What Can I Eat While Intermittent Fasting
During the times when youre not eating, water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted.
And during your eating periods, eating normally does not mean going crazy. Youre not likely to lose weight or get healthier if you pack your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items and treats.
But what Williams likes about intermittent fasting is that it allows for a range of different foods to be eaten and enjoyed. We want people to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food, she says. She adds that eating with others and sharing the mealtime experience adds satisfaction and supports good health.
Williams, like most nutrition experts, regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat, whether youre trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.
What Types Of Exercises Should I Do During Intermittent Fasting
All types of workouts are fine – cardio, strength training, etc. Like I mentioned earlier, working out in a fasted state can be very beneficial. Just pay attention to how your body reacts the first few weeks of fasting. If you are feeling more weak or tired then just adjust your workouts to make them less intense.
Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.
2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon
The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since its good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge, as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.
3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks
One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite like a drink that contains sugar and causes you to overeat.
4. Dont Gorge at Your First Meal
The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.
To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.
5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars
You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.
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Whole Foods And The Brain
The brain is a really hungry organ, and it uses 25% of the total energy you consume from your food. Everything it needs to function at its best isyou guessed ita whole, unprocessed food.
In fact, the best diet recommended for brain health is the MIND Diet. In one study, it was shown that people who follow the MIND diet closely had a 53% reduced rate of developing Alzheimers.
Some of the best whole foods for the brain are:
- Oily fish
- Whole grains
Is One Fasting Method Better Than The Other
Most people find TRE easier to follow since it doesnt require days of very-low-calorie intake or no intake at all. One advantage of TRE is that it generally leads to modest calorie control without the need to count calories, simply because there are fewer hours during which you can eat.
This obviously would reduce, for example, late-night snacking for many people which could result in significant calorie savings. On the other hand, some people adopt periodic fasting because they find it easier to just skip food altogether a couple of times a week.
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What Can I Drink And/or Eat While Fasting
There are no foods or drinks restrictions because intermittent fasting isn’t a diet. BUT as a rule of thumb, prioritize healthy whole foods and minimize your processed carb intake whilst fasting.
As for liquids, stick to water, teas, and coffee. Non-calorie drinks like sparkling water are okay, but avoid diet sodas while fasting and other drinks that might spike your insulin.
Intermittent Fasting May Affect Men And Women Differently
There is some evidence that intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for some women as it is for men.
One study showed that blood sugar control actually worsened in women after three weeks of intermittent fasting, which was not the case in men .
There are also many anecdotal stories of women who have experienced changes to their menstrual cycles after starting intermittent fasting.
Such shifts occur because female bodies are extremely sensitive to calorie restriction.
When calorie intake is low such as from fasting for too long or too frequently a small part of the brain called the hypothalamus is affected.
This can disrupt the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone , a hormone that helps release two reproductive hormones: luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone (
For these reasons, women should consider a modified approach to intermittent fasting, such as shorter fasting periods and fewer fasting days.
Intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men. To reduce any adverse effects, women should take a mild approach to fasting: shorter fasts and fewer fasting days.
Intermittent fasting not only benefits your waistline but may also lower your risk of developing a number of chronic diseases.
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How To Get Started With Fasting
You may not have realized yet, but very often, weve already come across Intermittent Fasting in our life. We may have the habit of skipping breakfast, or sometimes we skip lunch: both these two things are qualified as Intermittent Fasting patterns, no matter if done casually once in a while or always.
To give a structure to your fasting habit, you have to start with one of the methods above, which works best for you and your lifestyle and give it a go. Do not start hard. Take things slowly with the 16:8 method otherwise, you may end up wanting to quit after a few days.
Plan Ahead And Be Flexible
Once youre used to fasting, you may find that you can incorporate a short fast on little notice. But when youre just starting out, make sure to plan your fast at least a few days in advance. Youll want to ensure that your fast isnt going to interfere with work, family, or training, all of which can counteract the positive effects of the test run.
Put some thought into where and how you will be fasting. Fast at home before trying it in the wilderness or on vacation. Have plenty of water on hand. Tell your friends and family youre fasting so they know whats going on if you start feeling irritable, and so you wont have to answer the same questions 25 times at the next group dinner.
