Dont Let Intermittent Fasting Prevent You From Living Your Life
The biggest lesson Ive learned during my 4 year journey of intermittent fasting, is to stop worrying about being perfect and live your life regardless.
During my first year, I refused to break my fast outside of my eating window.
I would travel on holidays to new places, skipping the experience of trying out new food from a different culture because I was fasting.
I used to be very rigid and fixed about my intermittent fasting protocol. But, over time, Ive learned that theres more to life than achieving my exercise, diet or fitness goals.
I still work towards my health goals every week, but I dont beat myself up if Im not up to par.
Sometimes, I have a meal for breakfast instead of fasting. Sometimes, I break my fast at the right time, but indulge in eating unhealthy food.
At the end of the day, I can only pick myself up from where I left off.
You May Reduce Your Blood Pressure
Several human studies have shown that people who fast improve their cardiovascular health.
In one study, Germany researchers put 1422 people on an intermittent fasting diet for a year and found that those who fasted lowered both their diastolic and systolic blood pressure and reduce their resting heart rates.
Researchers believe the drop in BP may be caused by an increase in parasympathetic activity due to brain-derived neurotrophic factor , a protein that regulates blood pressure.
Promotes Weight Loss And Fat Loss
This is one of the main reasons why people fast. In a recent study by the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Australia said that skipping breakfast was associated with lower energy intake and less weight gain.
Another research published by PMC National Institutes of Health, USA, 34 resistance-trained men were studied for eight weeks. One group did a 16 hour daily fast. The others didnt. The men who were fasting ate the same number of calories as the non-fasting control group. At the end of the study, the men who fasted had less fat mass than the other one. The reason is that it activates an enzyme called AMPK that boosts lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation for breaking down the fat. It also increases insulin sensitivity, which helps in regulating blood sugar and lowers the insulin level. Less insulin means less fat storage.
How Many Meals A Day Should We Eat
In general, there are no benefits to skipping breakfast, or any meal throughout the day.
If you prefer to get up earlier and exercise in the morning and don’t have time to eat beforehand, it’s very individual if you feel that you can exercise on an empty stomach or not. It might be good to eat something small before your workout to add some energy before your workout and to avoid breaking down the body mass/ muscles.
The Evidence On Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is basically a form of calorie-restricted eating. According to an original JAMA investigation, intermittent fasting may have a beneficial role in improving anthropometric and cardiometabolic outcomes, especially for adults with overweight or obesity.Patikorn C, Roubal K, Veettil SK, et al. Intermittent Fasting and Obesity-Related Health Outcomes: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses of Randomized Clinical Trials. JAMA Open Network. 2021 4:e2139558.
Research in Frontiers in Nutrition also shows intermittent fasting may reduce inflammation, possibly also reducing odds of inflammation-related brain diseases like Alzheimers disease and stroke. However, the same research also shows that eating this way without regard to your circadian rhythms can impact your sleep and hunger signals.
In the study, researchers tested different schedules for time-restricted fasting and discovered those eating from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. had healthier levels of regulatory hormones than people starting later in the day and finishing at 8 p.m. The authors wrote, It seems better for healthy improvements not to skip breakfast and start the fasting window close to sunset to improve sensitivity to anorectic hormones and help prevent obesity.da Costa OL, Paroschi MG, Ropelle ER, et al. Using Intermittent Fasting as a Non-pharmacological Strategy to Alleviate Obesity-Induced Hypothalamic Molecular Pathway Disruption. Frontiers in Nutrition. 2022 9.
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Benefits Of Eating First Thing In The Morning
Intermittent fasting often means skipping breakfast and eating your first meal around lunchtime. There are, however, potential issues with this strategy.
The main issue involves your circadian rhythm, or your 24-hour wake / sleep cycle. The circadian rhythm, by the way, regulates a huge chunk of your genome genes that govern metabolism, cognition, DNA repair, and more.
So what controls the circadian rhythm? The obvious trigger is light. The less obvious trigger is food.
Its true. When you eat food, you stimulate secondary clocks scattered throughout your muscle and organ tissues.
In the morning, food is your get up and go signal. Because of this, you could argue that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Eating breakfast doesnt only affect wakefulness, but also affects sleep. For instance, one study showed that a high protein breakfast lead to elevated levels of melatonin the sleep hormone later at night. In other words, eating breakfast may help you conk out later on.
When it comes to a healthy breakfast, protein is the key. Protein contains the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to both serotonin and melatonin .
Simply put: morning protein stimulates serotonin in the AM, which sets up melatonin in the PM.
Below are other potential benefits of eating breakfast. .
Eating breakfast is especially important for certain groups of people. Keep reading.
