Should I Try Intermittent Fasting
Now that were through a lot of the science stuff, lets get into the reality of the situation: why should you consider Intermittent Fasting?
#1) Because it can work for your goals. Although we know that not all calories are created equal, caloric restriction plays a central role in weight loss.
When you fast, you are also making it easier to restrict your total caloric intake over the course of the week, which can lead to consistent weight loss and maintenance.
#2) Because it simplifies your day. Rather than having to prepare, pack, eat, and time your meals every 2-3 hours, you simply skip a meal or two and only worry about eating food in your eating window.
Its one less decision you have to make every day.
It could allow you to enjoy bigger portioned meals and STILL eat fewer calories on average.
Its a point that Coach Matt makes in this video on intermittent fasting:
#3) It requires less time . Rather than having to prepare or purchase three to six meals a day, you only need to prepare two meals.
Instead of stopping what youre doing six times a day to eat, you simply only have to stop to eat twice. Rather than having to do the dishes six times, you only have to do them twice.
Rather than having to purchase six meals a day, you only need to purchase two.
#5) It can level up your brain, including positively counteracting conditions like Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and dementia.
#6) Plus, Wolverine does it:
#7) Boy George is a fasting fan :
What Is The : 4 Method
Often referred to as the Warrior Diet, the 20:4 fast was created by health and fitness writer, Ori Hofmekler, in 2001. This is one of the more extreme intermittent fasting methods and is based on Hofmeklers observations and experience keeping fit while in the Israeli Special Forces.
The 20:4 fast is designed to reflect the eating patterns of ancient warriors and timing is the key. Its based on the idea that in primitive times, people spent their days actively hunting and gathering before an evening feast. Those who follow the Warrior Diet claim that by eating in the evening, the body utilises the nutrients in line with its natural circadian rhythm.
During the eating window, fasters are encouraged to consume up to 90% of their daily caloric intake or until they are completely full. There arent any guidelines around the types of food you can consume during the 4-hour period, however, it is encouraged you consume nutrient-dense whole foods where possible.
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.
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What To Eat While Doing Intermittent Fasting
You can eat regular recipes when youre doing intermittent fasting, but its good to keep protein and carb count in mind. Counting macros is going to be more effective than if youre just guessing. Keep the protein high and the carbs lower, and youll be thrilled with your intermittent fasting results!
How To Follow The Banting Diet
The Banting diet is divided into four phases that are meant to ease the transition into a LCHF way of life.
While you may follow the diet on your own, theres an online course available for those who want to dive into it with a structured and personalized Banting meal plan.
The course offers a step-by-step guide, recipes, optional daily support from a coach, and weekly mindset workshops to help manage temptations and make the transition smoother.
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How To Get Started With Fasting
You may not have realized yet, but very often, weve already come across Intermittent Fasting in our life. We may have the habit of skipping breakfast, or sometimes we skip lunch: both these two things are qualified as Intermittent Fasting patterns, no matter if done casually once in a while or always.
To give a structure to your fasting habit, you have to start with one of the methods above, which works best for you and your lifestyle and give it a go. Do not start hard. Take things slowly with the 16:8 method otherwise, you may end up wanting to quit after a few days.
Health Benefits Of : 4 Warrior Diet
The Warrior Diet is a form of intermittent fasting. However, its important to note, the 20:4 isnt backed by any research. The diet was created by Ori Hofmekler and is based on his own observations and experiences during his time in the Israeli Special Forces.
There is no evidence directly linking a 20:4 fast with any of the benefits of intermittent fasting. Although there is some preliminary evidence that fasting on a 20-hour cycle or 24-hour fast may result in body fat loss and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
In some rats and mice studies, alternate day fasting for 24-hours did result in up to 30% overall calorie reductions, however, the results were mixed and the health benefits insignificant. The research was also not conducted using the Warrior Diet which is a daily regime.
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Why Is Fasting Making A Comeback
Because it works.
People are noticing that if they dont eat all the time, they tend to lose weight and get healthier. And word is spreading.
Eventually, the medical community, researchers, and maybe even the government will catch on. But that could take a long time.
In the meantime, fasting is growing in popularity through a grassroots movement, as more and more people share their successful experiences.
