You Overeat When You Finish A Fast
Its no secret youll feel extremely accomplished after you complete your first fast. However, this sense of pride is no excuse to overtreat yourself. Youre probably going to feel hungry after a fast. And perhaps you may think the calories you ate post-fast will make up for the calories you lost while you fasted. If you feel this way, it could justify your desire to overeat and negate all of the hours of hard work youve put in.
One of the primary benefits of intermittent fasting is its ability to bring down your insulin levels and help your body tap into alternative energy sources to burn fat. When you overeat after you complete your fast, your blood sugar and insulin levels spike instantly, which can ruin your effort and give you an annoying headache, nausea, and make you feel jittery.
Success Tips: To avoid intermittent fasting mistakes like overeating, youll need to have a plan. Consider preparing a healthy fruit, or veggie-packed meal thats ready to eat once your fast ends. When you eat, be sure to chew your food well and take breaks to digest and sip water. These steps will help you feel fuller, so you can stop eating before you over-stuff yourself.
Eating The Wrong Foods In Your Fasting Window
The Intermittent Fasting mistake of eating the wrong foods runs hand in hand with overeating. If you have a fasting window of 6 hours and fill it with refined, fatty, or sugary foods, you are not going to feel well at all.
Eat nutritious whole foods as described in my post, Eating Clean for Beginners. Lean proteins, healthy fats, nuts, legumes, unrefined grains, and wholesome veggies and fruits become the mainstay of your diet. As well, in between fasting, follow these clean eating tips:
- Cook and eat at home as opposed to in a restaurant
- Read nutrition labels and become familiar with forbidden ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and modified palm oil
- Watch your sodium intake and beware of hidden sugars
- Avoid processed foods and cook whole foods instead
- Balance your plate with fiber, healthy carbs and fats, and lean proteins
How To Suppress Hunger During Your Fasts
Sometimes, you may feel so hungry that you will think you cant go on any longer. I want you to know that even if you dont do anything about it, it will pass. In fact, I have gone from I am going to give up, this is too hard to I dont even feel hungry within an hour. Hang in there!
However, there are a few things you can do to alleviate an even suppress the feeling of hunger:
- Drink black coffee and/or tea. Coffee is the best hunger suppressant out there in my opinion.
- Drink herbal tea or green tea: Herbal teas also help reduce hunger.
- Drink water. Often, you may think you are hungry but you are just thirsty. I find that drinking a tall glass of water all at once really helps suppress hunger.
- Go for a walk, do something to distract your mind. Most of the hurdle of fasting is in your head. Once you realize that, you have more power. It doesnt make it easy at first, but its good to know. The sensation of hunger might feel intolerable at first, but you do get used to it. Its not so bad! Learn to observe it. Think about what you are feeling and where you are feeling it. Observe the feelings. You will realize that these feelings are not as uncomfortable as you thought at first. In our culture, we have grown so used to eating all the time, most of us dont know how to handle the feeling of hunger. It just takes practice!
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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.
Helps You Create A Calorie Deficit
We know that for you to lose weight fast, you have to create a calorie deficit. Because youre fasting for 24-hours for 2-days every week. You can achieve this deficit effortlessly. Currently, it is recommended that women should at least 2,000 calories daily while men should aim for 2500 calories. This means that for 2-days thats youre fasting.
You will have created a calorie deficit of about 4000 5000 calories. This type of calorie deficit will definitely help you lose weight. Youre eating less than you normally would allowing your body to burn up some of that stored fat.
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Does Intermittent Fasting Have Different Effects On Men And Women
The quick answer is: yes, Intermittent Fasting can affect men and women differently.
Anecdotally, we have many women in our online coaching program that swear by Intermittent Fasting, while others have had adverse effects.
Lets dig into the science and studies.
A recent PubMed summary concluded thatfasting can be prescribed as a safe medical intervention as well as a lifestyle regimen which can improve womens health in many folds .
Now, in that extract, many of the studies cited are focused on specifically calorie restriction , and they also say that future studies should address this gap by designing medically supervised fasting techniques to extract better evidence.
Digging into the PubMed Archives brought me to the following conclusions :
One small study resulted in the following: Glucose response to a meal was slightly impaired in women after 3 weeks of treatment, but insulin response was unchanged. Men had no change in glucose response and a significant reduction in insulin response.
