It is the woman over 50’s metabolism that typically starts to change as she ages. Yes, it is true that many women in their 40’s and even 30’s are experiencing metabolic changes. However, women over 50 often experience other health challenges like high blood pressure and weight gain.
Plus estrogen levels go way down for menopausal women. These challenges can make it difficult for a woman over 50 to maintain a healthy weight or even just eat healthy foods on a regular basis without suffering from cravings.
Every woman over 50 should take a look at intermittent fasting and how it could help to manage a healthy weight or to maintain a healthy weight. Intermittent fasting is simply going without food for 15-36 hours. This means not eating anything at all (even water) for anywhere from 15-36 hours.
The other 4-8 hours you can drink as much water as you like, but you can’t eat anything during this time period. If you have even the smallest meal within these 4-8 hour time frames, then your body will store that food instead of burning it off. This is what makes intermittent fasting so powerful. It puts your body in a fat burning mode instead of a sugar burning mode.
When you eat food it enters your stomach and is broken down by enzymes and acids. This process takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour. During this time the body is using glucose for energy. Once the food enters the small intestine digestion speeds up, but this doesn’t last long either because at this point your pancreas starts creating insulin which focuses on bringing the food into your body’s cells for energy.
This process takes another 30-60 minutes depending on the size of your meal and how much fat or fiber you ate with it. During this time your body is burning sugar for energy.
The problem with too much sugar consumption is that the body gets used to it. It is always looking for more sugar in order to feel like it has enough energy. This is why many women in their 50’s or older suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar which results in cravings, depression, and just not feeling right.
With intermittent fasting, you can eliminate these cravings immediately because your body has no choice but to start using fat for energy when there isn’t any sugar available. Plus when your body goes into ketosis, which is the state that your body enters when you don’t have any sugar available, it burns off fat quite quickly. Once you start intermittent fasting you will feel a surge of energy and feel alert.
So how does intermittent fasting help with weight loss? It is all about utilizing hormones that are starting to decline as we age. If you are a woman over 50 it is important to be aware of these hormonal changes because they could mean more weight gain for us.
The first hormonal change is that our levels of oestrogen drop dramatically during menopause or perimenopause. Oestrogen helps to regulate appetite and fat storage in the body. When levels drop we start to store more fat and crave sugary, salty, and fatty foods. This can easily lead a woman over 50 into obesity and overweight problems.
The second hormonal change that affects our weight is leptin. Leptin is the hormone that increases when you burn fat and decreases when you store it. Without enough leptin we suffer from cravings and even depression. Intermittent fasting helps to keep leptin levels normal which helps us to feel better and lose weight more easily.
The last hormone that intermittent fasting impacts is ghrelin which is often referred to as the hunger hormone because it tells your body that you are hungry by increasing in response to food intake, but decreasing when you are not eating for an extended period of time. If your ghrelin levels are high, then you will likely experience cravings and feel fatigue.
By starting intermittent fasting you can actually lower your levels oestrogen and leptin which helps to keep more fat in the body so that it can be burned off later.
Plus intermittent fasting keeps ghrelin low which prevents cravings and makes weight loss easier for women over 50.
There are some dangers with intermittent fasting that everyone should be aware of. It is not safe for people who have diabetes or others who have issues with blood sugar regulation. If your blood sugar is low then you could slip into a coma. This isn’t to scare anyone away from intermittent fasting because it is the perfect lifestyle change for many. But it does mean that you have to be careful and monitor your levels carefully if you are diabetic or have hypoglycemia.
If you are new to intermittent fasting it is important that you start out slowly with just an hour a day of not eating anything at all. Once your body gets used to this, then you can bump up the time frame by not eating for 2 hours at a time, then 3 hours, 4 hours, and so on until you reach 15 hours of not eating anything at all.
There is a thing that many people don’t realize about intermittent fasting and that is this: you are not limited to the hours of your fast or even the days. You can choose to fast for as long as you like, or just start out with just a couple of days.
As you get used to it, more and more time periods can be added. As an example, I start out going for 12 hours every day but then I move up to 24 hour fasts on certain days based on what my body needs. It is very personal and unique to you.
Some people eat just once a day and that is fine as well. There are some fasting diets that you can do which stop eating after dinner. That means that you go to bed and get up in the morning without eating anything at all. This type of situation can be incredibly difficult for some people but many others love it because there aren’t any temptations that come up when it comes down to dinner time. If you struggle with weight loss already or things like pre-diabetes, then this type of diet may not be for you though because it will likely cause your blood sugar to drop below normal levels which is not healthy for anyone over 50 who also has these issues.
The truth is that you have to learn to listen to your body if you want to be successful in intermittent fasting. As long as you are not diabetic then most people should see wonderful benefits from it because it is a natural way for us humans to live. It allows our bodies to get rid of toxins and stagnant fat that we may have tucked away in our bodies over the years. It also helps us with hunger pangs when we are trying to lose weight quickly by eating right and exercising.
There is no reason why intermittent fasting can’t be part of any weight loss plan and many people do just that.
A lot of people don’t seem to understand that when there is a spike in ketones in your body, this is a good thing. It is because it means that you are burning fat for energy. On the other hand, when you eat a meal and your blood sugar spikes up and then comes back down, this also causes problems for your body because insulin has to be released into the bloodstream to bring that blood sugar down again.
This can cause inflammation in the body which can lead to diseases such as Alzheimers later on in life if it occurs often enough.
If you want to try intermittent fasting, you should probably start out with a 16 hour fast each day. That means that you should not eat for sixteen hours, and then have your first meal. You could have any type of food that is healthy that was prepared at home if you want to add it as part of the diet in the plan.
There are many people who sell food and also put together very healthy meals such as smoothies for people who need something fast when they don’t have time to cook anything. This can be a good option because it will help you with getting all of the nutrients that your body needs while on this diet plan. You will have to eat these on a regular basis because it will be difficult to get all of the nutrients that you need in one meal.
If you want to try intermittent fasting, there are some things that you should know about before starting out. Firstly, this diet does not work for every person individually. Even though it can work very well for some people, it is not going to be good for everyone who tries it. That is why you have to take the time to research all of the facts about this diet and find out what works best for your individual situation before starting.
A great way to learn about this diet is to look at the experiences that people have had while they have been using it. You can find numerous success stories on the Internet, and most of them are definitely worth reading. They can give you some excellent advice as well as a lot of good tips.
Because we are only human, we all make mistakes now and then. When it comes to fasting, one of the most common mistakes that people make is trying to do too much too soon. If you want to lose weight fast, you are going to have to make sure that you are eating healthy on a regular basis. Keep in mind that this diet can be dangerous if it is not followed correctly, therefore it is best not to try and modify the diet unless you have had some experience with it already.
It is important for your body to get enough fiber and protein throughout the day. Sugar has been shown to contribute to diseases such as diabetes, and if you don’t have enough fiber or protein, your body may feel tired from fasting. Fiber can be found in many different foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans and others.
They are all good for you, but you may have to be careful when trying to count carbohydrates. For anyone who is new to this diet plan, it is extremely important that you make sure that you get the correct amount of fiber while on it.
Fasting can cause a person’s body weight to go down rapidly. When a person starts out on this diet they should start off very slowly and gauge their own results for a short period of time before they decide if they need to change anything.
It is better to experiment with fasting than it is to go in blind just because you see other people losing weight fast and you want the same result but do not realize that your own body has different needs for living than many other people.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Let’s get right to the point. Fasting is a relatively simple practice that yields incredible and complicated results. The effects that fasting has on the body and mind seem unfathomable: weight loss, blood sugar regulation, blood pressure regulation, and growth hormone regulation – only to name a few important ones.
In recent years, science has come full force to support these claims, not to mention the thousands of videos online of people’s results now that fasting has hit the mainstream. There are different types of fasting as well as many ways to fast.
Within the abundant array of different methods and individual changes any one person may implement, there is a wealth of potential ways to impact the health of the body and mind in positive ways. Fasting, in a general and broad definition, is the practice of willingly abstaining from something, usually food and drink.
Whether it is simply not eating chocolate for a week or two or even cutting out all solid foods for a month, no matter how large or small the impact the abstinence has on you, that is fasting from your chosen food.
Another more intensive fast would be dry fasting. Dry fasting is the complete abstinence from every source of solid or liquid food for any predetermined period, and, of course, willingly. Although not completely out of the question for beginners, these styles of fasting are used more sparingly than the style we aim to focus on, and that practice is called Intermittent Fasting or IF for short.
Intermittent fasting is very similar to the practices described above, but instead of completely fasting for days at a time, you would choose a certain time of the day, say an eight-hour period. This time window would be the only time you ingest foods as much as you’d like depending on your personal goals. There may also be other rules you set yourself, but there’s more on customizing your practice later in this guide. The idea of intentionally choosing not to eat may be contradictory to many of the views on food that our culture holds dear.
Abundance and indulgence run rampant in our world, and the more you have, the better, right? Not so much. As we now see the results of the destructive habits we have formed, we must look to other answers, better practices, and mindful analysis of what and when we eat. Changing our eating habit is no small feat; it takes a strong will and a desire to attain a more meaningful and healthy life, one that is not overburdened with sugary snacks and stress caused by overeating.
As we can see, Intermittent fasting is not so much a new fad diet but a distinct and progressive lifestyle choice. And although these practices have only recently hit the mainstream in our world today, there is a long and fruitful lineage of practices from cultures all around the world that practiced fasting, and we look to these cultures and our distant ancestors for inspiration and guidance on this journey.
Before today’s fast-paced society took hold of our diets, fasting played a very important role in essentially every culture and society around the world.
Whether it was for spiritual purposes, health reasons, or some intense ritual, fasting was a lynchpin in many lifestyles throughout human history. Even before humans had science to explore the details of how our bodies work on a microscopic level, we knew that fasting was a source of good health and wellbeing.
Primitive cultures would often require fasting before battles and even as an initiatory milestone during puberty. The prehistoric humans surely weren’t as concerned about their weight and appearances as we are now, but the hunter-gatherer lifestyle would seemingly fit nicely within the scope of IF.
Wandering from place to place in search of nutrients, there may have been plenty of time in between meals, but is this fasting? Sure, the ancient tribes probably went long periods without food but probably not willingly.
It’s impossible to truly find out what the ancient cultures were thinking and practicing, but here, we see potential caloric restriction that influenced early man in incredible ways, perhaps even influencing the onset of agriculture and settling.
As humans progressed and began settling, we see a more prominent and definitive practice of fasting. We see all the big hitters in the religious world advocating for it; Jesus Christ, Muhammed, and Buddha all viewed fasting as a purification process. Commonly based on religious grounds, fasting became a practice of sacrifice, giving up something to show a respected god or entity that you were devoted and deserved good graces from powerful beings.
The idea of giving up something so precious, which was required to survive, would surely appease the gods. Certainly, as these practices caught on, the humans, religious or not, felt the results of their fasts. Fasting stays a prominent aspect of medicine as the timeline progresses onward into some ancient cultures that we have better historical documentation of.
The ancient Greek philosophers valued fasting among their other important contributions to our current world. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, focused heavily on fasting for a balanced and healthful life. He spoke and promoted the practice while also prescribing it to his patients.
The Greek philosophy drew heavily from nature; the observation that humans lose their appetite when they are sick showed the Greek philosophers and doctors that the body naturally restricts caloric intake when ill, and thus there must be some value to the healing potential of willingly abstaining from caloric intake.
Another father of contemporary medicine who advocated for fasting was Paracelsus, the inventor of toxicology. He wrote, “Fasting is the greatest remedy, the physician within.” The reference to “the physician within” alludes to the body having a natural ability to intuitively heal itself, let alone have assistance by the human mind through the willingness to abstain and attention to the nuances of the mind-body connection. These ancient ideas helped build the foundation of our current state of medicine, but perhaps we need to return to the ideas held dear to our ancestors.
While considering that our ancient ancestors and some of the most prominent minds of our time utilized IF as a means of attaining optimal health, we look forward to today’s world. Although the Western world relies heavily on processed foods and a constant intake of foods throughout the day, many contemporary societies live quite the opposite and thrive just as well or even better.
One example that stands out is the Hunzakuts of Northern Pakistan. Thriving in the Hunza valley, these people are well known to live well past one hundred years of age, even documenting one woman who was 130 years old! Along with this incredible longevity, the Hunza are living without hardly any degenerative disease.
With their diets being high in mineral content and low in sodium, their longevity can be attributed to this, but there is another key factor that suits our purposes. The Hunza people have a very limited food intake. Even without the complicated science and meal plans, they have withheld a standard of longevity quite naturally. Their recent history before being touched by civilization had very interesting patterns that they adhered to not out of choice but simply because that was how they lived their lives.
The Hunza people’s annual harvest each year would be exhausted, and they would live with minimal caloric intake for weeks at a time each spring. Once last year’s food supply was depleted, they would have minimal sustenance until the new harvest began. With more modern science showing that limited caloric intake has amazing effects on the body and brain, as we will explore, the longevity of the Hunza is linked to their IF lifestyle, along with their distinct diet.
So, around the world, we see fasting being used for survival and necessity, but what about fasting for other purposes? IF finds itself permeating so many aspects of our culture that it cannot be ignored as a key element in human life and survival.
Today, we see fasting prominent in the most widely practiced religions. These holidays and traditions permeate all of the cultures in our interconnected world. Ramadan is a holy month in Islamic religions, during the ninth month of their calendar adherents fast from dawn to dusk – this is IF at its core.
Christianity has its holy fast called Lent. This six-week period begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday, where during this time, there are many celebrations and practices, but fasting remains a very important aspect. For Jewish cultures, Yom Kippur stands out as an important fast day, consisting of a 25-hour fast and intensive prayer. These examples being the most popular, let’s not forget that all religions and cultures use fasting.
The non-religious and more fact-based mind benefit from fasting’s rigorous power to change and alter health.
Mahatma Gandhi famously undertook seventeen fasts while fighting for India’s independence, showing that fasting isn’t simply for health or religious benefit, but can be used to usher in revolution and political change. However, what about all of us who aren’t religious adherents or world-changing revolutionaries?
