A Guide To Intermittent Fasting
Elizabeth DeRobertis, Registered Dietitian
Are you a breakfast-skipper, or a late-night snacker? Intermittent fasting might be the perfect weight loss plan for you.
Elizabeth DeRobertis, MS, RD, CDN, CDE, is a registered dietitian and nutritionist. To make an appointment, call the Scarsdale Medical Group at .
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Naidoo says: The benefits of IF include weight loss, some improvements in blood glucose levels, anti-ageing effects, reduction in cardiovascular risk, as well as cancer.
While there is growing evidence that IF has its benefits, it is crucial to remember it may not be an approach that works for everyone. It is important to work with an expert such as a registered dietician, to determine which strategy would be the best for you. This could be IF, low carb diets, Keto Diet, Calorie Restriction, Very Low-Calorie Diets , etc. Remember, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
He says that the best approach for IF would be the 16/8 whereby you consume all your calories in an 8-hour window. This would mean having supper at 6pm and then your next meal at 10am the next morning. The best results have been seen when you combine IF and a calorie restriction this means one should still be mindful of the types of foods being eaten in the 8-hour window.
Some research shows that IF actually helps with fat loss, as well as fat redistribution whereby the fat around the tummy is redistributed in the body, thereby reducing the risk of cardiac disease, he says.
Naidoo further suggests that intermittent fasting is not for everyone, since it does not always yield positive results and can cause hypoglycemia for diabetic people and low blood sugar levels in pregnant women.
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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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Do Eat A Rich Varied & Nutritious Diet On Non
If youre following a fast-non-fasting plan, this is one intermittent fasting tip youll want to take note of.
One big mistake beginners make is bingeing or eating unhealthy foods on their non-fast days.
The thing to remember with intermittent fasting is that its not magic, nor is it a get out of jail free card for easy weight loss.
Theres a good reason youre limiting your calories on fast days and thats because you want to achieve your weight loss goals faster.
Try not to ruin your hard effort by a cheat day.
On non fast days youll want to stock up on complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, high fiber veggies and whole grains.
You can also download an app such as My Fitness Pal to track how much of each macro and micros youre getting.
When Is The Best Time To Eat Protein
When you decide to consume your protein will vary depending on the intermittent fasting protocol you choose. For instance, if you choose a 16:8 protocol, during which you fast for 16 hours throughout the night and into the morning, youll likely prefer to eat your protein later in the evening before your fast begins. Ideally, you should eat some protein before starting a fast to feel full longer. However, you can choose to start your day with more protein as well.
If you increase your protein intake with breakfast or the first meal you have when you break your fast researchers believe youll have greater appetite control during the day, lower your insulin levels, and eat less at lunchtime. On the other hand, experts found that eating protein with dinner will also increase satiety and make it less likely you indulge in unhealthy food in the evening. Remember you dont need to eat all of the days protein at once within your eating window, so feel free to make breakfast or dinner more protein-focused while still incorporating protein-rich foods like yogurt or oats.
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Intermittent Fasting Is Not A Magic Pill
The bottom line with IF? Although the jury is still out and long-term effects are still being studied, its crucial to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet while following IF.
You cant eat junk food and excessive calories on non-fasting days and expect to lose weight, says Taylor.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Youve probably heard about some of the benefits of intermittent fasting. The available research indicates that weight loss is the most common outcome. Many people also experience improvements in certain health markers such as blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Another proposed benefit is increased longevity.
For example, if you practice time-restricted feeding and only eat within the hours of 1100 to 1900, you might find this an easy way to reduce your calorie intake, especially if youre someone who tends to eat a lot at night. This is especially true if you like sweets and treats right before bed. Similarly with alternate-day fasting, many people dont make up for what they didnt eat on their fasting days, which ultimately creates a calorie deficit.
Because intermittent fasting reduces your calorie intake, it can help support weight loss. By itself, weight loss can help improve various markers of health, which is why the practice has been beneficial for so many. However, keep in mind that if you follow a balanced, calorie-restricted diet, you can also experience the same benefits. The outcome of intermittent fasting is often no different when compared to a reduced-calorie diet that doesnt limit feeding times.
