Intermittent Fasting Health Benefits
Being able to lose weight is not the only advantage you have to look forward to18:6 fasting benefits also encompass reduced risk of many serious illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, reduced inflammation throughout the body, and lower insulin levels.
However, the 18:6 fasting benefits experienced during depend entirely on the length of the fast as opposed to the eating window. The longer you are in a heightened metabolic state of ketosis, the more fat burning and other health benefits come along with it.
The Most Popular Fasting Method
The 16/8 Fasting Method is the most popular fasting method, possibly because of its habit-building potential. Your body becomes used to it and you dont even have to think about it.
In my opinion, the 5:2 Diet is the least beneficial. The benefits of a fast come from giving your body a chance to cleanse, not restricting calories.
There are several different fasting plans that share the same benefits. Choose a fasting method that works for you. And remember that it gets easier the longer you stay with it
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe And Healthy
In general, Intermittent Fasting is safe for most people, but you have to know the risks too.
It is also a good time to say that this article should and does not intend to replace advice from your doctor and you should always consult your physician before planning any fasting and especially extended fasting .
Now that we made it clear, here are some of the cases that does not go well with intermittent fasting:
- if you have a diabetes
- if you take medications for blood pressure or heart disease
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- if you have a history of disordered eating
- if you dont sleep well
- if you are under 18 years old
Also, you should be a lot more careful if you are practicing extended fasting, which depending on the source you follow will be continuous fasting for either anything more than 24, 48 or 72 hours. There is a general consensus that any fasts longer than 72 hours should be done under strict medical supervision.
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Editorial Sources And Fact
- Fothergill E, Guo J, Howard L, et al. Persistent Metabolic Adaptation 6 Years After The Biggest Loser Competition. Obesity. August 2016.
- Varady KA, Cienfuegos S, Ezpeleta M, et al. Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting. Annual Review of Nutrition. October 2021.
- Gabel K, Hoddy KK, Haggerty N, et al. Effects of 8-Hour Time Restricted Feeding on Body Weight and Metabolic Disease Risk Factors in Obese Adults: A Pilot Study. Nutrition and Healthy Aging. June 2018.
- Catterson JH, Khericha M, Dyson MC, et al. Short-Term, Intermittent Fasting Induces Long-Lasting Gut Health and TOR-Independent Lifespan Extension. Current Biology. June 2018.
- De Cabo R, Mattson MP. Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease. The New England Journal of Medicine. December 26, 2019.
Heres What Happened When I Tried Time Restricted Feeding
Krista Scott-Dixon, PhD, Precision Nutritions director of curriculum, is a morning person.
I didnt want to give up my big breakfasts, so I chose evening fasting first. she says. I normally trained in the mornings, so this worked for me.
However, she noticed three things about her sleep when fasting in the afternoons and evenings.
First, she was much more tired. Once my battery ran out, I was done. Getting up the stairs to bed was a terrific ordeal, she says.
Second, although shed conk out quickly, she didnt sleep well.
Third, she woke up extremely earlyat a consistent 4am.
Later, she experimented with skipping breakfast and lunch.
At first, that felt like much more of a sacrifice, she says,
Eventually she got to like the efficiency of waking, grabbing a cup of tea, and getting straight to work. And she slept a lot better after a good meal in the evenings.
Bottom line: For any fasting schedule, youll want to experiment, tweak the plan, and do what works for you.
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Intermittent Fasting Diet What To Eat
During Feasting Hours Or Days Eat foods that satiate your hunger and keep your taste buds alive. You may take the liberty to eat anything.But if you are going on intermittent fasting for health reasons or to lose weight, avoid foods that nullify your effort. Also, avoid foods that you are allergic to.
During Fasting Hours Or Days Consume a total of 500 calories per day or 600 calories per day . Foods rich in dietary fiber will keep you full. Drink water, coconut water, and freshly pressed juices. Consume raw/grilled vegetable salad with lime juice, a pinch of Himalayan pink salt, a tablespoon of olive oil, and a dash of smoked paprika.
Sip on detox water made with watermelon, kiwi, cucumber, and a pinch of salt. It will keep your body from missing out on essential micronutrients and electrolytes. Mint leaves tend to increase hunger, so avoid using them.
