Common Obstacles To Eating A Healthier Diet
Varady dabbles with intermittent fasting herself, typically for a few weeks after the holidays to lose a few pounds. The 16:8 plan is less intense than the other plans, but if she wants a more rapid weight loss, shell opt for alternate day fasting.
The first five fast days are pretty tricky, but once your body gets adjusted to that kind of up-down pattern of eating, it actually gets really easy, Varady told TODAY.
So how do you boost your chances of intermittent fasting success?
Should You Fast For 16 Hours
This raises the question is it worth it to fast for 16 hours if youre notgetting that much autophagy even? Why not just eat 3 meals a day?
Personally, I would say that a one meal a day diet with about 22-23 hours of fasting is definitely more autophagic but a 16/8 hour fast is still better than nothing. I wouldnt ever go to a higher eating frequency than that.
You will get quite a lot of the other benefits like lower insulin, reducedinflammation, and other hormonal benefits but anything less than 24 hoursprobably isnt enough. Even if it is you want to stay in the therapeutic zonefor longer than just 1-2 hours.
- On a one meal a day diet you could eat carbs and still start producing ketones by end of the next day.
- On a low carb diet you could potentially reach that zone a bit sooner just because of having lower glycogen stores.
- A high protein diet several times a day would also interfere with this process a little bit so if youre eating more protein you would see some autophagy from OMAD as long as your carbs are low.
Combining carbs and protein together creates a higher NET anabolic statebecause they emphasize the mTOR stimulation from insulin and amino acids. Ifyou take out one variable whether that be by going on a low carb diet or a lowprotein high carb diet youll reduce the anabolism.
If you want to know how to master the art and science of nutrient signaling, meal timing, food combination, and intermittent fasting, then check out my book Metabolic Autophagy.
Is 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting Good For Beginners
The 16:8 intermittent fasting method is considered less restrictive and more flexible, and therefore its a great option for beginners.
It is one of the most sustainable ways to benefit from intermittent fasting without feeling deprived of food and nutrition.
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make with any fasting schedule is restricting their caloric intake . Because of this, many beginners struggle with energy and blame intermittent fasting.
The truth is that culprit for low energy isnt intermittent fasting but not eating enough and the body not having enough fuel to function.
For this reason, I highly suggest grabbing a copy of my Intermittent Fasting eBook and Meal Plan so you can learn everything you need to know and not feel tired!
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Will I Lose Weight
Most likely.64 If you have weight to lose, it is extremely likely that you will lose weight if you do not eat.
In theory, its possible to eat more after fasting, of course, cancelling out the weight lost. But studies generally show that most people tend to eat significantly less overall.65
I call intermittent fasting the ancient secret of weight loss because it might be one of the most powerful dietary interventions for weight loss, yet it has been mostly ignored by doctors and dietitians for a long time.66
What Is 16/8 Fastingand How Does It Work
Even if you havent tried 16/8 fasting, theres a good chance youve heard of this trendy eating approach. Many fans swear by its supposed weight-loss powers: The idea is that you can eat whatever you want and still drop poundsas long as you squeeze all your meals and snacks into an 8-hour window every day. For the days remaining 16 hours, you purposefully go without food. This recurring practice is a form of intermittent fasting.
Despite the buzz surrounding 16/8sometimes called 16:8 fasting, or the eight-hour dietintermittent fasting has been around in various forms for centuries. The 16/8 method is just one example of time-restricted eating, which confines calorie intake to certain hours. Other intermittent fasting approaches alternate entire days of fasting with days of normal eating the 5:2 diet is a popular example. Many people fast for spiritual and religious reasons, as well.
Along with weight loss, some proponents of the 16/8 method point to potential health perks such as improved blood sugar and healthier cholesterol levels. But can swearing off calories for 16 hours a day actually be healthy, and how do you know if its the right approach for you? Keep reading for a breakdown of how 16/8 fasting works, an evidence-based look at the pros, cons, and unresolved questions concerning this method, and expert advice for trying 16/8 intermittent fasting if you decide it makes sense for you.
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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 Much Weight Can You Lose On 1: 8 Diet
To lose weight on the 16:8 diet, its important to match the fasting with healthy eating and exercise. If done so correctly, theres a typical weight loss of around seven to 11 pounds over a ten week period. This is according to a review of 40 different studies published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrincology who found that on average, someone weighing just over 90kg would lose 5% of their total body weight in the ten week period.
