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.
Different Types Of Fasting Explained
The benefits of intermittent fasting are becoming increasingly well-known. From losing stubborn fat and curbing cravings, to lowering inflammation and improving your gut microbiome, intermittent fasting almost seems too good to be true. But not all types of fasting are easy it can be tough to abstain from food for long periods of time.
So, is there an easier way to get the benefits of intermittent fasting without going 16-24 hours without food or skipping your favorite meal of the day?
It turns out there are seven different types of fasting, tailored to fit your lifestyle and personality.
6 Or : 4 Intermittent Fasting
As the names suggest, these breakdowns of intermittent fasting involves fasting for either 12, 16, 18, or 20 hours and taking in all of your food for the day over the remaining window of hours.
How to find out which fasting length is the the best one for you? Theres only one way. You have to experiment.
You can start with a 12:12 intermittent fast, which comes with the benefits of intermittent fasting and is easy to do for most people. You stop eating a couple of hours before bedtime, and delay breakfast a couple of hours after waking. If that works well, extend your fasting period the next day, and repeat until you find the eating and fasting pattern that feels good.
Lots of diets have added more detail to the intermittent fasting model, but bare-bones intermittent fasting is simply a shorter feeding period.
If youve heard of Leangains, Martin Berkhans incredibly popular fasting protocol, youve heard of 16:8 intermittent fasting. How does it work?
Don’t Miss: How To Lose Weight Fast While Fasting
Body Type + Bioindividuality
A great example of bioindividuality is how each person responds to lactose . As babies, we all have the ability to break down lactose from breast milk and use as an energy source. But for some of us, as we get older, we lose this enzyme and become intolerant to dairy products. However, depending on your heritage, your ancestors may have developed the ability to keep breaking down lactose well into adulthood. In fact, if you are of Irish descent, chances are extremely high that you can eat dairy products. However, if you’re of Asian or Australian descent, your chances are pretty low.
We also know that some people have a higher insulin response to carbohydrates than others. This is typically coined as “carbohydrate sensitivity“. The more insulin that is secreted, the more the body will gain weight.
Different Types Of Fasts And Their Uses Explained:
There are three main types of fasts: calorie restriction, nutrient restriction, and seasonal eating.
Calorie Restriction Fasts
The most basic type of fast is a calorie restriction fast. This is what most people think about when they hear the term fasting. It is simply going without food for a certain period of time. These types of fasts are typically done between 18-48 hours. To use this type of fast effectively make sure whoever is fasting has consumed adequate calories in the days before to support the fast. Then pick a day, eat dinner early, and fast for the designated time. During the fast only consume water and keep activity levels low to support the fasted state.
Macro Nutrient Restriction Fasts
This type of fast involves restricting a certain macronutrient . Typically these fasts are protein deloads. These types of fast work best for athletes who have a higher protein requirement and are consistently stressing their guts. In this type of fast the athlete will consume only high-quality fats, carbohydrates, and thoroughly cooked vegetables for 2-3 days in a month. The reduction in protein consumption will give the gut a break and allow it to heal. Keep in mind that it is still important to make sure that their activity is very minimal during this time period.
(Coachs Resource: Learn our basic fitness coaching principles in this free course.
Fasting May Help Nutritional Goals but Is Not the Solution
Don’t Miss: How To Lose Weight During Intermittent Fasting
What Is Intermittent Fasting And Does It Really Work
The best diet is the one where you are healthy, hydrated and living your best life.
Generally, intermittent fasting is a diet strategy that involves alternating periods of eating and extended fasting. Theres quite a bit of debate in our research community: How much of the benefits of intermittent fasting are just due to the fact that it helps people eat less? Could you get the same benefits by just cutting your calories by the same amount? said Courtney M. Peterson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who studies time-restricted feeding, a form of intermittent fasting.
We asked Dr. Peterson and a few other experts to help us sort out the real from the scam on intermittent fasting.
When When Hunger Ensues Naturally
Im not going to put any bullet points here, because none are required. Instead, Ill give a few scenarios:
I wake up bright and early on a Saturday morning. Its about 65 degrees, the suns out, my dog is walking around with the leash in his mouth, and Red Rock Canyon is kinda calling my name. Ive got my coffee already and Im actually not all that hungry from dinner. You know what? Ill go on that hike, skip breakfast, and really work up an appetite for lunch. Or not. If Im hungry afterwards, Ill eat. Its a fast, but not really.