The history of fasting lays a solid foundation that cannot be ignored in modern times. New science technology is confirming history and reassuring contemporary populations that IF is a safe, effective, and simple path to overall health. Not only is fasting resting comfortably on the shoulders of science and history, but it also has perks in the consumerist world we live in.
Since fasting requires no prescriptions, no fitness contraptions, and no expensive supplements, the practice fits nicely within our money-hungry, materialist society. Simply abstaining from something you love to eat for a day or two changes your outlook on your potential to take control of your life and literally will save you money as you will be consuming less than usual. As practical as it sounds, many feel that it is too good to be true, that simply not eating could not possibly affect the body and brain as much as people claim.
And sure, at first glance, it seems like a gimmick that celebrity doctors want to scam you with, but given the test of time and solid science, fasting will remain a pivotal practice in the rearranging of our lives in the Western world, an action that desperately needs to be put into play.
Now that we’ve gotten acquainted with the history and basics of fasting and its role in our society let’s focus on some in-depth science on IF to truly grasp what will happen when we begin this amazing journey of transformation.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
This is one of the most popular methods of fasting because it is so schedule-based, meaning there are no surprises. This gives you the freedom to control when you eat based on your daily life. The 16 is the number of hours you are going to be fasting, which can also be lowered to 12 or 14 hours if that fits into your life better. Then your eating period will be between 8 and 10 hours each day.
This might seem daunting, but it really just means that you are skipping an entire meal. Many people choose to begin their fast around 7 or 8 p.m. and then do not eat until 11 or noon the next day, which means they are fasting for the recommended 16 hours. Of course, it isn’t as bad as it sounds since they are also sleeping during this time too, so what it really comes down to is eating dinner and then not eating again the next day around lunch, so you are just skipping breakfast.
You will be doing it every day, so finding the hours that work for you are important. If you work the third shift, then switching your eating period around to fit into your schedule is important. Also, if you find yourself being run down and sluggish, then tweak your fasting hours until you find a healthy balance.
Granted, there is going to be some adjustment, because, chances are, your body is not accustomed to skipping entire meals. However, this should go away after a couple of weeks, and if it doesn’t, then try starting your fasting period earlier in the day, allowing you to eat earlier the next, or alter it however you need to feel healthy and happy.
Stepping things up a notch from the 14:10 and 16:8 methods, the 20:4 method is a tough one to master, for it is rather unforgiving. People talk about this method of intermittent fasting as intense and highly restrictive, but they also say that the effects of living this method are almost unparalleled with all other tactics.
For the 20:4 method, you’ll fast for 20 hours each day and squeeze all your meals, all your eating, and all your snacking into 4 hours. People who attempt 20:4 normally have two smaller meals or just one large meal and a few snacks during their 4-hour window to eat, and it really is up to the individual which four hours of the day they devote to eating.
The trick for this method is to make sure you’re not overeating or bingeing during those 4-hour windows to eat. It is all-too-easy to get hungry during the 20-hour fast and have that feeling then propel you into intense and unrealistic hunger or meal sizes after the fast period is over. Be careful if you try this method.
If you’re new to intermittent fasting, work your way up to this one gradually, and if you’re working your way up already, only make the shift to 20:4 when you know you’re ready. It would surely disappoint if all your progress with intermittent fasting got hijacked by one poorly thought-out goal with the 20:4 method.
Meal skipping is an extremely flexible form of intermittent fasting that can provide all of the benefits of intermittent fasting but with less strict scheduling. If you are not someone who has a typical schedule or who feels as though a more strict variation of the intermittent fasting diet will serve you, meal skipping is a viable alternative.
Many people who choose to use meal skipping find it to be a great way to listen to their bodies and follow their basic instincts. If they are not hungry, they simply don’t eat that meal. Instead, they wait for the next one. Meal skipping can also be helpful for people who have time constraints and who may not always be able to get in a certain meal of the day.
It is important to realize that with meal skipping, you may not always be maintaining a 10-16-hour window of fasting. As a result, you may not get every benefit that comes from other fasting diets. However, this may be a great solution for people who want an intermittent fasting diet that feels more natural to them.
It may also be a great idea for those who are looking to begin listening to their body more so that they can adjust to a more intense variation of the diet with greater ease. In other words, it can be a great transitional diet for you if you are not ready to jump into one of the other fasting diets just yet.
Warrior Diet Fasting
The most extreme form of intermittent fasting is known as the Warrior Diet. This intermittent fasting cycle follows a 20-hour fasting window with a short 4-hour eating window. During that eating window, individuals are supposed to only consume raw fruits and vegetables. They can also eat one large meal. Typically, the eating window takes place at night time so people can snack throughout the evening, have a large meal, and then resume fasting.
Because of the length of fasting taking place during the Warrior Diet, people should also consume a fairly hearty level of healthy fats. Doing so will give the body something to consume during the fast to produce energy with. A small number of carbohydrates can also be incorporated to support energy levels, too.
People who eat the Warrior Diet tend to believe that humans are natural nocturnal eaters and that we are not meant to eat throughout the day. The belief is that eating this way follows our natural circadian rhythms, allowing our body to work optimally.
The only people who should consider doing the Warrior Diet are those who have already had success with other forms of intermittent fasting and who are used to it. Attempting to jump straight into the Warrior Diet can have serious repercussions for anyone who is not used to intermittent fasting. Even still, those who are used to it may find this particular style to be too extreme for them to maintain.
Eat-Stop-Eat (24 Hour) Method
This method of fasting is incredibly similar to the crescendo method. The only discernible difference is that there’s no anticipation of increasing into a more intense fasting pattern with time. For the eat-stop-eat method, you decide which days you want to take off from eating, and then you run with it until you’ve lost that weight, and then you keep running with the lifestyle for good because you won’t be able to imagine life without it.
The eat-stop-eat method involves one to two days a week being 100% oriented towards fasting, with the other five to six days concerning “business as normal.” The one or two days spent fasting are then full 24-hour days spent without eating anything at all. During these days, of course, water and coffee are still fine to drink, but no food items can be consumed whatsoever.
Exercise is also frowned upon on those fasting days but see what your body can handle before you decide how that should all work out. Some people might start thinking they’re using the crescendo method but end up sticking with eat-stop-eat.
The alternate-day method is admittedly a little confusing, but the reason it could be so confusing could come, in part, from how much wiggle room it provides for the practitioner. This method is great for people who don’t have a consistent schedule or any sense of one, and it is therefore incredibly forgiving for those who don’t quite have everything together for themselves yet.
When it comes down to it, alternate-day intermittent fasting is really up to you. You should try to fast every other day, but it doesn’t have to be that precise. Similarly, with the crescendo method, as long as you fast two to three days a week, with a break day or two in between each fasting day, you’re set!
Basically then, you’ll want to eat normally for three or four days out of each week, and when you encounter a fasting day, you don’t even need to completely fast! Alternate-day fasting is a solid place to start from, especially if you work a varying schedule or still have yet to get used to a consistent one. If you want to make things more intense from this starting point, the alternate-day method can easily become the eat-stop-eat method, the crescendo method, or the 5:2 method. Essentially, this method is a great place to begin.
As another of the more natural ways of intermittent fasting, the 12:12 approach is well-suited to beginning practitioners. Many people live out the 12:12 method without any forethought simply because of their sleeping and eating schedule but turning 12:12 into a conscious practice can have just as many positive effects on your life as the more drastic 20:4 method claims.
According to a study conducted in the University of Alabama for this method, in particular, you fast for 12 hours and then enter a 12-hour eating window. It’s not difficult whatsoever to get three small meals and several snacks, or two big meals and a snack into your day with this method. With 12:12, the standard meal timing works just fine.
Ultimately, this method is a great one to start from, for a lot of variation can be built into this scheduling when you’re ready to make things more interesting. Effortlessly and without much effort, 12:12 can become 14:10 or even 16:8, and in seemingly no time, you can find yourself trying alternate-day or crescendo methods, too. Start with what’s normal for you, and this method might be exactly that!
This is another popular way to fast, because there is no true fasting involved, but instead a strict and drastic reduction of calories for two days each week. So, for five days a week, you are going to eat your normal 1.600 to 2,000 calories and exercise like normal. On two nonconsecutive days a week you are going to restrict your caloric intake to between 500 and 600 calories.
When doing this, pay close attention to the number of calories in beverages as well. Many people make the mistake of only counting calories in what they eat.
Remember, that beverages contain calories too, especially if you are drinking things from coffee shops, as these have a tendency to have high amounts of sugar.
The most common way to complete the 5:2 diet is to distribute the days throughout the week. Rather than fasting two days in a row, people will fast on one day, eat for three, fast on one day, and eat for two. This ensures that you do not feel as though you are going too long between meals. That way, you maintain your hunger satisfied and your diet remains sustainable.
For the 5:2 diet, a study was done that showed that more than 100 women who were either overweight or obese lost the same amount of weight using this eating method as they did when restricting calories. However, restricting calories is typically more intense and harder to maintain over time.
Many people who restrict calories on a continued basis find themselves struggling to maintain the restriction over time. Furthermore, any time they stop restricting their calories, they see more weight gain which can lead to continuous changes in weight. This is not only upsetting to the person dieting but can also be stressful and unhealthy to their body.
Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting
There are some who choose to fast. This is a religious practice, for example, or it might be a social health issue. How about maintaining a healthy weight?
#1 Reduces Obesity Risk: Intermittent fasting can help decrease obesity risk by reducing insulin resistance and lowering the body’s leptin levels.
#2 Lowers Blood Pressure: Lowering one’s weight through intermittent fasting has been shown to have significant benefits for your blood pressure levels. This is an important consideration for those with high blood pressure.
#3 Reduces Hunger: Hunger is often viewed as a negative experience, but the benefits of intermittent fasting go well beyond simply feeling less hungry. As a diet, intermittent fasting may allow you to more effectively manage weight and improve your overall health with fewer side effects such as increased cravings for sweets or fewer headaches due to nutrient deficiencies.
#4 Fights Cancer: A study in mice found that those who fasted for two days each week had reduced incidences of cancerous tumors and lived longer than the group who didn’t fast. These benefits were even more significant in male mice than female mice. There are also studies that have looked at the risk factors associated with fasting for women. The results of these studies indicated that intermittent fasting is both safe and beneficial for women.
#5 Fights Diabetes: Intermittent fasting has been shown to be an effective way to fight diabetes, possibly even more so than other approaches such as a low fat diet. When you fast, your body goes into starvation mode and begins to use its own fat stores to produce energy. This helps prevent insulin resistance and allows your body to use food more effectively to provide energy.
#6 Fights Heart Disease: Fasting has also been shown to help reduce oxidative stress, which can be a major contributor to heart disease. This reduces your risk for heart attacks and heart disease overall.
#7 Lowers Risk of Disease: Intermittent fasting has appeared to have numerous advantages that will assist you with lessening your danger of fostering certain infections. In addition to the previously mentioned conditions, intermittent fasting can likewise help you bring down your danger of colorectal malignancy and prostate disease by taking out the development factors in your body before they get an opportunity to unleash destruction on your cells and tissues.
#8 Improved Mood: Intermittent fasting, at least in the short term, is known to have a positive effect on mood.
#9 Reduced Inflammation: This advantage can help battle persistent irritation, which might be a significant reason for some illnesses including malignant growth, coronary illness and insusceptible issues like sensitivities.
#10 Improved Brain Function: Researchers at Lund University in Sweden conducted experiments that looked at how intermittent fasting affects brain function in young and old mice. They found that intermittent fasting increased neurotrophic proteins, which are involved in stimulating the growth of new brain cells. They also found that Intermittent fasting contributed to the health of certain cells in mice brains while also improving their cognitive ability and memory function.
Here are the cons of intermittent fasting:
#1 Underweight Or Obese: Since it involves calorie restriction, Intermittent Fasting may not be safe for those who are underweight or obese.
#2 Diabetes And Heart Disease: Because of the way that Intermittent Fasting can raise the danger of coronary illness and diabetes in the individuals who are now at a high danger, it is prescribed to stay away from this eating regimen plan in the event that you have either condition.
#3 Lack Of Research: Since intermittent fasting is such a new diet trend, there hasn’t been enough time to determine all of the potential benefits and risks. This means that there could be unknown long term side effects that could end up being dangerous or damaging your health.
#4 Best Plan For Women: Researchers have found that intermittent fasting may be too stressful for women.
#5 Not A Long Term Solution: Many people choose to follow Intermittent Fasting because they are looking for a quick fix but the results of this type of diet aren’t permanent. The weight you lose often comes back once you begin eating normally again.
Intermittent Fasting may help if you have been struggling with losing weight in the past or if your doctor has recommended a method of calorie restriction to improve your health. However, it should be noted that there are far more benefits of calorie restriction than any negatives.
You have to decide whether you really want to try Intermittent Fasting or not. If you’re looking for a quick fix, then intermittent fasting may not be the diet for you.
I’ve been studying intermittent fasting myself for several years and I would be happy to help you in any way that I can.
Why You Need Intermittent Fasting After Turning 50 Years Old
CELL REGENERATION, LONGEVITY, AND IMMUNITY
During fasting, cells go through a versatile pressure reaction that may represent its numerous gainful impacts. Alternate day fasting improves markers of oxidative pressure, a percentage of the life span. This dietary limitation likewise enacts autophagy, a cell observation framework that boosts up your immunity.
Time-restricted eating patterns help humans to live longer and reduce age-related health problems such as metabolic disorders.
Normal fasting and better heart wellbeing may likewise be connected to how your body uses cholesterol and sugar. Intermittent fasting can diminish your low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol. It’s additionally believed that fasting can improve how your body processes sugar.
This can lessen your danger of putting on weight and helps to manage diabetes, which are both
dangerous factors for developing heart disease.
DECREASE OXIDATIVE STRESS AND INFLAMMATION IN THE BODY
Intermittent fasting diminishes inflammation, a condition that can prompt other infections, for example, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory disorders.
Numerous researchers agree that cell oxidative pressure can fundamentally impact the rate at which we age. Oxidative pressure originates from an irregularity between free radicals and cell reinforcements in the body. Free radicals are produced by both outside sources and inward metabolic pathways and can harm cells, proteins, and DNA.
