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How To Do Intermittent Fasting Safely

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Seven Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting

What is Intermittent Fasting? (And How To Do It Safely)

There are many different ways of intermittent fasting. The methods vary in the number of fast days and the calorie allowances.

Intermittent fasting involves entirely or partially abstaining from eating for a set amount of time, before eating regularly again.

Some studies suggest that this way of eating may offer benefits such as fat loss, better health, and increased longevity. Proponents claim that an intermittent fasting program is easier to maintain than traditional, calorie-controlled diets.

Each persons experience of intermittent fasting is individual, and different styles will suit different people.

In this article, we discuss the research behind the most popular types of intermittent fasting and provide tips on how to maintain this type of diet.

There are various methods of intermittent fasting, and people will prefer different styles. Read on to find out about seven different ways to do intermittent fasting.

What To Eat When Your Fast Finishes

This might seem counterintuitive to a protocol centred on fasting, what you’re eating during the non-fasting period is equally as important, too.

‘If you consume lots of high-calorie or processed foods during the time in which you do eat, the positive effects of fasting can be lost,’ explains Huntriss. ‘It’s crucially important to focus on what you are eating to make sure you nourish your body adequately to prevent any nutritional inadequacies in your diet and reduce the risk of health issues.’

Huntriss recommends focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods, such as:

  • Fruit
  • Whole-grains
  • Lean protein

To work out how many calories your body needs and from which foods specifically, peep our handy macro guide. It’ll help calculate your BMR how much food your body needs to exist and then show you how to tweak that number depending on your activity levels and goals.

Once you know how much to eat, you can mould your daily food around whichever intermittent fasting routine works best for your schedule.

Psssst! Peep this for the full breakdown of how to calculate your macros.

You’re Looking For Sustainable Weight Loss

While some people find intermittent fasting helps them succeed in their weight loss goals, some studies show that it is not much better as restricting calories in general. For many people, going for long periods without food is really difficult, and can cause them to overeat once the fast period is over. So if you end up eating the same or more calories than if you had just followed a calorie restriction plan with normal meal times, it may not be worth it if weight loss is your goal.

Read Also: When Intermittent Fasting Can You Drink Coffee

Here Are Some Of The Most Popular Approaches For Intermittent Fasting Meal Plans:

  • Alternate-day fasting: You can eat a normal diet on the first day. The next day you can have a small meal .
  • Time-restricted Fasting: For this approach, skip breakfast and eat lunch around noon and dinner by 8 p.m.
  • 5:2 Fasting: This type of fasting includes eating a normal diet five days a week followed by two days fast in a week.

Tips For Intermittent Fasting When You Have Diabetes

Intermittent Fasting: Is it Safe After Bariatric Surgery ...

According to Diabetes UK, there are some general tips that are important to follow if you have diabetes and you plan to start an intermittent fasting diet. These include:

The safety of fasting for those with type 1 diabetes has not been fully established. You should never fast if you have type 1 diabetes without first consulting with your healthcare provider.

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You’re On Medication That Must Be Taken With Food

There are some medications that must be taken in the presence of food because without it, they can make you feel nauseated or light-headed, among many other side effects. IF fasting periods could even affect people who take a handful of vitamins or supplements every day. For example, those who have a low iron count in their blood or have anemia may have to take a daily iron supplement to help restore iron levels. Iron supplements are notorious for causing nausea, and taking it with food can help suppress that feeling. The time at which you take an iron supplement may be flexible, but what if you’re on a medication that must be taken at a very specific time of day and with food? That’s when things get a little sticky, and ultimately, it’s just not a good idea to dive into this diet if it doesn’t work with your medication.

You Have Certain Medical Conditions Like Diabetes

There are certain groups of people who should not try intermittent fasting, especially without talking to their doctor first, due to real risks and dangers to their health. This includes people with diabetes, people who are on medication for blood pressure or heart disease, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

People who have blood sugar issues or are underweight could also be at risk. Anyone with preexisting medical conditions of any kind should reconsider fasting and consult their doctor before changing their diet.

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.

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Break Your Fast Slowly And Steadily

After spending several hours food-free, you might feel like a human vacuum ready to suck up whatever’s on your plate. But chowing down in minutes is actually no bueno for your body or your waistline, according to research. Instead, you want to chew well and eat slowly to allow your digestive system to fully process the food, Savage explains. This will also help you have a better idea of your fullness so that you steer clear of overeating.

Crescendo Fasting For Women

How to do Intermittent Fasting Safely

Intermittent fasting for women can be hard on your body if you are new to it or if you jump in too quickly. So if you are a woman or trying fasting for the first time, you might benefit from modified or crescendo intermittent fasting.

Crescendo fasting only requires you to fast a few days a week instead of every day. My experience is that women get a lot more benefit from doing it this way without accidentally throwing their hormones into frenzy. This is a more gentle approach that helps the body more easily adapt to fasting. And if women do it right, it can be an amazing way to shave off body fat, improve inflammatory markers and gain energy.

