It All Sounds A Bit Magical
According to intermittent fasting proponents, people can experience a range of health benefits just by doing one simple thing: changing when they eat.
For anyone whos struggled to consistently stick to a regimented diet, not worrying about what to eator even how to eatcan certainly sound heavenly.
Still, if youre going to go a long time without food, you kinda want to know that your efforts will pay off.
Does IF actually work? If so, why? And for whom?
In this chapter, well attempt to answer those questions.
Well dive into the science of everything IF, shedding light on:
Lets start with the top question most people have:
Putting A Plan In Place
Planning your fasting routine is a great success tool. Once youve chosen your fasting method and found a schedule that fits, a plan will allow it all to work together.
Like any dieting technique, meal and exercises plans help. They encourage you to stay on track.
Like scheduling, planning is also specific to the fasting method you choose. In general, there are no specific meal plans for intermittent fasting. Instead, you should eat nutritious balanced meals. Avoid snacking or overeating to achieve the best results.
It is safe to exercise whilst fasting. Whether that be after eating or during the fast. Some like to exercise on an empty stomach. This can excel fat burning. Others like to exercise after eating. Either plan is fine and safe. It depends on the person.
Exercising alongside fasting is also very beneficial. It can increase weight loss and improves the mental attitude towards fasting.
You Are Not Drinking Enough Water
If you are reading, drink some water right now. Intermittent fasting restricts your meal times but places no restrictions on water drinking throughout the day.
Drink enough water to stay hydrated during your fast. You can also take tea or black coffee to replenish your lost fluids without breaking your fast.
Drinking water can keep you full till your next eating period. Therefore it keeps you from snacking and packing on extra calories.
Staying hydrated is important for your overall health. If you are exercising, you ought to drink even more water to replace what you lost through sweat.
You might also need to change your lifestyle to include better sleep if you are thinking of starting intermittent fasting.
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Intermittent Fasting And Women
While intermittent fasting seems to benefit males, it can have a negative effect on hormones and metabolism in some females.
Turns out, the hormones regulating key functionslike ovulation, metabolism, and even moodare incredibly sensitive to your energy intake.
In fact, changing how muchand even whenyou eat can mess with reproductive hormones. This can lead to a far-reaching ripple effect, causing all sorts of health issues.
Is 1: 8 Fasting Good For Weight Loss
A growing body of research demonstrates that a better strategy is optimizing the nutritional quality of what you already eat versus fasting or counting calories. Also, science suggests any potential benefit from fasting is quickly undone during the eating part of the cycle, in which appetite-suppressing hormones switch gears to make you feel even hungrierthan you felt at baseline.
But some dieters may benefit from daily fasting if they have trouble sticking to prescribed meal plans or restrictive diets a 2018 pilot study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Eating suggests that a 16:8 fasting plan can help obese dieters lose weight without having to count every single calorie they eat. This approach to fasting could also aid those battling other weight-related issues namely, high blood pressure. A new scholarly review published in the New England Journal of Medicinesuggests that a 16:8 fasting plan may help the body naturally improve blood sugar regulation, as well as decrease blood pressure overall in the long run.
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/8your Diet Is Not Nutritious Enough
One of the drawbacks of the plan is that it focuses on when to eat, but fails to convey what one should eat.
For those, who really want to reap the benefits of the plan must indulge in eating nutritious, healthy foods, rather than resorting to processed, high calorie foods. While you may have fasted for long hours, it is important that you only consume fibre-rich, low-caloric foods during your eating window. Only when you do this, will you find some amount of transformation in yourself.
About Author: Ken Harris
Ken Harris is the proudest father and a writing coordinator for the Marketing & Communications division of OSF HealthCare.He has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked as a daily newspaper reporter for four years before leaving the field and eventually finding his way to OSF HealthCare.In his free time, Ken likes reading, fly fishing, hanging out with his dog and generally pestering his lovely, patient wife.
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How Does Intermittent Fasting Work In The Body
As the previous discussion already indicated, interesting processes happen in the body during intermittent fasting, which could enrich the understanding of biochemistry and medicine in the past years again and again by new realizations.
Nevertheless, we only touched a fraction of the effects and benefits. For this reason, we dig deeper into the following processes that happen to your body during intermittent fasting:
1. Fasting Induces Autophagy
Vehicles must be maintained regularly. So does your body.
With this in mind, fasting is the best way to activate autophagy .
