Adapt Your Workout Routine
First thing’s first: You can most definitely exercise if you’re doing a fasting diet. But you want to be mindful of what types of movement you do, and when. “If you’re choosing to exercise in a fasting state, I would recommend exercising first thing in the morning, when you may have the most energy,” Savage says.
That said, it’s important to remember that if you’re not, in Savage’s words, “adequately fueling your muscles,” then you’re at a greater risk of injury. So you might want to consider lower-impact workouts, such as yoga or steady-state cardio, on fasting mornings and save that hard-core HIIT class for after you’ve eaten.
Triggering The Metabolism With Intermittent Fasting
We have seen how intermittent fasting can help you feel better physically and mentally by altering metabolic processes, making you lose weight and increase performance. It doesnt matter whether you choose a short-term fast with a high number of repetitions or a periodic fast over a day.
Give it a try to get through the dark season happier and healthier. Good luck!
Your Humanoo Team
Our Intermittent Fasting How To Guide
The Intermittent Fasting How To Guide is a step-by-step plan to transition from your current eating schedule to intermittent fasting.
Well start with advice to help you set the right intentions for intermittent fasting.
Disclaimer: Intermittent fasting controls when you eat, not what you eat. The healthier your diet, the better your results. If youre taking any medications or have diabetes, low blood pressure, are pregnant, or have a history of an eating disorder, consult your doctor before starting intermittent fasting.
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Does Fasting Burn Fat
Bill Phillips, bodybuilder and author of “Body-for-LIFE,” has been credited with introducing the fasted cardio theory in 1999. In his book, he suggests that the human body maximizes fat-burning while exercising in a fasted state. The book was a success, and his concept of fasted cardio has remained popular ever since.
According to Phillips, fasting overnight reduces blood sugar, insulin levels, and glycogen stores. Typically, our bodies rely on these glycogen stores, which come from carbohydrates in our diet, for energy. However, if you exercise in a fasted state , the theory is that your body then relies on body fat for energy to fuel your workout.
Know The Difference Between Needing To Eat And Wanting To Eat
Once you hear your stomach growl, it can feel like there’s no way you’ll get through X more amount of hours without food. Tune in to that hunger cue. “Ask yourself whether the hunger is boredom or actual hunger,” says Eliza Savage, RD, a registered dietitian at Middleburg Nutrition in New York City. “If you’re bored, distract yourself with another task.”
If you’re truly hungry but not feeling weak or dizzy , then sip a warm mint tea, as peppermint is known to reduce appetite, or drink water to help fill your stomach until your next meal, per Savage.
Now, if you’ve been trying IF for awhile and still feel extreme hunger between periods, then you need to do some thinking. “You need to either add more nutrient- or calorie-dense foods during your eight-hour period, or consider that this may not be the best plan for you,” Hertz says. Adding healthy fats such as nut butters, avocado, and coconut and olive oils, as well as proteins, during eating times can help keep you stay satisfied and full longer.
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The Case For Breakfast
There are plenty of reasons why many health professionals say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast can help jump-start your metabolism. If you eat dinner between 6 and 8 p.m., then sleep through the night, thats a lot of time without any sustenance. Some people even experience headaches, blood sugar dips, faintness and difficulty concentrating when they skip breakfast.
Studies suggest that eating breakfast can also help keep blood sugar and blood pressure levels steady and improve cholesterol levels, provided you select healthy options . In fact, popular breakfast foods often pack important nutrients like fiber, calcium, folate and vitamin C.
To get the most nutrient bang for your breakfast buck and start your day on a high note, choose foods with a mix of carbohydrates, protein, fat and fiber. Carbs will give you energy right away, protein will sustain you through the morning and the fiber will help you feel full for at least a few hours .
Try one of these healthy breakfast recipes!
Dairy And Fermented Food
You can boost your weight loss and overall health if your diet includes plenty of probiotics. They are highly effective when it comes to improving your metabolism and play a prominent role in the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. They can reduce inflammation and aid in digestion. The most probiotic-rich foods include yogurt, kefir, aged cheese , non-dairy yogurts, sauerkraut, sour dill pickles, kimchi, miso, natto, kombucha, tempeh and others .
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Saturated And Trans Fats
These two types of fat belong to the group of bad fats. Both saturated and trans fats can harm your body and are recommended to be avoided and substituted by healthy fats. Saturated fats are also called solid fats, due to their ability to become solid at room temperature. Dietitians recommend consuming no more than 13g of saturated fats per day. You can find this type of fat in animal meats and their products, dairy , certain vegetable oils , and processed foods .
Trans fats are not healthier than saturated fats. These fats are manufactured and were widely used in fast-food production, as they are relatively cheap and can be preserved for a longer time. It is best to avoid them completely. Trans fats usually occur in fried foods, some baked goods , cookies, crackers, pizza dough, fast foods, packaged foods, shortenings, and stick margarine . Always look for the words hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats or oils on the ingredients list and avoid those product that contain them.
The Hours You Go Without Any Fuel
Let’s assume that you eat dinner around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. Now let’s assume you get up at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. like the “pros” do it to work before real work–12 percent of Americans do this every day, with over half skipping a morning meal at least once a week. You’re still alive. But now let’s also assume that, if you’re so driven to drag yourself out of bed at that kind of hour, then like 29 percent of Americans, you likely feel compelled, probably by sheer demand or the desire to look productive and gain a semblance of job security, to work through your lunch, too. This sequence translates to going almost 24 hours without a real meal, because realistically, you’re probably not going to have dinner until after work.
Did you get that? If you’re getting up early and not eating breakfast or lunch, you’re not fasting from the time you get up to dinner. You’re fasting from dinner the night before.
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Day : Get Hungrier For Success
In a 2016 study from the Netherlands, 3,018 people agreed to end their daily showers with a blast of ice-cold water. Afterwards, this hardy lot reported having more energy and were less likely to call in sick to work. Thats how I ended up shivering in my bathroom. Id jump straight in and try to jog on the spot to keep from freezing. And though the showers definitely woke me up, I came to resent them. The dread that I felt in my pre-shower moments erased any positive feelings on the other side.
Osborn powers up with a more controlled kind of masochism: he fasts intermittently, restricting his food intake with the classic 16:8 protocol. Fasting makes you feel great, he told me with earnest enthusiasm. I have more energy, so my mornings are way more powerful. I wanted a more powerful morning, too, so I adopted his eating window of 11.30am to 7.30pm.
Much has been said about the influence of intermittent fasting on fat loss, but lesson how it affects your brain. Early on, forgoing food made me feel noticeably sharper. Thats because after 10-12 hours without food, the brain increases production of two compounds: brain derived neurotrophic factor and gamma-aminobutyric acid . The first enhances cognition and the second induces calm, so theyre essentially priming you to stay focused despite the stomach growls.
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.
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What Makes Intermittent Fasting Work
Some people believe that IF has worked for them simply because the limited eating window naturally helps them reduce the number of calories they consume. For instance, instead of eating 3 meals and 2 snacks, they might find that they only have time for 2 meals and one snack. They become more mindful about the kinds of food they consume and tend to stay away from processed carbs, unhealthy fat, and empty calories.
Of course, you can also choose the kinds of healthy food that you enjoy. While some people opt to reduce their overall calorie intake, others combine IF with a keto, vegan, or other kinds of diets.
How To Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting And Eating Earlier In The Day
Dinner in the afternoon may be key to a slimmer body.
It does so by curbing appetite rather than burning more calories, researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Obesity. A longer fasting period also prompted obese people to dip into their fat reserves, leading them to burn more fat, said Courtney Peterson, the lead author and an assistant professor of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
When were trying to design weight-loss programs for people, if we can find strategies that either make it easier for people to cut more calories or to burn more fat, thats a huge win, Peterson told TODAY.
If we can find ways to lower that hunger, people are more likely to be more successful with weight loss and keeping it off.
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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.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
So why would you decide to try IF in the first place?
As it turns out, there are a couple of intermittent fasting benefits that might make you keep a closer eye on the clock.
Many people try intermittent fasting for weight loss. When you narrow the window of time that you allow yourself to eat, you generally eat fewer calories than you would during a ânormalâ eating pattern. Since weight management largely depends on your calorie intake , IF is a valuable tool for ensuring a calorie deficit.
But perhaps the most interesting intermittent fasting benefit is the role that it can play in improving insulin sensitivity and combatting insulin resistance. This also plays a role in reducing the atherogenic particles, measured by ApoB or LDL-P, that create plaque in your arteries.
What Is Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting restricts when or how much you eat and sometimes both. One variation, time-restricted eating, involves eating only during a certain time window, usually eight hours, over a single day. For example, you would eat only during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then fast during the other 16 hours.
The other approaches, alternate-day and whole-day fasting, actually don’t involve strict fasting. Instead, you choose two or more days during the week when you cut way back on the food you eat, limiting yourself to just 400 to 600 calories per day. On the other days of the week, you follow your normal eating pattern. In one popular version, the 5:2 diet, you eat normally for five days, then restrict your calories on two non-consecutive days. With alternate-day fasting, you eat a calorie-restricted diet every other day.
Rule #3 Workout Intelligently
Intermittent fasting workouts should be based off low volume strength training to build strength and muscle, like in myAggressive Fat Loss Program. If you want to burn some calories, low-intensity walking is your best bet, which has a neutral effect on appetite. If you want to do some conditioning work, limit it to short sprint/interval sessions lasting up to 20 minutes.
If you want to do additional exercise, it should be light to moderate in nature. In this case, Id recommend focusing on having fun or learning and honing a skill, rather than trying to destroy yourself in the gym. Recreation sports and yoga or martial arts are great options. Some intermittent fasting exercise I would not recommend is cross-fit, p90x and hour long-running sessions.
Intermittent fasting is an incredible tool for staying lean, so make use of it! Focus your efforts on building strength and muscle, add some light activity like brisk walking here and there and throw in some short sprints if you feel so inclined. Other than that, well theres more to life than exercising, and trying to do more intense training is only going to hamper your progress.
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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.
Rule #2 Use Caffeine Strategically
If youre not currently taking caffeine/coffee during your fasts then you are missing out big time! Caffeine is much more powerful when ingested in the fasted state. Moreover, caffeine serves to enhance many of the effects of fasting. Caffeine stimulates the metabolism, blunts appetite, increases energy levels, elevates fat mobilization and also heightens mental alertness. Not to mention, coffee is associated with plenty of positive health benefits.
That being said, I recommend strictly limiting your caffeine intake to the fasting portion of the day. If you drink plenty of coffee throughout the day, you will become more and more desensitized to the effects of caffeine. This will diminish the hunger blunting and energy-boosting effects of caffeine. Reducing caffeine to the fasted state and only the fasted state makes fasting downright effortless.
My advice is to drink 2 cups of black coffee during the fast and at no other point in the day . If you want a hot beverage later in the day then go with some herbal tea.
If you hate black coffee then I recommend sucking it up. Within a few weeks, you will grow a fondness for black coffee that will trump just about anything else.
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Increase Your Fiber Intake
Youâll want to keep yourself as full as possible during your fasting window, and one of the best ways to do that is by eating sufficient dietary fiber. Fiber is a plant-based nutrient that can be found in fruits, veggies, and healthy carb choices like whole grains and legumes. Not only does fiber keep you full and satisfied, but it can also reduce your risk of developing high LDL particles and cholesterol.