Consider The Intermittent Fasting Plan Right For You:
Some of the popular regimens include:
The 16:8 diet, or time-restricted feeding, where you fast for 16 hours a day, but are free to eat whatever you want in the other eight hours. Experts advise picking an eating window that lets you finish your meals fairly early, such as 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or earlier, because your body is less efficient at putting sugar away as the day goes by.
Alternate day fasting, which means limiting yourself to 500 calories one day, then eating whatever you want the next, and then repeating that process.
The 5:2 plan, which means incorporating two non-consecutive fast days into your week, then eating normally during the other days.
Here are four tips to keep your plan on track:
Why Do Intermittent Fasting Then
So if fasting per se isnt what results in weight loss and health improvements, why then do intermittent fasting in the first place?
Well, although fasting doesnt seem to have any magical properties in and of itself, there are a number of good reasons why you should consider doing intermittent fasting! This is, after all, why we often use this approach with many of our online fitness coaching clients!
So here are a few reasons why you should consider doing intermittent fasting :
1. More structured eating
How often have you found yourself mindlessly snacking between meals? A couple of cookies with your coffee, a small piece of cake that Suzy brought for her birthday at work, a few nuts and dried fruits before dinner, some popcorn with a movie at night. When you think about it, little snacks here and there can add up to quite a few calories. Well, the more structured eating that is a result of intermittent fasting can eliminate this problem and can help people better control their diet.
2. Bigger, more satisfying meals
Eating every 2-3 hours sucks. For one, its impractical and makes you think of food all day. It also means that you never really get to eat big meals, especially if you are a smaller, physically inactive person. On the other hand, more infrequent meals that are larger in volume and provide more calories are usually much more satisfying and may help you feel fuller for longer.
3. Sustainability and adherence
4. Social Flexibility
5. Improved hunger awareness
What Types Of Blood Tests Require Fasting
The most common types of tests that require fasting include:
- Glucose tests, which measure blood sugar. One type of glucose test is called a glucose tolerance test. For this test you will need to fast for 8 hours before test. When you arrive at the lab or health care facility, you will:
- Have your blood tested
- Drink a special liquid containing glucose
- Have your blood re-tested one hour later, two hours later and possibly three hours later
Glucose tests are used to diagnose diabetes.
- Lipid tests, which measure triglycerides, a type of fat found in the bloodstream, and cholesterol, waxy, fat-like substance found in your blood and every cell of your body. High levels of triglycerides and/or a type of cholesterol, called LDL can put you at risk for heart disease.
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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.
What To Eat When Intermittent Fasting
With intermittent fasting, there is only one basic approach that works for better health and weight loss:
Do not eat during fasting periods!
Otherwise, there are situations where at least small amounts of certain foods may be acceptable.
If you are not yet used to a new, more extended fasting period and find it challenging to maintain the duration, you might benefit from fasting aids.
For example, if you are hungry and irritable after 12 hours but can last for 16 hours with a Bulletproof Coffee, this is probably acceptable.
Since the added fat limits autophagys health benefits, it hardly stimulates insulin secretion at all, and you can continue to burn fat.
After your body has gotten used to intermittent fasting, however, you should be able to go without training wheels.
How To Fast Intermittently
There are a number of ways to actually perform intermittent fasting, but the easiest and most popular varieties involve taking advantage of your natural overnight fast by skipping breakfast and pushing the first meal of the day forward a number of hours.32 Once you have passed the 12 hour mark from dinner the night before, you are truly in a fasted state and you begin to rely on stored body fat for fuel.33
It is likely that the longer you stay in the fasted state, the deeper your fat adaptation will get. In fact, if you can maintain this intermittent fast for 20 to 24 hours you may achieve an even higher rate of lipolysis and fat oxidation .34
When you first start out with intermittent fasting, you may feel hungry and low energy. In this case I recommend starting out with baby steps, by just pushing breakfast out an hour or two at first, then slowly increasing the fasting interval. As time goes by and you become more fat adapted, it is easier to fast. This is identical to exercise in those who are sedentary: it is painful and extremely difficult at first, and then once you are adapted it gets easy and even enjoyable.35
What Vegetables To Avoid During Fasts
According to the Vedic scriptures, tamasic food items are to be avoided during fasts. Therefore, food items that are bitter and salty should be avoided. The food items which make you feel negative, dull and restless should not be consumed when you are fasting during festivals. In that case, onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, and mushrooms fall in the tamasic category and are thus not consumed during fasts.
