Mistake #: Youre Pushing Yourself Too Hard
Ive been doing IF almost 2 months, mostly OMAD, sometimes 48/72 hours extended fasts. The last 3 or 4 days whenever I break my fast I feel a great regret. I always feel like I could push the fast a little longer. What should I do?
Extending a fast doesnt supercharge the powers of IF. If this sounds familiar to you, please find yourself a counselor who specializes in eating disorders. Im not saying you, or this person here, has an eating disorder, but food should not induce feelings of remorse or regret. Left untreated, this could develop into a larger problem. And also, huge kudos to this person for so bravely speaking up and sharing their food feelings!
How To Start Intermittent Fasting
In the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, we practice a 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule. This involves eating all your meals in an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
Starting intermittent is easy. As I said, it is not a diet. It is an eating schedule.
Start by monitoring the time you eat or drink your last thing in the evening and then plan to skip breakfast. I usually stop eating around 8:00 or 9:00pm and dont eat my first meal until 1:00pm the next day.
So what can you have during that 16 hour window to help curb your appetite? Well, water of course!
But what about coffee?
Coffee is a great appetite suppressor, so many of you might already be skipping breakfast if youre an avid coffee drinker like me. HOWEVER, if youre wanting your body to stay in that fasted state, you might have to change your coffee order up a little bit
Intermittent Fasting Infographic via Prevention.com
The biggest question about intermittent fasting revolves around what can break it. And since drinks are typically the first thing we consume in the morning you need to make sure that youre not accidentally consuming anything that could break your fast.
Taking Supplements While Intermittent Fasting: All You Need To Know
Intermittent fasting has gained tremendous popularity in the fitness and health world over recent years. More people seem to have diverse questions about safe fasting habits as this happens. One of these questions is the taking of supplements.
Visit any wellness forum, and you’re bound to find different varieties of the same question:
- Is it safe to take supplements while fasting?
- Will supplements break my fast?
- When should I take my supplement when fasting?
- Which supplements are ideal while intermittent fasting?
- Do I need intermittent fasting supplements?
- Where can I buy periodic fasting supplements?
The list goes on.
Uncertain answers to these questions can raise your concern about safe fasting or even affect your health. So, to set the record straight and help you get consistent results from your fasting, here is everything you need to know about combining supplements and intermittent fasting.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting, also called intermittent energy restriction , is a well-known dietary practice that results in the body’s energy metabolism due to ketosis . The fasting approach has seen many promotions partly due to the impact on weight management and cardiometabolic health.
Using this dietary approach, individuals switch between eating and fasting periods. IER isn’t strict on the food types to take. Instead, it focuses on the specific time to take in food. These intervals need to be regular, with fasting windows between 12 to 24 hours.
Also Check: When To Eat When Intermittent Fasting
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.
What Are The Negative Effects Of Intermittent Fasting
In my own experimentation with Intermittent Fasting since 2014, I have found very few negative side effects with Intermittent Fasting.
The biggest concern most people have is that Intermittent Fasting will lead to lower energy, focus, and the holy crap I am hungry feeling during the fasting period and ruin them.
People are concerned that they will spend all morning being miserable because they havent consumed any food, and thus will be miserable at work and ineffective at whatever task it is they are working on.
The following are my thoughts and experiences, and your results may vary:
Yes, the initial transition from EATING ALL THE TIME, to intermittent fasting MIGHT be a bit of a jolt to your system it was for me.
However, once I got through the transition after a few days, my body quickly adapted and learned to function just as well only eating a few times a day.
Although I fast for 16 hours per day with no issues, the following might help assuage your fears that skipping breakfast will cause your body to eat itself and your brain to implode:
After 48-hours of fasting in a recent study, cognitive performance, activity, sleep, and mood are not adversely affected in healthy humans by two days of calorie-deprivation. Youll be fasting for far less time than that.
So why do I feel grouchy and lethargic when I skip breakfast?
If you eat breakfast every morning, your body expects to wake up and eat food.
