Examples Of Different Intermittent Fasting Schedules
If youre considering giving fasting a shot, there are a few different options for working it into your lifestyle.
Daily Intermittent Fasting
Most of the time, I follow the Leangains model of intermittent fasting, which uses a 16hour fast followed by an 8hour eating period. This model of daily intermittent fasting was popularized by Martin Berkhan of Leangains.com, which is where the name originated.
It doesn’t matter when you start your 8hour eating period. You can start at 8am and stop at 4pm. Or you start at 2pm and stop at 10pm. Do whatever works for you. I tend to find that eating around 1pm and 8pm works well because those times allow me to eat lunch and dinner with friends and family. Breakfast is typically a meal that I eat on my own, so skipping it isn’t a big deal.
Because daily intermittent fasting is done every day it becomes very easy to get into the habit of eating on this schedule. Right now, you’re probably eating around the same time every day without thinking about it. Well, with daily intermittent fasting it’s the same thing, you just learn to not eat at certain times, which is remarkably easy.
Weekly Intermittent Fasting
One of the best ways to get started with intermittent fasting is to do it once per week or once per month. The occasional fast has been shown to lead to many of the benefits of fasting we’ve already talked about, so even if you don’t use it to cut down on calories consistently there are still many other health benefits of fasting.
How Much Weight Can You Lose On 1: 8 Diet
To lose weight on the 16:8 diet, its important to match the fasting with healthy eating and exercise. If done so correctly, theres a typical weight loss of around seven to 11 pounds over a ten week period. This is according to a review of 40 different studies published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrincology who found that on average, someone weighing just over 90kg would lose 5% of their total body weight in the ten week period.
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Eating revealed that the 16:8 diet plan can help people lose weight, without having to count calories as the 8-hour fast produces the same kind of calorific restriction and weight loss.
However, whether theres a distinct weight loss advantage achieved on the 16:8 diet compared to other diets remains to be seen. Some studies have demonstrated that theres almost no difference between people who do intermittent fasting compared those who count calories and cut back on unhealthy food.
Is 1: 8 Fasting Good For Weight Loss
A growing body of research demonstrates that a better strategy is optimizing the nutritional quality of what you already eat versus fasting or counting calories. Also, science suggests any potential benefit from fasting is quickly undone during the eating part of the cycle, in which appetite-suppressing hormones switch gears to make you feel even hungrierthan you felt at baseline.
But some dieters may benefit from daily fasting if they have trouble sticking to prescribed meal plans or restrictive diets a 2018 pilot study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Eating suggests that a 16:8 fasting plan can help obese dieters lose weight without having to count every single calorie they eat. This approach to fasting could also aid those battling other weight-related issues namely, high blood pressure. A new scholarly review published in the New England Journal of Medicinesuggests that a 16:8 fasting plan may help the body naturally improve blood sugar regulation, as well as decrease blood pressure overall in the long run.
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Breakfast Is Not The Most Important Meal Of The Day
Now, the common belief is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Or that you have to eat 6 small meals a day. Those two statements are absolutely inaccurate. There is no scientific data out there that you should eat first thing in the morning or that eating 6 meals a day is somehow beneficial for you.
Now, whether youre looking to lose weight, increase your energy, or boost your brain health and your overall health, doing 16/8 intermittent fasting has the potential to help with all those things, and then some.
In fact, the results are so potent, it makes you wonder why this isnt the norm when it comes to the way we eat. Dont believe me? Heres a list of ten health benefits from doing a 16 hour fast.
Try Sticking To The Following Foods On The 1: 8 Diet:
- Whole grains: Ones like rice, oats, barley, wholegrain pasta and quinoa will keep you fuller for longer.
- Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds will keep you full.
- Fruit: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges and pears will offer good vitamin sustenance.
- Vegetables: Broccoli and leafy greens are especially good for making sure youre eating enough fibre.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados.
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/4benefits Of The 1: 8 Diet
16:8 fasting boosts metabolism, it cuts down the calories and this helps the weight loss process. Intermittent fasting can help keep the cholesterol in check when combined with a nutritious diet and regular exercise.
It manages food habits, controls calorie intake, and keeps the cholesterol level in check. These are the contributing factors to a healthy heart. The diet helps in reducing insulin resistance which helps in diabetes management.
It also helps to enhance brain functioning, improve concentration, protect against age-related memory loss and reduce the levels of cortisol in the body, which means less stress.
The intermittent diet plan helps prevent and manage diseases such as diabetes, certain heart conditions, some types of cancers, and some neurodegenerative diseases.
