovered.
The general idea is to give your organs and digestive system a break, so that other important physiological processes can take place. And if you think about it, it makes perfect sense that we might be optimally set up to operate this way. Before we could hit the drive thru 24 hours a day, or had endless stores of sugar, salt and fat in the fridge, humans were naturallly forced to go long periods of time without meals.
But in order for it to have any benefits for you, the key is to develop a schedule that works for your body and metabolism. It also matters what you eat during the feast period.
Recommended Reading: How Soon Can You Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting Myths Debunked
Since the past few decades, fasting has been a common way to shed those extra kilos.Intermittent Fasting is part of the same trend.While several studies show it has quite a lot of health benefits, some show negative aspects like inadequate functioning of the brain and loss of muscle power.Here are a few myths about intermittent fasting you need to stop believing.
How To Create Intermittent Fasting Schedules
Creating an intermittent fasting schedule means choosing cheat days, knowing about weight loss calorie needs, creating meal plans, and sticking with your weight loss eating schedule long term.
Choose Cheat Days during Intermittent Calorie RestrictionThe best way to set an intermittent calorie restriction schedule is to choose your cheat days. On these days, youll still eat healthy foods but wont necessarily follow a reduced-calorie meal plan. Youll eat the number of calories required for men to maintain body weight, which might be:
- 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day for sedentary men over 30
- 2,200 to 2,600 calories daily for moderately active men in the same age category
- 2,400 to 3,000 calories per day for active men over age 30
Creating a schedule for intermittent calorie restriction for weight loss means choosing the days youll consume just 1,500 to 1,800 calories as well as cheat days. As a general rule of thumb, pick one or two days weekly to be your cheat days.
Cheat days may be just on Sunday, or on Sunday and Wednesday, for example. Write down which days are your cheat days in a calendar or journal.
You might be wondering what a 500 800 calorie meal plan looks like? Make sure to choose healthy foods as part of a well-balanced menu . A sample very low-calorie fasting menu might look like:
Recommended Reading: How Many Hours Can You Eat During Intermittent Fasting
Top 6 Questions About Intermittent Fasting
1) Wont I get really hungry if I start skipping meals?
As explained above, this can be a result of the habits you have built for your body. If you are constantly eating or always eat the same time of day, your body can actually learn to prepare itself for food by beginning the process of insulin production and preparation for food.
After a brief adjustment period, your body can adapt to the fact that its only eating a few times a day. The more overweight you are, and the more often you eat, the more of an initial struggle this might be.
Remember, your bodys physical and cognitive abilities most likley wont be diminished as a result of short term fasting.
2) Where will I get my energy for my workouts? Wont I be exhausted and not be able to complete my workouts if fasting?
This was a major concern of mine as well, but the research says otherwise: Training with limited carbohydrate availability can stimulate adaptations in muscle cells to facilitate energy production via fat oxidation.
In other words, when you train in a fasted state, your body can get better at burning fat for energy when there are no carbs to pull from!
Ill share some of my experiences, now doing heavy strength training for 3 years in a fasted state:
Here I am pulling 420 lbs. at 172 BW after a 16 hour fast:
A post shared by Steve Kamb on Nov 21, 2018 at 10:43am PST
LeanGains digs into various options here, but here is really what you need to know:
4) Wont fasting cause muscle loss?
Intermittent Fasting Improves Muscle Gain Without Effort
Intermittent fasting does not make your muscles atrophy.
Quite the opposite adequately applied, intermittent fasting sets the hormonal course to achieve maximum muscle gain and fat loss with minimal exercise.
But that doesnt mean that you can leverage it to gain heaps of lean mass when exercising enthusiastically. However, it is essential to train in a fasted state and eat proper whole foods.
And contrary to popular belief, you dont have to starve yourself, count calories, or prepare meals all the time.
Accordingly, the best thing about intermittent fasting is the freedom that comes with it.
Therefore, you can always customize your intermittent fasting schedule to fit your exercise plan and promote gaining muscle in the best possible way.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting Plan
How Long Before You See The Results Of Intermittent Fasting
You probably know this by now, but any diet takes time to show results. And intermittent fasting is no exception! However, a study shows that IF participants lost between 4.6% and 13.0% of their baseline body weight over 8 weeks to 1 year. Which is pretty significant!
