This is a complete guide to the Ultimate Intermittent Fasting Diet in 2020.
If you’ve been wondering about the meaning of Intermittent Fasting Diet and how to execute the diet plan successfully, you are in the right hands.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know before starting this diet plan. You will also learn about some of the most famous people who love Intermittent Fasting.
Let’s dive straight into the article!
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Do I have to starve myself to the point where I won’t have any energy? Can I eat whatever I want during these 8 hours? Is this the right plan for me?
You have many questions in your mind right now. Don’t worry! We are going to give you all the information you need in this Ultimate Guide.
Let’s start with the definition of this diet.
Intermittent Fasting diet has been around for ages. It is described as the cycle of fasting and eating. Dieters believe that fasting causes weight loss, metabolic health improvement, and life expenditure.
However, do not mislead fasting with starvation!
Starvation is the perpetual absence of food for a long time. This can cause severe suffering or even have a fatal end. Starvation and Fasting have one crucial difference, in terms of control.
Intermittent Fasting is the restraining of food for health, spiritual, or whatever reasons you have.
It’s usually done by someone who isn’t as skinny as a stick and also has enough stored body fat to live off.
Intermittent fasting done correctly shouldn’t lead to suffering, and obviously never death.
Food is easily available all around you. The tricky part is to withhold from eating it.
You can begin or end a fast for any reason or no reason at all. This can vary from a few hours up to a few days or – under medical supervision – even a week or more. You may start a fast at any time of your choosing, and you may stop a fast at your own will.
You have to remember that there are several ways to do intermittent fasting.
Each method can be effective but as you know there aren’t two people on earth who are identical, so it’s is individual.
16/8 Method is probably the most popular one.
This fasting method restricts your eating to only 8-10 hours a day. In other words, you starve for 14-16 hours and then you can have as many meals as you wish. However, you can’t eat for 8 hours straight, can you?
You will probably eat around 2 or 3 times and then starve again for another 14-16 hours. The most popular eating hours are from 2 pm to 8 pm. That means skipping breakfast and dinner for most people.
So, if your last meal is 8 pm, you don’t have to eat until noon the next day, which is technically around 16 hours.
If you are this kind of person that loves to eat breakfast, you may find this approach quite difficult to maintain. On the other hand, breakfast skippers would find this an easy task to accomplish as they are used to it.
Drinking coffee, water, and zero-calories drinks might help you with hunger. Still, be careful with zero-calories products because they contain a lot of added sugar, which may cause several diseases.
The most basic ones are as follows: obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as well as cognitive decline and even some cancers
It is generally prescribed for women to stick to shorter periods of fasting (up to 14-15) because that works better for them.
This fasting plan has been around for decades and it is indeed one of the most popular ways to lose weight and help your overall health. Keep in mind that to lose weight there is a condition. Being in a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume) is what makes you decrease your body fat percentage.
However, just eating less and increasing your daily activity is not what sells books, people have created thousands of different diets. Yet, these diets have one purpose. They make you lose weight by sticking to the condition mentioned above – a calorie deficit.
The second approach to fasting is Alternate-Day fasting.
Now, this method could sound quite intense for beginners, so we don’t recommend you try it if you are just hearing about IF.
In alternate-day fasting, you starve every other day. That means eating normally for one day, then fasting the next day. Yet, I have to stretch that you shouldn’t overeat the day after your fast.
So, you will have fasted for 3 or 4 days a week, which may sound quite scary for you (there is a version of this method, which allows eating up to 500 calories a day in the fasting days).
With that being said, eating 500 calories a day and then eating 3500 calories on the next day is the same as eating 2000 calories every day. At the end of the week, all that matters are calories in versus calories out.
Going to bed very hungry several times a week might sound like not the most pleasant thing in the world and probably not the most sustainable in the long-term.
Keep in mind that this is not for beginners!
The third option for intermittent fasting is the 5:2 diet.
The British journalist Michael Mosley spread this diet and called it “Fast Diet” or 5:2 Diet. The idea behind the diet is quite simple. Eating regularly for 5 days a week and fasting for 2 days (it doesn’t matter what days you fast, just make sure you have 2 days through a week).
On fasting days, you can eat 600 calories if you are a man and 500 calories for the women.
For instance, you can eat normally from Monday to Friday to meet the demanded energy that you use during work, meetings, or university. On the weekend you can eat less.
Nevertheless, many people prefer to keep their calorie intake lower during the workweek and enjoy their weekends. If you are this type of person, you can do the fast on Mondays (for a challenging start of the week) and Thursday for instance.
Pro Tip: On the fast days eat two 250-300 calories meals on lunch and dinner. It is better to skip breakfast because people are way more hungry at night, instead of when they get up. The brain feels fulfilled when you don’t go to bed feeling super hungry.