Lastly, dont be too rigid. If you typically eat from 11 a.m. to 7 a.m., its perfectly fine to eat before a morning race or a big training day, breaking that fasting window. Consistency is good inflexibility is not.
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Why Is Intermittent Fasting Good For You
Your body needs this break in eating. It allows so many healthy things to take place. Fasting during the night and morning actually allows your body to heal much more effectively than by medication or even diet.
It helps heal insulin resistance. When you fast on a regular basis, you lower your insulin levels, and this improves your insulin sensitivity.
Insulin is THE hormone that regulates our weight and fat storage. It is critical that it be able to work well in your body.
What kills your insulin sensitivity? Eating the wrong kinds of food, all day long, day after day.
If you eat every few hours, your insulin is always up. Eventually, it is unable to do its job correctly and you get fat and even worse, you may get diabetes.
Is A Whole Food Diet Boring
Absolutely not! The beauty of this way of eating is that there are barely any recipes that are off-limits. If you can make it yourself using natural ingredients, then it counts. So, dig out your recipe books and get familiar with your spice cupboard.
Heres my advice if youre just starting: stock up on coconut milk and canned tomatoes. Youll use them all the time in sauces.
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Tip #: Track Your Fast
Yes, you can track your fast manually. But sometimes, a little help from technology can help us stick to our commitments. Fortunately, there are so many great apps out there designed to track fasts. Having one of these apps will help make your life easier by tracking your fast and by giving you the option to set up reminders to start and end your fast!
Here are a few of the best ones available on the App Store or Google Play:
Unexpected Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
There are several things that I like about fasting. I feel more alert in the morning and I have more time since Im not worried about trying to fix and eat a meal first thing.
I often get up, have coffee, do a little reading or working on the computer before I go to work.
If Im doing a longer fast, then I dont have to worry about lunch either. Ive found that I am more energetic and alert when Im not eating. Even healthy foods can cause that energetic slump we often feel in the afternoon.
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What Happens To Our Body When We Fast
When we fast, various things happen in our body even if at the very beginning, if youre not used to this method, you will only feel starving. In reality, the following are some of the changes brought to our body by fasting:
- A drop in insulin levels: insulin can cause a lot of problems for our bodies. When we fast, the level of insulin in our blood drops dramatically, and this means the body accesses stored body fat and uses this to survive
- Cell repair: fasting allows cells to start their repair processes. One of these processes is autophagy, where cells remove bad proteins.
- Human Growth Hormone: when fasting, HGH greatly increases, which means fat loss and muscle gain.
These three changes, in turn, lead to many other changes in our bodies. Thats why many people prefer intermittent fasting to a traditional diet.
Take Your Schedule Into Consideration
This is helpful when you are still in the planning stage and trying to figure out which intermittent fasting type is right for you. You shouldnt choose an IF type just because your friends are doing it, or you want to try the most extreme. You really need to be practical about it, looking at your current schedule.
If there is no way you can have all your meals in just 8 hours because of an erratic schedule, then the 16:8 IF type is not for you. On the other hand, if you know you cant do 24 hours with no eating, then it might be right for you.
Think about your preferences, schedule, and whether or not it will affect others you live with when deciding which one is going to be the best fit. This makes that transition much easier to handle.
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What Is Intermittent Fasting
Conventional wisdom isnt that smart.
Were going to take two widely accepted healthy eating rules and turn them on their head:
RULE #1: You HAVE to eat first thing in the morning: Make sure you start off with a healthy breakfast, so you can get that metabolism firing first thing in the morning!
Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.
There are even studies that show those that eat earlier in the day lose more weight than those who ate later in the day or skipped a meal.
RULE #2: Eat lots of small meals for weight loss. Make sure you eat six small meals throughout the day so your metabolism stays operating at maximum capacity all day long.
In other words, eat breakfast and lots of small meals to lose weight and obtain optimal health.
But what if theres science and research that shows SKIPPING BREAKFAST can help with optimum human performance, mental and physical health improvement, maximum muscle retention, and body fat loss?
Thats where an Intermittent Fasting Plan comes in.
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but rather a dieting pattern.
