Benefits Of 18/6 Intermittent Fasting
These benefits are due to intermittent fastingâs ability to reduce insulin resistance, promote a self-cleansing program known as autophagy, and facilitate ketosis .
Most intermittent fasting forms promote these processes, but long fasting times are more potent than shorter fasting times. For this reason, you may achieve your goals faster with 18/6 intermittent fasting than with 14/10 or 16/8 fasting.
My One Month On 1: 6 Intermittent Fasting
I have been intermittent fasting since the start of the year. In January, February and March, thee number of days I did it increased and after intermittent fasting for about 12 days in April, I decided to commit to a specific window for May. If youre not sure what Intermittent fasting is, I did a post about it here. In the 18:6 window, I eat for 6 hours and fast for 18, tracking my fasts on an app called zero. I usually eat my first meal around 9 and my last around 3. In May, the only times I didnt fast for 18 hours were once when I ate later than usual for a date night and another time when I had morning cramps and needed to eat before taking painkillers. I fasted for 14 and 17 hours respectively those times.
Okay on to the highlights of my month long experience.
What I Ate And How I Exercised While Doing Intermittent Fasting
Limiting my eating to an eight-hour period of the day seemed reasonable. If I exercised in the morning, my first meal would be an early but large lunch at around 11:30 a.m. By 3 p.m., if I was hungry, I could have a snack. At 7 p.m., I would eat a reasonable-size dinner. No snacking after that.
My first thought was that there was no way I would be able to skip breakfast and still work out. My mind was telling me that I would be hungry. The first few days that I tried it, as I would warm up for my workout, I would have visions of chicken with broccoli from a nearby Chinese restaurant in my head. But once I got into my workout, a funny thing would happen. I would completely forget about being hungry. My body would stabilize and water would be enough to keep me moving.
But by the time I got home from the gym, I was starving. Early on, I decided that was going to be my biggest meal of the day. Sometimes it was a lean shoulder steak with a sweet potato. Other times, I would eat an entire chicken along with two cups of broccoli, and the sweetest bottle of Gatorade I ever had. Or occasionally, I would make a taco bowl out of seasoned ground turkey, cheddar cheese, and tomatoes, or a stir-fry with beef and a variety of peppers. It turned out that my calorie intake and lunch would be anywhere from 800 to 1,000 calories, though this part was not an exact science.
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May Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Numerous animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer. Such an effect may be the aftermath of weight loss, reduced inflammation, and insulin levels, which are caused by this eating pattern.
A 2019 review in people with cancer states that fasting reduced some of the side effects of chemotherapy and increased its effectiveness. The review suggests that fasting may deprive cancer cells of nutrients, making them more susceptible to the toxins in chemotherapy .
Eating All Your Meals In A Six Hour Window Could Boost Weight Loss
Researchers from the University of Illinois, Chicago, compared 58 adults with obesity selected to be on one of three diets for a 10-week period. One group only ate between 3 pm and 7 pm, fasting the remaining 20 hours day the second ate between 1 pm and 7 pm, fasting 18 hours and the final group ate normally.
The researchers found that at the end of the 10 weeks, both of the groups who fasted lost a moderate amount of weight .
There didn’t appear to be a significant difference between the two groups in terms of weight loss.
This suggests an 18-hour period could be plenty to provide the benefits of fasting, according to Krista Varady, professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago and co-author of the study.
“Until we have further studies that directly compare the two diets or seek to study the optimal time for fasting, these results suggest that the 6-hour fast might make sense for most people who want to pursue a daily fasting diet,” Varady said in a statement.
This shorter fasting period closely resembles one of the most popular styles of intermittent fasting known as 16/8, in which participants eat during an 8-hour window each day.
But there’s also evidence that an even shorter fasting period of just 10 hours a day could provide benefits, so more research is needed to directly compare these styles of fasting for weight loss and health effects.
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- The 16/8 intermittent fasting approach means you fast for 16 hours and eat only in an eight-hour window.
- Fasting triggers autophagy, which is needed for healthy metabolism.
- IF has plenty of research-backed health benefits including better brain function, lower blood sugar levels, and lower inflammation.
- Fasting can be a great way to get into ketosis, but its not the only way.
- If you want to use fasting for ketosis, its ideal if you do it while following a keto diet.
Can Fasting Help You Lose Weight
While it’s not a guaranteed weight loss plan, intermittent fasting is well known to kick-start weight loss, especially if the scales have stopped moving.