Should You Skip Breakfast Eat Dinner Early Is Intermittent Fasting Good For You Two Uab Studies Look For Volunteers
Researchers are looking for people who either have Type 2 diabetes or are overweight to participate in the studies.Is eating breakfast really that important? Should you eat dinner early and go to bed on an empty stomach? Is intermittent fasting good for you? These are age-old questions that researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are hoping to answer. UAB has launched two studies, one with people with Type 2 diabetes and one with people who are overweight, to find out whether changing when you eat can make you healthier.
We all have a circadian clock or body clock that makes our metabolism better at certain times of the day, said Courtney Peterson, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the School of Health Professions. Eating at the right time of the day, when your metabolism is naturally higher, may improve your health.
Research suggests that the time of day when you eat affects your blood sugar, weight and blood pressure.
Theres even evidence that changing when you eat may help people better control their diabetes, lose more body fat and have more energy, Peterson said.
Now, Peterson is conducting two of the largest studies of meal timing ever done, and her team is looking for people to participate. All participants will be paid for taking part.
The CLOCKS Study
The MEAL TIMING Study
Your Body Can Only Use A Certain Amount Of Protein Per Meal
Some people claim that you can only digest 30 grams of protein per meal and that you should eat every 23 hours to maximize muscle gain.
However, this is not supported by science.
Studies show that eating your protein in more frequent doses does not affect muscle mass .
The most important factor for most people is the total amount of protein consumed not the number of meals its spread over.
SUMMARY Your body can easily make use of more than 30 grams of protein per meal. Its unnecessary to obtain protein every 23 hours.
/5should You Skip Breakfast Or Dinner
The most traditional time-restricted Intermittent fasting method is 16:8 which is 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating window. It seems logical to have dinner and miss breakfast this way. However, it might not be a good choice for all and may not even suit all. Skipping breakfast will affect everyone differently. On top of that, if you exercise in the morning, working out on an empty stomach can put your health at risk. It may even increase the risk of muscle pain and injury. So, if you have to choose between breakfast or dinner when following intermittent fasting, we recommend you to skip dinner.
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Who Should Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can work for many different types of people, but the research suggests its best for those who are overweight or have metabolic issues. The science also suggests fasting may be harder on womens bodies than mens.
Obese people have the most fat to burn, and the most fat to lose by restricting their eating windows. Lean folks, on the other hand, run the risk of becoming underweight and losing muscle mass if they cut calories too much.
Men tend to respond better to IF than women an effect likely explained by differences in hormonal and stress responses.
Those with metabolic issues like type 2 diabetics can benefit from IF because periods of nutrient deprivation increase insulin sensitivity and fatty acid oxidation.
But lean people neednt avoid fasting entirely. Recall that, in resistance trained men, 16 hours of daily fasting reduced fat without reducing muscle mass. To be clear, the fasted men ate the same number of calories as the non-fasting control group.
The takeaway is simple. If you want to preserve lean mass on IF, eat the same amount of calories you usually would in your compressed feeding window.
Lastly, fasting may protect against chemotherapy toxicity, with most of this evidence coming from animal studies. In humans, the data is more limited, but a handful of case studies suggest that IF mitigates chemo-related side effects.
If Or Eating Breakfast Whats Healthier
On todays episode, Im answering a question I get all the time: should you follow intermittent fasting or eat breakfast?
Well to be clear, every one eats breakfast, or else youd be dead.
The term breakfast is simply a compound of break and fast.
Meaning this meal, regardless of what time of day you eat it, breaks the fasting of food.
Even if you follow intermittent fasting , and you have your first meal at 12pm, it technically still is your breakfast.
However, for the simplicity of this post, when we say breakfast, were referring to the meal people eat after waking up in the morning.
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Should I Eat Breakfast
Im sure youve read the headlines that say people who skip breakfast are more likely to have less concentration, decreased energy, a lower metabolism, and have weight issues.
Well, thats a pretty bold statement that has many holes in it.
In a perfect world, if more people were eating my PFF breakfast, consisting of protein, fat, and fiber, then yes, Id say people who eat breakfast would have more focus, increased energy, a faster metabolism, and would be lean AF.
But unfortunately many peoples breakfast consist of the foods from the standard American diet.
Im referring to refined carbohydrates in the forms of high glycemic cereals like Special K, Corn Flakes, blueberry muffins, and bagels.
Id actually argue these common breakfast foods would be the cause of people having less concentration, decreased energy, a lower metabolism, and weight issues because these foods create more cravings throughout the day.
So the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day depends on the foods that are on your plate.
Keep that in mind if you are a breakfast person.
Ok, so here are the potential reasons why you should eat breakfast:
Your Brain Needs A Regular Supply Of Dietary Glucose
Some people claim that if you dont eat carbs every few hours, your brain will stop functioning.
This is based on the belief that your brain can only use glucose for fuel.
However, your body can easily produce the glucose it needs via a process called gluconeogenesis .
Even during long-term fasting, starvation, or very very-low-carb diets, your body can produce ketone bodies from dietary fats .
Ketone bodies can feed parts of your brain, reducing its glucose requirement significantly.