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Understanding Your Nutritional Needs
During Ramadan, to meet the amount of energy and nutrients your body needs during the day, you should eat foods rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, and you should make sure to drink enough water.
At the same time, this does not mean that you should eat everything you need at once during suhoor. If you do that, your body cannot utilize the energy intake all at once, which may result in weight gain. This is because your metabolism adapts to eating patterns during Ramadan.
Adults need to drink 3 to 4 liters of water a day. Even though you get 40 percent of this amount from foods, fruit juice, mineral water, tea, and other beverages, you should still drink 1.5 and 2.5 liters of water a day. This means you should drink two or three glasses of water every hour from iftar to suhoor.
Dietary Advice Between Fasting Periods
Dear Dr. Fung, I have been following your blog and protocols since last July with much success, and have the Insulin Index paper from Marty Kendall. I look forward to your every post.
What do you suggest about using Whey Protein Powders and what is their impact on insulin? Mark Sisson wrote whey can lower insulin yet often heard is that as a concentrated Dairy, whey protein raises insulin.
I advise against using whey powder for the main reason that it is a highly processed chemical, not a real food. Whey can stimulate insulin, but also is very satiating, so the effect on weight is likely closer to neutral.
Is it necessary to take a multi vitamin on the HFLC or Ketogenic diet?
If you eat a diet predominantly of whole, unprocessed, real foods, then no, it is not necessary.
Seems the rage today is taking care of the gut flora from both probiotics and prebiotics. Are there foods you recommend that help the gut flora. Some diets like Perfect Health Diet recommend safe starches such as potatoes and rice to feed the good bacteria in the gut. Do you personally eat rice or potatoes? Can we get sick from not getting adequate amounts of these safe starches and can you comment on proper care of the gut?
I know that I will ruffle some feathers, but I am quite skeptical about the gut micro biome theory with regards to obesity. So, there are no foods I recommend for that reason alone.
None that I am aware of.
Questions About Exercise And Intermittent Fasting
A lot of people have questions about how to exercise and train while fasting. Here are some good questions that should push you in the right direction with your training.
I wanted to thank you both for writing such a fantastic, motivating blog and for introducing me to intermittent fasting. I am enjoying watching my weight go down by basically doing something that involves no effort skipping breakfast! I was hoping you could elaborate more on your exercise routine. I have waded through the Leangains site and the other links you mentioned in the beginner’s guide, and while very interesting, they are WAY too complex for me at this stage.Paul S.
Readers like Paul are what make our community great. He read about an idea that interested him and even though some of the details were overwhelming, he didn’t let that prevent him from taking action. In other words, he started before he felt ready.
I try to make my writing as easy as possible to use, but it’s always up to you to experiment and see if it makes sense for your circumstances. Keep up the good work, Paul!
Back to the question
Intermittent fasting works great with most strength training programs.
I believe in strength training and compound movements. I think 99% of the population could get in the best shape of their life with only eight exercises: snatch, clean and jerk, squat, bench press, deadlift, pushups, pullups, and sprints. If you did those exercises and did them well, then that’s all you would ever need.
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.
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Low Calorie Food And Drink
Certain fasting diets, such as the modified fasting plan, allow people to eat a limited amount of calories on fast days, often up to 25% of their usual daily caloric intake.
For example, a person requiring 2,000 calories per day could consume up to 500 calories daily if they follow this method.
Some examples of lower calorie food and drinks include:
Mindfulness As The Cure To Overeating
When the fasting window has ended and you reach for that first bite of food, pay attention. Mindfulness helps you understand if youre actually even hungry and can prevent you from eating too much. By listening to your body and whats appropriate at the moment, youll be less likely to eat out of habit or convenience.