Our fourth option for your intermittent fast is the method – Eat, stop eat
As the name of this diet method hints, you stop eating for a day or two and make a whole 24-hour fast.
Brad Pilon, a fitness expert has made this approach quite famous over the years.
Basically, you have to hold on 24 hours without putting anything that contains calories in your mouth (you can still drink coffee and zero-calories drinks). If your last meal is around 8 pm, you can eat at 8 pm the next day.
The same principle concerns breakfast. Eating at 8 am, and then eating again at 8 am on the next day. This method can be severe for someone at the beginning, so don’t feel demotivated when you can’t carry on anymore and decide to end the fast.
You can start by doing 15-16 hours fasts and slowly get to the 24 hours goal.
The fifth approach to intermittent fasting can appeal to some of you. It’s called Spontaneous meal skipping.
Like the previous one, the name suggests that the main purpose of this method is to skip some of your meals during the day. For example, if you are too busy to cook or don’t feel hungry at all, you don’t eat. Simple as it sounds.
Skipping breakfast or lunch some days might even benefit you in the long term.
Pro Tip: When I have a lot of work and want to finish everything until 1-2 pm I like to skip breakfast. Being hungry makes me more focused and determined to finish a project of mine or catching a deadline.
You will not lose your muscles and enter starvation mode if you miss a single meal. Remember that if you instinctively skip a meal still try to eat healthily. A lot of people I know skip lunch and after 2 hours they binge on junk food.
Keep your cravings under control by eating healthy meals regularly. I promise you that when you build habits of sticking to whole, not processed foods like:
you won’t feel the need to binge on fast foods or sweets anymore.
Our last approach is the Warrior Diet
Another fitness expert named Ori Hofmekler spread this eating method.
This diet method means eating small amounts of vegetables and fruits during the day and having one big meal at night.
Basically, you fast for the whole day and have a big feast at night for one final meal. This approach is quite similar to the paleo diet because it is principally eating whole, unprocessed foods.
Listen To Your Body
Limiting your eating window doesn’t mean you have to binge. If you follow 16:8 for example, just because you only have eight hours to eat doesn’t mean you should devour in all the food you can for eight hours straight
Make Your Last Meal Balanced and Filling
Before your eating window ends, you want to fuel up on a nutrient-dense, healthy, satisfying meal. Make sure to add high-quality protein, complex carbs, and good fats in your last dish.
Intermittent fasting diet limits when to eat, not what or how much. You should still strive to eat your daily calories during your eating window. Eating too little is as bad as eating too much. So, eat nutrition-dense foods and you will feel awesome.
When we are extremely hungry, we usually eat very fast. Yet, this can lead to stomach pain and bloating. Be smart and enjoy every bite of your meal. Eat slowly, and chew more!
Consume Your Veggies First
Begin your eating window with a large portion of veggies. Fibre will keep you full, so try starting off with a salad for some abundance before moving onto your savory pasta dish, for example.
Have Your First Meal Prepped
Since you’ll likely be rather hungry when you’re eating window opens, having a strategy helps you avoid grabbing the quickest (and maybe not the healthiest) thing you can get your hands on.
Drinking a glass of water immediately after you get up can reduce awareness of hunger and make your day better!
Bottom Line: So, you learned what the intermittent fasting diet plan means and also the 6 different approaches to the diet. Whatever approach you choose, be consistent to see the results. See you in chapter 2 where you will learn why to choose intermittent fasting over other diet plans!
In this Chapter, we will break down all of the reasons why you should follow this diet.
Intermittent Fasting Diet is one of the most popular methods for losing weight and maintaining health.
However, intermittent fasting is also one of the oldest secrets of health. Its ancient history lies in heath benefits if it is done right, including loss of excess weight, treatment of type 2 diabetes and many other things
There have been thousands of research about the advantages of intermittent fasting. These studies have been conflicting and uncertain. Nevertheless, researchers register that fasting can provide many health benefits.
Losing these extra pounds is something so many people want. It is often the reason for many to change their lifestyle by starting a diet.
Intermittent Fasting Diet is one of the easiest ways to do that by simply reducing your overall calorie consumption. It might also help boost your metabolism.
This research from 2017 suggests that intermittent fasting cause greater weight loss and fat loss in men with obesity than proper calorie restriction.
Another review from 2017 noticed very little diversity in weight loss between members who practiced intermittent fasting – in the form of alternate-day fasting instead of 16:8 fasting — and those who reduced their overall calorie intake. The dropout rate was also high among those in the intermittent fasting group.
Contrary, this study from 2016 states that men who followed a 16:8 approach for 8 weeks while training for endurance showed a decrease in fat mass. The participants kept their muscle mass throughout the whole period.
