Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
A few small human studies have shown evidence that intermittent fasting can have health benefits for those with diabetes. These include:
- Weight loss
- Lowering insulin requirements
A long-term study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that a fasting state can support several benefits including:
- Lessening inflammation
- Sleepiness during the day
- Low energy levels
- A significantly increased risk of low blood sugar
- High blood sugar resulting from a surge of stored glucose from the liver when low blood sugar levels result from fasting
Its important to note that more research is needed to definitively back up the claims of side effects from intermittent fasting and to confirm the severity of such untoward reactions.
Because of the likeliness of side effects from fasting when a person has diabetes, its important to consult with your healthcare provider before deciding to start any type of fasting diet.
Weight Loss And Fat Loss
Eating during a set period can help people reduce the number of calories that they consume. It may also help boost metabolism.
Research from 2016 reports that men who followed a 16:8 approach for 8 weeks while resistance training showed a decrease in fat mass. The participants maintained their muscle mass throughout.
In contrast, a 2017 study found very little difference in weight loss between participants who practiced intermittent fasting in the form of alternate-day fasting rather than 16:8 fasting and those who reduced their overall calorie intake. The dropout rate was also high among those in the intermittent fasting group.
Can Anyone Try Intermittent Fasting
Still, most experts agree that some people should steer clear of IF altogether. That includes kids and adolescents because they have higher calorie needs due to ongoing growth and development women who are pregnant or breastfeeding people with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and anyone with a history of eating disorders, says Cohen.
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Eating Healthy Foods Matter
Many people who try IF do think they can eat whatever they want during feeding.
Sure, occasionally, maybe weekly, you can add a cheat meal which might be some cake or other processed, high fat, high sugar, high calorie food.
But, if you eat those on a regular basis, even while fasting, you can still easily over eat.
The reason is that processed food is often more calorically dense which means you have to eat more of it to feel full, even while it has more calories. Plus, many processed sweet treats are may with the highly addictive high fructose corn syrup.
Fructose taps your brains pleasure sensors, causing you to crave more of it because your brain thinks this is food that makes you happy. Fructose = sugar addiction.
Your body doesnt really know if it has 3 pounds of apples inside it or 3 pounds of cake. But, three pounds of cake obviously has far more calories than 3 pounds of apples.
So Some Days There Would Be Plenty And Other Days There Would Be None
As well, you are already fasting every single night while you sleep. If you choose to skip breakfast and eat your first meal at lunch, youre just stretching out the fast longer.
For example, you can choose to fast for 16 hours and then only eat during an 8-hour period. This methodis called 16/8 and its rather simple to do since most of the fasting time youll be sleeping.
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Seven Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
There are many different ways of intermittent fasting. The methods vary in the number of fast days and the calorie allowances.
Intermittent fasting involves entirely or partially abstaining from eating for a set amount of time, before eating regularly again.
Some studies suggest that this way of eating may offer benefits such as fat loss, better health, and increased longevity. Proponents claim that an intermittent fasting program is easier to maintain than traditional, calorie-controlled diets.
Each persons experience of intermittent fasting is individual, and different styles will suit different people.
In this article, we discuss the research behind the most popular types of intermittent fasting and provide tips on how to maintain this type of diet.
There are various methods of intermittent fasting, and people will prefer different styles. Read on to find out about seven different ways to do intermittent fasting.
The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Fat loss is great, but it isn’t the only benefit of fasting.
1. Intermittent fasting makes your day simpler.
I’m big on behavior change, simplicity, and reducing stress. Intermittent fasting provides additional simplicity to my life that I really enjoy. When I wake up, I don’t worry about breakfast. I just grab a glass of water and start my day.
I enjoy eating and I don’t mind cooking, so eating three meals a day was never a hassle for me. However, intermittent fasting allows me to eat one less meal, which also means planning one less meal, cooking one less meal, and stressing about one less meal. It makes life a bit simpler and I like that.
2. Intermittent fasting helps you live longer.
Scientists have long known that restricting calories is a way of lengthening life. From a logical standpoint, this makes sense. When youre starving, your body finds ways to extend your life.
Theres just one problem: who wants to starve themselves in the name of living longer?
I dont know about you, but Im interested in enjoying a long life. Starving myself doesnt sound that appetizing.
