Its Not For Everybody
You need to understand that intermittent fasting is not for everybody and it comes with health risks for some groups of people. For example, IF might not be for you if youre pregnant or are breastfeeding, have diabetes or have a history with an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia. Its best to consult your doctor before starting a new eating regimen.
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 theyre 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.
Intermittent fasting 16:8 is a time-restricted way of eating where you fast for 16 hours of the day and only consume food within an eight-hour window. Some people follow this diet daily, while others choose to do it a few days a week.
Intermittent fasting is an increasingly popular weight loss method and there are numerous types of fasting diets, including the popular 5:2 diet, says Lucy Jones, associate nutritionist at Harley Street At Home .
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Overeating And Potential Weight Gain
Restricting your intake to just 8 hours per day may cause some people to eat more than usual during eating periods in an attempt to make up for hours spent fasting. This may lead to weight gain, digestive problems, and unhealthy eating habits.
Interestingly, current research doesnt suggest that intermittent fasting leads to any more weight loss than typical diets that recommend overall calorie restriction. Both eating patterns may lead to modest weight loss .
If weight loss is your primary goal, you may therefore prefer to lower your calorie intake instead of fasting intermittently to prevent the overeating that may occur when restricting intake to a certain time window.
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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.
Best Food To Break An Intermittent Fast
While Bullet Proof Coffee is a great way to break your fast, there are other foods youll want to consider eating to break your Intermittent Fasting period.
More details on what you can eat and drink while intermittent fasting here.
To maximize the benefits of IF, its essential to reap the bulk of your energy from nutrient-dense foods during feeding windows. Read this post to learn about fasting and feeding windows.
Choosing whole foods to build balanced meals will keep you energized during fasts and help your body process nutrients much more efficiently.
Break the fast with lean proteins
Some of my favorite proteins to include to break a fast are chicken, beef, pork, turkey, seafood, and eggs.
I often meal prep mini quiches for a quick grab-and-heat first meal option.
Breaking the fast with healthy fatsAs mentioned earlier, Bulletproof Coffee , coffee, grass-fed butter, nuts, seeds, nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados are all terrific healthy-fat options to eat to break your fast.
Eat all the veggies you wantIm sure this isnt news to you but breaking the fast with a generous dose of veggies is always a great idea.
If you dont have time to make a meal, I love to make a Blueberry Muffin Smoothie or a Green Pineapple Smoothie to-go. Both have a nice serving of greens and they are full of nutrition.
Try to avoid canned fruits or juice because of the concentrated amounts of sugars per serving.
Recipe: Spinach and Bacon Mini Quiches
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Intermittent Fasting Is Not Enough To Keep You In Ketosis
The 16/8 fasting window may not be enough to get you into or keep you in ketosis. Even if you do end up in ketosis, if you continue to eat a diet with even a moderate amount of carbs itll probably kick you out of ketosis each time.
This can result in unpleasant side effects such as the keto flu and being overly hungry each time you start fasting again.
Is 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Right For You
Its true that 16/8 intermittent fasting can be a sustainable, safe, and easy way to improve your health when paired with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle.
However, it shouldnt be viewed as a substitute for a balanced diet rich in whole foods. Plus, you can still be perfectly healthy if you dont follow intermittent fasting.
Though 16/8 intermittent fasting is generally considered safe for healthy adults, you should talk with your doctor if you have any underlying health conditions. This is key if youre taking any medications or have diabetes, low blood pressure, or a history of disordered eating.
Intermittent fasting is likewise discouraged if youre trying to conceive, pregnant, or nursing.
If you have any concerns or experience any side effects while fasting, be sure to consult your doctor.
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Risk Of A 1: 8 Fasting Schedule
Its best to avoid intermittent fasting if youre pregnant or breastfeeding, have type 1 diabetes, or a history of eating disorders. You may also experience:
- Weight gain. You can gain weight if you overeat during your eating window. Carefully plan your fasting and eating windows so you dont feel overly hungry during your fast. Be mindful of what and how much you eat during your eating window.
- Hunger. Initially, you may feel starving. But, thoughtfully scheduling your fasting and eating times can help. Also, drink plenty of fluids, find ways to distract yourself, and try meditation.
