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What Is Intermittent Fasting And How Does It Work

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You Are Eating The Wrong Type Of Food

5:2 Intermittent Fasting Results (Does it really work?)

Many other diets come with a list of foods that you can and cannot eat. However, that is not how intermittent fasting works.

Intermittent fasting lets you eat anything you would like within a specific eating window.

Because intermittent fasting does not restrict your diet, it is easy to slip right into unhealthy feeding habits. Binging on unhealthy processed foods even if it is only in your eating window could be responsible for your slow results.

Stuffing too many calories during your eating periods is also counterproductive.

During your intermittent fast, consider changing your meal plan. Toss out the unhealthy processed food and switch to healthier options. Think of foods like whole grains that are rich in dietary fiber.

Furthermore, sugary foods could send your blood sugar levels through the roof and contribute to reduced insulin sensitivity.

Staying away from sugary foods protects you from sugar highs and the sugar crash that results after. It also helps keep your blood sugar within the normal range.

What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

Greater Fat Burning: Research has shown that fasting for relatively long periods may result in greater fat burning and accelerated fat loss, even when total daily calorie intake remains the same. Most people find that they’re able to have a few more of their favorite “cheat” foods during the feeding window and still see results. This is why IF is such an appealing diet for many people.

Adherence: Other reasons why so many individuals love IF are that it’s relatively easy to get used to and stick with, and it’s a diet you don’t have to discontinueâever. You can do intermittent fasting long term with no adverse health effects. Instead, you’ll actually see health benefits from IF.

What Is Intermittent Fasting And How Does It Work

Disclaimer: This intermittent fasting podcast episode has a lofty amount of disclaimers.

Disclaimer on our disclaimer: We know our listeners are smart, independent thinkers. Medical disclaimers are just a requirement these days.

We are pretty darn excited about this weeks show! Dr. Harriet Hansell is back on the podcast to tell us how to effectively use intermittent fasting. You may remember Dr. Hansell from our functional medicine podcast episode, which was wildly popular, so were thrilled to have her back. We both do intermittent fasting with Dr. Harriets guidance and we tell you why we turned to this method.

After you hear our success stories on this episode, you may be curious about trying this type of fasting for yourself. Dr. Hansell tells you why it works, how do it correctly, and tips for continued success. We will give you this important teaser: It isnt about calorie counting or calorie cutting .

We mentioned The Obesity Code in this episode. If you want to give it a read, you can purchase it here:

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Also Check: How To Lower Morning Fasting Blood Sugar

/8intermittent Fasting Mistakes To Avoid

Whenever you think about losing weight or shedding a certain amount of kilos, you first list down the kind of diets you can follow and the exercises you can perform. Out of all the diet programmes, intermittent fasting is one of the most popular, which is more like a lifestyle rather than a diet.

Several researches have shown that intermittent fasting not only aids your weight loss goals, but also reduces your risk of different health conditions, which is absolutely fantastic! However, following an IF diet is not as simple as it seems. There are many ways it can backfire, which is why you must pay attention to the many mistakes you can make while following such a diet.

Does Intermittent Fasting Work

How Intermittent Fasting Works and Tips for Success

Intermittent fasting does work! Is it easy? I don’t think so. Can one keep it up? That’s a good question. BUT, as Dr. Fung says, on so many levels, it is the most convenient diet there is to help you lose weight. It does not tell you what to do. It is simple, free, and flexible and requires no shopping, preparation, or clean-up! You can do it whenever you want, and anywhere you want. You can do intermittent fasting no matter what your current food restrictions might be. You don’t eat gluten, nuts, dairy, meat, soy, added sugar? No problem! You don’t like to cook? Excellent! You don’t have money for an expensive diet? That works too!!! Simply – don’t eat! And – like magic – your body will do the work for you it will dig into your fat reserves and burn fat for fuel. Intermittent fasting is incredibly effective!

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Intermittent Fasting Vs Calorie Restriction

Hereâs where it gets tricky: calorie restriction can also lead to weight loss and changes in cardio-metabolic markers.

Some mouse studies have kept calories constant to evaluate intermittent fasting independently and only changed the feeding schedule. They have compared a regime of caloric restriction with intermittent fasting to a regime of calorie restriction alone. These studies have yielded somewhat mixed results, so there are no clear answers to be had there.

More research is needed, but so far, it seems some forms of intermittent fasting could be a good alternative or can supplement the possible health benefits of calorie restriction.

One human study on intermittent fasting, which involved changing only the timing of peopleâs meals without any calorie restriction, found very negligible results for participants.