A systematic review of 14 scientific studies found that training in mindfulness meditation does, in fact, help decrease binge-eating behaviors. A consistent mindfulness practice, partnered with intermittent fasting, may help improve your weight loss results.
Whether or not you begin a formal meditation practice, mindfulness in action is no different from what behavioral psychologists refer to as behavioral modification.
To form new habits around what you eat, try the following mindfulness tricks for more intentional consumption:
Mindfulness works, in part, through a process called . This is the process of stepping outside yourself to witness your own behavior with self-awareness and perspective. Mindfulness allows you to not only deepen self-awareness when it comes to behaviors such as eating, but to deepen awareness of what drives those behaviors.
Are you eating because you are bored, emotional, lonely or seeking relief from stress in your food, or are you eating to fuel your body with healthy, nutritious meals?
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Break Your Fast With Modestly
Breaking your fast by bingeing on large portions of junk foods will turn out to be counter-productive. When you’re fasting for 12 to 14 hours, you are likely to be ravenous when the fasting window ends. But overcome your instinct to eat lots of food and instead break your fast with a modestly-sized and healthy meal.
Intermittent Fasting for weight loss: Break your fast with modestly-sized meals
What Is Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates periods of eating with periods of either not eating or taking in minimal calories. It emphasizes when you eat rather than what you eat.
Even though it has recently gained mainstream attention, intermittent fasting isnt new. People have practiced periods of fasting throughout history, such as for spiritual, health, or survival reasons .
The intent of intermittent fasting isnt necessarily only to restrict calories, but also to allow your body to focus on maintenance and recovery, rather than digesting.
Many fasting patterns incorporate regular 12- to 16-hour periods of fasting into each day, while others include fasting for 24 or 48 hours once or twice per week.
When you fast, your body undergoes a number of metabolic changes. After some time, fasting causes your body to enter ketosis, a state in which fat is used for energy when carbohydrates are unavailable (
Intermittent fasting rotates periods of fasting and periods of eating. Its often used for health purposes like weight loss and chronic disease prevention, though its been used historically for other reasons.
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Can You Eat Anything When Intermittent Fasting
Theoretically, you can eat anything during the 8 hours of eating on intermittent fasting. However, this way, you wont see results.
With this in mind, people often try fasting to reward themselves with junk food afterward. Thereby alternate-day fasting is incredibly popular.
Maybe you have heard like me from friends who follow this method sporadically and unsuccessfully. Therefore, the following must be clear with intermittent fasting:
- Discipline is mandatory
- It cannot replace quality food
If you gulp down fries and beer during the eating periods, you definitely wont approach the body of your dreams. Even on intermittent fasting, food quality remains crucial for your health and weight loss.
If you eat less often, it is essential to provide your body with natural nutrient-dense food.
People who delude themselves when eating on an intermittent fasting program wont get results. Beyond that, grasping refined carbohydrates and sweeteners is a vicious cycle, inducing cravings that can turn fasting into agony.
Well further deal with the topic when discussing what not to eat when intermittent fasting.
Concerns And Adjustments With Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is becoming popular, but it’s still not the normal thing to do. As a result, you may have some concerns about it or you may want to make some adjustments to your intermittent fasting schedule. Here are some common questions I’ve seen that should help point you in the right direction.
What if I ate my first meal at breakfast, skipped lunch, and then ate my second meal at dinner time?
This idea would work well for one reason, but not well for another reason. Let’s talk about both.
First, if your goal is to lose weight, then skipping lunch should help because it decreases the number of calories that you’re eating throughout the day. As I said in my article on lessons learned from 1 year of intermittent fasting, even if you try to eat two large meals instead of three regular meals, it’s hard to get the same number of calories. Even if you want to eat more, you often end up eating less.
So the end result of skipping lunch is that you would probably reduce your overall caloric intake and end up losing weight.
However, one of the primary benefits of intermittent fasting is that it puts you in a fat burning state. In other words, fasting makes it more likely that you’ll burn fat and not muscle.
In other words, you need to have at least 8 to 12 hours off from eating before your body enters the fasted, fatburning state. This is why you want to squish your meals into a smaller time frame rather than spreading them throughout the day.
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