Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy
Is intermittent fasting safe? Remember that youre only supposed to fast for 12 to 16 hours and not for days at a time. Youve still got plenty of time to enjoy a satisfying and healthy diet. Of course, some older women may need to eat frequently because of metabolic disorders or instructions on prescriptions. In that case, you should discuss your eating habits with your medical provider before making any changes.
While its not technically fasting, some doctors have reported intermittent fasting benefits by allowing such easy-to-digest food as whole fruit during the fasting window. Modifications like these can still give your digestive and metabolic system a needed rest. For example, Fit for Life was a popular weight loss book that suggested eating only fruit after supper and before lunch.
In fact, the authors of this book said that they had patients who only changed their eating habits with this 12- to 16-hour fruit fast each day. They did not follow the diets other rules or count calories, and they still lost weight and got healthier. This strategy might have simply worked because the dieters replaced junk food with whole foods. In any case, people found this dietary change effective and easy to make. Traditionalists wont call this fasting; however, its important to know that you may have options if you absolutely cant abstain from food for several hours at a time.
Is Changing Time Slots In Intermittent Fasting Good Or Bad
If your eating window is 2 to 10 pm, then you can follow it as a regular schedule and follow it as long as you like. For example, if you followed it for the entire month, then, you can take a break or change the time slot. Its not like ketosis, which breaks easily, you can always take a break when needed and then continue from the next day. In fact, IF only requires you to follow the eating and the fasting windows closely, no matter what time slots are.
But you have to be careful with one thing that can ruin your IF, which is choosing 2 to 10 today and then 10 to 6 tomorrow and so on. You need to ensure giving the 16 hours of fasting period between the two time slots.
So choose your time slot depending on your priorities and then go on with it. Only change when when you need and then come back to your routine. So I hope your doubts regarding the timings are clear now now.
How Intermittent Fasting Works: Insulin Reduction Ketone Production And Autophagy Induction
From a weight-loss perspective, intermittent fasting works by making it harder to overeat throughout the day. A simple rule like skip breakfast or only eat between 5 pm and 8 pm, can help prevent you from reaching for snacks or drinking calorie-dense beverages throughout the day that contribute to weight gain.
Even if you do build up a ferocious appetite while fasting, youll still find it difficult to overeat. In fact, intermittent fasting tends to decrease daily energy consumption and promote fat loss.
This means that you may be able to eat as much as you want and reach your goals as long as you stick to a shortened eating window or a limited number of meals.
When you first try intermittent fasting, your body will need to adjust itself to this new eating schedule. You may be hit hard by hunger pangs and potent cravings at first, but they will soon dissipate as your cells feast on stored fat and ketones.
The key mechanisms behind your ability to fast, lose fat, and improve your health throughout the process are insulin reduction, ketone production, and autophagy. As we accumulate time in a fasted state, our insulin levels decrease incrementally. This promotes the release of fat from our fat cells and stimulates the ketone-producing process known as ketogenesis.
As you continue your fast, youll enter a deeper state of ketosis, become more efficient at burning fat,; and ramp up the self-cleaning process known as autophagy.
Drink A Tea Or Coffee
Fill the gap of food with a freshly brewed, black tea or coffee. Similarly like drinking water, a hot beverage will give you a sense of fullness, but will also occupy the âhand to mouthâ action, making you feel like you have eaten.
If youâre really struggling with hunger and intermittent fasting, consider drinking bulletproof coffeeâââcoffee with added fats like butter, coconut oil, MCT oil and ghee. The fat will keep you full, whilst maintaining ketosis and autophagyâââtwo key processes that underpin fasting and its benefits. For the fasting purist, consuming a single calorie will break a fast, however, if adding fat to your coffee means that you stick with a fast, or find it easier, then I would say itâs 100% worth it.
Intermittent Fasting And Sleeping
Besides staying without food for the said period, it is better to sleep during the fasting hours. Intermittent 12 hour fasting at night is easier because you will be asleep for the most part, say 7 hours. However, if you fast during the day, you may need to take a nap and keep yourself busy to avoid thinking about food that will lead to relapse.
You can begin by fasting weekly, then on several days of the week before making it a day to day routine. If you are fasting for specific days a week, for example, five days a week, eat as usual on the non-fasting days. Note that you may become irritable, and your concentration may momentarily dip during the fasting period as you begin this healthy journey. The good news is that your body will adjust within a month, and the side effects should disappear. If they are particularly severe or donât go away, consider stopping your fasting routine and discuss with your doctor.
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Final Thoughts On Intermittent Fasting For Women
Intermittent fasting may work amazingly well for some people, and terribly for others. Most importantly, if you do decide to give intermittent fasting a try, be sure to listen to your bodys feedback. Easing into intermittent fasting by starting with shorter fasting windows can help with initial symptoms of hunger and discomfort. But if it becomes too uncomfortable, be honest with yourself, accept it, and move on.