Can I Exercise While Fasting And When Is The Best Timing
Yes! Its generally safe to exercise while fasted. However, talk to your physician if you have diabetes or have experienced hypoglycemia during or after fasted exercise.
People practicing alternate day fasting choose to exercise on fasted days as often as on their feeding days. However, when approaching the end of a long fast you may want to stick to light to moderate physical activity.
There arent necessarily best practices for exercise timing with fasting. However, theres evidence that fasted exercise can send you into deeper ketosis more quickly. Light exercise right before or after you eat can also help your body soak up glucose more quickly. High intensity exercise can even raise your blood glucose levels temporarily as your muscles release glycogen and your liver produces new glucose, which could leave you feeling uplifted during a prolonged fast. There are many ways to combine fasting with exercise. Learn more here.
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Chapter : Types Of Intermittent Fasting
People use a lot of funny little acronyms and ratios to name the ways they do intermittent fasting.
Really it just comes down to picking a schedule.
In this chapter Ill go over some of the most popular intermittent fasting schedules.
Theres not really a best type, its just a matter of figuring out what schedule works for you.
Should I Eat 6 Small Meals A Day
There are a few main reasons why diet books recommend six small meals:
1) When you eat a meal, your body does have to burn extra calories just to process that meal. So, the theory is that if you eat all day long with small meals, your body is constantly burning extra calories and your metabolism is firing at optimal capacity, right? Well, thats not true.
Whether you eat 2000 calories spread out throughout the day, or 2000 calories in a small window, your body will burn the same number of calories processing the food .
So, the whole keep your metabolism firing at optimum capacity by always eating sounds good in principle, but reality tells a different story.
2) When you eat smaller meals, you might be less likely to overeat during your regular meals. I can definitely see some truth here, especially for people who struggle with portion control or dont know how much food they should be eating.
However, once you educate yourself and take control of your eating, some might find that eating six times a day is very prohibitive and requires a lot of effort. I know I do.
Also, because youre eating six small meals, Id argue that you probably never feel full, and you might be MORE likely to eat extra calories during each snack.
Although grounded in seemingly logical principles, the six meals a day doesnt work for the reason you think it would , and generally only works for people who struggle with portion control .
Thats why we made this:
Also Check: 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Eating Schedule
Preview: Chapter 1 Why Low Calorie Diets Don’t Work
Insulin Resistance & Blood Glucose Control
When you reduce your carbohydrate intake, blood glucose levels will naturally stabilize. And as we mentioned earlier, when you fast theres less insulin output. Add in the benefit of weight loss , and youve got a good recipe for diabetes prevention. Just be careful. If you have diabetes, are taking diabetes medications, have uncontrolled blood glucose levels, and/or reactive hypoglycemia, never fast without consulting your doctor first!
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Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting And All Its Benefits
Intermittent Fasting can be described as the ancient secret to lose weight, but its benefits go far beyond.
Evidence provided by a recent study by Cabo and Mattson published in The New England Journal of Medicine, shows that fasting can deliver multiple health benefits besides supporting weight loss.
Intermittent Fasting triggers a metabolic shift from glucose-based to ketone-based energy, which leads to benefits such as:
- Increased longevity.
- Improved brain health.
What To Eat During Intermittent Fasting
You can eat whatever you want during the eating window, paying attention to ingredients to avoid worsening your health and weight.
If youre following the intermittent fasting pattern, youre probably also into healthy food so its advised to eat clean: proteins and vegetables have to be preferred, carbs should be avoided or eaten in moderation, and sugar should be completely avoided.
Eat for your goals. This is the only recommendation possible. You should avoid snacks in between your meals but this is not mandatory and if you feel you need a snack, go for it!
Dont overthink it keep things simple, and youll see big changes in your body and your life!
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What Should You Eat During Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting isnt necessarily about what you eat, its about when you eat it. However, if you want superior results, then incorporating wholesome foods, with a well-rounded diet, will help you get there faster. I recommend a Ketogenic approach or a diet that consists of higher fats and proteins while limiting your number of carbs so that you keep your insulin levels low. Do you have to that, absolutely not. It’s all a matter of preference and choosing what’s right for you.
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A Note To Weightlifters And Fitness Buffs
Keep in mind that you may be eating fewer calories overall. Make sure youre consuming plenty of protein, so you dont risk losing muscle mass.
