How To Find The Best Fasting Diet For You
Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before you try a fasting diet. Fasting is not ideal for people with a history of eating disorders or disordered eating.
Fasting may feel difficult at first . With the right fasting diet, you can take control of your eating habits and reap major benefits. Like any style of eating, youll want to experiment to find what works for you. Start with a larger eating window, like 16:8. Its easier to gradually work your way into longer fasting windows.
Read next: Learn more about how intermittent fasting can help with weight management.
You Have A Smaller Frame
If you have a smaller frame like the average woman or shorter man, then you dont burn many calories every day especially if you also have low activity levels and typical bodybuilding workouts.
Having a fulfilling diet off of only 2000 calories or less a day can be hard with a standard meal frequency. Intermittent fasting can be great for these people.
Could Help Lower Cholesterol
Your cholesterol might also improve after intermittent fasting when consuming a healthy diet during your non-fasting periods.
Better lipid profiles have been found after intermittent fasting including lower overall cholesterol, lower LDL , and lower triglyceride levels in healthy and overweight populations .
The majority of studies investigating intermittent fasting’s effects on cholesterol have focused on those fasting for Ramadan, so intermittent fasting may be an effective dietary method to improve your cholesterol, but further studies are needed to explore the differences in short-term vs long-term metabolic changes associated with fasting. .
If you’re concerned about high cholesterol try adopting healthy lifestyle habits like incorporating exercise and a diet low in saturated and trans fats, and rich in high fiber foods.
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Lemon Miso Grain And Vegetable Bowl
This bowl is light while also really satisfying with its abundance of nutrients, pop of flavor, and high fiber content. One way to tell if a meal has a lot of nutrition is by counting the plant colors. Shoot for the rainbow each time you eat! The Lemon Miso Grain and Vegetable Bowl has green broccoli for calcium, red tomatoes for lycopene, red bell pepper for vitamin C, brown rice for B vitamins, and white garlic and ginger for lots of healing phytonutrients. Of note, this dish also boasts probiotics from the miso and optional kimchi for gut health.
The Simplest Intermittent Fasting Approach: 12 Hours Off/12 Hours On
The easiest fasting protocol is probably also the least extreme: Fasting for 12 hours a day and eating during the other 12.
If you tend not to eat that close to bedsay three hours before you sleepall of the sudden youre at 11 hours without eating, says DOrazio. Wait an hour after you get up to eat breakfast, and youre in the clear.
The drawback here is that, as far as calorie restriction goes, 12 hours can be a long eating window. In fact, even if youre not following an intermittent fasting protocol, its possible that your daily meals only span a 13- or 14-hour window. Dropping your eating period by an hour or two may not be enough to put you at an energy deficit or change your habits in a way that will produce the fat loss goals you want.
If you do opt for a 12/12 split, studies indicate that you may experience some of the health benefits of fasting, including increased insulin sensitivity. However, studies on Ramadan fasters suggest that increases in glucagon happen more in the 16-hour range, so autophagy may not be maximized with a 12-hour fast.
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Tips And Tricks About Fasting
#1) Dont freak out! Stop wondering: can I fast 15 hours instead of 16? or what if I eat an apple during my fasted period, will that ruin everything? Relax. Your body is a complex piece of machinery and learns to adapt. Everything is not as cut and dry as you think.
If you want to eat breakfast one day but not another, thats okay. If you are going for optimal aesthetic or athletic performance, I can see the need to be more rigid in your discipline, but otherwisefreaking chill out and dont stress over minutiae!
Dont let perfect be the enemy of good when it comes to your intermittent fasting plan.
#2) Consider fasted walks in the morning. I found these to be very helpful in reducing body fat, and also gave my day a great start to clear my mind and prepare for the day.
Simply wake up and go for a mile walk. Maybe you could even start walking to Mordor?
#3) Listen to your body during your strength training workouts. If you get light headed, make sure you are consuming enough water.
If you notice a significant drop in performance, make sure you are eating enough calories during your feasting window.
And if you feel severely off, pause your workout. Give yourself permission to EASE into intermittent fasting and fasted workouts. This is especially true if you are an endurance athlete.
#4) Expect funny looks if you spend a lot of mornings with breakfast eaters.
#7) Track your results, listen to your body:
This is just one tool that can contribute to your success.
Intermittent Fasting: Is It Right For You
U-M dietitian Sue Ryskamp weighs in on intermittent fasting benefits, who it works best for and how to get started
Weight loss can be difficult, but could intermittent fasting help? This eating pattern, which features cycles of fasting and eating, is making headlines as research confirms its not only what you eat, but when you eat, that matters in the struggle to lose weight.
