Watch Out For Overeating
Overeating is one of the main reasons why people dont see intermittent fasting results. As youre skipping meals and fasting for extended periods, you can be a little more relaxed about calorie counting compared to other dieters. But that doesnt mean that you can load up on unhealthy foods or eat huge portion sizes without compromising your progress. If you overindulge, youll cancel out the calorie deficit you gained by fasting and end up halting your weight loss.
One of the best ways to prevent overeating after a fast is to meal prep. Plan out exactly what youre going to eat when you break your fast and portion it out into a tupperware container in advance. That way you wont reach for unhealthy convenience foods or load up your plate just because youre hungry.
Another good tip is to eat your first meal slowly before you go back for seconds. Take twenty minutes to sit down and really enjoy your food. If you eat more deliberately, youll be able to listen to your hunger and fullness cues better and stop before you feel overstuffed.
A Different Gut Microbiome Profile
Time-restricted feeding has also been shown to modify the gut microbiota, or the collection of microorganisms living in the gut. Like other aspects of our metabolism, our gut microbiomes ideally change routinely throughout a 24-hour period, according to a circadian rhythm that is largely dictated by when we eat. In fact, the daily cycling of the gut microbiome is thought to be a biological clock of sorts. This clock helps regulate metabolic activity in various tissues throughout our body, including our brain.
Weve known for a long time that what we eat can change our gut microbiota. But many animal studies have revealed that when we eat can also impact our gut microbes. According to a 2020 study, mice that fasted for 16 hours every day for 30 days showed increased levels of Akkermansia and reduced levels of Alistipes bacteria, compared to mice that werent subjected to fasting. More Akkermansia and less Alistipes are associated with reduced intestinal inflammation and decreased fat accumulation in the liver. Therefore, many of the benefits of fasting likely come from the alteration of our gut bacteria.
A Good Starting Point For If Is To Cut Down On Late
This, per Weinandy can make a huge difference. Ive seen this benefit so many people. Maybe its not even necessarily the fasting as much as theyre just not eating a lot of calories at nightcause at nighttime people are usually eating ice cream or cookies or chips or something usually not so healthy, she explains. Thus, her recommendation is to dial back the eating after 8 p.m. If youre eating dinner earlier, like six or seven, maybe just stop eating after that time, she adds. This can be enough to experience some of the benefits of the program.
You May Like: Is Water Fasting Good For Fat Loss
What Are The Possible Side Effects
There can be a number of possible side effects of intermittent fasting.40 Heres what to do if you encounter them:
- Hunger is the most common side effect of intermittent fasting. This may be less of an issue if youre already on a keto or low-carb, higher-fat diet.41Learn more
- Constipation is common. Less going in means less going out. However, keep in mind this is a normal response to eating less. It is not a concern and shouldnt require treatment unless you experience significant bloating or abdominal discomfort. Standard laxatives or magnesium supplements can be used, if needed.
- Headaches are common and tend to disappear after the first few times on fasts.42 Taking some extra salt often helps mitigate such headaches.43
- Mineral water may help if your stomach tends to gurgle.
- Other possible side effects include dizziness, heartburn and muscle cramps. Learn more
A more serious side effect is the refeeding syndrome. Fortunately, this is rare and generally only happens with extended fasts when one is undernourished.44
Since most of these side effects are manageable, they do not mean you have to stop your fast. However, if you truly feel unwell, are excessively dizzy, profoundly weak or have other severe symptoms, then you should break your fast.
Just remember to go slowly when you break it and prioritize fluids and salt . And of course, if the symptoms persist, see your doctor immediately.
Intermittent Fasting Fat Loss And The Importance Of Insulin
The first and most visible benefit of Intermittent fasting is fat burning. Even if eating the same amount of calories daily, intermittent fasting will cause your body to burn fat, simply because it has nothing else to burn. And it is all related to insulin. Here comes the science!
Insulin is the major hormone that regulates the absorption of nutrients from food. Insulin is secreted whenever you eat, and that is an extremely important piece of information. Also, Insulin is the hormone who gives the order for the body to store energy in the form of fat through the process of lipogenesis .
