What Is Intermittent Fasting And Why Would You Do It
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesnt change what you eat, it changes when you eat.
Why is it worthwhile to change when youre eating?
Well, most notably, its a great way to get lean without going on a crazy diet or cutting your calories down to nothing. In fact, most of the time you’ll try to keep your calories the same when you start intermittent fasting. Additionally, intermittent fasting is a good way to keep muscle mass on while getting lean.
With all that said, the main reason people try intermittent fasting is to lose fat. We’ll talk about how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss in a moment.
Perhaps most importantly, intermittent fasting is one of the simplest strategies we have for taking bad weight off while keeping good weight on because it requires very little behavior change. This is a very good thing because it means intermittent fasting falls into the category of simple enough that you’ll actually do it, but meaningful enough that it will actually make a difference.
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.
Only Good Change In Regards To Training
Despite the timing change, Ive not noticed any negative difference in my strength or speed. In fact, I ran my fastest 5km for about three years during this challenge. For the past few months, Ive been following a running programme on Garmin Connect which finished with a virtual 5km race. Id tested myself a few weeks before so that I could see how much Id improved and knocked off over a minute, finishing in 23:29 minutes. I felt so good which no doubt was down to the programme and training, but also the fact that Id had a good pasta meal the night before and felt light on my toes that morning.
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What Exactly Is The 1: 8 Diet
Its pretty simple. Basically, during your 16-hour “fasting” period, you limit yourself to black tea, coffee, or diet soda. Then, for the next eight hours, you can eat whatever you want . That’s it.
Scientifically, at least, the 16:8 diet seems to check out. In a recent study published in the journal Nutrition and Healthy Aging, 23 obese men and women followed the 16:8 diet for 12 weeks. Compared to a group that ate normally, those on the 16:8 diet took in 350 fewer calories per day, lost a modest amount of weight , and lowered their blood pressure.
But, keep in mind: This was a small study and few others have examined the 16:8 diet specifically, so its tough to draw any firm conclusions just yet. More research needs to be conducted before we can see if and how it can be implemented into an actual plan effectively, confirms Beth Warren, RDN, founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl.
Still, other types of intermittent fasting show promise. The 5:2 diet, for example , resulted in more weight and fat loss compared to day-to-day calorie restriction in a 2017 study in the International Journal of Obesity.
How Does 16/8 Fasting Work
Before we dive into the potential benefits of 16/8 intermittent fasting, lets take a closer look at what researchers have explored so far about the underlying mechanisms that may be at play.
When a person skips food for an extended interval, the bodys use of energy actually changes, explains Dr. , PhD, a neuroscientist with Johns Hopkins Medicine who studies intermittent fasting.
Someone who eats regularly throughout their waking hours is constantly replenishing their livers stash of glycogen, a stored form of glucose energy derived from carbs, he continues. When that supply isnt restocked, however, the body depletes glycogen fairly quickly. Those glycogen stores can get used up in about 10 hours if youre fastingmore quickly if you add in a workout, Dr. Mattson says.
Heres where things get interesting: Once glycogen stores are used up, the body starts scrounging for an alternative source of energy. At that point, it begins breaking down stored fats into substances called ketones to get the job done.
This metabolic switch does more than meet the bodys immediate energy needs, Dr. Steger says. In general, the switch from using glucose to ketones is a trigger pointit shifts your metabolism from focusing on storage and growth to being all about repair and replace, she explains.
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Sample If Meal Plan For Those Working Out First Thing In The Morning:
- 6 grams BCAAs
- 2 grams creatine HCL
- 600 mg NAC
- 150 mg Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline
- 6 grams Citrulline malate
20-30 g protein from a protein powder blend like Pro JYM
Post-workout 20-40 g protein from a protein powder blend like Pro JYM
1 scoop Post JYM Active Matrix
Before Bed Supplements 1 dose ZMA JYM
Before bed snack 20-30 g protein from a protein powder blend like Pro JYM or 1 cup cottage cheese or 1 cup Greek yogurt 1 tbsp peanut butter
For my newest approach to IF, check out my just released Intermittent Fasting Carb Cycle diet, exclusive to JimStoppani.com members. IFCC combines two of my favorite nutritional methods for shedding body fat while holding onto muscle mass: IF and Carb Cycling . As with any IF meal plan I recommend, IFCC can be followed indefinitely to stay lean more or less forever!
Pilegaard, H., et al. Effect of short-term fasting and refeeding on transcriptional regulation of metabolic genes in human skeletal muscle. Diabetes 52:657-662, 2003.
Hildebrandt, Exercise attenuates the fasting-induce transcriptional activation of metabolic genes in skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol Metab 278:E1078-E1086, 2000.
Mattson, M. P. and Wan, R. Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting and caloric restriction on the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Mar 16:129-37.