At the end of the day, nothing can have a greater impact on your health than a diet consisting of real, whole foods, and a lifestyle that prioritizes your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Do Calories Matter When Fasting Summary
- Fasting studies have shown that reducing the hours we consume food causes weight loss without conscious food intake restrictions.;
- Consistent adherence to a fasting routine may reduce the need to count calories.;
- You can lose your ability to recognize true hunger due to a poor diet, resulting in an increased need to track your calorie intake.;
- Pairing intermittent fasting with a low carb/high-fat diet will give you a weight-loss edge and could reduce your need to track calories.
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Move Your Exercise Routine
Alright, you already have an exercise routine that you follow. You have no reason to change the way you train, its a perfect fit for you. Then why not try and move when you exercise?
A study was conducted to look at the effect of time of day on performance, hormonal, and metabolic response. The participants where amateur cyclists of an average age of 31.
They either performed a 1000 m TT at 8 am or 6 pm. The time of day massively affected insulin, cortisol, norepinephrine, and testosterone concentration. They were all way higher in the morning.
This resulted in more mobilized fat, increased release of fatty acids in the morning, and, overall, more fat burning.
You might think you have to train in the morning to burn fat, but evening workouts also have advantages. The optimal body temperature of strength training is around 4 pm to 9 pm.
And during this time window, your body will actually be at his higher temperature. This will improve joint mobility, glucose metabolism, and muscular blood flow, which will improve muscle activation.
Were simply stronger when our bodys core temparature peaks.
In my complete guide on muscle building and fasting, I mentioned that you should ideally work out right before breaking a fast.
When you fast, youll increase insulin sensitivity. When you break the fast, insulin levels will peak. Insulin is a key hormone to muscle growth, by activating certain anabolic pathways such as mTor and promoting muscle growth through IGF-1.
Intermittent Fasting Can Increase Levels Of Cortisol
Depriving yourself of food for an extended period of time can increase levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. Whatever positive health benefits you may experience or hope to have will be negated by your increased stress levels.
High cortisol levels are also associated with fat storage, you may lose weight in the first few months of intermittent fasting but it is not advisable in the long run because you’ll likely just get the weight back in fat after your first good run.
Fasting can be extremely tiring. During the times in which you’re fasting, you’ll have lower energy levels than normal and may not want to be out and about. You may feel like you just need to rest to conserve the energy you do have. You may get depressed and turn asocial.
A less stressful way to lose weight would be to improve your nutrition. Healthy, whole, plant-based meals can make you full while eating less and the added vitamins and minerals will help you manage your stress instead of adding to it.
Vegin’ Out offers organic, healthy plant-based ingredients for vegan meals that can be made gluten-free, soy-free, and low carb and delivered to your front door.
The Best Intermittent Fasting Methods For Women
So, what exactly is a relaxed approach to intermittent fasting? Again, since theres little research done on intermittent fasting, were dealing with a bit of a gray area. The opinions also tend to vary depending on which site you visit, or which health expert you ask. From what weve found, the general guidelines to brief intermittent fasting for women are:
Do not fast for longer than 24 hours at a time Ideally fast for 12 to 16 hours Do not fast on consecutive days during your first two to three weeks of fasting Drink plenty of fluids during your fast Only do light exercise on fasting days, such as yoga, walking, jogging, and gentle stretching
What Side Effects Can I Expect On An Intermittent Fasting Diet
For many people, transitioning to eating this way is not easy. Per the April 2019 Nutrients research, IF can lead to migraine, dizziness, nausea, and insomnia. It can also make people feel hungry and weak in general, limiting their activity throughout the day.
Some women might stop menstruating;as a result of calorie restriction,;according to the same Nutrients study.;If you miss three periods in a row, its time to see a doctor, says the Mayo Clinic.
Practical Application: Tim Ferriss 3 Day Ketosis Boost
If you want to raise your ketone levels or kickstart your ketogenic journey, try a 3-day fasting protocol like the one below. If intermittent fasting doesnt sound like its something that can work for you, you can also kickstart your keto diet by fat fasting.
- Eat a ketogenic dinner and make that the last meal of the day. Go to bed as normal.
- Get out the door and walk within 30 minutes of waking. Drink coffee or tea if needed, but it is best to limit your caffeine intake because it will cause you to excrete more minerals and fluid than usual.
- Bring at least 1 liter of water, with some added unrefined salt, and sip as you walk to avoid cramping.
- Walk for 3 to 4 hours, sipping water as needed.
- Arrange phone calls or something similar for your walk to make the time productive.
- The idea behind the walk is that you use up your glycogen stores, forcing your body to move more quickly into deep ketosis. The quicker you get into ketosis, the less time you spend feeling drained.
- If you prefer to shorten the time frame, you can do a 45-60 minute bout of HIIT exercise.
- Consume MCT oil 2-3 times throughout the day.
- An affordable, good quality MCT Oil we recommend is NOW Foods MCT Oil.
- This provides you with energy until your ketone levels;elevate naturally.
Saturday & Sunday Day
- Break your fast with your favorite ketogenic meal. Take a look at our Keto Recipes to find your new favorite!
Why Should I Do Intermittent Fasting
Well, there are three main reasons why people do fasting. First is longevity, second is improving your gut health and third is for weight loss. Also, if you have a slow metabolism, then it will go up tremendously with IF, which will improve your overall metabolic health. In addition to that, your body gets rid of problems like digestion, constipation, etc. Your body in a way detoxes, you get rid of old cells and new cells are formed.
During the long fasting hours, our body uses our extra fat deposits to generate energy, and this results in weight loss.
Along with these benefits, your brain becomes active and brain fog clears. You will experience a lot of clarity and sharp memory with IF.
Should You Be Worried About Refeeding Syndrome
Some legitimate health complications can arise when you fast or are malnourished for longer than 5 days. One of these complications is called refeeding syndrome, which is caused by potentially fatal shifts in fluid and electrolyte balance that can happen when we eat after a period of undernourishment.
This happens because the concentration of fluids and minerals in our body relies heavily on what we eat. Low carbohydrate diets, like the ketogenic diet, increase the excretion of vital minerals like sodium and potassium.
If you add a prolonged fast onto the ketogenic diet, you can lose an unhealthy amount of these essential minerals.
Fasts that are shorter than 5 days, however, arent likely to cause issues especially if you break your fast with a low carbohydrate meal that is filled with mineral rich foods. A meal with dark leafy greens, avocado, and salmon with some unrefined salt would be an ideal way to break a longer fast.
During a shorter fast that lasts less than 24 hours, however, you wont have to worry about refeeding syndrome at all. Either way,; it may be best to check out the mineral supplements that we recommend in this article to ensure proper mineral balance.
But what about muscle? Its only common sense that consuming no protein and less calories will lead to an unhealthy amount of muscle loss. Thats right it is only common sense.
How Do I Manage Hunger
The most important thing to realize is that hunger usually passes like a wave. Many people worry that hunger during intermittent fasting will continue to build until it is intolerable, but this does not normally happen.46 Instead, hunger comes in a wave. If you simply ignore it and drink a cup of tea or coffee, it will often pass.47
During extended fasts, hunger will often increase into the second day. After that, it gradually recedes, and many people report a complete loss of hunger sensation by day 3 or 4.48 Your body is now being powered by fat. In essence, your body is eating its own fat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and therefore is no longer hungry. Learn more
How To Do The 12
When following this IF method, in as much as the two meals are 12 hours apart, you must finish your last meal before the 12 hour fasting-eating interval. For instance, if your eating window is 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., you should eat breakfast at or after 8 a.m. finish dinner before 8 p.m. As you begin, you will have hunger pains, but your body will adjust with time.
Do not jump into the 12 hour intermittent fasting. Your body takes time to adjust to not eating, especially if you usually take three meals and two snacks a day. Begin by staying off some meals, then when you get used to staying without food for hours, increase the period slowly to the 12 hours optimal window. Ensure that you are comfortable staying for long without eating because 12 hour intermittent fasting should not make you miserable, but rather, you should enjoy doing it.
Pros And Cons Of Intermittent Fasting For Women
Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting;may include:
- Sustainable weight loss
- An increase in lean muscle mass
- More energy
- An increase in cell stress response
- A reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation
- Improvement around insulin sensitivity in overweight women
- Increased production of neurotrophic growth factor
Now, heres the tricky part. Although intermittent fasting may have its benefits, women are naturally sensitive to signs of starvation, so intermittent fasting for women is a whole different beast.
When the female body senses its headed towards famine, it will increase the production of the hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin, which signal the body that youre;hungry and need to eat . Additionally, if theres not enough food for you to survive, your body is going to shut down the system that would allow you to create another human. This is the bodys natural way of protecting a potential pregnancy, even if youre not actually pregnant or trying to conceive.
Its not that youre intentionally imposing a famine upon yourself but your body doesnt know that. It doesnt know the difference between true starvation and intermittent fasting, which is why it defaults to this protective mechanism.
Therefore, some of the cons due to hormonal imbalances brought on by intermittent fasting may also lead to:
- Irregular periods
- Metabolic stress
- Fertility issues
- Difficulty sleeping