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What Is Intermittent Fasting And How To Do It

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Balancing The Meals No Snacks Between

What is Intermittent Fasting? And Why Do It?

So when you decide to start intermittent fasting first review your previous days. How many meals did you have? How many snacks did you have?

Its okay if you have no idea, if you dont remember or if it all seemed like just eating all the time. Thats the usual situation because people today have very busy lives.

For the beginning just spread 3 meals throughout your whole day and dont have any snacks. Take 3 normal meals, like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dont pay much attention to what you eat, although you should get the sweats and sugars out because they will make you crave and binge eat after you start fasting.

Make sure you drink a minimum of 8 cups of water every day. This phase should not last longer than 4 days, but if you need more time to adapt, thats fine.

How Much Weight Can You Lose On 1: 8 Diet

To lose weight on the 16:8 diet, its important to match the fasting with healthy eating and exercise. If done so correctly, theres a typical weight loss of around seven to 11 pounds over a ten week period. This is according to a review of 40 different studies published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrincology who found that on average, someone weighing just over 90kg would lose 5% of their total body weight in the ten week period.

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Eating revealed that the 16:8 diet plan can help people lose weight, without having to count calories as the 8-hour fast produces the same kind of calorific restriction and weight loss.

However, whether theres a distinct weight loss advantage achieved on the 16:8 diet compared to other diets remains to be seen. Some studies have demonstrated that theres almost no difference between people who do intermittent fasting compared those who count calories and cut back on unhealthy food.

Can I Exercise During Fasting

Yes. You can continue all your usual activities, including exercise, while fasting.37 You do not need to eat before exercising to provide energy.38 Instead, your body can burn stored energy for fuel.

However, for long-duration aerobic exercise, eating before exercise may increase performance.39 Its also important to drink fluids and replenish sodium around exercise when fasting. This is good to know if youre competing. Learn more

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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.

Many studies show that this can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, protect against disease and perhaps help you live longer (1,

This article explains what intermittent fasting is, and why you should care.

Fast Mimicking Vs Traditional Fasting

Does Intermittent Fasting Work? A Science

Just like with intermittent fasting, there are many myths about these modified fasts: Your muscles will waste away, youll kill your metabolism, and its downright unhealthy.

The above might be true for someone who is actually starving, restricting calories for weeks, months, or years at a time, or doing no-food water fasting.

These can lead to metabolic damage and are especially bad for people with underlying health conditions. But as mentioned, fast mimicking gives you all the benefits without these side effects.

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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.

Keep The Intensity Down Across All Exercises

Depending on how intense your fasting schedule is, youll want to adjust the routine accordingly. You dont want to run the risk of over training and getting yourself hurt. It just isnt worth it. Since you are eating less throughout the day, your energy levels will tend to fluctuate as you become used to operating on fewer calories.

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Tips For Intermittent Fasting When You Have Diabetes

According to Diabetes UK, there are some general tips that are important to follow if you have diabetes and you plan to start an intermittent fasting diet. These include:

The safety of fasting for those with type 1 diabetes has not been fully established. You should never fast if you have type 1 diabetes without first consulting with your healthcare provider.

Intermittent Fasting: What Is It And Is It Safe

Intermittent Fasting – How it Works? Animation

Intermittent fasting may seem like a recent trend, but actually, humans have periodically refrained from eating for millennia for a host of reasons: Believe it or not, physicians of yesteryear used to prescribe fasting to treat a host of ailments, while ancient philosophers pushed their plates away in attempts to boost their mental clarity. Fasting has also been a form of political protestthink: the hunger strikes of Mahatma Gandhi, Irish Republican prisoners in the 1980s, or British and American suffragettes in the early 1900s.

To this day, avoiding food is a regular part of many religions. Traditionally, Muslims forgo food and beverage during daylight throughout Ramadan Jews skip eating and drinking on Yom Kippur and Hindus and Buddhists fast weekly.

Now fasting is trickling into the secular spotlight due to media coverage that claims intermittent fasting not only leads to weight loss and boosts metabolism but that it may also curtail cancer risk and even extend lifespan.

But is intermittent fasting, a practice thats both ancient and newly trendy, as effective as some attest? Below, we take a closer look.

What is intermittent fasting? The ultimate guide

The theory is that this process may strengthen some cells ability to withstand additional stressors, which explains the potential link between IF and delayed aging as well as a reduced risk of cancer risk. But the benefits have yet to be proven.