During intermittent fasting, individuals use specific periods of eating typically within an eight-to-10 hour window to lose weight, says Michigan Medicine dietitian Sue Ryskamp, who sees patients at U-Ms Frankel Cardiovascular Center.
The premise behind intermittent fasting is relatively simple, she says: When our insulin levels go down far enough and for long enough, as they do during a fasting period, were able burn off fat.
Insulin levels drop when a person is not consuming food. During a period of fasting, decreasing insulin levels cause cells to release stored glucose as energy. Repeating this process regularly, as with intermittent fasting, leads to weight loss. In addition, this type of fasting often results in the consumption of fewer calories overall, which contributes to weight loss, Ryskamp says.
A Harvard research study also reveals how intermittent fasting may slow the aging process through weight loss, lower blood pressure and reduced cholesterol.
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Skipping Meals Can Cause Headaches Dizziness And Nausea
Long periods of fasting can lower your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling lightheaded, dizzy, with headaches, and/or nausea.
If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe to try intermittent fasting. People with type 1 diabetes and/or on diabetic medications may be more susceptible to unwanted side effects or struggle with controlling their blood sugar levels .
Your body will also need some time to adjust, so try choosing a day of the week or period of time that you dont need to be very active or deeply concentrate when first starting a fasting practice.
Modified Alternate Day Fasting
If the thought of going an entire 24 hours without eating freaks you out, youll be happy to know that you dont have to do that with the modified alternate-day fasting plan.
Like alternate-day fasting, you will fast 24 hours, every other day. However, you are allowed to eat a small number of calories during your fasting window. The limit is 500 calories or 20-25% of your regular calorie budget.
Learn more about alternate-day fasting:
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Rules For All Fasting Diets
- Cutting back on carbs and filling up on the right fats during your eating window can help you avoid the blood sugar crashes that come during fasting periods. Experiment with different fasting diet foods and see how you feel.
- Stay hydrated with regular water intake. Aim to drink more water than usual.
- If you want to exercise, time your eating window close to your workout. Some people prefer to hit the gym while theyre abstaining from eating. Do what works for you.
- When you break your fast, break it well. The best fasting diet foods are healthful whole foods like vegetables, quality fats and pasture-raised meat to maximize your nutrient intake.
- Stock up on go-to drinks to help carry you through your fast. Unless youre doing a strict water-only fast, you can sip plain tea and coffee on fasting days, like clean Bulletproof Coffee Beans.
- On non-fasting days, have high-fat, lower-carb snacks and drinks ready when your energy gets low, like a Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bar or Bulletproof Cold Brew Latte.
The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Fat loss is great, but it isn’t the only benefit of fasting.
1. Intermittent fasting makes your day simpler.
I’m big on behavior change, simplicity, and reducing stress. Intermittent fasting provides additional simplicity to my life that I really enjoy. When I wake up, I don’t worry about breakfast. I just grab a glass of water and start my day.
I enjoy eating and I don’t mind cooking, so eating three meals a day was never a hassle for me. However, intermittent fasting allows me to eat one less meal, which also means planning one less meal, cooking one less meal, and stressing about one less meal. It makes life a bit simpler and I like that.
2. Intermittent fasting helps you live longer.
Scientists have long known that restricting calories is a way of lengthening life. From a logical standpoint, this makes sense. When youre starving, your body finds ways to extend your life.
Theres just one problem: who wants to starve themselves in the name of living longer?
I dont know about you, but Im interested in enjoying a long life. Starving myself doesnt sound that appetizing.
The good news is that intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction. In other words, you get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.
Way back in 1945 it was discovered that intermittent fasting extended life in mice. More recently, this study found that alternate day intermittent fasting led to longer lifespans.
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Youre Social In The Evenings
Most of the fun in life happens at night. That means that most of the good food and drinks also happen at night.
What do you do if you only have 500 calories left in your calorie budget for the day and are going out to a nice dinner or night out with friends? Youre screwed.
Intermittent fasting can be great for these situations because you probably have 1000 calories or more left to work with. Even if youre just unwinding at home for the evening like most people do during the weekdays, its much nicer knowing you can enjoy a nice big meal and go to bed content and satisfied without worrying about fat gain.
Eat Stop Eat Fasting Diet
- Fast for 24 hours twice per week, and eat normally the other five days.
- During normal eating days, eat nutritious foods.
- You can still eat something every day. Eat at 7 a.m. on Friday, begin your fast at 8 a.m. and eat again after 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.
Based on the experience of author Brad Pilon, the Eat Stop Eat fasting diet allows you to follow normal eating patterns most of the week. Fasting for 24 hours twice per week creates a calorie deficit and can help kickstart ketosis. However, a 24-hour fast is an extended period of time, and you should speak with your healthcare provider before trying longer fasts.
