How Long Should I Aim For ^
Generally speaking, we should have a 12-16-hour fasting window each day, although there are probably exceptions due to bio-individuality . This can be achieved by stacking our sleeping habits with our eating habits. If we are following the circadian rhythm sleep schedule, then we should be
- eating our first meal between 7-9am, and
- eating our last meal between 7-9pm.
- This will require no late night snacks.
The amazing thing about this simple schedule shift in eating times is that research shows improvements in fat composition and energy levels even when the foods eaten didnt change . This means that even if you dont change one single thing you are eating, yet you align your sleep and fasting window with your circadian rhythm, you are likely to see an increase in energy and metabolic health.
Final Word On 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Schedule
16:8 intermittent fast can be an effective and sustainable way to lose those extra pounds and improve overall wellness when combined with healthy lifestyle choices.
These include consuming a diet rich in nutrients, limiting junk food, meeting your fitness needs, and getting enough rest.
Individuals practicing this dietary pattern should focus on eating a variety of whole foods, fruits, veggies, and protein.
Hydration is also essential during intermittent fasting and should not be limited to your eating window.
Be sure to sip on water and noncaloric beverages, such as tea and coffee, throughout the day to meet fluid needs.
Although 16:8 intermittent fast is considered a safe process for most healthy and well-nourished adults, you may consider speaking with a registered dietitian or doctor before starting any type of intermittent fasting plan.
Intermittent Fasting Can Reduce Your Discipline Focus And Productivity
This may appear to contradict the previous point, but think about it, a hungry man can also be a grumpy man.
In other words, when fasting, its easy to lose focus and get agitated because youre really hungry.
This is why its so important to listen to your body, instead of sticking to a fixed regimen.
Ive noticed that theres a sweet spot every day a time period to stop your fasting window.
If you break your fast too early, youll miss out the energy that could have been used to get more work done.
If you break your fast too late, youll start to get agitated and lose focus during the day.
Every day is different, so its about trial and error.
Also Check: What To Eat To Lose Weight Intermittent Fasting
Might Go Against Your Intuition
Intermittent fasting requires discipline, restraint, and planning ahead.
For some people, using those tactics to keep your calorie intake within a designated time frame is no problem, but for others, it might feel unnatural at first. This may be especially true if youre used to relying on your intuition to decide when to eat.
Further, if you prefer not to follow a strict schedule, you might find intermittent fasting frustrating.
Whats more, if your schedule tends to vary from day to day because of work, family, or other obligations, keeping your calorie intake to a designated time frame could be challenging.
We Asked Nutritionist Kerry Torrens For Her View
Is it safe?
Much of the emphasis of these diets is on the fasting stage, but in order to be a safe, effective and healthy style of eating, the food consumed during your ‘eating windows’ needs to be of high nutritional value. Aim to include essential fats from oily fish, nuts and seeds, lean sources of protein, wholegrains and starchy carbs and plenty of fruit and vegetables to supply dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Is it effective for weight loss and is it sustainable?
Studies suggest that when you compare IF with daily calorie restriction it is equally as effective at promoting weight loss in those who are overweight and obese. Results will vary, however, dependent on your individual circumstances and the amount of weight you have to lose. How effective it is in the longer term will depend on your ability to maintain this style of eating going forward. This is because IF is not so much a diet but rather a programme of eating, which means sustaining the weight loss is all down to how well you adapt your eating patterns in the long term.
How do different versions of IF compare?
Who should be more careful when considering fasting?
Please note: if you’re considering attempting any form of diet, please consult your GP first to ensure you can do so without risk to health.
Recommended Reading: Do You Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting
Everything You Need To Know About The Clockwork Diet
Its not what you eat but when you eat it the new rule of weight loss is an eight-hour meal schedule, says Samuel Fishwick
our body is inconstant. Its not just what you eat but when you eat it that matters, and your body clock is the first dietary instrument you should turn to. In 2018 we count minutes, not calories.
The clockwork diet is simple: you need to limit the window in which youre eating to eight hours on,16 hours off. In other words, this means you could have breakfast at 11am and be finishing off your dinner at 7pm which, as Kim Pearson, a London nutritionist, points out, is totally doable. Time-restricted eating doesnt require calorie restriction or going for extended periods of time without food, she observes. It particularly suits individuals who dont have a natural desire to eat breakfast.
Consume all food during an eight hour period every day. For example, eat between 11am and 7pm, then between 7pm and 11am have only water. Some individuals choose to skip either breakfast or dinner, eating just two substantial meals per day.
Others consume three meals per day within a shorter time frame than usual. Consider daily routine and personal preferences in order to find a time frame that works for the individual.
Being full when you go to bed can result in poor sleep, less energy on waking and incomplete digestion.
Relax, then chew it, when you want to get to it. Time is on your side if youll let it be.
