Fasting May Improve Brain Health
The Warrior Diet is promoted as a way to improve brain health.
There may be some truth to that based on scientific studies on intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting has been found to benefit the regulation of inflammatory pathways that affect your brain function.
For example, animal studies have shown that intermittent fasting reduced inflammatory markers like interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha , which may negatively impact memory and learning (
However, research in this area is ongoing and more human studies are needed to determine the benefits of intermittent fasting on brain health.
But Is Intermittent Fasting Good For You
While some researchhas shown the benefits of IF, such as weight loss, lowerblood pressure and improved metabolic health, more investigation isstill needed, especially regarding long-term outcomes of IF. There is also theaspect of sustainability. Severely restricting calories or not eating for longperiods at a time isnt for everyone. Some researcheven shows that those who do intermittent fasting dont usually stick with itas compared with those trying to lose weight on more traditional diets.
Still, IF has been shown to be an effective form of weight loss but so have other options like eating a well-balanced diet paired withexercise. One studysuggests that IF is not more effective at supporting weight loss or improvingblood sugars than other well-balanced approaches.
Weight loss is never a one-size-fits-all approach, saysTaylor. IF may be sustainable for some people, while others find that this approachjust isnt for them.
If you want to try IF, youll first need to figure out how you are going to incorporate this style of eating into your life, especially when it comes to things like social events and staying active, she advises.
Ready to explore your options? Here Taylor explains some of the most popular IF methods.
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.
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Why Does Intermittent Fasting Work
Intermittent fasting works because it allows your blood sugar and insulin levels to drop to a low level.
Insulin is your fat-storing hormone. When insulin levels are high, fat flows into your fat cells and gets stored when insulin is low, fat can flow out of your fat cells and burn.
Also, since insulin is not pushing the sugars that remain in your blood into fat storage, those sugars are available to provide energy for the repair of cells.
This healing advantage is why intermittent fasting is getting a lot of attention right now in the research world for the treatment of chronic disease .
Ready to Try Intermittent fasting? Let me start you off with the easiest method
Here Are Some Of The Most Popular Approaches For Intermittent Fasting Meal Plans:
- Alternate-day fasting: You can eat a normal diet on the first day. The next day you can have a small meal .
- Time-restricted Fasting: For this approach, skip breakfast and eat lunch around noon and dinner by 8 p.m.
- 5:2 Fasting: This type of fasting includes eating a normal diet five days a week followed by two days fast in a week.
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Five Common Fasting Methods
Fasting is essentially not eating food for a defined amount of time. Civilizations around the world have incorporated fasting into their religious and cultural lives for thousands of years, but it’s recently grown popular as a way to possibly lose weight and experience other health benefits.
You can modify a fasting diet in any way it works for you, but here are some of the most common patterns:
- Intermittent fasting: a 12-, eight- or four-hour feeding window per day.
Usually when people fast, the only things they consume during the fasting period is plain black coffee, tea and water — you can even put a dash of salt in the water for electrolytes. However, a lot of people believe that consuming anything under 50 calories will keep you in a fasted state, so you could throw a dash of heavy cream or oil in your coffee to help tide you over.
Whats The Right Way To Do Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting has been one of the worlds most popular fitness and health trends in modern times. It has been claimed to result in weight loss, enhance metabolism, and even extend your lifespan.
Intermittent Fasting involves fully or partially skipping meals for a specific time, then eating normally again for a set period of time. Experiences with Intermittent Fasting varies with different individuals, and various methods suit different people.
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How To Do A Fat Fast With A 1: 8 Intermittent Fast
To work this extreme version of intermittent fasting into your diet, you need to be smart with your food choices.
Common healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, and cheese contain some carbohydrate and protein grams, so you cannot munch on these foods with carefree abandon during your eight-hour eating window.
Instead, you need to stick with your more healthy saturated fats, like butter MCT oil, and coconut oil.
These foods are almost purely fat and can be consumed in a hot drink, such as coffee.
Dave Asprey popularized a high-fat coffee drink that he calls BulletProof Coffee, which is a coffee drink that includes butter and MCT oil.
Today we see many versions of this original recipe, most of them going by the name Keto Coffee.
My husband has his own version of this buttery coffee. In his version, which he calls Fat-Fortified Coffee, he adds heavy whipping cream for flavor. We share the recipe in our 2 Fit Docs 21-Day Challenge.
As Keith was losing weight, he would occasionally do a fat fast by consuming two Fat-Fortified Coffees within an eight-hour window. That was it, nothing else to eat.
While it sounds like hunger would be a big factor, he stated that the fats helped to keep hunger at bay.
What Laura Martin Md Says
Most of the intermittent fasting diets recommend cutting back to 500-600 calories on fasting days. In general, for many people this would be medically safer and easier than not eating at all on those days.
Remember to drink enough on fasting days to prevent dehydration. And youll need to eat a healthy diet on days that you dont fast.
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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.
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.
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How Much Weight Loss Can You Expect In A Month On Intermittent Fasting
Many factors go into how much weight you actually lose on intermittent fasting. Weight loss will depend on your current weight, metabolism, what you eat, and your activity levels. Obviously, if you follow a healthy eating pattern and exercise every day or a few times a week, it will help you shed weight faster.
Intermittent fasting may enable you to lose between 0.51.5 pounds a week. In 4 weeks, you could lose anything between 26 pounds.