Another small study studied the effects on their menstrual cycles after a 72 hour fast which is significantly longer than any fast recommended in this article: in spite of profound metabolic changes, a 72-hour fast during the follicular phase does not affect the menstrual cycle of normal cycling women..
Precision Nutrition a great resource recommends not attempting Intermittent Fasting as a woman if:
- youre pregnant
- you dont sleep well
- youre new to diet and exercise
Reduce Stress And Improve Mental Health
The 16:8 diet help reduce cortisol levels and help reduce inflammation. Plus, since you wont be dealing with hunger for two days a week, its better for your mental health.
Those whove tried the 16:8 diet say how much more productive they are during fasting hours, spending less time stressing over food and more time channelling their energy into other beneficial tasks throughout the day.
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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.
Intermittent Fasting Eat Before Or After Workout
Among bodybuilders, intermittent fasting is not a new idea. The most standard intermittent fasting schedule in which nothing is eaten for 14 to 18 hours daily is a proven method for improved muscle growth.
Therefore, bodybuilders have been using the 16/8 schedule, also known as peak fasting or time-restricted feeding , for decades.
Due to the release of growth hormone, intermittent fasting boosts muscle gain .
However, it is vital to exercise in a fasted state. Therefore, it is better to eat after than before workout while intermittent fasting.
Given the essential goals of burning fat and activating autophagy for health benefits, this even makes more sense :
- The low insulin level before eating enables maximum fat burning
- The fasting state allows the body to maximize autophagy through exercise
In contrast, eating allows the body to relax. And this is in contradiction to athletic performance, as you can also witness through self-experimentation.
Against this background, it is wiser to use the increased adrenaline levels for exercising. Afterward, you can send your body into recovery and growth mode with a meal.
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Some Research Suggests That Intermittent Fasting Has A Handful Of Other Benefits From Increased Focus To A Reduced Risk Of Certain Diseases Some Studies Even Suggest It May Help Prolong Life But Most Of That Research Has Been In Animals Not People
Anecdotally, intermittent fasters report that their diets have helped them become more productive, build muscle faster, and sleep better. Members of a Silicon Valley startup called HVMN skip eating on Tuesdays and claim they get more work done on that day than any other.
Varady said hundreds of people in her studies had reported similar benefits. “But we haven’t studied or quantified any of that yet,” she said.
What Can You Eat While Fasting
As previously stated, any amount of calories will, technically, break your fast. Even foods with extremely low calories, like celery, still contain fiber and other nutrients that could potentially trigger your bodys digestive process. Its also possible that the effect of chewing may get your digestive system working, which will actually make you feel hungrier. Therefore, it is not generally recommended to eat during the fasting window.
However, everyone is different, and you should always find what works and feels best for you. Whats key to any weight loss planand essential to learning how to curb hunger during intermittent fastingis consistency. If a small boost helps you see your fasting window through to the finish, and to start fasting again when scheduled, then go for it! And, as always, if youre feeling faint or ill, you should listen to your body and eat or drink when needed.
Plus, even if your body is no longer in fasting mode, you can still benefit from some of its processes fat-burning ketosis, for example, still occurs after feeding, so long as you remain under 50 grams of carbs per day. Keeping your blood sugar levels stable is also possible after fasting just stick with low carb foods to avoid spiking your blood sugar, and keep your body in fat-burning mode. Ultimately, whats important about intermittent fasting is finding the right tools that help you stick to your routine, rather than preserving the technicality of the fast.
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Fasting For 2 Days A Week
People following the 5:2 diet eat standard amounts of healthful food for 5 days and reduce calorie intake on the other 2 days.
During the 2 fasting days, men generally consume 600 calories and women 500 calories.
Typically, people separate their fasting days in the week. For example, they may fast on a Monday and Thursday and eat normally on the other days. There should be at least 1 non-fasting day between fasting days.
There is limited research on the 5:2 diet, which is also known as the Fast diet. A involving 107 overweight or obese women found that restricting calories twice weekly and continuous calorie restriction both led to similar weight loss.
The study also found that this diet reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity among participants.