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Eating revealed that the 16:8 diet plan can help people lose weight, without having to count calories as the 8-hour fast produces the same kind of calorific restriction and weight loss.
However, whether theres a distinct weight loss advantage achieved on the 16:8 diet compared to other diets remains to be seen. Some studies have demonstrated that theres almost no difference between people who do intermittent fasting compared those who count calories and cut back on unhealthy food.
How Many Meals Should You Eat On The 1: 8 Diet
There is no strict rule on how you break it down, but experts say it is generally not advisable to have just one large meal in the eight-hour window.
Milly says approaches include skipping an entire meal and instead eating only two meals, or having three lighter meals spread out across the eight hours.
What Can You Eat On The 1: 8 Diet
This diet isnt suggesting you cram all the food you can into 8 hours. You need to make sure youre eating a balance of fat busting and health boosting foods. Experts have suggest making sure you get a balance of lean meat, eggs, dairy, vegetables, nuts and beans each day.
Make sure to eat a balanced diet.
Tom said, Many people fail the 16:8 diet by packing in too many calories into the 8 hour period, often trying to get some in before the 8 hours ends. You should still be following a strict diet with a complete nutritional breakdown, to ensure you are consuming a targeted number of calories, not to mention macro nutrients and ensuring youre not consuming too much sugar.
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Is It Ok To Skip Breakfast
Yes, Varady said. The notion that omitting a morning meal is bad for your waistline likely began with studies sponsored by cereal companies, and most of that research looked at the effects of breakfast skipping on cognition in children, she noted: Im not sure how that all got translated to body weight.
Why Does My Blood Sugar Go Up During Fasting
While this does not happen with everyone, it can occur due to hormonal changes that occur during intermittent fasting. Your body is producing sugar in order to provide energy for your system. This is a variation of the dawn phenomenon and in general is not a concern as long as blood sugars are not elevated the rest of the day.45
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Intermittent Fasting Is Not Enough To Keep You In Ketosis
The 16/8 fasting window may not be enough to get you into or keep you in ketosis. Even if you do end up in ketosis, if you continue to eat a diet with even a moderate amount of carbs itll probably kick you out of ketosis each time.
This can result in unpleasant side effects such as the keto flu and being overly hungry each time you start fasting again.
Health & Wellnesswhat Is The Omad Diet Learn How The One
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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Weight Loss And Difference In Body Composition
The 16:8 diet has become a favored weight loss program among dieters, and for a good reason.
There is evidence that intermittent fasting may help you lose weight and boost your metabolism .
It does this in two ways:
First, fasting makes you eat fewer meals, resulting in decreased calorie intake and food consumption.
In general, individuals practicing the 16:8 fast skip breakfast and stop eating at a set time.
Therefore, unless you overcompensate by eating much more during meals, you end up consuming fewer calories during the limited 8-hour timeframe.
Additionally, your body also adjusts hormone levels during a fast to make fat stores more accessible .
Basically, when your body is cut off from its preferred sources of energy, namely glucose and glycogen reserves, it will adapt to start burning fat as its primary source of fuel.
This means that you are not only losing pounds, but a portion of that weight loss will come from body fat storage.
How Much Weight Can You Expect To Lose on an Intermittent Fast?
According to a 2014 review article, intermittent fasting was found to reduce body weight by 3 to 8% over 3 to 24 weeks.
This study also determined that participants had a 4 to 7% reduction in waist circumference, meaning that they lost belly fat .
A different review study found that intermittent fasting may cause a weight loss of 11 to 16% after 12 weeks.
How Many Meals Should You Eat In Your 16/8 Intermittent Eating Window
People are always concerned about how many meals to eat in the eating window once they break their 16/8 intermittent fasting.
Again, that word. Flexibility.
- Or you can have two normal size meals
- Or one small meal and a bigger second meal
- Or if you really want to normalise things, you can eat 3 meals in your 16/8 eating window.
But always remember that the more meals you squeeze in, the higher your chances of over-shooting your calorie requirements for the day.
I personally eat one small meal of fruits and raw nuts for lunch and a bigger meal later in the evening. Thats me wrapped up for the day.
Those with digestive problems can have foods like bone broth, mashed potatoes, smoothies, soups, raw fruits, brown rice etc.
Try stuff out. There are no set rules.
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When Should I Exercise
When Varady and her colleagues conducted a study that combined alternate day fasting and exercise, they allowed the participants to pick whether they wanted to exercise on a feasting or fasting day, and found there was no strong preference one way or the other. But the researchers were surprised the dieters actually reported feeling more energetic on fasting days.