Many supporters of intermittent fasting recommend holding to this diet plan to prevent diseases like:
type 2 diabetes
feeling very thirsty
feeling very tired
passing urine more often than usual, particularly at night
weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
slow to restore cuts or ulcers
common vaginal or penile thrush
It’s a must for diabetes to be diagnosed as soon as possible as it will get progressively worse if left untreated. Having some of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you have diabetes, nevertheless, always consult with a specialist if you have any doubts.
Neurodegenerative diseases are a complex group of disorders that are described by the progressive degeneration of the structure and function of the central nervous system or external nervous system. Common neurodegenerative diseases involve Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
heart conditions such as:
Unsteady angina. Unsteady angina can be undiagnosed chest pain or a sudden worsening of existing angina.
Inherited heart conditions.
Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms)
High blood pressure.
Congenital heart conditions.
Some research hints that fasting helps fight cancer by reducing insulin resistance and levels of inflammation. Some experts also conclude that fasting improves people’s response to chemotherapy because it does the following:
promotes cellular regeneration
protects the blood against the harmful effects of chemotherapy
reduces the impact of side effects, such as fatigue, nausea, headaches, and cramps
While evidence shows that the 16:8 method can be helpful for diabetes prevention, it may not be proper for those who already have the condition.
The 16:8 intermittent fasting diet is not fitting for people with type 1 diabetes. Still, some people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes might be able to try the diet under a doctor’s guidance.
People with diabetes who want to try the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan should always check with their doctor before making changes to their eating manners.
Extended Life Span
The National Institute on Aging shows that, even after years of research, experts still cannot explain why fasting may lengthen life span. As a consequence, they cannot verify the long-term safety of this practice.
Nevertheless, animal studies advise that intermittent fasting may help animals live longer. For instance, one research discovered that short-term repeated fasting increased the lifespan of female mice.
First, there is no such thing as the “best diet” or “better diet”. It is all individual. Though, when you do adhere to intermittent fasting, there aren’t many restrictions for you.
Don’t get me crazy now. You can still enjoy your favorite meals when you follow the warrior diet, for instance.
Yet, fasting doesn’t give you a free permit to eat whatever you want. If you are not overstepping your daily calories everything should be okay and you are still going to lose weight but stick to the healthy, nutritious foods most of the time.
Keep in mind that the dose makes the poison, as I love to say.
Bottom Line: You know the basics of intermittent fasting and you know all the benefits of the meal plan. In chapter 3, you will learn how to safely make the transition into fasting. Keep reading to find out more!
You have decided that you want to follow this plan. You don’t know how to make the switch.
In this Chapter, we are going to give you the basics of starting the change and adapting to it.
Be aware that every beginning is tough. However, with the essential knowledge in this chapter, you will be more ready than ever for making the change.
Making a major change in your life can be a tough task. On the other hand, everything that is outside our comfort zone makes us grow. So, tighten your belt and make your dreams come true!
How do I start intermittent fasting? How do I go from a person with bad eating habits to a dedicated person who wants to change? The answer is simple. Don’t overthink, just do it!
Our advice here is to start small. Each habit takes approximately 66 days to form, so don’t rush the process. Enjoy it! Start with the 16/8 approach, as it is the easiest in the beginning. For example, you eat at 8 pm dinner time and the next day just skip breakfast.
You will have around 6 hours (without the hours you sleep) until your next meal, which will be around 2 pm. As you see it is not so difficult now. The 16 hours fast is down to only 6.
As you made the first step and started fasting, you can progress the hours you are not eating food. Slowly go from 16 to 18-19-20 and then 24 hours fasts. You will see how it becomes easier for you with every new day.
Consistency is key when you start something new. If you stay dedicated and trust the process you will see the fruits of your effort. The motivation to change is what makes you start but consistency is what makes you stay.
It can be challenging to stick to an intermittent fasting program. For this reason, we will give you a couple of tips for maximizing your benefits and staying on track.
Do not hesitate and postpone your start! If you wait for the perfect moment, it won’t come. The perfect time to start is now, so go and turn the wonderful life you deserve into reality!
Bottom Line: You learned that you need to take baby steps to your road to change. However, you don’t know whether intermittent fasting diet is the right plan for you. No worries! We got you covered in chapter 4 where you will learn all pros and cons of the diet.
You are ready to make the switch but you are not sure whether this plan is the right for you.
In Chapter 4 you will learn all pros and cons of the diet and decide for yourself whether to start it or not.
Keep in mind that we want to make things crystal clear for you, so you won’t be having troubles making the choice.
Grab an apple and keep reading!
When starting something I usually make a list with all the positives and negatives. Whether it will be a new business, a holiday, or a diet, having a clear picture of what you do is important. For this reason, we have prepared a list for you with all pros and cons of intermittent fasting to make your choice easier!