Not all women need crescendo fasting, but it will ensure success in most.

Rules of Crescendo Fasting:

  • Fast on 23 nonconsecutive days per week
  • On fasting days, do yoga or light cardio.
  • Ideally, fast for 1216 hours.
  • Eat normally on your strength training/HIIT workouts intense exercise days.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • After two weeks, feel free to add one more day of fasting.
  • Optional: Consider taking 58 grams of BCAAs during your fast. A branched chain amino acid supplement has few calories but provides fuel to muscles. This can take the edge off hunger and fatigue.
  • If you have failed at intermittent fasting before, try this crescendo style for a better, more sustainable experience especially if you are a woman.

    Recommended Reading: Should I Do Keto And Intermittent Fasting

    How To Do Intermittent Fasting

    There are six popular ways to do intermittent fasting safely. The flexibility with intermittent fasting makes it easy for you to follow an approach that fits your lifestyle and preferred eating habits.

  • 16:8 Method: fast every day for 14-16 hours and eat during an 8-10 hour window. The easiest way to do this is to not eat after supper and to skip breakfast.
  • 5:2 Diet: eat normally for five days a week and only eat 500-600 calories for the remaining two days. For example, you may choose to eat two small meals of 250 calories on Tuesday and Thursday and normally for the rest of the week.
  • Eat Stop Eat: this approach includes a 24-hour fast twice a week. During the 24-hour fast periods you can consume water, tea, coffee and other zero-calorie beverages.
  • Alternate Day Fast: requires you to fast every other day. Some people choose to consume no calories on their fast days or to limit intake to 500 calories.
  • Warrior Diet: a more restricted type of intermittent fasting requiring you to eat only small servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day and one large meal in the early evening.
  • Spontaneous Meal Skipping: this gives you the most freedom, allowing you to simply skip meals when it makes the most sense for your lifestyle and hunger. For example, you might find youre not hungry in the morning one day and then not hungry in the evening on another day.
  • Adapt Your Workout Routine

    First thing’s first: You can most definitely exercise if you’re doing a fasting diet. But you want to be mindful of what types of movement you do, and when. “If you’re choosing to exercise in a fasting state, I would recommend exercising first thing in the morning, when you may have the most energy,” Savage says.

    That said, it’s important to remember that if you’re not, in Savage’s words, “adequately fueling your muscles,” then you’re at a greater risk of injury. So you might want to consider lower-impact workouts, such as yoga or steady-state cardio, on fasting mornings and save that hard-core HIIT class for after you’ve eaten.

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    Lack Of Scientific Data

    The thought behind intermittent fasting is that after the body is depleted of carbohydrates, it starts to burn fat. This starts to occur around 12 to 24 hours after starvation. Therefore, starving the body of food for 12 to 24 hours will potentially lead to weight loss which can improve health. However, most of the studies done on this topic have been performed on animals over a short period and have measured glucose levels rather than long-term health outcomes.

    Yes, it is possible to lose calories, fat and weight from this popular diet. However, it is also possible to quickly gain the weight back, develop low energy stores which can result in a depressed mood, have problems sleeping and even develop organ damage if the fasting is extreme.

    The following are reasons why individuals should avoid intermittent fasting:

    Learn The Risks Before Diving Into This Experimental Eating Style

    A beginner

    Intermittent fasting is a popular eating strategy being studied in labs and practiced in kitchens across America. And it’s more than a fad. Restricting your calories or mealtimes may have the potential for many benefits, such as weight loss and reduced risk of various diseases. We don’t have much evidence, however, about intermittent fasting’s effect on the health of older adults.

    Also Check: How Does Fasting Affect Your Body

    Is Intermittent Fasting Safe While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

    Because when you are pregnant you are eating for the health of two people, fasting is probably not a good idea. Rather than thinking about losing weight, concentrate on what your body needs to do for the baby. Eat properly to boost maternal fat stores for breastfeeding later.

    Remember, the food and nutrients you eat are building your childs body and developing their brain. Some pregnant women struggle to have adequate iron stores. Not eating your complete food requirements could cause iron deficiency, starving your baby of needed iron. Your baby is receiving the required nutrition from your body so youve got to make sure its there.

    As for breastfeeding and fasting, its best to avoid long fasting periods because your baby needs nutritional milk, and fasting may affect both production and quality. While there is not a ton of research or medical warnings not to, Id recommend not fasting longer than 12-14 hours if breastfeeding so as not to interrupt milk production. Definitely, if you find your milk supplies drying up, try stopping your fasting and eating more regularly throughout the day to see if that helps resolve the issue.

    Consider The Intermittent Fasting Plan Right For You:

    Some of the popular regimens include:

    The 16:8 diet, or time-restricted feeding, where you fast for 16 hours a day, but are free to eat whatever you want in the other eight hours. Experts advise picking an eating window that lets you finish your meals fairly early, such as 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or earlier, because your body is less efficient at putting sugar away as the day goes by.

