What Are The Negative Effects Of Intermittent Fasting
In my own experimentation with Intermittent Fasting since 2014, I have found very few negative side effects with Intermittent Fasting.
The biggest concern most people have is that Intermittent Fasting will lead to lower energy, focus, and the holy crap I am hungry feeling during the fasting period and ruin them.
People are concerned that they will spend all morning being miserable because they havent consumed any food, and thus will be miserable at work and ineffective at whatever task it is they are working on.
The following are my thoughts and experiences, and your results may vary:
Yes, the initial transition from EATING ALL THE TIME, to intermittent fasting MIGHT be a bit of a jolt to your system it was for me.
However, once I got through the transition after a few days, my body quickly adapted and learned to function just as well only eating a few times a day.
Although I fast for 16 hours per day with no issues, the following might help assuage your fears that skipping breakfast will cause your body to eat itself and your brain to implode:
After 48-hours of fasting in a recent study , cognitive performance, activity, sleep, and mood are not adversely affected in healthy humans by two days of calorie-deprivation. Youll be fasting for far less time than that.
So why do I feel grouchy and lethargic when I skip breakfast?
If you eat breakfast every morning, your body expects to wake up and eat food.
When Should I Exercise
When Varady and her colleagues conducted a study that combined alternate day fasting and exercise, they allowed the participants to pick whether they wanted to exercise on a feasting or fasting day, and found there was no strong preference one way or the other. But the researchers were surprised the dieters actually reported feeling more energetic on fasting days.
That being said, exercise before you eat because people get hungry about half an hour after they finish working out and may find it too hard to stick to their plan if they cant eat anything at all afterwards, Varady noted.
If youre on the 16:8 plan, exercise before or during your eating window. If youre doing alternate day fasting and are exercising on your 500-calorie day, save food for after your exercise session.
It May Help You Eat Less
Switching to intermittent fasting may naturally help you eat less.
One study found that young men ate 650 fewer calories per day when their food intake was restricted to a four-hour window .
Another study in 24 healthy men and women looked at the effects of a long, 36-hour fast on eating habits. Despite consuming extra calories on the post-fast day, participants dropped their total calorie balance by 1,900 calories, a significant reduction .
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What To Eat On An Intermittent Fasting Plan
Now that you know how to do intermittent fasting, its time to talk about what you should eat on your fasting days. Whats important is that you keep your calorie intake low but still eat healthily.
Calorie restriction is going to be part of any weight loss plan that actually works. Even on your nonfasting days, you still need to maintain a balanced diet.
Some good options include:
lean protein such as fish, chicken, or tofu
fruits and vegetables
whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice
low-fat dairy products
nuts and seeds
Fast For 12 Hours A Day
The rules for this diet are simple. A person needs to decide on and adhere to a 12-hour fasting window every day.
According to some researchers, fasting for 1016 hours can cause the body to turn its fat stores into energy, which releases ketones into the bloodstream. This should encourage weight loss.
This type of intermittent fasting plan may be a good option for beginners. This is because the fasting window is relatively small, much of the fasting occurs during sleep, and the person can consume the same number of calories each day.
The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include the period of sleep in the fasting window.
For example, a person could choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They would need to finish their dinner before 7 p.m. and wait until 7 a.m. to eat breakfast but would be asleep for much of the time in between.
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What Should I Eat To Break My Fast
There are many great ways to break a fast you should experiment with what helps you feel your best. Intermittent fasting is great in that it is a relatively simple intervention that appears to have health benefits regardless of diet.
However, you may notice that with a regular intermittent fasting practice you start to tune into your body and sensations of hunger and satiety more closely. You can let your own hunger sensations while fasting prompt you to explore what your body is really craving and asking for! Also tune into how your body feels as you break your fast, and experiment breaking with different types of foods. I used to break my fast with my favorite breakfast foods of bagels or muffins, but found that I felt nauseous and tired afterwards. I started breaking my fasts with a crisp apple and found that I felt fantastic, with no symptoms reflective of a blood sugar spike. Needless to say, I keep a dozen apples of different colors and varieties in my house at all times now!
A good rule of thumb is to break a fast slowly and intentionally by enjoying a snack or balanced meal with plenty of vegetables and fruit, healthy plant fats , some protein and some whole grains. Trying going low-carb in the first meal after a long fast to avoid overly spiking your blood sugar and insulin levels.
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 approach is 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 period 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, 2, or even 3 p.m. instead.
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Does Not Follow Intuitive Eating
Intermittent fasting does promote some hormonal changes in the body. According to a study in thePublic Library of Science journal, individuals who fasted during Ramadan experienced a decrease in the hunger and fullness hormones called leptin and ghrelin.
Therefore, a significant downside of intermittent fasting is that it goes against intuitive eating, which is the process of listening to your bodys natural hunger and fullness cues to dictate when and how much to eat.
It may be challenging to follow your hunger and fullness cues while following intermittent fasting, even if you fast for just two days a week. This study mentioned above found that fasting decreased the presence of those hunger and fullness signal hormones.
How To Intermittent Fast: A Step
Many people search for detailed rules to help them learn how to intermittent fast. Poring over the rules wont get you anywhere, though. A better strategy is to try a schedule and see how it goes, collecting data about your experience along the way and making adjustments as needed. Heres a framework for doing just that.
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What Not To Eat After Fasting
After fasting, you do not want to break your fast with unhealthy foods. It defeats the purpose of fasting as it derails results. After a fast, you want to eat healthy foods. However, not all healthy foods are ideal for breaking a fast, as they can cause discomfort. You want to eat foods that are easily digestible, like protein, non-cruciferous vegetables are hard to digest, avocado, and bone broth. Avoid cruciferous vegetables, lactose, and of course processed foods. After your first meal, you can add some more hard to digest foods to your plate if you like.
Does Fasting Benefit People Who Don’t Need To Lose Weight Or Who Have Reached Their Goal Weight
Yes, Varady said, citing one of her studies that found fasting helps maintain a healthy body weight lowers triglycerides, which is important for heart health helps decrease blood pressure and improves blood sugar regulation.
A review of research in humans and animals, published in 2019 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found intermittent fasting has “broad-spectrum benefits” for health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and neurologic disorders.
The powerful health effects appear to come from the body flipping a “metabolic switch” during fasting or shifting away from using sugar as its main source of energy and instead converting fat for fuel when a person’s stomach is empty.
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Whats Important Is That You Find A Way That Works Best For You
It can be difficult to schedule your eating window when youre intermittent fasting, but there are a few times of day that work well for most people:
in the afternoon
These are just general guidelines, though. You may find that you prefer to eat later in the evening or earlier in the morning.
Whats important is that you find a time of day that works best for you and stick to it as much as possible.
Continue Taking Medicine During The Fast
If you have health conditions that require medication taken with food, its absolutely crucial to follow medical advice and take it alongside an appropriate amount of food.
This sometimes means that people need to plan their fasts in accordance with when they need to take certain medicines, which can be frustrating, but always remember that your health comes first! Many medications are typically most effective when taken with a meal, so your eating window should always reflect that.
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What Is Intermittent Fasting How To Start Schedules And Benefits
The new hot topic all health and wellness professionals are talking about is the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Dont know what an intermittent fasting plan is?
No worries, we will explain all the ins and outs of eating periods and how to keep a balanced diet with healthy habits, so you can lose weight and keep it off.
Intermittent fasting is not a magic bullet. Its to be followed with a healthy lifestyle and exercise in conjunction with the diet plan.
Always take into consideration any existing health conditions and talk to your doctor before starting any weight loss plan.
Does It Work For Weight Loss
Arbonne specifically states that the 30 Days to Healthy Living program is not a weight loss program, though you will likely lose weight on the diet.
The diet focuses on eating mostly vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats, and it encourages other healthy lifestyle practices, such as daily exercise, mindfulness, and good sleep. All of these are linked to better health and weight management (
Replacing a meal with this shake does not provide enough calories for most people and would likely put them at a calorie deficit especially when paired with increased physical activity and ultimately lead to weight loss.
There are a number of potential benefits to Arbonnes 30 Days to Healthy Living program.
