How Effective Is Intermittent Fasting
Written by Andrew Brewer. Updated on October 2022.
Medically reviewed and fact checked by our team.
Whether youre looking for a way to lose weight, address your insulin levels, or improve your gut health, you may want to consider intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting emphasizes when you eat rather than what you eat. If you eat just a few hours a day or every other day, your body will start to burn fat.
Unlike many other diets, theres much scientific research to back up these claims, making it an effective way to lose weight and improve overall health. Some studies have even shown that intermittent fasting improves blood pressure and cholesterol levels, so it can change your life if done correctly.
Can I Exercise During Fasting
However, for long-duration aerobic exercise, eating before exercise may increase performance.39 Its also important to drink fluids and replenish sodium around exercise when fasting. This is good to know if youre competing. Learn more
What People Are Saying About 2 Meal Day And The Results They Have Achieved
Ultimately, however great a method is in principle, its effectiveness will always be judged by its results. To date, there are over 20,000 people following the 2 Meal Day lifestyle and many of them have made progress that they proclaimed they did not believe was possible before starting. This is not just in terms of weight loss, people are benefiting from increased and more stable energy levels, better overall relationships with food, increased mental clarity and mood and some anecdotal experiences have also boasted healthier hair and nails and even improvements in skin conditions such as psoriasis!
Here are just a few of the things that people have had to say about 2 Meal Day:
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What To Eat While Following 12
An important thing to consider about any fasting method is making healthy food choices. During your fasting window, you should eat nutrient-rich healthy food to avoid experiencing any deficiencies. Avoiding unhealthy snacks and processed food can enhance the effects of your 12-hour fasting.
You can consider adding these foods to your eating window
During your fasting window, you should drink enough water to stay hydrated. You can also drink non-caloric beverages like tea, coffee, lemon, or mint-flavored water, etc. These beverages keep you satiated and comfortable during your fasting window.
If you need help planning your fasting meals, get the proper guidance from the 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan. Here you will get customized meal plans based on your preferences. The right nutritional guidelines, easy-to-follow recipes, and weekly shopping lists make it easy for you to follow a fasting routine successfully.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
The type of intermittent fasting you do will impact how effective it is. For example, you likely wont see huge results if you are only skipping a few meals. However, if you are fasting every other day, one-to-two days per week, or following plans like 16:8, your body will start to burn fat as it adjusts to its new eating schedule. Once it burns through what you eat and any sugar stores, the fat supply will help fuel your bodys basic activity.
Harvard researchers reviewed research that found intermittent fasting was very effective for losing weight. On average, people lost between 7 to 11 pounds over 10 weeks. The results varied based on the types of fasting and the patients health condition to start.
It can also help improve your bodys immune response, including reducing triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, fat mass, and blood glucose levels. Intermittent fasting has been known to kickstart your metabolism, helping you burn calories even when youre not fasting. Because of these great benefits, there are many supporters of this lifestyle.
Also Check: What Is Fasting Glucose Level
What Is Allowed During Intermittent Fasting
As you may imagine, there is no food allowed during the fasting period. However, you can drink water, coffee, tea, and other non-caloric beverages during the fast. Depending on the diet, you may be allowed to eat low-calorie foods, but on diets such as the 16:8 and 12:12 diet, there are no snacks during the fasting period.
You can take supplements during fasting as long as there are no calories inside of the supplements. In fact, many doctors may recommend taking supplements in order to get your body the nutrients it needs during the fasting period. Supplements allow you to get the benefits of a fast while still getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you need to stay healthy.
/12 Vs 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has become one of the most popular dietary trends in recent years with the two most common forms being the 12/12 and 16/8 diets. The main difference, and really the only difference, between the two diets, is how long the fasting period lasts. As you can probably tell by the names, the 12/12 diet has a 12-hour eating window and a 12-hour fasting window. The 16/8 diet has an 8-hour eating window and a 16-hour fasting window.
Later in this article, we will discuss what the research says regarding which one works more than the other. Keep in mind, however, that the diet that best works for you will largely depend on personal preference. Many people do not wish to go 16-hours without eating in which case, the 12/12 diet makes more sense.
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Can You Fast While On The Keto Diet
Those who keep up with health trends will already know how big of a boom both intermittent fasting and keto diets have made in recent years. Now, many people are wondering if you should combine the two to get optimized results. The main idea behind the keto diet is to help your body reach ketosis, the process in which your body breaks down fats to form substances called ketones that serve as an alternate fuel source. This diet can be an incredibly effective way to lose weight.