Intermittent Fasting For Keto
If you have hopped on the Keto Diet bandwagon, this special 3-day type of intermittent fasting is for you. This method was designed to boost your transition into ketosis, or fat-burning mode.
This method was developed by Tim Ferriss and is not for the faint of heart because it involves fasting for 3 days. You can read about his 3-day plan here.
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Why Might Changing Timing Help
But why does simply changing the timing of our meals to allow for fasting make a difference in our body? An in-depth review of the science of IF recently published in New England Journal of Medicine sheds some light. Fasting is evolutionarily embedded within our physiology, triggering several essential cellular functions. Flipping the switch from a fed to fasting state does more than help us burn calories and lose weight. The researchers combed through dozens of animal and human studies to explain how simple fasting improves metabolism, lowering blood sugar lessens inflammation, which improves a range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma and even helps clear out toxins and damaged cells, which lowers risk for cancer and enhances brain function. The article is deep, but worth a read!
Mistake #: Youre Not Sure What Counts
So my wife and I are trying to start on the IF journey . Its harder than we thought. How can she do coffee in the mornings without throwing off the benefits of the fast? She doesnt care for black coffee, but the chokehold of caffeine has her in its stimulant grip, and I dont want to die in that ditch today.
I, too, live and die by that a.m. cup of coffee. But this person is overthinking it. The best thing to do is simplify your routine. Have your morning cup of coffee exactly as you like it and break your fast then. For example, if youre doing 16:8 , have your coffee at 8 a.m. and your last meal at 4 p.m.
The Easy Way To Do Intermittent Fasting
The easy way to do intermittent fasting is what I call 12:12 intermittent fasting.
This title simply means that for 12 hours of the day you fast, and 12 hours you consume all of your calories.
In other words, you have a 12-hour window of eating during the day.
This method is very simple to do.
In fact, I do this on a daily basis as do the people that follow my 0, 1, 2, 3 Strategy .
The 3 of my strategy reminds you to stop eating three hours before bed.
For instance, if you go to bed at 10:30 PM, you want to stop eating at 7:30 PM.
To create your 12-hour fast, you simply delay breakfast until 7:30 AM.
This easy way to do intermittent fasting will help you lose weight because it allows your insulin and blood sugar levels to drop overnight, which moves your body into a fat-burning state.
Do Accept That You Will Feel Hungry While Fasting
Hunger is a part of intermittent fasting. The good news is that with time you will understand how to control and minimize the fasting window hunger.
From drinking plenty of water or a cup of black coffee, from learning how to avoid food temptations to planning busy meetings or workouts during the fasting window. There are multiple ways to get through some tough fasting hours. You just have to discover what works for you the best.
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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.
Focus On Satiating Foods
Certain foods tend to keep us feeling full longer than others. Generally, satiating nutrients include protein, good fat, and fiber. Think pulses , eggs, poultry and seafood, nuts and seeds, avocado, and extra virgin olive oil.
Be sure to eat these foods on fasting days. Yes, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil packs 120 calories out of your 500. But using it to sauté or dress veggies will significantly boost how full you feel after a mealand prevent lingering, gnawing hunger.
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The Extreme Way To Do Intermittent Fasting
Combining a Fat Fast with 16:8 Intermittent Fasting is a useful but more extreme way to do intermittent fasting.
With this type of fasting, you consume all of your calories within an eight-hour eating window, and 95% of those calories must come from fat.
In other words, you need to limit your intake of carbs and protein to just 5% of your total daily calories.
Fat fasts work for weight loss because dietary fat does not raise your blood insulin levels.
This is not the case for carbohydrates, which are the nutrient with the most impact on insulin, or protein, which has a small, but significant impact on insulin.
Because fat does not change your insulin level, consuming fat gives you the same benefits of a complete fast without the extreme loss of energy.
So, lets think about practicality for a moment
Promotes Blood Sugar Control By Reducing Insulin Resistance
Several studies have found that fasting may improve blood sugar control, which could be especially useful for those at risk of diabetes.
In fact, one study in 10 people with type 2 diabetes showed that short-term intermittent fasting significantly decreased blood sugar levels .
Decreasing insulin resistance can increase your bodys sensitivity to insulin, allowing it to transport glucose from your bloodstream to your cells more efficiently.
Coupled with the potential blood sugar-lowering effects of fasting, this could help keep your blood sugar steady, preventing spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels.
Keep in mind though that some studies have found that fasting may impact blood sugar levels differently for men and women.
For instance, one small, three-week study showed that practicing alternate-day fasting impaired blood sugar control in women but had no effect in men (
and alternate-day fasting could help decrease blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance but may affect men and women differently.
Do Stay Hydrated While Fasting
When up to 60% of the human body is water, staying hydrated is always a must.
There are numerous benefits of drinking water and especially during fasting hours, water can become your best friend. It will not only improve the skin, flush out toxins and help to feel more energized, but also reduce the hunger. Yes, water is a natural appetite suppressant and a glass of water can be a great way to curb hunger.
#4 Dont drink zero calorie drinks and artificial sweeteners during a fast
Fasting means no caloric food and beverages. Does that mean you can drink a diet soda with zero calories? This is a common question among intermittent fasting beginners. Overall it is suggested to stay away from artificial sweeteners and diet sodas during a fast.
Studies have suggested that consuming artificial sweeteners can make you feel hungrier and actually eat more. Overall, there is a lot of conflicting information and different studies done around artificial sweeteners and their effects on the health, insulin response, blood sugar levels and impact on gut bacteria.