During normal-day operations, the human body is constantly spending energy, be it to move, think, or simply to stay warm. Whenever we eat, some of the food energy is stored in an easy-to-burn form: glucose. Although glucose is an easily accessible form of energy, the body cannot store much of it. So, instead of throwing away all that useful energy that cannot be stored in the form of glucose, insulin gives the order of transforming that energy into triglycerides fat.
As the day progresses and we spend our stocks of glucose, our insulin levels drop. When insulin levels drop, the order to store energy in fat form ceases, and instead our bodies begin to burn stored fat for energy.
Don’t Miss: Is Fasting Necessary For Psa Blood Test
Pro Tips To Get The Best Intermittent Fasting Results This Ramadan
Intermittent fasting results in tremendous and quick weight loss while boosting your immune system. Get started on your journey to revamp your life with this century old technique.
Fasting is a concept that has often been associated with religious practices. Believers feel that is the ultimate version of self-sacrifice out of love. Modern science has another take on it. In western society, research into the weight loss effects of fasting dates back to 1915. Regardless of your reason to fast, this article is to help you get the best intermittent fasting results with expert strategies that work.
There are numerous ways to do intermittent fasting. Muslims who observe Ramadan observe fast from when the sun rises to sunset. This is also the most common type of intermittent fasting for weight loss too. Apart from the religious beliefs, Muslims too believe that fasting helps them purify their soul, helps build self-control and clean their bodies.
There is no doubt that fasting has a lot of health benefits, modern science supports these claims. Fasting is also one of the best ways to cleanse your body and burn an excess amount of calories.
Before we start, the difference between fasting for religious purposes and intermittent fasting is being able to drink fluids. While fasting for religious purposes, you are not allowed to consume any food or drinks till the sun sets. In intermittent fasting, you can drink water and even set your own timings.
Ive Made The Decision To Fast So How Long Should I Fast For
There arent any studies right now that state exactly how long one should fast. Researchers, like Dr. Peterson, are working on that. The minimum amount of time it takes to make fasting efficacious hasnt been proven via study, but the prevailing notion is its somewhere between 12 and 18 hours. But it can take a few days sometimes weeks of fasting regularly for your body to start burning fat for fuel. Brooke Alpert, nutritionist and author of The Diet Detox, suggests starting by moving your last meal to around 7 p.m. She said the reason for this is our bodies are better at doing some things at certain times. Our bodies are better at processing sugar in the morning than at night, said Dr. Varady. So eat bigger meals in the morning, for example.
And how often do you have to do daily intermittent fasting to see the benefit? Again, there hasnt been a study thats shown exactly how many days you need to fast, but a recent study in rodents showed they get about the same benefits fasting five days per week as they did fasting every day. The great thing is that were learning is that this type of fasting isnt all or nothing, said Dr. Peterson.
Recommended Reading: How To Lose Weight Quickly Fasting
Tips For Intermittent Fasting For Healthy Weight Loss
Are there ways to use intermittent fasting to make sure you lose weight in a healthy way?
Yes! Here are our top tips:
Can You Drink Liquids During Intermittent Fasting
Dieting is as much about drinking as it is about eating. The point of intermittent fasting is to cut your calorie and sugar intake during the fasting period so that the body can start burning off your fat stores. Drinking alcohol, fruit juices, or soda is a major no-no. However, drinking low-calorie drinks like water, black coffee, and tea is fine.
You May Like: How To Lose Weight In Intermittent Fasting
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.
Fasting For 2 Days A Week
People following the 5:2 diet eat standard amounts of healthful food for 5 days and reduce calorie intake on the other 2 days.
During the 2 fasting days, men generally consume 600 calories and women 500 calories.
Typically, people separate their fasting days in the week. For example, they may fast on a Monday and Thursday and eat normally on the other days. There should be at least 1 non-fasting day between fasting days.
