Do I Have To Follow The Same Eating Schedule Every Day
Theres no hard-and-fast rule about what kind of schedule you need to follow, or whether it needs to stay the same everyday.
Obviously, to get the most benefits from intermittent fasting, you should try to be reasonably consistent.
For example, if you only do TRE one day per week, its not going to do a whole lot for you. On the other hand, if you do it 5 or 6 days per week, youll definitely get some benefits.
But it really doesnt matter if you use the exact same schedule every day. Basically, see what fits into your schedule the best. And that may change over time.
Do Not Fear The Shaker
When emptying glycogen stores, the body loses plenty of water. There are about 3 grams of water bound to each gram of carbohydrate.
Therefore, especially when you first start intermittent fasting or a ketogenic diet, the body flushes out plenty of electrolytes with the water.
As a result, sodium deficiency, in particular, leads to headaches and dizziness.
Although salt has been demonized for decades, we cannot live without sodium. In contrast to the daily requirement of two grams currently recommended by authorities, our ancestors instinctively consumed 2-3 times as much sodium.
Furthermore, it is the country with the highest salt consumption with the lowest cardiovascular disease rates .
In addition, salt is the natural antagonist of sugar. It takes the bitter taste out of food and counteracts cravings.
Unlike sugar, salt also has a negative feedback loop. The more salt the body gets, the less it craves.
While sugar consumption promotes insulin resistance and body fat storage, salt increases insulin sensitivity and helps weight loss instead .
The best options for adding natural salt to your diet are pink Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt.
So dare to salt as you wish during Intermittent Fasting! Your body will thank you for it.
Should You Do Intermittent Fasting And The Keto Diet
We have a crazy extensive guide on the Keto Diet in case youre not familiar with it, so here it is in a nutshell:
This process is called ketosis, and there are two ways for a body to enter ketosis:
- Eating in a way that induces ketosis .
- FastingHey, thats what youre reading about right now!
We actually have an amazing success story here on Nerd Fitness, Larry, who followed our strategies, went Keto and start intermittent fasting. He ended up losing weight, getting stronger, AND overcame the challenges of rheumatoid arthritis !
Heres how the fasting portion of it works:
As your body enters a fast period when there are no sources of glucose energy readily available, the liver begins the process of breaking down fat into ketones.
Fasting itself can trigger ketosis.
Fasting for a period of time before kicking off a Keto-friendly eating plan COULD speed your transition into the metabolic state of ketosis, and fasting intermittently while in ketosis could help you maintain that state.
I personally love fasting for the simplicity: I skip breakfast every day and train in a fasted state. Its one less decision I have to make, its one less opportunity to make a bad food choice, and it helps me reach my goals.
WHY KETO + IF WORKS = eating Keto can be really challenging. And every time you eat, its an opportunity to do it wrong and accidentally eat foods that knock you out of ketosis.
Youre also tempted to overeat.
Your value may vary!
You need to decide what works for you.
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Who Should Try Fasting
People with diabetes shouldn’t fast, at least not without consulting a doctor first.
Fasting is not recommended for people with chronic health issues, especially anyone with diabetes or gout. Medical professionals also discourage fasting for people who are underweight or have experienced disordered eating in the past.
However, if you’re in good condition and want an alternate way to lose weight or are interested in the benefits of autophagy, you may want to give fasting a try. Or, if you already feel sluggish after eating a meal upon waking up, you could try out an intermittent fasting schedule that better suits your needs.
Still, you should always talk to your doctor before starting a fasting diet — they’ll know how to help you approach it in the safest way possible.
Eating Habits Can Be Unlearned
Over the years, we have learned to feel hungry at certain times.
This fact is especially true for snacks and breakfast. Contrary to popular belief, breakfast is only the most important meal for the food industry.
In our society, skipping breakfast, even if we are not hungry, is almost considered a crime.
But otherwise, we lack energy for the day, dont we?
Not really. The reason we wake up in the morning is peak levels of adrenaline, glucagon, growth hormone, and cortisol, which provide enough energy to start the day.
Therefore, at no other time in the day are we more energized than after we wake up.
Nevertheless, you can also successfully do Intermittent Fasting by skipping dinner. The great advantage of Intermittent Fasting is that you can build it around your daily routine.