Cancer prevention agents, substances delivered by the body and found in different food sources, help destroy free radical’s harmful impacts. Researchers and specialists agree that, by restricting free radicals and expanding cancer prevention agent content in the body (accordingly decreasing oxidative pressure), we can help hinder the maturing cycle.
LOWER THE RISK OF DIABETES
Like nonstop calorie limitation, intermittent fasting seems to diminish a portion of the danger factors for diabetes. It does so mainly by bringing down insulin levels and lessening insulin resistance.
IMPROVE MUSCLE HEALTH
Exploration endeavors additionally demonstrated that intermittent fasting could help ladies older than 50 to improve their muscle and joint wellbeing. A portion of the analysts found that the fasting period influences how the body produces chemicals. This will help fortify the bones and prevent things like ligament problems and lower back pain.
IMPROVE MENTAL WELLBEING
Mental ability is something that diminishes with time and age. At the age of fifty or older, the body’s regular cycles must be upgraded. A few ladies use prescriptions or supplements to do it. Nevertheless, those medicines have their side effects.
Intermittent fasting expands the levels of a brain hormone. This hormone gets active and helps to reduce depression and improve mental health.
Autophagy is an essential cycle where the body’s cells “clear out” any unnecessary or damaged segments. Fasting and calorie limitation puts the body’s cells under pressure. At the point when an individual restricts the amount of food that goes into their body, their cells get fewer calories than they need to work effectively.
When this occurs, the cells should work all the more effectively. Because of the pressure welcomed by fasting or calorie limitation, autophagy makes the body’s cells clear out and reuse any pointless or damaged components.
POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME CONNECTION WITH INTERMITTENT FASTING (PCOS)
Intermittent fasting or, on the other hand, taking a break from eating for specific timeframes, has been seen to assist with indications of PCOS generally developed in some women. This example of eating lessens aggravation, enhances glucose and insulin levels, and prompts an expansive improvement of androgen levels and ovarian capacity.
It has likewise been conjectured that fasting could enhance the effect of testosterone oversupply on the human body by restricting the abundance of insulin, which is incompletely answerable for the unusual arrival of androgens (male hormones present in women too).
With ordinary insulin and glucose levels, you can hope to see weight reduction or, at any rate, no weight gain. Also, with an abatement in testosterone, you should see decreases in chin hair growth (facial hair) and skin enhancements. Hence women won’t be investing in face waxing anymore.
After some time, our body aggregates waste proteins that serve no capacity. The cycle of intermittent fasting winds up creating a cycle called autophagy which starts cell breakdown. The cell splits down and winds up eliminating every single byproduct and proteins that serve no use. This consequently tidies up the body.
This cycle of tidying up gives a route for new cells to be created. The creation of new cells without the need to take in any prescription or supplement is a gift at fifty years old or more.
Anyone would probably think that intermittent fasting would affect our energy levels badly. When we feel even a little notion of being ravenous, we will, in general, search for something to fulfill that need. At the point when the body has taken what it needs after eating, our energy levels drop. At this moment, our bodies fire up for food again. The pressure the body is then put under during this forward and backward process reduces our metabolic rate as well.
Diet profoundly affects the lucidity of and strength of our skin, the biggest organ of the body. Inflammatory illnesses can unleash devastation on the human body, and their manifestations can be mild to serious.
Common inflammatory issues are dermatitis and skin breakouts. These two inflammatory conditions can cause unattractive marks, and you do not need to be a specific age to get it; these conditions can likewise happen a lot later on throughout everyday life. These marks can cause numerous individuals to become shy and hide from the public eye.
The body has solid connections to the gut. Certain foods can cause aggravation, all through the body. It bodes well that a calorie-controlled eating regimen, for example, intermittent fasting, which ought to be rich in nutritious food sources and low in sugar can help uphold the individuals who have these conditions or even forestall them. It is significant that when fasting to be sure you are eating the best food sources for your wellbeing that takes into account all your health needs.
IMPROVED SEX DRIVE
Lower levels of production in both estrogen and testosterone may lead to a decreased sex drive. As such, it isn’t a mental or physiological issue, but it may be a hormonal matter. So, after you engage in intermittent fasting, your brain will become more regulated and start to produce the correct levels of all hormones. So, it does all that in addition to making strides in your cognitive capacity, restricting the production of cortisol, and boosting your disposition through the expanded production of endorphins and dopamine.
Circadian rhythm is the method that happens inside your body to control your resting and awakening cycles. This cycle rehashes every 24 hours. Over the decades, our bodies have adapted to eating during the day and resting at night.
However, people have started to obscure this pattern by eating way past the time the sun goes down. Those individuals who eat late at night have appeared to be more vulnerable to obesity and developing type 2 diabetes.
Intermittent fasting permits us to finish meals before the end of the day and extends the period our bodies aren’t getting food; this is a component in your rest period where nourishment isn’t being consumed either. Aligning our fast with the circadian rhythm is advantageous for long-term health and avoiding illness.
BOOST YOUR METABOLIC RATE
Experts suggest that remaining in a fasted state leads to a spike in the hormone norepinephrine. This hormone raises your basal metabolic rate and burns fat. On top of that, once you enter your eating window, your digestion system still stays at an elevated level. You’re burning an overabundance of fat indeed when eating!
How Intermittent Fasting Works and The Science Behind It
Intermittent fasting is a dietary strategy to improve your health and longevity. The science of intermittent fasting is actually pretty complicated, but we’ll break it down for you here so it’s easier to understand why it works–and how you can get started with it today.
Intermittent fasting (IF) consists of cycling among stages of eating and not eating. You might do this by skipping breakfast or dinner, or having only one large meal at night while skipping the rest of your daily calories throughout the day.
There are several different ways to implement IF. Others skip breakfast, doing all their eating in the late afternoon or early evening.
Intermittent fasting can be done daily, weekly, monthly or on certain occasions. For example, you might discontinue eating after dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week to prepare for a weekend party or gathering where you know there will be lots of food available. (“Dining out” on fasting days)
So why should you try intermittent fasting? It has several main benefits:
- You eat less food–which reduces the amount of calories you consume without reducing the quality of your diet. This can actually result in calorie savings. You don’t need to count calories–just eat less than you burn (no counting required).
- IF can reduce the frequency of your meals and, in some cases, eliminate certain meals (i.e., you skip breakfast, dinner or both).
- It can help prevent the symptoms of metabolic syndrome–weight gain and the possible development of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. There’s also evidence that IF can slow down the cell aging process (which is a good thing) by increasing the amount of growth factors in your body.
- If you want to lose weight, intermittent fasting is one of the best ways to do it– there’s lots of solid scientific evidence showing this.
- If you’re a woman, Intermittent Fasting can help with your fertility and menstrual cycle.
- Studies have shown intermittent fasting to be helpful in managing people who have been diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and obesity. Intermittent fasting is a fabulous way to lose weight, but it’s important that you know how to do it properly–otherwise, you can end up hurting your body or feeling miserable. Read on to learn more about intermittent fasting for weight loss…
To lose weight with intermittent fasting, you have to reduce the amount of food you consume every day. By not eating regularly, your body is forced to burn more energy or store it as fat for energy. That’s how you lose weight.
You can prevent this by implementing what’s known as “time-restricted feeding.” This is the reason why most people are gaining weight when restricting their eating to a certain time period. If you don’t have any food available, you might end up eating more calories later on.
The goal of time-restricted feeding is to let your body consume food at a specific time everyday without having any additional food intake during the remaining hours of the day. It isn’t recommended that you just eat an entire meal at night because this also won’t have enough variety and can lead to many nutritional deficiencies.
You need to work with your body’s circadian rhythms and learn how it responds to fasting periods in order to optimize your health and longevity. So, what is the maximum amount of time which you can start fasting? According to Dr. Satchin Panda, you can go up to 16 hours into a fast without any adverse effects on your body. However, when it comes to longer fasts (24+ hours), your body will start experiencing the negative effects of not having any food available.
Faster weight loss means less water retention and a more defined midsection. The longer you do fasts, the easier it becomes to go longer without eating until you reach 18 hours. It won’t be as hard as the beginning when you just started, and you’ll get better at controlling your hunger pangs.
There are some people who fast for religious practices, such as Ramadan, and it’s not required that you fast if you don’t want to.
It can help you burn fat and boost energy levels so you can feel energized during the day without getting tired. This leads to better workouts and more success in your daily life.
The only problem is that intermittent fasting can also help reduce your lifespan. When you eat all the time, your body will develop strong circadian rhythms based on this eating schedule. When you start to introduce fasting periods, your body will still want to eat during those times.
This keeps you from reaching deep sleep phases in the night because your body is struggling to go into and stay in these stages.
With time, your brain will get confused and start falling into a deeper sleep phase when it’s not supposed to be sleeping. You’ll wake up groggy and feel like crap because of these disruptions.
By using more advanced circadian rhythm practices, you can help your brain adjust faster and delay waking up for a couple of hours after you’ve woken up in the morning.
The best way to do this is to combine your sleep-wake cycle with other factors that influence the circadian rhythm. For example, this can be done by spending some time outdoors during the day, which increases body temperature and stimulates cortisol secretion. At night, you can expose yourself to blue light and avoid bright light when sleeping.
Intermittent Fasting Fundamentals
Intermittent fasting protocols, schedules, and habits abound. It is difficult to find consensus. With a few exceptions, most fasting protocols consist of some variation on this plan:
“Fast for 14-24 hours per day.”
“Eat for the other 8-10 hours.”
Some may require an intensive period of fasting before breaking their fast with a smaller meal. Some may require drinking only black coffee during their fast.
Others may allow certain drinks or foods in small quantities like broth and protein shakes; fruits, vegetables, and water; or some combination thereof. For example, I use this resource for my own intermittent fasting schedule. With that said, I recommend finding a resource that has at least a three day plan.
Each of our clients and members in our online community have their own insights into the protocols they follow and how they are working for them.
Here is what’s common between all of them:
“Intermittent fasting is effective because it induces hormesis.”
Hormesis is a process by which stressful stimuli cause an organism to become stronger or more resilient as a result of the stressor rather than be harmed by it. The word hormesis is derived from Greek; hormē (? stimulus) + k?sis (? movement) (see hormesis for more information and relevant studies).
I describe intermittent fasting as a “stressful stimulus.” However, it is not harmful nor is it painful. In fact, I will argue that a properly scheduled intermittent fast can be one of the most pleasurable ways to spend your day. Fasting has a long list of benefits:
1) It restrains or even prevents neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Rett syndrome, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (amyloid beta protein toxicity).
2) It increases one’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) and endurance.
3) It improves insulin sensitivity in diabetics.
4) It stimulates autophagy, the cells’ recycling system that breaks down damaged and dysfunctional cellular material.
5) It increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This is a growth factor that promotes cell survival, memory formation, and neuronal connections.
6) It releases growth hormone (GH), which is responsible for building muscle mass and fat loss among other things.
7) It induces anti-cancer effects by reducing the invasiveness of cancer cells.
8) It can improve skin and hair health.
9) It is an effective treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction, and cigarette cravings.
10) It leads to an increase in HDL levels (the “good” cholesterol).
11) It lowers the body’s production of free radical damage (oxidation).
12) It causes a reduction of appetite.
13) Some people claim that intermittent fasting help them lose weight or maintain a healthy amount of weight loss.
14) Studies show that intermittent fasting can lower one’s triglyceride levels; reduce blood pressure and blood sugar; improve mood and mental clarity; and help with memory improvement among other things.
15) It induces autophagy. In animal studies, autophagy has been linked to longevity (see references here ).
16) It can prevent or reverse type II diabetes and promote insulin sensitivity.
17) It can save one’s eyesight by preventing macular degeneration and cataracts. Every individual will experience these benefits differently. The length of time it takes to benefit from an intermittent fast will vary depending on the fast length, calorie intake, and whether or not you are exercising while fasting. Intermittent Fasting Schedules
24 Hour Fasts : 24 hour fasts allow individuals to feel the benefits of fasting while sleeping. This schedule is popular among those who engage in resistance training and intermittent fasting.
The Warrior Diet : the warrior diet was created by Ori Hofmekler and has been popularized by Brad Pilon. The warrior diet consists of a daily 16 hour fast, followed by an 8 hour feeding window. It may be implemented as a daily meal schedule or a weekly meal schedule. In addition to food, one may consume liquids like coffee as well as herbal tea during their fasted period; calories must be calculated accordingly when doing so.
One-Day Fasts : One-day fasts are very popular and beneficial. They allow for the most rapid use of fasting as well as a variety of meal schedules, including abstaining from food on the same day each week.
Half-Day Fasts: Half-day fasts are also very popular among health practitioners and individuals who engage in resistance training. These diets allow for the more gradual introduction of fasting into one’s diet over time by minimizing eating during the fasted periods.
There is no one right intermittent fasting schedule for everyone. What works for one person may work for another.
The Intermittent Fasting Schedule That Actually Works for Me
Every year, my family celebrates Hanukkah by eating a traditional Hanukkah dinner. It is a festive time where we eat all kinds of delicious foods and even enjoy some wine . For most of us in my family, the meal involves plenty of carbs and sweets.
However, I have tried intermittent fasting on many occasions and have found that I don’t derive much benefit from eating carbs in that part of the day. I would do fine as long as I ate normally but I would become very hungry if I ate much more than a small amount of carbs.
In the Hanukkah dinner, the main dish for me is usually a turkey and stuffing with some potatoes on the side. Since I have started intermittent fasting, I have realized that my body doesn’t store much glycogen from food. So when I eat carbs, which contain a lot of energy, like rice or bread, my body stores the energy in the form of fat.
As you know from my blog post ” Your Body Doesn’t Store Fat in The Liver “, this is not optimal for weight loss. In the past, I would eat so much that my body would store most of it as fat. Because of this, I have cut down on carb intake and my body has learned to use the energy from these foods more efficiently. This is just one example of how intermittent fasting has changed how I eat and has made me a better eater/body.
So for example, if today is Saturday, then you should eat your last meal at 7 PM and then you should not eat anything until 8 AM (after you wake up) the next day. Once those 16 hours are up, you may resume eating again until 7 PM. So in effect, you are fasting for 20 hours and only eating for 8 hours. If you eat any calories during the 8 hour period, then you break your fast.
Intermittent Fasting FAQs
How Long Will I Continue to Fast?
