The Best Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan: Health Guide 2022
Intermittent fasting is a concept of an eating plan where the individual switches between the fasting period and the eating window regularly. The word intermittent, in simple words, can be understood as not continuous.
Some studies suggest that intermittent fasting is one such way that aids in weight loss, prevention of certain diseases, and even reversion of diseases.
Schedule #: 1: : 4 Omad And Other Types Of Time Restricted Feeding
Popularized and researched by Satchidananda Panda, PhD, time-restricted feeding combines a fasting window with a feeding window. During the fasting window, people either dont eat at all or eat much less than usual. During the feeding window, people may either eat normally or more than normal.
In theory, this protocol takes advantage of our natural circadian rhythm to optimize metabolic health.
What it involves
Three of the more popular types of time-restricted eating include:
- 16:8, which calls for a 16-hour fast followed by an 8-hour eating window.
- 20:4, which entails fasting for the first 20 hours of each day, and then eating only during a 4-hour overfeeding window. Generally, most people put their 4-hour overfeeding window at the end of the day, as its more convenient for family dinners and after-work training sessions.
- OMAD, or one meal a day, which involves consuming all of your calories within 1 hour and nothing for the other 23 hours.
In each approach, some people focus on including highly-satiating foods such as colorful veggies and lean protein. These foods can help to dampen hunger during the fasting window.
For someone following 16:8, it might look like this:
Monday, 8pm: Finish your last meal of the day.
Tuesday, 11am: Work out.
Tuesday, 12pm: Eat your first meal, ideally the biggest one of the day.
Tuesday, 12-8pm: Feeding window during which you eat your daily energy intake.
Tuesday, 8pm: Last meal of the day ends, and the fasting period starts.
Can I Have Cream And Sugar In My Coffee While Fasting
To stay in a fasted metabolic state, its best not to add any sugar to your coffee. Cream is a better option. If youve already fasted overnight for 12 or so hours and you just cant drink black coffee, a bit of cream, butter , coconut oil, MCT oil or other healthy plant fat likely isnt going to kick you out of ketosis or a fat-burning state.
At most, these coffee fixings might lengthen the time it takes you to get into ketosis after an overnight fast. They can slightly and temporarily activate your insulin and mTOR pathways, telling your body that nutrients are around and thus delay entry into some fasting metabolic processes such as autophagy . However, its normal in human clinical studies of fasting to allow participants up to 500 calories on fasting days fasting benefits occur regardless of these few calories!
Sugar is another beast, as it can quickly raise your blood sugar levels. Try to avoid adding sugar into your coffee, opting for cream or other healthy fats instead. Also watch out for sugar-added creamers.
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Why Does Fasting Work For Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting naturally makes you cut your daily energy intake without the work of counting calories or measuring what you eat. Those who practice alternate-day fasting, the 5:2 diet, or time-restricted eating reduce their daily calorie intake by 10-30%. Intermittent fasting also induces a metabolic switch around 12 hours into a fast: Your body switches from burning sugar to burning fat to generate energy, which leads to weight loss.
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.
That being said, exercise before you eat because people get hungry about half an hour after they finish working out and may find it too hard to stick to their plan if they cant eat anything at all afterwards, Varady noted.
If youre on the 16:8 plan, exercise before or during your eating window. If youre doing alternate day fasting and are exercising on your 500-calorie day, save food for after your exercise session.
Read Also: 24 Hour Intermittent Fasting Schedule
Did You Know That Some Foods Can Hinder Fat Loss
Some foods like alcohol, sugar, and gluten can hinder your fat loss.
Avoid consuming them during your fasts, and make sure that you have a diet rich in proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
In this way, youll be able to achieve:
1- Mental clarity
3- Increased energy levels throughout the day
4- Better digestion
5- Weight loss and muscle gain
6- Better sleep at night, etc.
Editorial Sources And Fact
- Fothergill E, Guo J, Howard L, et al. Persistent Metabolic Adaptation 6 Years After The Biggest Loser Competition. Obesity. August 2016.
- Varady KA, Cienfuegos S, Ezpeleta M, et al. Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting. Annual Review of Nutrition. October 2021.
- Gabel K, Hoddy KK, Haggerty N, et al. Effects of 8-Hour Time Restricted Feeding on Body Weight and Metabolic Disease Risk Factors in Obese Adults: A Pilot Study. Nutrition and Healthy Aging. June 2018.