For the most part, weight loss is being accomplished by a dramatic decrease in their caloric daily intake. It is also due to a reduction in glucose and insulin levels which enables you to be in nutritional ketosis. Your body has switched to fat-burning mode.
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Is 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Right For You
16/8 intermittent fasting can be a sustainable, safe and easy way to improve your health when paired with a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle.
However, it shouldnt be viewed as a substitute for a balanced, well-rounded diet rich in whole foods. Not to mention, you can still be healthy even if intermittent fasting doesnt work for you.
Though 16/8 intermittent fasting is generally considered safe for most healthy adults, you should talk to your doctor before giving it a try, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
This is key if youre taking any medications or have diabetes, low blood pressure or a history of disordered eating.
Intermittent fasting is also not recommended for women who are trying to conceive or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you have any concerns or experience any adverse side effects while fasting, be sure to consult your doctor.
16/8 intermittent fasting involves eating only during an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
It may support weight loss and improve blood sugar, brain function and longevity.
Eat a healthy diet during your eating period and drink calorie-free beverages like water or unsweetened teas and coffee.
Its best to talk to your doctor before trying intermittent fasting, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
How To Get Started
16/8 intermittent fasting is simple, safe and sustainable.
To get started, begin by picking an eight-hour window and limit your food intake to that time span.
Many people prefer to eat between noon and 8 p.m., as this means youll only need to fast overnight and skip breakfast but can still eat a balanced lunch and dinner, along with a few snacks throughout the day.
Others opt to eat between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., which allows plenty of time for a healthy breakfast around 9 a.m., a normal lunch around noon and a light early dinner or snack around 4 p.m. before starting your fast.
However, you can experiment and pick the time frame that best fits your schedule.
Additionally, to maximize the potential health benefits of your diet, its important to stick to nutritious whole foods and beverages during your eating periods.
Filling up on nutrient-rich foods can help round out your diet and allow you to reap the rewards that this regimen has to offer.
Try balancing each meal with a good variety of healthy whole foods, such as:
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges, peaches, pears, etc.
- Veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens, tomatoes, etc.
- Whole grains: Quinoa, rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, etc.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, avocados and coconut oil
- Meat, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds, etc.
Drinking calorie-free beverages like water and unsweetened tea and coffee, even while fasting, can also help control your appetite while keeping you hydrated.
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The Benefits Of 18/6 Fasting
During fasting hours the body has lower insulin levels which help burn fat, increases HGH levels which aids muscle gain, and boosts cellular repair. When the body is given a rest from constant digestion, it becomes free to regulate and repair other parts that might have been neglected before.
Intermittent fasting beginners might be surprised to notice increased energy throughout the day. While it might take some time for the body to adjust, once it does, it becomes more efficient at regulating energy levels and can even improve a positive mood. Improved mental function and endurance-based performance have also shown to increase with 18/6 fasting. This makes it the perfect choice for those who want to maintain weight or enhance their strength with training.
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How Does An Intermittent Fasting Strategy Work
If you wish to reduce weight with intermittent fasting, there are a few things you should bear in mind:
- Food Quality: The things you eat continue to be essential. Eat complete, single-ingredient meals as often as possible.
- Calories: Calories continue to be vital. Try to eat frequently during non-fasting periods, but not so much that you compensate for the calories you lost while fasting or lost weight intermittent fasting.
- Consistency: If you want it to work, you must persist with it for a lengthy period, just like any other weight reduction strategy.
- Patience: Your body may need some time to acclimatize to an intermittent fasting results regimen. It will get simpler if you are regular with your eating routine.
The majority of popular intermittent fasting programs recommend exercise, such as strength training. This is essential if you want to burn mostly fat while maintaining muscle mass. Calorie counting is usually unnecessary at the beginning of intermittent fasting. Calorie counting, on the other hand, might be a beneficial technique if your weight reduction plateaus.
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Five Benefits Of 18/6 Intermittent Fasting
Recently, I wrote about the five reasons intermittent fasting works for me. Now I want to share my five favorite benefits of 18/6 intermittent fasting, which is my preferred way to do IF.
First, Ill explain exactly what I mean by 18/6 intermittent fasting. Next, Ill talk about how a day-in-the-life on 18/6 intermittent fasting looks for me. Finally, Ill tell you the five benefits of 18/6 intermittent fasting that made me decide to incorporate it into my daily life.
