How To Schedule Meals When You Are Intermittent Fasting
While the idea of fasting can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done it before, intermittent fasting can actually be a lot easier than many other types of eating plans.
Once you start your intermittent fasting journey, you’ll most likely find that you feel fuller longer and can keep the meals you do eat very simple. There are a few different ways you can fast, so I broke up each of the different plans below into beginner, intermediate, and advanced along with a typical meal plan for each day.
The combination of nutrients will give you the energy you need to enhance the benefits of your fasting journey. Just make sure to take into account any individual food intolerances, and use this as a guide for your particular health case, and adjust from there.
Remember, intermittent fasting does not necessarily mean calorie-controlled, so be sure to eat according to your personal caloric needs.
Relax You Can Still Drink Your Coffee
I know what youre about to ask with a hint of panic in your voice: I can still drink coffee while I fast, right!?
Yes! Luckily for coffee drinkers everywhere, our favorite morning ritual doesnt boost your blood sugar or disrupt your fast.
If you cant stomach the idea of black coffee, then yes, its okay to add some creamer but not too much! Keep in mind that your body will have to burn through the fat in the creamer before it can get back to burning your stored fat.
What about coffee drinkers who need to mask its bitterness with a sweetener? Zane warns against all-natural sweeteners, including cane sugar, honey, and agave. Its true that theyre natural sugars, but they immediately send blood sugar and insulin levels surging. This in turn kicks your body out of its fasting period altogether.
If you need a hint of sweetness in your coffee, stick to a small dash of Stevia. Most artificial sugars are dangerous because they stimulate cravings and trick your digestive system into preparing for sugar that isnt coming. This is highly disruptive to the fat-burning process that fasting is meant to achieve.
Overall, the question of coffee boils down to your goals. If youre on a mission to lose 50 pounds, adding cream to your morning brew could slow your progress. But a sweetened cup of coffee is much better than a slice of cheesecake! Its all about balance.
Seek Help For Severe Dehydration From A Healthcare Professional
You can usually manage your mild dehydration by increasing your fluid intake. However, its important to note that severe dehydration can be life threatening and should be treated by a healthcare professional.
If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of severe dehydration, contact a healthcare professional immediately. This is especially important for infants, children, and older adults, who are more susceptible to dehydration.
Risk factors for severe dehydration included prolonged diarrhea or vomiting, extreme exercise, laxative use, burns, and certain medical conditions (
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Lowers The Risk Of Type Ii Diabetes
Since being overweight and obese are two of the main risk factors for developing type II diabetes, intermittent fasting could have an effect on diabetes prevention due to its weight loss effects. It can also potentially influence other factors linked to an increased risk of diabetes. A 2014 study showed that intermittent fasting can lower blood glucose and insulin levels in people at risk of diabetes .
What Is The1: 6 Intermittent Fasting Method Experts Explain
The benefits of intermittent fasting some people experience include weight loss, more energy, improved digestion, decreased sugar cravings, and better sleep. There are so many ways to fit intermittent fasting into your life, so if you’ve been thinking about it, there’s bound to be one that’s right for you.
Of course, before starting any new diet plan, including intermittent fasting, be sure to check in with your doctor first. Once you get the OK, doing 14:10 fasting is a great place to start, where you fast daily for 14 hours and have a 10-hour eating window. If you’re ready to do longer fasts, the 16:8 protocol is the perfect next step. It extends your fasting window by two hours for example: eating from noon until 8 p.m. If you find that you eat dinner earlier, though, you might be interested in trying 18:6.
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Use The Rhythms Of Fasting To Schedule Lunch And Dinner
Youve heard enough youre ready to dive head-first into the wonderful world of intermittent fasting. So when, exactly, can you eat?
The simplest approachis skipping breakfast, having coffee or tea, Zane outlines. If your goal is weight loss, eat a low-carb lunch and dinner.
Your first meal of the day takes place after your fasting window ends, which means all of your eating occurs in a compressed window of about six to eight hours.
Thats give or take. Make it work with your schedule. If its six hours, great. If it has to be nine one day, dont beat yourself up, Zane emphasizes.
Thats the beauty of intermittent fasting: theres no right or wrong. Its one tool to improve your health in whatever way makes sense with your routine.
If Zane could recommend an ideal intermittent fasting schedule, heres what hed suggest:
- Stop eating after dinner
- Skip breakfast, enjoy your black coffee or tea, and fast until noon
- Break your fast with a low-carb lunch
- If you need a snack, make it light
- Enjoy a healthy dinner, then start the fast again
Once you feel comfortable with the rhythm of intermittent fasting, you can experiment with extending your fast until 1:00, 2:00, or 3:00 instead.