Did you know that there are many commonalities between this feeding system and how naturally slender people eat? Sometimes they eat, other times they just miss meals, that’s how the nutrition is. If you become familiar with your selected IF schedule, your calorie intake will decrease until it becomes normal for you. You can change your frequency once you get the weight you need. It is best to keep fasting and not stop at all. It aims to permanently change your lifestyle, not just for a short time. It is a daily practice that guarantees consistent weight reduction.
I Take Some Medications Which Require Me to Eat; What Do I Do During the Fasting Times to Take Medicine?
You can experience some side effects when you take any medicines on an empty belly. Iron supplements can cause sickness and nausea; aspirin can cause stomach ulcers and upsets. It is better to ask the doctor if you should take this drug as you continue a fast. You can take medicine with small, low-calorie leafy vegetables that don’t interfere with your pace. Your blood pressure can drop over the fasting period, so that if you take blood pressure-lowering medicine, the blood pressure may become too low and lead to headaches.
What Food Is Better to Eat, Raw or Cooked Vegetables?
Some argue that food preparation leads to vitamins, enzymes, and minerals destruction. But it also makes cellulose fiber more available for your system, among other nutrients. When prepared, carrots, fungi, spinach, chips, peppers, and other vegetables provide more antioxidants, but the disadvantage is that vitamin C may be lost when cooking. There is no official response; all you have to do is eat plenty of vegetables in whatever way you want.
I Am Old. Is It Too Late for Me to Start Fasting?
Starting fasting can never be too late. It can help you manage your appetite, help you lose weight, and even make your life longer. You’ll quickly notice the impacts; you’ll feel healthier, slimmer, and stronger. Start immediately.
When I Take a Treat Like a Packet of Chips During My Fasting Period, What’s Going to Happen?
Fasting is a seasonal activity involving voluntary meal abstinence. Not only does it help you because you consume fewer calories, but it is also because that’s what your flesh was built to do. don’t equate fasting with starvation because starvation is terrible, but fasting is good. IF’s aim is to provide your body with free time to relax from food. Your improvement will end with just one snack, and your blood sugar levels will allow you to get out of a fasted state.
What Should I Do if I Don’t Lose Weight?
Weight loss is a gradual process that takes quite some time to accomplish; thus, patience and consistency are needed. If you don’t lose some weight in the first few weeks, you should just keep going, and you should not be concerned. It is essential to keep track of the food you eat so you can track the problem quickly.
During My Period, Is It Safe to Fast?
Fasting is not at all right when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, but your monthly cycles will not affect your fast in any way unless they are very painful or intolerable. If so, you can test your iron levels and take supplements as well.
I Have Diabetes, Can I Still Practice IF?
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes or diabetes medication, you need to take additional care while practicing IF. If the need arises, your doctor will check your blood sugar levels carefully to change your medicine prescription to allow them to co-exist with intermittent fasting peacefully.
When you cannot be closely monitored, don’t attempt fasting. It decreases blood sugar levels, and taking drugs as insulin can lead to low blood glucose concentrations that lead to hypoglycemia. You can drink a sugar-filled drink like soda and even stay off your fasting routine for 1 day to raise the level of blood sugar. If you have blood sugar levels that are excessively low, this is due to over-medication and not intermittent fasting. Reduce your use of medications in advance because you expect lower blood sugar levels when you begin IF
Is It True That I Can Eat All I Want on Non-Fast Days?
That is true as all foods are allowed. It is permissible to use anything from the most oil-drenched fried chicken to a vegetable salad for any other meat. It is best not to consume too much as if you were fasting during the time you are struggling to eat what you would have. You may even overcome the impacts of fasting when you overfeed.
It should not be made into a ritual of overeating after fasting; eating should be done responsibly. But it all boils down to what you want to do, as you are the one that decides to fast, and by now, you already know a lot of the do and don’t. You’ll automatically find yourself choosing healthier meals after doing the fasting for some time.
Can I Get Tired From Fasting? If So, How Could I Stop It?
No, the opposite would happen. Individuals have more strength in fasting as a result of higher levels of adrenaline in the body. With more than enough energy, you will undoubtedly be able to conduct your ordinary operations.
Fatigue is not a normal part of fasting, so if you feel exhausted, stop fasting and see a doctor right away.
Can I Receive the Same Benefits of Fasting as an Adult of the Opposite Sex?
Hormonally and metabolically, there are several differences between men and women. For example, women store more fat and are more susceptible to exercise-dependent fat burning.
Research has shown that fasting females respond more quickly to endurance exercise while fasting males react more rapidly with a weighted workout. IF’s benefits on both genders are almost equal. It is not meant to be like a competition, but more of an individual experience, so it is easier to focus on your body than to think of others.
During the First Days of Fasting, I Want to Use Meal Replacement Shakes, Is It All Right, or Should I Stick to Food?
During the first days of IF training, these meal replacement shakes have helped most individuals. These are better than calorie counting, as you can just sip free from your thirst.
Even if real nutrition is considered to be more effective when you like these drinks, you can go ahead and use them. Make sure that you only have those that have small or even no glucose.
Can I Get the Intermittent Fasting Result in Me Getting Headaches?
Sure, but it only happens due to fatigue and not due to low calories. You may have withdrawal symptoms, but they are gentle. Make sure you take medication regularly to treat the migraine as you would a normal one. If during the fasting period you feel ill, you must stop immediately.
If I Observe Intermittent Fasting, What Amount of Weight Can I Lose?
That’s based on several factors and variations between individuals. Such factors are your heart rate, your exercise level, and how closely you observe the pace. While you are on your first week, you will lose water, and you will eventually lose weight due to your daily calorie intake. It is not advised to lose speedy weight and should not be an aim; it is better to lose a little weight continuously.
Could I Easily Get Cranky as I Practice IF?
It has been used in all hundreds of years; this has never been an issue; it is not even in societies with fasting as an essential part of their beliefs. Moreover, Buddhist monks are considered very peaceful people while they practically fast daily; fasting does not affect them.
I Happen to Be Naturally Slender; Thus, I Don’t Require Any Weight Loss, Can I Still Practice IF for Its Physiological Benefits?
If you are comfortable with your weight, that’s fine, and fasting is very much still an option you have to improve your health.
You have to make sure that you focus more on calorie-dense meals during your feeding time—most slender people who fast get all the advantages without any problem. Testing through trial and error is the only way you can find the right balance between eating and fasting to keep you at a safe weight.
Reduce the days of fasting by continually checking your weight and take care not to get underweight as that would be hazardous to you.
Can I Get Too Much Food as a Result of Fasting?
The answer is yes and no to this question. First, it is really because you are going to consume more than you usually do after fasting. However, it is not a consequence of fasting since feeding above the regular amounts in no days of fasting is not a consequence of fasting.
I’m Going to Sleep Hungry When My Fasting Times at Night?
It is not probable, but it is mainly dependent on your metabolism. Just try to keep your mind away from food and feel hungry. When you get out of your bed, you may not feel hungry at all. Virtually, your appetite and hunger will suit your fasting routine.
Can It Make My Body Go Into Starvation Mode to Prevent More Loss of Fat?
That is not a realistic side effect because there is no calorie restriction on IF. There’s no IF routine that’s intense to the point you are going into starvation mode. The fasting time is short, so the body absorbs fat and retains muscle mass from the fat stores. Research has shown that IF any individual’s metabolic rate does not lower.
Despite long fasts like those for 3 days, there will be no decrease in the basal metabolic rate. There is also no increase in the hunger hormone called ghrelin during IF.
I’m an Overweight Fellow. Is It the Key to Solving My Problem?
Intermittent fasting has proved to be one of the most influential and enduring strategies for obese individuals to lose and retain new weight. The bigger you are, the greater the initial loss of weight. You have most likely given up conventional restrictive diets.
Intermittent fasting has an advantage over all of them because it is more versatile, and when you consume anything, it is not a crime because nothing is restricted. Research has shown that obese individuals are very quickly used to fasting.
Can I Eat During My Fasting Time If I Have to, Like During Celebrations and Major Ceremonies?
Be active, but concentrate on what you are ingesting. While it is vital to get help from your family and friends, if you keep telling them you cannot eat as fast, they’ll start to get tired of hearing that, and eventually, you’ll feel self-conscious.
That will render it an obstacle to your regular activity, which is not its original intent, rather than something that fits perfectly in your life. When you know that there is a social event connected to food, then fast the day before or the day after. It is a very flexible device, and without any difficulties, you will continue to be active and enjoy these times.
How is Intermittent Fasting The Easiest
The first is that it’s not really a diet; it’s more of a lifestyle change and it doesn’t require you to count calories, keep track of what you eat, or limit yourself in any way. All you do is give up food for a certain period of time, typically 16 hours per day. However, most people choose to fast for 18 hours since they sleep for 8 hours at night. This means that you will be stopping your consumption of food after dinner and not eating anything again until breakfast the next morning.
But What About Breakfast?
Once you get over the initial hunger pangs, fasting becomes a breeze. Yes, at first it may seem hard to juice and go without your morning bagel and coffee, but within a day or two you’ll hardly miss them at all.
The true beauty of intermittent fasting is that it will help you naturally lower your food intake without officially dieting for a week or two. Then, if you are still desiring to lose weight, you can start making small changes to what and how much you eat.
Fasting has been used by the human species for eons, helping us to survive periods of famine and feast. And after just a couple of weeks of doing this, it’s no surprise that the body can function just fine for long periods without food. In fact, it starts producing ketones: compounds which your body uses as fuel when glucose runs low.
While on a fast you will use up valuable muscle mass as well as stored fat for energy.
So Why Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting will also help you build muscle because when the body breaks down and uses its own muscle for energy it will first break down muscle it no longer needs, such as the protein in your arms and legs. As a result, your body will start to rebuild your muscles using the extra protein that’s being absorbed into your system. It’s a win-win situation; you get to lose stubborn belly fat and gain a leaner and more muscular physique at the same time.
The Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
You’ll also have more energy, as well as better focus and concentration levels than before. In fact, many intermittent fasters find that they are able to think clearer with less brain fog. This is important since you will want to use this time wisely in order to reach your goals faster or be more productive at work.
How to Start Intermittent Fasting
To get started with intermittent fasting, all you have to do is stop eating food for a certain period of time each day. Most people will find that starting their fast between 5 pm and 7 pm works best, since they typically stop eating dinner at around this time. Then, they will not eat again until breakfast the next morning.
Also, keep in mind that it’s important to drink plenty of water while fasting so that your body stays hydrated and doesn’t become dehydrated, which will only make you feel lousy. So if you’re wondering how to start intermittent fasting, just follow these simple steps:
- Decide on a schedule and stick to it. There are many different ways for you to choose when and how you will do your fasts. For example, you can fast every day from 5 pm until 7 pm and then eat your first meal of the day at 7 am the next morning. Or, if working out in the morning is easier for you, you can simply skip breakfast and then eat breakfast at whatever time works best for your evening workout. The most important thing is that you decide on a schedule that will be easy for you to stick with while still being realistic within your daily schedule and lifestyle.
- Drink water. Since you will be fasting for a certain period of time each day, try to avoid becoming dehydrated. While you are fasting, it’s important that you consume lots of water so that your body stays hydrated.
- Juice a lot. You might even consider juicing for most if not all of your meals while on an intermittent fast. This will help give you all the nutrients and vitamins your body needs without having to worry about balancing foods and counting calories or macros.
- Stretch regularly. Keep your muscles toned, which will help you improve and maintain lower body fat levels during your fast. Stretching can be done in the form of yoga, Pilates, or stretching bands and will help you get blood flowing so that you are less likely to experience muscle soreness as well as injuries during your fast.
The only way that you’ll know if fasting is right for you is if you try it on yourself first. If you don’t feel good or if you have any health issues that go away during your fast or if you don’t feel your best when you are done, then I suggest that you stop doing it.
7 Types of Intermittent Fasting
There’s a lot of confusion about intermittent fasting and its various forms, and that’s because there are many different options for when and how to do it. But before we get into the various types of intermittent fasting schedules, let’s first take a look at what this type of diet is all about.
#1. Intermittent fasting relieves you of the maintenance calories that you normally need to consume on a daily basis. This will allow your body to adapt into a fat- burning mode, which means that you can lose weight and burn more body fat in the process. This is because your body will be focusing its energy on digesting the food that it’s consuming rather than trying to digest, absorb, and store, which are processes that require a lot of calories.
#2. Intermittent fasting makes you feel like you’re eating more because you’re not restricting your caloric intake to a certain number of calories per day. But in fact, through a combination of the hormones that are triggered by fasting and the fact that you aren’t eating every single day, you will be eating less than if you were to eat a normal diet. So even if you don’t lose any weight during the fast, this is still good for your body because it’s allowing it to adapt and become more efficient once again.
#3. Intermittent fasting allows your body to consume more fat and less muscle tissue than it would normally if it were on a regular diet. Because of this, your body will be less capable of burning fat and more capable of burning muscle tissue over time, while also making it easier to store body fat. This will make your body look slimmer and appear to have a six-pack, even if you aren’t losing weight.
#4. Intermittent fasting causes you to increase the amount of human growth hormone in your body. This makes your energy levels be much higher for the same number of calories, which means that you can get through the same workouts or just go about your day feeling stronger than before.
#5. Intermittent fasting is a great way to keep your body from getting hungry. Because you aren’t eating for a period of time, your body will adjust by eating less during your normal meals when you do eat. This will help you stay on track to lose weight or even keep from gaining weight, as it forces the body to become more efficient at storing fat and using energy.
#6. Intermittent fasting causes the hormone Neuropeptide Y (NPY) levels in the body to drop dramatically, which helps reduce cravings for junk food and sweets.
Intermittent Fasting and Autophagy
Autophagy is the natural way your body disposes of toxic chemicals in your cells. You cannot see it happening without a microscope but your cells have been going through autophagy for your entire life without you even noticing.
In just the last 20 years, scientists have learned much about the metabolic process of autophagy. Most importantly for our purposes, they have learned more and more about how autophagy’s implications for fighting against disease and aging.
The entire foundation of using intermittent fasting for losing weight and getting healthier is our current scientific understanding of autophagy. We know for a fact that autophagy can help us attain better general health and live longer.