Accordingly, the self-healing mechanism replaces broken cells with new ones and drains toxins from your body. As a result, autophagy can fight cancer, diabetes, liver, or autoimmune diseases.
Furthermore, research is increasingly deciphering that autophagy may renew damaged proteins and organelles in heart cells, too .
Since it can also slow down the aging process, autophagy is probably the most convincing reason to fast for at least 16 hours .
2. Intermittent Fasting Reduces Inflammation in the Body
Aging is the accumulation of cell damage with a decreasing ability to repair it. As a result, aging causes a certain amount of inflammation in the body.
Recent studies suggest that autophagy induced by fasting can significantly increase the life span .
Therefore, intermittent fasting programs work as a treatment of age-related diseases.
3. It Improves Cognition and Memory Function
4. Fasting Boosts Metabolism
Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Besides losing weight, people who fast may experience improved heart and brain functions because of reduced insulin.
Think of your insulin level as the first domino in the whole-body cascade of what can happen with intermittent fasting, Dr. Hutchins says. If you have high insulin levels, that can lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated triglycerides. Those things together are called metabolic syndrome, which increases risk for cardiovascular disease. So, if your insulin level decreases, you will probably lose weight, and your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure will improve.
The drop in cholesterol can also decrease the inflammation caused by metabolic syndrome, namely plaque buildup in the arteries and overall cardiovascular inflammation. As a result of these improvements, people can also reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, he adds.
This process can happen even in the absence of weight loss, and Dr. Hutchins notes that its not specific to intermittent fasting. Some people can intermittently fast and be on a strict regimen, but if they eat a bunch of junk on the days they can eat, the diet wont have an effect on heart health, he says. This effect is probably more specific to what theyre eating than to when theyre eating.
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Why Is If Better Than A Regular Diet
Depending on the diet, intermittent fasting may reduce the amount of muscle loss and avoid the decrease in metabolism thats often seen with longer-term calorie restriction . Nothing in particular says it is better, compared to any other. Its just another tool to try, and one that happens to be very effective.
Timing Of Your Fast Is The Key
Past human studies have shown eating every other day performs equally well in comparison to eating less each day. This has led to the belief that intermittent fasting can, after all, be just hype.
However, a study conducted on a small group of obese men with prediabetes suggested otherwise.
As per a study done by the researchers at the University of Alabama, early-time restricted feeding improves insulin sensitivity and blood pressure even without any changes in weight loss.
You can read the details of this study here.
Early-Time Restricted Feeding is technically a type of Intermittent Fasting Schedule that limits food intake in the first 8 to 10 hours of the day.
This is followed by an extended fast till the next mornings first meal or breakfast.
This study has birthed a new discussion over the long-term health benefits of fitting your meals in the earlier hours of the day.
Well, naturally prolonging the fasting window has its basis in the human circadian rhythm. Our bodies are biologically predisposed to eat during the day and rest during the nighttime.
Hence, this explains the results observed in this study.
Previous studies in rodents also show TRF to reduce weight, lower insulin levels, and reduce hepatic fat.
So, whats the conclusion from all this, does intermittent fasting work?
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What Can I Eat While Intermittent Fasting
During the times when youre not eating, water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted.
And during your eating periods, eating normally does not mean going crazy. Youre not likely to lose weight or get healthier if you pack your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items and treats.
But what Williams likes about intermittent fasting is that it allows for a range of different foods to be eaten and enjoyed. We want people to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food, she says. She adds that eating with others and sharing the mealtime experience adds satisfaction and supports good health.
Williams, like most nutrition experts, regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat, whether youre trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.
Intermittent Fasting And Crossfit
- May 3, 2021
Diet trends come and go. Some resurface, and others dont. Over the last year or two, Intermittent Fasting has gained momentum and become quite popular again. Why? Because people find success with it. However, like any other diet, if you dont learn sustainable habits from it, youre likely to put all of the weight you lose back on. And, thats true for ALL diets. Thats why I coach my clients to ditch diets and instead focus on habits that support their body composition goals. So, where does IF fit in with this?
Simply put, Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. Only specifying when people should eat, it has common forms that include a 12:12 cycle , a 16:8 cycle , the Eat-Stop-Eat cycle , and the 5:2 diet . The 12:12 cycle is the least extreme form of IF, and you may already be engaging in it without even knowing it.
IF is a tool one can lose weight with, and many people online are more than ready to share their success with you. However, it may not be your best friend when it comes to your ability to perform at a CrossFit style workout or any workout that requires endurance for cardio performance whether it is multiple, sustained bursts, a long run, a lengthy swim, or similar.
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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.
/8you Have Chosen The Wrong If Plan
Choosing the right IF plan is extremely crucial. If you choose a method that does not sync well with your sleep time or your everyday routine, you may end up doing more harm than good. As mentioned before, beginners should start slow and do not straightaway jump to a 24 hours of fasting. If you cannot keep up with it, you may end up eating more calories than usual, leading to unhealthy weight gain.
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Will Intermittent Fasting Break Your Metabolism
One of the biggest objections to the concept of IF is the idea that people should eat frequently to boost their metabolism. But there are a couple problems with that theory.
Problem #1: The metabolism-boosting effects of frequent eating are overrated, especially for losing fat, research suggests.
A number of years ago, some nutrition experts thought frequent meals would help folks boost metabolism through something called the thermic effect of food .
TEF is the energy used to digest, absorb, and utilize the nutrients from your food. The theory was that by eating more often, you were stimulating TEF more often.
Weve since learned, however, that the number of meals doesnt matter. TEF is stimulated equally whether you eat three 600 Calorie meals of six 300 Calorie meals.1,2,3
Problem #2: Theres a difference between fasting and starving.
Check out the definitions below.
- Fasting: Going without food long enough to trigger the body to dip into stored energy.
- Starving: A state of extreme nutrient and energy deprivation that can potentially kill us.
The difference between the two one of the key reasons IF probably wont mess with your metabolism.
Of course, you want to fast long enough to see benefits, but not so long that your body and brain start to think youre in trouble.
Fasting twice a week or every other day? It can work for some peoplebut creates problems for others. .
Does Intermittent Fasting Work Without Exercise
According to a 2014 study published in Obesity Reviews, intermittent fasting can be defined as consuming fewer than 500 calories per day. Although many of these diets have been around for decades, theyve only recently gained popularity among dieters. Proponents of intermittent fasting claim that it has health benefits including weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity, and helps promote cellular repair. However, it remains unclear whether or not such claims are accurate.
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Does Intermittent Fasting Really Work
Imagine eating all you wantand not only losing weight, but racking up a handful of health benefits to boot. Thats actually the hook behind one of the latest diet trends. Of course, there are caveats. The main one being that when youre not pigging out, youre actually starving yourself . So its not a diet thats too good to be true since youre still miserably hungry some of the time. Feasting is balanced by fasting.
The technical term is intermittent fasting, and a green-light-on-cheat-day approach is one reason why diet books on intermittent fasting are on bestseller listsand why you probably already know one or two people who are doing it.
Intermittent fasting stems from a structured practice known as caloric restriction, or CR, which has been shown to increase longevity and reduce disease in mice and monkeys. Believers think it does in humans, tooalthough there is no real evidence yet to prove that.
More than a few steps beyond your regular calorie-cutting diet, caloric restriction is a deliberate lifestyle where, essentially, you are semi-dieting forever. Health and longevity, not weight loss, are the goals , and, on a long-term basis, you eat 25 percent and up to 45 percent fewer calories than the body requires each day. This consistent state of energy deprivation at levels that still allow you to obtain essential nutrients triggers hormesis, a biological response to stress that makes the body stronger and more resilient.
Stick To The Bodys Circadian Rhythm
No matter what kind of eating pattern, you can never go wrong when it follows the bodys internal clock. This means eating during the day and resting during the night.
So, what you can do is eat during the earlier hours of the day. While a 7 am to 3 pm routine is not always practical, a 10 am to 6 pm is doable.
For that matter, even a 16/8 intermittent fasting approach can work.
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Fasting Isn’t Just For The Gym Rats And Health Gurus It’s As Easy As Eating Dinner Early
When it comes to nutrition and diet, were all looking for short-cuts. Too many of them lead to yo-yo dieting, plans without gains, and lots of expensive workout equipment or memberships, gone unused. So where does intermittent fasting, one of the booming diet trends out now fit into this world? Its no fad. The science is promising, its history is long, and when tackled with patience and thoughtfulness, it can truly burn fat, promote weight loss, and improve overall health. Of course, there will be sacrifices. Heres how to tackle intermittent fasting and what to expect.