Popular Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has recently become a health trend. Devotees claim it can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, and maybe even extend life span.
Every method can be effective, but figuring out which one works best depends on the individual.
Several methods of this eating pattern exist. But before embarking on an intermittent fast or deciding how often to fast, you should speak with a healthcare professional.
Here are 6 popular ways to do intermittent fasting.
What Should You Eat To Break Your Fast
Once youve hit your intermittent fasting goal , its time to break your fast. Since you don’t want to eat a ton of food on an empty stomach, you’ll want to make sure you choose easy to digest foods that won’t upset your stomach. If youre trying to lose weight, you should also be mindful of your food choices.
Focusing on choosing nutritious, whole foods after your fast will provide you with the most health benefits, says Rodriquez. But you can and should enjoy as many non-starchy vegetables as youd like!
Depending on when you end your fast, you might be in the mood for breakfast or lunch so choose what foods sound best to you. Here are a few examples of healthy meal ideas:
Sauté a mix of your favorite vegetables over medium heat with a little olive oil spray: bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms are just a few of our favorites. Then scramble two eggs in a bowl and add them to your veggies. Season with garlic, pepper and any of your other favorite seasonings. Add ¼ of avocado as a garnish for a serving of healthy fat that will keep you feeling satisfied.
Are you a Jenny Craig member? Try our delicious Frittata Egg White Sandwich.
Loaded baked sweet potato
Vegetable and chicken stir fry
Are you a Jenny Craig member? Try our Cauliflower Fried Rice with Chicken & Vegetables.
What Is Intermittent Fasting Explained In Human Terms
A phenomenon called intermittent fasting is currently one of the worlds most popular health and fitness trends.
It involves alternating cycles of fasting and eating.
This article explains what intermittent fasting is, and why you should care.
You May Like: 14:10 Diet
What Are The Health Benefits Of Fasting
While research is ongoing, theres a laundry list of pretty amazing health benefits associated with being in a fasting state. Why? When you refrain from the consumption of food and caloric beverages, youre giving your body time to focus on processes other than digestion.
Early research on animals suggests that during a fast, cells regenerate and clean house a process known as autophagy.2 Autophagy is essentially your bodys natural way of detoxing getting rid of damaged cells, bacteria and viruses by breaking them down and regenerating new healthier cells.2
Another exciting thing that happens when you fast for at least 12 hours: You can start to burn fat!1 Its known as the metabolic switch. Once your body has used all of its glucose stores , it switches to using fat for fuel.1
This is a natural process, Rodriquez says, Its also known as fasting ketosis.
When practiced regularly, intermittent fasting has been linked to the following health benefits:3
- Weight loss
- Reducing the risk of certain diseases
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.
Recommended Reading: Can You Drink Alcohol With Intermittent Fasting
Most Popular Types Of Fasting
Intermittent fasting is any eating plan that restricts when you doand donteat. There are several different intermittent fasting schedules:
- Alternate-day fasting. Fast every other day.
- Time-restricted eating. Eat within a restricted time range each day. For the popular 16:8 method, you fast for 16 hours and eat within an eight-hour window . For the 14:10 method, you fast for 14 hours and eat within a 10-hour window.
- Eat Stop Eat. Fast for up to 24 hours once or twice a week. On the other days, eat as you normally would.
- Modified fasts or 5:2 fasting. A spin-off of alternate-day fasting, eat as you normally would five days of the week and fast for two days. Heres more about the different alternate-day fasting schedules.
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.
Also Check: Is Fasting Necessary For A1c Test
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!
Benefits Of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
16/8 intermittent fasting is a popular diet because its easy to follow, flexible and sustainable in the long term.
Its also convenient, as it can cut down on the amount of time and money you need to spend on cooking and preparing food each week.
In terms of health, 16/8 intermittent fasting has been associated with a long list of benefits, including:
- Increased weight loss: Not only does restricting your intake to a few hours per day help cut calories over the course of the day, but studies also show that fasting could boost metabolism and increase weight loss (
16/8 intermittent fasting is easy to follow, flexible and convenient. Animal and human studies suggest that it may increase weight loss, improve blood sugar levels, enhance brain function and extend longevity.
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!
Intermittent Fasting Eat Before Or After Workout
Among bodybuilders, intermittent fasting is not a new idea. The most standard intermittent fasting schedule in which nothing is eaten for 14 to 18 hours daily is a proven method for improved muscle growth.
Therefore, bodybuilders have been using the 16/8 schedule, also known as peak fasting or time-restricted feeding , for decades.
Due to the release of growth hormone, intermittent fasting boosts muscle gain .
However, it is vital to exercise in a fasted state. Therefore, it is better to eat after than before workout while intermittent fasting.
Given the essential goals of burning fat and activating autophagy for health benefits, this even makes more sense :
- The low insulin level before eating enables maximum fat burning
- The fasting state allows the body to maximize autophagy through exercise
In contrast, eating allows the body to relax. And this is in contradiction to athletic performance, as you can also witness through self-experimentation.
Against this background, it is wiser to use the increased adrenaline levels for exercising. Afterward, you can send your body into recovery and growth mode with a meal.
You May Like: Is 119 High For Fasting Blood Sugar
I Got Better At Planning
The first few days, when I was finally allowed to eat, I mostly ate tons of healthy snacks because I was ravenous. Almonds, apples and peanut butter, pretzels, hummus, and cheeseyou get the picture. But eventually, I started being more conscious of the food I ate and wrote everything down in a diary to keep track.
Instead of the mindless snacks that were easy to lose track of, I mapped out meals and the snacks I could eat in between. Moskovitz advised me to make sure the diet wasn’t causing me to miss out on nutrients I get during a normal day of eating, so I found that writing down my meals in advance helped me make sure I was getting enough of everything. If I knew I was going out to eat, I would leave a blank and fill it in with whatever I ordered the next day.