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Does Intermittent Fasting Work
For all the health benefits fasting recently linked to intermittent fasting, theres one overarching reason why most people try it: To lose fat.
And if thats your goal, then the answer is yes, intermittent fasting might help but not for the reasons you think.
There isnt some magic at work thats responsible for the numerous intermittent fasting success stories.
The reason people following fasting protocols are able to lose weight is quite straightforward: They eat fewer calories than they burn throughout the day because the eating windows or weekly fast makes it harder to overeat.
Limiting the hours when you can eat helps you eat fewer calories overall. Think about it: lets say your plan for weight loss required you eating 2,000 calories per day. Its going to be easier to stick to that goal if you can only eat for an 8-hour window in a day as opposed to 14 hours. When you consider fat loss alone , intermittent fasting provides an easy-to-follow structure that naturally creates habits that make it harder to overeat.
Can you still over-eat within a limited time window and gain weight? Of course. But thats the case with any eating approach. But instead of thinking about how many meals to eat, you just set a start time and stop time to your meals, and then eat in a way that feels best for you assuming you stay within the amounts that you should be eating.
What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has a long history of clinical use, having been used in the 1900s for diabetes and epilepsy. However, intermittent fasting for diabetics can be very dangerous as maintaining blood sugar levels with infrequent eating can be quite difficult and possibly even fatal. Today, intermittent fasting is applied primarily for weight loss. Other benefits touted by supporters of intermittent fasting include faster fat loss, muscle gain, and higher energy levels throughout the day.
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If You Have Hormonal Imbalances
Hormones are extremely delicate. And they can respond negatively to any minor change or stressor that pops up in our lives.
Like it or not, fasting is inherently stressful on our body.
Youre asking your body to manufacture its own energy during fasting periods. And when there are no health conditions present, this can be something your body can handle.
But if you have a history of irregular or missing periods, cortisol dysregulation, and/or thyroid hormone imbalances, fasting is not going to be right for you.
Skipping meals and inadequate calorie intake can be a trigger for hormonal dysregulation, even the healthiest individuals.
Plus, if youve ever lost your period, your body is more sensitive to calorie deficits. Even the slightest deficit can start to mess with your cycle.
Calorie deficits, in general, can shut down ovulation. But it doesnt necessarily have to be a 24-hour calorie deficit. Just skipping breakfast and being in a deficit for a few hours in the beginning of the day can trigger this phenomenon.
So if youre susceptible to amenorrhea, or any other hormonal imbalances, going for too long without eating is not the best idea.
What Is Intermittent Fasting And How Does It Work
Though commonly referred to as a diet, it is, in fact, an eating pattern where by a person cycles through periods or eating and fasting. There are several ways to practice Intermittent Fasting.
1. Limited Eating Window
Often referred to as 16:8 or 18:6, this simply means you fast for 16 or 18 hours each day followed by an eating window of 8 or 6 hours. You can manipulate the eating window to be whenever you choose.
For example, you can begin your fast after dinner at 7 p.m. on Monday night and continue your fast through the night and into the morning until 11 a.m. when you break your fast with a late breakfast or early lunch.
You can easily shift your eating window to earlier in the day and begin your fast earlier in the evening. The important part is that you stick to the limited eating window, regardless of the time of day.
2. Alternate Day Fasting
Also called 5:2, this pattern involves choosing two non-consecutive days each week to fast while eating a normal calorie intake the other five days of the week.
Fasting in this sense is more like strictly limiting calories. For women it is less than 500 calories on the fasting days and for men it is less than 600 calories.
An example of this pattern is limiting your calorie intake to two small meals of less than 250-300 calories per meal on Mondays and Thursdays each week.
4. Warrior Fast
With this type of fasting, you can move your eating window to any time during the day that suits you.
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Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Fasting can be an effective tool for improving or maintaining health. Especially when its done correctly and when youre in tune with the needs of your body.
Ive seen many clients benefit from implementing a fasting protocol, both mentally and physically.
Here are just a few ways that fasting can be beneficial.
Leangains Aka 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting
Next up, we have leangains! With leangains intermittent fasting, you will fast for 16 hours, followed by an 8-hour eating window on a daily or near-daily basis. Using the same example times as before, you would eat between 12 pm and 8 pm and fast from 8 pm to 12 pm the following day with this plan.
Leangains intermittent fasting is ideal for those that have experience with crescendo intermittent fasting in addition to at least one of the characteristics below:
- Dont like eating breakfast or dont have time.
- Busy folks.
- Those that do little to no snacking.
- People who prefer eating larger meals.
- Those seeking enhanced weight and fat loss benefits.
Learn more about leangains intermittent fasting:
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