Do I Have To Skip Breakfast
You may have heard or read that a 16:8 plan means you cant eat breakfast. But when it comes to intermittent fasting, a 16:8 schedule is extremely flexible and simple. You decide when your 16-hour fast begins and ends, so if youre someone who simply cant live without breakfast, dont deprive yourself.
Or, maybe you prefer to skip breakfast. Thats ok too. Whatevers comfortable for you. You could also eat breakfast an hour or two later and eat dinner an hour or so earlier. Just make sure that your eating window closes eight hours after you first break your fast. All that matters is you have 16 consecutive hours during which you abstain from food and drink only calorie-free beverages like water or unsweetened tea or coffee.
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May Prevent High Risks Of Cancer
The main risk factor of cancer is the growth of tumours. Managing to reduce or treat tumours is a breakthrough for preventing cancer.
Intermittent fasting has been studied for its effect on reducing tumour and limiting their growth. Results found that fasting cycles can not only reduce tumours, but also aid in the same way chemotherapy can.
Evidence does not yet verify which cancers intermittent fasting can prevent or reduce the risk of. However, these are results which signal fasting can have great significance for cancer treatment.
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- The 16/8 intermittent fasting approach means you fast for 16 hours and eat only in an eight-hour window.
- Fasting triggers autophagy, which is needed for healthy metabolism.
- IF has plenty of research-backed health benefits including better brain function, lower blood sugar levels, and lower inflammation.
- Fasting can be a great way to get into ketosis, but its not the only way.
- If you want to use fasting for ketosis, its ideal if you do it while following a keto diet.
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Some Final Thoughts On Fasting
One important thing to note if youre considering restricting calories is that without proper intake of micronutrients in combination with load-bearing exercise, calorie restriction could lead to bone loss.12 This would put you at a higher risk of fractures and bone pain, reducing your quality of life. A product like ProLon could also come in handy here!
Other research found that, over a six month period, alternate day fasting did not have a negative impact on bone density in humans.13 Clearly, we need more research to better understand the potential risks of fasting long-term.
If youre considering restricting calorie intake long-term, make sure to get enough calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin D, and other key nutrients for bone health. And factor in regular load-bearing exercise too, to help maintain bone density and overall good health.
Before I wrap up, one more exciting development in the world of calorie restriction and fasting. Recent research suggests that the benefits of calorie restriction may be mediated in part by the microbiome. 14 In a study looking at the depletion of beneficial bacteria in lab animals, researchers found that a depleted microbiome prevented the animals from experiencing the benefits of calorie restriction. The animals also had elevations in cholesterol and fasting blood glucose.
What Science Is Saying
Characterized by a restricted eating period, the 16:8 Diet is a form of intermittent fasting , and several studies have investigated the effects of intermittent fasting on health and weight loss. Here are some of the most interesting findings:
Intermittent Energy Restriction Appears to Be an Effective Way to Lose Weight
A review published in the journal Behavioral Sciences in early 2017 looked at recent studies comparing the weight loss effects of intermittent energy restriction and low-calorie diets, and concluded that intermittent energy restriction appeared to be as effective as low-calorie diets at reducing body weight in obese and overweight people. What’s more, one of the studies included in this review reported a greater loss of body fat with low-carb intermittent energy restriction diets compared with low-calorie diets.
Reduced Markers of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Asthma PatientsLink Between Duration of Nighttime Fasting and Breast Cancer RiskLonger Night-Time Fasting Associated with Reduced Inflammation in Some CasesThe 16:8 Diet Combined with Exercise Appears to Protect Lean Body MassBOOK YOU MAY LIKEThe 8-Hour DietEat This, Not That!The Lean Belly PrescriptionMen’s Health
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Benefits Of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
16/8 intermittent fasting is a popular diet because its easy to follow, flexible and sustainable in the long term.
Its also convenient, as it can cut down on the amount of time and money you need to spend on cooking and preparing food each week.
In terms of health, 16/8 intermittent fasting has been associated with a long list of benefits, including:
- Increased weight loss: Not only does restricting your intake to a few hours per day help cut calories over the course of the day, but studies also show that fasting could boost metabolism and increase weight loss (
16/8 intermittent fasting is easy to follow, flexible and convenient. Animal and human studies suggest that it may increase weight loss, improve blood sugar levels, enhance brain function and extend longevity.
So Will I Stick With It
Im sharper, faster and more concentrated during the day and Ive managed to cut back to one cup of coffee a day as a result. Im less hungry if anything, and now enjoy my morning smoothie as a post-lunch dessert. As for my training, I find that working out in the morning is such a great habit because it sets my mind up for the day. Ive only noticed good differences in how I perform over shorter distances, and Im certainly no less strong for waiting a few hours to refuel.
