A Reality Check But Do Not Be Scared
Now heres a reality check. A 36-hour fast will not come easy for most people. That much I know. But you dont have to set your sight that high. At least not when youre a rookie anyway.
If you are new to intermittent fasting, go for the bare minimum of 16 hours first. Thats the 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol. The 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol gives you an 8-hour eating window which is not that hard to accomplish.
Once you conquer that, then you can gradually increase the fasting interval by adding one extra hour each time. There are people who will fast for 3 days or longer. Dont be jealous of them. Do what you are comfortable with, okay.
My longest fast was 36 hours but now I only do 24 hours on each fasting episode and I am happy with that. Serves my needs. Which leads me to:
How Do You Do Intermittent Fasting And How Long Should You Do It For
There are a number of ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all predicted on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast. It’s about allowing your body to have enough time throughout the day without eating having full meals and snacking throughout the day doesn’t give your body enough time to regenerate.
Neuroscientist has studied dieting and intermittent fasting for 25 years now, and he claims that after a few hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts to burn fat. “If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and they’re not exercising then every time they eat, they’re running on those calories and not burning their fat stores,” he says.
Of course, it is important to check with your doctor before beginning a fast as they will know the best option for your height, weight, age, and medical history. Typically, however, a good starting point would be carving out a 6-8 hour window each day and then fasting for the remainder of the day. Some people choose to pick particular days throughout the week where they drastically cut their food intake instead whilst eating normally most other days. Dealers choice!
Intermittent Fasting Tips For Success And How To Start
When starting a new healthy habit, it’s important to think about what challenges you may face or barriers that may arise during the process.
This is actually a crucial step in planning SMART goals, a common tool used by health coaches to help clients set achievable goals that last long term. When it comes to intermittent fasting there are a few common challenges or questions that tend to arise:
- What do I eat during my non-fasting period?
- What happens if I feel dizzy or nauseous?
- Is intermittent fasting safe?
- How long should I intermittent fast for?
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Find The Best Time To Workout
Many people make the mistake of thinking they cant workout while theyre fasting, but the opposite is true. The morning is the best time for a vigorous workout! Youre fresh and have hormonal optimization on your side.
Afternoon and evening workouts arent always as effective as they could be youre fatigued from the day, consumed with whatever new stressors landed in your lap at work, and are fighting the urge to slip off your shoes and unwind.
I was loyal to my afternoon workout routine for more than a decade, but switching to an early morning gym schedule has been a game-changer. If I dont workout first thing in the morning, I can practically see the sliding scale as I lose my opportunity throughout the day for a quality workout. Life gets busy, and the body gets drained!
And Some Of The Donts Of Intermittent Fasting:
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:
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Ways To Use This Information For Better Health
What To Eat In A Day Keto Diet
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Intermittent Fasting 16/8 Fasting Merges Well With Low Carb And Keto
You naturally fast on low carb eating plans, like Keto, so it easily pairs with IF.
This blog is based on a whole food/low carb approach, which I believe is the smartest way to improve health. Adding in IF is the gravy, so to speak.
Intermittent fasting has been around for literally thousands of years as a way to heal the body, maintain a healthy body weight, and bring mental clarity.
How Gender Impacts Your Fasting Routine
From a biological standpoint, gender can impact the success of intermittent fasting. Male and female body composition and metabolic systems are different from each other. Physical activity, hormone levels, caloric intake, and fasting impact each of us differently.
Due to these reasons, males tend to benefit from fasting more than females. Females also should not focus on long-term fasting or drastic reduction in caloric intake.
Over thousands of years, the genetic makeup of females benefits most from the constant intake of high-quality calories, which eliminates such fasting regimes as 20:4 fasting from a female routine. The optimal amount of fasting would be 14 hours per day.
For males, skipping breakfast or skipping a day of eating might be just what the doctor recommended.
In both cases, the most important thing is to avoid hangriness, a state when you become very upset while hungry. The key here is to balance out your meals and eat highly nutritious meals throughout the eating window.
Generally, try to eat high-protein and high-fiber dishes to stay satiated for longer.
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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.
Five Common Fasting Methods
Fasting is essentially not eating food for a defined amount of time. Civilizations around the world have incorporated fasting into their religious and cultural lives for thousands of years, but it’s recently grown popular as a way to possibly lose weight and experience other health benefits.
You can modify a fasting diet in any way it works for you, but here are some of the most common patterns:
- Intermittent fasting: a 12-, eight- or four-hour feeding window per day.
Usually when people fast, the only things they consume during the fasting period is plain black coffee, tea and water — you can even put a dash of salt in the water for electrolytes. However, a lot of people believe that consuming anything under 50 calories will keep you in a fasted state, so you could throw a dash of heavy cream or oil in your coffee to help tide you over.
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The : 2 Intermittent Fasting Diet
Thee 5:2 intermittent fasting diet is one type of popular fasting diets, introduced in Dr. Jason Fungs best-selling book “The Obesity Code” in 2016. The 5:2 diet involves five days of eating the recommended daily caloric intake and two non-consecutive days of eating a reduced-calorie diet. On fasting days, food is not eliminated altogether, rather, the number of calories is reduced.