Autophagy is not just for losing weight, however—although it does that job better than any other method. It used to be that people went through autophagy quite often. We went through autophagy more back in the days before industrial agriculture because we did not expect to have food all the time.
Nowadays in the industrialized world, most people rarely miss a meal. We always have food around us. But people back in the day did not even have an expectation to eat every single day. Our bodies went through advanced autophagy very regularly because of this. We can even say that our bodies are more built for not eating every day than they are for eating constantly as we do right now.
Our first encounter with autophagy in the world of science was thanks to the French scientist named Christian De Duve. He and a group of biologists took note of a bizarre organelle that they had never seen before; they named it the lysosome.
Before we knew all that we know now about autophagy, scientists thought that the lysosome was simply an organelle made for disposing of garbage. If you think about it, this doesn’t even make logical sense, because there is not really such a thing as disposing of something. You can change the form of something but not dispose of it. If the lysosome were really an organelle that just kept breaking things down without recycling those parts, then eventually those tiny waste particles would build-up with nowhere to go.
Now we have an explanation for this problem because of autophagy, and this explanation has important takeaways for doctors, biologists, and anyone who cares about their health.
The Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi was the first scientist to get deeply interested in the lysosome of yeast cells. 2016 was the year he won the Nobel Prize when he learned that the lysosome was the center of a cellular process called autophagy. His key finding was that our cells never “dispose of” anything—they simply break down cellular waste into raw materials, and then use these materials to build new structures.
Ohsumi has created a new definition of autophagy. He says that autophagy is the way our cells break down waste materials for the purpose of freeing up space, killing harmful foreign toxins, and creating raw materials that can be used for building new cells.
When Ohsumi first started, he was the first scientist to really have any interest in this topic. He started a scientific movement around autophagy when his research uncovered all the implications that autophagy has for our bodies. Not only did Ohsumi uncover much of our modern understanding of autophagy, but he was the one who coined the phrase “cell recycling.” Cell recycling is what happens once autophagy is finished.
When your cells have cleaned themselves out, they use these raw materials for constructing things that other cells can use. They can also use these raw materials to create new cells if there is enough.
Now we know that autophagy can be considered the most important process for your cells both individually and collectively. Autophagy matters to your cells individually because it keeps them alive as well as possible; it matters collectively because your cells have to work together to be useful to your body as a whole, and autophagy keeps them working together smoothly when the process keeps them repaired and “cleaned out.”
You also need to keep in mind the times that you should be eating these foods. The whole purpose of autophagy is lost if you eat during the times you are supposed to fast. That is because consuming anything puts your digestive system at work. When your body digests food, your autophagy stops. You need to really make sure you are not eating at all during these times that you have designated to be your fasting windows.
Even eating 20 calories disrupts autophagy entirely. You may think that eating a banana or a small snack during your fasting window will not change anything, but that is not true at all. You would be shocked at how many changes occur in your body when you put food into it. The fact that so many changes are the reason why autophagy is so potent in the first place—because it is recovering from all the times that you were putting food into your body.
But How Does Your Body Know When to Start the Process of Autophagy?
A signal must be sent to the organs to start breaking down the cells to produce energy. This can be done in many ways. It is not just fasting that can start autophagy in your body. Here are some other ways of losing weight that you can opt for:
The more stress you create in the muscles and cells of your body, the more strongly the cellular cleanup phase will be triggered. All the extensive forms of exercise, including jogging, sprinting, weight training, and physical training, regulate autophagy by inducing stress in the body. When the body is highly worked up, it needs energy that it gains by burning up the cellular waste.
Yes, cold showers can also invoke healthy autophagy inside you. Studies have shown that people who swim during the winter exhibit higher levels of cell repair and recycling. Therefore, taking cold showers regularly can help you lose weight and stay healthy.
Subjecting yourself to high temperatures through saunas and steam baths generates heat stress inside you. This heat results in the destruction and recycling of cancerous as well as damaged cells.
A trip to a spa can be good for relaxing, rejuvenating, losing weight, and staying preventing diseases. Besides, exposing yourself to strong heat also helps to cure depression by naturally releasing heat shock proteins.
There are indicators in your body that activate or cease certain processes. The hormonal levels are one of them. When you begin intermittent fasting, you deprive the cells of essential nutrients. This activates the hormone glucagon in the body. This hormone works in opposition to insulin. While insulin increases blood sugar levels, glucagon brings them down to maintain balance.
The two hormones are like the ends of a see-saw.
When you are fasting, insulin levels go down, and, as a result, glucagon levels go up. This rise triggers autophagy. Your body gets the message that it is time to break down the stored fats in the body cells to increase the insulin levels again.
Though antioxidants don’t directly invoke the process of autophagy in your body, they have been known to indirectly work towards it. Foods rich in antioxidants support the process when you are fasting, which in turn ensures that you undergo a healthy and balanced autophagy process.
Is There Something That Can Stop Autophagy?
There are factors that can stop your autophagy process. The major one is the mTOR. It stops the autophagy in your body when there are enough nutrients in the cells. It is highly sensitive and eating as little as 50 calories can increase the level of mTOR.
If you consume fats, it might not raise your insulin levels, and it might keep the mTOR levels suppressed. But high amounts of ketones and fats would break your fast.
Here is a list of things that you can take to keep your insulin levels low and let your body continue the waste removal process of your cells:
- Green tea
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Ginger compounds
- Reishi mushroom extracts
- Black coffee
- Apple cider vinegar
All these items can help to boost autophagy in your body.
Is It Just for Weight Loss?
Absolutely not. When the cells renew themselves by burning up the waste inside them, they do more than decrease your weight. Clean and healthy cells decrease the risk of developing diseases. Many forms of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and metabolic and autoimmune diseases can be prevented through autophagy.
It helps fight infectious diseases and regulates inflammation. It has also been associated with fighting depression and schizophrenia. Fasting-induced autophagy is very helpful in keeping you healthy and preventing medical conditions. It is always good to get rid of the waste around and inside you. A clean environment is healthy and keeps you from getting sick.
Here is a list of major benefits of autophagy, both inside and outside of a body cell:
- Increases metabolism.
- Decreases oxidative stress.
- Increases genomic stability that prevents cancer.
- Eliminates waste from the body.
- Increases neuroendocrine homeostasis.
- Decreases inflammation.
- Increases lifespan.
- Eliminates aging cells.
- Improves muscle performance.
Does Autophagy Help Women? How?
The ghrelin or the hunger hormone increases more quickly in women than in men. Women start feeling hungry again quickly after having a meal. Their bodies start craving food much faster, and therefore, are under more stress to look for energy sources. The cleansing of their body cells makes them less immune to catching diseases and helps them to develop a stronger immune system.
Does Autophagy Have Anti-Aging Effects Too?
Consider a real-life example. Assume that you have 2 cars, X and Y. You are somehow biased towards car X, and so you take much better care of it. You wash it every day, get it serviced every few months, and refuel the tank. But car
Y doesn’t see many bright days. It is just a backup option for you for the days X is out for servicing or repairs. You don’t get its tank refueled, it stays covered in dirt and has been for just one servicing in years.
Now, which car do you think would last longer? Obviously, car X. When you pay attention to health and get the repairs done on time, faults and damages don’t pile up. Your car X would stay as good as new even after years of driving, but car Y would start causing trouble very soon.
Foods to Eat and To Avoid While You Fast
We will look at some of the foods that you simply must include in your diet while you fast.
This is definitely the most important element to consume when you take up the intermittent fast. Water can act as an elixir when it comes to losing weight. You must keep your body hydrated and ensure that all the toxins are dissolved and eliminated. All your organs need water to remain fresh and healthy; right from your liver, guts, and digestive tract, water helps to keep these organs working smoothly.
Drink at least 8–10 glasses of water a day and focus more on the fasting period. It is obvious that it will get a little monotonous and so, a good idea is to consume fruit-infused water. This refers to water that has fruit and herbs infused in it.
Fill up a jar with water and toss in fruit and herbs such as oranges, lemons, mint leaves, and a dash of cinnamon. Consume this every few hours. Remember that the intermittent fast can be quite taxing at times and lead to side effects such as headaches and nausea. In such cases, only water can help you out and put an end to the side effects.
Fish can be considered a miracle food, as it can greatly help with weight loss. According to dietary guidelines, it is important for people to consume at least 6–8 ounces of fish every week. Fish contains a lot of nutrients. It is rich in fats and proteins. It is also rich in vitamin D, and this means you do not have to worry about denying your body these nutrients by taking on the fast. ‘
You don’t have to reach for supplements if you are able to consume fish regularly. Fish is also
rich in DHA, which helps in brain development. You will see that your mind is fresher and you are able to think better. Your productivity will increase, and stress will be curbed.
You might wonder why avocado is on this list, considering it is one of the fattiest foods out there. However, you must understand that the fasting phase can take a toll on your body and so you must consume foods that can keep you going. Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fat, which is great for those who tend to get hungry quite fast. It keeps you feeling full for longer.
You will not find yourself reaching out to eat a snack. Avocado is quite versatile and can be added to your breakfast or lunch menu. Those who tend to include it in their breakfast menu are generally able to go without food for longer periods of time without complaining about being hungry.
If there is one type of vegetable that we remember being told to consume by our parents, then it has to be leafy green vegetables. As we know, leafy green vegetables are loaded with multiple nutrients that are great for the body.
These include the likes of kale, broccoli, lettuce, etc. These are loaded with fiber, which, as you know, keeps your body going when you suffer from digestive issues such as constipation. You are sure to go through it when you adopt the intermittent fast. In such a case, it becomes that much more important to consume these vegetables to keep your stomach in good shape. Fiber also makes you feel fuller and not feel too hungry between meals.
As mentioned earlier, the goal is to consume foods that are filling and can keep you going for hours, one such being potatoes. Potatoes are rich in carbs that can keep you sated for hours. Make sure you either steam and mash them or roast them without the addition of any oil or fat. Deep-frying them is never an option. Try to consume them with their skin on, as the skin contains a lot of nutrition.
When it comes to digestion, both your liver and gut play a very important role. Both of them need a healthy dose of probiotics in order to function optimally. If you have an unhealthy gut, then you might suffer from side effects such as constipation and even leaky gut syndrome. The best way to combat these is by consuming as many probiotics as possible.
Some natural foods rich in probiotics include kombucha and kefir. Add these to your meals, and you are sure to experience positive benefits. An alternative is to go for probiotic supplements.
Supplements and foods that contain bacterial fermentation are good sources of probiotics. The supplement BioFit, for example, claims to contain billions of CFU and diverse types of bacteria. It might benefit those who are bloated or have a lowered immunity, as well as those who are overweight or underweight. However, you should read some Biofit reviews before making any purchase because the supplement industry is rife with scams. It would be best to consult a physician first.
There is nothing better than consuming fresh berries in the mornings. They are loaded with antioxidants and vital nutrients required to keep your body healthy.
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and gooseberries are all great for you. Just toss them into the blender with some milk or yogurt to make a smoothie.
According to studies, those who consumed berries regularly were able to remain within their ideal body weight and did not gain too much weight over longer periods of time.
An important aspect of losing weight is building lean muscles. Lean muscles replace regular ones and prevent fat from getting stored. The best way to build lean muscle is by consuming foods rich in proteins. One important source of protein is eggs. Those who consume eggs for breakfast are in a better position to develop lean muscles and not go hungry before the next meal.
Eggs can be quite versatile and cooked in any way you like. Hard-boil them the previous day so
that you have a ready meal the next morning. Simply toss them in a pan to scramble them. It only takes a few minutes to cook them.
One aspect of maintaining a clean and healthy diet is going for whole grains. The intermittent fast promotes consumption of these, as they are easier for the body to digest and keep the system clean. They are also loaded with proteins and fiber. Do not limit yourself to just wheat and oats and go for something different such as bulgur, amaranth, and flax.
Foods to Avoid During Intermittent Fast Processed Foods
Processed foods include the likes of biscuits, wafers, chips, cakes, and sugary drinks such as cola. These will only add to your woes and counteract your weight loss goals. Try to avoid these at all costs. Do not hit the aisles at the supermarket that carry these foods. Remember to never go shopping on an empty stomach, as you will feel tempted to reach for a packet or snack.
Make it a point to cut out all junk food from your diet. There should be no room for burgers, pizzas, and kinds of pasta that contain a lot of fat. It might be tempting to go for a cheat meal once in a while, but it is important not to do so, as it can lead to a habit.
Although wine is said to be quite healthy, it would be best to limit it to just 1 serving per week. Try your best to avoid consuming hard liquor.
Although it is said that the intermittent fast does not tell you what not to eat, it is best to avoid these when you wish to lose weight.
With intermittent fasting, a lot of people tend to follow their usual eating habits in terms of the specific foods that they put on their plates during each meal, expecting that they will lose weight just because they have fasted during the morning, night, and a part of the afternoon.
While intermittent fasting may help improve metabolism and support digestive function that will ultimately improve your ability to lose weight, the food you eat still counts.
Just as there are a lot of foods that you can surely include in your diet to help you lose that extra weight that is causing you concern, there are also some foods that you should always try to avoid if your goal is to lose weight.
Intermittent Fasting: A Sure Way To Boost The Metabolism
The best way to overcome sluggishness, or an aging metabolism, is to eat a little less. The worst way is to consume more. Forgoing food with intermittent fasting (IF) appears to be the best way out of the metabolic conundrum.
Why do we get hit with a sluggish metabolism?
After all, many of us are perpetually battling obesity and struggling with maintaining a healthy weight and body mass index (BMI).
But the problem is not necessarily about our body’s ability to metabolize fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
The ultimate culprit is that food intake must match the body’s calorie demands. When we fail to do so, we get hit with a sluggish metabolism. The human body will try to adapt by burning less fat and more sugars in an attempt to make up for the deficit of energy. This results in weight gain and an increased risk of developing obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Certainly not a good thing.
Here are some of the worst reasons why you should consider IF if you want to get the most out of your metabolism:
#1. You need to skip meals regularly to keep your weight under control.
#2. You have a tendency to fall back into bad eating habits quickly after making progress in your weight-loss journey.
#3. You’re sick and tired of worrying whether you’re eating enough and whether it’s good enough for your daily or weekly targets for energy intake and fat loss. (You’re certainly not alone here.)
