Intermittent Fasting Frequently Asked Questions
I realize I wont answer all the questions you might have, but here are some of the most common ones.
Please remember: If you have a disease, check with your doctor before making any significant changes to your nutrition or lifestyle. Do not EVER change your medication without doing so with your doctor, even if an article suggests you might be able to do so.
Best Drinks For Your If Hunger Pangs
Water is something which I would sip on all the time even if I am not on intermittent fasting. Whats so new about that?
Yeah, we got it. But also, you are fasting so probably you would think to omit water as the first thing in your diet. Heres the strike.
You CAN and you SHOULD stay well hydrated when you are fasting. Water is central to the health of basically every major organ in your body. Youd be foolish to avoid this as part of your fast.
If you are skeptical of breaking your fast by drinking water and inducing an enzymatic effect, you can get hold of plain water or sparkling water.
To add flavor or taste, you can infuse it with slices of lemon, berries, cucumber, or a cold tea infusion.
The amount of water each person should drink varies based on sex, height, weight, activity level, and climate.
But if you cut down on your optimum water intake, you are likely to suffer from major dehydration symptoms and may also risk hampering other body functions.
Heres some good news for tea-lovers! Fasting calls for a binge sipping on your favorite tea .
Feeling colder than usual is common during IF. Tea provides great comfort and is a warm feel to your body while you are fasting.
You can consume from myriads of different teas which might prove beneficial in terms of your health even when you are fasting. Some of the popular ones are-
- Herbal Tea
- Green Tea
- White Tea, without anything, added.
How Often Should You Do 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting
Unlike other intermittent fasting diets, each day of the 16:8 works independently to the other days. This means that you can do anywhere from one day of intermittent 16:8 fasting to seven days a week, depending on your goals and the advice from your GP.
Evidence differs, however, on whether its healthy to do intermittent fasting all the time for a number of reasons. While one study suggests that fasting helps your vital organs by giving metabolic functions a break, other research suggests the fasting can lead to an increased level of cholesterol and can lead to feelings of nausea, along with causing spells of low-blood sugar and dehydration.
Recommended Reading: Can You Drink Alcohol With Intermittent Fasting
How Do I Manage Hunger
The most important thing to realize is that hunger usually passes like a wave. Many people worry that hunger during intermittent fasting will continue to build until it is intolerable, but this does not normally happen.46 Instead, hunger comes in a wave. If you simply ignore it and drink a cup of tea or coffee, it will often pass.47
During extended fasts, hunger will often increase into the second day. After that, it gradually recedes, and many people report a complete loss of hunger sensation by day 3 or 4.48 Your body is now being powered by fat. In essence, your body is eating its own fat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and therefore is no longer hungry. Learn more
Organic Chicken With Skin
It is no secret that chicken is suitable for most people.
If you eat it with skin, it also provides collagen, which the body needs for skin, hair, muscles, and joints.
In addition to a proven protein source, it can also be used as chicken soup, ideal for breaking more extended periods of therapeutic fasting.
Furthermore, chicken provides vitamins and minerals such as :
- Vitamin B6
You May Like: Intermittent Fasting Drinking Alcohol
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 Is Intermittent Fasting
Unlike traditional dieting, fasting is relatively easy and unambiguous.
People have always done this and youve probably done it too, albeit unconsciously when you skip either breakfast or dinner when youre too busy or running late.
If we go back to our caveman ancestors, its clear that this way of living has been done for thousands of years, as they would often be in a state of fasting while they hunted their next meal.
After the period of the hunter-gatherers, agriculture came, which was quickly followed by civilization.
But even still, there were times in which food was scarce or the seasons abruptly changed, and fasting was still very much present.
During that time all people, from the nobles to the peasants, stored grains and cured meats in preparation for the harsh winters.
Then, because of the lack of irrigation systems, there was also famine due to the lack of rain, and as a result, people were forced to fast to make their stored goods last as long as possible.
With civilization came religions, many of which included a period of fasting to show their devotion to whichever God or Gods they believed in.
For example, Hindus refer to fasting as Vaasa, which they strictly observe throughout special festivals to demonstrate their penance or to honor their Gods.
Islam is very similar to the Ramadan celebrations when its forbidden to eat and drink during certain times of the day.
Fasting is even evident in Catholicism in the six-week lead up to Easter during Lent.
Recommended Reading: Can You Drink Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting
What You Need To Know
If you eat more than you normally would during the five days to compensate for the lost calories on fasting days, you might not lose weight. And if you overeat high-calorie, high-sugar, or overly processed foods on those days, you may even gain weight.
On fasting days, experiment with timing to see what works best for your brain and body. Some people function best with a small breakfast, while others prefer to wait as long as possible to eat their first meal. You should aim to consume about 25% of your normal calorie intake.
Since you have a limited number of calories to work with on your fasting days, try to spread them out as much as possible. For example, if you’re trying to keep your fasting day to 500 calories, you could eat 200 calories at breakfast, 100 calories at lunch, and another 200 calories at dinner. You could also try two meals instead of three, eating 250 calories at breakfast or lunch and then 250 calories at dinner.
It is not easy to shift from eating normally every day to eating only 500600 calories on two days. Start by slowly reducing your calorie consumption on fasting days. For example, during the first week, reduce your intake from 2,000 calories to 1,500 calories. Continue to gradually reduce your intake until youre eating the recommended 500600 calories on fasting days.
Beverages other than water, black coffee, or herbal tea
No foods are technically off-limits
Advanced: The Modified 2
For this plan, eat clean for five days of the week . On the other two days, restrict your calories to no more than 700 each day. Calorie restriction unlocks many of the same benefits as fasting for an entire day.
On your non-fasting days, you’ll need to make sure you’re getting in healthy fats, clean meats, vegetables, and some fruits, and you can structure your meals however best works for you.
