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.
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.
What Is The Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, very low-carb way of eating.
Carbs are typically reduced to 20 to 50 grams per day, which forces your body to rely on fats instead of glucose for its main energy source .
In the metabolic process known as ketosis, your body breaks down fats to form substances called ketones that serve as an alternate fuel source .
This diet is an effective way to shed pounds, but it has several other benefits as well.
The keto diet has been used for nearly a century to treat epilepsy and also demonstrates promise for other neurological disorders (
Whats more, it may reduce blood sugar, improve insulin resistance and lower heart disease risk factors like triglyceride levels .
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet linked to potential health benefits, such as weight loss and improved blood sugar control.
If you commit to the ketogenic diet while doing intermittent fasting as well, it could offer the following benefits.
Recommended Reading: When To Eat Intermittent Fasting
Top 6 Questions About Intermittent Fasting
1) Wont I get really hungry if I start skipping meals?
As explained above, this can be a result of the habits you have built for your body. If you are constantly eating or always eat the same time of day, your body can actually learn to prepare itself for food by beginning the process of insulin production and preparation for food.
After a brief adjustment period, your body can adapt to the fact that its only eating a few times a day. The more overweight you are, and the more often you eat, the more of an initial struggle this might be.
Remember, your bodys physical and cognitive abilities most likley wont be diminished as a result of short term fasting.
2) Where will I get my energy for my workouts? Wont I be exhausted and not be able to complete my workouts if fasting?
This was a major concern of mine as well, but the research says otherwise: Training with limited carbohydrate availability can stimulate adaptations in muscle cells to facilitate energy production via fat oxidation.
In other words, when you train in a fasted state, your body can get better at burning fat for energy when there are no carbs to pull from!
Ill share some of my experiences, now doing heavy strength training for 3 years in a fasted state:
Here I am pulling 420 lbs. at 172 BW after a 16 hour fast:
A post shared by Steve Kamb on Nov 21, 2018 at 10:43am PST
LeanGains digs into various options here, but here is really what you need to know:
4) Wont fasting cause muscle loss?
Be Mindful Of Your Snacking Urges
If youre a chronic snacker or binge eater, you may find that your habits are a response to your emotions. Food can offer solace from external stressors and mental health issues. Sometimes, we simply snack as a reflex response to boredom. Be mindful of why youre snacking, how quickly youre eating and how present you are when you eat. Addressing the root trigger behind bad habits is key to stopping them. And of course, when you do reach for a snack, opt for clean, nutritious options.
Read Also: Is Fasting Better Than Dieting
Intermittent Fasting May Be As Effective For Weight Loss As Cutting 500 Calories A Day Research Suggests
Diet plans that limit when you eat, and not much else, can lead to weight loss and improve metabolic health, according to a new review.
Intermittent fasting a diet that reportedly helped stars including Jennifer Aniston, Kourtney Kardashian, and Chris Pratt shed unwanted pounds, according to People has been transcending its status as a celebrity fad as research about its weight loss and other benefits continues to emerge. The latest, a review published in October 2021 in Annual Review of Nutrition found that intermittent fasting leads to roughly the same amount of weight loss as traditional calorie-restrictive diets, and may improve other markers of cardiometabolic health as well.
One of our main findings was that people who do intermittent fasting lose about the same amount of weight as people on a regular calorie-restriction diet that cuts out 500 calories a day, says lead author Krista Varady, PhD, researcher and professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Additionally, Dr. Varady notes that intermittent fasting appears to help with metabolic health. It did help lower blood pressure, she says. Some studies reported decreases in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and insulin resistance.
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:
Recommended Reading: What Food Can I Eat During Intermittent Fasting
/5should You Exercise While Fasting
If you are even a little bit into eating healthy and staying fit then you must have heard about Intermittent fasting. The latest eating trend has emerged to be quite beneficial for all those trying to shed kilos and suffering from chronic health conditions. The dietary pattern, which alternates between eating and fasting period does not restrict any food groups and so people find it comparatively easy to follow. They need to manage their hunger in the fasting period and follow some basic fasting rules. But there is one question that concerns most people who try intermittent fasting- how to exercise safely when following this diet pattern.
How To Start Intermittent Fasting
You are probably used to eating or snacking all the time, so you can find 16 hours of fasting pretty difficult in the beginning.
No worries, you are not alone. I have been there, and I learned how to come to the point where my eating window is 1 meal only.
Lets break some steps on how to start it without suffering and pain:
Read Also: Is Fasting Good For You
So How Many Hours Should You Fast
When you explore the beginners guide to intermittent fasting, you may find these schedules very restrictive and difficult to follow. Its a good idea to start slow and fast for 12 hours and eat for 12, or fast for 14 hours and eat for 10.
For women, the 14:10 schedule is easier to follow. For men, this can vary as some men find alternate-day fasting easier to follow.
Working your way slowly will make it easier for you to adjust to a certain intermittent fasting type. You can eventually increase the fasting periods and decrease the eating windows.
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?
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.
#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.
