Remind Me Again: What Is Intermittent Fasting Exactly
Essentially, intermittent fasting is a type of eating plan that involves periods of fastingduring which you can consume only water, coffee, and teaand eatingwhen you can generally eat what you like. Such freedom to choose your own chow is one of the many reasons the diet’s racked up so many fans, including stars like Vanessa Hudgens and Halle Berry.
And in a world where many of the top trending diets involve a lot of, well, math, IF stands outs for being fairly simple to understand. It doesnt require counting calories, macros, or measuring ketones. You can eat most anything you want between a specific window of time, although most programs recommend eating healthfully when you do eat,” Sonya Angelone, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, previously told Women’s Health.
Need some IF inspo? Halle Berry is a huge fanfind out why and how she does it:
Another pro? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan or “right” way to do this, per Anglone. In fact, it’s just the opposite. There are many different kinds of fasting or IF schedules to choose from, so you can decide the diet that best fits your lifestyle. Here are a few popular picks:
And that, dear class readers, is Fasting 101. Now, onto lesson number two: the 12 must-know tips to do a fasting diet safely and successfully.
Reduced Oxidative Stress And Inflammation
Oxidative stress occurs as potentially harmful reactive oxygen species build up within the cells of your body that are metabolically active. Reactive oxygen species are, as their name suggests, reactive. They can react with and cause harm to your proteins and even your DNA. If a cell in your body cant counteract this damage quickly enough, it might become senescent, spew out inflammation, or even die.
Intermittent fasting forces muscle, brain and other tissues to become more efficient in their breakdown of metabolites and production of energy. This can help reduce ROS and levels of inflammation. Fasting also triggers the body to produce more antioxidants that help clean up ROS.
A study with prediabetic men who shortened their eating window to 6 hours a day for 5 weeks showed that this fasting regimen reduced plasma levels of the oxidative stress marker 8-isoprostane, in addition to improving insulin sensitivity and blood pressure. Alternate day fasting has been shown to increase the expression of superoxide dismutase and catalase, two powerful antioxidant enzymes that can clean up ROS in your cells. Another way to increase antioxidant enzymes is through exercise! Physical activity increases the levels of superoxide dismutase, which has a lot of benefits for all of the organs in your body.
Starting your fast earlier in the evening is also associated with lower breast cancer recurrence.
What Are The Side Effects Of Intermittent Fasting
The main side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger. As we mentioned before, an extreme approach can cause homronal problems especially in women.
Fasting is not for everyone.
Pregnant women, someone with an eating disordered, people who are stress or dont sleep well will not do well with this pattern of eating.
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Choose Your Best Protocol
Krystal began her intermittent fasting journey about a year ago, and she experimented with various protocols until she found the right protocol.
I alternate what kind of fasting I do. Sometimes I stick with a traditional 16:8 fasting period, other times I will do a longer time frame, she says. My longest fast was five days.
Though five days might seem a bit overwhelming to a beginner, Krystal urges readers to find whats best for them. For her journey, Krystal admits, I read a lot about the health benefits of fasting, plus with following a ketogenic diet fasting came naturally as my hunger levels decreased.
What Can I Eat While Intermittent Fasting
During the times when youre not eating, water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted.
And during your eating periods, eating normally does not mean going crazy. Youre not likely to lose weight or get healthier if you pack your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items and treats.
But what Williams likes about intermittent fasting is that it allows for a range of different foods to be eaten and enjoyed. We want people to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food, she says. She adds that eating with others and sharing the mealtime experience adds satisfaction and supports good health.
Williams, like most nutrition experts, regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat, whether youre trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.
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Tips To The Crescendo Fasting
Drawbacks Of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
16/8 intermittent fasting may be associated with many health benefits, but it does come with some drawbacks and may not be right for everyone.
Restricting your intake to just eight hours per day can cause some people to eat more than usual during eating periods in an attempt to make up for hours spent fasting.
This may lead to weight gain, digestive problems and the development of unhealthy eating habits.
16/8 intermittent fasting may also cause short-term negative side effects when youre first getting started, such as hunger, weakness and fatigue though these often subside once you get into a routine.
Additionally, some research suggests that intermittent fasting may affect men and women differently, with animal studies reporting that it could interfere with fertility and reproduction in females .
However, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects that intermittent fasting may have on reproductive health.
In any case, be sure to start gradually and consider stopping or consulting your doctor if you have any concerns or experience negative symptoms.
Restricting daily food intake may cause weakness, hunger, increased food consumption and weight gain. Animal studies show that intermittent fasting may impact men and women differently and may even interfere with fertility.
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Intermittent Fasting For Rapid Weight Loss
Intermittent Fasting for Rapid Weight Loss
How does intermittent fasting make you lose weight?
When you fast, you consume fewer calories than you normally do or no calories at all. As with the weight-loss basics go, the fewer calories you consume, the more weight you lose.
Intermittent fasting simply helps reduce your overall calorie intake. And this reduction in calorie intake is essentially what causes you to lose weight on IF.
But thats not all.
Fasting also causes several changes in the way your body stores and burns fat.
One is insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that converts your glucose, sugar into energy for fuel. Its a driver of your fat storage and its levels rise when you eat and decrease when you fast.
In short, fasting may drive fat loss, prevent additional fat storage, and result in weight loss.
Why Does My Blood Sugar Go Up During Fasting
While this does not happen with everyone, it can occur due to hormonal changes that occur during intermittent fasting. Your body is producing sugar in order to provide energy for your system. This is a variation of the dawn phenomenon and in general is not a concern as long as blood sugars are not elevated the rest of the day.45
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It May Aid Weight Loss
Various methods of intermittent fasting, including 20-hour fasting cycles, have been linked to weight loss.
