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.
Keep Your Meal Nourishing
Include a lot of healthy fats, protein and fresh vegetables in your meals while following intermittent fasting. You can also include healthy carbs from foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes etc. Carbs are good for your body and will provide you with the energy to tide over the calorie-deficit you are going to create for the rest of the day.
Recommended Foods To Eat Or Avoid
During the eating period, you can eat meals and snacks normally and at usual intervals. There are no restrictions on the amount or type of food that can be consumed during the eating window. Avoid junk food at all costs because this food type is believed to be the source of obesity and various diseases.
Always practice healthy eating by keeping a balanced diet that is comprised of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and limited healthy fats.
The 16/8 intermittent fasting method may just be the right for you. A complete lifestyle change may be necessary once you get into this method. The goal is not just to lose weight but to be healthier, too. Dont forget to consult with a doctor or medical specialist before trying any diet. For starters, here is a healthy Kale Quinoa Salad.
Do you know anyone who may benefit from intermittent fasting? Feel free to share this with them. Stay tuned for the following series. Please leave us your comments below should you have suggestions or tips on the 16/8 intermittent fasting.
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Fatty Fish Nuts Seeds And Others
As you may already know, not all fat is bad for you and makes you gain weight. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are so-called healthy fats. They may help you reduce your bad cholesterol level and decrease the risk of heart disease . Consumption of fatty fish, such as trout, tuna, sardines, salmon, and mackerel can provide you with healthy fat and protein. Other great sources of unsaturated fats include avocados, olives, flax and chia seeds, nuts , and nut butter, olive oil, and others .
Meat, Eggs, And Legumes
Another vital nutrient is protein. Proteins are building blocks of your body. They are also highly effective as a part of a weight-loss diet. Protein can help you melt fat while preserving the muscles. It is one of the main components of an intermittent fasting 14/10 diet, as it can help you stay fuller for longer. Rich natural sources of protein include meat such as pork, chicken, turkey, bison, low-fat meat eggs legumes like beans, lentils, chickpeas, soy and soy products vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, asparagus, Brussels sprouts dairy products like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, milk quinoa, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and others .
How To Know If Youre Eating Too Much Or Too Little
Of course, not everyone has to become a calorie counter during intermittent fasting during the first days or weeks. There are other ways to know if the amount of energy you consumed was sufficient or if you should adjust the amount again.
Your body always sends you signals whether the amount of energy is appropriate or not. For example, if you often feel cold during is an indication that you are not consuming enough food.
Also, if you tend to be more irritable than usual, have frequent headaches, or generally feel somewhat tired and lacking in energy at the end of your fasting phase, this is a sign that you are not eating enough.
Another signal is an initial strong weight loss and sudden stagnation. In this case, you should check your calorie intake during interval fasting. At least for a while to avoid putting your metabolism on the wrong track.
On the other hand, if you feel full of power and feel an increased concentration during fasting, your food quantity during interval fasting is correct.
It is normal to feel hungry or a little cold towards the end of a fasting period. As long as you have a lasting feeling of satiety after a balanced meal, everything indicates that you are doing everything right in terms of quantity.
Besides, your weight loss during interval fasting should not make too big jumps and stagnate only rarely.
And if the weight does stagnate dont worry, it will usually pass.
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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.
What Are The Best Foods To Eat During And After Intermittent Fasting
Scientific literature supports the wonders done by intermittent fasting. In the past fasting has been utilized for a variety of purposes, such as spiritual reward as well as political dissent. In recent times however, intermittent fasting has gained more importance in terms of fitness and weight loss. Many fitness trainers are now recommending intermittent fasting to their clients for weight loss. Intermittent fasting also provides anti-aging effects.
The following are amongst the best foods you can utilize in your in between meal while doing intermittent fasting.
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Can You Eat Meat After Fasting
Yes, eating meat or other protein-rich foods after fasting is actually recommended, per the British Nutrition Foundation. Depending on the length of your fast, you may want to aim to eat smaller portions.
However, you should limit the amount of fatty foods you consume, so lean meat is preferable. This is because you want to maximize the nutrition you take in when you’re limiting the time window where you can eat, according to the British Nutrition Foundation.
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!
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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, youll need to make sure youre 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 dont go over 700.
What Can I Eat While Intermittent Fasting
During the times when youre not eating, water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted.
And during your eating periods, eating normally does not mean going crazy. Youre not likely to lose weight or get healthier if you pack your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items and treats.
But what Williams likes about intermittent fasting is that it allows for a range of different foods to be eaten and enjoyed. We want people to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food, she says. She adds that eating with others and sharing the mealtime experience adds satisfaction and supports good health.
Williams, like most nutrition experts, regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat, whether youre trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.
