How Is It Done
There are two main approaches to intermittent fasting, but it all comes down to personal preference. Select the approach that works best for you and your schedule.
Daily time-restricted feeding. In this option, you restrict your eating to a limited time each day. Benefits have been shown with as little as 12 hours of fasting, although the most effective method is the 16/8 method, or fasting 16 straight hours and consuming food during the remaining 8 hours each day. Start simply by cutting out nighttime snacking and limiting your eating window to 12 hours each day 5 days a week. Gradually, over a period of several months, reduce the time window during which you consume each day, with the goal of fasting for 16-18 hours a day.
Here is one approach to the 16/8 method of time-restricted feeding:
- Month 1: 12 hour eating period for 5 days a week
- Month 2: 10 hour eating period for 5 days a week
- Month 3: 8 hour eating period for 5 days a week
- Month 4 : 8 hour eating period for 7 days a week
5:2 fasting. This approach focuses on reducing your caloric intake to 500 calories a day for 2 days a week and maintaining a normal, healthy diet for the other 5 days. On fasting days, it is important to focus on high-fiber and high-protein foods to help you fill up. You can decide which days are your fasting days as long as there is at least one non-fasting day between them.
Here is an example of a 5:2 eating plan:
What Happens When You Start Intermittent Fasting May Depend On Which Method You Follow
There’s no single way to try intermittent fasting. While most people take the 16/8 approach of eating for eight hours a day and fasting for 16 hours, others do it differently. Alternate-day fasting involves eating normally one day and eating nothing or very little the next day. And, the 5:2 approach calls for eating normally five days per week, then eating 500 to 600 calories the remaining two, non-consecutive days, Healthline revealed.
“If you want to give IF a try, be prepared to figure out what works best for you,” registered dietitian Anna Taylor told the Cleveland Clinic. “It might take some trial and error first.” Cleveland Clinic explained that ultimately, any benefits of intermittent fasting are due to eating fewer calories overall. If you’re hoping to lose weight or improve your health, choose whatever type of intermittent fasting helps you eat less overall without feeling too hungry or lethargic.
What Is Clean Or Dirty Fasting
Surprisingly, you can follow a clean fasting schedule or play it out a little bit dirty.
These terms refer to defining what kind of foods break the fast. The clean path defines a zero-calorie approach: you cannot drink or eat anything other than water, plain black coffee, green tea, or any type of herbal tea.
While dirty fasting, you might consume drinks that contain less than 50 calories, such as lemon water, coffee with MCT oil, bone broth, or zero-calorie drinks. You might even enjoy a piece of gum or an occasional mint.
Both of these methods are valid. As a beginner, you might want to start fasting dirty and go clean once you get a handle on your new routine.
Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
Social channels are filled with reports of significant weight loss using intermittent fasting. Studies show efficacy, too, but the reported weight loss is frequently much smaller.
One difficulty with assessing the scientific support for intermittent fasting for weight loss involves comparing different fasting protocols. For instance, some studies evaluate time-restricted eating with daily fasting windows ranging from 14 to 20 hours. Others investigate alternate-day fasting, while others focus on severe caloric restriction to mimic fasting physiology.
Another issue is factoring in the baseline diet followed by study subjects. Are many of them eating a high-carb standard Western diet? Or are they eating a low-carb, high-protein diet? The difference may matter as those eating low carb and/or high protein may find fasting easier, and thereby stick with it longer to see greater healthy weight loss benefits.
Despite the discrepancies, most fasting interventions show benefits for weight loss.
One meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials looking at time-restricted eating found an average weight loss of 4.4 pounds in up to 12 months.2 While the absolute weight loss may not be much, thats still pretty impressive considering that participants didnt change what they ate. They only changed when they ate.
So its safe to say that intermittent fasting has the potential to help people lose a little weight.
Common Obstacles To Eating A Healthier Diet
Varady dabbles with intermittent fasting herself, typically for a few weeks after the holidays to lose a few pounds. The 16:8 plan is less intense than the other plans, but if she wants a more rapid weight loss, shell opt for alternate day fasting.