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Stay Healthy With Intermittent Fasting
What about the misconception that intermittent fasting isnt great for your health? I had my annual checkup a couple of months ago and did blood work, explains Krystal. Im in perfect health!
Krystal shares her progress with her Instagram followers, who leave encouraging comments such as Amazing!!! Youre so inspiring! and #GOALS! And shes sure to take them on every aspect of her journey, including sharing breaking her fasts, easy ketogenic recipes, and workout fasts which are workouts she completes while fasting.
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Lessons From Krystals Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Journey
To give you a better idea of what intermittent fasting weight loss is like, Simple recently spoke with Krystal, a weight-loss influencer and intermittent fasting advocate. Krystal uses her platform of over 30,000 followers to encourage others to begin their path to wellness through the handle on Instagram.
Putting A Plan In Place
Planning your fasting routine is a great success tool. Once youve chosen your fasting method and found a schedule that fits, a plan will allow it all to work together.
Like any dieting technique, meal and exercises plans help. They encourage you to stay on track.
Like scheduling, planning is also specific to the fasting method you choose. In general, there are no specific meal plans for intermittent fasting. Instead, you should eat nutritious balanced meals. Avoid snacking or overeating to achieve the best results.
It is safe to exercise whilst fasting. Whether that be after eating or during the fast. Some like to exercise on an empty stomach. This can excel fat burning. Others like to exercise after eating. Either plan is fine and safe. It depends on the person.
Exercising alongside fasting is also very beneficial. It can increase weight loss and improves the mental attitude towards fasting.
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Are There Any Side Effects Of Intermittent Fasting 20/4
Yes, there are. Some downsides of participating in a fasting eating plan include:
- May lead to a binge-eating disorder This is a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food and feel unable to stop eating. Fasting has been linked to the increase in the onset of binge-eating .
- May lead to nutrient deficiencies Since you are eating during a very small window, you are unlikely to consume the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Nutrient deficiencies that can lead to anemia, fatigue, weakness, poor eye health and immunity, short term memory loss, diarrhea, dementia, and skin disorders, muscle loss, osteoporosis, and depression .
- It has no basis in science As we mentioned above, this diet was developed by an ex-military guy who based all his findings from his experience during active duty. He is neither a scientist, nutritionist, nor a dietitian. On the other hand, most of the benefits mentioned have been linked to fasting in general or other forms of intermittent fasting and not the 20/4 method.
How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Month With If
A lot depends on your body and how it reacts to the fasting. Some people can lose 10 pounds in a month, whereas others will lose an average of a pound or two a week.
Several studies have proven that IF helps you lose weight. One, in particular, concluded that IF participants lost between 4.6% and 13.0% of their baseline body weight over 8 weeks to 1 year. For sure, those who exercised saw increased results over those who did not. Daily activity is good for you in many ways, so get out there and move!
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When Should You Stop Fasting
Generally, if you feel bad enough during a fast to the point where it’s impacting your daily life, you should highly consider stopping.
Besides that, there are some sure fire signs that you should break your fast. If you notice yourself feeling extra dizzy, confused, light-headed or are having trouble concentrating, get some nutrients and calories in your body. Binge eating after your fast ends is another sign that you’re falling into some emotionally unhealthy behaviors.
If you’ve been fasting for more than just a few hours, start slow with the re-feeding — try to sip on light soup or something easily digestible like crackers before you attack a full meal.
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.
Pros And Cons Of Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
Like any weight loss method, there are pros and cons to intermittent fasting. Most weight loss techniques come with similar pros and cons. Those being that they are great for results, pose some risks and are not ideal for everyone. So lets take a look at the positives and negatives for IF and weight loss.
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The Larger The Assortment The More Difficult It Is To Choose
Due to the skyrocketing popularity of healthy lifestyle, fitness, and weight loss, the media swarms with hundreds of various methods of toning up and shedding pounds. For those whose goal is to trim a couple of inches, the choice of a correct nutritional and workout plan becomes more difficult with the appearance of each new popular diet. As you know, each person has a different body type and requires a different approach to losing weight or packing on muscle. And such a great number of fad diets only confuses people and may even lead to health damage. If you are one of those people, who are sick of extreme calorie restrictions and unreasonable food limitations, then perhaps intermittent fasting, the 18:6 intermittent fasting, in particular, is exactly what you have been looking for.