Different types of intermittent fasting

16/8 fasting:

5:2 diet:

Read Also: Am I Doing Intermittent Fasting Right

It Could Lead To Negative Side Effects

The Warrior Diet may lead to side effects, some of which could be severe.

Potential side effects include (

  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Weight gain

In addition, many health professionals argue that dieters will not get enough nutrients when following an intermittent fasting plan like the Warrior Diet.

However, as long as healthy, nutrient-dense foods are chosen and calorie needs are met, nutrient needs can be covered by carefully planning your food choices when following the Warrior Diet.

Summary

The Warrior Diet is inappropriate for many people, can be hard to stick to and may lead to negative side effects such as fatigue, insomnia and hormonal imbalance.

Hofmekler suggests that anyone starting the Warrior Diet should follow an initial three-week, three-phase plan to improve the bodys ability to utilize fat for energy.

How Intermittent Fasting Works

The primary goal of intermittent fasting for weight loss is to get the insulin levels to decrease to a level where the body will begin to burn stored fat for energy.

Here is how it works. When the food we eat is metabolized , it ends up as molecules in the blood stream. One such molecule is glucose . Normally, when there is more circulating blood glucose than the body can use for energy, the excess is stored as fat for future use. But, for glucose to be utilized by the cells, it requires insulin. Between meals the body doesnt require insulin so insulin levels decline. When insulin levels are low, the fat cells release some of the stored glucose, resulting in weight loss.

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Intermittent Fasting Tips For Success And How To Start

When starting a new healthy habit, it’s important to think about what challenges you may face or barriers that may arise during the process.

This is actually a crucial step in planning SMART goals, a common tool used by health coaches to help clients set achievable goals that last long term. When it comes to intermittent fasting there are a few common challenges or questions that tend to arise:

  • What do I eat during my non-fasting period?
  • What happens if I feel dizzy or nauseous?
  • Is intermittent fasting safe?
  • How long should I intermittent fast for?

/8you’re Not Taking It Slow

A Beginnerâs Guide to Intermittent Fasting

When people switch to a particular diet, one common mistake they make is jumping right to it and not taking it slow and steady.

With intermittent fasting, people do the same. Given that average human beings are used to eating after every few hours, leaping forward to a 24 hour fasting may not be the best solution. Rather one must start with a small fasting window and then gradually increase the frame.

If you go all in on your first try, you may not remain consistent and may lose track over time.

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A Reality Check But Do Not Be Scared

Now heres a reality check. A 36-hour fast will not come easy for most people. That much I know. But you dont have to set your sight that high. At least not when youre a rookie anyway.

If you are new to intermittent fasting, go for the bare minimum of 16 hours first. Thats the 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol. The 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol gives you an 8-hour eating window which is not that hard to accomplish.

Once you conquer that, then you can gradually increase the fasting interval by adding one extra hour each time. There are people who will fast for 3 days or longer. Dont be jealous of them. Do what you are comfortable with, okay.

My longest fast was 36 hours but now I only do 24 hours on each fasting episode and I am happy with that. Serves my needs. Which leads me to:

The Five Stages Of Intermittent Fasting

. In this state, your body starts to break down and burn fat.

Some of this fat is used by the liver to produce ketone bodies . The two main ketones, acetoacetate and -hydroxybutyrate , serve as an alternative energy source for the cells of your heart, skeletal muscle, and brain, when glucose isnt readily available. Did you know that your brain uses up some 60% of your glucose when your body is in the resting state? During intermittent fasting, ketone bodies generated by your liver partly replace glucose as fuel for your brain as well as other organs. This ketone usage by your brain is one of the reasons that intermittent fasting is often claimed to promote mental clarity and positive mood ketones produce less inflammatory products as they are being metabolized than does glucose, and they can even kick-start production of the brain growth factor BDNF! Ketones have also been shown to reduce cellular damage and cell death in neurons and can also reduce inflammation in other cell types.

As their level in your bloodstream rises, ketones can act as signaling molecules, similar to hormones, to tell your body to ramp up stress-busting pathways that reduce inflammation and repair damaged DNA for example.

Within 24 hours, your cells are increasingly recycling old components and breaking down misfolded proteins linked to Alzheimers and other diseases . This is a process called autophagy.

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How To Get Started With Intermittent Fasting

There are two schools of thought with regard to how to structure your fasts. The first is fairly different from what’s described above it’s commonly known as 5:2, meaning you eat normally for five days of the week and fast for two. That may work for some, but two days of virtual starvation doesn’t sound very appealing.