What Should I Eat To Fast Safely ^
If you start the day with your biggest meal in morning, making sure it includes ample protein and healthy fat, you should be able to start stretching your times in between meals and eventually be able to last through the entire 12-15 hour fasting window. If you include your highest amount of protein at night, you will stay satiated longer.
Again, take this in baby steps. If you currently only have a 9-hour night-time fasting window, dont jump right to 15 hours. Increase your fasting time incrementally while simultaneously switching to nutrient-dense meals that include ample protein, fat, and veggies. Eventually, your hunger should realign with your natural circadian rhythm and you will be able to make that nightly fasting window and optimize your autophagy.
Weight Loss And Difference In Body Composition
The 16:8 diet has become a favored weight loss program among dieters, and for a good reason.
There is evidence that intermittent fasting may help you lose weight and boost your metabolism .
It does this in two ways:
First, fasting makes you eat fewer meals, resulting in decreased calorie intake and food consumption.
In general, individuals practicing the 16:8 fast skip breakfast and stop eating at a set time.
Therefore, unless you overcompensate by eating much more during meals, you end up consuming fewer calories during the limited 8-hour timeframe.
Additionally, your body also adjusts hormone levels during a fast to make fat stores more accessible .
Basically, when your body is cut off from its preferred sources of energy, namely glucose and glycogen reserves, it will adapt to start burning fat as its primary source of fuel.
This means that you are not only losing pounds, but a portion of that weight loss will come from body fat storage.
How To Intermittent Fast ^
So how do we align intermittent fasting with our circadian rhythm to trigger autophagy? Well, rule number one is that autophagy only occurs during fasting . Our daily circadian rhythm requires shifts from catabolism to anabolism .
This shift between catabolism and anabolism is thrown off when circadian rhythm is thrown off, resulting in decreased prolactin, which decreases growth hormone, which decreases autophagy . To support autophagy, we need to align our sleep with our circadian rhythm, and align our food with our circadian rhythm as well.
Now, onto the specifics.
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Cons Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is one way to regulate your calorie intake and work toward improving your metabolic health.
Though the eating pattern can certainly be part of a healthy diet, it will likely take some adjusting to in the beginning. Plus, simply put, intermittent fasting is not right for everyone.
Here are a few downsides you could encounter when first trying intermittent fasting.
Should I Try Intermittent Fasting
Now that were through a lot of the science stuff, lets get into the reality of the situation: why should you consider Intermittent Fasting?
When you fast, you are also making it easier to restrict your total caloric intake over the course of the week, which can lead to consistent weight loss and maintenance.
#2) Because it simplifies your day. Rather than having to prepare, pack, eat, and time your meals every 2-3 hours, you simply skip a meal or two and only worry about eating food in your eating window.
Its one less decision you have to make every day.
It could allow you to enjoy bigger portioned meals and STILL eat fewer calories on average.
Its a point that Coach Matt makes in this video on intermittent fasting:
#3) It requires less time . Rather than having to prepare or purchase three to six meals a day, you only need to prepare two meals.
Instead of stopping what youre doing six times a day to eat, you simply only have to stop to eat twice. Rather than having to do the dishes six times, you only have to do them twice.
Rather than having to purchase six meals a day, you only need to purchase two.
#5) It can level up your brain, including positively counteracting conditions like Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and dementia.
#6) Plus, Wolverine does it:
#7) Boy George is a fasting fan :
Also Check: What Does Intermitten Fasting Do
Special Notes If You Try The Extreme Intermittent Fast
1) If youre going to try a fat fast or do extreme intermittent fasting, you want to ease into it.
You do not want to jump into these extreme fasts if you currently eat a poor diet that is filled with fast foods, processed foods, and refined carbs.
If you take this leap, youll find yourself in the bathroom for most of the day. Instead, work your way up to doing these extreme forms of intermittent fasting by first doing a 16:8 fast by itself and getting off the junk food.
2) There is some research that talks about doing a fat fast for a few days up to a few weeks at a time.
My husband and I do not have any personal experience with doing a fat fast for this long and dont promote staying on an extreme fast for more than a day.
When my husband utilizes this fasting technique, he does it one day at a time. This one-day extreme intermittent fast is a good way to change things up, which can stimulate a sluggish metabolism.
Mattson, M. P., Longo, V. D., & Harvie, M. . Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Aging research reviews, 39, 46-58.
How Do I Know If Intermittent Fasting Is Right For Me
Intermittent fasting is generally safe, but it isnt for everyone. Intermittent fasting may not be right for those that are underweight, have nutritional deficiencies, diabetes, or eating disorders. Following an intermittent fasting plan may also not be a good fit for pregnant women, breastfeeders, those trying to conceive, women with fertility issues, and those who have a history of missed periods.
If any of the medical considerations I listed out apply to you, please talk to your doctor before starting an intermittent fasting plan. Even if none of these scenarios apply, you should still talk to your doctor to ensure that it is a good fit for you. If your doctor gives you the okay, then youre good to go!
