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What Are The Best Times To Do Intermittent Fasting

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What Can You Eat On The 1: 8 Diet


This diet isnt suggesting you cram all the food you can into 8 hours. You need to make sure youre eating a balance of fat busting and health boosting foods. Experts have suggest making sure you get a balance of lean meat, eggs, dairy, vegetables, nuts and beans each day.

Make sure to eat a balanced diet.

Tom said, Many people fail the 16:8 diet by packing in too many calories into the 8 hour period, often trying to get some in before the 8 hours ends. You should still be following a strict diet with a complete nutritional breakdown, to ensure you are consuming a targeted number of calories, not to mention macro nutrients and ensuring youre not consuming too much sugar.

Choose An Eating Window You Will Stick To

If you decide to go on a 16hour/8hour fasting/eating schedule every other day, but that 16 hours lapse with your workout schedule, and you find yourself resisting food at an impossible time, you may want to change it up to work with your schedule.

Intermittent fasting is a great strategy for increasing your chances of weight loss, but it wonât help if you donât stick to the plan.

There are several different ways to use intermittent fasting in a beneficial way:

  • Alternate day fasting
  • A specific number of days per week
  • Daily fasting schedule
  • 12 + hours of fasting

To optimize your rate of weight loss, you will need to develop a schedule that works for you.

The fasting schedule you build will need to consider the amount of weight you aim to lose, the number of calories youâre consuming, how much exercise you do, and any other concerns specific to your situation.

What Is The 1: 8 Diet

The 16:8 diet is a type of intermittent fasting where you break each day into two parts a 16 hour stretch and an 8 hour period. For 16 hours every day, you consume nothing but water, coffee, tea and other unsweetened drinks. Then for the other eight hours of the day, you can eat all your meals and snacks.

The 16 hour stretch sounds like a long time, but if youre getting enough sleep, you should be asleep for about half of that time.

Sports Scientist Harry Aitken tells GoodtoKnow, Intermittent fasting is a dietary technique in which all food is consumed within a relatively small window of time. Fasting is going for a significant period of time without eating, and intermittent fasting simply brings in a small window of time where you are able to eat.

Intermittent fasting has been popularised and studies have gone on to confirm that it leads to weight loss and fat loss.

The 16:8 diet stems from the book 8 Hour Diet by author David Zinczenko and editor-in-chief of Mens Health Peter Moore, who suggested that a longer fasting time between eating gives the body the time it needs to process the food and burn away extra fat.

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A Potential Downside Of Intermittent Fasting

A rigorous three-month study found that people lost little weight, and much of that may have been from muscle.

Intermittent fasting is a trendy weight loss strategy. But a new study found that a popular form of intermittent fasting called time-restricted eating produced minimal weight loss and one potential downside: muscle loss.

The new research, , is one of the most rigorous studies to examine time-restricted eating, which involves fasting for 12 or more hours a day. Many followers of the diet, which has been popularized in best-selling diet books and touted by celebrities, routinely skip breakfast and eat all their meals between roughly noon and 8 p.m., resulting in a daily 16-hour fast.

Research over the years has suggested that the practice spurs weight loss and improves metabolic health, although much of the data has come from animal experiments or small studies of relatively short duration in humans. Experts say the diet works because it allows people the freedom to eat what they want so long as they do it in a narrow window of time, which leads them to consume fewer calories over all.

My bias was that this works and Im doing it myself, and so I was shocked by the results, he said.

Studies have found, for example, that overweight adults lose more weight and have greater improvements in their cardiovascular risk factors when they eat a large breakfast, a modest lunch and a light dinner, compared to when they eat a small breakfast and a big dinner.

How To End Your Fast

The Complete Intermittent Fasting Guide for Beginners

One of the most important aspects of a fast is how you end it. The worst thing you can do is give your digestive tract a great cleanse and then eat a large amount of unhealthy, hard-to-digest foods immediately afterward. When ending this nutritious liquids fast, always resume eating by slowly adding small amounts of easy-to-digest foods back into your diet while continuing to follow the Ten Days to Optimal Health diet as closely as you are able to.

For more information on this fasting program, please consult my book, Ten Days to Optimal Health.