#4. If you’re not technically disciplined in the kitchen, you can go through a whole day without facing the consequences of taking in too many calories. The bottom line is that relying on diet alone to get you slim (or lean) will most likely leave you frustrated because most of the time, it’s either one of the following:
1. You’re eating too much (and looking like a beast and gaining weight) or…
2. You’re eating too little (and failing to lose weight).
It’s all down to your metabolic rate – specifically your body’s ability to burn calories from fat while at rest. A slow metabolism is probably the main reason why you’re unsuccessful in losing weight and keeping it off. Think of how many things there are in life that can interrupt your plans: a sick child, a burnt dinner, stress at work…or even an unexpected holiday with some tasty treats! They all make us want to eat when we shouldn’t, leading us to gain weight, which leads us back to an unhealthy weight-loss journey.
It’s why the intermittent fasting method is so appealing. It’s the perfect way to get your metabolism firing on all cylinders and keeping you lean and healthy.
What exactly is intermittent fasting?
Perhaps you know it as calorie restriction, or starving yourself, or eating every other day. I’m talking about skipping meals in a set pattern.
The best way to get started with IF is by trying this method of eating called “16:8.” You eat to your level of hunger for 8 hours each day (from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. without eating anything), and then fast for the other 16. You will lose weight because your metabolism gets a kick-start, and you will feel great because you’ll be burning fat all day long.
The main idea is that you’re skipping one meal per day, but not all days in a week. You can even flip-flop between eating on alternate days as long as the 16:8 pattern is followed for most of the weeks in a month. This also helps your metabolism to adapt to what you’re up against in terms of calorie intake. Intermittent fasting isn’t about extreme calorie restriction. It helps you to drop excess fat and eat more food than you otherwise would for energy and nutrients.
All without feeling hungry!
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
The benefits of IF are plentiful. Some of them include:
Powerful Metabolism Booster: You will lose weight because your metabolism gets a kick-start, and you will feel great because you’ll be burning fat all day long, not just when you’re running on the treadmill or doing crunches in your living room.
High-Density Muscle: You will have more energy, which means you can ditch the gym membership and start taking up more exercises.
Greater Focus: When you are in a calorie deficit, your body needs more nutrients to help it function. This means that your focus will be sharper and you’ll find it easier to study or complete tasks at work.
Perfect Diet Plan: Since you’re cutting out certain meals from the day, pretty soon you will find out what foods work well for you and which don’t. If you do end up getting cravings, you’ll have an easier time controlling yourself.
Lower Risk of Diabetes: Based on a study published in the Journal Obesity in 2011, people who fasted intermittently to lose weight had lower levels of glucose and insulin. This is one of the main drivers for diabetes, which means intermittent fasting can help you avoid it.
Endurance Benefits: There was another study conducted on athletes in 2014 that showed that fasting while training resulted in higher endurance in long-distance events such as marathons. The researchers concluded that not eating for a while actually helps athletes burn fat for fuel, reducing muscle damage and exhaustion. Read more on intermittent fasting and athletic performance here.
How to do the 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Method
16:8 is an easy method to follow, and all you need to do is flip-flop between an eight-hour interval of eating and a 16-hour interval of fasting. You can even eat on alternate days as long as the 16:8 pattern follows for most of the weeks in a month.
The key is not to skip breakfast, as this will make your body think it’s being starved.
Here are four ways to follow this pattern:
The 2 Meal a Day Plan
Here is how you can follow 16:8 on a 2 meal a day plan:
Time You Eat Breakfast 8am – 10am Interval of Eating Time to Dinner 8pm –Midnight Interval of Fasting Time to Breakfast 10am – 12pm Fast Time from Dinner 8pm – 12pm Fast Total Fast Time 12 hours 16 hours Total Time 24 hours 28 hours
This is an easy way to follow 16:8, and all you need to do is eat two meals when you’re not fasting. You will eat your first meal within an hour of waking up, and make sure you finish it within 2 hours.
The Realistic Eating Plan
Here’s how you can follow 16:8 on a realistic eating plan:
Time You Eat Breakfast 5am – 7am Interval of Eating Time to Dinner 7pm – 11pm Interval of Fasting Time to Breakfast 10am – 12pm Fast Time from Dinner 9pm – 12am Fast Total Fast Time 12 hours 16 hours Total Time 24 hours 28 hours
This is a good way to follow 16:8 if you are relatively busy.
If you are not busy, and have more time to devote to fasting, then here’s how you can follow 16:8 on a more ambitious fasting schedule:
Time You Eat Breakfast 5am – 7am Interval of Eating Time to Dinner 7pm – 11pm Interval of Fasting Time to Breakfast 10am – 1pm Fast Time from Dinner 9pm – 12am Fast Total Fast Time 14 hours 16 hours Total Time 28 hours 32 hours
A good rule of thumb to remember.
How to Break the 32 Hour Fast:
You can break the fast by drinking a bit more water, but you have to increase your output (i.e. have another glass of water). To break the fast, you should eat a solid meal within 8-12 hours after breaking the fast. It may not feel “right” to go back on your after-breakfast diet without having anything but water for 24 hours, but it’s guaranteed that you’ll feel better and with less cravings afterwards than if you go back on your diet as originally planned.
Women on 16:8
Here are some important notes to keep in mind if you are a woman and are doing the 16:8 method.
The Fasting Phase (16 Hours)
If you’re a woman, it’s recommended that you start with fasting for 14 hours. You can even skip breakfast, but make sure that your last meal is no later than 9 pm. You should keep your last meal at 8pm-12am for easy digestion and better results.
The Eating Phase (8 Hours)
If you’re a woman, you should eat breakfast. You can even have a big meal if you wish, but make sure that your last meal is no later than 1 pm. If you’re not in the habit of eating breakfast, then try to get one right away the first week. The goal is to finish eating by 8pm-12am for easy digestion and better results.
The Meal Plan For Women
Breakfast will consist of eggs and bacon or fish and vegetables such as broccoli. Your mid-morning snack will be fruit, nuts or cheese and crackers. Your mid-afternoon snack will be a large meal. You may also have a few snacks throughout the day, but make sure that you don’t forget to eat your last meal no later than 1 pm.
The Meal Plan For Men On 16:8
Your breakfast will consist of eggs and bacon or fish and vegetables such as broccoli. Your mid-morning snack will be fruit, nuts or cheese and crackers. Your mid-afternoon snack will be a large meal. You may also have a few snacks throughout the day, but make sure that you don’t forget to eat your last meal at 8pm because this is when you will get back into fasting mode again.
You can even have brunch by combining all of your meals into one. It’s easy to do if you eat a small breakfast, and then have a large breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You won’t feel too hungry or faint because you’re eating every couple of hours, but you’ll still experience the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Tips for Fasting Every Other Day
You should aim to drink at least 9-10 glasses of water daily while following this plan. This will help your body release toxins that build up when you don’t eat as often.
If you get hungry during the fasting phase, drink a glass of water, and try to stay busy. Make food healthy, delicious and satisfying so that you don’t break your diet prematurely.
Make Your Last Meal Different From Your First
It’s important to keep variety in your meals so that you can keep up with 16:8 easily. It’s only natural to lose interest in eating the same foods all day long. The longer you follow this method of eating, the more likely you will be to eat healthier overall because you’ll know what works and what doesn’t work for your body and preferences.
When you’re on 16:8, make your last meal different from the first one. You could have more of the healthy foods, or less of the unhealthy foods. Your last meal should be within 1-2 hours after your first one.
Use Intermittent Fasting to Lose Fat and Build Muscle
Here is how you can use intermittent fasting to build muscle and lose fat at the same time:
Succeed With Low Carb and Intermittent Fasting. Eat a lot of lean cuts of meat and avoid saturated fats like full fat dairy products and red meats, both of which will raise your hormone levels (such as estrogen) that are associated with belly fat.
Eat a lot of lean cuts of meat and avoid saturated fats like full fat dairy products and red meats, both of which will raise your hormone levels (such as estrogen) that are associated with belly fat.
This is critical because it will help you sleep better without having to fight off hunger pangs all night long. Do Intermittent Fasting on an Empty Stomach If You’re Doing High-Intensity Workouts, Like Cardio or
Kickboxing/Boxing/MMA Training. If you’re boxing, you have to train on an empty stomach because your body needs energy to perform. If you’re doing high-intensity kickboxing classes, train on an empty stomach at least two hours before your class starts.
If you’re boxing, you have to train on an empty stomach because your body needs energy to perform. If you’re doing high-intensity kickboxing classes, train on an empty stomach at least two hours before your class starts.
Use Intermittent Fasting For a Quick “Fat Burning” Boost. When you do cardio or kickboxing on an empty stomach, your body releases fat-burning hormones to help it get through the workout. Intermittent fasting works in the same way; you’ll have a boost of energy from fasting and hopefully burn more fat.
Here are just some of them:
Lose Belly Fat – When you go on the 16:8 diet, most women will lose their bloat, especially if they go 15 hours without eating. This is critical because if your gut is swollen, you will have a harder time losing weight.
How To Start Intermittent Fasting
So, if you are new to IF the question is how to get started. Keep reading for tips, advice, and how you can incorporate an IFschedule into your routine.
Create a Monthly Calendar
On a calendar, highlight the days on which you wish to fast, depending on the type of fast you have committed yourself to. Record a start and end time on your fasting days so you know in the days leading up to your fast day what time you plan to begin and finish. Tick off your days; this will keep you motivated and on track!
Record Your Findings
Create a journal for your fasting journey. 1–2 days before the time you start the intermittent fasting, undertake to do your measurements. Weigh yourself first thing in the morning, after you have gone to the restroom, and before breakfast.
Also, do not weigh yourself wearing heavy items as they may affect the outcome of the scale. Measure your height as this figure is related to your BMI (body mass index) result.
Record the measurements around your hips and stomach area, if you wish, you can also measure your upper thighs and arms.
Take a photo of yourself and place it into the journal too; this is not to discourage you but to keep you focused on why you began this journey. Jot down all of these findings and update them weekly in the journal.
A journal is also the perfect way to express how you are feeling and, of course, what you are most thankful for. A journal is an important way in which to track not just the physical aspects of the diet but also the mental aspects, too. Never doubt yourself; your journal should be a safe space for you to congratulate and to motivate yourself. Leave all the negative thoughts at the door!
Plan Your Meals
The easiest way to stick to any eating program is to plan your meals; 500 calorie meals tend to be simple and easy to create but there are also many other more complex recipes for those who wish to spice things up. Who knows, perhaps you stumble across a meal you wish to eat outside of your fasting days.
It is recommended that you cook your meals the day before your fast days; doing this helps you stay committed to the fast and limits food wastage.
Initially, and in the first few weeks, it is suggested that you keep your meal preparation and recipes simple, so as not to overcomplicate the whole process.
This also allows you to get used to counting your calories and knowing which foods work to keep you fuller versus those that left you feeling hungrier earlier than later. Be sure to include your meal plan in your journal and on your calendar.
On the days where you return to normal eating, it is important to reward yourself. A slight prize goes a long way in reminding yourself and your brain that what you are doing has merit and that it should be noticed.
A reward should cater to one of our primal needs; these needs include:
- Safety needs
- Social needs
- Esteem needs
Have a block of chocolate or buy yourself a new item of clothing to do anything that makes your heart happy!
Curb Hunger Pains
Initially, you will feel more discomfort when hungry but these feelings will pass. If you do find yourself craving something, sip on black tea or coffee to help you through your day. Coffee is known to alleviate the feelings of being hungry; if you must add sweetener, do so at your discretion. Just remember that some sweeteners can cause the opposite effect and make you feel hungry.
Keeping busy means that the mind does not have time to dwell on your current state of affairs, especially if you find yourself reaching for a snack bar or cookie.
It is also wise to be implementing some sort of physical activity, even on your fasting days. A 20-minute walk before ending your fasting period will do wonders to help you reach the final stages of the fasting period. It can also lift your mood once you are feeling upset or anxious.
Practice Mindful Eating
As mentioned, we are inclined to eat for all sorts of reasons; happy, sad, it does not matter. The problem is that these feelings related to food become habitual, so we aren’t really hungry but because we feel good or even off, we seek to tuck into something delicious. The art of eating mindfully is to not allow these habits to master your life.
The concept is simple: teach yourself to look at something, for instance, a piece of cake, and think, “Do I really need it or do I want it for other reasons?” You could decide to have 1–2 bites and leave the rest, but you may be less inclined to eat the whole slice (or whole cake) if you think mindfully about it.
The art of mindful eating is to revel in the food placed before you. Pay attention to colors, textures, and tastes. Savor each bite, even when eating an apple. Your brain gradually begins to rewire itself when it comes to food and when it needs or wants something.
Practice mindful eating by:
- Pay attention to where your food comes from.
- Listen to what your body is telling you; stop eating when you are full.
- Only eat when your body indicates you to do so; when your stomach growls or if you feel faint or if your energy levels are low.
- Pay attention to what is both healthy and unhealthy for you.
- Consider the environmental impact our food choices make.
- Every time you take a bite of your meal, set your cutlery down.
Practice Portion Control
Controlling portion sizes can be difficult for most; society has also regulated us to what we think is the size of an average portion should be and we have access to supersizing meals too, which does not help those struggling to maintain weight. In 1961, Americans consumed 2,880 calories per day; by 2017, they were consuming 3,600 calories, which is a 34% increase and an unhealthy one at that.
To help you navigate how to better portion your food, consider trying the following: when dishing up your food, try the following trick. Half your plate should consist of healthy fruits and/or vegetables, one quarter should be made up of your starches such as potatoes, rice, or pasta, and the remaining quarter should be made up of lean meats or seafood.
Alternatively, try the following:
- Dish up onto a smaller plate or into a smaller bowl.
- Say no to upsizing a meal if offered.
- Buy the smaller version of the product if available or divide the servings equally into packets.
- Eat half a meal at the restaurant and take the remaining half to enjoy the following day instead.
- Go to bed early; it will stop any after-dinner eating.