If it fits for you and doesnt cause you stress, according to my experience, the successes with intermittent fasting are the greatest. Ultimately, the whole package has to fit for a happy personal life.
No matter what your daily routine looks like, you will have to unlearn the hunger for snacks to achieve success. Neither anyone needs a snack before noon nor in the afternoon.
Either way, youll only become more sluggish and unproductive what a waste of valuable time.
Although this may sound challenging, even morning hunger is unlearned in two weeks at the latest. Yet consistency is the key to success.
Regardless of which eating window you choose, you will only eat during this time.
Read Also: What Is 14 10 Intermittent Fasting
When Should You Stop Fasting
Generally, if you feel bad enough during a fast to the point where it’s impacting your daily life, you should highly consider stopping.
Besides that, there are some sure fire signs that you should break your fast. If you notice yourself feeling extra dizzy, confused, light-headed or are having trouble concentrating, get some nutrients and calories in your body. Binge eating after your fast ends is another sign that you’re falling into some emotionally unhealthy behaviors.
If you’ve been fasting for more than just a few hours, start slow with the re-feeding — try to sip on light soup or something easily digestible like crackers before you attack a full meal.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
To understand how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss we first need to understand the difference between the fed state and the fasted state.
Your body is in the fed state when it is digesting and absorbing food. Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. When you are in the fed state, it’s very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high.
After that timespan, your body goes into what is known as the postabsorptive state, which is just a fancy way of saying that your body isnt processing a meal. The postabsorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you enter the fasted state. It is much easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.
When you’re in the fasted state your body can burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state.
Because we don’t enter the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, it’s rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting will lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise. Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely make it to during a normal eating schedule.
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What Are Intermittent Fasting Rules
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between periods of eating and fasting.
Although there are different methods and rules for intermittent fasting, eating within a window of around 8 hours is the most popular method.
In this sense, this means that 16/8 intermittent fasting involves fasting for 16 hours per day. Nonetheless, you can also fast for 14, 18, or 20 hours a day, as we will cover later.
Because intermittent fasting is associated with health benefits such as increased insulin sensitivity or weight loss, it has gained popularity in recent years .
Examples Of Different Intermittent Fasting Schedules
If youre considering giving fasting a shot, there are a few different options for working it into your lifestyle.
Daily Intermittent Fasting
Most of the time, I follow the Leangains model of intermittent fasting, which uses a 16hour fast followed by an 8hour eating period. This model of daily intermittent fasting was popularized by Martin Berkhan of Leangains.com, which is where the name originated.
It doesn’t matter when you start your 8hour eating period. You can start at 8am and stop at 4pm. Or you start at 2pm and stop at 10pm. Do whatever works for you. I tend to find that eating around 1pm and 8pm works well because those times allow me to eat lunch and dinner with friends and family. Breakfast is typically a meal that I eat on my own, so skipping it isn’t a big deal.
Because daily intermittent fasting is done every day it becomes very easy to get into the habit of eating on this schedule. Right now, you’re probably eating around the same time every day without thinking about it. Well, with daily intermittent fasting it’s the same thing, you just learn to not eat at certain times, which is remarkably easy.
Weekly Intermittent Fasting
One of the best ways to get started with intermittent fasting is to do it once per week or once per month. The occasional fast has been shown to lead to many of the benefits of fasting we’ve already talked about, so even if you don’t use it to cut down on calories consistently there are still many other health benefits of fasting.
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
How To Break Your Fast
Depending on how long youve been fasting, youll want to make sure you break your fast, slow and easy. I recommend avoidingcarbohydrates or foods that will spike insulin and blood sugar. Bone broths and high-fat foods like olives, avocado and nut butter are a great way to go. Also, youll want to avoid these foods during a fast as they may break your fast inadvertently.
Is there ever a time you should stop fasting? Yes! If your ketones get above 7, your blood sugar drops below 40 or you are not feeling well, you should break your fast. You can also try drinking salt water or taking a mineral supplement like MIN to help stabilize minerals during fasting.
There are some people who should be cautious about doing this, such as people with adrenal fatigue, complicated health conditions, or women the week before their menstrual cycle .
Extended Aka Prolonged Fasting
How: Fast for more than 24 hours once a month
As mentioned before, extended or prolonged fasting usually means anything between 24 and 96 hours of fasting.
