Benefits: Start Something New
With careful planning and thought, fasting can be an incredible springboard into a healthier lifestyle. One suggestion is to make plans before you even start your fast. Write down what you’re hoping to get out of it and what you want to accomplish. If done correctly, the end of a fast is the perfect time to begin a dramatically healthier diet and lifestyle.
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!
Are There Health Benefits From Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can teach us some important lessons when it comes to crafting intentional eating patterns and building healthy eating habits like:
- Reducing your consumption of sugars and refined grains
- Eliminating mindless snacking during the day and before bed
- Avoiding making unwanted food choices and planning a healthy diet
Along with building healthy habits, some studies suggest that adopting this practice may help with weight loss, improve memory and mental performance, cardiovascular health, type 2 diabetes, and the effectiveness of cancer treatments .
Is it Safe?
Fasting may not be appropriate for individuals with type 1 diabetes, pregnant and breastfeeding women, elderly individuals with eating disorders, and those who need regular food intake to take medications .
If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe to try intermittent fasting as long periods of fasting can lower your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling lightheaded, dizzy, with headaches and/or nausea.
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How Long To Fast
The length of a fast is also dependent on personal preference and ability. For some, fasting for long periods of time is not possible due to health conditions. For others, fasting can occur for many days. Remember, the point of fasting is to connect with God. It is not about how many days one can fast or to what extreme. Fasting is completely intimate with the Lord. Therefore, there is no need to compare yourself to how long others are fasting.
I recommend that you even pray and ask the Lord how long you should fast before you begin. If you are new to fasting, I suggest starting off by fasting one meal or one day. Once you become more aware and familiar with the concept, you can continue for longer periods of time. You may realize after the first day that you desire to continue for longer. If this is the case, keep track of how your body feels. If your body is not used to fasting, you may feel lightheaded and weak. Once your body becomes used to fasting you will be able to fast for longer without these feelings.
The length of the fast also depends on what you are fasting. If you are fasting both food and water, you shouldnt fast for more than two or three days. Furthermore, if you are abstaining merely from food, you can fast for longer. Some people will fast from food and water but will drink juice to maintain energy.
Why Shouldnt Individuals Follow Their Own Mosques
Individual acts of worship are matters that a person will be questioned about, and those acts of worship that are not linked to other Muslims are not included in acts of worship that a person can give up for the sake of unity or to merely blindly follow others. Although people should pray in congregation at their local mosques, the start of fasting is not connected to the timing of the local mosque. Therefore, the person should exert effort to identify the correct position that will free him from any burden on the Day of Judgment.
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Intermittent Fasting Can Be Hard But Maybe It Doesnt Have To Be
Initial human studies that compared fasting every other day to eating less every day showed that both worked about equally for weight loss, though people struggled with the fasting days. So, I had written off IF as no better or worse than simply eating less, only far more uncomfortable. My advice was to just stick with the sensible, , diet.
New research is suggesting that not all IF approaches are the same, and some are actually very reasonable, effective, and sustainable, especially when combined with a nutritious plant-based diet. So Im prepared to take my lumps on this one .
We have evolved to be in sync with the day/night cycle, i.e., a circadian rhythm. Our metabolism has adapted to daytime food, nighttime sleep. Nighttime eating is well associated with a higher risk of obesity, as well as .
Based on this, researchers from the University of Alabama conducted a study with a small group of obese men with prediabetes. They compared a form of intermittent fasting called “early time-restricted feeding,” where all meals were fit into an early eight-hour period of the day ,or spread out over 12 hours . Both groups maintained their weight but after five weeks, the eight-hours group had dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity, as well as significantly lower blood pressure. The best part? The eight-hours group also had significantly decreased appetite. They werent starving.
Whats Happening With Your Body: Easing Out Of Fasting Mode
How you choose to end your fast is critical. Depending on how long you fast, you may need to ease your way back into eating solid food. Fruit juices, cooked vegetables, and broths can help acclimate your body and digestive system to eating as internal mechanisms come back online.
How Should I Eat on Day 1 of Breaking a Water Fast? ????
Length: 6 minutes
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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.