On restricted days, you can have smaller meals or snacks throughout the day or have a moderate-size lunch and dinner and fast in the morning and after dinner. Again, focus on healthy fats, clean meats, and produce. Apps can help you log your food and keep track of your calorie intake so you don’t go over 700.
You May Like: What Is 14 10 Intermittent Fasting
Mistake #: Youre Overanalyzing
“Does IF mean no food outside meal times, or no calories?”
Um, they are one in the same, no? Does anyone reading this article know of foods that have zero calories? If so, please share! This persons assumption is correct, thoughno food and no calories outside of the feeding window.
Will eating ______ break my fast?
Does anyone else feel like this question comes up about a thousand times a day? Short answer: Yes. Eating anything with calories breaks your fast. Exceptions to this rule would be black coffee, unsweetened and milk-free tea, water, and diet soda
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe
Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis. But intermittent fasting isnt for everyone.
Williams stresses that before you try intermittent fasting , you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
- Children and teens under age 18.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
- Those with a history of eating disorders.
But, Williams says, people not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. It can be a lifestyle change, she says, and one with benefits.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.
Read Also: What Should Your Blood Sugar Be Fasting
That Night I Went To Bed Feeling Great About My Self
There was fresh fruit, yogurt, and a plate of whole-grain muffins that looked as if they’d been baked that morning. I was tempted but moved on.
Around 11, I was hungry and decided I’d earned a small cheat, so I added almond milk to my second cup of coffee. It tasted sweet, nutty, and wholesome and after skipping out on s’mores, I didn’t feel guilty.
The Morning Hunger Was Real
I’m not huge on breakfast, but I start desk snacking at 10:30 a.m. every day almost religiously. For the first three days this wasn’t a huge issue because I was only fasting for 12 hours. I stopped eating most nights at 9 p.m. and had the green light again at the same time the next morning. But when I upped that no-go window to 16 hours on day four, my rumbling stomach was hard to ignore until noon. Smith had warned me that the hunger often leads to binging, so I was careful not to start shoveling handfuls of chips into my mouth when the clock struck 12. Instead, I ate either an apple or banana with peanut butter to keep my snacks portioned until I ate a bigger meal around 2.
Read Also: How To Get Electrolytes While Fasting
Why Food Matters When Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting activates a process called autophagy where your immune system destroys old, damaged cells, then recycles their individual components into new, healthy cells. Think of it as cellular spring cleaning.
Feeding these new forming cells with optimal energy sources is critical.
Failure to nourish your regenerating cells with whole animal foods can promote metabolic dysfunction and increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
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.
You May Like: Is 119 High For Fasting Blood Sugar
Intermittent Fasting Rules: Methods
Because intermittent fasting is a broad and flexible term, a variety of methods exist. However, this is not necessarily a disadvantage.
Because of these possibilities, you can and should adapt your eating habits to your individual everyday life. Only in this way can you achieve long-term success with intermittent fasting.
Nevertheless, different methods have individual advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, lets find out which intermittent fasting plan suits your everyday life.
16/8 Intermittent Fasting
The 16/8-method is also known as the peak fasting or lean gains method, as it allows you to gain muscle while losing body fat.
In this method, you eat between 12 and 8 pm. For this reason, your digestive tract can rest for the remaining 16 hours. After you sleep 8 of the 16 fasting hours, 16/8 intermittent fasting is easier than you might think.
- Fasting window: 16 hours
The Crescendo Method is a softer form of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting.
Instead of fasting every day, you fast on several days throughout the week, for example, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
It is especially suitable for starting intermittent fasting. You can try out how your body and its hormonal balance react to the change. If you feel comfortable, you can then move on to the 16/8 Intermittent Fasting plan.
- Fasting window: 12-16 hours
Alternate Day Fasting
This method is just as simple as it sounds eat one day, fast one day.
For this reason, I would not advise this method.
One Meal A Day
Can I Exercise During Fasting
However, for long-duration aerobic exercise, eating before exercise may increase performance.39 Its also important to drink fluids and replenish sodium around exercise when fasting. This is good to know if youre competing. Learn more
Recommended Reading: Is 119 High For Fasting Blood Sugar
Break Your Meals Down
While following Time Restricted Feeding, it is more sensible to break down meals into three or four small meals, instead of eating one massive meal, unless you’re following the alternate fasting method or the whole-day fast. Eating more often, will help your metabolism stay up and hence, may help you burn more fat.
Intermittent Fasting for weight loss: It is more sensible to break down meals into three or four small meals.
It is recommended to get a dietitian or a clinical nutritionist to draw up a healthy meal plan for you. Do not attempt any diet without consulting a qualified person first. Try and stick to the meal plan as much as possible, to ensure maximum results.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
Can You Chew Gum While Fasting
When asked about chewing gum during a fasting window, Dr. Fung told POPSUGAR, Yes, sweeteners can certainly produce an insulin response, but generally for gum, the effect is so small that there is likely no problem from it. So yes, technically it does break the fast, but no, it usually doesnt matter.
Don’t Miss: Drinking Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting
How To Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting
Would you be excited to finally get fit and healthy thanks to intermittent fasting? Kick start your intermittent fasting regime with our 21-day Intermittent Fasting Challenge. It has helped hundreds of people successfully lose and sustain their dream weight.
Best part? The challenge comes with a customized meal plan to ensure you know exactly what and when to eat!
More on Intermittent Fasting
In some articles, we include products we think are useful for our readers. When you buy through these links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Read more here.
Information on this document and our website is for educational and informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a dietitian, physician or another health-care professional. Consult your physician before starting intermittent fasting, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any medical condition, or are taking any medication. Read more here.
You might also like:
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
You May Like: What Is 14 10 Intermittent Fasting