A small-scale study looked at the effects of this fasting style in 23 overweight women. Over the course of one menstrual cycle, the women lost 4.8 percent of their body weight and 8.0 percent of their total body fat. However, these measurements returned to normal for most of the women after 5 days of normal eating.
Avoid Intermittent Fasting If You Are At Risk For An Eating Disorder
Intermittent fasting has a high association with bulimia nervosa, and as a result, individuals who are susceptible to an eating disorder should not undergo any diet associated with fasting. Risk factors for an eating disorder include having a family member with an eating disorder, perfectionism, impulsivity and mood instability.
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Concerns And Adjustments With Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is becoming popular, but it’s still not the normal thing to do. As a result, you may have some concerns about it or you may want to make some adjustments to your intermittent fasting schedule. Here are some common questions I’ve seen that should help point you in the right direction.
What if I ate my first meal at breakfast, skipped lunch, and then ate my second meal at dinner time?
This idea would work well for one reason, but not well for another reason. Let’s talk about both.
First, if your goal is to lose weight, then skipping lunch should help because it decreases the number of calories that you’re eating throughout the day. As I said in my article on lessons learned from 1 year of intermittent fasting, even if you try to eat two large meals instead of three regular meals, it’s hard to get the same number of calories. Even if you want to eat more, you often end up eating less.
So the end result of skipping lunch is that you would probably reduce your overall caloric intake and end up losing weight.
However, one of the primary benefits of intermittent fasting is that it puts you in a fat burning state. In other words, fasting makes it more likely that you’ll burn fat and not muscle.
In other words, you need to have at least 8 to 12 hours off from eating before your body enters the fasted, fatburning state. This is why you want to squish your meals into a smaller time frame rather than spreading them throughout the day.
Why Food Matters When Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting activates a process called autophagy where your immune system destroys old, damaged cells, then recycles their individual components into new, healthy cells. Think of it as cellular spring cleaning.
Feeding these new forming cells with optimal energy sources is critical.
Failure to nourish your regenerating cells with whole animal foods can promote metabolic dysfunction and increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
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Youre Ignoring The *what* In Favor Of The *when*
IF is a time-centered diet, and most plans dont give any explicit rules about the types of food to eat during your eating window. But thats not an open invitation to subsist on french fries, milkshakes, and beer alone.
Fasting isnt magic. In addition to some small metabolic advantages, its primary impact on weight loss is largely that you limit your eating hours and thus the amount of calories you consume. Stockman M-C, et al. . Intermittent fasting: Is the wait worth the weight?
Unfortunately, you can quickly undo that effect by choosing the wrong kinds of foods. Shift your perspective from a treating yourself mentality during your eating hours to one that revolves around eating the most nutrient-dense, nourishing foods you can get your hands on.
We recommend trying to make sure every meal or snack has a combination of fiber, protein, and healthy fats to help fill you up and carry you through your fasting phase.
What To Eat While Intermittent Fasting
During your fasting window, you shouldnt eat one thing. During your consuming window, take pleasure in nutrient-dense keto meals like healthful proteins, greens, and fats.
Avoid breaking your fast with processed meals, carb-heavy meals, and dirty keto meals, as these can hinder the properly being benefits of fasting throughout the first place.
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It May Help You Eat Less
Switching to intermittent fasting may naturally help you eat less.
One study found that young men ate 650 fewer calories per day when their food intake was restricted to a four-hour window .
Another study in 24 healthy men and women looked at the effects of a long, 36-hour fast on eating habits. Despite consuming extra calories on the post-fast day, participants dropped their total calorie balance by 1,900 calories, a significant reduction .
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.
When Can I Eat On The 1: 8 Diet
You can pick an 8 hour window to suit your day. So, for example it could be between 10am 6pm or 11am 8pm and so on. Plus, you can still drink tea and coffee outside of those hours too, although because of the benefits of drinking water you are also encouraged to stay as hydrated as possible.
Most people choose to fast through the night, and opt to eat their first meal at about 11am or in the middle of the day.
Tom says, The most common hours adopted for the eating period is 12 till 8pm. The reason for this is because people arent normally that hungry in the morning, you dont want to be consuming too many calories during the evening and this allows us to eat our lunch and dinner as well as a healthy snack.