There is limited research on the 5:2 diet, which is also known as the Fast diet. A involving 107 overweight or obese women found that restricting calories twice weekly and continuous calorie restriction both led to similar weight loss.
The study also found that this diet reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity among participants.
A small-scale study looked at the effects of this fasting style in 23 overweight women. Over the course of one menstrual cycle, the women lost 4.8 percent of their body weight and 8.0 percent of their total body fat. However, these measurements returned to normal for most of the women after 5 days of normal eating.
Don’t Miss: What Is Intermediate Fasting And How Does It Work
Intermittent Fasting Can Be Hard But Maybe It Doesnt Have To Be
Initial human studies that compared fasting every other day to eating less every day showed that both worked about equally for weight loss, though people struggled with the fasting days. So, its very reasonable to choose a reduced calorie plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet. But research suggests that not all IF approaches are the same, and some IF diets are indeed effective and sustainable, especially when combined with a nutritious plant-based diet.
We have evolved to be in sync with the day/night cycle, i.e., a circadian rhythm. Our metabolism has adapted to daytime food, nighttime sleep. Nighttime eating is well associated with a higher risk of obesity, as well as diabetes.
Based on this, researchers from the University of Alabama conducted a study with a small group of obese men with prediabetes. They compared a form of intermittent fasting called “early time-restricted feeding,” where all meals were fit into an early eight-hour period of the day , or spread out over 12 hours . Both groups maintained their weight but after five weeks, the eight-hours group had dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity, as well as significantly lower blood pressure. The best part? The eight-hours group also had significantly decreased appetite. They werent starving.
Just changing the timing of meals, by eating earlier in the day and extending the overnight fast, significantly benefited metabolism even in people who didnt lose a single pound.
Guide To Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of fasting and eating over a defined time period â°.
It is a powerful tool for reducing blood sugars, improving insulin sensitivity, reversing diabetes or PCOS, and generally improving your overall health. Recently it has gained a lot of support, quite simply because it works, and itâs easy.
In the article, I discuss eight practical tips to help you kick start, or improve your fasting game.
Also Check: Do You Lose Weight Faster With Intermittent Fasting
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:
How To Do Intermittent Fasting
To adopt intermittent fasting, you have to abstain from eating for 16 hours. Yes, if you have eaten dinner for this, then the next day you will have lunch only after the completion of 16 hours. You have to skip breakfast. Along with this, you will also have to fix the time between lunch and dinner.
Recommended Reading: Can I Have Coffee When Fasting
Should I Try Intermittent Fasting
Now that were through a lot of the science stuff, lets get into the reality of the situation: why should you consider Intermittent Fasting?
#1) Because it can work for your goals. Although we know that not all calories are created equal, caloric restriction plays a central role in weight loss.
When you fast, you are also making it easier to restrict your total caloric intake over the course of the week, which can lead to consistent weight loss and maintenance.
#2) Because it simplifies your day. Rather than having to prepare, pack, eat, and time your meals every 2-3 hours, you simply skip a meal or two and only worry about eating food in your eating window.
Its one less decision you have to make every day.
It could allow you to enjoy bigger portioned meals and STILL eat fewer calories on average.
Its a point that Coach Matt makes in this video on intermittent fasting:
#3) It requires less time . Rather than having to prepare or purchase three to six meals a day, you only need to prepare two meals.
Instead of stopping what youre doing six times a day to eat, you simply only have to stop to eat twice. Rather than having to do the dishes six times, you only have to do them twice.
Rather than having to purchase six meals a day, you only need to purchase two.
#5) It can level up your brain, including positively counteracting conditions like Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and dementia.
#6) Plus, Wolverine does it:
#7) Boy George is a fasting fan :
Yes You Can Have Water
To get the full benefits of fasting, its important not to consume any food during your fasting window but you can drink water, black coffee and tea, says Pleimling. Be aware that caffeinated drinks can dehydrate you when your body is already depleted of energy though, says Carrie Lam, a family medicine doctor in Loma Linda, California. She also says alcohol is off the table during the fasting window.
Also Check: What Foods To Eat When Fasting