Intermediate Fasting Meal Plan
With this plan you will be eating only between the hours of 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. for a full 18 hours of fasting within a 24-hour period.
I personally practice this plan during the workweek. I’m not a breakfast person, so I just enjoy a few cups of herbal tea to start my day.
Even though you are skipping breakfast, it’s still important to stay hydrated. Make sure to still drink enough water. You can also have herbal tea, The catechins in tea have been shown to enhance the benefits of fasting by helping to further decrease the hunger hormone ghrelin, so you can make it until lunch and not feel deprived.
Since you’ve increased your fasting period an extra four hours, you need to make sure your first meal has enough healthy fats. The burger in the 8-to-6-window plan will work well, and you can add more fats in with your dressing or top with an avocado!
Nuts and seeds make great snacks that are high-fat and can be eaten around 2:30 p.m. Soaking these beforehand can help neutralize naturally occurring enzymes like phytates that can contribute to digestive problems. Eat dinner around 5:30 p.m., and just like in the 8-to-6-window plan, a dinner with some sort of wild-caught fish or other clean protein source with vegetables is a great option.
- First meal, 12 p.m.: Grass-fed burger with avocado
- Snack, 2:30 p.m.: Nuts and seeds
- Second meal, 5:30 p.m.: Salmon and veggies
How To Do It
The 16:8 intermittent fasting method, sometimes referred to as the 16 hours fast, restricts your eating to eight hours.
This form of intermittent fasting is particularly popular because you spend a large portion of the fasting window asleep.
To get started, begin by selecting the eight hours during which you will consume all of your meals and snacks.
Many people prefer to eat between noon and eight oclock in the evening, as this means that they only need to skip breakfast, while still eating a typical lunch and dinner.
Some eating windows include:
- 10 am to 6 pm
- 11 am to 7 pm
- 12 pm to 8 pm
When developing your 16:8 plan, you may want to use your current sleep patterns and mealtimes as a guide.
Or perhaps your appetite is the greatest at night before bed. If this is the case, then you may decide on a 1 pm to 9 pm window to allow for an evening snack.
Are There Drinks You Should Avoid During Intermittent Fasting
There are a few beverages that you might not realize are capable of breaking your fast. This means that if you consume these, you will knock your body out of the fasted state.
If youre wondering whether common beverages, like diet soda, almond milk, coconut water, or alcohol will break your fast, we found the answers:
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You Aren’t Keeping Track Of Your Water Intake
In general, you should be drinking 2 liters of water per day, “Water is a part of metabolic reactions in our body and is necessary for it to function properly. Hydration prevents us from mistaking hunger for thirst,” Mills notes.
During snack breaks, opt for non-starchy veggies and fruits that contain water . Have sliced cucumbers, celery, watermelon and oranges prepped in the fridge or lunch bag.
Your Approach Is Way Too Extreme
Sure, you want to grab this diet trend by the lapels and run with it, but there’s no need to starve yourself. Taking in less than 800 calories per day will cause greater weight loss , but greater bone loss. That’s not healthyor sustainablein the long term. Not to mention, if you make your windows of not eating too long, you won’t be able to stick with it. Make smaller, manageable changes and always listen to your body.
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Skip These Drinks When Fasting
Merotto gives a thumbs down to these beverages during fasting windows:
Sweetened tea or coffee Once you add sugar, flavored syrup, milk or cream, these drinksdecaf or caffeinatedwill officially break your fast.
Alcohol Beer, wine, cocktails, and spirits are a hard no for Merotto. These all contain calories and should be consumed only in moderation, if at all, during the non-fast portion. If youre following a calorie-limited fast, note that alcohol will replace some of your food calories.
Diet soda or soda While most diet sodas are technically calorie free, we dont have enough evidence as to whether they should be consumed during a fast, says Merotto. There is some evidence that artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame often contained in diet sodas may cause a rise in insulin response due to a chemical reaction in the brain similar to when actually sugar is consumed. More research is needed, but neither diet sodas nor their sugar-laden regular soda counterparts have been shown to be supportive of weight loss goals, she says.
Protein shakes or smoothies Protein supplements and powders contain calories and will trigger an insulin response, breaking a fast, Merotto says. They can, however, be a good way to break a fast as protein is very satiating, and can act as a quick and convenient recovery drink for those who work out in the mornings before ending their fast.
Should You Try Intermittent Fasting?
Seven Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
There are many different ways of intermittent fasting. The methods vary in the number of fast days and the calorie allowances.
Intermittent fasting involves entirely or partially abstaining from eating for a set amount of time, before eating regularly again.
Some studies suggest that this way of eating may offer benefits such as fat loss, better health, and increased longevity. Proponents claim that an intermittent fasting program is easier to maintain than traditional, calorie-controlled diets.