For sure, those who exercised saw increased results over those who did not. Daily activity is good for you in many ways, so get out there and move!
/1 Intermittent Fasting Aka One Meal A Day
In 23/1 intermittent fasting, you will be fasting for 23 hours and have one meal a day. This is also another most-followed fasting schedule, and it is known as One Meal A Day or OMAD fasting. You can choose whichever meal is preferable, and rest of the day you can fast. Most people prefer dinner as their one meal.
Make sure that you take enough calories in a single meal it is recommended to consume 1200 calories in your meal. Try to include proteins, vitamins, and nutritionally rich meals. If you have any health complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure, low sugar, or low blood pressure, you can have fruits or raw veggies in your fasting period.
Though it sounds intense, it is not a new way of fasting most religions follow this type of fasting as a ritual.
People who follow this diet prefer to eat their one meal at dinner time, then fast again until the next day evening. Studies suggest that eating only breakfast will aid in glucose control and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Several other research contradicts it, suggesting that skipping breakfast would be a more beneficial strategy for managing overall calorie consumption.
For a more in-depth OMAD guide, check our One Meal A Day: All You Need To Know About OMAD Diet guide.
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So How Many Hours Should You Fast
When you explore the beginners guide to intermittent fasting, you may find these schedules very restrictive and difficult to follow. Its a good idea to start slow and fast for 12 hours and eat for 12, or fast for 14 hours and eat for 10.
For women, the 14:10 schedule is easier to follow. For men, this can vary as some men find alternate-day fasting easier to follow.
Working your way slowly will make it easier for you to adjust to a certain intermittent fasting type. You can eventually increase the fasting periods and decrease the eating windows.
How To Make Intermittent Fasting Work For You
Intermittent fasting is growing in popularityand its easy to see why. New studies suggest that limiting your eating window to six-to-eight hours each day can increase longevity and support weight loss. Recent data also shows that intermittent fasting can provide additional benefits such as increasing stress resistance and decreasing the risks for diseases like cancer and obesity.
For Vault providers, intermittent fasting checks a lot of boxes when it comes to recommended diets for patients: its easy to understand, less restrictive than other popular diets, and can be extremely effective in optimizing health.
But not everybody has an easy time incorporating intermittent fasting into their routine. Whether youre concerned about how to make it work with your social obligations, medications, or lifestyle, heres how to make intermittent fasting work for you:
If Youre on Medication
If you take medications that require food, that always takes precedent. Thankfully, the schedule of intermittent fasting is flexible, so you can time your eating window to coincide with when you take your medication.
If You Have Type 2 Diabetes
If You Feel Lightheaded or Dizzy
If You Have Social or Familial Obligations
If Youre Having Trouble Getting Started
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Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting: Next Steps
Intermittent fasting can potentially have some very positive benefits for somebody trying to lose weight or gain lean body mass.
Men and women will tend to have different results, just like each individual person will have different results. The ONLY way to find out is through a conversation with your doctor and self-experimentation.
There are multiple ways to do an Intermittent Fasting Plan:
- Fast and feast regularly: Fast for a certain number of hours, then consume all calories within a certain number of hours.
- Eat normally, then fast 1-2x a week: Consume your normal meals every day, then pick one or two days a week where you fast for 24 hours. Eat your last meal Sunday night, and then dont eat again until dinner the following day.
- Fast occasionally: probably the easiest method for the person who wants to do the least amount of work. Simply skip a meal whenever its convenient. On the road? Skip breakfast. Busy day at work? Skip lunch. Eat poorly all day Saturday? Make your first meal of the day dinner on Sunday.
After that, get started! Take photos, step on the scale, and track your progress for the next month.
See how your body responds.
See how your physique changes. See how your workouts change.
And then decide if its something you want to keep doing!
4 years later, I have no plans on going back to eating breakfast. Sorry General Mills and Dr. Kellogg!
If youre worried about all of this stuff, or arent sure when to eat and stop eating, try out our new app!