This interplay can make it hard to know whatâs really behind the weight loss, blood pressure changes, insulin and glucose regulation, and other effects seen in research and people who follow intermittent fasting regimens. Is it the timing, or the reduction in calories that yields results?

âI think thatâs mainly just driven by people eating less.â

Three of the five fasters Inverse interviewed also practice a ketogenic diet, have cut out certain foods , or exercise while intermittent fasting, which may contribute to their results.

But Longo tells Inverse that this kind of drastic restriction isnât recommended.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Enhance Fat

The Yale/Copenhagen group published several papers showing that one of the key mechanisms in fasting-induced fat loss has to do with an increase in the activity of genes that increase the number of calories the body uses and the amount of fat it burns.

When you fast, your body turns on genes that encode for certain uncoupling proteins and enzymes that increase fat oxidationâwhich is to say it turns on the fat-burning mechanisms of the body.

The uncoupling proteins basically “poke holes” in the mitochondria inside muscle cells. The mitochondria are where most of your energy is derived from, especially at rest. By poking holes in them, your mitochondria produce less energy and thus have to burn far more calories to produce the same amount of energy in the form of ATP.

In other words, you may use more calories as a fuel source during the fasted state, which can aid your weight-loss efforts.

Don’t Miss: How To Do Intermittent Fasting 16 8

How To Start Intermittent Fasting

If you’ve never fasted before, it takes some getting used to. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Talk to your doctor. Some medications don’t mix well with fasting. For example, fasting while taking the sulfonylurea class of diabetes medications can be dangerous, as fasting can significantly increase the risk of low blood sugars. Certain other medications must be taken with food to be absorbed properly. People with cancer, or people on many medications usually shouldn’t fast. Talk to your doctor before starting to fast as she or he may recommend against it or need to adjust certain medications before you start fasting
  • Get the right nutrients. While trying to lose weight, make sure to eat lots of vegetables and lean protein. This combination can maintain nutrition and help you feel full longer. Limit simple sugars and simple carbohydrates like sweets, pop, and white bread
  • Watch out for symptoms. Some people have symptoms such as headaches, mood changes, decreased energy levels or constipation when they start fasting. These symptoms may resolve over time as your body gets used to your new schedule. However, not everyone can tolerate fasting well and generally any significant symptoms should result in cessation of a fast
  • Start small. A simple way to start fasting would be to not eat anything after supper . After establishing that as a regular habit, you can start eating breakfast later and later until you can skip it or combine it with lunch
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    Who Should Avoid Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent Fasting – How it Works? Animation

    Some people should avoid intermittent fasting unless under the close supervision of a physician. Those people include:

    • Children and teens under 18
    • People with advanced diabetes, or on medication for diabetes
    • People with a history of eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia
    • Pregnant or breastfeeding women

    Talk to your primary care physician to see if intermittent fasting is a healthy choice for you.

    Read Also: What Are The Advantages Of Fasting

    Dark Chocolate And Cocoa Powder

    Dark chocolate and cocoa are delicious sources of antioxidants.

    In fact, cocoa provides at least as much antioxidant activity as any other fruit, including blueberries and acai berries .

    Dark chocolate contains flavanols, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and keeping arteries healthy (

    So Is Intermittent Fasting As Good As It Sounds

    According to metabolic expert Dr. Deborah Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, says “there is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective.” But still she recommends that people “use an eating approach that works for them and is sustainable to them.”

    So, heres the deal. There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes.

    Read Also: What Drinks Can You Have While Fasting

    How To Practice Intermittent Fasting

    There isnt one single right way to practice intermittent fasting. Common interpretations of this eating style include:

    • Eating during a 12-hour window every day and fasting for the other 12 hours
    • Eating during an 8-hour window every day and fasting for the other 16 hours
    • Eating differently every other day: On odd days, eating sensibly whenever you please, and on even days, restricting yourself to 500 or 600 calories for the entire day, with the bulk of calories in one meal
    • Eating sensibly for 5 days of the week, and eating no more than 500 to 600 calories on 2 other days per week, spacing out the fasting days
    • Eating sensibly for six days of the week, then fasting for the entire 24 hours on the seventh day

    People who practice intermittent fasting may adjust the eating style to fit their personal schedules. If you normally eat an early dinner and you want to fast for 16 hours a day, you can make your 8-hour eating window run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If youre a later eater, you can make your 8-hour window run from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

    Can Promote Disordered Eating

    Intermittent fasting

    Both Newgent and Dr. Viana point out that intermittent fasting might not promote healthy eating habits, especially for anyone struggling with an eating disorder. Any form of restriction or rulesincluding time-restricted eatingcan exacerbate disordered eating, such as binging during eating windows, says Newgent. It also leads to a preoccupation with food.