Each persons experience of intermittent fasting is individual, and different styles will suit different people.
In this article, we discuss the research behind the most popular types of intermittent fasting and provide tips on how to maintain this type of diet.
There are various methods of intermittent fasting, and people will prefer different styles. Read on to find out about seven different ways to do intermittent fasting.
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Breakfast: Green Smoothie At 8 Am
After fasting, I like to ease into my day of eating with a smoothie since it is a little easier for my gut to digest. You’ll want to go for a green smoothie instead of a high-sugar fruit smoothie to avoid starting your day on a blood-sugar roller coaster. Add in lots of healthy fats to keep you going until lunch!
Eating Junk While Intermittent Fasting
Since highly processed foods not only raise blood sugar and insulin levels but also have a severe pro-inflammatory effect, you should avoid them during intermittent fasting .
Therefore, this one also applies to intermittent fasting:
Eat real food, such as on the previous list!
Correspondingly inadequate nutrition during the eating periods can destroy the health benefits of intermittent fasting.
Thus, do not trust any food in colorful packaging and read the labels thoroughly before you seriously consider eating these garbage foods:
- Ready Meals
- Fast food
If you have one of these foods on your meal plan, you wont get any results, even with intermittent fasting.
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When Can I Eat On The 1: 8 Diet
You can pick an 8 hour window to suit your day. So, for example it could be between 10am 6pm or 11am 8pm and so on. Plus, you can still drink tea and coffee outside of those hours too, although because of the benefits of drinking water you are also encouraged to stay as hydrated as possible.
Most people choose to fast through the night, and opt to eat their first meal at about 11am or in the middle of the day.
Tom says, The most common hours adopted for the eating period is 12 till 8pm. The reason for this is because people arent normally that hungry in the morning, you dont want to be consuming too many calories during the evening and this allows us to eat our lunch and dinner as well as a healthy snack.
Can You Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting
There is growing research that intermittent fasting is at least as effective for weight loss as other diet plans.
The primary way that intermittent fasting helps you lose weight is by creating a calorie deficit.
A calorie deficit occurs when you burn more calories in a day than you eat.
All of the intermittent fasting approaches involve skipping meals and snacks to some degree, which results in fewer calories consumed over time.
Additionally, your body also adjusts hormone levels during a fast to burn more fat.
As previously mentioned, when your body is cut off from the calories in food, it will start to burn body fat to meet energy needs, ultimately helping you lose weight.
One 2014 review article found that intermittent fasting resulted in a 3 to 8% reduction in weight over 3 to 24 weeks .
A different review study from 2011 showed that intermittent fasting resulted in a weight loss of 4 to 8% from baseline after three weeks .
Furthermore, the researchers noted that fasting caused less fat-free tissue loss compared to a daily calorie restriction.
This means that participants who fasted lost less muscle mass than those on the traditional diet .
A more recent systematic review from 2020, which consisted of 27 separate studies and 944 participants, found that intermittent fasting resulted in a weight loss ranging from 0.8% to 13% of baseline weight .
Plus, the researchers noted that much of the weight loss from intermittent fasting was from fat loss .
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Add Salt To Your Water
What you can do is add a little pinch of mineral-rich salt to your water to help maintain your bodys electrolyte balance.
As for the types of salt, avoid refined table salt as it is poor in minerals and sea salt because it could contain heavy metals and microplastics.
Use a high-quality mineral-rich salt such as:
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- Kala namak
- Red Hawaiian salt
Remember its just a pinch! If you can taste the salt in the water, youve probably added too much. We dont want it to taste like the sea!
I Didn’t Sleep Very Well
I’m not sure if this was one of the results of intermittent fasting, but I noticed that I didn’t sleep very well during my experiment. After a few days, I woke up multiple times during the night feeling super thirsty and had to get up to drink water before I could fall asleep again. I tried to adjust the types of food I was eating to fix it. Other bloggers who have tried the diet reported similar problems, but I couldn’t find concrete research linking the issue with fasting besides my fellow IFers accounts. I normally don’t have a problem sleeping, so this was definitely a negative side effect.
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Best Ways To Enjoy Chorizo
The savory sausage is an excellent complement to many foods. Chorizo is especially prominent in breakfast dishes alongside eggs, corn tortillas, avocados, and salsa.
Chorizo can also be a delicious part of various meals like enchiladas, quesadillas, and seafood stews and paellas.
Since Spanish chorizo is ready to eat, it makes a great addition to a charcuterie board when served with sliced cheese, crackers, and dried fruit.