It is not recommended to do it more often than once a month and anything above 48-72h of fasting should be done under a doctors supervision.
Yes, there are lots of people who dont follow this recommendation and nothing happens, but it is risky and we do not recommend it if you are not experienced faster and especially if you have any of the medical conditions described above.
For more in-depth guide on prolonged fasting, read Prolonged Fasting 101: How To Do It & What Are The Benefits?.
Do We Need Intermittent Fasting Rules For Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting sounds very simple. For example, standard 16/8 intermittent fasting has just two rules:
- No breakfast
- No snacks
But even simple concepts hide complex relationships.
Youve probably read about countless intermittent fasting success stories. Youve done your research, tried things out, and still arent convinced?
To achieve lasting success with intermittent fasting, it comes down to supposed subtleties.
Thats why this article sets up rules for intermittent fasting that get to the heart of all the essential basic principles. If you dont know this basic information, you will find yourself disappointed over and over again.
In addition, people need clear rules that they can always keep in mind to bring the necessary continuity into their daily lives.
Chapter : Tips To Help You Be Successful With Intermittent Fasting
If youve never done any fasting before, even short-term daily fasting can sound kind of scary.
Its really not that hard. But it does help if you take a smart approach, and make things easier for yourself
A lot of it comes down to starting slow, and eating enough food when youre not fasting.
In this chapter, Ill go over a few of my best tips to help you get an easy, successful start with intermittent fasting.
It Helps To Build A Personal Routine
Having a routine is fundamental for humans, and it helps keep things under control. Thats why, on a different and less scientific level, intermittent fasting can be seen as a routine that allows those who practice it to bring order to their lives and reduce anxiety and stress. It can certainly be hard to develop the routine at first, especially if you love having breakfast and after dinner snacks but as soon as you start seeing benefits and developing a serious plan, youll find this routine beneficial on many levels, for example giving a precise schedule to your days.
Recommended Reading: Intermittent Fasting Blood Sugar Levels Chart
Is There Anyone That Should Not Do Intermittent Fasting
Maybe, maybe not.
Keep in mind, were talking about daily time-restricted eating . Were not talking about fasting for a week, or even a whole day in most cases.
That means you can eat just as much as you normally would. But in a shorter window of time.
When you look at it through that lens, even some of the people who would typically be advised not to fast, would probably be fine doing TRE.
For example, if somebody is skinny and kind of underweight, most people would probably tell them not to fast. But if they make sure to eat plenty of food during their eating window, theyd probably be fine doing TRE .
How about Pregnant Women?
Typically, pregnant women are told not to do even short-term daily fasting. But thats not because it would necessarily be bad for them, its just because we dont have enough research to say one way or the other.
At a conference earlier this year, I met a pregnant woman who was doing TRE every day. And it was working great for her.
Keep in mind that many pregnant women have high blood sugar, and can easily develop diabetes during and after pregnancy. High blood sugar is definitely not good for the fetus! So something like TRE that helps control blood sugar could be helpful.
Im certainly not saying every pregnant woman needs to do time-restricted eating. But theres a good chance that if we thoroughly researched it, we would find that gentle TRE is beneficial for pregnant women.
Thats probably not a bad thing, even for kids.
Intermittent Vs Extended Fasting
As I mentioned above, I generally define intermittent fasting as anything under 24 hours.
Using the same logic, extended or prolonged fasting would be anything over 24 hours.
I think other definitions can be useful as well. It just depends on the context.
For example, the 3-4 day range is when a lot of cool things happen as your body transitions into full-blown fasting mode. So I can see why some people think of extended fasting as about four days or longer.
But since the 24-hour cut-off is so easy to remember, and it fits the way most people use the term intermittent fastingI usually stick with that.
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Fast For 12 Hours A Day
The rules for this diet are simple. A person needs to decide on and adhere to a 12-hour fasting window every day.
According to some researchers, fasting for 1016 hours can cause the body to turn its fat stores into energy, which releases ketones into the bloodstream. This should encourage weight loss.
This type of intermittent fasting plan may be a good option for beginners. This is because the fasting window is relatively small, much of the fasting occurs during sleep, and the person can consume the same number of calories each day.
The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include the period of sleep in the fasting window.
For example, a person could choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They would need to finish their dinner before 7 p.m. and wait until 7 a.m. to eat breakfast but would be asleep for much of the time in between.