Phase Out Bedtime Snacks
For all the reasons mentioned here, our general rule is no food after dinner, says Krista Varady, PhD, a professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Its probably the most important change you can make. I think the lack of nighttime snacking is the main reason we see such great decreases in insulin resistance in time-restricted eating studies, she says.
If you must eat a snack, have a small portion of a food low on the glycemic index a measure of how quickly a food raises blood glucosesuch as celery, cucumbers, apples, blueberries, or raspberries. Many typical snackscookies, chips, crackersare high GI, and research suggests that it is metabolically unhealthy to eat foods with a high glycemic index late in the day, Peterson says.
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.
How Can I Suppress Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
Eat high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, and high protein foods, including meat, fish, tofu, or nuts, during your eating window, Varady advised. Chewing high-fiber gummies can also help.
Drink lots of water. People tend to think they’re hungry, when they are really just thirsty, she said.
Go for black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or licorice herbal teas. These beverages may have appetite-suppressing effects, Varady noted.
Watch less TV: I know this sounds strange, but while you are watching TV, you are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. This can make you feel hungry, when in actuality, you are not hungry at all, she said.
Remember, being “a little hungry” is the best thing that can happen to you, wrote Madelyn Fernstrom, health and nutrition editor at NBC News, calling it a “true mind-body connection” that helps you recognize fullness.
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Is It Ok To Skip Breakfast
Yes, Varady said. The notion that omitting a morning meal is bad for your waistline likely began with studies sponsored by cereal companies, and most of that research looked at the effects of breakfast skipping on cognition in children, she noted: Im not sure how that all got translated to body weight.
How To Eat On Fasting Days
There is no rule for what or when to eat on fasting days.
Some people function best by beginning the day with a small breakfast, while others find it best to start eating as late as possible.
Generally, there are two meal patterns that people follow:
Since calorie intake is limited 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men it makes sense to use your calorie budget wisely.
Soups are a great option on fast days. Studies have shown that they may make you feel more full than the same ingredients in original form, or foods with the same calorie content (
There is no specific, correct way to eat on fasting days. You have to experiment and figure out what works best for you.
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What Can I Eat While Intermittent Fasting
During the times when youre not eating, water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted.
And during your eating periods, eating normally does not mean going crazy. Youre not likely to lose weight or get healthier if you pack your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items and treats.
But what Williams likes about intermittent fasting is that it allows for a range of different foods to be eaten and enjoyed. We want people to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food, she says. She adds that eating with others and sharing the mealtime experience adds satisfaction and supports good health.
Williams, like most nutrition experts, regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat, whether youre trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.
Is Intermittent Fasting Right For You
Intermittent fasting isnt for everyone. However, if you do decide to try it, Dr. Viana notes that consistency is key. Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool to help change lifestyle, but before doing it, one should consider if they will be able to maintain it in the long run, he says.
His overall view on eating is that it needs to be something natural and uncomplicatednoting that intermittent fasting can be too restrictive for many people. I like the philosophy of mindful eating very much, which is essentially to get rid of the diet mentality. In my opinion, we tend to overcomplicate eating and that leads to failure.
Also, keep in mind that what you eat should be your first priority over when you eat. What is most important is to eat a healthy diet that contains little or no processed food and is rich in lean protein, whole grains and vegetables , says Dr. Viana.
If you do decide to incorporate intermittent fasting into your dietary plan, consult with your physician firstespecially if you have any preexisting health conditions or are on certain medications.
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Diet Plan: What Can You Eat And What Are The Benefits
The 16:8 diet has been one of the most popular diet plans weve seen in years and with good reason.
The 16:8 plan also called the 8-hour diet is an easier and more consistent way of fasting that avoids heavily calorie restricted days found in other popular intermittent fasting plans like the 5:2 diet or Fast 800 calorie diet.
A famous fan of the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan is Hollywood icon Jennifer Aniston. In an interview with the Radio Times, Jennifer revealed that shes a big fan of intermittent fasting in general but specifically this plan. I do intermittent fasting, so no food in the morning. She said, I noticed a big difference in going without solid food for 16 hours.
Does Intermittent Fasting Work
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Most people will end up losing weight on this type of plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. “This lack of a clear definition has the potential to create confusion,” says Rachele Pojednic, Ph.D., assistant professor of nutrition at Simmons College in Boston. Yet Pojednic says the overall concept of intermittent fasting generally translates successfully to losing weight. “No matter the pattern of restriction, the result is reduced calorie intake-which leads to weight loss,” she notes.
What Else You Should Know
Cost: None beyond your shopping. In fact, because you will eat much less 2 to 4 days per week, your grocery costs should go down.
Support: There are several books and websites detailing variations on the basic idea of fasting a few days a week. So though there’s no single destination for support, there are plenty of resources once you’ve decided which version of the plan appeals most to you.
How To Follow Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
There is a litany of popular diets and approaches to eating. From the Mediterranean Diet to keto, the Dash Diet to vegan, most diets are defined by what you eat . However, intermittent fasting is a dietary approach that has gained traction over the past few years that instead is characterized by when you eat .
Intermittent fasting involves limiting the time period in which you eat during the day and deliberately extending the period of fasting. Proponents believe it can be an effective avenue for weight loss and improve other markers of health simultaneously. To learn more about the pros and cons of intermittent fasting and how to do it, we spoke with Kayla Girgen, RD, LD, a Registered Dietician and Founder of Nutrition Untapped. If youre looking to overhaul your eating habits and try a different approach to dieting, keep reading to see if intermittent fasting may be a helpful strategy for you.