Monday-Friday, 16:8 really suits me and the way I work out. Perhaps it also largely depends on what you eat, rather than the timings. Im sure, for example, if you eat a protein-rich breakfast that is very low in sugar, you wont experience huge hikes and hips in concentration but many of us do enjoy carb-heavy meals. But life is for the living and sometimes, theres nothing like breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning. For me, its made me appreciate the power and enjoyment of food much more particularly how it can transform my running potential.
The point here is that this doesnt have to be restrictive. I may have stopped having breakfast but Im eating the same number of calories a day and eating exactly the same kind of good just in a different order. This isnt a diet or a weight loss programme but in my case at least, is just a more functional way of eating to keep my energy high and mind focussed throughout the week.
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May Be Beneficial For Heart Health
Heart disease is currently the worlds biggest killer .
Its known that various health markers are associated with either an increased or decreased risk of heart disease.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve numerous different risk factors, including:
- blood sugar levels
The effects of fasting on heart health need to be studied more in-depth in humans before recommendations can be made.
Studies show that intermittent fasting can improve numerous risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and inflammatory markers.
How Do I Manage Hunger
The most important thing to realize is that hunger usually passes like a wave. Many people worry that hunger during intermittent fasting will continue to build until it is intolerable, but this does not normally happen.46 Instead, hunger comes in a wave. If you simply ignore it and drink a cup of tea or coffee, it will often pass.47
During extended fasts, hunger will often increase into the second day. After that, it gradually recedes, and many people report a complete loss of hunger sensation by day 3 or 4.48 Your body is now being powered by fat. In essence, your body is eating its own fat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and therefore is no longer hungry. Learn more
And Did It Make Any Difference
When Dr McMillan conducts her final tests to see how Kevin and Samantha have tracked, the results “are a little unexpected”.
Over the six weeks, Samantha lost 3.5 kilograms and Kevin 8.5 kilograms but Kevin’s weight loss is actually “some cause for concern”.
“More than half of Kevin’s weight loss came from lean body mass most of it muscle,” she says.
“Lean muscle crucial for staying healthy as we age. So, going forward Kevin and anyone taking up fasting needs to ensure they also do exercise.”
There has also been little change to Samantha and Kevin’s gut health.
But there has been “a really big metabolic improvement” for them both.
In particular, Samantha’s fasting insulin levels reduced, and her fasting blood glucose levels came down to “the normal category”, which means she reduced her risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Supplied: Samantha Roberts
“This is a really powerful message, because you haven’t actually lost a lot of weight, but you’ve seen that really big metabolic improvement,” Dr Hocking says.
“Even for someone who doesn’t lose any weight, if your metabolic health has improved because you’re eating better and you’re exercising and getting enough sleep, you’re in a far healthier position.”
Dr McMillan says Samantha “epitomises the promise of fasting for me”.
“She has managed to overcome a really tough journey through my experiment and embrace a new way of eating,” she says.
The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting On A 16/8 Diet
Multiple studies suggest a variety of potential health benefits from a 16/8-style diet. This narrower feeding period might support:
- Loss of excess body weight
- Improvements in blood glucose and insulin regulation
- Subjective appetite supression
As with all studies, the quality and consistency of the research may vary.
In one study, men with pre-diabetes restricted food consumption to an early six-hour period, eating their last meal before 3 p.m. The men generally consumed enough food to maintain their current body weight. Even without weight loss, then, the men had improvements in insulin sensitivity, beta-cell responsiveness , blood pressure, oxidative stress, and appetite. 2
In another study, women who ate less than 30% of total daily calories after 5 p.m. in the evening had an 8% reduction in C-reactive protein. 3 C-reactive protein is a marker for inflammation, so the lower the better in most cases. In this study, lower levels of C-reactive protein were considered favorable in regards to reducing the risk of breast cancer.
So far so good. Wheres the conflict?
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Diet Plan: What Can You Eat And What Are The Benefits
The 16:8 diet has been one of the most popular diet plans weve seen in years and with good reason.
The 16:8 plan also called the 8-hour diet is an easier and more consistent way of fasting that avoids heavily calorie restricted days found in other popular intermittent fasting plans like the 5:2 diet or Fast 800 calorie diet.
A famous fan of the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan is Hollywood icon Jennifer Aniston. In an interview with the Radio Times, Jennifer revealed that shes a big fan of intermittent fasting in general but specifically this plan. I do intermittent fasting, so no food in the morning. She said, I noticed a big difference in going without solid food for 16 hours.