Carlson, A. J. and Hoelzel, F. Apparent prolongation of the life span of rats by intermittent fasting. J Nutr. 1946 Mar 31:363-75.
What Is 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
The 16/8 intermittent fasting is a type of time-restricting fasting, that involves abstaining from calories for 16 hours of the day and then eating within an 8-hour window.
Most people do this by starting a fast at night, skipping breakfast, and eating their first meal in the middle of the day, or they choose to eat between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m.
This cycle can be repeated as many days as you like from once to twice a week to every day, depending on your personal preference.
16/8 intermittent fasting is so popular today, especially among those looking to lose weight and burn fat. This also called the 16:8 diet is easy to follow and can provide real results with minimal effort, while other diets often set restrict rules and requirements.
The best thing about this fasting method is that you can eat any type or amount of food during the 8-hour eating window. This flexibility makes this plan relatively easy to follow.
16/8 intermittent fasting
It is simple: Do not eat anything for 16 continuous hours, except for water, coffee, or tea, and then eat freely for the remaining 8 hours.
If youve never fasted before here is an article that will help you to learn more about fasting and different methods of intermittent fasting: What Is Intermittent Fasting And How Does It Work?
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Fasting Meal Plan Sample
Are you interested in trying the 16:8 diet?
Below is a 7-day meal plan that has everything you need to get started. Each day consists of lunch and dinner with snacking between meals.
- Meal #1: Avocado chicken salad
- Snack #2: Handful of mixed nuts with apricot slices
- Meal #3: Macadamia basil pesto pasta
- Snack #4: Glass of red wine and cheese
- Meal #1: Vegan chickpea salad
- Snack #2: Apple slices with peanut butter
- Meal #3: Teriyaki chicken and cauliflower rice
- Snack #4: Mixed berries with coconut cream
- Meal #3: Asian fried noodles
- Snack #4: Two chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk
- Meal #1: Broccoli tofu salad with quinoa
- Snack #2: Piece of dark chocolate and bowl of mixed berries
- Meal #3: Seared salmon with brown rice and parmesan-kale salad
- Snack #4: Baked apple with cinnamon
- Meal #1: Turkey chili with cornbread
- Snack #2: Organic edamame and almond slices
- Meal #3: Grilled shrimp served with corn and black bean salsa
- Snack #4: Fruit salad with walnuts
- Meal #1: Grilled salmon with brown rice and mixed greens
- Snack #2: Greek yogurt topped with raspberries
- Meal #3: Mexican tempeh quinoa salad
- Snack # 4: Watermelon slices sprinkled with sea salt
- Meal #1: Sprouts, chicken, and quinoa Buddha bowl
- Snack #2: Hummus and pita with raw veggie sticks
- Meal #3: Hearty chicken tortilla soup with garlic bread
- Snack #4: Banana slices dipped in dark chocolate
How Often Should You Do : 8 Intermittent Fasting
Unlike other intermittent fasting diets, each day of the 16:8 works independently to the other days. This means that you can do anywhere from one day of intermittent 16:8 fasting to seven days a week, depending on your goals and the advice from your GP.
Evidence differs, however, on whether its healthy to do intermittent fasting all the time for a number of reasons. While one study suggests that fasting helps your vital organs by giving metabolic functions a break, other research suggests the fasting can lead to an increased level of cholesterol and can lead to feelings of nausea, along with causing spells of low-blood sugar and dehydration.
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What To Eat During Intermittent Fasting: A Full Guide
Intermittent fasting is all about when to eat and not what to eat. But does that mean you can binge on ice cream, chocolates, and chips? Certainly not If, during intermittent fasting, what to eat is your biggest concern, you are at the right place. This article will discuss intermittent fasting and how the right food choice can help you reap more benefits from this diet regime.
While practicing intermittent fasting, planning a balanced meal is essential to maintain optimal health. During your periods of fasting, making healthy food choices to meet your daily nutritional requirements is vital. You need to focus more on eating protein-rich foods, low-carb food from whole grains, and healthy fats.
Best Time To Eat Intermittent Fasting
As stressed out in the previous points, your daily routine will determine the best time to eat when intermittent fasting.
For the following reasons, in my opinion, the evening is the best time to eat when intermittent fasting:
- Work is over
- There is time to prepare quality food
- You can dine with your family
- You could exercise in a fasted state
- Now your body wants to rest and grow
- And you can finish off the day relaxed
Improved mental focus is one of the main practical benefits of intermittent fasting. With the largest meal of the day, focus fades away, and the body relaxes. Therefore it only makes sense not to have planned any mental or physical exertion afterward.
When I want to exploit the mental clarity of fasting to get things done, I often extend the fasting period.