    Recommended Reading: Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Weight Gain

    /8your Diet Is Not Nutritious Enough

    One of the drawbacks of the plan is that it focuses on when to eat, but fails to convey what one should eat.

    For those, who really want to reap the benefits of the plan must indulge in eating nutritious, healthy foods, rather than resorting to processed, high calorie foods. While you may have fasted for long hours, it is important that you only consume fibre-rich, low-caloric foods during your eating window. Only when you do this, will you find some amount of transformation in yourself.

    Clearly Define The Reason Youre Doing It

    Chiropractor Kira C., 29, has been doing intermittent fasting for about three years. She typically fasts once a week, and Kira says she decided to do intermittent fasting knowing it could support her gut health.

    Kira points out that intermittent fasting can be tough to stick with if you dont have a reason in mind for following the eating plan. Clearly define the reason that you are doing it, she says. Certain hours get very challenging and you can feel pretty terrible at the moment. Let your ‘big why’ drive you to push through the tough times. For me, that was improving my gut health.

    Read Also: What Is The Best Fasting Way To Lose Weight

    How Do You Do Intermittent Fasting

    In intermittent fasting, there are generally no food or calorie restrictions, but there are restrictions on WHEN to eat. For example, eating may be restricted to an 8-hour window during the day, with 16 hours of fasting in between.

    Some popular methods of intermittent fasting include:

    • 16/8 daily regimen: of 8 hours of eating followed by 16 hours of fasting
    • 5/2 method: eat only 500-600 calories for 2 non-consecutive days, and 5 days of normal eating per week
    • Eat-Stop-Eat method: two 24-hour fasts per week on non-consecutive days

    It can take the body two to four weeks to acclimate to intermittent fasting.

    It is generally not advised to go for longer periods longer than 24 hours without eating because it might be dangerous.

    How Does Intermittent Fasting Work

    How Does Intermittent Fasting Work for Weight Loss

    There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast. For instance, you might try eating only during an eight-hour period each day and fast for the remainder. Or you might choose to eat only one meal a day two days a week. There are many different intermittent fasting schedules.

    Mattson says that after hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. He refers to this as metabolic switching.

    Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hours, Mattson says. If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and theyre not exercising, then every time they eat, theyre running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.

    Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.

    Read Also: How Long Should You Do The Intermittent Fasting

    How About Bcaas Can I Sip On Those During My Fast

    I get why people do this: to help preserve muscle mass while in the fasted state. But when you’re consuming branched-chain amino acids , you’re not truly fasting.

    As you probably know, amino acids combine to form protein. There are 20 aminos that are used as the building blocks of protein, including the nine essential amino acids , as well as the 11 nonessential amino acids . If you consume just one of these amino acids, you’re essentially consuming some small amount of protein and therefore are technically not fasting.

    One exception for using BCAAs during fasting is if you train in a fasted state. Here, you can sip on BCAAs during your workout. When you’re exercising, BCAAs are a powerful source of energy for the muscles. And since you’re just sipping on a drink with BCAAs in it, you’re not pounding down a bunch of them. The benefits of BCAAs for your workout outweigh any potential negatives.

    Amino acids that aren’t proteinogenic can be consumed during fasting. For example, it’s OK to have beta-alanine, betaine, D-aspartic acid andâeven though they’re not technically amino acids, but many people classify them as suchâL-carnitine and creatine. These are fine to sip on during the day, especially if you’re training in a fasted state.

    Nutrition is only one aspect of successful weight loss. You also need a solid training plan. Pair Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred program on BodyFit Elite with intermittent fasting and get ready for serious results.

    Is 1: 8 Fasting Good For Weight Loss

    Some studies have found that theres virtually no difference between people who regularly practiced intermittent fasting and those who simply cut back their calorie intake overall.

    A growing body of research demonstrates that a better strategy is optimizing the nutritional quality of what you already eat versus fasting or counting calories. Also, science suggests any potential benefit from fasting is quickly undone during the eating part of the cycle, in which appetite-suppressing hormones switch gears to make you feel even hungrierthan you felt at baseline.

    But some dieters may benefit from daily fasting if they have trouble sticking to prescribed meal plans or restrictive diets a 2018 pilot study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Eating suggests that a 16:8 fasting plan can help obese dieters lose weight without having to count every single calorie they eat. This approach to fasting could also aid those battling other weight-related issues namely, high blood pressure. A new scholarly review published in the New England Journal of Medicinesuggests that a 16:8 fasting plan may help the body naturally improve blood sugar regulation, as well as decrease blood pressure overall in the long run.

    Read Also: How Does Intermittent Fasting Work 16 8

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