We covered some of the benefits of intermittent fasting in chapter 2 like weight loss, disease prevention, and extended life span. But don’t you worry! There are more benefits than you imagine.
Imagine a cougar or wolf that hasn’t been able to track and kill prey for a week. Clearly, it’s important that their brain and body are able to function well in that fasted state.
The brain and body actually work better during fasting. In the case of the brain, cognitive function, learning, memory, and sharpness are all enhanced by fasting.
This is one of the well-known benefits of intermittent fasting. Studies have investigated the powerful effects of this time-restricted diet on cognitive production (such as memory). Intermittent fasting has been found to be beneficial mainly for athletes whether they are training or at rest. A 2017 systematic survey found that weight loss, in general, is associated with alterations in cognitive function.
It’s Easy To Stick To
This eating pattern is easily performed and for those who like routine, it can be stuck to fairly easily. For some people, it might be effortless to include in your current routine. For instance, did you know that the common “Time-restricted feeding” type of Intermittent Fasting is often unintentionally followed by those who skip breakfast and do not eat after an early dinner each day?
Decreased Fat-Free Mass
Diets that constantly restrict calories, reduce body fat, but ALSO Fat-Free Mass (FFM). Fat-Free Mass is primarily everything other than fat. This is no good because that means you are losing lean muscle mass.
However, researches have shown that with sufficient protein intake and resistance training, Intermittent Fasting may help to retain fat mass while RETAINING MORE of their lean mass (aka. our fat-burning lean muscle!) related to daily calorie restriction-type of diets.
These results are not proven in long term investigations. You may also be thinking: wouldn’t it be tough to exercise on fasting days. You may be right!
Also, Intermittent Fasting may help improve the symptoms of people with asthma. It may help by decreasing airway resistance, oxidative stress, and inflammation.
On top of that, researchers found improvements in insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis. In a 2017 systematic survey, a few studies were able to report a decrease in the percentage of body fat and HbA1C compared to a continuous energy restriction diet.
In addition, an Intermittent Fasting diet causes vital DECREASES in total cholesterol and LDL. Also a reduction in blood pressure and triglyceride levels. These are all important for limiting and reducing the risk of various diseases – prominently, cardiovascular disease (in normal weight, overweight and obese individuals).
These are the health benefits of intermittent fasting. Now, let’s take a look into the cons you have to know!
Without having a clear picture of the cons of a diet, you cannot make a rational choice. Let’s delve deeper into some of the cons of intermittent fasting.
You may encounter digestion problems when you eat large amounts of food in a short amount of time. Larger amounts of food translate to more time needed to absorb. This can lead to extra stress on your GI tract, leading to indigestion and bloating.
This can have large connections for those with IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome). They already have a more sensitive gut, inflammation of the GI (digestive tract), and disturbed bowel movements. Consequently, they are more receptive to cramping, abdominal pain, and bloating.
Mainly with IBS, you may already have difficulty obtaining all your nutritional requirements due to the annoying symptoms that come along with it. That’s why people with digestive issues are advised to eat at regular times, take time when eating, and not skip meals in order to have regular bowel functions.
So, if you are a person who has IBS, you may find it challenging to stick to intermittent fasting.
Intermittent Fasting Isn’t For Everyone
If you have a medical condition, it is best to stay away from this type of fasting. For example, people with diabetes or hypoglycemia need glucose throughout the day, and going without can have critical effects.
If you are one of those people who feel sick or just don’t feel great going too long without eating, Intermittent Fasting may not be your diet plan.
It’s also essential to note that if you have ever had a past of an eating disorder – Intermittent Fasting is definitely not for you.
Since Intermittent Fasting causes you to eat more food in a short amount of time, it may increase potential disordered eating patterns such as a “binge-eating” mentality.
This could lead to eating more food than your body can handle, or a “limiting” mindset to become skinnier. This will definitely have opposite effects on your relationship with food and your body’s physical health.
A 2016 review found that some Intermittent Fasting dieters felt a preoccupation with food. This could be a serious click for individuals with a history of disordered eating.
Long-Term Health Consequences (Especially For Women)
There’s a real risk of nutrient deficiencies, electrolyte abnormalities, and fertility and reproductive issues in women as fasting restricts energy and protein.
On top of that, women typically eat less protein contrasted to men, and fast women, even less. Low protein consumption means fewer amino acids that are needed to stimulate estrogen receptors and produce IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor).
IGF-1 is accountable for triggering the lining of the uterine wall to thicken and begin the reproductive cycle process. Since estrogen receptors are found throughout our bodies (such as our GI tract, bones, and even brain), changed estrogen balance will change metabolic activity everywhere in your body. This includes absorption, protein turnover, bone formation, recovery, growth, cognition, and mood.