I hit the gym, put in a light workout, then swing by the beach for some sand sprints. Im toast by the end and have to stagger back to my car, but Im not hungry. Even when I get home and smell the grilled salmon, I have no desire for it. I might eat later that night, but only if my appetite returns. Im fasting post-workout only because it doesnt occur to me to eat, not because Im following a plan.
Thats eating When Hunger Ensues Naturally.
In short, were all doing the same thing, chasing the same goals. Were all skipping meals, reducing calories, staying active, and all the while were doing this without feeling miserable and restricted. It just so happens that because were efficient Primal fat-burning beasts, switching over to burning our own body fat reserves for energy during a fast is a natural, seamless transition. We often dont even notice it. Theres no effort involved.
Don’t Miss: What Are The Best Intermittent Fasting Hours
Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About Fasting Before A Blood Test
Be sure to talk to your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about fasting.
You should talk to your provider before taking any lab test. Most tests don’t require fasting or other special preparations. For others, you may need to avoid certain foods, medicines, or activities. Taking the right steps before testing helps ensure your results will be accurate.
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.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Purpose Of Fasting During Ramadan
Types Of Intermittent Fasting Schedules That Produce Results
Although intermittent fasting has quickly become more and more popular for weight loss, information about it is only just starting to come out. The reason it has become so popular is that it is relatively easy to stick to, and doesnt restrict you from eating your favorite foods.
It does come with a small caveat, however, and it is that you have to be in a caloric deficit in order to begin losing weight and inches off your waistline. While some have difficulty fasting through extended periods, others walk through it like a breeze. Luckily, intermittent fasting is a concept that allows you to go your own pace.
You may want to ease yourself into it over a long period of time until you are so used to intermittent fasting that it becomes second nature, or you could dare to jump right into its toughest iterations and see if you have the mental strength to overcome intense hunger pangs.
If you are looking to get into intermittent fasting and need a good place to start, we have detailed some of the eating and fasting schedules people have come up with all over the world. Today, Evolve Daily shares six different types of intermittent fasting schedules you can try.
Intermittent fasting has great health benefits
Posted by Improvement Pill on Saturday, February 3, 2018
It can be tough at first, but it gets easier after a while. Make sure to keep yourself well-hydrated during your fasting window.
Want to kick it up a notch? Then 18:6 is for you.
What Is The Optimum Fasting Length Of Time For Maximum Health Safety And Longevity
Writer, Editor, Publisher at Income Investing Secrets Weekly Newsletter
Intermittent fasting has become a popular practice in the past few years, but will it keep you living forever?
Or, at least, living long enough to survive to see greater medical technological improvements, as predicted by such futurists as Ray Kurzweil, Aubrey de Grey and the transhumanists?
And what about “normal” fasting? That is, long periods of time where people go without food for either health or spiritual benefits?
Is it healthier to fast occasionally for long periods of time or to fast often for short periods of time?
Although some experts advocate juice fasting, Muslims engage in dry fasting while the sun is up every day of Ramadan and others say you can drink coffee, tea or other items, I’m defining “fasting” by its most common definition, the consumption only of water.
The only difference between intermittent and long-term fasting is the period of time in which you consume only water, and the effects of that practice.
Most people “fast” every night while sleeping. That’s why the first meal of the morning is “break/fast.”
However, for many people in the developed world, that’s not long. Therefore, I’m defining it as consuming only water for 12 to 72 hours.
Almost every adult who does not have a relevant medical issue can safely go without food for three days.
Fasting for over 72 hours does come with risks as well as benefits, so I recommend you do so only with medical guidance.
Read Also: How Many Hours Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting Can Be Difficult To Maintain Long
No matter what method you choose, registered dietitian Chandler Ray, RD, said that intermittent fasting can be difficult to sustain long-term, especially for someone who enjoys eating every few hours.
If you do decide to try intermittent fasting, she recommended consulting with a dietitian first to get personalized guidance.