The first five fast days are pretty tricky, but once your body gets adjusted to that kind of up-down pattern of eating, it actually gets really easy, Varady told TODAY.
So how do you boost your chances of intermittent fasting success?
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Intermittent Fasting Could Potentially Slow The Aging Process
You may have heard that intermittent fasting can slow aging and increase longevity that is, help you stay healthier and live longer. That’s not totally true, but it’s not a total myth, either. While there’s not enough high-quality evidence to say whether intermittent fasting has this effect on humans, there is solid evidence that it has this effect on animals.
A team of researchers from the National Institutes of Health studied the effect of intermittent fasting on mice. Of the 300 mice included in the study, half were fed a whole food, low-sugar diet while the other half were fed a processed, higher-sugar diet. Next, the researchers separated each group into three subgroups: one group had access to food all day, one group was fed a calorie-restricted diet, and the final group were fed a regular amount of food, but only once per day. What the researchers found was surprising.
While the type of food eaten didn’t have a significant effect on health or lifespan, the mice that were only fed once per day were healthier and lived longer than the other groups of mice. Again, we don’t know yet whether or not this is true for humans, but it is promising.
A Beginners Guide To Fasting: Everything You Need To Know About Fasting
Fasting refers to the deliberate abstention from food and/or fluids for a period of time, for therapeutic purposes. Many people dont know that fasting has been used for thousands of years in various religious and spiritual practices throughout human history, and in a sense, fasting is part of everyday life. The term breakfast is the meal that breaks the fast, which is done daily.
The recent increase in scientific research around fasting has allowed us to understand just how fasting positively affects our physiology, cells, aging, disease and overall health. What has been incredible for me to watch in my own clinic and coaching is how many people, regardless of symptoms or condition, have benefited from this completely free and simple biohack!
In 2016 Dr. Ohsumi changed the fasting landscape dramatically when he won a Nobel prize for his work on autophagy. Autophagy means self-eating and is the bodys way of cleaning out damaged cells in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells. Autophagy is like the fast track to healing and slowing the aging process. What does autophagy have to do with fasting? Well, fasting triggers this magical autophagy process. Essentially, fasting helps accelerate healing and gets your body to naturally repair itself!
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What Happens To Your Body While Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting may be beneficial because of several chemical and hormonal reactions that happen when your body cant use food for fuel.
- Increased human growth hormone : With more HGH, your body may boost fat loss and muscle gain.
- Better insulin sensitivity: Research indicates that insulin levels are lower for people who fast, and low insulin levels allow your body to more easily access stored fat for energy. This can lead to weight loss.
- Cellular repair: During intermittent fasting, your cells enter a process called autophagy during which they remove protein build-up and dead or damaged cell components.
- Changes to gene expression: This process may impact how your body develops certain conditions and diseases by prolonging the health of the nervous system.
Intermittent Fasting Is In The News A Lotbut What Exactly Is It Does It Work For Weight Loss Is It Safe These Are The Answers You’re Looking For
Intermittent fasting is surging in popularity thanks to its ease and health benefits, but fasting has been around for millennia. Fasting for religious purposes has long been practiced among many faiths, including Christianity and Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism, according to an article in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dry fasting is a method of intermittent fasting that is modeled from these practices.
Today, several types of intermittent fasting have risen to prominence within health and nutrition circles as some studies find that fasting, or eating patterns that restrict when you eat foodbut not what you eatmay have many benefits. Heres how intermittent fasting works, what the benefits might be, and whether its right for you.
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Intermittent Fasting Tips For Success And How To Start
When starting a new healthy habit, it’s important to think about what challenges you may face or barriers that may arise during the process.
This is actually a crucial step in planning SMART goals, a common tool used by health coaches to help clients set achievable goals that last long term. When it comes to intermittent fasting there are a few common challenges or questions that tend to arise:
- What do I eat during my non-fasting period?
- What happens if I feel dizzy or nauseous?
- Is intermittent fasting safe?
- How long should I intermittent fast for?
How Long Should You Fast
One of the questions I get asked most frequently is, how long should I fast? Well, that depends on what health benefits you are hoping to achieve. The longer you fast, the more the benefits add up.
