Intermittent Fasting: A Quick Overview
I like to think of intermittent fasting as the perfect accessory to macro counting. It completes the full look, you know what I mean? Not necessary, but definitely a plus!
Since beginning to Intermittent Fast a few years ago, I have gained such an appreciation for all of its many benefits. I think a common misconception about it is that its a diet. To be clear, intermittent fasting is not a diet. Yes, one of the benefits of intermittent fasting is fat loss, but that is not its sole purpose. I like to think of it as a reset. Taking your body back to its factory settings where it can function at high levels to produce maximum focus, energy, muscle growth, and repairs.
Exercising And Intermittent Fasting
All intermittent fasting approaches can be damaging to athletic gains for several reasons. To begin with, meals in close proximity to your workout are essential for optimal performance, healing, and muscle gain . Secondly, greater appetite sensations can hinder compliance in addition to increase the potential to over-consume meals when it becomes available . Despite the frequent belief that you will burn off more fat if you exercise while firming, performing aerobic exercise in the fasted state is not recommended ). Actually:
- Performing aerobic exercise following consuming carbohydrates doesnt hinder fat oxidation ,
- Performing aerobic exercise fasted will also promote reduction of lean muscle mass, since muscle will be burned for fuel ,
- Exercising at a fasted state often does not result in an optimal exercise. In contrast, having readily available energy will allow optimal performance that will burn off more calories overall and lead to the Greatest gains ,
- Exercising at the fasted condition, fed state reduces static and dynamic balance and can increase the risk of harm .
There are fewer studies investing the effects of doing resistance training in the fasted vs. fed state, but it is anticipated that the same points hold true.
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Can Promote Disordered Eating
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.
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Intermittent Fasting Method For Women
Hands down, the 16:8 intermittent fasting method is one of the most popular ways to practice intermittent fasting, and today I want to uncomplicate this practice for you and help you get started.
Whether youre looking to incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle for health reasons, weight loss, or its benefits, having a simple schedule to follow can help .
This post will break down the 16:8 intermittent fasting method and explain:
First, you should consult a licensed medical physician before you jump into intermittent fasting. IF isnt for everyone, and therefore, its something to discuss with a licensed professional.
The purpose of this post is to give you a simplified version of the confusing rules youll find on the internet when it comes to the 16:8 intermittent fasting method it is not to provide any professional/medical advice.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
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.
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Better Outcomes For Stroke Survivors
Healthier cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure play a major role in helping reduce your risk of stroke. But thats not the only possible stroke-related benefit of IF. An article in Experimental and Translational Stroke Medicine found that IF and calorie reduction in general may provide a protective mechanism for the brain. In cases where stroke occurs, it seems eating this way prestroke may ward off brain injury. The researchers say future studies are needed to determine whether following IF post-stroke can aid recovery.
Research Review Shows Intermittent Fasting Works For Weight Loss Health Changes
Intermittent fasting can produce clinically significant weight loss as well as improve metabolic health in individuals with obesity, according to a new study review led by University of Illinois Chicago researchers.
We noted that intermittent fasting is not better than regular dieting both produce the same amount of weight loss and similar changes in blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation, said Krista Varady, professor of nutrition at the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences and author of Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.
Krista Varady, professor of nutrition, UIC College of Applied Health Sciences.
According to the analysis published in the Annual Review of Nutrition, all forms of fasting reviewed produced mild to moderate weight loss, 1%-8% from baseline weight, which represents results that are similar to that of more traditional, calorie-restrictive diets. Intermittent fasting regimens may also benefit health by decreasing blood pressure and insulin resistance, and in some cases, cholesterol and triglyceride levels are also lowered. Other health benefits, such as improved appetite regulation and positive changes in the gut microbiome, have also been demonstrated.
The review looked at over 25 research studies involving three types of intermittent fasting:
Various studies of time-restricted eating show participants with obesity losing an average of 3% of their body weight, regardless of the time of the eating window.
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Fasting Stage #: Protein Conservation
The fifth stage of fasting is the protein conservation phase. After about a week of fasting, the body meets its energy needs almost exclusively from fat reserves.
While minimal amounts of protein are needed for gluconeogenesis, the brain has also switched predominantly to fat energy consumption .
In this stage of fasting, hunger has genuinely disappeared. Consequently, ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is also at a low.
