The If Diet I Followed
I chose to go with the 8:16 diet, because there was no way I wanted to go two whole days without eating. Smith agreed, noting that “for most people the 12-14 hour overnight fast is feasible.” When I asked her advice, Smith recommended that I actually work my way up to the;8:16 method: start by doing 12 hours on, 12 hours off until I could work my way up to 8 on, 16 off. Every day ended up looking different for me, but on an average day my schedule looked like this:
7:30 a.m. Wake up8:30 a.m. Walk 30 minutes to work, Grab a coffee10:30 a.m. Snack 12 p.m. Snack 2 p.m. Lunch6:30 p.m. 1 Hour of Exercise7:45 p.m. Dinner11 p.m. Sleep
This routine is fairly welcoming to the IF diet, but my weeks contain a lot of random things from babysitting to dinner with friends, so I was worried that my slightly chaotic lifestyle would inhibit my success. All that said, I still thought it was worth a try.
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.
Fill Up With Water First Thing In The Morning
Water is your absolute best friend when doing intermittent fasting. First thing in the morning, chug a huge bottle of water. Aim for 32 ounces within the first hour. Then continue to drink nature’s beverage every 30 to 60 minutes. Seltzer and mineral water are allowed, so if you prefer those, go for it! Just know that drinking this much will result in lots of trips to the restroom.
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Intermittent Fasting Side Effects
Are you interested in trying intermittent fasting? You arent alone. Intermittent fasting has quickly become one of the most popular and effective ways to achieve weight loss and improve health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome.1
As with many lifestyle interventions, some people may experience unwanted side effects when fasting. This guide will explain what you may encounter and how to prevent any undesirable effects.
Well also cover who may not be the right candidate for fasting. Make sure you continue reading to determine into which category you fall.
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What Is Intermittent Fasting Explained In Human Terms
A phenomenon called intermittent fasting is currently one of the worlds most popular health and fitness trends.
It involves alternating cycles of fasting and eating.
Many studies show that this can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, protect against disease and perhaps help you live longer (1,
This article explains what intermittent fasting is, and why you should care.
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The Backstory On Intermittent Fasting
IF as a weight loss approach has been around in various forms for ages, but was highly popularized in 2012 by BBC broadcast journalist Dr. Michael Mosleys TV documentary;Eat Fast, Live Longer;and book;The Fast Diet, followed by journalist Kate Harrisons book;The 5:2 Diet;based on her own experience, and subsequently by Dr. Jason Fungs 2016 bestseller;The Obesity Code. IF generated a steady positive buzz as anecdotes of its effectiveness proliferated.
As a lifestyle-leaning research doctor, I needed to understand the science. The;Obesity Code;seemed the most evidence-based summary resource, and I loved it. Fung successfully combines plenty of research, his clinical experience, and sensible nutrition advice, and also addresses the socioeconomic forces conspiring to make us fat. He is very clear that we should eat more fruits and veggies, fiber, healthy protein, and fats, and avoid sugar, refined grains, processed foods, and for Gods sake, stop snacking. Check, check, check, I agree. The only part that was still questionable in my mind was the intermittent fasting part.
When To Eat On Intermittent Fasting
With the rising popularity of intermittent fasting, new fasting plans and programs come up again and again. Meanwhile, there are numerous types of fasting.
Nevertheless, we already dealt with the essential intermittent fasting schedules. In my experience, it is also the most classical of all methods, with which most people achieve the best results.
The substantial reason for the fact that humans can successfully convert 16/8 intermittent fasting is the simple integration into daily life.
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Do I Need To Cram A Day’s Worth Of Meals Into Eight Hours
Regarding the “feeding window” , you want to reach the same calorie and macronutrient totals as you were beforeâmeaning amounts of fat, carbs, and proteinâprovided you were already on a solid diet plan that corresponded to your goals, of course.
You definitely don’t want to undereat during your feeding window, or you’ll compromise your performance in the gym and your ability to build or maintain muscle mass. Get in all of your nutrients, particularly protein. This is especially important for bodybuilders and anyone with strength-building goals.
In theory, you’ll be eating the same number of calories and macros per day, just with a different meal schedule than a typical eat-every-few-hours nutrition plan. Of course, you can always tweak calories and macros if and when your physique and training goals change.
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.
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How Popular Is Fasting
Americans keep gaining weight and were always searching for ways to stop. Between 2000 and 2018, the prevalence of obesity in U.S. adults jumped from 30.5 percent to 42.4 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Hoping to lower the numbers on the scale, 43 percent of Americans followed a specific diet or eating plan in 2020, up from 38 percent just a year before. The most popular option was intermittent fasting.
What Foods Are Best For Achieving Your Fasting Goal
Below is a list of foods suitable for the attainment of the goals and purpose of an intermittent fast .
Other foods allowed during fasting are vegetables, whether fermented or unfermented, sauerkraut, tempeh, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, strawberries, cucumber, skimmed milk, and plain yoghurts. You should also make sure to drink lots of water during this period. In fact, it would be best if you made it your rule not to consume refined grains, processed foods and meats, and soft drinks, among others.
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Branch Chain Amino Acid Supplement
A final IF-approved supplement is the BCAA. While this muscle-building aid is most beneficial for the individual who enjoys fasted cardio or hard workouts at the crack of dawn, it can be consumed all throughout the day to prevent the body from going into a catabolic state and preserve lean muscle mass. Note: If you choose to follow a vegan diet pattern, this supplement may be off-limits, as most are sourced from duck feathers.