    Alternate day fasting, which means limiting yourself to 500 calories one day, then eating whatever you want the next, and then repeating that process.

    The 5:2 plan, which means incorporating two non-consecutive fast days into your week, then eating normally during the other days.

    Here are four tips to keep your plan on track:

    Read Also: How To Lose Weight By Intermittent Fasting

    Clearly Define The Reason Youre Doing It

    Chiropractor Kira C., 29, has been doing intermittent fasting for about three years. She typically fasts once a week, and Kira says she decided to do intermittent fasting knowing it could support her gut health.

    Kira points out that intermittent fasting can be tough to stick with if you dont have a reason in mind for following the eating plan. Clearly define the reason that you are doing it, she says. Certain hours get very challenging and you can feel pretty terrible at the moment. Let your ‘big why’ drive you to push through the tough times. For me, that was improving my gut health.

    What To Eat While Intermittent Fasting


    During the fasting phase of your intermittent fasting only water, black coffee and tea are recomended. The idea is to complete your bodies ready supply of calories.

    During the eating period you are encouraged to eat normally, with a focus on enjoying good, wholesome and nutritious food and not feasting on fast food and junk. Most nutritionists promote the Mediterranean Diet as a good template of the types fo food we should be consuming to further assist our bodies. These include complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.

    Try to eat a meal with others. The experience adds satisfaction and supports good health as well because we only serve the best food to our friends and family.

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    The Secret To Intermittent Fasting For Women

    By Amy Shah, MD

    May 22, 2016

    Chances are if you are health and fitness savvy, youve heard of intermittent fasting and its benefits for fat loss and overall health.

    But did you know that, if youre a woman, fasting could lead to hormonal imbalance and could lead to fertility issues if not done properly? Here, well discuss the best ways for women to enjoy the positive aspects of intermittent fasting without putting their health at risk.

    Do Not Overeat During Eating Periods

    It is tempting to want to reward yourself for making through the fast with a huge meal. Avoid this.

    Eating too much food after a fast can leave you feeling bloated and tired. It is will also be an obstacle to people seeking weight-loss benefits. In this case, it is advisable to go back to a normal eating routine and avoid feasting.

    Recommended Reading: What Does Intermitten Fasting Do

    Overeating And Potential Weight Gain

    Restricting your intake to just 8 hours per day may cause some people to eat more than usual during eating periods in an attempt to make up for hours spent fasting. This may lead to weight gain, digestive problems, and unhealthy eating habits.

    Interestingly, current research doesnt suggest that intermittent fasting leads to any more weight loss than typical diets that recommend overall calorie restriction. Both eating patterns may lead to modest weight loss .

    If weight loss is your primary goal, you may therefore prefer to lower your calorie intake instead of fasting intermittently to prevent the overeating that may occur when restricting intake to a certain time window.

    Summary How Intermittent Fasting Eliminated My Hypoglycemia Symptoms

    How To Do Intermittent Fasting Properly

    As you can see above, IF has some powerful benefits for health and longevity, including weight loss, a sharper memory, increased energy, and disease prevention. If youre dealing with hypoglycemia like I was, I encourage you to talk to your doctor about whether IF may be a good option for you too.

    For the basics on how to get started with IF-ing please check out The Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting. Also, if youd like to see how I transitioned gradually to intermittent fasting be sure to read the follow-up to this article, Intermittent Fasting And Hypoglycemia.


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    How Long Does It Take For Intermittent Fasting To Lower Blood Sugar

    One nurse explains how he brought his type 2 diabetes into remission with a combination of intermittent fasting and walking after meals. He said that intermittent fasting for a week lowered his blood sugars. He was also following a keto diet plan.

    INTERMITTENT FASTING PDFCurious if intermittent fasting could boost your health and results? Get the FREE fasting PDF and find out exactly what fasting can do for you. Just click the link below.

    Need some inspiration for your fasting lifestyle? Get 42 powerful intermittent fasting quotes to motivate you.

    What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

    Weight loss isnt the only benefit of IF. Fasting is a practice that dates back to ancient times, and in some cultures is still practiced regularly.

    Health benefits are a pleasant side effect of IF, and many of those perks can affect womens health specifically.

    Musculoskeletal health. This includes conditions like osteoporosis, arthritis, and lower back pain. Fasting has been shown to promote hormone secretion from the thyroid. This can promote bone health and help prevent bone fractures.

    Metabolic health. Some women go through menopause in their 50s. Menopause can cause changes in your body that increase belly fat, insulin, and glucose. Fasting can help you decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol, and belly fat, which can improve insulin sensitivity. Fasting can also keep your metabolism on track as you age.

    Mental health. Fasting has been shown to promote mental health. It may reduce anxiety, depression, and the emotional roller coaster that can go hand-in-hand with menopause. Fasting has also been proven to improve self-esteem and reduce stress.

    Other proven benefits of IF include:

    • Improved memory

    Recommended Reading: How To Use Intermittent Fasting For Fat Loss

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