For this reason, the world record for fasting is 382 days, as the body is now feeding only on its body fat .
Contrary to popular belief, muscles do not atrophy at all during prolonged periods of fasting.
In the phase of protein conservation, the release of growth hormones is already enormously high. As a result, it protects muscle and bone mass from degeneration during fasting .
Hence, this fasting stage lives up to its name.
The human growth hormone stimulates muscle growth and repair .
For this reason, intermittent fasting is no stranger to bodybuilders. Occasionally not eating for long periods can help build muscle instead of breaking it down.
Fasting, for example, can also speed up the healing process of wounds and more severe injuries .
Since growth hormones are so effective, their use in competitions is even considered doping.
You Skip Meals During Your Eating Window
Skipping meals or not eating enough during your eating window can make you hungrier during fasting periods, increasing the likelihood that you will break your fast or overeat during your next eating window.
During your eating windows, make sure you eat until you are satisfied and focus on eating nutrient-dense meals and snacks that will keep you satiated and nourished.
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Intermittent Fasting: Is It Right For You
U-M dietitian Sue Ryskamp weighs in on intermittent fasting benefits, who it works best for and how to get started
Weight loss can be difficult, but could intermittent fasting help? This eating pattern, which features cycles of fasting and eating, is making headlines as research confirms its not only what you eat, but when you eat, that matters in the struggle to lose weight.
During intermittent fasting, individuals use specific periods of eating typically within an eight-to-10 hour window to lose weight, says Michigan Medicine dietitian Sue Ryskamp, who sees patients at U-Ms Frankel Cardiovascular Center.
The premise behind intermittent fasting is relatively simple, she says: When our insulin levels go down far enough and for long enough, as they do during a fasting period, were able burn off fat.
Insulin levels drop when a person is not consuming food. During a period of fasting, decreasing insulin levels cause cells to release stored glucose as energy. Repeating this process regularly, as with intermittent fasting, leads to weight loss. In addition, this type of fasting often results in the consumption of fewer calories overall, which contributes to weight loss, Ryskamp says.
A Harvard research study also reveals how intermittent fasting may slow the aging process through weight loss, lower blood pressure and reduced cholesterol.
How To Break A Long Fast
Take note of the following points before breaking a prolonged fast:
Intermittent fasting is not as challenging as its cracked up to be. The basic principle is not consuming any food or drink that could be a source of energy for the body during this period. Make sure you deliberate on why you want to give it a try and before you jump right into it, contact your doctor or dietitian so he or she could give you the green light.
Supplement your diet with some exercise to double your results. Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.
May Be Beneficial For Heart Health
Heart disease is currently the worlds biggest killer .
Its known that various health markers are associated with either an increased or decreased risk of heart disease.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve numerous different risk factors, including:
- blood sugar levels
The effects of fasting on heart health need to be studied more in-depth in humans before recommendations can be made.
Studies show that intermittent fasting can improve numerous risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and inflammatory markers.
Intermittent Fasting May Protect Your Brain
In addition to the benefits at a cellular level, there is evidence to suggest that intermittent fasting may protect the health of your brain.
Firstly, there is evidence that links fasting with a decreased risk of Alzheimers disease. This is due to a number of mechanisms including decreased inflammation, lower insulin resistance and increased cellular renewal that result from fasting.
Additional research on required in humans to confirm the validity of these studies.
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Foods That Should Be Avoided During Intermittent Fasting
Though it is crystal clear by now intermittent fasting solely focuses on the eating schedule instead of what you eat. But that does not mean you fast one day and indulge yourself with processed, sugary, or unhealthy food the other day. Because where are the benefits of fasting then? You can see the connection for yourself. Hence, certain foods and drinks should be avoided during IF.
Prevention And Risk Reduction Prescriptions
The scientific rationales and clinical evidence supporting the application of exercise programs and intermittent fasting to the prevention and treatment of a wide range of disorders have been reviewed recently.40,41 The most common eating pattern in the U.S. is three moderate or large meals plus one or more snacks, often including a late evening snack.42 This eating pattern is not conducive to metabolic switching unless the individual exercises for an extended time period between meals. Emerging evidence suggests that intermittent metabolic switching can optimize health and protect against a wide range of diseases including LONDD.7,40
Fig. 3. Plan for implementation of bioenergetic challenge-based lifestyles to prevent and treat LONDD. In light of the compelling evidence that exercise and intermittent energy restriction improve overall health and brain health, medical school curricula should include training in the mechanisms by which these bioenergetic challenges improve health as well as practical information on how to prescribe intermittent fasting and exercise interventions. Particularly for individuals who are overweight and sedentary, diet and exercise should be the first line treatments for LONDD risk reduction. Physicians and lifestyle change centers would prescribe specific intermittent fasting and exercise regimens to which the patient would transition with the help of dedicated staff.