One study, which closely mimicked the Warrior Diet , found that people who consumed meals over four hours in the evening experienced more weight loss than those who consumed the same amount of calories in meals throughout the day.
Whats more, those who ate one meal per day showed significantly reduced fat mass and greater muscle mass .
A recent review of six studies concluded that various types of intermittent fasting, ranging from 3 to 12 months, were more effective at promoting weight loss than no dietary intervention.
However, the review found that there were no significant weight loss differences between dieters using intermittent fasting or continuous calorie restriction , meaning that calorie restriction without fasting was equally effective .
Additionally, although reducing calorie intake is the most common outcome of the Warrior Diet, some people following this eating pattern could technically consume too many calories during the four-hour overeating period and experience weight gain.
How Safe Is Intermittent Fasting
The 12 hour intermittent fasting Keto or Ketogenic diet and other carbohydrate-restricted diets aim to achieve ketosis, which is an accumulation of acidic ketones in the blood. As much as the outcomes are great, ketosis can cause liver, brain, and kidney damage. It is unsafe for individuals with chronic disorders such as diabetes and heart disease. Your blood sugar should also be stable for you to follow this diet plan. Therefore, it is important to discuss with your doctor and seek guidance from a licensed dietitian before beginning 12 hour intermittent fasting.
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Why Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
One of the culprits for weight gain is elevated blood insulin levels. Now hold on for a second, I can almost hear you saying, I dont have diabetes, then why on earth should I worry about insulin???
Insulin does a lot of things in your body, its responsible for so many bodily functions. All foods increase insulin to some extent.
YES, even protein and fat. So if we want to achieve weight loss, we need to figure out a way how to SUPPRESS those insulin levels. We need to do it for a prolonged period of time. And we need to do that frequently, meaning INTERMITTENTLY.
Short-term fasting leads to several changes in the body that make fat burning easier by reducing insulin leves, it also increases growth hormone, and a boost in metabolism. And at the end of this post, I will explain you what to do and what not to do during the fasting phase.
The 21 Day Primal Reset
But we can shorten that adaptation period to just 21 days by doing a complete reset which is something I cover in the Fat Loss Accelerator.
I like to call it the 21 day primal reset where we just go back to our roots on how were supposed to eat. We do a complete purge of your pantry and we start stocking it with the right foods.
You then supplement this change by making supportive lifestyle choices that up regulate your fat burning metabolism. If you do this reset properly, it will then turn you into a fat burning machine after just 21 days.
Because you need to have a multifaceted approach to this life changing transformation.
80% of your body composition is determined by your diet. While the other 20% is determined by your genetic predisposition to store fat and making supportive lifestyle choices that up regulate your fat burning metabolism.
During your 21 day reset, intermittent fasting should just be optional because fasting is basically step number 10 in all of this.
You need to learn how to walk first, before you can run. Its not about going from 0-100. Its about going from zero to 1.
You need to establish a baseline first that you can work with, hence the 21 day reset.
Again, this is where you also take the time to learn how to make supportive lifestyle choices like proper sleep hygiene, managing your stress levels, incorporating movement throughout the day, and doing proper workouts that promote fat burning.
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How To Start Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
Which Intermittent Fasting version have you tried? Did you find it a challenge? How much weight did you lose? Are you able to keep that weight off?
Soo you have heard about intermittent fasting. And you are curious about it. You want to know how it helps you lose weight, and how to start with it and what are the rules basically.
Today I am going to explain you what EXACTLY you need to do. In order to make the intermittent fasting work to reduce your weight, I REALLY think we need to understand WHY and HOW it works for you.
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.
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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:
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.
Things To Expect In Your First Week Intermittent Fasting
Ive been fasting off and on for a very long time now and sing its praises from the rooftops because to date Ive lost over 40 pounds and have kept it off with little effort.
At my highest weight of 196 pounds, I tried everything to lose weight to no avail.
Only when I finally pushed through fear and doubt and really focused on intermittent fasting did I start to see real change that I could actually maintain!
But it all started with the very first week.
If youre considering giving intermittent fasting a try and are curious as to what you might experience in the earliest days of your journey, this piece is for you.
Here are 8 things to expect in your very first week intermittent fasting.
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Common If Protocols Include:
14:10 or 16:8: The 14:10 is probably the easiest schedule to follow. It asks you to fast for 14 hours, then allows you to eat as you typically would for the next 10 hours. With the 16:8 protocol, you fast for 16 hours and have an eating window of 8 hours. You can easily practice both by skipping breakfast or eating an early dinner the night before.
One Meal a Day : This protocol has a fast-to-eat ratio of 23:1 you fast for 23 then eat all your nutrients in a one-hour window. Its not for everyone, since its very restrictive. But if you choose to try it, you can schedule your eating window during dinner time, or any time that works best for you.
5:2: The 5:2 protocol allows you to eat as you typically would five days a week, then fast completely or consume minimal calories on the other two days. Fasting days dont need to be consecutive, and most people allow at least one typical eating day between fast days.
So how do you know which protocol is right for you? It will depend on your body type, schedule, and preferences. Your experience with fasting, and whether youre male or female can play a role as well. Women generally have a more challenging time fasting for long periods, so if youre female, its best to begin with one of the more moderate fasting protocols.
Start with small changes, like pushing your breakfast back an hour or two so you ease your way into fasting. As your body adjusts and becomes more comfortable with fasting, you can work up to longer fasts.