Believe it or not, researchers believe that intermittent fasting may help your body reach ketosis quicker than the keto diet alone. This is because your body, when fasting, maintains its energy balance by shifting its fuel source from carbs to fats which is the exact premise of the keto diet. While its safe to combine the two if youre healthy, its unnecessary to combine both.
What Can You Eat During The 12
During fasting plans, you should always eat a healthy diet with well-balanced meals, including complex and whole grains, lean protein sources, healthy fats, and a variety of fruits, berries, and vegetables.
Items that are highly processed, or full of sugar, trans-fat, or refined starches are not conducive to a healthy diet, particularly when fueling up for fasting 12 hours.
Plus, these foods also can lead to a higher risk of inflammation issues like heart disease and diabetes, which effectively nullifies the benefits of fasting in the first place!
Recommended Reading: Did Intermittent Fasting Work For You
Start Slow Take Your Time To Get To A Full 12 Hour Fast
There is no reason you need to start out fasting for the full 12 hours. This is not a sprint, its a marathon. It takes time for your body to adjust to not eating especially if you typically have an evening snack or grab breakfast right when you wake.
For me, I typically take my evening supplements around 9pm. Then, I wake up slow and take my time getting ready in the morning.
What Is Fasting And How Does It Work
A good rule of thumb for those wanting to fast to improve their metabolic and overall health is to leave at least 12 hours between meals ideally more on a regular basis, according to Dr Adam Collins, Principal Teaching Fellow in Nutrition at the University of Surrey.
Time-restricted eating is often used for weight-loss, and some people increase the daily fasting period to 14 hours or 16 hours. There are other forms of intermittent fasting, including the 5:2 approach, which involves very restricted eating on two days of the week, with normal eating on the other five. The 4:3, or every other day, approach involves similar restrictions on alternate days. Whichever one you choose, make sure youre doing it consistently, Dr Collins advises.
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When I Attempted Time
The director of curriculum, Krista Scott-Dixon, PhD, is a morning person.
She explains, I didnt want to give up my large breakfasts, so I started with evening fasting. This worked for me since I usually exercise in the mornings.
When she fasted in the afternoons and nights, she observed three things about her sleep.
She was considerably more fatigued at first. I was done as soon as my battery died. It was a fantastic experience getting up the stairs to bed, she recalls.
Second, she didnt sleep well, despite the fact that she fell asleep fast.
Third, she awoke at the same time every day, around 4 a.m.
She then tried missing breakfast and lunch for a while.
At first, it seemed like a lot bigger sacrifice, she admits.
She eventually grew to appreciate the convenience of waking up, having a cup of tea, and immediately going to work. She also slept better in the evenings after a big dinner.
Bottom line: When it comes to fasting, you should experiment, modify the strategy, and do what works best for you.
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The Best Foods For Breaking A 12
After your fasting time is over, reintroducing the right foods is crucial to maintaining your success. Avoid eating processed foods or refined sugars, and try not to eat a large meal directly after fasting.
Some of the best options to break a fast include foods that are protein-rich, fresh, and have either complex carbohydrates or fats, such as:
- Light foods like yogurt, eggs, and smoothies.
- Salads with lean protein, like fish or chicken.
- Soup with bone broth, protein, and fibrous vegetables.
- Whole-grain toast with nut butter or smoked salmon.
Read Also: What Is Fasting On Keto
What Is 1: 12 Fasting
The 12/12 fasting is a type of intermittent fasting, where you can eat for 12 hours of the day and fast for the remaining 12 hours. It is also known as overnight fasting, as eating is restricted to a 12-hour window and fasting during the night. For example, if you finish your dinner at 8 p.m., next, you can eat your morning breakfast at 8 a.m. This is the simplest type of fasting, especially for beginners who are trying to shed some weight.
To know more about intermittent fasting and its types, read A Complete Guide To Intermittent Fasting + Daily Plan & Schedule.
Intermittent Fasting May Improve Sleep Quality
Not being able to sleep at night or staying asleep is a sleep disorder. It can increasethe risk of various diseases and impact mental health . Fasting intermittently has shown to improve the quality of sleep in people with obesity .
A study concludes that Ramadan fasting increases daytime sleep . Researchers have found that fasting increases alertness but also helps increase sleep time . However, more controlled human studies with larger samples are required.
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/8my Workout And Fitness Secrets
Because the gym didnt work for me, I just did a basic home workout wherein I did a lot of cardio. My diet was the biggest change that helped me.