However, some people report feeling fatigued or shaky when they dont eat for a while. If this applies to you, you should consider keeping snacks on hand or eating more frequently.
SUMMARY Your body can produce glucose on its own to fuel your brain, meaning that you dont need a constant dietary glucose intake.
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When You Are Intermittent Fasting Is It Better To Skip Breakfast Or Dinner To Get The Best Results
My wife and I have been experimenting with intermittent fasting for over 12 years, and 90% of the time, we skip breakfast to reduce our eating window. For example, if we are doing an 18:6 fasting strategy where you fast for 18 hours and then take in all your calories within a six-hour eating window, we typically drink black coffee and mineral water all morning and then break a fast around 2 PM. However, we are thinking about changing our strategy based on some new research.
About two years ago, I looked at all the latest research about intermittent fasting and whether its better to skip breakfast or dinner and concluded based on the research that it didnt really matter. Both methods worked, and I recommended that you should do whatever fits better into your lifestyle and schedule. However, a new research study on protein timing just came out and is about the importance of eating protein earlier in the day.
The study points out that when you eat protein earlier in the day, sticking to your normal circadian rhythm, you can potentially maintain better muscle mass and strength compared to people who eat protein later in the day.
Therefore, Im thinking about trying a 30-day experiment where I eat breakfast and lunch while skipping dinner. I plan on keeping records of my progress and see if eating protein earlier in the day produces better results in the gym. If you want to join me on this 30-day challenge, leave a comment and let me know how it is going for you.
If Youre Pregnant Or Nursing
Being pregnant means eating for two people: the mother and the growing fetus. Because of this, any protocol that increases the chance of caloric restriction is not recommended. Nutrients shouldnt be limited during pregnancy.
After the baby is born, moms should still be careful with fasting. Nursing women have higher-than-normal caloric requirements, whether or not they choose to breastfeed.
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Why People Skip Breakfast
The reasons people skip breakfast often come down to they’re just not hungry in the mornings, don’t have the time, or don’t want to eat so early. Some people may skip breakfast to exercise on an empty stomach while others skip breakfast to prevent upset stomach or indigestion following breakfast in the morning. Regardless of their reasoning, skipping breakfast works for some people, while for others it is not quite so successful.
You may even wonder how skipping breakfast will impact your metabolism. Some people used to believe that skipping breakfast would cause your metabolism to slow down. But researchers in one study found no distinct difference in metabolic rates between those who ate breakfast and those who did not. However, they did note that skipping breakfast can help your body metabolize calories and prevent overeating.
The truth is restricting meals, calories, or food groups promotes diet culture and may lead to disordered eating. There is no one-size-fits when it comes to diet and meal timing. You should work with a healthcare practitioner or registered dietitian to find out what works best for you.
Are There Any Risks
Intermittent fasting is not safe for some people, including people who are pregnant, children, people at risk for hypoglycemia or people with certain chronic diseases.
If youre at risk for an eating disorder, you shouldnt attempt any sort of fasting diet, advises Taylor. Intermittent fasting has also been known to increase the likelihood of binge eating in some people because of the restriction.
If youre interested in trying intermittent fasting, you should also be aware of some not-so-pretty side effects. It can be associated with irritability, low energy, persistent hunger, temperature sensitivity, and poor work and activity performance.
Ultimately, you should contact your healthcare provider and discuss these options. They know your health better than anyone else and can offer the right guidance on whether or not any of these intermittent fasting options are right for you.
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Skipping Breakfast Or Dinner
Skipping breakfast or dinner when intermittent fasting can lead to reduced energy and a general feeling of sluggishness a common complaint when people begin their intermittent fasting journey.
Skipping meals deprives your body of nutrition which your body needs to give you energy. Skipping dinner can lead to feeling hungry in the middle of the night and reducing your quality of sleep.
Some people choose to skip breakfast or dinner to make their cut-off times. While its usually ok to do occasionally, its not a good idea to practice often.
The best way to make sure you dont need to skip meals and you feel the benefits from intermittent fasting is to plan your meals.
Intermittent Fasting Plus High Intensity Interval Training Equals Rapid Fat Loss
If you want to lose fat as quickly as possible, Id recommend you introduce any form of training that has high intensity.
For example, when I first started out with intermittent fasting, I introduced 10 minutes of sprinting 3x a week, plus weekly football matches.
You could pick anything you enjoy doing, i.e. Swimming, skipping, jogging, then raise the intensity till youre gassed out after every workout.
In addition, training like this on an empty stomach also helped to improve my results.
Im not exactly sure about the science behind why training on a fasted state could aid fat loss, but, Id recommend you experiment with this as well.
Intuitively, it makes sense why this works. Fasting helps to reduce the amount of calories you consume, whilst the high intensity training burns more calories.
Your daily calorie intake drops significantly and over time you lose more fat. Simple.
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