Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them. In this respect, it’s not a diet in the conventional sense but more accurately described as an eating pattern.
How do you do intermittent fasting?
- The 16/8 Method: Fast for 16 hours each day.
- The 5:2 diet: Fast for 2 days per week.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: Do a 24-hour fast, once or twice a week.
- Alternate-day fasting: Fast every other day.
- The Warrior Diet: Fast during the day, eat a huge meal at night.
How to do it?
The easiest way to follow the 16:8 diet is to choose a 16-hour fasting window that includes the time that a person spends sleeping. Some experts advise finishing food consumption in the early evening, as metabolism slows down after this time. However, this is not feasible for everyone. Some people may not be able to consume their evening meal until 7 p.m. or later. Even so, it is best to avoid food for 2–3 hours before bed.
People may choose one of the following 8-hour eating windows:
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- noon to 8 p.m.
Within this time frame, people can eat their meals and snacks at convenient times. Eating regularly is important to prevent blood sugar peaks and dips and to avoid excessive hunger. Some people may need to experiment to find the best eating window and mealtimes for their lifestyle.
What Can You Drink During Intermittent Fasting?
You can definitely drink water during your fasting windows. Water is always a great choice, all day long, every day. It can be still or sparkling, whatever you enjoy. If you prefer lemon water, you can also add a squeeze of lemon (or lime) to your water. For other fun flavor variations, try infusing a pitcher of water with cucumber or orange slices. But make sure you stay away from any artificially-sweetened water enhancers.
Black coffee is a calorie-free beverage that doesn’t affect insulin levels. You can drink regular coffee (caffeinated) or decaf coffee during fasting windows, just don’t add any sweetener or milk. Spices like cinnamon are totally fine. Many coffee-drinkers enjoy a cup of Joe, or even espresso, during fasting windows with no adverse effects. But some people experience a racing heart or upset stomach if they drink coffee during fasting windows, so monitor your own experience.
3. Bone Broth
Bone broth or vegetable broth is recommended for any time you decide to fast for 24 hours or more. Beware of canned broths or bouillon cubes! These have tons of artificial flavors and preservatives that will counteract the effects of your fast. A good homemade broth, or one made by a trusted source, is the way to go.
Help increase your satiety naturally with tea! It just might be the secret weapon that, not only makes your fasting plan easier but also more successful. All types of tea are great to drink during a fast, including green, black, Oolong tea and herbal teas. Tea boosts the effectiveness of intermittent fasting by supporting gut health, probiotic balance, and cellular health.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking apple cider vinegar has numerous health benefits, and you can definitely continue drinking it while intermittent fasting, even during fasting windows. And since ACV helps to support healthy blood sugar and digestion, it may even enhance the effects of your intermittent fasting plan. source by blog.piquetea.com
How much weight can I lose with intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting was found to reduce body weight by 3-8% over a period of 3-24 weeks (2). When examining the rate of weight loss, people lost about 0.55 pounds (0.25 kg) per week with intermittent fasting, but 1.65 pounds (0.75 kg) per week with alternate-day fasting (2).
Why does intermittent fasting work?
Intermittent fasting is an effective tool to lose weight. It can help you eat fewer calories and optimize numerous hormones related to fat loss. Intermittent fasting is an effective way to lose weight and improve health. Studies show that it can help you lose weight, improve health and perhaps even live longer.
While the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan does not specify which foods to eat and avoid, it is beneficial to focus on healthful eating and to limit or avoid junk foods. The consumption of too much unhealthful food may cause weight gain and contribute to disease. A balanced diet focuses primarily on:
- fruits and vegetables, which can be fresh, frozen, or canned (in water)
- whole grains, including quinoa, brown rice, oats, and barley
- lean protein sources, such as poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, low fat cottage cheese, and eggs
- healthful fats from fatty fish, olives, olive oil, coconuts, avocados, nuts, and seeds
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are high in fiber, so they can help keep a person feeling full and satisfied. Healthful fats and proteins can also contribute to satiety.
Beverages can play a role in satiety for those following the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet. Drinking water regularly throughout the day can help reduce calorie intake because people often mistake thirst for hunger. The 16:8 diet plan permits the consumption of calorie-free drinks such as water and unsweetened tea and coffee during the 16-hour fasting window. It is important to consume fluids regularly to avoid dehydration.
People may find it easier to stick to the 16:8 diet when they follow these tips:
- drinking cinnamon herbal tea during the fasting period, as it may suppress the appetite
- consuming water regularly throughout the day
- watching less television to reduce exposure to images of food, which may stimulate a sense of hunger
- exercising just before or during the eating window, as exercise can trigger hunger
- practicing mindful eating when consuming meals
- trying meditation during the fasting period to allow hunger pangs to pass. source by medicalnewstoday.com
Styles of Intermittent Fasting
Here are brief descriptions of some of the more common styles of intermittent fasting:
- Fast for a set number of hours each day: You have a window of time during which you eat, and you then fast for the remainder of the day. The number of hours fasted is unique to each individual.
- Alternate-Day Fasting: Alternate-day fasting allows you to eat normally on non-fast days, but you then restrict the number of calories consumed on fast days to around 25% of your usual intake.1,3 Normal caloric intake ranges anywhere from 1,600 to 2,400 for women and from 2,000 to 3,000 for men depending on age and level of physical activity.
- The 5:2 Plan: The 5:2 plan is similar to alternate-day fasting. On five days of the week, you eat normally. On the other two days of the week, you restrict the number of calories consumed to around 500–600. Fast days should not be consecutive days.
- Weekly 24-Hour Fast: With this style, you eat normally six days out of the week but fast completely during a 24-hour period. This style can be very difficult to maintain since it requires consuming only liquids for 24 hours straight.