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When To Eat Intermittent Fasting

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What To Eat During Your Eating Windows

Top 10 Foods To Eat For Intermittent Fasting Benefits

What should you eat during your eating windows when you are intermittent fasting? Pretty much the same thing you should eat when you are not intermittent fasting: whole foods that support health. Avoid processed foods, excess sugar, and inflammatory foods. My Paleo 101 page is a good place to start.

Heres what you should keep in mind:

  • Avoiding processed foods means avoiding most prepackaged foods They usually contain additives and vegetable oils, which cause inflammation.
  • Eats lots and lots of vegetables. The Wahls protocol advises including 3 cups of leafy greens, 3 cups of sulfur-containing vegetables and 3 cups of colorful vegetables and fruits each day. I think its a good goal to improve or maintain your health.
  • Include lots of healthy fats in your diet. Healthy fats help keep you satisfied and they help regulate your appetite. Sources of healthy fats include coconut oil or MCT oil, olive oil, avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds.

What Can You Eat On The 1: 8 Diet

This diet isnt suggesting you cram all the food you can into 8 hours. You need to make sure youre eating a balance of fat busting and health boosting foods. Experts have suggest making sure you get a balance of lean meat, eggs, dairy, vegetables, nuts and beans each day.

Make sure to eat a balanced diet.

Tom said, Many people fail the 16:8 diet by packing in too many calories into the 8 hour period, often trying to get some in before the 8 hours ends. You should still be following a strict diet with a complete nutritional breakdown, to ensure you are consuming a targeted number of calories, not to mention macro nutrients and ensuring youre not consuming too much sugar.

Intermittent Fasting Food List: How To Choose The Best Foods

Eating during intermittent fasting is more about being healthy than just rapidly losing your weight. Thus, it is critically important to choose nutrient-dense foods such as veggies, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

The intermittent fasting food list should contain:

1. For Protein

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Your requirements may vary depending on your fitness goals and level of activity.

Protein helps you lose weight by decreasing energy intake, increasing satiety, and boosting metabolism.

Besides, when combined with strength training, increased protein intake helps build muscle. Having more muscle in the body naturally increases your metabolism, as muscle burns more calories than fat.

A recent study suggests that having more muscle in your legs can help reduce belly fat formation in healthy men.

The IF food list for protein include:

  • Poultry and fish
  • Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Whole grains

2. For Carbs

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates .

Carbs are the major source of energy for your body. The other two are protein and fat. Carbs come in various forms. The most notable of them are sugar, fiber, and starch.

Make sure to choose foods that are high in fiber and starch but low in sugar.

The IF food list for carbs include:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chickpeas

3. For Fats

  • Avocados

Recommended Reading: How Much Should I Eat Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting Diet Meal Plan

You can find your suitable 16:8 setting by trial and error method. But the example clock arrangement here is one of the is ideal for most people. We started the eating time at 10 am. You can move forward 1-2 hours or backward 1-2 hours if you wish.

Day 1


2 boiled eggs1 slice of cheese 5 olives1 slice of whole wheat bread1 tomato

Mix 1 tablespoon of oat bran with 1 bowl of yogurt.

6 pm:

2 kinds of Turkish side dishes2 slices of whole grain bread

You can find detailed recipes of side dishes here. Click the link, choose 2 of them and have them ready for your dinner.

Day 4

10 am:


A large bowl of curd cheese salad made with garlic, onion, green pepper, olive oil, tomato, thyme, cayenne pepper1 slice of whole wheat bread

2 pm:

A glass of smoothie made of apples, raw almonds and milk

6 pm:

1 serving of boiled chicken breast2 tablespoons of boiled chickpeas3 tablespoons cooked brown rice

Day 5

Fasting For 2 Days A Week

What to Eat During Intermittent Fasting to Lose Weight

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.

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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.

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.

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Intermittent Fasting Vs Time How To Optimize Effort & Reward:

The type of thing that we all come to sites like HealthTrekker for is: Improvements.

What are Sciences little tricks that might turn into huge benefits over time?

And part of that question implies the idea of Cost/Benefit.

One example of the strife many people have with Cost/Benefit is the amount of weight & fat they lose for whatever diet & exercise program theyre on.

Well one recent diet-program thats been getting a lot of attention is Intermittent Fasting/Time-Restricted Feeding.

