Fasting 20 Hours A Day For Weight Loss
Some people find themselves getting leaner and more muscular at the same time during 20 hour intermittent fasting.
This has to do with an increase in your metabolic ratethe amount of calories your body burns at rest. One study showed that fasting can boost your metabolic rate by as much as 14%.
Another study published in the journal Cell, found that IF was so effective at increasing metabolism that it could be the antidote for Americas obesity epidemic.
Blending the 20 hour fast with Circadian Rhythm Fasting may further increase your metabolism by synchronizing your food intake with the faster metabolic rate that occurs during the daytime.
You Are Consuming Too Many Calories
You’re not alone, according to Mills. “It can be easy to overeat when a fast breaks, either because you’re feeling ravenous or you justify to yourself that you’re making up for lost calories.” She advises to use a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is famished and 10 is stuffed. You should feel hungry before eating and you should stop eating when you’re full, not just to clean your plate. She also recommends slowing down while eating so your brain has time to signal when you’re getting full. “It may take 15 to 20 minutes after you start eating,” Mills notes.
Recipe pictured above: Greek Burgers with Herb-Feta Sauce
Final Thoughts About 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
16/8 intermittent fasting is one of the most popular forms of intermittent fasting that involves fasting for 16 hours and eating only during an 8-hour window. This method of fasting is good for fat loss, weight loss, and also for improving overall health.
This diet plan is easy to follow and gives good results but maybe its not for everyone. If your plan is to follow the 16/8 intermittent fasting diet you should speak first with your doctor or dietitian to make sure that this diet is good for you!
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What Should Your Daily Carb Intake Be
Patton says following the plate method is an easy way to make sure youre eating the right amount of carbohydrates. Start with a 9-inch plate. Fill half of it with vegetables, one quarter with protein and one quarter with carbs.
If youre an athlete or physically active, dividing your plate into thirds may better fuel your day. But Patton recommends keeping macronutrients balanced at every meal. Your body can only absorb so much protein at once. It processes fuel most efficiently in smaller, more frequent doses. So be consistent throughout the day: Eat three meals and two to three snacks.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast. For instance, you might try eating only during an eight-hour period each day and fast for the remainder. Or you might choose to eat only one meal a day two days a week. There are many different intermittent fasting schedules.
Mattson says that after hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. He refers to this as metabolic switching.
Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hours, Mattson says. If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and theyre not exercising, then every time they eat, theyre running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.
Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
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Safety And Side Effects
Hunger is the main side effect of intermittent fasting.
You may also feel weak and your brain may not perform as well as youre used to.
This may only be temporary, as it can take some time for your body to adapt to the new meal schedule.
If you have a medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before trying intermittent fasting.
This is particularly important if you:
- Have a history of eating disorders.
- Are a woman who is trying to conceive.
- Are a woman with a history of amenorrhea.
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
All that being said, intermittent fasting has an outstanding safety profile. There is nothing dangerous about not eating for a while if youre healthy and well-nourished overall.
The most common side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger. People with certain medical conditions should not fast without consulting with a doctor first.
Here are answers to the most common questions about intermittent fasting.
You Aren’t Keeping Track Of Your Water Intake
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In general, you should be drinking 2 liters of water per day, “Water is a part of metabolic reactions in our body and is necessary for it to function properly. Hydration prevents us from mistaking hunger for thirst,” Mills notes.
During snack breaks, opt for nonstarchy veggies and fruits that contain water . Have sliced cucumbers, celery, watermelon and oranges prepped in the fridge or your lunch bag.
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Hour Fast For Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Improving insulin sensitivity is tied to other benefits that go above and beyond weight loss and muscle gain.
Most people on the Standard American Diet suffer from chronically high insulin levels and associated risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and PCOS. Insulin resistance can even lead to problems with cognitive function and memory.
Improving insulin resistance with 20 hour intermittent fasting can result in:
- Clearer, smoother skin
- Clearer thinking and improved mood
How Much Weight Loss Can You Expect In A Month On Intermittent Fasting
Many factors go into how much weight you actually lose on intermittent fasting. Weight loss will depend on your current weight, metabolism, what you eat, and your activity levels. Obviously, if you follow a healthy eating pattern and exercise every day or a few times a week, it will help you shed weight faster.
Intermittent fasting may enable you to lose between 0.51.5 pounds a week. In 4 weeks, you could lose anything between 26 pounds.