What Is The Intermittent Fasting Diet
There are quite a few ways to execute an intermittent fasting diet, but the most common two are the 5:2 and 8:16 approaches. While the diet isn’t about counting calories, the idea is that you will naturally reduce your caloric intake by limiting your eating window. “Ultimately, like most diets, it is another approach to cutting calories, which is really the key ingredient for weight loss,” explains Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, CEO and founder of The NY Nutrition Group.
For the 5:2 approach, food is consumed normally five days out of the week, and the other two days require eating just 500600 calories. During the 8:16 approach, your eating window is 8 hours long during the day, and the fasting period is 16 hours .
Experts disagree on whether intermittent fasting is an effective diet to see long-term results. There aren’t many studies on intermittent fasting benefits yet, so findings mostly come from anecdotal evidence from people who have tried IF themselves. Like many diets, success will vary depending on the person. So, while some dieters have experienced benefits such as weight loss and lower blood pressure, in others, IF may also lead to fatigue and binging on unhealthy snacks. “The daytime 8-hour eating can be hard for people, and I find makes people really hungry,” notes Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition and Lifestyle.
Will I Lose Weight
Most likely.64 If you have weight to lose, it is extremely likely that you will lose weight if you do not eat.
In theory, its possible to eat more after fasting, of course, cancelling out the weight lost. But studies generally show that most people tend to eat significantly less overall.65
I call intermittent fasting the ancient secret of weight loss because it might be one of the most powerful dietary interventions for weight loss, yet it has been mostly ignored by doctors and dietitians for a long time.66
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Does Intermittent Fasting Work
People may gradually lose weight when they practice intermittent fasting, because they tend to consume fewer calories over the course of the day if they cant graze all day or snack late at night.
Additionally, people may lose weight because when they eat significantly less often, the body produces less insulin, the hormone that converts food into energy. When you eat frequently, insulin helps your body store unused energy as fat. But when you go without food for 12 hours or more, instead of storing unused energy, your body burns through its existing energy stores, then begins burning stored fat for energy, which aids weight loss.
Can I Have Coffee With Cream During A Fast
This depends on how strictly youre practicing IF.
If you have an ample amount of weight to lose, you may want to be stricter and stick with black coffee only on your fast. Some people swear by bulletproof coffee , as its medium-chain triglycerides are thought to speed up the process of getting into ketosis.
Also Check: Does Intermittent Fasting Burn Fat
Types Of Intermittent Fasting
- 5:2: You eat normally five days a week. On the other two days, you fast by eating between 500 and 600 calories.
- 16:8: You eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period and fast the rest of the time.
- Alternate day fasting: You fast every other day, and eat normally on non-fasting days.
- One meal a day : Also known as the Snake Diet, or just eating once a day. You eat all of your daily calories in just one meal each day, and fast the rest of the day.
As with any diet or exercise plan, consult your healthcare provider to determine whats best for you.
The biggest takeaway here is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to intermittent fasting. Take time to find the perfect fit, pay attention to how you feel and dont be afraid to experiment with different schedules.
For example, if you cant stomach the thought of ditching breakfast, just switch your fasting period. Eat a full meal around 8 a.m., and stop eating around 4 p.m. The good news: This is still a 16-hour fast. The best news: You can change your fasting schedule to suit your needs .
Possible Risks Of Intermittent Fasting
- May not be sustainableit is difficult to endure long periods of fasting, which can prevent long-term compliance
- May not lead to sustained weight loss or long-term improvement in health outcomes
- Not recommended for children, teens, pregnant or lactating women, or people with chronic health conditions
Healthy weight management comes with its benefits: less risk of diabetes, heart disease, joint issues and some cancers just to name a few. It is too soon to say that intermittent fasting is a reliable, long-term method for successful weight management as there are too many important questions that still require research to answer. However, initial results from studies are promising and should encourage future studies that examine the role of intermittent fasting in promoting weight loss and improved metabolic, neurological and cardiovascular health.