Heres a sample intermittent fasting diet schedule if you choose the 16/8 intermittent fasting method:
What Is Extended Fasting
There are a lot of different types of intermittent fasting. In some configurations, youll fast for no more than 12 hours. And on the upper limit of the timespan of fasting recommended for casual, less experienced fasters, is the 72-hour fast, which is long enough to be considered an extended fast. As you go deeper into a fast, the effects stack.
Most of us have gone 12 or 16 or even 24 hours without eating at least a few times in our lives just out of necessity or coincidence, but its much less common for people to fast for three days unintentionally. So for this article, well focus on what happens with your energy, metabolism, and general response to a 72-hour fast.
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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.
But During Starvation Things Are Very Different
When you practice intermittent fasting, your body reacts to what it sees as an environmental stress by changing the expression of genes that are important in protecting you from, well, stress.
We have a well-preserved starvation program that kicks our cell into a completely different state when food, particularly glucose or sugar, isnt around. With intermittent fasting and exercise, you activate the AMPK signaling pathway. AMPK or 5 AMP-activated protein kinase is the brake to mTORs gas pedal. AMPK signals the cell to go into self-protective mode, activating autophagy and fat breakdown. It inhibits mTOR. At the same time, while you are fasting the levels of a molecule called NAD+ begin to rise because you dont have the dietary proteins and sugars around that normally convert NAD+ to NADH through the Krebs cycle. NAD+, a molecule whose precursor is Vitamin B3, activates the sirtuins, SIRT1 and SIRT3. . These sirtuins are proteins that remove the acetyl groups we talked about above from histones and other proteins. In this process, the sirtuins silence genes related to cell proliferation and activate proteins involved in creating new mitochondria and cleaning up reactive oxygen species.
Ketones, also produced during fasting, work as deacetylase inhibitors . This turns on genes related to antioxidant processes and damage repair.
Transform Your Whole Health
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Intermediate Fasting Meal Plan
With this plan, you will be eating only between the hours of 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. for a full 18 hours of fasting within a 24-hour period.
I personally practice this plan during the workweek. I’m not a breakfast person, so I just enjoy a few cups of herbal tea to start my day.
Even though you are skipping breakfast, it’s still important to stay hydrated.
Make sure to drink enough water. You can also have herbal tea,
The catechins in tea have been shown to enhance the benefits of fasting by helping to further , so you can make it until lunch and not feel deprived.
Since you’ve increased your fasting period an extra four hours, you need to make sure your first meal has enough healthy fats. The burger in the 8-to-6-window plan will work well, and you can add more fats in with your dressing or top with avocado!
Nuts and seeds make great snacks that are high-fat and can be eaten around 2:30 p.m.
Soaking these beforehand can help neutralize naturally occurring enzymes like phytates that can contribute to digestive problems. Eat dinner around 5:30 p.m., and just like in the 8-to-6-window plan, a dinner with some sort of wild-caught fish or another clean protein source with vegetables is a great option.
- First meal, 12 p.m.: Grass-fed burger with avocado
- Snack, 2:30 p.m.: Nuts and seeds
- Second meal, 5:30 p.m.: Salmon and veggies
How You Feel: Hungry
This stage is when your body transitions into fasting mode and, for many people, its the most challenging part of their fast. This stage is where you start to feel the hunger pangs as you skip your regular mealtime routine. Most first time fasters start to feel a reduction in their energy levels. These effects can induce a negative mood or irritability for most fasters. Its wise to prepare yourself for the possibility of being short on patience during this stage.
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Obsessing With Arbitrary Fasting Times
A consistent schedule makes intermittent fasting easier. But dont worry about arbitrary fasting schedules. Sometimes your body needs to refuel sooner or extend its cleansing process.
Eat when your body feels ready. If youre not hungry your body may need more time to digest and cleanse. But if youre hungry sooner, you may be deficient.
Everyone is different, find a plan that works for you. If a fasting plan is causing more problems then try something else.
Insufficient Evidence Yet Say Some Scientists
Various studies, including The New England Journal of Medicine study, have suggested intermittent fasting might also be useful in treating some conditions, including Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease, slowing the growth of some types of cancer, improving tissue damage repair and enhancing athletic performance.
