Frequently Asked Questions Concerns And Complaints
Im a woman. Should I do anything differently?
I havent worked with women on implementing an intermittent fasting schedule, so I cant speak from experience on this one.
That said, I have heard that women may find a wider window of eating to be more favorable when doing daily intermittent fasting. While men will typically fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours, women may find better results by eating for 10 hours and fasting for 14 hours. The best advice I can give anyone, not just women, is to experiment and see what works best for you. Your body will give you signals. Follow what your body responds favorably to.
Also, if youre a female, there is an allfemale page on Facebook that discusses intermittent fasting. Im sure you could find a ton of great answers and support there.
I could never skip breakfast. How do you do it?
I dont. Breakfast foods are my favorite, so I just eat them at 1pm each day.
Also, if you eat a big dinner the night before, I think youll be surprised by how much energy you have in the morning. Most of the worries or concerns that people have about intermittent fasting are due to the fact that they have had it pounded into them by companies that they need to eat breakfast or they need to eat every three hours and so on. The science doesnt support it and neither do my personal experiences.
I thought you were supposed to eat every 3 hours?
Here’s why this was a popular idea for a brief period of time:
Here’s the problem:
How To Actually Implement
So, its a good place to start, but what does it mean? Its very simple, you fast for 16 hours in a day and then you have an eating window for the other 8!
Of course this doesnt mean you eat the entire 8 hours. I dont know about you, but personally, I can fit a lot in my mouth within 8 hours! Dont challenge me to prove that, please!! The eating window isnt meant to be a mandate of how long to eat, more of a window you allow yourself to eat within.
16:8 can be implemented many ways, really decide what fits your life and when its important for you to eat. Here are some example schedules:
- Fast 12AM-8AM, Eat 8AM-4PM, Fast 4PM-12AM
- Fast 12AM-4PM, Eat 4PM-12AM
- Fast 12AM-12PM, Eat 12PM-8PM, Fast 8PM-12AM
/4the Best Way To Do Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has been hailed as one of the most effective ways to losing weight. It is however not confined to weight loss, but has been linked to disease prevention, reversal of aging and other benefits. Intermittent fasting basically refers to sticking to a certain window throughout the day and abstaining from eating at other times. Since it is quite different from the regular eating routine, the body requires time to get used to it and reap all the benefits of this diet regime.
Considering the versatility of this method, a lot of people have been taking it up in the recent past. But it is imperative to consult a professional before you go ahead with any radical changes in your diet. The best time, days and way to practice this method have been discussed here for all you fitness enthusiasts.
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Foods List And Meal Plan
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 helps round out your diet and supports a healthy weight. Try balancing each meal with a wide variety of whole foods, such as:
- Fruits: apples, bananas, berries, oranges, peaches, pears, tomatoes, etc.
- Veggies: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens, etc.
- Whole grains: barley, buckwheat, quinoa, rice, oats, etc.
- Healthy fats: olive oil and avocados
- Protein sources: eggs, fish, legumes, meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, etc.
Drinking calorie-free beverages like water and unsweetened tea and coffee, even while fasting, also helps control your appetite while keeping you hydrated.
Its best to avoid ultra-processed foods like packaged snacks, deep-fried items, sugary drinks, and most frozen meals. These negate the positive effects of 16/8 intermittent fasting and may harm your health.
To begin 16/8 intermittent fasting, choose an 8-hour window and limit your food intake to that time span. Be sure to follow a balanced diet based in whole foods.
Animal and human studies suggest that intermittent fasting may increase weight loss, improve blood sugar levels, and extend longevity.
Does Intermittent Fasting Work
People may gradually lose weight when they practice intermittent fasting, because they tend to consume fewer calories over the course of the day if they cant graze all day or snack late at night.
Additionally, people may lose weight because when they eat significantly less often, the body produces less insulin, the hormone that converts food into energy. When you eat frequently, insulin helps your body store unused energy as fat. But when you go without food for 12 hours or more, instead of storing unused energy, your body burns through its existing energy stores, then begins burning stored fat for energy, which aids weight loss.
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Most Popular Intermittent Fasting Schedules
Want to lose weight and get healthier without eating less or exercising?
The closest you will get is intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting involves eating in a short window of time and fasting the rest of the time.
In this article, youll learn the science behind intermittent fasting and explain it in simple terms. Youll also learn the intermittent fasting times, benefits, and mistakes to avoid.
I started intermittent fasting two years ago. Ive experienced the benefits and learned from my mistakes.
The first week of intermittent fasting is tough, but the benefits are unparalleled. The good news is the weakness and hunger go away and habits can be changed.
Keep reading to learn about the benefits, tips, and what to avoid.
