Optimal Intermittent Fasting Windows
This so-called time-restricted eating is a form of intermittent fasting. Instead of fasting on alternate days or several 24-hour periods per week, time-restricted eating encourages dieters to limit their meals to certain windows of time.
Eating and drinking during a 10-hour window allows your body to rest and restore for 14 hours while drinking water, coffee or tea. According to study co-author Satchin Panda, PhD, Your body can also anticipate when you will eat, so it can prepare the body to optimize metabolism.
Other studies on time-restricted eating have found similar results. Researchers from the University of Alabama split obese men with prediabetes into two groups: One group ate all of its meals within an 8-hour window between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. and the other spread its meals out over 12 hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The study showed both groups maintained their weight but those who restricted their eating to an 8-hour window had lower insulin levels, reduced insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure their appetites decreased, too.
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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.
Fasting And Weight Loss
The scientists recruited 36 lean, healthy adults in the U.K. between 2015 and 2018 for the study and monitored their baseline diet and physical activity for 4 weeks. They then randomly allocated the participants to one of three groups of 12.
The participants in the first group, the energy restriction group, consumed 75% of their normal energy intake each day.
The second group used two methods of weight loss: fasting and energy restriction. They fasted on alternate days and consumed 150% of their regular calorie intake on their eating days.
The third group did not face any energy restriction. They fasted on alternate days and consumed 200% of their regular calorie intake on their eating days.
The fasting groups consumed no energy-providing nutrients during their fasting periods. This ensured that their dietary interventions were standardized and allowed enough time for fasting-related bodily functions to activate.
The participants underwent various lab tests before and after the 3-week intervention. The researchers also monitored the participants diet and physical activity levels throughout and extracted fat tissue samples from some individuals.
Those on energy restriction diets lost an average of 1.91 kilograms at the end of the study period. Meanwhile, those fasting with energy restriction lost an average of 1.60 kg, and those fasting without energy restriction lost an average of 0.52 kg.
Do Men And Women React Differently To Intermittent Fasting
Can fasting even be bad for women?
I am a woman who has extensive experience of fasting and has tested all the different variants that exist, just to get to know my body better and understand the metabolic mechanisms. However, the experts disagree a bit on whether women SHOULD fast or not, and in connection with that I have found my own variant that involves fat fasting. It is 1-2 cups of fat coffee in the morning, strong ketosis and then food when I get hungry.
Men and womens metabolic conditions
Men and women are a little differently constructed and it seems that men are equipped to withstand physical strain better than women. This may be one of the reasons why men who test periodic fasting are so saved, while women rarely are.
Men who fast:
- Gets symptoms of chronic stress, more aggravated
- Shrunken ovaries
- Poorer libido
This is of course individual how you react, but this is what you have seen in studies in rats for example. Women who have passed menopause get better results from fasting than fertile women.
Another study shows that women perform better in cardio fasting, while men perform better in strength exercises fasting.
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Women And Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can cause hormonal imbalance in women if its not done correctly . Women are extremely sensitive to signals of starvation, and if the body senses that it is being starved, it will ramp up production of the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin.
So when women experience insatiable hunger after under-eating, they are actually experiencing the increased production of these hormones. Its the female bodys way of protecting a potential fetus even when a woman is not pregnant.
So women have to set cunningly about it. And if you do so, you can get all the benefits of fasting.
One study of healthy young women found that a 10-hour eating window had an anti-stress effect, lowering cortisol and increasing parasympathetic* activity .
*) The parasympathetic nervous system is the “brake” that causes the body to calm down, and which is active when we relax, sleep, eat and meditate.
So if you are a woman or trying fasting for the first time, you might benefit from modified or crescendo intermittent fasting.
This is a more gentle approach that helps the body more easily adapt to fasting. Not all women need crescendo fasting, but it will ensure success in most.
Fast on 23 non-consecutive days per week
On fasting days, do yoga or light cardio.