Pork Tenderloin With Butternut Squash And Brussels Sprouts
Total time: 50 minutes | Servings: 4
- 4 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 4 cups diced butternut squash
Per serving: 401 calories, 44 g protein, 25 g carbs , 15 g fat
How To Suppress Hunger During Your Fasts
Sometimes, you may feel so hungry that you will think you cant go on any longer. I want you to know that even if you dont do anything about it, it will pass. In fact, I have gone from I am going to give up, this is too hard to I dont even feel hungry within an hour. Hang in there!
However, there are a few things you can do to alleviate an even suppress the feeling of hunger:
- Drink black coffee and/or tea. Coffee is the best hunger suppressant out there in my opinion.
- Drink herbal tea or green tea: Herbal teas also help reduce hunger.
- Drink water. Often, you may think you are hungry but you are just thirsty. I find that drinking a tall glass of water all at once really helps suppress hunger.
- Go for a walk, do something to distract your mind. Most of the hurdle of fasting is in your head. Once you realize that, you have more power. It doesnt make it easy at first, but its good to know. The sensation of hunger might feel intolerable at first, but you do get used to it. Its not so bad! Learn to observe it. Think about what you are feeling and where you are feeling it. Observe the feelings. You will realize that these feelings are not as uncomfortable as you thought at first. In our culture, we have grown so used to eating all the time, most of us dont know how to handle the feeling of hunger. It just takes practice!
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How To Successfully Do The : 4 Intermittent Fast
The Warrior Diet plan involves fasting for 20 hours during the day followed by overeating in a 4-hour window at night.
For example, you may set your feeding window at 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. During this time you can eat as much as you want with an emphasis on unprocessed, organic whole foods particularly those high in dietary fats and protein.
After 10:00 pm, you fast or eat very small portions of specific foods such as raw fruit and vegetables until 6:00 pm the next day. Its important youre eating as fewer calories as possible during this time.
The method is best suited for people who have tried intermittent fasting before or who already consume a low-carb/ketogenic diet.
Hofmekler recommends you follow a three-week, three-phase plan initially before starting the Warrior Diet. This helps the body adapt to the eating and fasting schedule and become accustomed to using body fat as energy. This three-week introduction includes:
Once you have completed the three-phase diet, it is recommended you start it again before following the 20:4 guidelines.
Mistakes You Can Make While Intermittent Fasting
Nixing meals and decreasing caloric intake may seem easy, but read this before you dive into an intermittent fast.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. Johns Hopkins Medicine neuroscientist Mark Mattson, Ph.D., who has studied the health impact of intermittent fasting for 25 years, and adopted it himself about 20 years ago, said in The New England Journal of Medicine that “intermittent fasting could be part of a healthy lifestyle.” He claims research supports that reducing your “eating window” can help decrease your risk of chronic diseases and increase your longevity.
Think you’re ready to embark on an intermittent fast? Spacing out meals and snacks may sound simple enough, but you can easily sabotage your fast by making these mistakes.
Drinks To Avoid While Fasting
It is always good to avoid drinks with sugar and artificial sweeteners. There isnt a rule that says you cant drink soda, juice, or milkshake during your eating window, but when it comes to your fasting period there are some drinks that you must avoid.
During your fasting time you should avoid:
- Diet soda
- Coconut water
Two main things that you need to remember for drinks while fasting is to make sure you are drinking enough fluids and to avoid drinks that contain calories.
Caloric drinks like juices, smoothies, diet soda can be consumed during your eating window, but if you can it is best to stick to water, tea, coffee, or mineral water.
To learn more about drinks while intermittent fasting, here is a detailed article with all drinks to consume and avoid during the fasting window.
What To Drink During Intermittent Fasting
Its probably no surprise that you should drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated during both phases of IF. But you arent limited to drinking water.
You can also have zero-calorie beverages during both the fasting and eating window. However, artificial sweeteners in diet sodas can trigger sugar cravings.
Another option is bone broth. Bone broth is notorious for its incredibly high nutritional value and also helps to fight food cravings. However, while bone broth isnt likely break your fast, it still has some calories, and our advice is to avoid extra calories during your fasting period. It will be easier for your body to start burning calories, and youll feel the positive effects of intermittent fasting way sooner!
to find the best bone broth recipes.
Many people find that having a cup of tea or coffee in the morning helps them stay on schedule and skip breakfast. Just remember to stick with black coffee and not add any cream or sugar.
Read more on: What Can You Drink During Intermittent Fasting?
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Can I Eat Rice During Intermittent Fasting
Yes, rice is a healthy source of food during your intermittent fasting eating phase however we recommend eating brown rice instead of white rice as it is more nutritious and contains fewer calories.
Eating during intermittent fasting does not have to be complicated and a plate of rice with some roasted salmon will do just fine, you will feel full fast and get the nourishment you need however it is important to eat rice in moderation as it contains a certain amount of calories that can lead to weight gain if consumed in excess during intermittent fasting.