- Catterson JH, Khericha M, Dyson MC, et al. Short-Term, Intermittent Fasting Induces Long-Lasting Gut Health and TOR-Independent Lifespan Extension. Current Biology. June 2018.
- De Cabo R, Mattson MP. Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease. The New England Journal of Medicine. December 26, 2019.
Read Also: How Fast Can You Lose Weight With Fasting
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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.
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Eating Too Much In Your Eating Window
It can be tough to avoid overeating during your eating window.
Feeling famished after fasting, you might be tempted to reach for potato chips or your favorite ice cream.
On the flip side, you dont want to eat too little during non-fasting periods. You still need a balanced diet for your overall health and well-being.
Noom Weight helps you avoid overeating or undereating.
We calculate your daily calorie range based on your age, current weight, and other factors.
Then you log what you eat in the Noom Weight app.
Take the 16:8 fasting method.
Imagine youre coming out of a 16-hour period of fasting. Youve been fantasizing about egg rolls and General Tsos chicken.
Then you check Nooms food logger and realize that meal will blow your entire calorie budget for the day.
All your hard work spent fasting could be undone by one high-fat, carb-heavy meal.
So, you look at some alternatives in your Noom food logger and opt for some equally satisfying, lower-calorie options like steamed dumplings and chicken and broccoli stir fry.
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How To Schedule Meals When You Are Intermittent Fasting
While the idea of fasting can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done it before, intermittent fasting can actually be a lot easier than many other types of eating plans.
Once you start your intermittent fasting journey, you’ll most likely find that you feel fuller longer and can keep the meals you do eat very simple.
There are a few different ways you can fast, so I broke up each of the different plans below into beginner, intermediate, and advanced along with a typical meal plan for each day.
The combination of nutrients will give you the energy you need to enhance the benefits of your fasting journey.
Just make sure to take into account any individual food intolerances, and use this as a guide for your particular health case, and adjust from there.
Remember, intermittent fasting does not necessarily mean calorie-controlled, so be sure to eat according to your personal caloric needs.
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What Are Fasting Diets
Though theres no one-size-fits-all approach to fasting diets, they typically include a period of time when youre fastingabstaining from eating or drinking anything with caloriesand a period of time when youre eating, sometimes focused on specific food groups.
With this type of dieting, you might skip breakfast a few times per week, or you might limit your eating window every day. It all depends on what works for you.
Everyone responds differently to fasting diets, but this style of eating may help you feel more like yourself. Fasting diets can help improve your mood and better manage your weight. Other benefits range from improved memory and alertness to autophagy, which is your bodys natural way of cleaning out damaged cells and toxins to make way for fresh, healthy cells.
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Mayo Clinic Q And A: Is Intermittent Fasting Good For Weight Loss
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: A friend told me that she is fasting to lose weight. Ive tried many diets over the years without much success, so Im thinking about trying fasting, too. Is intermittent fasting a healthy way to lose weight? Is this just skipping a meal occasionally or is there more to it?
ANSWER: One diet trend that shows no sign of going away soon is intermittent fasting. Thats when you voluntarily abstain from food or beverages other than water for a certain amount of time. Some fasting is for religious reasons, while others fast for weight loss.
The three most popular approaches to intermittent fasting are:
- Alternate-day fastingEat a normal, healthy diet one day and then completely fast or have one small meal the next day. Usually, the small meal is fewer than 500 calories.
- 5-2 fastingEat a normal diet five days per week and fast for two days per week.
- Daily time-restricted fastingEat normally but only within an eight-hour window each day.
Recent research has found that using intermittent fasting for weight loss may have some benefits in the short term.
Fasting also affects metabolic processes in the body that may work to decrease inflammation, as well as improve blood sugar regulation and physical stress response. Some research shows this may improve conditions associated with inflammation like arthritis, asthma and multiple sclerosis.
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How Do I Know If My Body Is Ready For Intermittent Fasts
Your body has an innate timing system that lets you know when it is time for a change. When you feel exhausted and uninterested in any work that needs to be done, then its best to stop eating for a while. Of course, you should take a day off after 2 or 3 weeks of fasting. This will help your body stay fresh and active.
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