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Leangains Aka 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting
Next up, we have leangains! With leangains intermittent fasting, you will fast for 16 hours, followed by an 8-hour eating window on a daily or near-daily basis. Using the same example times as before, you would eat between 12 pm and 8 pm and fast from 8 pm to 12 pm the following day with this plan.
Leangains intermittent fasting is ideal for those that have experience with crescendo intermittent fasting in addition to at least one of the characteristics below:
- Dont like eating breakfast or dont have time.
- Busy folks.
- Those that do little to no snacking.
- People who prefer eating larger meals.
- Those seeking enhanced weight and fat loss benefits.
Learn more about leangains intermittent fasting:
Science Shows Intermittent Fasting Can Offer Health Benefits Big And Small It Can Even Reset Some Of Your Bodys Critical Systems
For many decades, scientists have recognized that periods of fasting appear to improve resistance to disease and enhance longevity. Intermittent fasting, when done properly, can push the reset button on your whole body.
Heres what you need to know about this time-restricted way of eating and how to do it right.
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What Is The : 4 Intermittent Fasting Plan
It may not be ideal for beginners, though. However, some people have managed to fast for 20 hours even though they just started their fasting journey.
This can be difficult for some beginners, though, because it requires eating for four hours and fasting for 20 hours. Here, you might need to eat one meal or two smaller meals.
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How To Choose The Right Intermittent Fasting Schedule
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If youre here, youre either ready to start doing intermittent fasting and dont know what schedule to follow, or you are still trying to figure out if its something you would like to do.
Regardless, I think its AMAZING that youre at least considering it! Intermittent fasting is filled with TONS of amazing health benefits, and you would be doing yourself a GREAT service by adding it to your health and wellness plan.
Today you will learn more about intermittent fasting, including its benefits, popular intermittent fasting plans, and what plan is right for you.
I hope you enjoy this post and find it helpful!
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The Backstory On Intermittent Fasting
IF as a weight loss approach has been around in various forms for ages, but was highly popularized in 2012 by BBC broadcast journalist Dr. Michael Mosleys TV documentary Eat Fast, Live Longer and book The Fast Diet, followed by journalist Kate Harrisons book The 5:2 Diet based on her own experience, and subsequently by Dr. Jason Fungs 2016 bestseller The Obesity Code. IF generated a steady positive buzz as anecdotes of its effectiveness proliferated.
As a lifestyle-leaning research doctor, I needed to understand the science. The Obesity Code seemed the most evidence-based summary resource, and I loved it. Fung successfully combines plenty of research, his clinical experience, and sensible nutrition advice, and also addresses the socioeconomic forces conspiring to make us fat. He is very clear that we should eat more fruits and veggies, fiber, healthy protein, and fats, and avoid sugar, refined grains, processed foods, and for Gods sake, stop snacking. Check, check, check, I agree. The only part that was still questionable in my mind was the intermittent fasting part.
Should I Eat 6 Small Meals A Day
There are a few main reasons why diet books recommend six small meals:
1) When you eat a meal, your body does have to burn extra calories just to process that meal. So, the theory is that if you eat all day long with small meals, your body is constantly burning extra calories and your metabolism is firing at optimal capacity, right? Well, thats not true.
Whether you eat 2000 calories spread out throughout the day, or 2000 calories in a small window, your body will burn the same number of calories processing the food .
So, the whole keep your metabolism firing at optimum capacity by always eating sounds good in principle, but reality tells a different story.
2) When you eat smaller meals, you might be less likely to overeat during your regular meals. I can definitely see some truth here, especially for people who struggle with portion control or dont know how much food they should be eating.
However, once you educate yourself and take control of your eating, some might find that eating six times a day is very prohibitive and requires a lot of effort. I know I do.
Also, because youre eating six small meals, Id argue that you probably never feel full, and you might be MORE likely to eat extra calories during each snack.
Although grounded in seemingly logical principles, the six meals a day doesnt work for the reason you think it would , and generally only works for people who struggle with portion control .
Thats why we made this:
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How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast. For instance, you might try eating only during an eight-hour period each day and fast for the remainder. Or you might choose to eat only one meal a day two days a week. There are many different intermittent fasting schedules.
Mattson says that after hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. He refers to this as metabolic switching.
Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hours, Mattson says. If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and theyre not exercising, then every time they eat, theyre running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.
Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
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.
Combining Hiit And Intermittent Fasting
So, can we practice intense exercise while following intermittent fasting? Traditionally it is believed that eating carbs is essential for workouts for better endurance. However, HIIT workouts tend to be of a short duration of 10 to 30 minutes hence stored glycogen is considered enough.
In fact, HIIT workouts during intermittent fasting can help to burn fat quickly. It can be the fastest and healthiest way to lose weight. Combining HIIT with intermittent fasting can take your fitness to the next level, but you should follow a healthy diet and lifestyle to see positive results.
Mistake #: Youre Overanalyzing
“Does IF mean no food outside meal times, or no calories?”
Um, they are one in the same, no? Does anyone reading this article know of foods that have zero calories? If so, please share! This persons assumption is correct, thoughno food and no calories outside of the feeding window.
Will eating ______ break my fast?
Does anyone else feel like this question comes up about a thousand times a day? Short answer: Yes. Eating anything with calories breaks your fast. Exceptions to this rule would be black coffee, unsweetened and milk-free tea, water, and diet soda
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How To Do Intermittent Fasting Safely
Fasting for weight loss can be effective, but you need to do it safely. Here’s what you should know first.
Fasting for weight loss can be effective, but you need to do it safely.
You’ve probably heard of intermittent fasting, the popular diet that involves restricting the hours during which you can eat. It’s heralded as a weight loss method, and research suggests that it can also boost your immune system, cure high blood pressure and more.
Intermittent fasting is well-known, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fasting diets in general. There’s practically infinite ways you can adopt a fasting regime that suits your own lifestyle and health needs. Let’s take a look at all the different fasting diets, the health benefits they may bring and how to do them safely.
It May Cause You To Overeat
Theres a strong biological push to overeat following fasting periods because your appetite hormones and hunger center in your brain go into overdrive when you are deprived of food.
Its human nature for people to want to reward themselves after doing very hard work, such as exercise or fasting for a long period of time, so there is a danger of indulging in unhealthy dietary habits on non-fasting days, says Dr. Frank Hu, chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
A 2018 study found that two common effects of calorie-restricted dietsa slowed metabolism and increased appetiteare just as likely when people practice intermittent fasting as when they cut calories every day. And in studies of time-restricted eating, evidence is accumulating that eating that misaligns with a persons circadian rhythm may led to metabolic trouble.
How Do I Manage Hunger
The most important thing to realize is that hunger usually passes like a wave. Many people worry that hunger during intermittent fasting will continue to build until it is intolerable, but this does not normally happen.46 Instead, hunger comes in a wave. If you simply ignore it and drink a cup of tea or coffee, it will often pass.47
During extended fasts, hunger will often increase into the second day. After that, it gradually recedes, and many people report a complete loss of hunger sensation by day 3 or 4.48 Your body is now being powered by fat. In essence, your body is eating its own fat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and therefore is no longer hungry. Learn more
May Lead To More Fat Loss
Combining the diet and the fast may help you burn more fat than the diet alone.
Because intermittent fasting boosts metabolism by promoting thermogenesis, or heat production, your body may start utilizing stubborn fat stores .
Several studies reveal that intermittent fasting can powerfully and safely drop excess body fat.
In an eight-week study in 34 resistance-trained men, those who practiced the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting lost nearly 14% more body fat than those following a normal eating pattern .
Similarly, a review of 28 studies noted that people who used intermittent fasting lost an average of 7.3 pounds more fat mass than those following very low-calorie diets .
Plus, intermittent fasting may preserve muscle mass during weight loss and improve energy levels, which may be helpful for keto dieters looking to improve athletic performance and drop body fat .
Additionally, studies underscore that intermittent fasting can reduce hunger and promote feelings of fullness, which may aid weight loss .
Combining intermittent fasting with a keto diet may help you reach ketosis faster and drop more body fat than a keto diet alone.
Combining the ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting is likely safe for most people.
However, pregnant or breastfeeding women and those with a history of disordered eating should avoid intermittent fasting.
Though some people may find merging the practices helpful, its important to note that it may not work for everyone.
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