How Does The 1: 8 Diet Work
The 16:8 diet works on an hourly basis. So each day you can eat within an 8 hour time frame and fast for the remaining 16 hours. The best part? You dont have to restrict your calories when eating during the 8 hour window. As long as you eat healthily in your 8 hour time frame, youll see the weight drop off.
Experts say that the 16.8 diet restricted schedule gives our bodies the chance to process the nutrients stored in foods and burns away calories. Plus, you wont go hungry like you do on those two fasting days on the 5:2 either.
As Tom Jenane, nutrition and fitness expert explains, The 16:8 diet is a brilliant form of intermittent fasting that has proven results in a number of cases.
Jennifer Aniston is a famous fan of intermittent fasting.
As well as Jennifer Aniston, other Hollywood names who have seen success after following the 16:8 diet include Hugh Jackman, who reportedly used the diet to get in shape for his Wolverine films and actress Jennifer Love Hewitt.
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How To Get Started
16/8 intermittent fasting is simple, safe and sustainable.
To get started, begin by picking an eight-hour window and limit your food intake to that time span.
Many people prefer to eat between noon and 8 p.m., as this means youll only need to fast overnight and skip breakfast but can still eat a balanced lunch and dinner, along with a few snacks throughout the day.
Others opt to eat between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., which allows plenty of time for a healthy breakfast around 9 a.m., a normal lunch around noon and a light early dinner or snack around 4 p.m. before starting your fast.
However, you can experiment and pick the time frame that best fits your schedule.
Additionally, to maximize the potential health benefits of your diet, its important to stick to nutritious whole foods and beverages during your eating periods.
Filling up on nutrient-rich foods can help round out your diet and allow you to reap the rewards that this regimen has to offer.
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
- Meat, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds, etc.
Drinking calorie-free beverages like water and unsweetened tea and coffee, even while fasting, can also help control your appetite while keeping you hydrated.
Weight Loss And Fat Loss
Eating during a set period can help people reduce the number of calories that they consume. It may also help boost metabolism.
Research from 2016 reports that men who followed a 16:8 approach for 8 weeks while resistance training showed a decrease in fat mass. The participants maintained their muscle mass throughout.
In contrast, a 2017 study found very little difference in weight loss between participants who practiced intermittent fasting in the form of alternate-day fasting rather than 16:8 fasting and those who reduced their overall calorie intake. The dropout rate was also high among those in the intermittent fasting group.
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Popular Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has recently become a health trend. Devotees claim it can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, and maybe even extend life span.
Every method can be effective, but figuring out which one works best depends on the individual.
Several methods of this eating pattern exist. But before embarking on an intermittent fast or deciding how often to fast, you should speak with a healthcare professional.
Here are 6 popular ways to do intermittent fasting.
How To Do Intermittent Fasting 16/8
To do intermittent fasting correctly and reap all the health benefits, heres what to do:
- Pick your fasting window: Choose what the hours of fasting will be. The easiest approach is to have an early dinner and skip your morning breakfast. For example, eating only from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Have healthy meals during your eating window: A bad diet during your eating window can offset the metabolic benefits of intermittent fasting, so stick to nutritious whole foods. Heres a list of the best keto-friendly foods to eat.
- Eat fatty, satisfying meals: While you dont need to be keto to try intermittent fasting, eating fatty foods will make it a lot easier and sustainable. Keto foods are healthy and satisfying, so you wont be hungry during your fasting window. Practice smart snacking and youll do great.
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Hour Fast Benefit #: Improved Cognition
Studies show that intermittent fasting boosts several hormones, notably Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor , that are neuroplastic and neurodegenerative in nature.
In other words, fasting provides the perfect fuel for your brain. Increased BDNF levels are associated with improved mood, cognition, productivity, memory, and creativity. Harvard neuropsychiatrist John J. Ratey calls BDNF Miracle-Gro for the brain.
Its not known why intermittent fasting boosts BDNF so powerfully, but our evolution may give us some hints.
Throughout human history most tribes and people groups wouldve gone long stretches without food, say before their next successful hunt. During this time, peak physical and mental performance wouldve been paramount to securing the next meal and the body wouldve met this need.
To this day its thought that the human body perceives fasting as a healthy stressor and responds by forming new neurons that prime your body to learn new skills. In this type of emergency situation, BDNF allows our brains to form new neural networks quickly.