Ideally, fast for 1216 hours.
Eat normally on your strength training/HIIT workouts intense exercise days.
Drink plenty of water.
After two weeks, feel free to add one more day of fasting.
Listen to your body.
Use My Free Diet & Workout Planner Tool To Get The Perfect Program Designed For Your Body And Goal
2.Now the second way that intermittent fasting can help certain individuals burnfat faster
Then they would with regular continuous calorie restriction is because it reduces the number of calories that you eat on a daily basis without reducing the size fullness and quality of your meals.
When youre eating 5 or 6 times a day and youre trying to stay in a calorie deficit to burn fat your meals wind up being tiny.
This could lead to a very unsatisfying experience every time you eat.
If your meals start looking like one brown rice cake with half a tablespoon of peanut butter and only 3 almonds its easy to see how eating can quickly
become more of a chore with no satisfaction rather than something that you actually enjoy.
If you hate your diet youre not going to stick to it and it doesnt matter how good the diet looks on paper if you dont stick to it youre not going to lose any inches off your waist.
This is where intermittent fasting presents an Advantage for many people. By only eating once or twice a day you can have much larger and more filling meals
that leave you satisfied and you can choose from a larger selection of options that would normally be unavailable in the continuous calorie restriction model
because those options may contain too many calories to balance out with 5 other meals.
this is highly dependent on personal preference but for a large group of people including myself, it can make dieting much easier.
Also Check: How To Keep Yourself From Eating While Fasting
Why The Experts Say If Works
Now for the science talk. Why has intermittent fasting been so successful for me when everything else I’ve tried has failed me? Aside from this being a sustainable lifestyle, certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition says that intermittent fasting “gets your body out of ‘storage mode’ and mobilizes fat stores for energy.” This means that without having a constant food source, your body will dip into the fat it already has stored as its energy source, and in my case, that fat was in my belly.
Dr. Daryl Gioffre, a celebrity nutritionist and longevity expert who specializes in the alkaline diet, adds that when you fast for 16 hours, “Your blood sugar and insulin levels lower,” and the human growth hormone increases. He says this increases your metabolic rate , and when this happens, your body has no other choice but to start burning your body’s stored fat for energy.
He goes on to say that “belly fat can be stubborn to lose because the abdominal area contains more alpha-2 receptors that slow down your ability to burn fat, compared to beta-2 receptors that increase your fat burning potential.” IF is powerful because lower insulin levels “activate your b-2 receptors and shut down your a-2 receptors, allowing you to burn targeted fat in your belly area.”
Intermittent Fasting + Lifestyle Changes Burns Fat Faster
So, being 100% honest, intermittent fasting really does work!
Over the years Ive struggled so much with my weight. It was downright depressing!
Intermittent fasting really is the only thing that really helped me make long-term, sustainable change while avoiding feeling deprived.
But its not just intermittent fasting that will really help you burn fat and keep it off.
Its really a combination of intermittent fasting with modifications to diet, exercise, and lifestyle that help you get from point A to point B.
So, if you want to burn more fat every day, then these are the five most effective ways to do it!
Read Also: What You Can Drink During Fasting
New Study Says Intermittent Fasting Increases Belly Fat
Intermittent fasting, often referred to time-restricted eating, has become the latest diet craze not only for weight loss but also for enhancing health. Everyone from well-known celebrities to everyday, average people are trying intermittent fasting and claiming it is successful.
In a study on intermittent fasting published in the prestigious journal JAMA Internal Medicine on September 28, 2020, researchers questioned, What is the effect of time-restricted eating on weight loss and metabolic health in patients with overweight and obesity? The researchers findings acknowledge, In this prospective randomized clinical trial that included 116 adults with overweight or obesity, time-restricted eating was associated with a modest decrease in weight that was not significantly different from the decrease in the control group . Meaning that during the three-month study on a daily 16-hour-fast , participants only lost 2 to 3 pounds, slightly better than their control group. The most concerning finding of the study was that 65 percent of weight loss from the fasting group was not fat, but from lean body mass and muscle. A healthy weight loss comes from a diet that enhances body fat loss, not muscle and lean body mass. Having more muscle increases metabolism and helps you burn more calories over a 24-hour period.
Help Balance Blood Sugar
During times of food scarcity our cell membranes become more sensitive to insulin. This is especially important when food is scarce because it ensures that every bit of food being efficiently used or stored.
During times of food abundance the body desensitizes the cells to insulin in an effort to avoid the stress of a heavy calorie intake. This results in elevated insulin levels, increased fat storage and increased oxidative stress and inflammatory conditions in the body. Insulin also enhances cellular division, which is a risk factor for cancer formation.
A review of studies that compared alternate day fast with calorie restricted diets found that in overweight people, insulin sensitivity improved between 20 to 31 percent, with small reductions in fasting glucose. LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels also tend to decrease by as much as 30 percent after alternate day fasting .
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How Long Should I Wait To See The Results
Just like with any lifestyle change, you must give intermittent fasting some time before you can expect to see results. Ideally, you should try to do intermittent fasting for at least 10 weeks. Therefore, the method of intermittent fasting that you choose should fit your lifestyle so that it is more sustainable.
If you have tried to lose belly fat before but have not been able to do so successfully, then you should give intermittent fasting a try.
What Is Intermittent Fasting
Many diets focus on what to eat, but intermittent fasting is all about when you eat.
With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time. Fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple days a week, can help your body burn fat. And scientific evidence points to some health benefits, as well.
Johns Hopkins neuroscientist , has studied intermittent fasting for 25 years. He says that our bodies have evolved to be able to go without food for many hours, or even several days or longer. In prehistoric times, before humans learned to farm, they were hunters and gatherers who evolved to survive and thrive for long periods without eating. They had to: It took a lot of time and energy to hunt game and gather nuts and berries.
Even 50 years ago, it was easier to maintain a healthy weight. Johns Hopkins dietitian Christie Williams, M.S., R.D.N., explains: There were no computers, and TV shows turned off at 11 p.m. people stopped eating because they went to bed. Portions were much smaller. More people worked and played outside and, in general, got more exercise.
Nowadays, TV, the internet and other entertainment are available 24/7. We stay awake for longer hours to catch our favorite shows, play games and chat online. Were sitting and snacking all day and most of the night.
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So Is Intermittent Fasting As Good As It Sounds
I was very curious about this, so I asked the opinion of metabolic expert Dr. Deborah Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Here is what she told me. “There is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective,” she confirmed, though generally she recommends that people “use an eating approach that works for them and is sustainable to them.”
So, heres the deal. There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes.
Reduce Your Sugar Consumption
We all know too much sugar is bad. It puts things into perspective to realize that 1 Tbsp of sugar a day is a reasonable sugar limit. Wow! I think most of us are accustomed to consuming way more!
Avoid Sugary Drinks and Energy Drinks
A good start is to avoid sugary drinks and energy drinks. Drink tea or coffee if you need a boost of energy, but keep it reasonable. Once you take charge of yoru health, you shouldnt have to rely on caffeine for energy.
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Intermittent Fasting Cycles Between Periods Of Reduced Or Zero Calorie Intake And Periods Of Unrestricted Eating
Intermittent fasting cycles between periods of reduced or zero calorie intake and periods of unrestricted eating.
A dietitian says this diet is the key to saying sayonara to that flab, and hello to abs.
Of all the diets that have emerged in recent years, fasting would be at the top of the list when it comes to ease, popularity and the range of health benefits it offers. Not only does fasting do wonders for the health of our cells – helping to reset a number of hormones and lower blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin levels – but it is also associated with steady, sustainable weight loss.
When it comes to belly fat, fasting potentially offers a range of specific benefits which you may not get from more traditional weight loss programs.