#4) It promotes stronger insulin sensitivity and increased growth hormone secretion, two keys for weight loss and muscle gain. Intermittent fasting helps you create a double whammy for weight loss and building a solid physique.
#6) Plus, Wolverine does it:
#7) Boy George is a fasting fan :
Read Also: When Can I Eat Intermittent Fasting
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe
Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis. But intermittent fasting isnt for everyone.
Williams stresses that before you try intermittent fasting , you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
- Children and teens under age 18.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
- Those with a history of eating disorders.
But, Williams says, people not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. It can be a lifestyle change, she says, and one with benefits.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.
Find The Best Time To Workout
Many people make the mistake of thinking they cant workout while theyre fasting, but the opposite is true. The morning is the best time for a vigorous workout! Youre fresh and have hormonal optimization on your side.
Afternoon and evening workouts arent always as effective as they could be youre fatigued from the day, consumed with whatever new stressors landed in your lap at work, and are fighting the urge to slip off your shoes and unwind.
I was loyal to my afternoon workout routine for more than a decade, but switching to an early morning gym schedule has been a game-changer. If I dont workout first thing in the morning, I can practically see the sliding scale as I lose my opportunity throughout the day for a quality workout. Life gets busy, and the body gets drained!
Recommended Reading: What Can I Drink During Fasting
Intermittent Fasting And Muscle
Two ground-breaking studies have recently been published on the effects of intermittent fasting on males. One group of researchers studied the effects that 16 hours of intermittent fasting had on males that lift weights. They found that muscle mass stayed the same, fat mass decreased significantly, and the males who fasted for 16 hours a day burned more fat for fuel compared to the control group that only fasted for 12 hours.
Another study showed that combining 20 hours of fasting with resistance training resulted in an increase in muscle mass, strength, and endurance, and this was achieved by eating ~650 calories per day less than normal.
The benefits of intermittent fasting translate to untrained overweight and obese individuals as well. One study published in Obesity Reviews found that eating fewer calories is effective for fat loss, but it does come with some muscle loss. However, if the subjects fasted for 24 hours and ate as much as they wanted on the next day for a period of 12 weeks, they lost significantly less muscle mass.
Yes you read that correctly 24 hours of intermittent fasting without any resistance training and these subjects were able to preserve more muscle mass than the subjects that ate fewer calories every day without fasting at all. This finding contradicts our common sense, but when we dig deeper into autophagy we can find the mechanism behind this result.
Safety And Side Effects
Hunger is the main side effect of intermittent fasting.
You may also feel weak and your brain may not perform as well as youre used to.
This may only be temporary, as it can take some time for your body to adapt to the new meal schedule.
If you have a medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before trying intermittent fasting.
This is particularly important if you:
- Have diabetes.
- Have a history of eating disorders.
- Are a woman who is trying to conceive.
- Are a woman with a history of amenorrhea.
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
All that being said, intermittent fasting has an outstanding safety profile. There is nothing dangerous about not eating for a while if youre healthy and well-nourished overall.
The most common side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger. People with certain medical conditions should not fast without consulting with a doctor first.
Here are answers to the most common questions about intermittent fasting.
How Much Weight Can You Lose On 1: 8 Diet
To lose weight on the 16:8 diet, its important to match the fasting with healthy eating and exercise. If done so correctly, theres a typical weight loss of around seven to 11 pounds over a ten week period. This is according to a review of 40 different studies published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrincology who found that on average, someone weighing just over 90kg would lose 5% of their total body weight in the ten week period.
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Eating revealed that the 16:8 diet plan can help people lose weight, without having to count calories as the 8-hour fast produces the same kind of calorific restriction and weight loss.
However, whether theres a distinct weight loss advantage achieved on the 16:8 diet compared to other diets remains to be seen. Some studies have demonstrated that theres almost no difference between people who do intermittent fasting compared those who count calories and cut back on unhealthy food.
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.
Recommended Reading: What Is 16 8 Intermitten Fasting
A Couple Of Tips About The Process
Im going to give you a few tips about the whole process and intermittent fasting in general. There are also a few things you should know:
Intermittent fasting is a tool for losing weight, not a diet. If you are struggling with choosing the right diet you can pick some of these healthy diets. You can take it for a week, month or even for the rest of your life. There are no cases recorded where intermittent fasting caused negative side effects!
Water intake is extremely important. Water will flush out all the toxins and your hunger level will be much lower.
Make sure to have more potassium in your eating window.
It would be great if you could make yourself some of these fat burning detox drinks every day. They will help your body throw all the toxins out and it will rebuild your digestive system.
Avoid sugar and sweets. They cause serious insulin spikes, food cravings, and hunger.
During the BOOM day or the first day after, dont exercise or go to the gym. Your body is under the stress, and you dont want to faint out. Relax, take a cup of water, and watch Netflix or something.
Coffee and green tea CAN interrupt your fasting window! Even though you read everywhere that they are calorie free and everything, Im telling you from personal experience. Drinking only water in fasting window will give you the best results! Keep it clean and without cheat attempts!