Increases Brain Function And Health
There is more to brain function than mental health and concentration. Improved cognitive, memory and learning functioning is essential for good brain health.
Studies display how intermittent fasting improves metabolic processes which aid better brain functioning. The timed eating restrictions encourage new cells to produce more regularly and induce BDNF expression.
Intermittent fasting helps the brain reproduce cells and remove old cells. This improves overall brain health. Better brain functioning helps better memory, learning ability and cognitive functions.
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.
Intermittent Fasting Rules To Finally Get You Results
Most people come across intermittent fasting because they want to achieve sustainable weight loss results. Nevertheless, the health benefits of intermittent fasting go far beyond that.
Intermittent fasting improves digestion, gut health, life expectancy, and even muscle gain when used correctly.
Unfortunately, most people fail to achieve these successes due to subtle mistakes. With these ten rules for intermittent fasting, that cant happen to you!
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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.
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.
Is It Ok To Skip Breakfast
Yes, Varady said. The notion that omitting a morning meal is bad for your waistline likely began with studies sponsored by cereal companies, and most of that research looked at the effects of breakfast skipping on cognition in children, she noted: Im not sure how that all got translated to body weight.
What Happens When You Do Intermittent Fasting Without Keto Vs With Keto
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In this video Im going to cover what happens when you do intermittent fasting without keto vs when you do it with keto. This will be my story.
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I can actually recommend this book. It is super good for body building.
The first diet I started was a calorie restriction diet. This was intermittent fasting without me knowing it. My diet was basically super high on carbs because I was going after the lowest calories. I was testing if i would be losing weight with eating crap. And I was losing weight with this, but there was a problem: I was starving myself.
I went down to 88 kgs. And that was awesome, I was so happy, but i immediately regained all the weight basically. Then I tried continuing the calorie counting more, but it was going really bad. I had low sex drive, I was really irritable and anything my wife did was super annoying. And after a year of frustration I was basically higher than I started.
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How Intermittent Fasting Works
Fasting for at least 12 hours changes how your metabolic system works. Your metabolic system is how your body changes the foods and beverages you consume into energy. Most of the time, your body gets its energy from a sugar called glucose. Glucose is found in the foods you eat and beverages you drink. When you eat three meals during a day, your body maintains a steady glucose level because youre eating and drinking frequently.
However, when you fast for more than 12 hours, your bodys glucose levels start to dip because youre not eating as frequently. When your body doesnt have the glucose it needs for energy, it taps into your bodys fat for energy. When this happens, the fatty acids in your body are absorbed into your blood. They produce a chemical called ketones. Your body then uses the ketones as its energy source. This is called a metabolic switch. Your body is switching from glucose to ketones.
When your body uses ketones instead of fat, you may lose weight. But, behind the scenes, the ketones also may be having a positive effect on your bodys organs and cells.
To get the benefits of intermittent fasting, you need to fast for at least 12 hours. Thats how long it takes your body to switch from using glucose for energy to using fat for energy. Additionally, it will take your body a while to get used to this new eating schedule. So dont expect results right away. You may need to wait between 2 and 4 weeks to see or feel any results.
What To Eat During Intermittent Fasting: A Full Guide
Intermittent fasting is all about when to eat and not what to eat. But does that mean you can binge on ice cream, chocolates, and chips? Certainly not If, during intermittent fasting, what to eat is your biggest concern, you are at the right place. This article will discuss intermittent fasting and how the right food choice can help you reap more benefits from this diet regime.
While practicing intermittent fasting, planning a balanced meal is essential to maintain optimal health. During your periods of fasting, making healthy food choices to meet your daily nutritional requirements is vital. You need to focus more on eating protein-rich foods, low-carb food from whole grains, and healthy fats.
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How To Make Intermittent Fasting Most Effective
If youre interested in trying intermittent fasting, its a good idea to start slowly, suggests , a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. I often tell people to try to fast after they finish their dinner for a few nights a week and see how that goes, she says. If youre doing well, then you can gradually increase your fasting window.”
The authors of the review offered insights on what to expect when trying intermittent fasting, as well as some best practices:
Give yourself time to adjust. Side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and constipation subside after one to two weeks of fasting. Drinking more water can help alleviate headaches caused by dehydration while fasting. Headaches are common with fasting, agrees Zumpano. You may want to add a drink with electrolytes, she adds.
Make your diet quality count. There are no specific recommendations for food consumption during intermittent fasting, but the reviewed studies suggest that eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help boost fiber intake, which can help alleviate the hunger associated with fasting.
Dont avoid exercise. Moderate- to high-intensity endurance or resistance training during food abstention can be done, and some study participants reported having more energy on fast days, according to the authors. If you follow an alternate day fasting plan, studies recommend eating your fasting day meal after exercise.
What If I Hate Water
If youre one of those people who dont enjoy drinking water, you have a few options
First, you can try infusing your water with lemon or cucumber. You may get some calories from these, but it would be so few that it wouldnt matter.
If it gets you to drink more water, its worth it.
The other option is to use water enhancers to increase flavor while also providing electrolytes to increase hydration.
My favorite brand is Mio Drops. They are calorie-free and taste delicious! I always buy a few sets at a time, so I never run out, and they do help!