Breaking Down The 1: 6
To make this intermittent fasting method more accessible, well break it down into portions of the day. Lets start with your 6-hour eating window: Throughout the day, you have up to 6 hours to get all of the necessary calories and nutrients into your body. You can essentially eat anything you want within reason as long as you stick to the 18:6 schedule.
Most people begin their eating window around noon and conclude it just after dinner around 6 pm. This enables you to get two major meals in and a handful of snacks throughout the day. That should be enough to fill the calories you need. As your fasting window begins to approach, try to slow down and ease your way into fasting.
Now that the 18-hour fasting window has begun, its important to continue to nourish and take care of your body. Water, tea, coffee, and some smoothies are fantastic ways to get through your fasting period. They provide your body with nutrients without disrupting the intermittent fasting process.
As the morning approaches and it nears time to break your intermittent fast, start to ease yourself back into eating. Drink a smoothie or have a coffee something with substance to it. Once you start eating again, begin with gentle foods like soup or eggs. This will help wake up your stomach and ensure that its ready to process food for the day.
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How To Schedule Meals When You Are Intermittent Fasting
While the idea of fasting can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done it before, intermittent fasting can actually be a lot easier than many other types of eating plans.
Once you start your intermittent fasting journey, you’ll most likely find that you feel fuller longer and can keep the meals you do eat very simple. There are a few different ways you can fast, so I broke up each of the different plans below into beginner, intermediate, and advanced along with a typical meal plan for each day.
The combination of nutrients will give you the energy you need to enhance the benefits of your fasting journey. Just make sure to take into account any individual food intolerances, and use this as a guide for your particular health case, and adjust from there.
Remember, intermittent fasting does not necessarily mean calorie-controlled, so be sure to eat according to your personal caloric needs.
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.
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Try Sticking To The Following Foods On The 1: 8 Diet:
- Whole grains: Ones like rice, oats, barley, wholegrain pasta and quinoa will keep you fuller for longer.
- Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds will keep you full.
- Fruit: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges and pears will offer good vitamin sustenance.
- Vegetables: Broccoli and leafy greens are especially good for making sure youre eating enough fibre.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting was working perfectly for me, and it was easy to follow. I began to think more deeply about why it was working. Was my body changing because I was fasting for those 16 hours each day, or was it simply a trick I was playing on my mind to eat fewer calories? And if it was a trick, would my mind eventually figure it out?
In general, I think intermittent fasting helps people get more in touch with their needs, Varady says. Weve become accustomed to eating or drinking something every couple of hours. Wed never even noticed when were actually hungry or full. So when you go for longer stretches of time without eating, all of a sudden, your body becomes more attuned to it.
In my case, intermittent fasting made me more aware of my tendency to emotionally eat. Getting up early to get my young son to school, it wasnt as if I wanted to have that bagel and soda. I felt I needed that sugar rush to wake me up and get me going. Exercise replaced that without my needing to ride a sugar roller coaster every day.
May Help Prevent Cancer
Cancer is characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells.
Fasting has been shown to have several beneficial effects on metabolism that may lead to reduced risk of cancer.
Promising evidence from animal studies indicates that intermittent fasting or diets that mimic fasting may help prevent cancer. Research in humans has led to similar findings, although more studies are needed 00224-7″ rel=”nofollow”> 26, 27, 28 ).
Theres also some evidence showing that fasting reduced various side effects of chemotherapy in humans 00503-2″ rel=”nofollow”> 29, 30).
Intermittent fasting has been shown to help prevent cancer in animal studies and some human studies. Research in humans showed that it can help reduce side effects caused by chemotherapy.
How To Make Intermittent Fasting Work For You
Studies have pointed out that intermittent fasting can improve insulin resistance, which can help maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day. A specific study involving three men suffering from type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, found that they were able to stop taking their insulin doses after losing weight from the intermittent fasting. These results disprove the widely-held belief that diabetes cannot be cured.
A previous study that Mattson co-authored showed that the previously mentioned metabolic switch can increase the resistance to stress by improving overall brain function and neuroplasticity, a fancy term for the brains ability to adapt and restructure itself throughout ones life.
Older adults who were put on a restricted-calorie diet similar to intermittent fasting have shown improved verbal memory compared to another group who hadnt done intermittent fasting. Even physical function and performance improved for some participants. One study with young male participants who fasted every day for 16 hours reported that they lost fat and retained their muscle mass while being on a training regimen for two months.
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