Get Tech Savvy
Modern-day society has plenty to offer in terms of the apps we can use to help determine the steps we take, the calories we burn, the calories found in our foods, as well as research, information, and motivation for lifestyle changes, especially diets and exercise. The list is endless. There are numerous apps on the market at this time that can help you track your progress with regard to fasting. The best IF apps currently (at the time of writing), and in no particular order are:
- Fast Habit
- Body Fast
- Ate Food Diary
- Life Fasting Tracker
Make use of your mobile device to set reminders for yourself of when to eat, what to eat, and when your fast days are. It works especially well when using it to set reminders for when you should drink water, particularly for those who find it hard to keep their fluids up.
Making the Change
Understand that intermittent fasting is not a diet; it is a lifestyle, an eating plan that you are in control of, and one that is easy to perfect. Before you know it, fasting will become second nature.
When to Start?
Begin today, not tomorrow or after a particular event or gathering. Once you have picked the fast that best suits you, begin with it immediately. Never hold off until a specific day; once you begin, you will gain momentum and it will become something that is part of your day, like many other things that fill up your day. No sweat there!
Measure Your Eating
3 days before you fast, it would be wise to begin to lessen the amount of food you are eating or dishing up less. This helps your body begin to get used to the idea that it doesn’t need a whole bowl of food to get what it needs nor to feel full.
Keep Up Your Exercise Plan
If you have a pre-existing exercise regime, do not alter it anyway. Simply carry on the way you were before fasting. If you are new to working out, start with short walks now and again, extending the time you walk. For example, take a 5- minute walk, and the next day, change the time to 10 minutes of walking.
Stop, Start, Stop
Fast for a period of hours, and then eat all your calories during a certain number of hours. Consider this as a training period.
Do Your Research
Read up as much as you can about IF. This way you will put to rest any uncertainties you might have and will get introduced to new ways of getting through a fasting day. Check out recipes that won’t make you feel like a rabbit having to chomp on carrots all day if you are stuck with ideas of what to eat.
Have fun, and see what your body can do, even over 50. It is significant to distinguish that just because you are a certain age doesn’t mean you are incapable of pursuing a new lifestyle change. Reward yourself when it is due, track your progress, adjust where there is a need, and get your beauty sleep. This is another secret to achieving overall wellness and happiness.
Know Your BMI
The body mass index (BMI) is a measure that helps you understand if your weight is healthy. Your BMI is based on the measurements of your weight and height; thus, you can easily control your body mass index, or BMI as it is more commonly known.
In total, there are 4 categories that an individual can fall into based on this figure. That is underweight, healthy, overweight, and obese. The concept is simple: our BMI gives us quantifiable amounts when comparing our height with our fat, muscles, bones, and organs.
How to Calculate Your BMI
To calculate your BMI divide your weight (pounds) by your height (inches) squared and multiply by 703.
Or you can use one of the many online calculators available on the internet. As soon as you have calculated your BMI, you can compare it to the body mass index chart to determine which category you are classed into.
Intermittent Fasting and Supplements
Not all supplements can provide the health benefits you need.
Taking the wrong supplements, especially while you are on intermittent fasting, may bring harm. The right types of health supplements can significantly boost the effects of intermittent fasting.
We will briefly discuss the problems with taking generic supplements, how to choose the right health supplements for those who are into intermittent fasting, and a comprehensive list of health supplements that you should take.
The Problem with Multivitamins
Multivitamins are very popular. Millions of people around the world are taking multivitamins, so people think that they are indispensable for fighting disease and malnutrition. This is, in fact, a misconception. In reality, not everyone can benefit from multivitamins and instead choose targeted supplements.
Many multivitamins contain too much of specific nutrients such as Vitamin A or C, and not enough of the other essential nutrients such as magnesium. So there is a tendency to overdose on a few nutrients and not take enough of the others.
Some manufacturers still include a long list of multivitamins on their labels, but the truth is, some of these vitamins are in very small amounts. Many consumers ignore the insubstantial amounts of important nutrients.
How can you fit a range of nutrients in only one pill? Also, we need to consider the nutritional needs of each person.
A bodybuilder will require a different set of nutrients compared to a lactating mom.
Low Quality of Multivitamins
Each type of nutrient behaves differently inside the body. While folate is an important B vitamin, folic acid — the form found in generic multivitamins, may increase the risk of colon cancer according to a study published by the University of Chile.
This could be the reason why some researches such as a 2009 study published by the University of East Finland suggest a connection between multivitamins and an increase in mortality, while another research commissioned by the American Medical Association in 2009 reveals no benefit in taking multivitamins.
Furthermore, many multivitamins are manufactured with additives and fillers, which make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients.
Therefore, a minimal amount of important nutrients may reach your cells. We are actually getting what we pay for with multivitamins. You may convince yourself and choose the generic multivitamins in the store, or you may add a bit and actually choose targeted supplements to help improve your health.
Supplements and Fasting
Eating whole and natural foods are still the best source to get the important nutrients that our body needs. Remember, whole foods may behave differently from their individual components. For example, the nutrients from a piece of broccoli are more accessible compared to consuming the equal amount of nutrients from a powder or a pill.
The antioxidants sourced from natural foods are beneficial, but consuming megadoses of some synthetic antioxidants may come with risks such as the growth of tumors based on a 1993 toxicology research from the University of Hamburg.
Food synergy enables the nutrients in food to work together. Hence, food is more powerful compared to its components. This is why it is crucial to begin with a diet that is rich in nutrients, then add supplements that are based on your goals and needs.
It is important to take note that just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is helpful. There is a tendency for some, especially the health buffs, to abuse even food-based vitamins and herbal supplements.
These supplements are still vulnerable to contaminants and heavy metals from manufacturing. Be sure to check the sourcing and quality testing of your supplements. It is ideal to check with a licensed professional who can recommend safe brands of supplements.
Intermittent Fasting Tricks To Make It Work
Here are some tips and tricks for ensuring that you have a successful fast:
Drink plenty of water– as a woman you should drink 1.5-2 liters per day. Make sure you drink water first thing in the morning.
To keep your hunger at bay, drink coffee and tea as caffeine is a normal suppressant.
Stay busy and do meaningful work. The busier you are, the less time you will think about food. Get out of your house wherever you can!
Get your best work finished in the morning because you’re going to be the most inspired and have a lot of energy.
Keep it adjustable for you–the best way to do this is to fast at your speed, as the fast suits your lifestyle, you’re more likely to stick to it. Switch the diets around until you find the right one.
For at least 3 weeks, give it a good try-don’t give up too quickly.
This takes your body to adapt to that amount of time.
Use vitamins for your benefit.
Try to delay breakfast to see how long it can last. It can provide you with a clear example for the best times to fast and eat.
Don’t mention you’re fasting to strangers–the less people you meet, the less’ helpful thoughts’ you’re forced to hear. With you, you’re doing this. Don’t think about that.
Don’t forget to take advantage of training. Weight training to help build up your body, which in turn increases your metabolism.
Protein is a friend of yours. When necessary, include it in each meal and also use vitamins to help you out.
Eat well. Don’t eat garbage on your non-fasting days. In the long run, this will discourage you. It is important to remember that the day’s first meal will set the tone for the remainder of the day. Make it a good one!
Insider Tips for Breaking a Fast
It’s important to know when to stop fasting as it is the key to safety.
If you feel ‘real hunger’, this means you need to listen to your body and read the signals when you’re done.
The dictionary describes hunger as “the unpleasant feeling of exhaustion induced by the need for food.” If they are not eaten at their regular mealtime, certain people are irritable, nervous, or disoriented. Others have the feeling of hunger as lightheaded, flat, weak, headachy, or hollow. Sometimes a feeding episode is caused by a growling stomach. Many people eat when they become sad.
Some, when tired, lose their appetite. External stimuli, as well as emotional and physical stimuli, are plentiful, but few of them are hungry, just another burden on your nervous system.
Other signs it’s time to end the fast include:
- Sudden sickness or nausea.
- Rapid increase or decrease in your heart rate.
- Excessive dehydration.
- Sudden excessive weakness.
Usually, your experience is a great indicator. Often when the time is up, you’ll know.
The recovery time for breaking a fast is estimated to be around 4 days. During this time, easy-to-digest food consumption is essential to your whole system in order to get used to the new routine.
Include suggestions for stuff you should consume (start adding new items from the top of the list):
- Fruit and vegetable juices
- Raw fruits
- Vegetable or bone broths
- Yogurt (or other living, cultured milk products), unsweetened
- Lettuces and spinach
- Cooked vegetables and vegetable soups
- Raw vegetables
- Well-cooked grains and beans
- Nuts and eggs
- Milk products (non-cultured)
- Meats and anything else
More tips for breaking a fast successfully:
- Pay attention to the way that your body reacts to these new foods (above).
- Any adverse reactions are there for a reason.
- Look out for feeling full. Once you reach this, stop eating.
- Start with small, frequent meals. Eat every 2 hours or so, while slowly progressing towards more extensive, more normal sized meals.
- Always chew your food well as this aid’s digestion.
- Eat carefully to add live enzymes and good bacteria into your body. Fresh, raw foods are a great way to achieve this.
Mindset For Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting is a lifestyle, not a diet. It does not have to be hard work; it is actually very simple and easy to learn, so you don’t have to suffer. You will learn how to make delicious meals (and even coffee!) using healthy fats and proteins so you never feel deprived. It is not just good for weight loss; it is incredibly healthy for your body!
Intermittent Fasting is the healthiest, sustainable, and most effective lifestyle change you will ever make. It is an effective tool that can help you lose weight as well as get healthy in a variety of other ways. What’s the best part?
Your body’s fat-burning mechanisms are more efficient when they’re not working against you all day by constantly digesting food.
Intermittent fasting shifts your body into fat-burning mode even before breakfast, so when the clock strikes nine in the morning, your body is primed and ready to start melting down those stored fats instead of whatever it was doing before! That means much less appetite for the rest of the day, which makes sticking with a healthy diet much easier.
Another best part is you don’t have to give up the foods you love. Intermittent fasting is a very forgiving process because you’re taking in nothing but liquids and some food for weeks and months and end like you would be on some sort of premade food, or some special powders. You are eating the same food as before!
You will learn how to make delicious meals using healthy fats and proteins so you never feel deprived, plus it will allow you to enjoy lots of your favorite indulgences from time to time such as pizza, desserts, and ice cream!
You’ll also discover how easy it is to drink smoothies made out of delicious fruits and vegetables. These smoothies are the perfect way to get more nutrients while still enjoying sweet treats.
In fact, Intermittent Fasting will help you lose weight, but also help you gain energy, increase your digestion, improve your sleep, reduce inflammation levels, help prevent cancer and even increase the rate at which your skin renews itself. It is the healthiest and most effective lifestyle change that you will ever make.
Intermittent Fasting is not a Quick Process Intermittent fasting is not a quick process. You don’t lose ten pounds in ten days. It’s not as simple as you eat nothing for 100 hours, then start eating again.
Many people in the world fast for religious purposes, and certainly, there are spiritual benefits to that kind of focus on which I am not qualified to opine. But from a purely physical perspective, intermittent fasting is about taking short breaks from eating and drinking so your energy levels can reset themselves, your metabolism can work more efficiently at breaking down food when it needs to be broken down, and your body can then receive the messages that you don’t need substantial amounts of food digging around inside it anymore.
And not just water fasting, either. This also applies to intermittent fasting from food and drink. Not all of the weight loss associated with intermittent fasting comes directly from fat. Some of it comes from carbohydrates that simply aren’t being metabolized efficiently because they are no longer needed.
In other words, the body stops storing it as fat to make use of it in a more appropriate place. I’ll explain more when I talk about the science of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent Fasting does not work by deliberately starving yourself Most mainstream diet plans work by slowly starving you to death. They give you a very small meal at lunchtime, a somewhat larger one at dinner time, and then you are encouraged to graze on things in between whenever the hell you feel like it—which is supposed to be most of the time because we’re all so busy these days that it’s just not possible for us all to sit down and eat three meals a day as we used to in the Good Old Days.
The problem with this kind of dieting is that not only does it encourage you to eat in a way that’s completely at odds with what your body is telling you it needs, but it does so in a way that can never really be sustainable.
If you starve yourself for a long period—say, 20 or 30 years—well, that’s your life. You may want to spend the rest of your days sitting quietly under a tree, but real life simply doesn’t allow for that. The rest of us, who have to go out and deal with the world as it currently exists, are going to eat at some point, whether we want to or not.
Intermittent Fasting is about sustaining your body’s most efficient metabolic state.
If you think about your long-term health, it makes sense to be aiming for the most efficient metabolic state that is realistically possible. You want your body to be burning fat wherever possible. You want to be breaking down food without needing too many of the nutrients that are in it because if you just burn those nutrients off as energy they’re gone forever and won’t ever come back.
And if you feed yourself when you don’t need to, then your body simply stores those nutrients away—and at a high level of efficiency, so as much as possible is converted into fat.
Intermittent Fasting encourages you to eat when you need to The thought of not being able to eat feels like torture for most people, but eating when you don’t need to feel like torture too. And that’s the difference between intermittent fasting and traditional dieting.
Intermittent fasting encourages you to let your body tell you what it needs, whereas traditional dieting encourages whatever will give short-term results with no regard for the long-term consequences.
Intermittent Fasting is not about starving your body at all costs. It is supposed to be enjoyable and sustainable. I don’t want to give the impression here that intermittent fasting is some kind of hell on earth.
That’s certainly not the case—at least, not if you stick to a daily schedule of eating and drinking. Intermittent fasting is all about the science of your body telling you what it needs, rather than forcing your body into a way of working that isn’t sustainable in the long term.
And that’s why it has to be enjoyable and sustainable—because otherwise, no one would be able to stick with it for very long at all.
Intermittent Fasting can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be. That’s what this book is all about. Most diets require you to change your diet in a way that feels painful and annoying, and which is also impossible to sustain in the long term. They are supposed to give you rapid results—in fact, that is kind of the point of most diets—with no regard for what happens down the road as a result.
Intermittent fasting doesn’t do that. It gives you slightly more time to think about what you’re doing, and it enables you to make the most of a system that is already working for your body. It encourages you to understand what your body needs, and in that way, it’s all about being in tune with yourself rather than forcing your body into an unnatural way of living simply because some diet guru tells you it will give you faster results than anything else can.