So What Is The Best Approach To Intermittent Fasting
The best way to try out intermittent fasting is to find a program that works for you and have a trusted friend or coach who understands that program help guide you. I can’t refer you to any specific plans, but I can lay out a few of the most common approaches to intermittent fasting here:
Daily Fasting – Some people believe that giving their bodies a long fasting period every day will create a healthier digestive system. Often this also helps people create the sustainable caloric deficit they are looking for to lose unwanted weight or even to just stop gaining weight. Some people are also just not breakfast people so something like this sounds really do-able.
With this approach, you will start the fast at night and continue to take in nothing with calories until 10 or 11am. Coffee, tea and water a plenty, though! Once it’s time to break the fast, start with a small, protein and nutrient dense snack and a large glass of water. Then proceed with the rest of your day’s meals and snacks as planned.
The 5:2 approach – With this plan, there will be two days a week where you will fast until around 2pm and take in 600-900 calories between 2pm and 7pm. The other 5 days of the week, you will take in your nutrition as planned according to your goals.
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Types Of Intermittent Fasting
- 5:2: You eat normally five days a week. On the other two days, you fast by eating between 500 and 600 calories.
- 16:8: You eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period and fast the rest of the time.
- Alternate day fasting: You fast every other day, and eat normally on non-fasting days.
- One meal a day : Also known as the Snake Diet, or just eating once a day. You eat all of your daily calories in just one meal each day, and fast the rest of the day.
As with any diet or exercise plan, consult your healthcare provider to determine whats best for you.
The biggest takeaway here is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to intermittent fasting. Take time to find the perfect fit, pay attention to how you feel and dont be afraid to experiment with different schedules.
For example, if you cant stomach the thought of ditching breakfast, just switch your fasting period. Eat a full meal around 8 a.m., and stop eating around 4 p.m. The good news: This is still a 16-hour fast. The best news: You can change your fasting schedule to suit your needs .
Youre Not Eating Enough Protein
Ive been writing a few posts lately about protein and I cannot stress enough how important it is for the body! Whether its vegan protein, protein powders, or sources like lean meat and chicken, protein is an essential building block. Protein is important for muscle mass and recovery after you exercise. Its good for bone health, too.
Protein fills you up as well, helping you make it from the fasting window to the eating window. If you are consuming foods that are sugary and processed, your insulin levels spike, signaling your body to store fat. At the same time, this spike blocks leptin, the hormone that tells you that you are full.
So rather than filling up on carbs and refined sugar, go for delicious lean protein!
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What Else You Should Know
Cost: None beyond your shopping. In fact, because you will eat much less 2 to 4 days per week, your grocery costs should go down.
Support: There are several books and websites detailing variations on the basic idea of fasting a few days a week. So though theres no single destination for support, there are plenty of resources once youve decided which version of the plan appeals most to you.
Keep Your Meal Nourishing
Include a lot of healthy fats, protein and fresh vegetables in your meals while following intermittent fasting. You can also include healthy carbs from foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes etc. Carbs are good for your body and will provide you with the energy to tide over the calorie-deficit you are going to create for the rest of the day.
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Will I Lose Weight
Most likely.64 If you have weight to lose, it is extremely likely that you will lose weight if you do not eat.
In theory, its possible to eat more after fasting, of course, cancelling out the weight lost. But studies generally show that most people tend to eat significantly less overall.65
I call intermittent fasting the ancient secret of weight loss because it might be one of the most powerful dietary interventions for weight loss, yet it has been mostly ignored by doctors and dietitians for a long time.66
Intermittent Fasting And Stubborn Body Fat
I have previously hinted that intermittent fasting sidesteps the issues associated with stubborn body fat. Indeed I rarely find any need for advanced strategies to rid my clients of stubborn body fat. I will soon tell you why, but first let me give you some background information to what Im talking about here.
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What Are The Benefits Of Fasting
There’s a lot of preliminary research on fasting that points to some pretty promising benefits, but many more studies are needed to back up the claims.
One major benefit of fasting is that it helps promote autophagy — a process in which your cells essentially “take out the trash” by removing dysfunctional components. Increased autophagy can possibly regenerate the immune system and increase your cell’s protection against stress.
Some research suggests that fasting can also lower blood pressure, as well as making your body more sensitive to insulin. Being more insulin-sensitive means that you’ll store energy from food more efficiently, and get less hungry between meals.
Now to the main reason people try fasting — to lose weight. While one study showed that both fasting and caloric restriction had the same weight loss results, losing weight is a highly individual journey. If you’ve been struggling to find a way of eating that helps you be your best self, you may want to give fasting a try.