- Feel cold. Fasting can make you chilly, but its less likely on the 16:8 protocol than more restrictive schedules like 5:2 or OMAD. If you feel cold, bundle up this effect will disappear when you adapt to your new fasting schedule.
- Mild dehydration. Make sure to drink plenty of liquids during your fasting period just be sure that theyre non-caloric beverages like unsweetened tea or water.
When Should I Exercise
When Varady and her colleagues conducted a study that combined alternate day fasting and exercise, they allowed the participants to pick whether they wanted to exercise on a feasting or fasting day, and found there was no strong preference one way or the other. But the researchers were surprised the dieters actually reported feeling more energetic on fasting days.
That being said, exercise before you eat because people get hungry about half an hour after they finish working out and may find it too hard to stick to their plan if they cant eat anything at all afterwards, Varady noted.
If youre on the 16:8 plan, exercise before or during your eating window. If youre doing alternate day fasting and are exercising on your 500-calorie day, save food for after your exercise session.
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Beverages You Can Consume While Fasting:
- Water Carbonated or plain water contains no calories and will keep you hydrated during a fast.
- Diluted apple cider vinegar Drinking 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed into the water can help you stay hydrated and prevent cravings during a fast.
- Coffee and tea You can consume them without adding milk, sugar, or cream.
Some people drink coffee with MCT oil, ghee, or coconut oil during their fast. Oil breaks a fast but it wont break ketosis and can tide you over meals.
Also, some people drink bone broth that is a rich source of nutrients and can help replenish electrolytes lost during long periods of drinking only water.
Drinks that contain any calories like bone broth or coffee with MCT oil will technically break your fast. However small amounts of these drinks wont throw your body out of ketosis.
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How Does It Work
Most people do 16/8 intermittent fasting by beginning their fast overnight and skipping breakfast. They often start their first meal of the day around lunchtime.
Intermittent fasting works by extending the length of time your body burns fat after youve burned through all the calories .
The theory is that after a person has gone hours without food, their body has used up all of its sugar stores and starts to burn fat. This process is referred to as metabolic switching.
Additionally, when the body is without food for an extended period of time, insulin levels begin to drop. Insulin levels do more than simply react to sugar they are part of a complicated system that involves liver metabolism of fat, appetite, and other fat-related processes. This can accelerate fat burning.
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What Is 16 8 Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern that alternates between periods of fasting and eating.
Unlike other diets, fasting plans do not specify what or how much you should eat per day.
Instead, they primarily focus on when you should eat.
Due to this distinction, intermittent fasting is not considered a diet in the conventional sense.
Instead, it may be better described as an eating pattern.
The 16:8 diet is a popular version of intermittent fasting.
It involves consuming your meals during an 8-hour eating window while fasting or abstaining from food for the remaining 16 hours a day.
What Is The 1: 8 Method
The 16-hour fast is commonly referred to as the 16:8, The 8-hour diet or Leangains intermittent fast. This involves daily fasting for 16 hours and consuming food during an 8-hour eating window.
This intermittent fasting plan was first made popular in 2007 by bodybuilder Martin Berkhan who wrote extensively about it on the website www.leangains.com. Berkhan wrote predominately about the health benefits of exercising during the fasting window and consuming most of your calorie intake in the time post-workout.
For many, this fast is a preferred method as it still allows ample time to consume two to three meals during the day before your 16-hour window. The flexibility of the 16:8 makes this fasting diet relatively easy to follow, especially for those who havent tried a fast before or dont want to count their calorie intake.
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Meal Plans For Different Forms Of Intermittent Fasting
Confused on what to eat and when for the many forms of intermittent fasting? Read this article as we describe some of the more popular forms of fasting and provide a meal plan example for each one.
Intermittent fasting is incredibly popular but there are so many different forms of it. This can make knowing what and when to eat confusing, especially for those who are just starting this dietary pattern.
Having an intermittent fasting meal plan example can really help provide some clarity as to what you should eat and at what time, so weâve created some for you!