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Faqs About Intermittent Fasting
Do fasts start and end automatically? No. Fasts do not start and stop automatically at their scheduled time. You need to go into the Lose It! App manually and hit Start Fast Now or End Fast Now to start or stop your scheduled fast.
Can I manually edit my fast? Yes! You can edit the start date and time and the end date and time of fasts. This article walks you through the editing process.
If You Need To Lose Weight A Diet That Focuses Mainly On When You Eat May Be A Good Way To Shed Pounds And Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Anyone who’s tried different weight-lossdiets is probably familiar with their pitfalls. Low-calorie diets often leave you tired, hungry, and cranky. Low-carb or “keto” diets can cause cravings and constipation. Low-fat diets are also tough to follow and, contrary to popular belief, they do not seem to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Another diet trend, intermittent fasting, takes a different approach. Rather than limiting what you eat, this diet limits when you eat . For some people, that change may be easier to manage, says Dr. Eric Rimm, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Short-term studies suggest that people stick to intermittent fasting diets as well as or better than they do to other diets. And according to a 2019 review article in the journal Nutrients, intermittent fasting promotes weight loss and may reduce risk factors linked to heart disease, including diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy blood lipid levels, and inflammation.
“However, we don’t have much evidence about how well this diet works over the long term,” says Dr. Rimm, noting that there are just two long-term studies of intermittent fasting, each lasting a year. Nor are there large populations of people who’ve followed this eating pattern for years. That’s in contrast to two other diets linked to a healthy heart and healthy body size the Mediterranean diet and a vegetarian diet.
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Frequently Asked Questions Concerns And Complaints
Im a woman. Should I do anything differently?
I havent worked with women on implementing an intermittent fasting schedule, so I cant speak from experience on this one.
That said, I have heard that women may find a wider window of eating to be more favorable when doing daily intermittent fasting. While men will typically fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours, women may find better results by eating for 10 hours and fasting for 14 hours. The best advice I can give anyone, not just women, is to experiment and see what works best for you. Your body will give you signals. Follow what your body responds favorably to.
Also, if youre a female, there is an allfemale page on Facebook that discusses intermittent fasting. Im sure you could find a ton of great answers and support there.
I could never skip breakfast. How do you do it?
I dont. Breakfast foods are my favorite, so I just eat them at 1pm each day.
Also, if you eat a big dinner the night before, I think youll be surprised by how much energy you have in the morning. Most of the worries or concerns that people have about intermittent fasting are due to the fact that they have had it pounded into them by companies that they need to eat breakfast or they need to eat every three hours and so on. The science doesnt support it and neither do my personal experiences.
I thought you were supposed to eat every 3 hours?
Here’s why this was a popular idea for a brief period of time:
Here’s the problem:
Can I Build Muscle And Gain Weight While Intermittent Fasting
Youre damn right you can!
In fact, I have been intermittent fasting since 2015 while building muscle and decreasing my body fat percentage:
I still eat roughly the same number of calories I was consuming before, but instead of eating all damn day long, I condense all of my calorie consumption into an eight hour window.
- 11 AM Work out with heavy strength training in a fasted state.
- 12 PM Immediately consume 1/2 of my calories for the day .
- 7 PM Consume the second portion of my calories for the day in a big dinner.
- 8 PM 12 PM the next day: Fast for 16 hours.
In a different method, my friend Nate Green packed on a crazy amount of muscle while fasting for a full 24 hours on Sundays so it is possible.
Im not kidding when I say this has revolutionized how I look at muscle building and fat loss.
Ultimately, this method flies in the face of the typical bulk and cut techniques of overeating to build muscle before cutting calories to lose fat and settling down at a higher weight.
I prefer this method to the bulk-and-cut technique for a few reasons:
A note on BCAA consumption. Martin from LeanGains recommends consuming Branched Chain Amino Acids as a supplement with regards to fasted training to aid your muscles through your workout.
Now, it should go without saying that if you want to build muscle while fasting, you need to work out. Specifically, by lifting heavy.
If you want help building a workout routine designed to create muscle, I have 3 options:
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