As a result, I am on one meal a day schedule. So I get more things done while only cooking once and finishing earlier.
Since a single meal per day is larger, the evening or late afternoon is the best time to eat during intermittent fasting when leveraging its flexibility.
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How To Get Started 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
16/8 intermittent fasting is simple, safe, and surprisingly easy to get started with.
Just pick an 8-hour feeding window, eat 1-3 nourishing meals within that window, and abstain from anything except coffee and water the rest of the time.
The most popular 8-hour window is 12 pm to 8 pm. That said, 16/8 fasting is highly flexible.
You can structure it around your work schedule, workout schedule, or family time. You can eat from 12-8 on weekdays and switch things up to 8-4 or 2-10 on the weekends.
Others opt to eat between 9 am and 5 pm, which allows them to have a more standard breakfast, lunch, and early dinner. This type of circadian eating is thought to be good for digestion.
IF becomes even easier if you already skip breakfast. Youll just need to refrain from snacking or drinking calorie-containing beverages outside of your preferred 8-hour window.
Most people find that their body adjusts to 16/8 fasting within a few days, after which the fast becomes surprisingly hunger-free.
Why Does My Blood Sugar Go Up During Fasting
While this does not happen with everyone, it can occur due to hormonal changes that occur during intermittent fasting. Your body is producing sugar in order to provide energy for your system. This is a variation of the dawn phenomenon and in general is not a concern as long as blood sugars are not elevated the rest of the day.45
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Try Sticking To The Following Foods On The 1: 8 Diet:
- Whole grains: Ones like rice, oats, barley, wholegrain pasta and quinoa will keep you fuller for longer.
- Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds will keep you full.
- Fruit: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges and pears will offer good vitamin sustenance.
- Vegetables: Broccoli and leafy greens are especially good for making sure youre eating enough fibre.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados.
What Should You Eat On A 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting Plan
There are no rules about what you can and cant eat on an intermittent fasting protocol IF works with any eating plan. If youre adopting intermittent fasting for health reasons and particularly if youre fasting for weight loss then being mindful of what you are eating during your eating window is essential. The standard American diet of ultra-processed foods wont help you achieve the health benefits you desire.
To get the most out of intermittent fasting, make high-quality nutrition the cornerstone of your plan. In other words, prioritize unprocessed foods, focus on vegetables, quality protein, and healthy fats, and leave the processed junk for an occasional indulgence.
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Foods To Avoid During Intermittent Fasting:
There are certain foods that you shouldnt consume as part of an intermittent fasting regimen. You should avoid foods that are calorie-dense and contain high amounts of fat, sugar, and salt.
They provide little to no nutrients, and they wont fill you up after a fast, or even worse can make you hungrier.
Here are some examples of foods that you should avoid to maintain a healthy intermittent eating regimen:
- Snack chips
- Fruit juice
What To Eat To Break Your Fast
To break your fast you should eat small portions of foods that are easily digestible so you dont overwhelm your digestive system.
Nutrient-dense foods that are easy to digest and contain a bit of protein and some healthy fats can break your fast more gently.
Here are some examples of what to eat to break your fast:
- Dried fruits:Dates are a good source of nutrients and are frequently used to break fasting in Saudi Arabia. Also, apricots and raisins may have similar effects.
- Smoothies: Great way to introduce nutrients to your body since they contain less fiber than whole, raw vegetables, and fruits.
- Soups: Soups that contain protein and easily digestible carbs can gently break fast. Avoid soups made with a large amount of high-fiber, raw vegetables, or heavy cream.
- Vegetables: Cooked, starch vegetables like potatoes can be a good food option when breaking a fast.
- Healthy fats: Avocado or eggs can be a good food choice to eat after a period of fast.
Breaking your fasting period with foods high in fat, sugar or even fiber can be difficult to digest and this can lead to discomfort and bloating. Once youre tolerating gentler foods add in other healthy foods and return to eating normally.
If you wish to learn more about 16/8 intermittent fasting and what foods to eat here is an Intermittent Fasting 16/8 Cookbook that includes 50 delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
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Industrial Vegetable Oil And Trans Fats
When processing vegetable oils, the fragile omega-6 fatty acids oxidize through heat, light, air, and pressure.
As a result, these processes change fats that serve as building blocks for your body chemically. Therefore, they promote inflammation, cardiovascular disease, mortality, and weight gain .
Besides the following oils, it is essential to avoid fried dishes and hydrogenated trans fats :
- Safflower oil
- Preservatives and other chemical additives
Another reason why I advise against any kind of sweeteners during intermittent fasting is the craving.
When sweet taste stimulates the brains reward center, but glucose does not arrive due to calorie-free sweeteners, cravings increase .
As with sweeteners, plant-based does not always mean healthy, as we will learn in the next section.