Intermittent Fasting may be linked to menstruation, fertility, metabolism disruptions, and early menopause in women. According to animal studies, fasting led to decreases in body weight, blood glucose levels, and more shockingly, reduced ovary size – significantly impacting fertility.
In fact, this is because fasting interferes with hormone levels of LH (luteinizing hormone), estradiol, and ghrelin, which impacts appetite-regulation.
In a 2017 survey concerning normal weight, normal cycling women found that three back-to-back days of a total fast during the mid-follicular phases affected the luteinizing hormone. Nevertheless, it did not interfere with follicle increase or menstrual cycle length.
Another study in this review showed that obese and overweight women proclaimed longer average menstrual cycle length following Intermittent Fasting for six months as opposed to the continuous energy restriction group. Experts from this study considered the need for further study, particularly which include longer periods of energy restriction.
Every Meal Becomes A Binge Fiesta
Some people may take the “Feasting” periods as an excuse to eat more calories than they really need. When you’re hungry, or you predict a period of fasting coming up, it can be very tempting to go hog wild at the first sight of food.
If the fasting element in Intermittent Fasting were to produce some sort of caloric deficit, it’s very possible that the feasting period easily undoes it.
Let’s also remember that the foods we choose to eat can have a significant impact on our health. This binging strategy of the diet recalls me of the It Fits Your Macros diet (IIFYM). This diet focuses mainly on how much calories and not the type of calories you consume.
Low Energy & Severe Hunger
When starting fasting you may discover that there is a spot where you don’t have any energy and are super hungry. In chapter 3 we learned that you have to get out your comfort zone, remember?
Instead of concentrating on the foods you cannot consume until “X” am/pm, extract the positives of the situation.
These were the cons of the diet. Now, we will give you an extra 7 useful tips for intermittent fasting.
Stay off Social Media!
Social media these days is something so cool, or is it?. Instead of sending a raven, like in the past, you can chat with a person on the other side of the earth with just one click. But everything has a price.
By looking at the “perfect life” of others, you may find yourself depressed and anxious about the “not so good life” that you have. You can also scroll through the feeds of many friends that post delicious meals and recipes and experience severe hunger.
Pro Tip: When I set up a timer for all social media (20 minutes) my productivity went up to the sky! When you remove a distraction like all social media, you may find yourself with more free time to put into something productive.
Eat Higher Fat, Carb-Rich Meals At Night
It sounds counterproductive, but if you can’t give up carbs entirely, have them at night, in comparison to earlier. This is for two reasons:
Firstly, it’ll increase your blood glucose levels at night, which will take some time to fall provided you’re adding in protein and fat. So, when your blood sugar levels finally fall, you’ll be asleep.
Second, having carbs really increases the production of serotonin (the satisfaction hormone) in your body, so you’ll feel great after your meal, and won’t feel the need for more food.
Brush Your Teeth Immediately After Dinner
By giving yourself those kinds of bedtime hints after you eat, you’re telling your body there’s no more food coming. Make sure you stay as far away from the kitchen as possible so that you don’t get warned of food once you’ve named your time to stop eating.
Keep Yourself Distracted
To get yourself to stop thinking about food, I recommend a good distraction. A favorite book or a movie can make you stop dreaming about delicious meals. Keeping yourself satisfied by reading at night is the way to go!
Make Your Mornings Busy
If you are just starting with IF and you are used to having breakfast shortly after you get up, it is a good idea to keep yourself busy. By planning meetings and getting out of the house, you will distract yourself and push the breakfast for later or fully remove it.
Stick To One Fasting Method
Intermittent fasting is really hard for a lot of people. So, why keep disturbing your body? Alternately, give yourself hard and fast times concerning when you’ll start and stop eating every day, no matter what.
Reprogram your brain and body to one approach and stick to it too see the results!
Do Not Give Up
Give yourself a word of encouragement every time when you are willing to give up. Everything comes to willpower at some point. Helping yourself and pushing through those tough fasting periods, either early in the morning or late at night is a thing to keep in mind.
So, we covered all pros and cons of intermittent fasting. See you in the next chapter where we will learn the best way to lose weight when fasting.
Bottom Line: We covered all pros and cons of intermittent fasting. See you in the next chapter where we will learn the best way to lose weight when fasting.
You already know that losing weight is only possible if you meet one criteria. Being in a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you eat) should be your primary concern. So, keep in mind that if you don’t compensate your fasting window with large portions of food, your weight loss is guaranteed.
Losing weight can be an easy task for you if you learn what you put in your mouth. For this reason, you have to track your calories. By doing this “annoying” task you create valuable habits.