- People who want and need flexibility in how long they fast.
Learn more about crescendo intermittent fasting:
Recommended Reading: What Can You Have When Intermittent Fasting
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
Now, you might be thinking: okay, so by skipping a meal, I will eat less than I normally eat on average , and thus I will lose weight, right?
In this example, youre eating LARGER lunches and dinners than you normally do, but by skipping breakfast youll consume 500 less calories per day.
And thus, weight loss!
This is highlighted in a recent JAMA study in which both calorie restricted dieters and intermittent fasters lost similar amounts of weight over a year period.
That doesnt tell the FULL story, as the timing of meals can also influence how your body reacts.
Intermittent Fasting can help because your body operates differently when feasting compared to when fasting:
When you eat a meal, your body spends a few hours processing that food, burning what it can from what you just consumed.
Because it has all of this readily-available, easy to burn energy , your body will choose to use that as energy rather than the fat you have stored.
During the fasted state your body doesnt have a recently consumed meal to use as energy.
Thus, it is more likely to pull from the fat stored in your body as its the only energy source readily available.
Burning fat = win.
The same goes for working out in a fasted state.
Without a ready supply of glucose and glycogen to pull from , your body is forced to adapt and pull from a source of energy that it does have available: the fat stored in your cells.
If you want, you can sign-up for a free trial right here:
What Is 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting
The 16:8 fasting plan is an eating schedule in which you fast for 16 hours each day and eat during an eight-hour window.
This eating schedule comes with all the benefits of other fasting schedules . Perhaps even better, you pick the eating window.
So what should that eating window be? “There’s actually infinite variability. It can be any time. Any time that you don’t eatthat’s fasting,” explains Jason Fung, M.D., fasting expert and author of the book The Complete Guide to Fasting.
If you can’t live without breakfast, slot your food earlier in the day .
If you prefer an early dinner, eat in the middle of the day .
If you’re someone who regularly goes out with friends for late dinners, schedule your eating hours later in the day .
Contrary to popular opinion, there are no rules around how many meals you have to squeeze in or whether or not you have to include breakfast. In fact, no data actually proves breakfast makes you healthier or weigh less.
Read Also: Can You Eat Anything While Fasting
Fasting Meal Plan Sample
Are you interested in trying the 16:8 diet?
Below is a 7-day meal plan that has everything you need to get started. Each day consists of lunch and dinner with snacking between meals.
- Meal #1: Avocado chicken salad
- Snack #2: Handful of mixed nuts with apricot slices
- Meal #3: Macadamia basil pesto pasta
- Snack #4: Glass of red wine and cheese
- Meal #1: Vegan chickpea salad
- Snack #2: Apple slices with peanut butter
- Meal #3: Teriyaki chicken and cauliflower rice
- Snack #4: Mixed berries with coconut cream
- Meal #3: Asian fried noodles
- Snack #4: Two chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk
- Meal #1: Broccoli tofu salad with quinoa
- Snack #2: Piece of dark chocolate and bowl of mixed berries
- Meal #3: Seared salmon with brown rice and parmesan-kale salad
- Snack #4: Baked apple with cinnamon
- Meal #1: Turkey chili with cornbread
- Snack #2: Organic edamame and almond slices
- Meal #3: Grilled shrimp served with corn and black bean salsa
- Snack #4: Fruit salad with walnuts
- Meal #1: Grilled salmon with brown rice and mixed greens
- Snack #2: Greek yogurt topped with raspberries
- Meal #3: Mexican tempeh quinoa salad
- Snack # 4: Watermelon slices sprinkled with sea salt
- Meal #1: Sprouts, chicken, and quinoa Buddha bowl
- Snack #2: Hummus and pita with raw veggie sticks
- Meal #3: Hearty chicken tortilla soup with garlic bread
- Snack #4: Banana slices dipped in dark chocolate
Is Intermittent Fasting Right For You
Intermittent fasting can be a helpful tool if youre interested in any of the above potential health benefits.
However, this style of eating may not be right for you if youre:
- Recovering from a history of disordered eating
Now that you have the basics of IF under your belt, lets dive into everything you need to know about time-restricted eating to compare.
Read Also: How Do I Start Intermittent Fasting
A Note On Calories And Nutrition
When practicing intermittent fasting, its imperative you get enough nutrients the right nutrients, that is during your eating window.
Be sure to stick to your low-carb, keto meal plan, eating plenty of healthy fats, plus dark, leafy greens and plenty of protein. Simply because you have skipped a meal or gone a full 24 hours without eating, do not use it as an excuse to pack in the sugars, starch, junk food, or other foods low in nutrients.
Focus on real whole foods so you get the most nutrients outside your fasting window. This allows you the benefits of fasting while still consuming optimal nutrition.
The key here is to make the benefits of intermittent fasting work for you over the long-term, for your work patterns and lifestyle.