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I Would Move Away From Intermittent Fasting For Fat Loss And If You Want To Adopt It Think About The Health Benefits Rachel Clarkson
Someone who has a high-carb diet might never move beyond the catabolic state as they will always have a reserve supply of glycogen. However, someone with a low-carb diet and who regularly exercises might move through it very quickly . I would move away from intermittent fasting for fat loss, and if you want to adopt it think about the health benefits, says Clarkson.
How to fast
To fast you have to downregulate the feeling of hunger, says Clarkson. Hunger is felt when ghrelin, a hormone released from our stomach, triggers the production of two other hormones, called NPY and AgRP, in the hypothalamus.
While these three hormones generate feelings of hunger, there are a multitude more that suppress it. Sometimes called the satiety hormones, one of the key ones is leptin which is released from fat cells to suppress the production of ghrelin basically telling the body “there is fat here that you can burn”.
Ghrelin is sometimes called the short-term hunger response because it is released when the stomach is empty and there is less pressure on the stomach wall. It can be overridden to a certain extent by drinking water. Leptin meanwhile works over the long term.
* William Park is a senior journalist at BBC Future and is @williamhpark on Twitter.
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Foods To Eat During Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting focuses on eating and fasting in cycles. It doesnt focus too much on what to eat during the eating window. However, it does not mean you can eat junk while intermittent fasting and expect good results.
Most dieticians and healthcare professionals recommend that a balanced diet filled with nutritious fruits and vegetables be eaten while practicing intermittent fasting.
Before we move on to food items recommended during intermittent fasting, let us talk about the essential functions of water during intermittent fasting.
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How Do I Manage My Hunger On If
Hunger is inevitable, but mild hunger is something you can definitely manage. Try sipping on calorie-free beverages like green tea or coffee, chewing on sugar-free gum, or good old-fashioned distraction.
After a while, your body should adjust to your eating window and youll feel less hungry during your fasting window.
HOWEVER, if you start to feel other symptoms beyond a gnawing at your stomach , dont be an IF hero eat!!
Hormonal Changes And Menstrual Cycles
Some animal research suggests that intermittent fasting may lead to hormonal changes and undereating. In people with ovaries, these changes may negatively affect menstrual cycles and fertility .
However, most studies are old and have been conducted in animals. Human studies are needed to fully understand how intermittent fasting may affect reproductive health.
Furthermore, postmenopausal individuals may experience different effects from intermittent fasting. Menopause causes changes that can decrease insulin sensitivity and lead to weight gain, and intermittent fasting may help improve these outcomes .
Restricting daily food intake to a particular time window may cause increased food intake and weight gain, as well as short-term hunger and weakness. Older animal studies indicate that intermittent fasting may interfere with fertility.
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Other forms of IF include twice-a-week fasting and alternate-day fasting, known as the 5:2 method.
With the 5:2 method, you generally eat no more than 500800 calories on 2 days of the week. The days you fast are up to you, but you should keep at least a single eating day between them.
Alternate-day fasting is where you eat about 25% of your normal calories, typically no more than 500, every other day.
On non-fasting days with these methods, you eat a balanced, healthy diet.
Can I Have Cream And Sugar In My Coffee While Fasting
To stay in a fasted metabolic state, its best not to add any sugar to your coffee. Cream is a better option. If youve already fasted overnight for 12 or so hours and you just cant drink black coffee, a bit of cream, butter , coconut oil, MCT oil or other healthy plant fat likely isnt going to kick you out of ketosis or a fat-burning state.
At most, these coffee fixings might lengthen the time it takes you to get into ketosis after an overnight fast. They can slightly and temporarily activate your insulin and mTOR pathways, telling your body that nutrients are around and thus delay entry into some fasting metabolic processes such as autophagy . However, its normal in human clinical studies of fasting to allow participants up to 500 calories on fasting days fasting benefits occur regardless of these few calories!
Sugar is another beast, as it can quickly raise your blood sugar levels. Try to avoid adding sugar into your coffee, opting for cream or other healthy fats instead. Also watch out for sugar-added creamers.
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What You Can Eat And Drink During A Fast
Okay, so lets consider the reasons we listed above for why people fast and try to figure what you can eat and drink during your fast for each of these reasons.
1. Fasting for fat loss and weight loss
To answer the question of what you can eat and drink during your fast when your primary goal is weight loss, we must first consider how fasting helps with weight loss in the first place.
In short, the general line of thinking goes like this: When doing IF, the fasting periods result in lower insulin levels and higher human growth hormone levels which, in turn, cause increased fat burning and, consequently, weight loss.
Is this, however, an accurate description of what happens? Well, according to scientific research, its true that, when we fast, our insulin levels drop and our HGH levels increase. What does research show, however, with regards to the end result, i.e. actual fat and weight loss? Do fasting-related lower insulin levels and higher growth hormone levels really result in more fat loss?
With regards to human growth hormone, research on intermittent fasting can shed some light. In short, studies that have compared intermittent fasting approaches to continuous energy restriction while controlling for caloric and protein intakes, such as this one, this one, and this one, have shown that, overall, the two diet types result in identical outcomes in terms of body weight and body fat reduction.
2. Fasting for better health
Next on our list is fasting for better health.
Can I Exercise While Fasting And When Is The Best Timing
Yes! Its generally safe to exercise while fasted. However, talk to your physician if you have diabetes or have experienced hypoglycemia during or after fasted exercise.
People practicing alternate day fasting choose to exercise on fasted days as often as on their feeding days. However, when approaching the end of a long fast you may want to stick to light to moderate physical activity.
There arent necessarily best practices for exercise timing with fasting. However, theres evidence that fasted exercise can send you into deeper ketosis more quickly. Light exercise right before or after you eat can also help your body soak up glucose more quickly. High intensity exercise can even raise your blood glucose levels temporarily as your muscles release glycogen and your liver produces new glucose, which could leave you feeling uplifted during a prolonged fast. There are many ways to combine fasting with exercise. Learn more here.
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Be Mindful Not To Overeat
It can be easy to overeat between fasting periods.
Although fasting doesnt emphasize what you eat as much as when you eat, its not designed to be an excuse to eat unhealthy foods.
Overeating and eating junk food between fasting periods can cancel out the health benefits of fasting. Instead, choose minimally processed, whole foods as much as possible for the most overall health benefits.
When youre ready to break your fast, start with foods and drinks that will be gentle on your digestive system. Avoid foods that are especially high in sugar, fat, and fiber. Additionally, take care not to overeat.
Fresh Fruit Over Dried
You may not think theres a difference between fresh and dried fruit, but there is! Dried fruit removes the water, making you feel less full after eating. Too, it contains more calories and sugar than fresh fruit. Dried fruits are great in trail mix if youre looking to get more energy faster, but if youre intermittent fasting, its best to stick with fresh fruits to maximize your results.
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What Drinks Are Ok During Fasting
Drinking plenty of water or calorie-free options during your fasts is a great way to keep the hunger at bay. Thankfully, there are a lot of intermittent fasting drinks to choose from.
- Water and sparkling water, which you can flavour with fresh lime, lemon, or a splash of sugar-free juice
Does Fasting Benefit People Who Don’t Need To Lose Weight Or Who Have Reached Their Goal Weight
Yes, Varady said, citing one of her studies that found fasting helps maintain a healthy body weight lowers triglycerides, which is important for heart health helps decrease blood pressure and improves blood sugar regulation.
A review of research in humans and animals, published in 2019 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found intermittent fasting has “broad-spectrum benefits” for health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and neurologic disorders.
The powerful health effects appear to come from the body flipping a “metabolic switch” during fasting or shifting away from using sugar as its main source of energy and instead converting fat for fuel when a person’s stomach is empty.
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Can You Drink Or Eat Anything While Fasting
Yes, you can drink while fasting but you cannot eat while fasting. All solid foods have calories and therefore, they will break your fast.
After a 12-hour fast, I sometimesdrink a cup of Bulletproof Coffee to push me through 4 to 5 additional fasting hours.
Bulletproof coffee is not a zero-calorie drink however, there have been studies that have shown that the health benefits outweigh the fast, and that is why after 12 hours, I choose to extend the fast with it.
Bulletproof coffee does not cause an insulin spike, and theres additional research showing that your fasting continues even though it has calories. Each body is different, and therefore, its something to test out.
How Fast Can You Lose Weight On Intermittent Fasting : 6
A persons weight loss pace depends on lots of factors and varies individually. Technically, the more calories you reduce, the faster you shed pounds. However, that is not always the case. Drastic calorie restriction may cause your body to enter the surviving mode, where you may stop burning fat and start burning muscles instead while packing on energy in the form of fat. Experts recommend losing 1-2 pounds a week . Such a weight loss pace is the safest and the most sustainable.
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How Supplements Affect Fasting
Becoming deficient in nutrients while fasting is unlikely, but it depends on how restrictive your fast is and how long it lasts.
Some people choose to take supplements while fasting to ensure adequate vitamin and mineral intake. Fasting too frequently could lead to nutrient deficiencies if your diet is already low in vitamins and minerals .
If you supplement while fasting, its important to know which supplements could break your fast. This will help you decide if you should take them with a meal or during your fasting period.