1 International Food Information Council. 2020 Food & Health Survey. . Accessed August 31, 2020.
2 St-Onge MP, et al. Meal Timing and Frequency: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2017 February 135: e96-e121. .
3 Stockman MC, et al. Intermittent Fasting: Is the Wait Worth the Weight? Curr Obes Rep. 2018 Jun 7: 172-185. .
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Best Beverages You Can Drink While Fasting
- 4 minute read
What can you drink while fasting?
Intermittent fasting is all the rage these days. And with its purported health benefits, its certainly one to try!
Theres definitely something appealing about a plan that only contains one essential rule. And that rule is: eat for these hours but dont eat for the others.
For people who follow a keto diet, its not hard to overlap intermittent fasting with it.
But when it comes time to actually do it, questions may pop up. And one of those questions is, what can I drink?
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It Could Lead To Negative Side Effects
The Warrior Diet may lead to side effects, some of which could be severe.
Potential side effects include (
- Hormonal imbalance
- Weight gain
In addition, many health professionals argue that dieters will not get enough nutrients when following an intermittent fasting plan like the Warrior Diet.
However, as long as healthy, nutrient-dense foods are chosen and calorie needs are met, nutrient needs can be covered by carefully planning your food choices when following the Warrior Diet.
The Warrior Diet is inappropriate for many people, can be hard to stick to and may lead to negative side effects such as fatigue, insomnia and hormonal imbalance.
Hofmekler suggests that anyone starting the Warrior Diet should follow an initial three-week, three-phase plan to improve the bodys ability to utilize fat for energy.
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Fast For 12 Hours A Day
The rules for this diet are simple. A person needs to decide on and adhere to a 12-hour fasting window every day.
According to some researchers, fasting for 1016 hours can cause the body to turn its fat stores into energy, which releases ketones into the bloodstream. This should encourage weight loss.
This type of intermittent fasting plan may be a good option for beginners. This is because the fasting window is relatively small, much of the fasting occurs during sleep, and the person can consume the same number of calories each day.
The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include the period of sleep in the fasting window.
For example, a person could choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They would need to finish their dinner before 7 p.m. and wait until 7 a.m. to eat breakfast but would be asleep for much of the time in between.
Who Can Use Intermittent Fasting
Is fasting an option for children who need to lose weight?
Fasting is not an option for children. My advice is to severely restrict added sugars and snacking. Reducing down to 2 meals per day is also possible, but not longer duration fasting.
My daughter who is 31 and a healthy weight exercises four times a week. She wants to know if she can fast or is this not recommended for people who exercise?
Not only is it safe, but training in the fasted state has several theoretical benefits that many elite level athletes are using. So, yes, it is highly recommended.
Can women fast during pregnancy and after birth during breast feeding?
I dont advise fasting during pregnancy or breast feeding. There is a concern of nutrient deficiency which I think far outweighs any potential benefit.
How should intermittent fasting be used in conjunction with resistance training to maximize muscle growth and fat burning?
Should there be any differences between intermittent fasting on training days and non-training days? And during the fasting periods or days is it advisable to take supplements such as BCAAs to prevent muscle loss?
There are many different schedules. Most people fast for 24 hrs and then do their training this is called training in the fasted state. Since growth hormone is high, you theoretically will recover and build muscle faster in this state.
How appropriate is intermittent fasting for teenagers?
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Safety And Side Effects
Hunger is the main side effect of intermittent fasting.
You may also feel weak and your brain may not perform as well as youre used to.
This may only be temporary, as it can take some time for your body to adapt to the new meal schedule.
If you have a medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before trying intermittent fasting.
This is particularly important if you:
- Have diabetes.
- Have a history of eating disorders.
- Are a woman who is trying to conceive.
- Are a woman with a history of amenorrhea.
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
All that being said, intermittent fasting has an outstanding safety profile. There is nothing dangerous about not eating for a while if youre healthy and well-nourished overall.
The most common side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger. People with certain medical conditions should not fast without consulting with a doctor first.
Here are answers to the most common questions about intermittent fasting.
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.
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