However, that doesnt necessarily mean longer is better for everyone. For example, if youre hoping to increase ketones, a 17 hour fast may be what you need, however if youre trying to heal a musculoskeletal injury, youll want to work your way up to a 72 hour fast.
Here are the benefits of fasting broken down by hours fasted:
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Whats Happening With Your Body: Easing Out Of Fasting Mode
How you choose to end your fast is critical. Depending on how long you fast, you may need to ease your way back into eating solid food. Fruit juices, cooked vegetables, and broths can help acclimate your body and digestive system to eating as internal mechanisms come back online.
How Should I Eat on Day 1 of Breaking a Water Fast? ????
Length: 6 minutes
Who Should Avoid Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is considered safe for most people, however, restricting calories for an extended period of time may not be best for everyone. You should talk to your provider before starting an intermittent fasting regimen if you fall into any of these categories:
- History of low blood pressure
- Difficulties regulating blood sugar
- History of an eating disorder
- Take medications that require taking them with food
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Intermittent Fasting Could Help You Lose Weight In The Short Term
Intuitively, it makes sense that if you restrict your eating to only certain hours in the day, you’ll eat less overall. Chalk it up to no late-night snacking, if you will. And it’s reasonable to believe that eating less will lead to weight loss. Research says this might be true in the short term, which could be good news for people trying to lose weight.
Citing research from the year prior, a 2015 review study revealed that people on intermittent fasting regimens either eating for only a certain period of time each day or alternating between days of eating and days of not eating typically lost between 3 and 8 percent of their body weight in the first three to 24 weeks. However, there was one major caveat. These studies all lasted six months or less. As such, there’s just no way to know whether or not people were able to maintain that weight loss or continue losing weight long term.
How To Start Intermittent Fasting In 5 Non
It’s daunting to start fasting, isn’t it?
- Someone online is poised to finish strong on day 2 of her 3 day fast because shes not even hungry. But instead of getting motivated you say Its only 10 AM and Im already hungry as a ravenous beast, I wont last the whole day, I cant do this today.
- Hunger pangs and cravings were so strong you didnt make it. Its easier to fast when youre fat adapted, the experts say. But that takes several weeks on a very low carb diet and you dont want to wait that long.
- Maybe you havent tried it, but youve thought about it. Oh, I cant do that.
What if there was a calm and confident way to get started? And what if your current abilities were enough?
| Instead of seeing it as another difficult duty you owe to your health, make it a self-experiment.
- Break it down into small but easily doable step-by-step actions that guarantee you will finish,
- observe and analyze what you discover,
- draw your conclusion: Is fasting right for you?
So youre not committing to it, youre here to learn about it. Because like most people, you learn by doing. Doesnt that sound easier already? But
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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:
How To Break Your Fast
Depending on how long youve been fasting, youll want to make sure you break your fast, slow and easy. I recommend avoidingcarbohydrates or foods that will spike insulin and blood sugar. Bone broths and high-fat foods like olives, avocado and nut butter are a great way to go. Also, youll want to avoid these foods during a fast as they may break your fast inadvertently.
Is there ever a time you should stop fasting? Yes! If your ketones get above 7, your blood sugar drops below 40 or you are not feeling well, you should break your fast. You can also try drinking salt water or taking a mineral supplement like MIN to help stabilize minerals during fasting.
There are some people who should be cautious about doing this, such as people with adrenal fatigue, complicated health conditions, or women the week before their menstrual cycle .
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How Do I Manage Hunger
The most important thing to realize is that hunger usually passes like a wave. Many people worry that hunger during intermittent fasting will continue to build until it is intolerable, but this does not normally happen.46 Instead, hunger comes in a wave. If you simply ignore it and drink a cup of tea or coffee, it will often pass.47
During extended fasts, hunger will often increase into the second day. After that, it gradually recedes, and many people report a complete loss of hunger sensation by day 3 or 4.48 Your body is now being powered by fat. In essence, your body is eating its own fat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and therefore is no longer hungry. Learn more