That said, please note that fasting is not the same as starving yourself, and IF has been proven to maintain muscle mass despite the intake of nutrients. This shows how efficiently our bodies are designed to work in tandem with fasting.
Supplements such as caffeine , BCAAs, Glutamine, and creatine are good ones to take . You might like to try this Healthy Coffee Drink Recipe before your training sessions .
Keep in mind IF doesnt take the place of eating a healthy diet of fresh, whole foods, plenty of leafy greens, healthy fats, and high-quality protein to fuel your body.
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When Did The Term Intermittent Fasting Catch On
Its hard to say exactly, but probably about 10-20 years ago.
In 2002, Ori Hofmekler published The Warrior Diet .
In 2006, Brad Pilon published Eat Stop Eat, which recommends fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week.
These are the earliest examples Im aware of, when people started advocating what we now call intermittent fasting as a strategy for health and weight loss. So I suspect thats about when the terminology started catching on as well.
Chapter : Tips To Help You Be Successful With Intermittent Fasting
If youve never done any fasting before, even short-term daily fasting can sound kind of scary.
Its really not that hard. But it does help if you take a smart approach, and make things easier for yourself
A lot of it comes down to starting slow, and eating enough food when youre not fasting.
In this chapter, Ill go over a few of my best tips to help you get an easy, successful start with intermittent fasting.
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What Are The Easiest Fasting Methods
There are two popular methods of intermittent fasting:
This is the most popular method today. The idea is that you will be fasting for 16 hours, and then eating during an 8-hour window throughout the day. For example, if your last meal of the day is around 7 pm, you would fast until 11 am. This overnight fast would help you complete a 16-hour fast. Then, at 11 am, you would start your 8-hour window of eating.
Its important that you still eat all of your calories and nutrients for the day. You do not decrease the amount of calories consumed you simply eat them in a shorter time window.
I recommend trying the 16-8 method first, and picking 2-3 days each week to fast.
This method is a 24-hour fast. If you eat dinner at 7 pm, you would fast until 7 pm the next day. Its important that when you break the fast, you do it with a normal-size, high-nutrition meal. The next day, your body may need more calories. In this case, I would recommend increasing your calorie intake with an additional protein-based snack.
Unlike the 16-8 method, the Eat-Stop-Eat method is only recommended for 1-2 days a week, because of the longer fasting period.
Use The Rhythms Of Fasting To Schedule Lunch And Dinner
Youve heard enough youre ready to dive head-first into the wonderful world of intermittent fasting. So when, exactly, can you eat?
The simplest approach is skipping breakfast, having coffee or tea, Zane outlines. If your goal is weight loss, eat a low-carb lunch and dinner.
Your first meal of the day takes place after your fasting period ends, which means all of your eating occurs in a compressed window of about six to eight hours.
Thats give or take. Make it work with your schedule. If its six hours, great. If it has to be nine one day, dont beat yourself up, Zane emphasizes.
Thats the beauty of intermittent fasting: theres no right or wrong. Its one tool to improve your health in whatever way makes sense with your routine.
If Zane could recommend an ideal intermittent fasting schedule, heres what hed suggest:
- Stop eating after dinner .
- Skip breakfast, enjoy your black coffee or tea, and fast until noon.
- Break your fast with a low-carb lunch.
- If you need a snack, make it light.
- Enjoy a healthy dinner, then start the fast again.
Once you feel comfortable with the rhythm of intermittent fasting, you can experiment with extending your fast until 1, 2, or even 3 p.m. instead.
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What If / Tre Looks Like In Real Life
Here are a couple examples:
If you eat all your food for the day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., thats an 8-hour eating window. If you did that every day, youd be fasting for the other 16 hours each day.
Alternatively, if you eat all your food between noon and 4 p.m., thats a 4-hour eating window .
You could also be more relaxed and eat all your food between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. .
Some people follow the same schedule every day, but you dont have to. You can mix and match.
The point is to shrink your average daily eating window, which gives your body more time to burn fat and do other beneficial things .
Other Names For Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can also be called time-restricted eating . This refers to the fact that you eat all your food for the day in a shorter window of time. I prefer this term.
Occasionally youll also hear time-restricted feeding . This means the same thing as TRE, but usually in the context of animal studies.
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