Keeping track of the macronutrients (protein, carb, fat) that you consume will make your goal easier. Trust me, when I started doing that I created healthy habits that will last for life.
The average person consumes around 2000 calories a day. These calories are the energy the average person needs to function. Guess what happens when you start counting your food. By getting knowledgeable of this topic your life becomes easier.
The next time you go eat out with friends, you won’t feel bad about the food choices you’ve made that night. You will know how many calories you have consumed. Tracking your calories and combining it with intermittent fasting is a strong merge.
But you are wondering right now.
You don’t! Everything can be learned. How long will it take you to learn? I’d say around 2-3 months.
In fact, people believe it is a waste of time, and that concentrating on healthy whole foods is a much better way to stay slim. Yet, we’re clearly missing the sign on our ideal caloric intake. Furthermore, people are eating way more calories than they need. For this reason, trying something new, wouldn’t hurt, would it?
There are special applications for that purpose. The one I personally use is “MyFitnessPal”. With this simple app, you can scan the barcodes of your favorite foods and it automatically gives you the value of the food. Calories, micro, and macronutrients. Everything is included.
Pro Tip: Use our calorie calculator to figure out exactly how many calories you should consume to reach your goal.
If you still don’t want to track your calories and think it’s a waste of time, don’t worry! There is nothing like the mandatory thing for weight loss. Also, the Intermittent fasting diet makes eating healthy simpler.
For sure, it is. The best thing about fasting is its simplicity. The best diet for you is the one you can stick to the longest. By sticking to the 16/8 method you are having 2 meals a day, which is beneficial for you.
Despite the fact this eating plan might sound simple, there are a couple of things you have to keep in mind.
Patience: It can take your body some time to accustom to an intermittent fasting protocol. Try to be consistent with your meal plan and it will get easier.
Calories: Calories still count. Try to eat “normally” throughout the non-fasting periods, not so much that you recompense for the calories you missed by fasting.
Food quality: The foods you eat are still important. Try to eat mainly whole, single-ingredient foods.
Consistency: Same as with any other weight-loss system, you need to stick with it for a long period of time if you want it to work.
Keep in mind that strength training is important if you want to sustain your muscle mass during weight loss. We are going to cover this topic later in the guide.
Bottom Line: With intermittent fasting diet, you can lose weight if you maintain a healthy life and stay in a calorie deficit. Being consistent is absolutely crucial and strength training is important. Counting calories is not required but you can’t get wrong if you try it.
See you in the next chapter where you will get a fundamental shopping list for your needs when doing intermittent fasting.
You are wondering what foods should you feel your cart with on your next trip to the grocery shop. From now on, you won’t have to wonder. Keep this detailed list in your pocket and you won’t be facing any trouble making the right choice.
They may contain more calories than many other snacks, however, nuts contain something that most junk food doesn’t – good fat (good fats are all polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats). A study infers that polyunsaturated fat in walnuts can actually adjust the physiological markers for hunger and satiety.
And if you’re worried about calories, don’t be! A 2012 study discovered that a one-ounce serving of almonds (about 23 nuts) has 20 percent fewer calories than listed on the label. Fundamentally, the chewing process does not completely break down the almond cell walls, leaving a portion of the nut unimpaired and unabsorbed during digestion.
Even though you aren’t eating, it’s important to stay hydrated for so many purposes, like the health of basically every important organ in your body. The amount of water that any one person should drink ranges. Yet, 8 glasses of water should be enough if you are not the typical workout junkie like me.
Another sign that you are dehydrated is the color of your urine. You want your urine to be a pale yellow color at all times. Dark yellow urine means dehydration, which can cause headaches, fatigue, and lightheadedness.
Couple that with limited food, and it could be a recipe for a catastrophe. If the thought of plain water doesn’t inspire you, add a squeeze of lemon juice, a few mint leaves, or cucumber slices to your water. It’ll be our little secret.
Being on a diet and eating carbs seem like they belong in two separate buckets, but not always! Whole grains are rich in fiber and protein, so eating a little goes a long way in keeping you full.
Nevertheless, research recommends that eating whole grains rather than refined grains can actually rev up your metabolism. So go ahead and eat your whole grains and exit your comfort zone to try ancient grains like:
My personal favorite. It might sound counterintuitive to eat the highest calorie fruit while trying to lose weight, but the monounsaturated fat in avocado is very satiating. This research even found that adding a half of an avocado to your lunch may keep you full for hours longer than if you didn’t eat the green fruit. It won’t take long until avocado also becomes your personal favorite.
One large egg has six grams of protein and is done in minutes. Getting as much protein as possible is important for keeping full and building muscle. One study found that men who ate an egg breakfast instead of a bagel were less hungry and ate less during the day. In other words, when you’re looking for something to do during your fasting period, why not cook some scrambled eggs?