Whats Happening With Your Body: Battery Save Mode
Several things happen at the cellular level that cause hunger and fatigue during this first stage. When youre eating regularly, your body breaks down glucose to get the energy it needs to function properly. While youre fasting, your body needs to produce sugar for energy, so it begins a process called gluconeogenesis. During gluconeogenesis, your liver converts non-carbohydrate materials like lactate, amino acids, and fats into glucose. As your body goes into battery save mode, your basal metabolic rate, or BMR, becomes more efficient and uses less energy. This power saving process includes lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. At this stage, you may feel drained. However, if you stick it out for a little longer, some of that lost energy will return.
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Things To Expect In Your First Week Intermittent Fasting
Ive been fasting off and on for a very long time now and sing its praises from the rooftops because to date Ive lost over 40 pounds and have kept it off with little effort.
At my highest weight of 196 pounds, I tried everything to lose weight to no avail.
Only when I finally pushed through fear and doubt and really focused on intermittent fasting did I start to see real change that I could actually maintain!
But it all started with the very first week.
If youre considering giving intermittent fasting a try and are curious as to what you might experience in the earliest days of your journey, this piece is for you.
Here are 8 things to expect in your very first week intermittent fasting.
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Benefits: Personal Goals And Growth
If you make it this far, the benefit becomes personal. Fasting, especially beyond the first seven days, takes steadfast dedication. What you get out of the fast in these later stages can be a culmination of all the earlier stages or an accomplishment of a personal health goal. For some, it is weight loss, for others, it is a strategy to heal a particular health complication.
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Your Fasting Window Is Too Short
If you want to notice a difference in your body weight, your eating window during your intermittent fasting diet should be significantly less than normal.
If the difference between your eating window before and during intermittent fasting is only an hour or two, you might barely notice significant weight loss.
A 14-hour fasting window with a 10-hour eating window seems like a great place to start. However, if you find the 14 hours to be too long, you could start with a shorter fasting duration and work your way up.
What About Ish What Can We Do During The Summer Period When The Twilight Persists
According to the 18 degrees calculation, there is a period during summer where the Maghrib twilight does not actually disappear a phenomenon known as the persisting twilight . The time for Ish is too late whilst the time for Fajr is too early immediately before and after this period. For example, this period starts in London on 26th May whereby the persisting twilights remain until approximately 12:35 and Fajr starts at around 1: 15 a.m. The period ends around the 19th July where Fajr is 1:18 a.m. During the period of absence of Shar signs scholars have suggested two main methods:
1) Estimation, or
2) Adopting the time of the last day when the Shar signs were visible.
Estimation creates a big gap between the last day the sign is visible and the day after. Similarly, it creates a big gap between the day the signs are not visible and the day after. The only consistent method is adopting the time of the last day in which the sign was visible all the way up until it becomes visible again. This is a systematic method in which no large gaps are witnessed between different days.
For a prayer timetable for any location in the world visit Islam21cs Prayer Times Calculator.
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Intermittent Fasting: Surprising Update
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
Theres a ton of incredibly promising intermittent fasting research done on fat rats. They lose weight, their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars improve but theyre rats. Studies in humans, almost across the board, have shown that IF is safe and incredibly effective, but really no more effective than any other diet. In addition, many people find it difficult to fast.
But a growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make IF a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention.
Fast From Something Other Than Food
Fasting from food is not necessarily for everyone. Some health conditions keep even the most devout from the traditional course. However, fasting is not limited to abstaining from food. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, Fasting should really be made to include abstinence from anything which is legitimate in and of itself for the sake of some special spiritual purpose.
If the better part of wisdom for you, in your health condition, is not to go without food, consider fasting from television, computer, social media, or some other regular enjoyment that would bend your heart toward greater enjoyment of Jesus. Paul even talks about married couples fasting from sex for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer .
Degrees Below The Horizon For Fajr And Either 17 Or 18 Degrees For Ish
It is with this in mind that we may conclude that an individuals Mushhadah for prayer times must not negate the accepted criterion that was originated by global and widespread mushhadah established in different countries and throughout the centuries. That criterion is the basis for the decision of both Muslim jurists and astronomers that Fajr should be calculated when the sun is at 18 degrees below the horizon for Fajr, and either 17 or 18 degrees for Ish. It should be noted that the slight choice offered for Ish times is insignificant and thus there is no need to discuss it here.