How To Go About 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting
The best approach to stick to the 16:8 diet is to pick a 16-hour fasting window that includes sleep time. Some experts recommend finishing your meal in the early evening because your metabolism slows down after that. This is not, however, practicable for everyone. Some folks may not be able to eat until 7 p.m. or later in the evening. Even so, its preferable to fast for 23 hours before going to bed. People can consume their meals and snacks at their leisure within this interval. Its critical to eat on a regular basis to minimize blood sugar peaks and troughs, as well as excessive hunger. For some people, experimenting to determine the ideal eating window and mealtimes for their lifestyle may be necessary.
People can eat during one of the following eight-hour periods:
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., noon to 8 p.m., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., noon to 8 p.m.
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Is 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting Right For You
If youve decided you want to follow a 16:8 intermittent fasting style pattern, or any style of intermittent fasting, ensure its safe to do so by talking first to a health professional, such as a GP, dietitian or registered or associate nutritionist, says Nigel Denby, dietitian and founder of Harley Street At Home .
I wouldnt advise the following to take part in intermittent fasting: anyone with a history of disordered eating or an eating disorder, underweight people, children or adolescents, pregnant or breastfeeding women or those with a medical condition.Intermittent fasting for women in general may require a different approach to that of men.
If youre told its safe to do so, you may want to consider the following factors, says Denby:
Jones adds: Intermittent fasting isnt superior for weight loss over traditional energy restriction. Some people may find this eating pattern works well for them, whilst others may find it difficult. Ultimately, finding the right way of eating for you is the most important thing, not the time you start and stop eating.
What Should You Eat On A 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting Plan
There are no rules about what you can and cant eat on an intermittent fasting protocol IF works with any eating plan. If youre adopting intermittent fasting for health reasons and particularly if youre fasting for weight loss then being mindful of what you are eating during your eating window is essential. The standard American diet of ultra-processed foods wont help you achieve the health benefits you desire.
To get the most out of intermittent fasting, make high-quality nutrition the cornerstone of your plan. In other words, prioritize unprocessed foods, focus on vegetables, quality protein, and healthy fats, and leave the processed junk for an occasional indulgence.
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Carbohydrates To Eat When Intermittent Fasting
With intermittent fasting, its smart to focus on whole foods rich in fiber but low in starches.
While starchy foods increase blood sugar and insulin levels, dietary fibers counteract these effects .
For this reason, this list puts net carbs in parentheses:
Due to its high content of resistant starches, sweet potato is the most digestible variety if you want to replenish your carbohydrate stores.
Unlike conventional starches, resistant starches pass through the small intestine without being converted into glucose.
Instead of being absorbed as sugar, resistant starches are broken down into short-chain fatty acids, on which your gut bacteria can nourish.
We will take a closer look at when to eat carbohydrates during intermittent fasting shortly.
Rules And Guideline: How To Do It
The basic rule to get started with your 16:8 diet plan is to pick an eight-hour window and restrict your food intake during that time span.
You also need to choose the 16-hour fasting window that includes the time that you will be sleeping.
You can do this by skipping breakfast, eating your first meal at noon and your last meal at 8 pm. Some people love food consumption in the early evening, as metabolism slows down after this time. However, every one has personal preferences.
The three most common types of 16/8 Intermittent fasting are:
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What Is 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
The practice of 16/8 intermittent fasting involves limiting your intake of foods and calorie-containing beverages to a set window of 8 hours per day. You abstain from food for the remaining 16 hours, though youre still allowed to drink water and other no-calorie beverages, like plain coffee or tea.
You can repeat this cycle as frequently as youd like from just once or twice per week to every day, depending on your preference.
The popularity of this fasting method has grown widely among those looking to lose weight and burn fat. 16/8 intermittent fasting is also believed to improve blood sugar control and enhance longevity.
While other diets often set strict rules, 16/8 intermittent fasting is easy to follow and may provide measurable results with minimal disruption to your diet. Its generally considered less restrictive and more flexible than many other diets and works with most lifestyles.
With 16/8 intermittent fasting, you restrict your food intake to an 8-hour window and fast for the remaining 16 hours. This practice may support weight loss, improve blood sugar, and increase longevity.
It is simple, safe, and sustainable to do 16/8 intermittent fasting.