Do We Need Intermittent Fasting Rules For Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting sounds very simple. For example, standard 16/8 intermittent fasting has just two rules:
- No breakfast
- No snacks
But even simple concepts hide complex relationships.
Youve probably read about countless intermittent fasting success stories. Youve done your research, tried things out, and still arent convinced?
To achieve lasting success with intermittent fasting, it comes down to supposed subtleties.
Thats why this article sets up rules for intermittent fasting that get to the heart of all the essential basic principles. If you dont know this basic information, you will find yourself disappointed over and over again.
In addition, people need clear rules that they can always keep in mind to bring the necessary continuity into their daily lives.
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.
Foods To Avoid On 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
During your eating window on any method of intermittent fasting, you should stick to the foods presented above. Foods that you need to exclude from the IF food list are:
- Baked goods
- Fried foods
- Low-quality snacks
All processed foods, junk food, refined grains, trans-fat, processed meat, candy bars should be excluded from your list of foods for the 16/8 intermittent fasting method or any other IF protocol.
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Intermittent Fasting Decreases Metabolism Less Than Continuous Calorie Restriction
When you lose weight, your metabolic rate goes down. Part of this is because losing weight causes muscle loss, and muscle tissue burns calories around the clock.
However, the decrease in metabolic rate seen with weight loss cant always be explained by the loss of muscle mass alone .
Severe calorie restriction over a long period can cause your metabolic rate to drop, as your body enters so-called starvation mode. The scientific term for this is adaptive thermogenesis.
Your body does this to conserve energy as a natural defense against starvation .
This has been demonstrated dramatically in a study of people who lost large amounts of weight while participating in The Biggest Loser, a reality show on TV.
Participants followed a calorie-restricted diet and intense exercise regimen to lose large amounts of weight .
The study found that 6 years later, most of them had regained nearly all of the weight they had lost. However, their metabolic rates had not gone back up and remained around 500 calories lower than you would expect for their body size.
Other studies investigating the effects of calorie restriction on weight loss have found similar results. The drop in metabolism due to weight loss can amount to hundreds of calories per day (
Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar
Diluting a small amount of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water won’t break your fast. In fact, it might actually be a really good idea. According to a study in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2018, apple cider vinegar can lead to positive metabolic changes that help promote weight loss. Drinking apple cider vinegar every day may also reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels.
Make sure to dilute it in water before drinking it, though. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is potent and drinking it undiluted may damage tooth enamel.
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Why Do People Fast
Many cultures around the world fast for spiritual reasons, but fasting as a health measure has become popular because research suggests it may offer metabolic benefits and possibly lengthen lifespan.
And because youre usually eating only within a specific window, you tend to consume fewer calories than you would if you were eating around the clock, says Julie Upton, RD, a registered dietitian and cofounder of the nutrition news company Appetite for Health, in San Francisco. That, of course, can leads to weight loss.
According to a study, published in 2019 in The New England Journal of Medicine, the biggest benefits of fasting may come from whats known as metabolic switching. Thats when the body changes from using energy from glucose thats stored in the liver to ketones stored in fat. Researchers believe ketogenesis, an increase in ketones in the blood, may trigger cellular signals that slow aging, reduce inflammation, and promote better blood sugar control.
Scientists are still trying to get a handle on how intermittent fasting impacts health over the long-term. And theyve barely scratched the surface in terms of what happens when people fast while already at a healthy weight. Some of the latest studies have been observational or performed on mice. So the findings are often considered preliminary.
But, she adds, thats only after other measures have been tried first, such as improving general eating habits, moving more, or trying other stress-management strategies.
Go Easy On The Coffee
Although black coffee is OK to drink while intermittent fasting, try not to go overboard. Too much coffee can leave you feeling jittery, anxious and weak, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine. Drinking coffee late in the day can also affect the quality of your sleep.
Plus, you’ll be drinking the coffee on an empty stomach, so the caffeine will enter your bloodstream faster than if you’d just had a meal and your stomach was full. Stick to one or two cups a day. If you want more than that, switch to decaf coffee.
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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.
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.
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What Artificial Sweetener Breaks A Fast
Artificial sweetener refers to certain substances that give the same sweet effect as your natural sweeteners such as sugar and honey. They are produced in the lab, and some of them have zero calories, while others are loaded with them. To know what artificial sweetener breaks a fast, you must know its caloric content.
At the same time, you need to be sure if the artificial sweeteners of your choice will give you the required result or not. Some of the artificial sweeteners that wont throw you out of the fasted state are: saccharin, aspartame, sucralose . However, if you go for artificial sweeteners like sugars of alcohol with high calorie content they will break your fast.
Are There Drinks You Should Avoid During Intermittent Fasting
There are a few beverages that you might not realize are capable of breaking your fast. This means that if you consume these, you will knock your body out of the fasted state.