What Happens To The Body During Fasting
There are two ways to think about whats happening in the body during fasting and why these processes might be good for our health. Lets start with the most tangible: In studies, people tend to lose weight. For people with obesity, for example, carrying less weight can have downstream health benefits.
The other changes are happening at the cellular level as the body adapts to less food. In all the categories of fasting described above, a so-called metabolic switch gets flipped eight to 12 hours after the onset of fasting. During this period, the body switches from using liver-derived glucose to adipose cell-derived ketones as the primary source of energy. When people eat and snack often, the body tends to burn glucose for energy and store fat in adipose tissue as triglycerides. In the metabolic switch that happens during fasting, the body breaks down triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol, which are instead used as energy.
In the liver, fatty acids turn into ketone bodies. Youve probably heard of ketosis, which is when the body is burning primarily ketones for energy. Ketones not only serve as fuel for cells during the fasting period but also trigger highly coordinated responses that even influence the fed state. They alert the body to its current metabolic status and influence a variety of cellular pathways that are known to be beneficial. These include pathways that involve PGC-1, fibroblast growth factor, NAD+, sirtuins, PARP1, and CD38.
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How To Schedule Meals When You Are Intermittent Fasting
While the idea of fasting can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done it before, intermittent fasting can actually be a lot easier than many other types of eating plans.
Once you start your intermittent fasting journey, you’ll most likely find that you feel fuller longer and can keep the meals you do eat very simple. There are a few different ways you can fast, so I broke up each of the different plans below into beginner, intermediate, and advanced along with a typical meal plan for each day.
The combination of nutrients will give you the energy you need to enhance the benefits of your fasting journey. Just make sure to take into account any individual food intolerances, and use this as a guide for your particular health case, and adjust from there.
Remember, intermittent fasting does not necessarily mean calorie-controlled, so be sure to eat according to your personal caloric needs.
Recommended Dosage Active Amounts Other Details
Simply allocate a 16-hour window in the day that you will abstain from calories completely. Many choose their window to be from around 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. the following day, but its just as possible to eat earlier in the day and stop eating earlier.
In fact, insulin sensitivity tends to be better in the morning, so having an early eating window may be preferable for some people, although many opt to eat later in the day because its more conducive with social eating. Adherence to these protocols is typically easier for people who have familial support, and for some the practice becomes easier with time.
Generally speaking, water, tea, seltzer, and coffee are considered permissible to eat during the fasting window. While other things such as chewing gum, exogenous ketones, MCT oil, supplements, apple cider vinegar, and artificial sweeteners are hotly debated, a good rule of thumb is that if the product has more than 5-10 kcal then it should be avoided until the fasting window ends.
Its simple: dont consume anything except for water, coffee, or tea for 16 continuous hours, and then eat freely for the remaining 8 hours.
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May Improve Blood Sugar Levels
Intermittent fasting is generally associated with improving blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity . A pilot study done in 2017 showed that fasting for 18 to 20 hours a day could lead to weight loss and post-meal blood sugar control . This shows that fasting could be extremely beneficial to patients with type 2 diabetes. However, if you are suffering from this disease, please talk to your doctor before trying the 20-hour fast, or any other form of intermittent fasting.
May Help Protect Against Alzheimers
Note that these results are from research done on animals and not humans. In 2017, a study posted online revealed that intermittent fasting, in general, may help protect against Alzheimers disease through the restoration of Aquaporin-4 Polarity . Later in 2018, another study suggested that intermittent fasting protects against this disease through the increase of lipoproteins to the brain .
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Schedule #: 1: : 4 Omad And Other Types Of Time Restricted Feeding
Popularized and researched by Satchidananda Panda, PhD, time-restricted feeding combines a fasting window with a feeding window. During the fasting window, people either dont eat at all or eat much less than usual. During the feeding window, people may either eat normally or more than normal.
In theory, this protocol takes advantage of our natural circadian rhythm to optimize metabolic health.
What it involves
Three of the more popular types of time-restricted eating include:
- 16:8, which calls for a 16-hour fast followed by an 8-hour eating window.
- 20:4, which entails fasting for the first 20 hours of each day, and then eating only during a 4-hour overfeeding window. Generally, most people put their 4-hour overfeeding window at the end of the day, as its more convenient for family dinners and after-work training sessions.
- OMAD, or one meal a day, which involves consuming all of your calories within 1 hour and nothing for the other 23 hours.
In each approach, some people focus on including highly-satiating foods such as colorful veggies and lean protein. These foods can help to dampen hunger during the fasting window.
For someone following 16:8, it might look like this:
Monday, 8pm: Finish your last meal of the day.
Tuesday, 11am: Work out.