Mindset in Intermittent Fasting Intermittent fasting has been gaining traction as a healthy practice that can literally transform your life by causing weight loss, improving insulin sensitivity, and even lowering your risk of cancer. But what is the most important part of intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not just about food, but also about the mind. The idea revolves around changing your body’s relationship with food: instead of thinking calories in and out; you need
to think time in or time out. This is the idea of peak and trough hours; some hours you want to concentrate all your calories and the rest, you want to fast.
When it comes to fasting, it is important to ensure that you approach it in a way that will be beneficial for our health and will not do more harm than good.
Firstly, you want to maintain flexibility with yourself and your body when fasting.
Maintaining this flexible mindset will allow you to remain healthy, and it will allow you to pay more attention to how you are feeling than to the plan that you have set out for yourself.
The biggest obstacle: Your mind
Everybody’s objective will differ slightly and will likely be quite personal to them. Maybe you want to reduce your risk of cancer because it runs in your family. Maybe you have been obese for the majority of your life, and you are trying this as a means of weight loss and health improvement.
Maybe you heard about it and challenged yourself to try it for a few months to see how it feels. Whatever your objective, writing it down will help to solidify it and make it real. Then, when you are wondering why on earth you decided to put yourself through this on the first day of your fast, you can look at that objective that you wrote down, and it will re-inspire you to continue.
When it comes to mindset, being aware of your motivation is extremely beneficial.
When it comes to something like fasting, the mental game is the biggest part of it. You already know that your body can survive without ingesting food for the time that you plan to fast. You know that you will be giving it food at the end of this fasting period. You know that your body will likely even be better for having fasted. What all this means is that the part that makes it very difficult is the mental part.
During a fast, the mindset will play a huge part in how you feel. What you choose to focus on during your fast will determine if you are having a terrible time and counting down the hours until you can eat again, or if you barely notice them going by.
By focusing on what you are depriving yourself of, you will see everything as a punishment you are putting yourself through. This will make it very difficult for you to make it through your fasting period as everything except water and coffee will seem like it has been placed before your eyes to punish you. By instead looking at the things that you are giving yourself—like tea, black coffee, and water, and appreciating these things, will help you to rediscover how refreshing and nourishing water is, a fact that we take for granted in places where our water is clean and drinkable.
You will be able to taste the coffee beans without the cream and sugar that cover up their beauty.
You will be able to appreciate the tea leaves that spend time growing to end up in this cup of yours. You will also appreciate your food much more when you reach your eating window, and you can eat whatever you want. By viewing your day through the lens of appreciation instead of deprivation, you will have a much easier time with your fast.
The Benefits That Most Adults Enjoy When They Fast Intermittently
Fasting intermittently is an extremely healthy, natural, and safe way that adults can maximize their health benefits in a variety of ways. Here are only a couple ways that you will appreciate when you focus on fasting three or four days of the week.
Increased Metabolism: Fasting helps lower insulin levels, which is the hormone that tells your body to store excess calories as fat. When insulin levels are low, stored fat gets broken up and used for energy instead of being stored away for future use.
Fat Burning: The body will naturally break down stored fat when it is required for energy. When your body must produce glucose via glycogen, a process called gluconeogenesis begins to occur. This process will be accelerated when you perform intermittent fasting because your body’s glycogen stores have been depleted during fasting.
Reduces Oxidative Stress: Oxidative stress is harmful to cells. Intermittent fasting accelerates the reduction of oxidative stress as your body will not be exposed to high levels of insulin for extended periods of time.
Supports Healthy Growth: Several hormones and growth factors that are important to optimal cellular function are increased when you fast intermittently. This can help speed up your metabolism, improve your digestive system, and reduce inflammation among other health benefits.
Reduces Cancer Risk: Avoiding excessive insulin is a key strategy in reducing cancer risk as well as research has shown that intermittent fasting helps to reduce the risk of developing cancer cells. During fasting, your body releases proteins called Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF1) which is associated with the growth of cancer cells.
Lowers Risk of Dementia: Alzheimer’s disease risk is reduced when you fast intermittently. Brain cell death, also known as apoptosis, is inhibited with fasting, which helps protect neurons and synapses in the brain.
Improves Immunity: Several health conditions can be improved by intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting lowers inflammatory markers and boosts the immune system to improve your response to virus infections and other potential threats to your health.
Increased Energy: When you fast, your cellular energy needs are drastically reduced in order to continue your metabolism at this reduced rate. When this occurs, many people report feeling more energized than they normally would on a regular basis.
Reduces Water Retention: When your body does not have to expend energy to make glucose, it will not need to retain as much water. In fact, water weight is usually reduced by two pounds or more when you fast intermittently.
Promotes Growth Hormone Production: The human growth hormone (HGH) is essential for cardiovascular health and immune function among other vital functions in the body. HGH levels increase when you fast intermittently which helps burn excess fat and reduce insulin levels. This can improve your muscle tone, bone density, and reduce body fat while also improving cardiovascular health.
Improves Mood: Many people report feeling more relaxed and happier when they fast intermittently. In large part, this has to do with the decrease in insulin levels during a fast. This is often referred to as the “relaxation response” because of the way your body reacts when it is not being used for energy. When your body begins to feel safe without using valuable energy stores, it will release a hormone called melatonin which promotes feelings of relaxation in many people.
Improves Memory: Maintaining an active mind while you are fasting can improve cognition and memory retention. This is because fasted individuals experience a slower stroke volume which is the amount of blood that is moving through your heart while you are resting. This makes it easier for your brain to get oxygen as it does not need to work as hard while your body is going through a fasting state.
Improves Mood and Creativity: Many people report having more energy, creativity, and focus when they fast intermittently. The reason for this has been attributed to the increased release of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland found inside of most animals including humans. This hormone is a natural sedative which has been studied for its potential impact on treating depression and other mood disorders.
Better Decision Making: Many studies have linked intermittent fasting with improved decision making skills in humans. Several receptors in the brain will become more sensitive when you are fasting which can improve your ability to analyze complex scenarios and make sound decisions.
Your body will enjoy many health benefits when you give intermittent fasting a try. Start by restricting your food consumption to 500 calories during your fast time. After you get used to that routine, increase this to 550 calories after several months of practicing this technique on a regular basis. If you are currently starving while following a traditional diet, intermittent fasting will help you lose weight and prevent unnecessary calories being burned off.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Intermittent Fasting For Menopausal Women
Studies have shown that it can be especially helpful for weight control and loss for post-menopausal women but can cause problems if you have conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Are you a post-menopausal woman? Do you want to lose weight? Well, there are so many different diets and programs that can help you to achieve your goals these days.
However, if you have diabetes or heart disease, it’s important to be careful with the diet that you choose. Studies show that low-fat diets can be especially helpful for weight control and loss for post-menopausal women but can cause problems if you have conditions like those mentioned above.
No one diet is the best for everyone, so you might want to speak with a doctor or nutritionist before jumping into any diet. Good health and a healthy weight are important for overall well-being, no matter how old you are.
What is a low-fat diet? It is one that restricts fat consumption to less than 20% of your total daily calories.
Low-fat diets have become more popular over the past few years. This diet is considered to be a way to lose weight by reducing the amount of fat in your diet. Over the past several decades, low-fat diets were promoted as an effective way for people to shed pounds and keep them off.
Low-fat diets can be especially helpful for weight control and loss for post-menopausal women but can cause problems if you have conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
What is the evidence? Low-fat diets are generally very low in fat and rich in carbohydrates.
One study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows that women who followed a low-fat diet had an average weight loss of about four pounds in the first month and were able to keep it off for just over six months.
However, they gained it all back within just two to three years. Similar results were found in another study that looked at calorie restriction with exercise. These women followed a low-fat diet, which caused their average body weight to drop from 184.6 pounds at the beginning of the study to 137 pounds at the end.
What are the possible problems with this type of diet? Studies show that it can be especially helpful for weight control and loss for post-menopausal women, but can cause problems if you have conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
One study compared a low-fat diet with a Mediterranean-style diet that included more fat, protein, and carbohydrate. The women in this study had higher fasting insulin levels and insulin resistance—factors that can cause diabetes—than the women in the low-fat diet group.
As a result, they were at risk for developing type II diabetes and related health problems such as kidney disease after as little as four years on the Mediterranean diet.
Although this appears to be a short amount of time, a good lifestyle program including exercise and healthy eating habits can help you maintain a healthy weight over time.
Recommendations to avoid inflammation, a diet based on whole food and plants.
If you are a woman who’s reached the age of menopause, you know that it is not just a major change in your body—it can also be quite stressful for some individuals. The changes to your body may make you feel unattractive or uncomfortable in certain clothing items, and hormones can affect how you feel emotionally or mentally.
But don’t worry! There are many advantages to being post-menopausal as well, and they should be taken into account when considering this life stage.
The Advantages of Menopause
#1. Preventing osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s. These conditions are so often associated with aging. By going through the process of menopause, your body won’t be at risk for these diseases, and you can help take care of your health now to avoid them later on in life!
#2. Having a better sex life. There is a direct correlation between sexual activity and hormone levels. When your estrogen levels start dropping, your sex drive may also decrease, but not to worry. During menopause, some women find that their desire for sex increases— they often experience more lubrication with less effort.
#3. Enjoying better sleep. Many menopausal women report that after the first year of hot flashes, their sleep returned to normal, and they began sleeping like a baby again. This normalization of sleep patterns can be a huge advantage!
#4. Becoming stronger and more energetic. One of the best things about menopause is that it allows you to take care of yourself, and your body will become stronger from the inside out as a result.
But mainly, you should enjoy this life stage because it’s another step in your journey to becoming who you are meant to be. It’s a time for self-reflection and allowing yourself to be at peace with where you are in life.
The Disadvantages of Menopause
#1. Menopause occurs when a woman reaches the end of her reproductive cycle, usually between the ages 51 and 62. The hormonal changes experienced after this point make life very different for a woman.
Hormonal changes in the body include decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone, which causes physical, sexual, and mood changes. These changes often include hot flashes and night sweats as well as breast tenderness, headaches, memory issues, and weight gain.
#2. The main disadvantage for post-menopausal women is the decreased ability to have children. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, approximately half of women experience dryness and pain during sex after menopause because their vagina no longer produces testosterone. The loss of this sexual lubricant causes some women to develop painful or dry vaginas. Studies show that this problem develops in 50% of post-menopausal women within one year after their last period.
#3. Studies show that women who have not gone through menopause and are estrogen-deficient are at a greater risk for heart attacks and strokes. Estrogen helps prevent high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, and stroke by balancing hormone levels in the body.
#4. The Mayo Clinic estimates that 80% of women face issues related to bone loss after menopause.
#5. Osteoporosis is more common in post-menopausal women because they have less estrogen and a decrease in the production of testosterone, which promotes bone density. The hormones estrogen and testosterone are involved in building bone tissue. When these hormones are not produced at an adequate level, bone loss occurs.
#6. In a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, researchers found that “women’s estrogen levels decline by about 50 percent when they go through menopause. Estrogen is involved in the creation of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps regulate mood. As estrogen levels drop, so does serotonin production.”
I feel like a never ending fountain of wisdom when I share my advice about fasting for women.
#1. Listen to your body: If you have a history of disordered eating, please see your physician before starting any fasting regimen.
#2. The first few days are the toughest: You will likely experience some natural hunger pangs and fatigue as your body adjusts to getting by on fewer calories. Most people overcome this with time and find it easier to fast every other day once they’ve experienced the benefits firsthand.
#3. Look at the big picture: It is practically impossible to fast for more than 14-16 hours a day (I’ve tried it) but you will be surprised that eating super small meals throughout the day is not that difficult, largely because you are used to eating a much larger meal at night.
#4. Break your fast with a cup of warm tea: A bit of lecithin and other cleansing agents in the morning helps break down fat cells and start the day with energy.
#5. Eat one big meal at night: If you eat three large meals throughout the day, this helps stave off hunger pangs and sate your appetite during fasting. You should avoid refined carbohydrates and sugars at night as they are not conducive to fat burning during the day.
#6. Eat plenty of protein: Protein helps stave off hunger pangs, stabilizes blood sugar and facilitates muscle growth. When you exercise, your body needs more protein to help mend and repair muscles.
#7. Engage in safe exercise: If you want to lose weight or just get healthier, incorporate some type of aerobic exercise into your daily routine (walking, swimming, biking) but avoid excessive amounts of aerobics after 3pm as this can drain the body of valuable nutrients which help prevent illness and infections during fasting periods.
#8. Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is always essential to good health but especially so when fasting.
#9. Be patient: Like any new diet, it takes time to establish new eating habits and adjust your lifestyle. It’s perfectly fine to fall off the fasting bandwagon and eat a meal or two during the day. The most important thing is to remain consistent and give the diet a chance – you will be amazed at how your body adapts!
#10. Be open-minded: If you are a religious person, fasting can be an excellent way of reconnecting yourself with God and focusing on those around you while we fast for others who are less fortunate than ourselves, which gives us a renewed appreciation for what we have in life.
#11. Take advantage of the science: There are numerous scientific studies proving the health benefits of intermittent fasting, which is why I feel it is such a powerful tool in our fight to prevent and reverse chronic diseases!
#12. Soak in the rewards: After years of following this diet, I can honestly say I look forward to fasting as part of my daily health regimen. While I wouldn’t recommend it to those who have no intention or desire to eat better for their own good, fasting is a great way for many people to incorporate more nutrient-dense foods into their diets.
#13. Take control of your health: The secret to sustainable weight loss is to take responsibility for better health. There is a plethora of studies proving that becoming more active and healthy can reduce the incidence of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer (check out the links in number 11 for more on that). Fasting helps us get closer to our goal of eventually taking control of our health.
#14. Start the habit: I hope this article resonated with you as much as it did me. We’ve been told for so long that we can’t control our weight and that gaining weight over 50 is an inevitable part of the aging process. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Fasting is a simple and effective way to break bad eating habits and lose weight. I use fasting as a launchpad for getting healthier – an effective first step in making other positive changes in my life as well.
#15. Share this article: If you know someone who could benefit from fasting, please share this article with them! The more people we educate about the benefits of fasting, the better chance we will have of getting others on board to support healthy lifestyles and help prevent chronic disease in our communities.