I also believe there are no specific secrets to losing weight. Just plain old hard work and dedication will get you there. As they say, consistency is key.
Make Sure That You Can Go Long Stretches Without Eating And Still Be Comfortable
And speaking of feeling comfortable, I am not at all hungry during the dinner-breakfast fasting window either. I dont think its a good idea to ever eat when you are not hungry, but I also think it is a bad idea to let yourself be miserable and hungry for hours on end too.
Having said that, I do think if you are eating a nutrient dense diet and a solid and healthy dinner, you should find it rather easy to do a 12 hour fast. You could potentially be doing your body a big favor too!
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What Can I Eat While Intermittent Fasting
During the times when youre not eating, water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted.
And during your eating periods, eating normally does not mean going crazy. Youre not likely to lose weight or get healthier if you pack your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items and treats.
But what Williams likes about intermittent fasting is that it allows for a range of different foods to be eaten and enjoyed. We want people to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food, she says. She adds that eating with others and sharing the mealtime experience adds satisfaction and supports good health.
Williams, like most nutrition experts, regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat, whether youre trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.
Guidelines To Follow 12
The right way to begin any fasting routine is to start slowly. You dont have to start with a full 12-hour fast from day one. Give your body time to adapt to the fasting routine. You can begin by having an early dinner and slowly increase your fasting window. If you are used to feeding your body first thing in the morning, start your morning slowly by delaying any food for 30 mins, then one hour, and so on. This way, you can extend your fasting window from 8 to 9 hours to a full 12-hour window.
When you are planning for 12-hour fasting, try to stick to a routine and decide your fasting window. You can choose 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 9 p.m based on your daily schedule. Having a fixed routine helps your body to adapt well to the fasting and feeding routine.
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Hour Fast Vs 16 Hour Fast: Which Intermittent Fasting Plan Is Best
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Many people are turning to intermittent fasting to lose weight and improve their overall health.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves alternating between periods of eating and fasting. During your fasting window, you will refrain from eating and drinking certain beverages.
Hour Intermittent Fasting: A Guide On 12 Hour Fast
What is 12:12 Fasting | How does it work | Benefits | Guidelines of 12-hour Fasting | What to Eat While 12-Hour Fasting
Time-restricted eating is the emerging diet trend that many are following. Intermittent fasting is considered an effective weight loss strategy that can reduce your belly fat and improve your health in many ways.
There are different types of intermittent fasting like 16/8 fasting, OMAD fasting, alternate-day fasting, etc. But, if you are a beginner and want to try intermittent fasting, these methods may feel too restrictive. Hence, here is the best intermittent fasting method for beginners 12/12 intermittent fasting. It is an overnight fasting method believed to bring promising weight loss and metabolic benefits by allowing your body to enter ketosis.
Lets understand more about 12/12 fasting, how it works, its benefits, and how to follow this fasting method.
Also Check: Intermittent Fasting For Gut Health
What Can I Eat
Technically, IF does not restrict calories, and you can eat whatever you want in moderation.
But to maximize the health benefits and weight loss, it is recommended you follow a nutritious and healthy diet. If you tend to get very hungry, you should opt for foods that help keep you full, such as whole grains, proteins, nuts, and healthy fats.
Due to the popularity of IF, the internet is bombarded with recipes you can follow. There are even meal plans if you struggle to decide what to make for lunch and dinner every day.
If you are opting to lose weight, you can incorporate low-calorie foods into your meals, such as:
- Vegetables such as broccoli and bean sprouts which are rich in fiber and will also make you stay full for longer.
- Kelp noodles, which are fat, gluten, and cholesterol-free.
- Konjac rice and noodles, highly rich in fiber and low in calories.
And water, drink lots and lots of water throughout the day, especially when fasting. You need to stay hydrated.
Drinking water will not only help you feel full, but it will also make sure you dont experience the side effects of dehydration such as headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.
You can also have black tea and coffee, as Ive mentioned before, but with no sweeteners in order to maintain low blood sugar levels. Herbal teas are also an excellent choice.
Does 12 Hour Fasting Work
While the benefits of fasting dont have a set time where they show up for everyone, research shows and the experts agree that a 12-hour fast is a common threshold where individuals begin to see the benefits of fasting from weight loss, improved mental focus, reduced inflammation, and more.
Perhaps the most important factor of when these benefits will kick in is an individuals health and lifestyle habits. From health conditions, activity levels, gut health, and quality of diet.
For this reason, its recommended to eat a variety of healthy foods while intermittent fasting so the body is receiving the proper nutrition it needs to function at its best.
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