Given IFs many benefits, its no wonder researchers are trying to optimize costs

The Short Answer:

Read on to find out the details

Show/Hide Table Of Contents

Crazy Diets, Humanitys Greatest Achievements:

Even though the idea of Fasting has been around forever,

If you read the covers of the checkout-line magazines, youd think one of modern societys top-priority pursuits was losing weight & getting great abs.

But Intermittent-Fasting really hasnt been widely-popular for very long.

Over the decades weve had all kinds of crazy weight-loss recommendations from swapping margarine for butter, eating tons of pasta in the 80s, Alba 77 milkshakes with Aspartame, Jazzercise, all the way up to the sublime insanity of movie-star diets.

Strangely-enough, for those professionals who have to maintain insanely-low levels of bodyfat for their jobs,

Keto and near-zero-carb was certainly popular.

But so was Intermittent-Fasting

And more importantly Can you optimize that?

Except for Number 4.

Frequently Asked Questions Concerns And Complaints

Best Time to Eat During Intermittent Fasting

Im a woman. Should I do anything differently?

I havent worked with women on implementing an intermittent fasting schedule, so I cant speak from experience on this one.

That said, I have heard that women may find a wider window of eating to be more favorable when doing daily intermittent fasting. While men will typically fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours, women may find better results by eating for 10 hours and fasting for 14 hours. The best advice I can give anyone, not just women, is to experiment and see what works best for you. Your body will give you signals. Follow what your body responds favorably to.

Also, if youre a female, there is an allfemale page on Facebook that discusses intermittent fasting. Im sure you could find a ton of great answers and support there.

I could never skip breakfast. How do you do it?

I dont. Breakfast foods are my favorite, so I just eat them at 1pm each day.

Also, if you eat a big dinner the night before, I think youll be surprised by how much energy you have in the morning. Most of the worries or concerns that people have about intermittent fasting are due to the fact that they have had it pounded into them by companies that they need to eat breakfast or they need to eat every three hours and so on. The science doesnt support it and neither do my personal experiences.

I thought you were supposed to eat every 3 hours?

Here’s why this was a popular idea for a brief period of time:

Here’s the problem:

Free Bonus:

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If Youre Just Starting Out With Intermitting Fasting You Might Be Wondering What The Best Foods To Eat At The End Of Your Fast Are

We asked a selected group of experts to deliver their insights when it comes to the kinds of foods you should be consuming after a fast.

Heres what they said.

Go For Foods With A Lower Glycemic Index

Dr. Melissa A. Murphy, PhD, Assistant Professor, Nutrition and Basic Sciences at Bastyr University California

During intermittent fasting, the body utilizes endogenous fuel stores rather than outside ones .

When sticking to an intermittent fasting regimen, one way to extend the benefits of the fast is to eat foods that will still support use of endogenous stores. This includes higher fat, lower carb options.

So when breaking the intermittent fast, I recommend consuming smoothies with greens, avocado and/or nut butter, protein powder and low fruit content or an omelet cooked in a healthy fat with low-starch vegetables and eggs or a salad with protein and nuts and seeds.

Having a meal with a lower glycemic index also prevents spiking blood sugar levels which can contribute to brain fog and digestive discomfort after fasts.

Start Off With Easily-Digestible Foods In Small Amounts

Kristin Gillespie, Registered Dietitian and Certified Nutrition Support Clinician,

Generally speaking, foods that are more difficult for the body to digest are best avoided when breaking your fast.

For this reason, its generally best to start off with easily-digestible foods consumed in small amounts.

For the best results in breaking your fast, I recommend the following:

How Do I Start Intermittent Fasting How Long Do I Go Without Eating

There are several ways to approach intermittent fasting.

  • You may eat during an 8-9 hour window and then fast the rest of the time. For example: Eat breakfast at 9:00 AM and have your dinner at 5:00 and then do not eat again until the next morning at 9:00. This will be about 16 hours of intermittent fasting, most of it while you are sleeping. This seems to be the easiest way to do intermittent fasting, since you are sleeping through most of the fast.
  • There is the 5:2 intermittent fasting approach: where you eat regularly for 5 days of the week, then on the other 2 days, you eat one 500-600 calorie meal each day and fast the rest of the day. As a dietitian, I think 500-600 calories/day is too low of an intake.