Recommended Foods And Tips
While the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan does not specify which foods to eat and avoid, it is beneficial to focus on healthful eating and to limit or avoid junk foods. The consumption of too much unhealthful food may cause weight gain and contribute to disease.
A balanced diet focuses primarily on:
- fruits and vegetables, which can be fresh, frozen, or canned
- whole grains, including quinoa, brown rice, oats, and barley
- lean protein sources, such as poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, low fat cottage cheese, and eggs
- healthful fats from fatty fish, olives, olive oil, coconuts, avocados, nuts, and seeds
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are high in fiber, so they can help keep a person feeling full and satisfied. Healthful fats and proteins can also contribute to satiety.
Beverages can play a role in satiety for those following the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet. Drinking water regularly throughout the day can help reduce calorie intake because people often mistake thirst for hunger.
The 16:8 diet plan permits the consumption of calorie-free drinks such as water and unsweetened tea and coffee during the 16-hour fasting window. It is important to consume fluids regularly to avoid dehydration.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Electrolytes While Fasting
Can I Drink Diet Coke Everyday
Answer From Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, isnt likely to hurt you. The artificial sweeteners and other chemicals currently used in diet soda are safe for most people, and theres no credible evidence that these ingredients cause cancer.
Vitamin D Fortified Milk
The recommended intake of calcium for an adult is 1,000 milligrams per day, about what you’d get by drinking three cups of milk per day. With a reduced feeding window, the opportunities to drink this much might be scarce, and so it is important to prioritize high-calcium foods. Vitamin D fortified milk enhances the body’s absorption of calcium and will help to keep bones strong. To boost daily calcium intake, you can add milk to smoothies or cereal, or even just drink it with meals. If you’re not a fan of the beverage, non-dairy sources high in calcium include tofu and soy products, as well as leafy greens like kale.
Don’t Miss: What Is 14 10 Intermittent Fasting
Coffee Was My Best Friend
I’ve been a coffee drinker since high school. It’s always helped curb my hunger in the mornings, but only until my 10:30 a.m. snack time rolls around. I sip the stuff pretty slowly , so when morning food was off limits, I poured myself an extra dose and kept sipping until I could eat. Coffee is allowed during fasting periods as long as it’s zero-calorie, but I’m not a fan of black coffee because it’s so bitter, so I added a splash of vanilla almond milk to my cuppa. Some call that cheating, but I call it a modification.
When To Eat On Intermittent Fasting
With the rising popularity of intermittent fasting, new fasting plans and programs come up again and again. Meanwhile, there are numerous types of fasting.
Nevertheless, we already dealt with the essential intermittent fasting schedules. In my experience, it is also the most classical of all methods, with which most people achieve the best results.
The substantial reason for the fact that humans can successfully convert 16/8 intermittent fasting is the simple integration into daily life.
Coffee Other Than Black Or Green
Only black coffee is OK during a fast.
Generally, any other type of coffee except for black and green usually contains carbs and sugar. A latte is just one of the bad examples of coffee. The same applies to cappuccino and other instant coffees . Thats a NO.
Just stick to back or green unsweetened coffee with anything but water in it and you are going to be fine.
Do Not Put Milk In Your Coffee
When drinking water, coffee, or tea, mistakes repeatedly happen during intermittent fasting, which clear rules can prevent. In the end, many beginners usually just lack reliable information.
Thus, many fasting beginners get carried away and add a splash of milk or sugar to their black coffee.
But these subtle little things can have significant effects. By raising blood sugar and insulin levels, they break the fast. So, time and time again, a good portion of the health benefits and progress in losing weight are negated.
For example, followers of the ketogenic diet also tend to forget that Bulletproof Coffee breaks the fast.
So while butter, coconut, or MCT oil in coffee helps with hunger in between meals, it prevents the full health benefits of fasting.
Finally, you also need to burn the fat from Bulletproof Coffee before the body into its fat stores.
Although bone broth is also a prime source of electrolytes and fat, it, too, technically breaks the fast and should only be used as a jump start. Once you get used to intermittent fasting, its just as taboo as Bulletproof Coffee.
Furthermore, many people dont realize that while light and zero drinks are sugar-free, they can still break the fast.
You May Like: Do I Have To Fast For An A1c Test
Intermittent Fasting: What Breaks A Fast On Keto
A keto diet is a kind of fasting that aims at achieving some of the weight loss goals as the intermittent fasting. The keto diet involves the consumption of low-calorie food and drinks. While you depend mostly on calories from fat, others are sourced from a moderate intake of protein and partial or total abstinence from carbs . By implication, when you are on this diet, you are expected to abstain from high-calorie food and drinks such as high carb proteins, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and soda. While keto diet aims at reducing the total intake of calories in meals, intermittent fasting focuses more on structuring how much you can eat at a time.
Intermittent Fasting Increases Several Fat Burning Hormones
Hormones are chemicals that act as messengers. They travel through your body to coordinate complicated functions, such as growth and metabolism.
They also play an important role in the regulation of your weight. This is because they have a strong influence on your appetite, the number of calories you eat, and how much fat you store or burn .
Intermittent fasting has been linked to improvements in the balance of some fat burning hormones. This could make it a helpful tool for weight management.
Also Check: Is 119 High For Fasting Blood Sugar
Isnt Fasting The Same As Reducing Calories
No, not necessarily. Fasting can reduce the time you spend eating and primarily addresses the question of when to eat.62 Calorie reduction addresses the question of what and how much to eat. They are separate issues and should not be confused with each other.