There’s a reason the Dietary Guidelines advise eating at least eight ounces of fish per week. Not only is it rich in healthy fats and protein, but it also comes with big amounts of vitamin D. And if you’re only eating a limited amount of food during the day, don’t you want one that gives more nutrient-bang for your buck? Not to mention that limiting your calorie intake may mess with your cognition, and fish has often been examined as “brain food.”
Your favorite smoothie addition is enriched with vital nutrients. Strawberries are a great spring of immune-boosting vitamin C, with more than 100 percent of the daily value in one cup. And that’s not even the best part – a recent examination showed that people who consumed a diet rich in flavonoids, like those in blueberries and strawberries, had smaller improvements in BMI over a 14-year period than those who did not eat berries.
Foods like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are all rich in the f-word fiber (you haven’t thought of something else, have you?).
When you’re eating erratically, it’s important to eat fiber-rich foods that will keep you consistent and prevent illness. Fiber also has the capacity to make you feel full, which is something you might want if you can’t eat again for 16 hours.
Your favorite extension to chili might be your best friend on the Intermittent fasting lifestyle. Food, particularly carbs, stores energy for activity. While we’re not telling you to load with carbs, it surely wouldn’t hurt to throw some low-calorie carbs, like beans and legumes, into your eating plan.
On top of that, foods like chickpeas, black beans, peas, and lentils have been shown to decrease body weight.
Potatoes are certainly one of the most satiating foods that exist. The fullness we feel after eating sweet or normal potatoes comes from their high-fiber content. This study found that eating potatoes as part of a healthy diet could help with weight loss. Yet, potato chips don’t count. Sorry, french fries lovers!
You have a bunch of foods to feel your cart with now. You won’t feel hungry anymore with these awesome foods. However, if you are still facing problems with satiety, take a look at these bonus tips for suppressing hunger.
Watch Less TV:
When you are watching TV, thousands of ads with delicious food bump in front of your eyes. You see the wonderful meals on TV and you are instantly getting hungry.
Drink More Water
Do not mislead being hungry with being thirsty. If you feel like you are getting hungry, just drink 2 glasses of water and you will feel much better.
Eat High-Fiber Foods
As you already know high-fiber foods make you more satiated and keep your hunger levels at steady levels. Foods with high-fiber content are:
Drink Herbal Teas Or Black Coffee
These drinks may have appetite-suppressing effects.
Bottom Line: We covered most of the foods you should consume when following the fasting diet. You are probably wondering whether you will be able to work out when being on this diet plan. Don’t worry! We got you covered in the next chapter where we will discuss in detail everything about intermittent fasting and training.
We are going to cover almost everything for strength training and cardio in this chapter. Fitness has become a general trend these days. Having a good-looking body and maintaining health in general, in my opinion, is something people should care about. If you are the typical workout junkie like me, you will find this chapter useful.
Think for a moment. To build muscle mass you have to be in a calorie surplus. This is just the opposite of calorie deficit, meaning you have to eat more than you burn. So, if you are a fan of the 16/8 eating window you assume that you’ll have to eat a big amount of food during these 8 hours.
If you don’t have problems consuming large portions of food during small periods of time, intermittent fasting can work for you. However, if you are not a fan of eating tons of food on one sitting (low appetite, or hard-gainer) I recommend you fast as short as you can.
We all know a person who has trouble gaining weight. For these people IF might not be the best option when building muscle.
Yet, if you are a person who wants to lose weight IF can be your biggest friend. I personally use intermittent fasting when cutting weight. Fasting in the morning keeps me more focused and aware when I do almost all of my work.
Until my first meal, which will be around 1-2 I train my brain with reading, meditating, and working. Then, I would have 2 normal meals and then I would go to the gym. After my workout is finished I would have my biggest meal of the day. High-carb, high-protein, and medium fat are what I strive for.
Having a high-carb last meal of the day makes you more satiated on the next day. So, you won’t be having problems not eating anything until noon.
You have presumably wondered if you should do your cardio on an empty stomach or after your workout?
Social media is full of individuals who will tell you that the best cardio session you can get is 5 am in the morning. However, this can be only half true.
Keep in mind that a positive while fasting is that your stored carbohydrates – known as glycogen – are most likely depleted, so you’ll be burning more fat to fuel your workout. Though, studies on this are small and countered by studies assuming that you don’t burn more fat when you work out on an empty stomach.
Furthermore, doing fasted cardio at 5 am or 9 am doesn’t have a difference at all. In the first plot, you will most probably feel tired because of the short amount of sleep you got, and your motivation will disappear.
Of course, if getting up early is your thing, there is nothing wrong with training right after you wake up. Some people find fasted cardio the ultimate boost of their day others find it the most terrifying decision they have ever made. Our advice here is to try and see what works for you.