Going long periods without food is not any better for you and could actually encourage your body to start storing fat because it thinks you are trying to starve it.

It can take your body several weeks before it gets used to intermittent fasting. Initially you may feel hungry and/or irritable, however people that can get through those weeks report feeling better from intermittent fasting.

Also Check: How Much To Eat During Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting And Why When You Eat Makes A Difference

The world is getting fatter. More than 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese almost three times more than in 1980.

One reason for this weight gain is Americans are consuming more: National figures suggest an increase of about 200 daily calories between the early 1970s and 2010. Another is more snacking. In 2010, U.S. adults ate about 20 percent more of their daily calories as snacks than they did 50 years ago.

But there is more to rising obesity rates than endless grazing. What also matters is timing, some experts believe. We eat when we shouldnt, and dont give our bodies a long enough break in between.

We didnt evolve to eat day and night, says neuroscientist Dominic DAgostino of the University of South Florida. Until the dawn of agriculture about 12,000 years ago, we subsisted on hunting and gathering and often had to perform those activities with empty bellies. We are hard-wired, DAgostino says, to undergo periodic intermittent fasting.

Whats more, people are now eating at times of the day when historically they would have been asleep, says Satchin Panda, a circadian biologist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., who co-wrote an overview on the timing of eating in the 2019 Annual Review of Nutrition. For thousands of years, he says, our nightly fast probably started much earlier than in these times of late-night television.

Sleep More Eat Healthier

5 Healing Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep a night for optimal health, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. But most fall short, and that can influence eating habits and metabolism.

In one study, 16 people slept for 9 hours a night for five days , then switched to 5 hours a night for five days.

Sleeping just 5 hours disrupted their circadian rhythm, which led them to take in excess calories, gain weight, and experience an almost 20 percent drop in insulin sensitivity.

Insufficient sleep seems to prompt evening eating, McHill says. And its those calories that seem to account for the weight gain and metabolic issues.

What you eat can also disrupt sleep. Consuming spicy foods close to bedtime may upset your digestive system, and caffeine may delay the onset of melatonin. Research also suggests that eating lots of added sugars and processed grains may trigger insomnia, while eating more vegetables and fruit may help prevent it.

Editors Note: A version of this article also appeared in the April 2021 issue of Consumer Reports On Health.

Jennifer Cook

Jennifer Cook is an award-winning freelance writer who contributes to Consumer Reports on health, wellness, mind-body, and environmental topics. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley in a farmhouse built in the 1840s. An avid walker and dancer, she feels fortunate to live near wetlands and wild things, and to have easy access to culture and good food.

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Drink Black Coffee During The Fasting Period

It is said that drinking black coffee when you’re not allowed to eat or during your fasting window, may fasten fat burn and weight loss. However, we’re not sure of the scientific veracity of this claim it is believed that drinking the beverage makes up for the fasting slump and curbs appetite, making it easier for the dieter to prolong their fast.

Intermittent Fasting for weight loss: Drinking black coffee may fasten fat burn and weight loss.

What Should I Eat On A Fast Day

How can you make the most of your calorie allowance on a fast day?

1) Choose higher protein meals, which help you to feel full for longer. As protein is fairly high in calories you cannot have a huge amount for your 500 calories but make protein your main source of calories.

2) Fill up your plate with low calorie vegetables: they fill your stomach, taste good and do you good. Steam them, oven-roast with a teaspoon of oil, or stir-fry and add some spices or flavourings to make a really delicious filling meal. Or have them raw in a big salad.

3) Keep carbohydrates to a minimum: they are high in calories and make you feel hungry again quickly. Examples of carbohydrate-containing foods to avoid are: potatoes, sweet potato, pasrsnips, rice, pasta, bread, some fruits , breakfast cereals, fruit juice, corn-on-the-cob/sweetcorn and anything containing sugar, honey or other syrups.

4) Dont be afraid of fat: although fat is high in calories, it helps you to feel full. Include small amounts of fat in your fast day food.

Although the recommended calorie allowance of 500 calories for women 600 calories for men is not so strict that it really matters if you go over or under the allowance by a little, you will need to weigh or measure at least the high-calorie ingredients in your recipes and work out the calorie content.

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