I prefer the daily method: Fast for at least 16 hours per day. The aforementioned New England Journal of Medicine study was based on an 18:6 structure: 18-hour fast, six-hour window.

“16:8 is a great place to start,” Stephens says, “but it may not be a weight-loss window for many people. That’s because fat-burning ramps up between hours 18 and 24 of the fast. 19:5 was a great weight-loss sweet spot for me, and I lost at about a pound per week when doing it. With 19:5, you fast for 19 hours a day and have an eating window of five hours. Your sweet spot may be different from mine, of course. Maybe it will be 18:6 or 20:4.” Experimentation is key, she adds.

Before you embark on this journey, I recommend reading CNET writer Caroline Roberts’ guide to doing intermittent fasting safely.

If your eating window doesn’t include breakfast, you can still drink coffee as long as it’s black and unsweetened.

Who Shouldnt Try Intermittent Fasting

INTERMITTENT FASTING – What It Is & How To Do It!

Not everyone should try IF. A few groups who shouldnt: women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant , those taking diabetes medication , or anyone on multiple drugs , says Kumar. Also, if you have a history of eating disorders, introducing periods where youre not allowed to eat can put you on a dangerous path to a relapse.

Know that IF has some side effects. You may be cranky hanger is real during fasting periods because low blood sugar can mess with your mood. You also still need to have a healthy diet when you do eat. One thought is that it would be difficult to make up a calorie deficit if you fasted for two days, but in our society with access to calorie-dense items, you could probably do it, says Kumar. Focus on balanced, nutrient-packed choices, like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, legumes, and whole grains . Expect that for the first couple of weeks you may deal with lower energy, bloating, and cravings until your body adjusts, says Shemek.

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Read Also: How To Stop Thinking About Food When Fasting

Are There Health Benefits From Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting can teach us some important lessons when it comes to crafting intentional eating patterns and building healthy eating habits like:

  • Reducing your consumption of sugars and refined grains
  • Eliminating mindless snacking during the day and before bed
  • Avoiding making unwanted food choices and planning a healthy diet

Along with building healthy habits, some studies suggest that adopting this practice may help with weight loss, improve memory and mental performance, cardiovascular health, type 2 diabetes, and the effectiveness of cancer treatments .

Is it Safe?

Fasting may not be appropriate for individuals with type 1 diabetes, pregnant and breastfeeding women, elderly individuals with eating disorders, and those who need regular food intake to take medications .

If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe to try intermittent fasting as long periods of fasting can lower your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling lightheaded, dizzy, with headaches and/or nausea.

How Often Can You Do Intermittent Fasting

This also up to you. There are no set rules on how often you can do intermittent fasting for. You can have an initial phase where you hit your goals after a couple of weeks. Then have a break for say 3 months and eat the routine way for the 3 months.

Then, re-start intermittent fasting again for another 3 months, have a break for 3 months and do the same thing again.

You can use a 2 month ON, 2 months OFF model, 4 months ON, 4 months OFF . Do this repeatedly. No rigid rules about how often you can fast intermittently.

If the question is about how often to fast during the week, it would depend on the IF plan you adopt. The 5:2 requires you to fast 2 days a week . Alternate day fasting is as the name suggests, every other day.

The 2 days you fast in the 5:2 plan are not actually a total fast. It only requires you to hold back on your calories to 500 Calories for those 2 days.

The true 24-hour fast may require you to do this twice or three times a week, if you can handle that frequency.

If you cant, even one day a week is okay until you get comfortable with it and you can then try 2 days a week.

Even one day a week is certainly better than what you are currently doing. It will still work. Its just going to take longer.

So, if you want to know how many weeks to do intermittent fasting, all I can say is theres no one size fits all approach.

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Possible Reversal Of Type 2 Diabetes

Evidence shows that IF can help with insulin resistance and sensitivity. The food control which is encouraged by fasting helps to reduce blood sugar levels, which is helpful for controlling insulin. More evidence suggests that intermittent fasting may be able to reverse actually developing the diseases.

One study involved type 2 diabetic patients using fasting as a therapeutic technique for reducing insulin resistance as opposed to medication. The results demonstrated that fasting can be as effective as medication. Fasting helps control blood sugar levels, which helps control and improve insulin complications that diabetic patients suffer with. Thus, suggesting that fasting may lower the risk of developing diabetes.

This study also resulted in these patients losing weight, reducing their waist circumference and improving their blood sugar levels.

/8intermittent Fasting Mistakes To Avoid

Different Ways Of Intermittent Fasting

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.

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