That’s something that never worked for me. I’ve tried it a couple of times and I failed hard for several reasons:
Long Time Until Your First Meal
If you work out early in the morning you will have 4-5 hours until your first meal. Not eating for four hours after your workout will make your recovery impossible, not to mention drain you completely of any remaining energy. This will always cause a miserable few hours until you get your first meal in.
The point here is to be careful of how you execute any fasting protocol and to make sure it can positively mix with other aspects of your life.
Low Energy During Workout
You haven’t eaten anything for around 12 hours. Even if you have eaten a high-carb meal the previous day, you still won’t have saved enough glycogen to get through a whole strength workout.
Working out on an empty stomach may also cause your body to use protein as fuel. This leaves your body with less protein, which is essential to building and repairing muscles after exercise.
Additionally, using fat as energy doesn’t certainly mean that you’re going to lower your overall body fat percentage or burn more calories.
Feeling Nauseous Or Shaky
While there’s some research to support working out on an empty stomach, it doesn’t fundamentally mean that it’s ideal. When you train on an empty stomach, you may burn valuable energy sources and have less endurance.
Low blood glucose levels may also leave you feeling lightheaded, nauseous, or shaky. Another chance is that your body will adapt to constantly using fat reserves for energy, and start to store more fat than usual.
The most important advice here when exercising during IF is to listen to your body. If you start to feel weak or dizzy, odds are you’re experiencing low blood sugar or are dehydrated.
To sum up, we encourage you to train in the late afternoon or at night. If this is not possible, you can adjust your fasting program to a 9 am – 5 pm, instead of 2 pm – 8 pm. Listen to what your body tells you and see how you feel.
Bottom Line: We covered most of the information about workouts and intermittent fasting diet. You learned that if you train on an empty stomach you may experience low energy and nauseousness. In the next chapter, we will see what celebrities say about this diet plan.
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The world-famous American television host lost 25 pounds by being on the intermittent fasting diet plan. He found the 5:2 method of IF. He doesn’t make any sacrifices for five days a week and then eats less than 500 calories on two other days.
On Monday and Tuesday — the days that Jimmy restrains his diet — he drinks coffee and eats pickles, egg whites, apples, peanut butter, and oatmeal. One thing’s for sure: Kimmel’s food obsession has persevered although his crazy diet.
In the last year, though, he turned the focus away from his own health and to his son Billy’s. Billy was born with a severe heart condition, urging Kimmel to pay more attention to children’s healthcare. It’s obvious that his kids – Billy, Jane, Kevin, and Katie – are his motivation to stay slim.
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Hugh Jackman is between the most well-known of intermittent fasting’s early fans. When shooting his first X-Men film in 2000, Jackman says he had no idea how to eat or train.
He jokingly describes the story of filming X-Men’s shirtless scenes, held for the very end of the shoot, at the request of a director who thought he needed more time to diet.
Over 10 years later Hugh Jackman blames intermittent fasting for the muscular physique he presented in 2013’s hit, The Wolverine. Older, yet stronger and slimmer, Jackman showed up on set ready to rumble.
The Wolverine used the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting to achieve his physique.
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Not only did the Black Widow do fundamental compound lifts like deadlift, military presses, and pull-ups to get in shape for “Avengers: Infinity War”. She also had her diet on point. Her coach Eric Johnson tells how she managed to eat through the preparation for her role.
To fuel her fitness, Johnson used a concept called carb-cycling, which, in its simplest form, typically means altering the number of carbs you’re consuming on any given day depending on how much and what type of workout you’re doing, and also how much energy your body requires.
“She cycled through days of high carbohydrates and low-fat consumption, versus low carbohydrates, and higher fat while maintaining protein intake,” Johnson explained.
Johansson also ate in a time-restricted window, which kept her fasting window at 12 hours minimum, sometimes increasing it to 14 or 15 hours.
None of this was a quick fix program for Johansson, nevertheless- it took time to build her strength and fitness, and Johnson adds she followed this training regime and lifestyle for “a year or so.”
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The 39-year-old “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor is pretty new to the fasting process but declares he has already obtained benefits in the form of weight loss.
“So I’m doing this intermittent fasting thing; don’t eat till noon, try to get my cardio in in the morning. It’s super exciting actor stuff,” Pratt explained during an Instagram story.
He then inspired his followers to do some research about intermittent fasting, as he is happy with his progress. “Look it up! Check it out! It’s actually kinda cool,” he added. “Works pretty good and I’ve lost a little weight so far.”
He told that his first featured “snack” this time around was the aforementioned black coffee, which he topped off with oat milk. “I can have black coffee on the intermittent fasting,” he explained.