Krista Varady, Professor of Nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago and a world expert in intermittent fasting for weight-loss, says theres good evidence to show the every other day and 5:2 diets are the most effective fasting patterns for weight-loss and health benefits. With time-restricted feeding, the weight-loss seems to be a little less effective, about half as much as the other two. But she urges caution about the benefits. Many of the claims about the benefits of intermittent fasting are overblown, she says. A lot of the results of studies in animals just havent been replicated in humans.
Emerging evidence suggests that regular periods of fasting may have health benefits beyond weight-loss, but the science is not yet proven. Intermittent diets are not suitable for people at risk of, or with a history of, eating disorders. Diabetics and those other with a pre-existing medical condition should seek medical advice before going on any form of fasting.
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How To Get Started
Once you decide on a general eating window and talk to a professional to make sure IF is right for you, it’s time to jump inbut not necessarily all in.
I suggest starting with a 12-hour daily fast and easing into a 16-hour fast,” says Vincent Pedre, M.D., a functional medicine physician and gut health expert who often recommends IF to his patients. “Leave alternate-day and 20-hour fasts to people who’ve done it for a while.
Some experts suggest starting just a couple of days a week and working your way up, while others recommend gradually increasing your fasting window from 12 to 14 to 16 hours. “It’s important to listen to your body,” Pedre adds.
Even though food is off-limits during fasting hours, non-caloric drinks and exercise are not. Research says they could even stave off hunger.
For liquids, that includes water, black coffee, and unsweetened tea .
What’s more, exercising in a fasted state can supercharge your body’s fat-burning potentialbut again, listen to your body. “If you feel too weak to work out from fasting, then you should take care of your nutrition and work out later, Pedre cautions.
Intermittent Fasting Improves Energy Efficiency
Exercise and food scarcity force your body to become more efficient. Your body needs good stress like fasting to adapt and survive your environment.
The problem is that technology makes it easier to avoid exercise and food scarcity. Depending on where you live, food is never far away.
Interestingly, fasting may give your brain cells the same mild stress that exercise exerts on your muscle cells. This mild stress forces your cells to adapt and become more energy-efficient .
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What Are The Risks Of Extended Fasting
Dr. Jason Fung recommends a general multivitamin for fasts longer than 48 hours. He also discourages anyone from fasting longer than 14 days due to the risk of re-feeding syndrome. Re-feeding syndrome is the potentially fatal changes in fluids and electrolytes that may occur in feeding malnourished people .
Our 3 Water Fasting Tips
1. Share the Experience and Results
Practice with a friend, group or partner. This means you have someone to share the experience with and they can keep you on track. It is always easier knowing that someone else is going through the same experience and you will both be able to share the benefits.
2. Keep Your Schedule Free
Dont plan anything too strenuous or physically difficult. Enjoy the last 24 48 hours of the fast at home and try not to plan any social engagements around a meal. Instead you could go for a walk or have a cup of tea.
3. Keep Your Mind Busy
Although you dont want to be doing anything involving food, it is a great time to read, study, do some mindfulness or complete those tedious jobs that you have been putting off. You will see that you will have a lot more time in your day, so planning to get some of these activities and jobs done will pass the time quicker.
4. Use Hemp in Transition Periods
Before & after the fast are the key times for getting the most benefits. Food with high fats and low carbs are perfect. Drink hemp seed oil and eat hemp seeds! to explore The Brothers Green product range.
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Metabolism Is Boosted By Reduced Energy Intake
The effect of ones metabolism on weight loss is substantial, but intermittent fasting boosts metabolic processes significantly.
When you alternate short periods to eat with time to fast, the calorie deficit sparks ketosis and continual fat burning, because your system suddenly has access to better energy than before, without using glucose.
And when its time to eat, balanced meals with proper calories are essential to keeping your metabolism up and working to its highest capacity.
Intermittent Fasting Promotes Weight Loss
The most popular reason for trying intermittent fasting is for weight loss .
One way people lose weight with intermittent fasting is by eating fewer meals and fewer calories. But you dont need to cut your calories to get the benefits of intermittent fasting.
How does intermittent fasting help you lose weight?
Intermittent fasting promotes the right hormones for weight loss. It lowers insulin levels and promotes higher HGH and norepinephrine. Each helps convert body fat into energy.
Fasting increases your metabolic rate by 3.6-14%, which helps you burn more calories .
You can eat the same amount of food and burn more calories. Or you can eat fewer calories and still have a higher metabolism. You may lose more weight by eating fewer calories, but it isnt necessary.
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