In simpler terms: its making a conscious decision to skip certain meals on purpose.
There are a few different ways to take advantage of intermittent fasting, which I learned about from Martin over at LeanGains, a resource specifically built around fasted strength training:
INTERMITTENT FASTING 16/8 PLAN
You can adjust this window to make it work for your life:
Say No To An Intermittent Fasting Cheat Day
Zane doesnt pull any punches on the topic of intermittent fasting cheat days: Im not even sure what the point is.
A cheat day is equivalent to a binge day for most people, but the effects of the binge dont disappear after 24 hours. It can take three or four days to recover from the effects of a cheat day, reign in your cravings, regain your energy and focus, and get back on track.
If your goal is weight loss and youre trying to get somewhere effectively, why throw it all off with an entire meal of something like pizza or a bunch of pancakes? Zane asks. A surge of 1,500 calories of junk during an intermittent fasting cheat day will drive you in the opposite direction of your goals.
But an indulgence is different. A piece of pie or a couple of cookies every once in a while can help you scratch an itch before it turns into a rash that derails you.
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Does Intermittent Fasting Have Different Effects On Men And Women
The quick answer is: yes, Intermittent Fasting can affect men and women differently.
Anecdotally, we have many women in our online coaching program that swear by Intermittent Fasting, while others have had adverse effects.
Lets dig into the science and studies.
A recent PubMed summary concluded thatfasting can be prescribed as a safe medical intervention as well as a lifestyle regimen which can improve womens health in many folds .
Now, in that extract, many of the studies cited are focused on specifically calorie restriction , and they also say that future studies should address this gap by designing medically supervised fasting techniques to extract better evidence.
Digging into the PubMed Archives brought me to the following conclusions :
One small study resulted in the following: Glucose response to a meal was slightly impaired in women after 3 weeks of treatment, but insulin response was unchanged. Men had no change in glucose response and a significant reduction in insulin response.
Another small study studied the effects on their menstrual cycles after a 72 hour fast which is significantly longer than any fast recommended in this article: in spite of profound metabolic changes, a 72-hour fast during the follicular phase does not affect the menstrual cycle of normal cycling women..
Precision Nutrition a great resource recommends not attempting Intermittent Fasting as a woman if:
- youre pregnant
- you dont sleep well
- youre new to diet and exercise
Reduced Risk Of Chronic Diseases
Intermittent fasting improves metabolic flexibility, immunity, and lowers inflammation throughout the body. Additionally, it stimulates the production of more efficient mitochondria. These benefits combined lower your risk of many diseases that are prominent today.
There is a vast array of evidence showcasing that intermittent fasting strategies improve cardiovascular health, help to balance cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, and may protect you from certain types of cancer by modulating the IGF-1 pathway .
Other conditions that have been identified to benefit from intermittent fasting include chronic inflammation, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and certain inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and eczema.
As if that wasnt enough, intermittent fasting has been shown in many cases to help with mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. While not a treatment on its own, it may play a critical role in a holistic lifestyle geared around optimizing neurological function.
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What Are The Best Intermittent Fasting Strategies
Fasting is a practice that has been employed for thousands of years for religious and health reasons. It is simply the practice of not consuming food for a period of time, opting instead for nothing or at least non-caloric beverages like water and herbal teas. Evidence continues to pile on for the benefits of fasting and a particular style of fasting, called intermittent fasting. In this article, I am going to outline different intermittent fasting strategies and explain how to best incorporate them into your life.
If you have never tried fasting before, no worries, getting started is simple and fairly easy for most people. It is something I have my coaching clients do as a foundational healing and performance strategy on a daily basis.
Fail To Plan Plan To Fail
Make a plan for your fast. Understand when you are starting out, it wont be easy, and your mental strength may not be where it needs to be to extend your fast. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It wont last forever, I promise. When you are craving something, it is your mind not your body-you are not starving!
Have plenty of your favorite hot tea, black coffee on hand. Drink lots of water, even more than usual. There are so many times we mistake thirst for hunger. Also, have a plan for how you will break your fast. I recommend high quality of food. High-quality protein and salad are my go too. Remember to slow down, sit down, and enjoy every bite. Stay busy and keep your mind on other things than not eating.
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