N Engl J Med
L. Raffaghello, V. Longo, in, 2017
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‘intermittent Fasting’ Diet Could Boost Your Health
THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2019 — Here comes the new year, and with it hordes of folks looking for ways to fulfill resolutions to eat healthy.
Intermittent fasting is a legitimate option they might want to consider, claims a new review in the Dec. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
“The state of the science on intermittent fasting has evolved to the point that it now can be considered as one approach, with exercise and healthy food, to improving and maintaining health as a lifestyle approach,” said senior author Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist with Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.
There are two main ways to adopt intermittent fasting into your life, Mattson said:
- Daily time-restricted feeding gives you a narrow window during which you can eat, usually 6 to 8 hours each day.
- 5:2 intermittent fasting requires that people only eat one moderate-sized meal on two days each week.
When people are fasting, they are slowly burning through the glucose stored in their liver, Mattson explained. The liver holds about 700 calories of glucose.
“It takes 10 to 12 hours to use the liver’s energy stores,” Mattson said. “Then what happens is, fats are used for energy.”
This process is called “metabolic switching,” and the three-meals-a-day eating pattern favored by Americans doesn’t allow their bodies to run through their liver’s energy stores and make the switch to fat-burning, Mattson said.
New England Journal of Medicine
The Dangers Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a predetermined period where an individual purposely doesnt eat food. From a 12-hour fast to alternate day fasting, many kinds of intermittent fasting diets are becoming increasingly popular. Health professionals argue that intermittent fasting is not necessarily dangerous, but many also agree that intermittent fasting is not safe for everyone.
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Is Fasting An Unhealthy Behavior
Some experts say that intermittent fasting by definition is an unhealthy eating behavior because it involves restricting how much you eat, skipping meals, and being rigid about how you eat food .
If youre narrowing the timeframe in which youre allowed to eat and completely ignoring your hunger cues outside of that timeframe, it could be an unsafe approach, especially for those in eating disorder recovery, Samantha DeCaro, Psy.D., assistant clinical director at The Renfrew Center of Philadelphia, told Livestrong .
And what many people dont realize when starting an intermittent fasting schedule is that it can also take time for their body to adjust, so the urge to overeat at the end of a fasting period can be tough to overcome. If a person gets stuck in a cycle of fasting and overeating, this can lead to a condition known as binge-eating disorder.
This is a serious condition that can make you feel like you dont have any control of how much you eat. People who struggle with binge-eating disorder often eat when they arent hungry or continue to eat even if they feel uncomfortably full. After they finish eating, they are typically overwhelmed with guilt, shame, or disgust .
Without the help of professionals, regaining control of how, when, and why you eat can be challenging once you have developed a condition such as binge-eating disorder.
You Are Not Fasting Long Enough
If you decide to do a time-restricted eating method and only shorten your eating window by an hour or two, you may not see any tangible weight loss results.
The fix? Try starting with a 10-hour eating window and see how it works for you. From there, you can adjust your plan accordingly as you work toward your weight loss goals.
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It May Lead To Improvement In Many Health Conditions
A 2020 study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed decades of previous research and found that intermittent fasting can lead to improvements in health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers and neurological disordersResearch on intermittent fasting shows health benefits. National Institutes of Health. Accessed 6/21/2021. .
What Artificial Sweetener Breaks A Fast
Artificial sweetener refers to certain substances that give the same sweet effect as your natural sweeteners such as sugar and honey. They are produced in the lab, and some of them have zero calories, while others are loaded with them. To know what artificial sweetener breaks a fast, you must know its caloric content.
At the same time, you need to be sure if the artificial sweeteners of your choice will give you the required result or not. Some of the artificial sweeteners that wont throw you out of the fasted state are: saccharin, aspartame, sucralose . However, if you go for artificial sweeteners like sugars of alcohol with high calorie content they will break your fast.
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