Check your recipe ahead of time to know which type of chorizo you should use. Since Mexican and Spanish chorizos have distinct textures and preparation methods, stick to the kind of chorizo your recipe specifies.
In cooking, recipes usually call for the removal of the sausage meat from its casing.
Chorizo is high fat meat and provides oil during cooking, so cooking oil may not be necessary.
Chorizo is a versatile pork-based meat that can be paired with all kinds of foods. Given the different textures of Mexican and Spanish chorizos, its best to use the exact chorizo your recipe calls for.
Fats To Eat When Intermittent Fasting
Although its unjustly bad image persists, fat is the most critical macronutrient when doing intermittent fasting.
Pure natural fat, such as extra virgin olive oil, causes almost no insulin reaction. For this reason, fat not only supports weight loss but also other health benefits of fasting.
Also, animal and saturated fats reputation is far worse than the scientifically proven reality. According to recent studies, saturated fatty acids protect against heart attacks and strokes .
Due to the overwhelming burden of proof, even the most stubborn health authorities have now had to admit that saturated fatty acids are not causing cardiovascular disease .
Moreover, saturated fatty acids are more heat resistant than unsaturated ones. Therefore, they are best for frying. However, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats belong in any diet as well.
These natural fats supply your body with an ingenious balance of energy during intermittent fasting:
- Saturated fats
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
One of the most well-known benefits of fasting is the loss of weight, but there are numerous other advantages to this routine that are often overlooked. When you actively engage in intermittent fasting, the following are some of the benefits that you stand to gain :
- Fat loss
- Prevention and reduction in the occurrence of diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes type 2, and some types of cancer
- Improved heart condition
Are There Any Exceptions When Intermittent Fasting
Theres no one-size-fits-all in this practice. Rather than follow instructions, you want to learn how to navigate this system according to your own goals.
Ronan Olivera, author of Mindvalleys Beyond Fasting Quest
True fasting means no food at all. Just water.
However you may have heard some people say that they drink Bulletproof Coffee or take some coconut oil during their fasting window, so whats going on there?
Ronan says it all depends on your goals.
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/8 Intermittent Fasting: What You Can And Cant Consume
The rules of 16/8 intermittent fasting are pretty strict, and you will have to understand what you can and cannot eat if you want to succeed.
This method breaks your feeding and fasting time into eight and 16 hours, respectively. And since you have only eight hours of your daily 24 to eat, you have to be very careful about what you consume and how you do it. Otherwise, all the sacrifice you did for the 16 hours will be useless.
During the eight-hour feeding window, you do not have the liberty to stuff your face with anything you want and binge on whatever food you get hands on. You will be eating, of course, but you will have to focus your attention on foods that will support your diet and not derail it. Here are some examples of what you can and cannot consume while on a 16/8 intermittent fasting diet program.
What You Can Eat In IF
During your feeding window, the smart thing to do is to load up on high-fiber and high-protein foods. These include beans, nuts, vegetables and fruit. You may also include tofu, lean meats and fish. Some people combine intermittent fasting with other types of high-protein and low-carb diet programs, such as Paleo or Keto, which they apply during the eating window.
Those who have tried it say that such types of meal programs will help maximize the potential benefits of IF. For one, it can help you get into that state of ketosis faster, thus leading you closer to your weight loss goal much sooner.
What You Cannot Eat In IF
What Can I Eat During My Fasting Window
So the short answer to this is nothing.
You dont want any calories, and really, avoiding everything except for water is going to give you the best results.
Its important to keep yourself hydrated when fasting.
Some people drink black tea or coffee, but the caffeine in these have diuretic properties which means that it causes your kidneys to flush extra sodium and water from the body through urine.
Many people experiencing fasting fatigue, low energy, or irritability are likely just a little low on salts .
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What About Taking Supplements During A Fasting Period
This depends on the fasting schedule you’re following, and you should discuss any supplements with your doctor before beginning to take them, says Palinski-Wade. If you fast for a set amount of hours each day, take your supplements during the eating hours , since most supplements like a multivitamin are better absorbed when taken with food.
If you practice intermittent fasting that involves fasting on specific days, like the 5:2 diet, taking supplements is still recommended to ensure you are meeting your nutrient needs each day. Palinski-Wade recommends taking a high-quality multivitamin daily when following any IF plan.
âGenerally, the small amount of calories found in a chewable/gummy/liquid vitamin would not offset a fast day,â she says. “But do discuss this with your doctor or dietitian first to make sure you can take your supplement on an empty stomach.â
The bottom line: At the end of the day, you want to consume close to zero calories during fasting periods. By avoiding sweetened drinks like soda and bottled iced tea, as well as caloric add-ons in your hot beverages, you can ensure you follow your IF plan correctly and successfully.