Read Also: How To Do 16 8 Fasting

So Is Intermittent Fasting Bad For Women

Well, not necessarily.

But certainly, fasting is not for everyone.

And the truth is, some women shouldnt even bother experimenting. Dont try intermittent fasting if:

  • youre pregnant
  • you have a history of disordered eating
  • youre chronically stressed
  • you dont sleepwell
  • youre new to diet and exercise

Pregnant women have extra energy needs. So if youre starting a family, intermittent fasting isnt a good idea.

Ditto if youre under chronic stress or if you arent sleeping well. Your body needs nurturing, not additional stress.

And if youve struggled with disordered eating in the past , you probably recognize that a fasting protocol could lead you down a path that might create further problems for you.

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.

#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.

#4) It promotes stronger insulin sensitivity and increased growth hormone secretion, two keys for weight loss and muscle gain. Intermittent fasting helps you create a double whammy for weight loss and building a solid physique.

#6) Plus, Wolverine does it:

#7) Boy George is a fasting fan :

Read Also: What Is The Best Time To Eat During Intermittent Fasting

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.

Intermittent Fasting Helps To Reduce Inflammation

Best Time to Eat During Intermittent Fasting

Inflammation is the body’s response to outside threats such as toxic chemicals and infections.

This is the body’s way of protecting the cells and tissues.

Too much inflammation in the body is a different story though.

Too much inflammation is linked to lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, gut problems such as ulcerative colitis, and gouty arthritis.

Symptoms of inflammation include joint pain and stiffness, redness, fatigue, headaches, and muscle stiffness.

Intermittent fasting can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body.Intermittent fasting benefits your body and health in many ways.

An intermittent fasting cycle is flexible, so you can adjust it to suit your lifestyle.

Read Also: How Many Days Should I Do Intermittent Fasting

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 To Get Started

16/8 intermittent fasting is simple, safe and sustainable.

To get started, begin by picking an eight-hour window and limit your food intake to that time span.

Many people prefer to eat between noon and 8 p.m., as this means youll only need to fast overnight and skip breakfast but can still eat a balanced lunch and dinner, along with a few snacks throughout the day.

Others opt to eat between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., which allows plenty of time for a healthy breakfast around 9 a.m., a normal lunch around noon and a light early dinner or snack around 4 p.m. before starting your fast.

However, you can experiment and pick the time frame that best fits your schedule.

Additionally, to maximize the potential health benefits of your diet, its important to stick to nutritious whole foods and beverages during your eating periods.

Filling up on nutrient-rich foods can help round out your diet and allow you to reap the rewards that this regimen has to offer.

Try balancing each meal with a good variety of healthy whole foods, such as:

  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges, peaches, pears, etc.
  • Veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens, tomatoes, etc.
  • Whole grains: Quinoa, rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, etc.
  • Healthy fats: Olive oil, avocados and coconut oil
  • Meat, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds, etc.

Drinking calorie-free beverages like water and unsweetened tea and coffee, even while fasting, can also help control your appetite while keeping you hydrated.

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The Best Intermittent Fasting Methods For Women

So, what exactly is a relaxed approach to intermittent fasting? Again, since theres little research done on intermittent fasting, were dealing with a bit of a gray area. The opinions also tend to vary depending on which site you visit, or which health expert you ask. From what weve found, the general guidelines to brief intermittent fasting for women are:

Do not fast for longer than 24 hours at a time Ideally fast for 12 to 16 hours Do not fast on consecutive days during your first two to three weeks of fasting Drink plenty of fluids during your fast Only do light exercise on fasting days, such as yoga, walking, jogging, and gentle stretching

How Can My Dad Fast Happily And Yet If My Mom Goes More Than A Couple Of Hours Without Food Her Body Starts To Freak Out

6 Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting

It could just be that theyre different people. Not everyone responds the same way to the same diet approach.

But theres also a good chance its related to their sex.

While intermittent fasting seems to benefit many men, it can have a negative effect on a womans hormones and metabolism.

How so? Youre about to find out.

In this article, well cover everything you need to know about intermittent fasting for women.

Well start with the science, where youll learn:

  • help you gain lean mass
  • reduce the risk of cancer, and more.