What Should You Eat
Most diets focus on eating healthy foods, and intermittent fasting is no exception.
Do keep in mind that your body needs nutrients to function optimally. When you eat junk and processed foods that are not nutritious, you wont be able to lose weight.
During your eating period, you should eat and drink:
- Probiotics like yogurt
- Fermented foods and drinks such as sauerkraut
If you follow an intermittent fasting routine, avoid eating a lot of red meat and alcohol. If you must, restrict your meat intake to once in a while and drink wine instead of other alcohol. Also, avoid eating sweet foods and desserts as much as possible for the best results. In case your nutritional needs are not met by your diet, do take some vitamin and mineral supplements.
You May Like: Can I Lose Weight By Fasting
The Different Types Of Intermittent Fasting + Which One Is Right For You
As a medical doctor who focuses on gut health, I suggest intermittent fasting to many of my patients. I do this because I’ve repeatedly seen what studies show: Intermittent fasting can help patients lose weight, lower inflammation, improve gut health, and reduce their risk for cancer and other diseases. If only finding the right plan proved to be easy for everyone!
Enthusiastic to give it a go after our first consultation, my 37-year-old patient Joseph did a thorough Google search and quickly became overwhelmed with the numerous IF approaches. Frustrated by the information overload, he modeled one of his co-workers, who did one 24-hour fast weekly. In other words, this co-worker ate normally six days a week, then completely fasted one day. That worked well for him. For Josephnot so much. Josephs once-weekly fast quickly backfired and his colleagues and family testified to his snappy behavior.
The foundation of IF is pretty simple: abstain from eating during certain time periods and eat during others. But even that yields some variation. So to cut through the confusion and determine which plan would work best for you, consider these options:
Can You Eat Meat After Fasting
Yes, eating meat or other protein-rich foods after fasting is actually recommended, per the British Nutrition Foundation. Depending on the length of your fast, you may want to aim to eat smaller portions.
However, you should limit the amount of fatty foods you consume, so lean meat is preferable. This is because you want to maximize the nutrition you take in when you’re limiting the time window where you can eat, according to the British Nutrition Foundation.
Recommended Reading: Why Is My Blood Sugar High After Fasting
Should You Do Intermittent Fast Every Day
If you can follow a daily intermittent fasting schedule, your body gets used to the cycle, and you may not feel as hungry as you do when you start. Your body adapts to the change in eating patterns.
Lets face it we are used to eating several times a day. And if you gradually ease into intermittent fasting, you will find it gets easier.
However, suppose you feel that you simply cannot do this. In that case, you can try expanding your eating window to 12 or 14 hours and eating a lot of vegetables and fruits, which are filling and yet not very calorific.
Do you find this very restricting? Then opt for skipping meals occasionally. Whatever method you adopt, know that eating fewer calories and eating healthier will enable you to lose weight and improve your health.
Best Intermittent Fasting Method For Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, there are some factors you should consider when deciding which intermittent fasting method is best:
Most likely, you will have to try different methods before you find one that works for you.
You May Like: Why I Stopped Intermittent Fasting
How Does 1: 6 Intermittent Fasting Help With Weight Loss
Jason Fung, MD, a nephrologist and author of The Complete Guide to Fasting, explained that intermittent fasting can help you burn fat by lowering insulin levels.
This is different than the typical method of weight loss suggested by most experts, which is to restrict calories. Dr. Fung said if you reduce your calories from 2,000 to 1,500 a day , the body is forced to reduce its metabolic rate to match. The slower metabolism makes you feel cold, tired, and hungry. Weight loss eventually plateaus, which means you’ll need to eat even less to lose weight, which is not sustainable. This is why Dr. Fung said calorie-restriction diets fail, which was also proven in contestants from weight-loss TV show The Biggest Loser. A major study that looked at former The Biggest Loser contestants found that a period of intense calorie restriction and weight loss had wrecked their metabolisms, leaving them needing much fewer calories to maintain their new weight than before they went on the show. Most of the contestants ended up regaining most, if not all, the weight they had lost on the show.
To find out your target calories, you need to calculate your basal metabolic rate and total energy expenditure . Use this formula to estimate how many calories you should eat a day for weight loss.