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The 14 Proven Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Successful diets are not solely focused on calorie restricting and eliminating foods. They can involve timed eating windows and/or daily eating cycles. This is better known as intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting can offer many health benefits. If not more than traditional dieting methods. It can aid weight loss, control diabetes and prevent health conditions. It has taken time for people to catch on. More people are now, more than ever, trying to diet due to its abundance of impressive results from scientific studies.
Intermittent fasting is now the number one fasting technique. In 2019 it was the top dieting method searched on Google. Since 2010, it has popularised in the Google search engine by over 10,000 per cent. Exceeding other popular and more traditional calorie restricting diets.
Find out more about why its so popular, how it works and the numerous health benefits it offers:
Making It Work For You
For some people, aspects of intermittent fasting may be a great way to control how many calories you consume.
- If you often find yourself mindlessly overeating in the evening, setting an eight-hour window to eat within may help stop this happening. Make a point of not eating after dinner and waiting until the next day to eat again. If you follow the 16:8, for example, that would be eating dinner at 6pm and waiting until 10am the next day to eat again.
- If you find it hard to cut out complete food groups or certain favourites, the 5:2 diet means you can still enjoy these on your normal eating days .
- During normal eating periods, make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet dont just overeat on junk food.
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Ive Made The Decision To Fast So How Long Should I Fast For
There arent any studies right now that state exactly how long one should fast. Researchers, like Dr. Peterson, are working on that. The minimum amount of time it takes to make fasting efficacious hasnt been proven via study, but the prevailing notion is its somewhere between 12 and 18 hours. But it can take a few days sometimes weeks of fasting regularly for your body to start burning fat for fuel. Brooke Alpert, nutritionist and author of The Diet Detox, suggests starting by moving your last meal to around 7 p.m. She said the reason for this is our bodies are better at doing some things at certain times. Our bodies are better at processing sugar in the morning than at night, said Dr. Varady. So eat bigger meals in the morning, for example.
And how often do you have to do daily intermittent fasting to see the benefit? Again, there hasnt been a study thats shown exactly how many days you need to fast, but a recent study in rodents showed they get about the same benefits fasting five days per week as they did fasting every day. The great thing is that were learning is that this type of fasting isnt all or nothing, said Dr. Peterson.
What Is The Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, very low-carb way of eating.
Carbs are typically reduced to 20 to 50 grams per day, which forces your body to rely on fats instead of glucose for its main energy source .
In the metabolic process known as ketosis, your body breaks down fats to form substances called ketones that serve as an alternate fuel source .
This diet is an effective way to shed pounds, but it has several other benefits as well.
The keto diet has been used for nearly a century to treat epilepsy and also demonstrates promise for other neurological disorders (
Whats more, it may reduce blood sugar, improve insulin resistance and lower heart disease risk factors like triglyceride levels .
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet linked to potential health benefits, such as weight loss and improved blood sugar control.
If you commit to the ketogenic diet while doing intermittent fasting as well, it could offer the following benefits.
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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.
History Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is assumed to be a new dieting technique. Although its health benefits have only recently been discovered, fasting has been around for centuries. Fasting dates back to as early as to the Middle Ages.
Throughout its early years, it was solely used for religious practice. Then, throughout war times and pandemics it was used to help with rationing and plagues. It was used to help people limit food and ensure supplies did not run out.
Now, it is still used for religious purposes. But, it is also used as a dieting technique by millions across the world. Once people saw real results from studies, the demand for information and guides increased rapidly.
Non-religious people that use intermittent fasting for its health benefits use it for weight loss, to improve gut health, reduce heart conditions and much more.
Although intermittent fasting is essentially nothing new, it is now used more than ever. Lets find out more about the health benefits of intermittent fasting:
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Lack Of Scientific Data
The thought behind intermittent fasting is that after the body is depleted of carbohydrates, it starts to burn fat. This starts to occur around 12 to 24 hours after starvation. Therefore, starving the body of food for 12 to 24 hours will potentially lead to weight loss which can improve health. However, most of the studies done on this topic have been performed on animals over a short period and have measured glucose levels rather than long-term health outcomes.
Yes, it is possible to lose calories, fat and weight from this popular diet. However, it is also possible to quickly gain the weight back, develop low energy stores which can result in a depressed mood, have problems sleeping and even develop organ damage if the fasting is extreme.
The following are reasons why individuals should avoid intermittent fasting:
It May Be Difficult For Some People To Stick To
One of the most obvious limitations of the Warrior Diet is that it restricts the time during which you may eat substantial meals to a four-hour period.
This can be difficult to stick to, especially when participating in normal social activities like going out to breakfast or lunch.
While some people may feel great when consuming very small amounts of calories over a 20-hour period, others may find that this way of eating is not ideal for their lifestyle.
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What Are The Possible Side Effects
There can be a number of possible side effects of intermittent fasting.40 Heres what to do if you encounter them:
- Hunger is the most common side effect of intermittent fasting. This may be less of an issue if youre already on a keto or low-carb, higher-fat diet.41Learn more
- Constipation is common. Less going in means less going out. However, keep in mind this is a normal response to eating less. It is not a concern and shouldnt require treatment unless you experience significant bloating or abdominal discomfort. Standard laxatives or magnesium supplements can be used, if needed.
- Headaches are common and tend to disappear after the first few times on fasts.42 Taking some extra salt often helps mitigate such headaches.43
- Mineral water may help if your stomach tends to gurgle.
- Other possible side effects include dizziness, heartburn and muscle cramps. Learn more
A more serious side effect is the refeeding syndrome. Fortunately, this is rare and generally only happens with extended fasts when one is undernourished.44
Since most of these side effects are manageable, they do not mean you have to stop your fast. However, if you truly feel unwell, are excessively dizzy, profoundly weak or have other severe symptoms, then you should break your fast.
Just remember to go slowly when you break it and prioritize fluids and salt . And of course, if the symptoms persist, see your doctor immediately.