If you have diabetes and want to try the 5:2 diet, speak to your healthcare provider or diabetic team and get a recommendation for a daily caloric intake guideline for fasting and non-fasting days.
Studies on the 5:2 Diet
Studies have shown that the 5:2 diet may help reduce insulin resistance and promote weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
The first long-term study of the 5:2 diet, published in 2018, by the Journal of the American Medical Association , discovered that intermittent fasting could be effective for those with diabetes who have trouble sticking to a long-term, daily diet regime. The study observed 137 people with type 2 diabetes half of the study participants followed the 5:2 diet and the other half adhered to a daily calorie-restricted diet . The group that fasted for two non-consecutive days per weekconsumed 500 to 600 calories on the fasting days and ate normally on the other five days of the week.
Safety of the 5:2 Diet for People With Diabetes
Special Notes If You Try The Extreme Intermittent Fast
1) If youre going to try a fat fast or do extreme intermittent fasting, you want to ease into it.
You do not want to jump into these extreme fasts if you currently eat a poor diet that is filled with fast foods, processed foods, and refined carbs.
If you take this leap, youll find yourself in the bathroom for most of the day. Instead, work your way up to doing these extreme forms of intermittent fasting by first doing a 16:8 fast by itself and getting off the junk food.
2) There is some research that talks about doing a fat fast for a few days up to a few weeks at a time.
My husband and I do not have any personal experience with doing a fat fast for this long and dont promote staying on an extreme fast for more than a day.
When my husband utilizes this fasting technique, he does it one day at a time. This one-day extreme intermittent fast is a good way to change things up, which can stimulate a sluggish metabolism.
Mattson, M. P., Longo, V. D., & Harvie, M. . Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Aging research reviews, 39, 46-58.
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How Much Protein Should You Eat
Intermittent fasting designates an eating window for you to consume all of your days nutrients. However, just because your eating window is smaller while fasting, doesnt mean you should eat less protein. You must power your body with protein to feel full during your fast and maintain a high level of energy throughout the day.
According to the National Academy of Medicine, adults should consume a minimum of 7 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight. If youre approximately 150 pounds, you should consume just over 50 grams of protein per day. If youre approximately 250 pounds, you should increase your daily protein intake up to 90 grams.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
A few small human studies have shown evidence that intermittent fasting can have health benefits for those with diabetes. These include:
- Weight loss
- Lowering insulin requirements
A long-term study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that a fasting state can support several benefits including:
- Lessening inflammation
- Sleepiness during the day
- Low energy levels
- A significantly increased risk of low blood sugar
- High blood sugar resulting from a surge of stored glucose from the liver when low blood sugar levels result from fasting
Its important to note that more research is needed to definitively back up the claims of side effects from intermittent fasting and to confirm the severity of such untoward reactions.
Because of the likeliness of side effects from fasting when a person has diabetes, its important to consult with your healthcare provider before deciding to start any type of fasting diet.
Popular Ant Dishes Around The World
Cultural practices strongly influence who eats insects, and while most Western countries refrain from it, insects are an important food source in many regions of the world .
As you can imagine, there are numerous ant species, and not all of them tend to be consumed.
Here are some of the most popular edible ants and the countries in which they are eaten:
- Leaf-cutting ants. Leaf-cutting ants are especially popular in Latin American countries, including Mexico, Colombia, Panama, and Brazil. Their name comes from their ability to cut leaves to feed fungi, which they use to feed their larvae .
- Weaver ants. Weaver ants are consumed in China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. Theyre called weaver ants because they weave the leaves of living trees with silk to form their nests .
- Honey ants. Honey ants are commonly consumed by Indigenous communities in Australia. Theyre also called honeypot ants because they use their stomachs to store honey to feed their colony in times of scarcity .
- Black ants. Black ants are typically consumed in China and Kenya .
Ants are commonly consumed in many Asian, African, and Latin American countries. Some of the most popular types of edible ants are leaf-cutting, weaver, honey, and black ants.
What Types Of Intermittent Fasting Plans Lead To Weight Loss
The review included studies on three types of intermittent fasting:
- Alternate day fasting , which typically involves a day of unrestricted eating alternated with a fasting day where 500 calories consumed in one meal account for the total daily calorie intake
- The 5:2 diet, a modified version of alternate day fasting that involves five feasting days and two fasting days per week.
- Time-restricted eating , which limits eating to a specified number of hours per day , followed by 16 hours of fasting
Its worth noting that the review wasnt designed to compare the effectiveness of different types of intermittent fasting plans because the studies were done in different groups of people and using different parameters. But the results did indicate that individuals who followed either the alternate-day diet or the 5:2 plan both averaged a loss of around 7 percent of their body weight , and were able to maintain that loss for a year. Despite fasting much less frequently than alternate-day fasters, subjects who participated in the 5:2 diet lost an equivalent amount of weight, a finding that surprised researchers.
While all plans led to some weight loss, following a time-restricted eating plan was the least effective plan for shedding pounds. In total, participants with obesity who followed a time-restricted eating plan lost an average of 3 percent of their body weight.
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