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Eating Drinking And Fasting
On fasting days, most people choose to consume only about 500 calories or 25 percent of their normal caloric intake. That means very little food, but lots of water and some other zero-calorie beverages. Some people forget that drinks can contain calories too, Merotto says.
Any drink with macronutrientscarbs, fat, or proteinwould push the body out of a fasting state, she adds. Because these nutrients contain calories, they promote an insulin response which alerts your body that you are no longer fasting.
The basic idea of intermittent fasting is that you want to have periods where you are not consuming calories in the form of foods or beverages, says Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, cofounder of Appetite for Health. Your beverages should be calorie-free or very close to it, like with coffee, cucumber water, lemon water, or tea.
Feel free to consume caloric beverages such as smoothies, juices, alcohol , and shakes on your non-fast days and in your eating window. Just be sure to include the calories in your overall calorie count.
Can You Drink Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting
On intermittent fasting days, its best to limit alcohol consumption to your eating windows. Most alcoholic beverages are high in sugar and calories, so drinking alcohol can easily break your fast. Plus, alcohol affects us more on an empty stomach, so even one glass of wine during a fasting window might feel awful the next day!
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Lack Of Scientific Data
The thought behind intermittent fasting is that after the body is depleted of carbohydrates, it starts to burn fat. This starts to occur around 12 to 24 hours after starvation. Therefore, starving the body of food for 12 to 24 hours will potentially lead to weight loss which can improve health. However, most of the studies done on this topic have been performed on animals over a short period and have measured glucose levels rather than long-term health outcomes.
Yes, it is possible to lose calories, fat and weight from this popular diet. However, it is also possible to quickly gain the weight back, develop low energy stores which can result in a depressed mood, have problems sleeping and even develop organ damage if the fasting is extreme.
The following are reasons why individuals should avoid intermittent fasting:
What Are The Possible Side Effects
There can be a number of possible side effects of intermittent fasting.40 Heres what to do if you encounter them:
- Hunger is the most common side effect of intermittent fasting. This may be less of an issue if youre already on a keto or low-carb, higher-fat diet.41Learn more
- Constipation is common. Less going in means less going out. However, keep in mind this is a normal response to eating less. It is not a concern and shouldnt require treatment unless you experience significant bloating or abdominal discomfort. Standard laxatives or magnesium supplements can be used, if needed.
- Headaches are common and tend to disappear after the first few times on fasts.42 Taking some extra salt often helps mitigate such headaches.43
- Mineral water may help if your stomach tends to gurgle.
- Other possible side effects include dizziness, heartburn and muscle cramps. Learn more
A more serious side effect is the refeeding syndrome. Fortunately, this is rare and generally only happens with extended fasts when one is undernourished.44
Since most of these side effects are manageable, they do not mean you have to stop your fast. However, if you truly feel unwell, are excessively dizzy, profoundly weak or have other severe symptoms, then you should break your fast.
Just remember to go slowly when you break it and prioritize fluids and salt . And of course, if the symptoms persist, see your doctor immediately.
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Who Should Not Do Intermittent Fasting
Well, if you suffer from high blood sugar, have heart issues, or any serious health conditions then refrain from making any significant changes to your dieting without first seeking professional guidance from a doctor and nutritionist.
Intermittent fasting can be dangerous for some people who have diabetes and heart issues due to the restriction of nutrients for an extended period of time. And those with heart issues should be careful to maintain healthy electrolyte levels.
Also, those with eating disorders should not do a fasting regime without consulting with a doctor because a lack of self-control is a big issue for many sufferers which can be detrimental to health. But on the other side of the spectrum, if you know that you may not possess the discipline to be consistent then you might want to implement a typical calorie-restricted diet until you develop better habits conducive to sticking with the eating regime.
Another group who should not attempt to implement intermittent fasting is pregnant women since it may adversely impact the function of ovulation and menstruation according to one study.
What Breaks A Fast Foods Drinks And Supplements
Fasting is becoming a popular lifestyle choice.
Fasts dont last forever, though, and between fasting periods you will add foods back into your routine thus breaking your fast.
Its important to do this carefully, and certain foods are better than others.
Additionally, some foods, beverages, and even supplements can unintentionally break your fast, while others dont have much impact.
This article covers which foods, beverages, and supplements are less likely to affect fasting periods and which are best when youre ready to break a fast.
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What Can You Eat While Fasting
As previously stated, any amount of calories will, technically, break your fast. Even foods with extremely low calories, like celery, still contain fiber and other nutrients that could potentially trigger your bodys digestive process. Its also possible that the effect of chewing may get your digestive system working, which will actually make you feel hungrier. Therefore, it is not generally recommended to eat during the fasting window.
However, everyone is different, and you should always find what works and feels best for you. Whats key to any weight loss planand essential to learning how to curb hunger during intermittent fastingis consistency. If a small boost helps you see your fasting window through to the finish, and to start fasting again when scheduled, then go for it! And, as always, if youre feeling faint or ill, you should listen to your body and eat or drink when needed.
Plus, even if your body is no longer in fasting mode, you can still benefit from some of its processes fat-burning ketosis, for example, still occurs after feeding, so long as you remain under 50 grams of carbs per day. Keeping your blood sugar levels stable is also possible after fasting just stick with low carb foods to avoid spiking your blood sugar, and keep your body in fat-burning mode. Ultimately, whats important about intermittent fasting is finding the right tools that help you stick to your routine, rather than preserving the technicality of the fast.