How Can I Suppress Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
Eat high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, and high protein foods, including meat, fish, tofu, or nuts, during your eating window, Varady advised. Chewing high-fiber gummies can also help.
Drink lots of water. People tend to think they’re hungry, when they are really just thirsty, she said.
Go for black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or licorice herbal teas. These beverages may have appetite-suppressing effects, Varady noted.
Watch less TV: I know this sounds strange, but while you are watching TV, you are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. This can make you feel hungry, when in actuality, you are not hungry at all, she said.
Remember, being “a little hungry” is the best thing that can happen to you, wrote Madelyn Fernstrom, health and nutrition editor at NBC News, calling it a “true mind-body connection” that helps you recognize fullness.
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Intermittent Fasting Eat Before Or After Workout
Among bodybuilders, intermittent fasting is not a new idea. The most standard intermittent fasting schedule in which nothing is eaten for 14 to 18 hours daily is a proven method for improved muscle growth.
Therefore, bodybuilders have been using the 16/8 schedule, also known as peak fasting or time-restricted feeding , for decades.
Due to the release of growth hormone, intermittent fasting boosts muscle gain .
However, it is vital to exercise in a fasted state. Therefore, it is better to eat after than before workout while intermittent fasting.
Given the essential goals of burning fat and activating autophagy for health benefits, this even makes more sense :
- The low insulin level before eating enables maximum fat burning
- The fasting state allows the body to maximize autophagy through exercise
In contrast, eating allows the body to relax. And this is in contradiction to athletic performance, as you can also witness through self-experimentation.
Against this background, it is wiser to use the increased adrenaline levels for exercising. Afterward, you can send your body into recovery and growth mode with a meal.
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:
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So Is Intermittent Fasting As Good As It Sounds
I was very curious about this, so I asked the opinion of metabolic expert Dr. Deborah Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Here is what she told me. “There is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective,” she confirmed, though generally she recommends that people “use an eating approach that works for them and is sustainable to them.”
So, heres the deal. There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes.
Is Fasting Different For Women
Both men and women have been fasting successfully since prehistoric times. Both genders have the same basic machinery to access stored body fat and make ketones to fuel the brain during times of scarcity.;
Women, however, should pay special attention to reproductive health while fasting.;
There isnt much evidence that fasting impairs fertility in humansbut we know that calorie restriction, nutrient deficiencies, and rapid weight loss can cause irregular periods and disrupt reproductive hormones. If the fasting protocol is too aggressive, this could be an issue.;
Similarly, pregnant and nursing women should be careful with fasts longer than 12 or 13 hours. The potential for nutrient deficiency is too high.;;
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Proteins To Eat When Intermittent Fasting
When it comes to proteins, you need to know your goals:
- Weight loss and anti-aging: Increased fat burning and health benefits of autophagy through restricted protein consumption
- Atheltic performance and muscle gain: Better performance and growth through individual adaptation of protein intake to training intensity
Also, age plays a role in protein intake.
While individuals over 65 years need increased protein intake to maintain muscle mass, restricted protein intake can help younger individuals increase life expectancy .
Nevertheless, protein should never be missing from your diet when doing intermittent fasting. For this reason, here are great natural sources of protein:
- Organic chicken
- Goat cheese
- Sour cream
Although they do not fit into this category due to their predominant carbohydrate content, vegetarians will have to resort to legumes such as lentils and beans.
When eating legumes, ensure to neutralize plant toxins by steaming in a pressure cooker.
When You’re Ready To Break Your Fast Here’s What To Eat
Time to break your fast? Go into it gently and choose wisely. Eating a bunch of food thats high in carbs and sugar in a short period of time wont make you feel great, Cording says. If you drop a big load of carbohydrates into your bloodstream on an empty stomach, youre going to feel uncomfortable, she says. It could set you up for glycemic instability throughout the day, causing problems with energy levels and appetite control. It could work against you.
Its easy to overeat when you break a fast , but planning out what youll do when you eat again can help. If you’re going to give this diet a try plan, plan, plan, and cater it to your life, Keatley says.
Cording recommends starting with something on the smaller side that also has a good amount of fat, like nuts and seeds, which she calls a good starting place. For example, you can have a handful of almonds while you make a bigger meal to ease your stomach into eating again.
Then, Keatley recommends that you give yourself a few hours break and go again with the same formula but different foods.
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Major Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Research shows that intermittent fasting periods do more than just fat burn. When changes occur due to this metabolic switch, it affects overall brain & body health. Many things happen during intermittent fasting that can protect you against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, and even cancers.
Studies reveal astonishing effects of intermittent fasting for both animals and humans. Here are some of its amazing benefits which have been revealed so far:
> Weight loss: As mentioned above, intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and belly fat, without having to consciously restrict calories. In animal studies, intermittent fasting prevented obesity. In 6 brief studies, obese adult humans lost weight through intermittent fasting in less than a month.
> Insulin resistance & Diabetes: Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar by 3â6%. Practicing it along with required medication can protect you against type 2 diabetes
> Memory & Brain health: Studies discovered that intermittent fasting boosts working memory in animals and verbal memory in adult humans. Intermittent fasting increases the brain hormone BDNF and may aid the growth of new nerve cells. It may also protect against Alzheimerâs disease.
> Anti-aging: Intermittent fasting can extend lifespan in rats. Studies showed that fasted rats lived 36â83% longer.