So, naturally, a lot of people are trying it.

But an accompanying trend thats emerged: Some women report serious problems, including binge eating, metabolic disruption, lost menstrual periods, and early-onset menopause.

Early onset-menopause while intermittent fasting has even happened to a few of our clientssome of whom were in their early twenties.

Maybe my mom was on to something. Maybe intermittent fasting is totally different for women than for men.

Also Check: Which Intermittent Fasting Should I Do

How Often Can You Do Intermittent Fasting

This also up to you. There are no set rules on how often you can do intermittent fasting for. You can have an initial phase where you hit your goals after a couple of weeks. Then have a break for say 3 months and eat the routine way for the 3 months.

Then, re-start intermittent fasting again for another 3 months, have a break for 3 months and do the same thing again.

You can use a 2 month ON, 2 months OFF model, 4 months ON, 4 months OFF . Do this repeatedly. No rigid rules about how often you can fast intermittently.

If the question is about how often to fast during the week, it would depend on the IF plan you adopt. The 5:2 requires you to fast 2 days a week . Alternate day fasting is as the name suggests, every other day.

The 2 days you fast in the 5:2 plan are not actually a total fast. It only requires you to hold back on your calories to 500 Calories for those 2 days.

The true 24-hour fast may require you to do this twice or three times a week, if you can handle that frequency.

If you cant, even one day a week is okay until you get comfortable with it and you can then try 2 days a week.

Even one day a week is certainly better than what you are currently doing. It will still work. Its just going to take longer.

So, if you want to know how many weeks to do intermittent fasting, all I can say is theres no one size fits all approach.

Intermittent Fasting And Reproductive Hormones

One way fasting affects reproductive hormonesin both women and menhas to do with something called the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Thankfully, this is more commonly known as the HPG axis.

Its not important to know exactly how the HPG axis works, but in case youre interested, heres what happens:

  • Your hypothalamus releases gonadotropin releasing hormone in regular spurts, called pulses.
  • GnRH pulses tell your pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone and follicular stimulating hormone .
  • LH and FSH then act on the gonads.
  • In women, LH and FSH stimulate the production of estrogen and progesterone, which we need to release a mature egg and to support a pregnancy.

    In men, they stimulate the production of testosterone and sperm.

    Because this chain of reactions happens on a very specific, regular cycle in women, GnRH pulses must be timed precisely, or everything can get out of whack. Eggs arent released, periods stop MAYHEM!

    Heres the big takeaway: GnRH pulses seem to be very sensitive to environmental factors, and can be thrown off by fasting.

    Even short-term fastingsay, three dayscan alter these hormonal pulses in some women.

    Theres even some evidence that missing a single mealwhich, of course, isnt an emergency by itselfcan start to put our hormonal system on alert.2

    This may be why certain women run into problems with intermittent fasting.

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Definition Of Intermittent Fasting

    Best Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting

    While fasting has been around since ancient times, intermittent fasting, or IF, has relatively recently become a popular health trend, as more and more people are turning to IF to promote weight loss, metabolic health, and even longevity. Many people are familiar with the 16:8 form of IF, but there are several ways to do intermittent fasting, each of which can be effective and beneficial when appropriately and properly applied. Yet, some may work better than others specifically for you. Heres a breakdown of the popular ways to do intermittent fasting.

    In todays article about the best ways to do intermittent fasting, we will cover the following:

    Science Behind Intermittent Fasting

    Best Time To Start My Fast when Intermittent Fasting

    Research on IF for weight loss remains in its infancy according to Felicia Steger, PhD, RD, Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, “The science behind IF is still young and we don’t yet know if certain forms of IF are helpful long term.” Nutrition research like this can be tricky considering there are so many variables to control for. “We also don’t have much comparative data at all” adds Steger. “In other words, the types have not been tested against one another, nor have they been tested against other diet goals such as improving food quality.”

    Related: The Best and Worst Diets to Follow in 2021

    Several studies have used rodents as subjects or have a small number of human participants which tells us more studies are needed before we can draw solid conclusions about IF. However, some studies point to beneficial results.

    Also Check: How Many Calories Can I Have During Intermittent Fasting

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