Tuesday, 12pm: Eat your first meal, ideally the biggest one of the day.
Tuesday, 12-8pm: Feeding window during which you eat your daily energy intake.
Tuesday, 8pm: Last meal of the day ends, and the fasting period starts.
Fasting Boosts Human Growth Hormone
Human Growth Hormone is a small protein produced by the pituitary gland and released into the bloodstream . HGH is released in bursts, as levels rise following exercise, trauma, and sleep.
Besides activating autophagy, HGH initiates changes in metabolism that promote fat burning, saving proteins and building muscle .
These proteins and amino acids are used to enhance brain and neuron processing. They also rebuild collagen which improves the strength and function of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Further, HGH supports the skin, reduces wrinkles, and heals cuts and burns faster .
Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute discovered that men who fasted for 24 hours had a 2,000% increase in blood levels of HGH . Women had a 1300% increase in HGH.
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How To Practice Intermittent Fasting
There isnt one single right way to practice intermittent fasting. Common interpretations of this eating style include:
- Eating during a 12-hour window every day and fasting for the other 12 hours
- Eating during an 8-hour window every day and fasting for the other 16 hours
- Eating differently every other day: On odd days, eating sensibly whenever you please, and on even days, restricting yourself to 500 or 600 calories for the entire day, with the bulk of calories in one meal
- Eating sensibly for 5 days of the week, and eating no more than 500 to 600 calories on 2 other days per week, spacing out the fasting days
- Eating sensibly for six days of the week, then fasting for the entire 24 hours on the seventh day
People who practice intermittent fasting may adjust the eating style to fit their personal schedules. If you normally eat an early dinner and you want to fast for 16 hours a day, you can make your 8-hour eating window run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If youre a later eater, you can make your 8-hour window run from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Heres What Happened When I Tried Time Restricted Feeding
Krista Scott-Dixon, PhD, Precision Nutritions director of curriculum, is a morning person.
I didnt want to give up my big breakfasts, so I chose evening fasting first. she says. I normally trained in the mornings, so this worked for me.
However, she noticed three things about her sleep when fasting in the afternoons and evenings.
First, she was much more tired. Once my battery ran out, I was done. Getting up the stairs to bed was a terrific ordeal, she says.
Second, although shed conk out quickly, she didnt sleep well.
Third, she woke up extremely earlyat a consistent 4am.
Later, she experimented with skipping breakfast and lunch.
At first, that felt like much more of a sacrifice, she says,
Eventually she got to like the efficiency of waking, grabbing a cup of tea, and getting straight to work. And she slept a lot better after a good meal in the evenings.
Bottom line: For any fasting schedule, youll want to experiment, tweak the plan, and do what works for you.
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We Asked Nutritionist Kerry Torrens For Her View
Is it safe?
Much of the emphasis of these diets is on the fasting stage, but in order to be a safe, effective and healthy style of eating, the food consumed during your ‘eating windows’ needs to be of high nutritional value. Aim to include essential fats from oily fish, nuts and seeds, lean sources of protein, wholegrains and starchy carbs and plenty of fruit and vegetables to supply dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Is it effective for weight loss and is it sustainable?
Studies suggest that when you compare IF with daily calorie restriction it is equally as effective at promoting weight loss in those who are overweight and obese. Results will vary, however, dependent on your individual circumstances and the amount of weight you have to lose. How effective it is in the longer term will depend on your ability to maintain this style of eating going forward. This is because IF is not so much a diet but rather a programme of eating, which means sustaining the weight loss is all down to how well you adapt your eating patterns in the long term.
How do different versions of IF compare?
Who should be more careful when considering fasting?
Please note: if you’re considering attempting any form of diet, please consult your GP first to ensure you can do so without risk to health.
The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting For Men
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating where a person cycles between eating and fasting.
There are different variations of intermittent fasting.
Some people may only do it a couple of times a week, while others do it every day or every other day.
The research is clear that intermittent fasting is beneficial for both men and women.
Here are just a few of the benefits of intermittent fasting:
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Foods To Avoid During The Intermittent Fasting
You need to avoid some foods during intermittent fasting to maintain a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Processed foods such as burgers, fries, and nuggets are high in calories, and they can increase your food cravings. These foods contain fat, added sugar, and empty calories.
Here is the list of foods you need to avoid during your intermittent fasting
- Snacks such as fried chips
- Sugary drinks like carbonated drinks, coffee, cold coffee
- Processed, packed juices
- Processed foods such as cheese, meat, etc
Many studies suggest that processed foods and carbonated drinks lead to weight gain. You can replace carbonated drinks with fresh juices and fried foods with healthy salads. Be more mindful while choosing your food to make your intermittent fasting more powerful.