The good news is that intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction. In other words, you get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.
Way back in 1945 it was discovered that intermittent fasting extended life in mice. More recently, this study found that alternate day intermittent fasting led to longer lifespans.
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How Intermittent Fasting Works
The primary goal of intermittent fasting for weight loss is to get the insulin levels to decrease to a level where the body will begin to burn stored fat for energy.
Here is how it works. When the food we eat is metabolized , it ends up as molecules in the blood stream. One such molecule is glucose . Normally, when there is more circulating blood glucose than the body can use for energy, the excess is stored as fat for future use. But, for glucose to be utilized by the cells, it requires insulin. Between meals the body doesnt require insulin so insulin levels decline. When insulin levels are low, the fat cells release some of the stored glucose, resulting in weight loss.
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My name is Irma and I want to share my journey to improved health by eating whole foods, moving my body and eliminating stress as much as possible.
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Why? Because eating fresh, seasonal food and getting some sunshine is the best way to increase longevity. But you do not want just a long life.
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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.
How Can I Suppress Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
Eat high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, and high protein foods, including meat, fish, tofu, or nuts, during your eating window, Varady advised. Chewing high-fiber gummies can also help.
Drink lots of water. People tend to think they’re hungry, when they are really just thirsty, she said.
Go for black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or licorice herbal teas. These beverages may have appetite-suppressing effects, Varady noted.
Watch less TV: I know this sounds strange, but while you are watching TV, you are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. This can make you feel hungry, when in actuality, you are not hungry at all, she said.
Remember, being “a little hungry” is the best thing that can happen to you, wrote Madelyn Fernstrom, health and nutrition editor at NBC News, calling it a “true mind-body connection” that helps you recognize fullness.
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Intermittent Fasting And Appetite
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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How Do I Try Intermittent Fasting
There are four popular fasting approaches: periodic fasting, time-restricted feeding, alternate-day fasting and the 5:2 diet. Time-restricted feeding, sometimes called daily intermittent fasting, is perhaps the easiest and most popular fasting method. Daily intermittent fasters restrict eating to certain time periods each day, say 11 in the morning to 7 at night. The fasting period is usually around 12 or more hours that, helpfully, includes time spent sleeping overnight. Periodic fasting will feel most familiar: no food or drinks with calories for 24-hour periods. Another type of fast, alternate-day fasting requires severe calorie reduction every other day. Lastly, the 5:2 method was popularized by author Kate Harrisons book The 5:2 Diet” and requires fasting on two nonconsecutive days a week.
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So Which Intermittent Fasting Schedule Is Best For Weight Loss Whichever One You’ll Actually Stick To Tbh
In short, the one that’s easiest for you to follow. “It is all about sustainability for the individual,” says Lemein. “If one of these diets work well for you and your lifestyle and preferences, then you will likely see some success. If not, then you’ll likely not see the results you’re are looking for, as the sustainability piece will not be there.” That means picking a diet that work best with all the lifestyle factors you need to consider, like your work schedule, family dynamic, living situation, commute time, and travel commitments, notes Lemein.
It’s worth pointing out, though, that the 16:8 diet seems to be the most doable for a lot of people who are into IF. The 16:8 method also scores points for preventing overeating at night, which can often be a big obstacle for weight loss. And sticking to an eight-hour eating window during daylight hours allows your metabolism to run as itâs supposed toâyou fuel up for energy during the day , and stop eating for rest and recovery at night, per a 2017 article in the journal Nutrition Reviews.
The bottom line: All intermittent fasting schedules may lead to weight loss if you can follow them sustainably, and the 16:8 method may be the easiest way to follow an IF diet.
So Is Intermittent Fasting As Good As It Sounds
I was very curious about this, so I asked the opinion of metabolic expert Dr. Deborah Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Here is what she told me. “There is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective,” she confirmed, though generally she recommends that people “use an eating approach that works for them and is sustainable to them.”
So, heres the deal. There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes.
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Is It Better Than Regular Sugar
Although Sucanat contains more minerals than regular table sugar, its still a natural sweetener and added sugar product.
Excessive intake of added sugars has been linked to the development of dental cavities and chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity .
In this regard, Sucanat should not be consumed in excessive amounts, and it should be treated with the same caution as other natural sweeteners or sources of added sugars.
That means you should consume Sucanat in moderation, just as you would with other added sugars.
Sucanat has a higher mineral content than regular granulated sugar. However, its still an added sugar and should be consumed in moderation. Excessive consumption of added sugars is linked to chronic diseases and dental cavities.
Sucanat can be used similarly too granulated sugar can be used. In fact, you can use it to replace granulated sugar or coconut sugar in baked goods.
However, its coarse texture and strong flavor may prevent it from being substituted in a one-to-one fashion.
Here is a quick guide based on Americas Test Kitchens recommendations for how to substitute Sucanat:
- Coconut sugar. Use 1/4 cup of Sucanat in place of 1/3 cup of coconut sugar.
- Granulated sugar. Use 3 tablespoons of Sucanat in place of 2 tablespoons of granulated white or brown sugar.
When using Sucanat in baked goods, try grinding it in a spice grinder first. Doing so may help it dissolve and create a smoother product.
It Could Lead To Negative Side Effects
The Warrior Diet may lead to side effects, some of which could be severe.
Potential side effects include (
- Hormonal imbalance
- Weight gain
In addition, many health professionals argue that dieters will not get enough nutrients when following an intermittent fasting plan like the Warrior Diet.
However, as long as healthy, nutrient-dense foods are chosen and calorie needs are met, nutrient needs can be covered by carefully planning your food choices when following the Warrior Diet.
The Warrior Diet is inappropriate for many people, can be hard to stick to and may lead to negative side effects such as fatigue, insomnia and hormonal imbalance.
Hofmekler suggests that anyone starting the Warrior Diet should follow an initial three-week, three-phase plan to improve the bodys ability to utilize fat for energy.
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The Chemistry Behind Intermittent Fasting
Whenever you eat, your body uses insulin to allow glucose to enter your cells. This is where the body gets energy.
Modern humans eat so often that our bodies never get a break from insulin secretion. The constant insulin causes insulin resistance and our bodies can no longer break down the glucose .
When our bodies are insulin-resistant, we need even more insulin to break down the sugar in our cells. This creates a bad cycle that eventually creates type-2 diabetes.
This is why intermittent fasting is so powerful. It helps break the cycle and stop the insulin resistance.
You deplete your bodys glycogen stores after about 12 hours of fasting. At that point, your body switches from burning sugar to fat stores. This is quite helpful for weight loss.
There are other effective intermittent fasting schedules as well. These include the 5:2 fast, in which you eat a normal diet five days a week. On the other two days, you only eat one meal and restrict the calories to 500-600 total calories.
Other people like the Eat-Stop-Eat method of fasting. This is a 24-hour fast 1-2 times per week. For instance, finish dinner at 6 pm on Monday and dont eat again until dinner at 6 pm the next day.
When you are eating, stick to healthy foods.
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.
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Popular Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has recently become a health trend. Devotees claim it can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, and maybe even extend life span.
Every method can be effective, but figuring out which one works best depends on the individual.
Several methods of this eating pattern exist. But before embarking on an intermittent fast or deciding how often to fast, you should speak with a healthcare professional.
Here are 6 popular ways to do intermittent fasting.
What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Heres what the science says about the ways IF might help you get healthier.
One study with 150 participants for 50 weeks showed IF to be as effective as a diet that restricts calories other small studies have shown that IF will help you lose weight in the short-term. A review of 27 trials found that weight loss from .8 percent to 13 percent of baseline body weight occurred with IF, though the researchers pointed out that larger studies of longer duration are needed. In 16 of the studies that measured BMI, the participants BMI decreased by 4.3 percent, says Kelly. Reducing the daily eating window may also decrease caloric intake for the whole day, resulting in weight loss without restrictive calorie counting.
Chronic inflammation is associated with a long list of health conditions, including dementia, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease, says Cohen. While mice studies have demonstrated that short periods of fasting show a reduction in inflammatory markers, a small human study showed IF reduced the levels of pro-inflammatory factors such as homocysteine and C reactive protein, which contribute to the development of plaque in the arteries. Another small eight-week study in overweight patients showed an improvement of asthma symptoms including better pulmonary function.
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