If youre wondering whether common beverages, like diet soda, almond milk, coconut water, or alcohol will break your fast, we found the answers:
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When Should I Exercise
When Varady and her colleagues conducted a study that combined alternate day fasting and exercise, they allowed the participants to pick whether they wanted to exercise on a feasting or fasting day, and found there was no strong preference one way or the other. But the researchers were surprised the dieters actually reported feeling more energetic on fasting days.
What Foods Are Best For Achieving Your Fasting Goal
Below is a list of foods suitable for the attainment of the goals and purpose of an intermittent fast .
Other foods allowed during fasting are vegetables, whether fermented or unfermented, sauerkraut, tempeh, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, strawberries, cucumber, skimmed milk, and plain yoghurts. You should also make sure to drink lots of water during this period. In fact, it would be best if you made it your rule not to consume refined grains, processed foods and meats, and soft drinks, among others.
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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.
Drawbacks Of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
16/8 intermittent fasting may be associated with many health benefits, but it does come with some drawbacks and may not be right for everyone.
Restricting your intake to just eight hours per day can cause some people to eat more than usual during eating periods in an attempt to make up for hours spent fasting.
This may lead to weight gain, digestive problems and the development of unhealthy eating habits.
16/8 intermittent fasting may also cause short-term negative side effects when youre first getting started, such as hunger, weakness and fatigue though these often subside once you get into a routine.
Additionally, some research suggests that intermittent fasting may affect men and women differently, with animal studies reporting that it could interfere with fertility and reproduction in females .
However, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects that intermittent fasting may have on reproductive health.
In any case, be sure to start gradually and consider stopping or consulting your doctor if you have any concerns or experience negative symptoms.
Restricting daily food intake may cause weakness, hunger, increased food consumption and weight gain. Animal studies show that intermittent fasting may impact men and women differently and may even interfere with fertility.
Jenny Craigs Recharge Bar
One of the best fasting snacks, Jenny Craigs revolutionary Recharge Bar is designed to keep you in fat-burning mode without breaking your fast. Its made with high-quality, great-tasting ingredients like macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans and a touch of honey. The specially formulated bar is designed to help you feel less hungry and maintain your fast while following the Rapid Results Max program.
Will Gum Artificial Sweeteners Or Supplements Break My Fast
While sugar-free gum, diet soda, artificial sweeteners and supplements have little to no calories, Rodriquez advises to abstain from them during intermittent fasting. You might find that artificial sweeteners stimulate your appetite, making it harder to stick to your goals. Once your fasting window has ended, theyre fine to enjoy in small amounts, but during your fast, sugar of all kinds should really be avoided even if they are calorie-free.
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Common Obstacles To Eating A Healthier Diet
Varady dabbles with intermittent fasting herself, typically for a few weeks after the holidays to lose a few pounds. The 16:8 plan is less intense than the other plans, but if she wants a more rapid weight loss, shell opt for alternate day fasting.
The first five fast days are pretty tricky, but once your body gets adjusted to that kind of up-down pattern of eating, it actually gets really easy, Varady told TODAY.
So how do you boost your chances of intermittent fasting success?
Does Intermittent Fasting Boost Your Metabolism
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves periods of food restriction, called fasting, followed by a period of regular eating.
This pattern of eating could help you lose weight, reduce your risk of disease, and increase your lifespan .
Some experts even claim that its beneficial effects on metabolism make it a healthier way to lose weight than standard calorie restriction (
Studies have shown that when it comes to weight loss, intermittent fasting can be just as effective as traditional calorie restriction, if not more so .
In fact, a 2014 review found that intermittent fasting could help people lose an impressive 38% of their body weight in 324 weeks .
A 2016 review concluded that in people who have obesity or overweight, intermittent fasting may be a better approach to weight loss than very low calorie diets (
If you are interested in trying intermittent fasting, you can read more about it in this detailed guide for beginners.
Intermittent fasting is a powerful weight loss tool. It can also improve your metabolism and metabolic health.
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Eating Habits Can Be Unlearned
Over the years, we have learned to feel hungry at certain times.
This fact is especially true for snacks and breakfast. Contrary to popular belief, breakfast is only the most important meal for the food industry.
In our society, skipping breakfast, even if we are not hungry, is almost considered a crime.
But otherwise, we lack energy for the day, dont we?
Not really. The reason we wake up in the morning is peak levels of adrenaline, glucagon, growth hormone, and cortisol, which provide enough energy to start the day.
Therefore, at no other time in the day are we more energized than after we wake up.
Nevertheless, you can also successfully do Intermittent Fasting by skipping dinner. The great advantage of Intermittent Fasting is that you can build it around your daily routine.
If it fits for you and doesnt cause you stress, according to my experience, the successes with intermittent fasting are the greatest. Ultimately, the whole package has to fit for a happy personal life.
No matter what your daily routine looks like, you will have to unlearn the hunger for snacks to achieve success. Neither anyone needs a snack before noon nor in the afternoon.
Either way, youll only become more sluggish and unproductive what a waste of valuable time.
Although this may sound challenging, even morning hunger is unlearned in two weeks at the latest. Yet consistency is the key to success.
Regardless of which eating window you choose, you will only eat during this time.