Intermittent Fasting Decreases Metabolism Less Than Continuous Calorie Restriction
When you lose weight, your metabolic rate goes down. Part of this is because losing weight causes muscle loss, and muscle tissue burns calories around the clock.
However, the decrease in metabolic rate seen with weight loss cant always be explained by the loss of muscle mass alone .
Severe calorie restriction over a long period can cause your metabolic rate to drop, as your body enters so-called starvation mode. The scientific term for this is adaptive thermogenesis.
Your body does this to conserve energy as a natural defense against starvation .
This has been demonstrated dramatically in a study of people who lost large amounts of weight while participating in The Biggest Loser, a reality show on TV.
Participants followed a calorie-restricted diet and intense exercise regimen to lose large amounts of weight .
The study found that 6 years later, most of them had regained nearly all of the weight they had lost. However, their metabolic rates had not gone back up and remained around 500 calories lower than you would expect for their body size.
Other studies investigating the effects of calorie restriction on weight loss have found similar results. The drop in metabolism due to weight loss can amount to hundreds of calories per day (
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Ive Made The Decision To Fast So How Long Should I Fast For
There arent any studies right now that state exactly how long one should fast. Researchers, like Dr. Peterson, are working on that. The minimum amount of time it takes to make fasting efficacious hasnt been proven via study, but the prevailing notion is its somewhere between 12 and 18 hours. But it can take a few days sometimes weeks of fasting regularly for your body to start burning fat for fuel. Brooke Alpert, nutritionist and author of The Diet Detox, suggests starting by moving your last meal to around 7 p.m. She said the reason for this is our bodies are better at doing some things at certain times. Our bodies are better at processing sugar in the morning than at night, said Dr. Varady. So eat bigger meals in the morning, for example.
And how often do you have to do daily intermittent fasting to see the benefit? Again, there hasnt been a study thats shown exactly how many days you need to fast, but a recent study in rodents showed they get about the same benefits fasting five days per week as they did fasting every day. The great thing is that were learning is that this type of fasting isnt all or nothing, said Dr. Peterson.
Why Do I Have To Fast
Nutrients in food and drinks go into your bloodstream and can change things measured by the tests, skewing your results.
For instance, if you eat or drink before a fasting blood glucose test, your blood sugar probably will be higher than if you hadn’t had anything. When you’re fasting, doctors get a baseline result so tests can be compared to give a true picture of your sugar levels over time.
Whats Happening With Your Body: Fat Burning Mode
When you consume a typical diet of carbohydrate rich foods, your body breaks down sugars and starches into glucose. Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body. However, when you fast or go into ketosis glucose becomes limited, and your body must turn to fat stores for the energy it requires. Your body breaks fat down into glycerol and fatty acids. The liver synthesizes ketones using glycerol. The glycerol is broken down by the liver for additional glucose, and finally, those ketones are used by your brain as glucose becomes less available.
Diabetics This Is For You Too
Zane works regularly with diabetic clients who believe intermittent fasting poses too much of a risk.
But as he explains, I dont know of a better way to control diabetes or reverse those symptoms than finding some way to introduce fasting.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease of elevated blood sugar, and intermittent fasting is an efficient way to lower and balance blood sugar levels through better eating strategies.
In my practice, I believe fasting might just be the greatest tool my patients have to improve their glycemic control. As long as its accomplished using a strategic, doctor-guided plan, diabetics may be able to use fasting to eliminate their reliance on medication and reduce the effects of diabetes.
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Im Trying To Fast But I Feel Like Its Reducing My Energy Levels Is This Normal
It is very normal to feel tired or to have low energy levels when you first start fasting. This can also happen when you first start a new fasting schedule. But if you stick with a set intermittent fasting schedule or fasting duration for 2-3 weeks, you should adapt and have similar energy levels during your fasting windows or days as during your eating windows or days.
However, if you continue to feel tired or to have low energy levels during your fasting window several weeks into your new schedule, you may be overdoing it. You may be trying to fast for too long for too often, or not getting enough calories in during your eating windows. Especially if you are already at a healthy BMI, try backing off of your fast durations or spread your fasts further apart.
To boost your fasting energy levels, you should also: