Tired, bloated, out of shape, and out of control. Does this sound like you? When you enter into the constant busyness of life, it’s easy to forget to tune into what your body needs and what it’s been lacking. I know from personal experience that this can seem like just one more thing to add to your to-do list. However, I also know that self-care actually keeps you properly filled to tackle the ongoing demands of life. Therefore these intermittent fasting guidelines will help you to do that.
Intermittent fasting is one effective way to do just that, it’s been taking the world by storm. Because of this, it can be easily mistaken as just another fad. However, there is a solid and growing body of scientific research showing that it’s a transformative approach to reboot your body and overall well-being. Which is why today’s lesson is a beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting.
Table of Contents
- What Does Intermittent Fasting Mean?
- Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Women and Men.
- What is the 5 2 Diet?
- What Can You Eat on Intermittent Fasting 5/2?
- Can I Drink Water During Intermittent Fasting?
- Who Should Avoid the Intermittent Fasting Overall?
- What is the 16 8 Diet?
- How to Begin Intermittent Fasting 16/8?
- Best Way to Start Intermittent Fasting 16/8.
- Food to Eat During Intermittent Fasting.
- Can You Drink Alcohol on Intermittent Fasting?
- How Does Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?
- When to Workout When Intermittent Fasting?
- How Long Should I Do Intermittent Fasting?
- Is Intermittent Fasting Good for Diabetics?
What Does Intermittent Fasting Mean?
Intermittent fasting is not about trying to achieve drastic unhealthy weight loss. It’s not about alternating between starving yourself and binging on foods. Because this is a fast way to stay and improve your physical and mental health. It’s an overarching term for eating plans that include particular cycles of fasting & not fasting within a specific period.
As such, it isn’t so much a diet as it is a strategic eating schedule that can be used to boost metabolism, immunity and energy levels without imposing drastic restrictions on the content of what you are eating.
Sounds pretty good right? Intermittent fasting puts the main focus on when you eat. Some popular IF methods include only eating during an 8-hour window each day. Fasting for up to 36 hours at a time and fasting only 2 days a week, the 5/2 method. Proponents today are firming that intermittent fasting is a great way to get your health and your life back on track.
Fasting puts the body under mild pressure, similar to exercise that helps you fight disease and boost the immune system, according to Roger Collier in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Besides, according to senior researchers from the National Institute on Aging, Mark Matson explained that intermittent fasting helps you burn fat faster and even slow down the aging process. Also helps reduce symptoms of inflammation and risk of diabetes.
In addition to speeding up your metabolism and increasing muscle mass, periodic fasting can even reduce your overall stress level and make you less irritable and tense.
It’s time for action, as I mentioned there are various ways you could go about doing intermittent fasting. But you’re going to start with a 5/2 method because it’s one of the simplest plans for beginners. The 5/2 method means you eat a regular amount of healthy food for 5 days of the week and reduce your eating window to just 8 hours on the other two days. So you’ll be fasting for 16 hours on both those days.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Women and Men.
All types of intermittent fasting have good benefits. Many studies show that they have strong benefits for your body. The following are some of the potential benefits that you can get when you do intermittent fasting.
- Helps to lose weight and belly fat.
- Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Improve sleep quality, reduce stress and inflammation in the body.
- Benefit for heart health and prevent cancer
- Good for the brain and makes you live longer.
- Improve your eating habits and increase immunity.
- Delay aging and nourish your skin.
What is the 5 2 Diet?
Diet 5/2 is a form of intermittent fasting that requires activists to eat about 25% of the recommended daily calorie requirement of around 500 per day for women and 600 calories for men on a scheduled 2-day fast. Then they eat normally without the need to think about calorie restriction on the other 5 days of the week.
But this does not mean to make you free to eat anything. If your goal is to lose weight then you eat “junk food”, you might gain weight. So what to do on a normal day is to eat healthy foods with the same amount of food as if you were not fasting.
You can choose the day of the week that allows you to fast. Usually, they intersperse their fasting like on Monday and Thursday.
What Can You Eat on Intermittent Fasting 5/2?
There are no rules that define food that must be eaten in this method. Basically, you can eat anything as long as it remains within the calorie limit. When fasting, usually people will eat 3 times a day and eat low-calorie foods such as vegetables, fish, eggs, and lean meat. All you have to do is track your calorie intake because this diet method does not have an official list of foods and recipes.
If you feel hungry in the early days of fasting, that’s normal. Your body will weaken and slow down than usual. But don’t worry, the feeling will quickly disappear, especially if you try to stay busy with your activities.
Can I Drink Water During Intermittent Fasting?
Don’t worry, it sounds harder than it is. For most of those fasting hours, you’ll be asleep. You can also drink tea, black coffee, and as much water as you like while you fast. Hydration is key!
Who Should Avoid the Intermittent Fasting Overall?
Although it is very safe for healthy people, you must still be careful to do any fasting or diet method. If side effects occur, stop immediately! Below are some groups of people who should avoid intermittent fasting or dietary restrictions.
- Have a history of eating disorders.
- Have a history of reducing blood sugar.
- Pregnant women and nursing mothers.
- Women who have fertility problems and are trying to get pregnant.
- Teenagers or children who have type 1 diabetes.
- People who are underweight or malnourished.
Besides the 5/2 method, there is one type of intermittent fasting that is most popular and is no less useful. This is 16/8!
What is the 16 8 Diet?
Intermittent fasting 16/8 is fasting for 16 hours followed by an 8-hour eating window where I eat all the calories you need for the day. So recently intermittent fasting has been increasingly popular and for a very good reason because it works.
If you’re interested in the benefits of intermittent fasting and you want to implement intermittent fasting into your life right away, you might want to continue reading these articles because I’m going to show you the easiest way they can start implementing intermittent fasting into your life.
How to Begin Intermittent Fasting 16/8?
I know for someone who has not tried fasting for 16 hours is crazy ridiculous and almost impossible, but if it’s any comfort is not. If you arrange the guidelines correctly, intermittent fasting for 16 hours is pretty easy. So, you want to start your fast at 8 pm to the next day at 12 pm. Why? Because you gonna go inside your 16 hours fast with your sleep.
Let’s say you wake up at 8 am. Then you’re already fasted for 12 hours in your left for 4 hours to complete your fast and you can eat at 12 pm. Really, the hard part is just from 8 am to 12 pm If you’re the kind of person who sleeps longer to like 10 or 11 am, even better news for you.
Best Way to Start Intermittent Fasting 16/8.
The real challenge lies in the 3 to 4 hours of a week till lunchtime. If you don’t have the habit of eating breakfast this is gonna be easy for you because it naturally won’t feel hungry during this period from 8 am to 12 pm. If you do have the habit of eating breakfast it becomes a little trickier. But don’t worry you can use a few of these tricks to help you get over skipping breakfast more easily.
#1 Drink Plenty of Water.
Water is an excellent appetizer suppressant. The moment you wake up, you should drink one or two glasses of water. That should keep you full for like an hour or two and from the period that you wake up till you break your fast. It works so well. I recommend drinking four to five glasses of water from the moment you wake up to the moment you break your fast.
#2 Drink Black Coffee.
Coffee is another amazing appetizer suppressant and keeps you full for the hours that you are fasting till you break up fast. But please know that you don’t want to add any sugar, creamers, or sweeteners because they contain calories and not a lot I consume calories during this period.
So if you don’t like coffee, you can offer other options like tea or sparkling water. You can drink coffee an hour or two after waking up to really make your body pass the last three or two hours of your fast.
#3 Do Some Work.
If you don’t already know being in the fastest state increases productivity and focus. So it’s a really good time to get some work in. So besides getting you a few productive hours in, it will also help you keep your mind off food and distract you from your hunger. It’s gonna really help you get through your fast way more easily.
If you decide to start intermittent fasting at a start maybe the first one to three weeks, it might feel uncomfortable and difficult even. But that’s if any other change that I gotta make in your life. As I start is gonna be difficult but as time goes by your body will adapt to it. Same with intermittent fasting your hunger hormones will get regulated. After a while, after maybe four or five weeks in the mornings will not feel hungry anymore. At that stage, fasting will be a natural part of life, don’t even have to think about it.
You can always start with a shorter fast if 16:8 is too big a pill to swallow. You can always start with a 15-hour fast or even a 14-hour fast. Then slowly work your way up.
These guidelines are a great way for you to start intermittent fasting journey. There’s a lot more you know along the way. But for now, the most important thing is to just get started with whatever you know.
Food to Eat During Intermittent Fasting.
Just like the 5/2, the 16/8 method or any type in intermittent fasting does not have specific specifications or restrictions on the type of food or how much to eat. If your goal is fat loss, on a balanced diet, maintaining energy and sticking to a diet is the key. High-fiber foods, such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and milk, and lean protein are recommended for consumption to improve your health.
Can You Drink Alcohol on Intermittent Fasting?
If you want to benefit from intermittent fasting, you have to consume zero calories for a long time. Alcohol contains calories, meaning don’t drink alcohol. It’s better to drink water instead.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?
Intermittent fasting will make you eat fewer calories. For example when you limit food and snacks to a tight time. Naturally, this will reduce your calorie intake which means weight loss. However, losing fat is not the only benefit of this type of diet. Based on many studies, fasting can reduce various conditions of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. It can also help your body maintain more effective muscle mass.
When to Workout When Intermittent Fasting?
You can workout in the morning right before break your fast. You can do weight lifting for about 45 minutes. Then you can do some hit cardio at the end. Which mostly lasts in between like 15 to 20 minutes. When you work out or right before breaking your fast, you are burning a lot of calories when you’re working out.
As soon as you are done, you can immediately go get some carbs proteins and healthy fats to give to your body for it to repair itself and rebuild those muscles. You will have a lot of energy to do whatever you have to do after the gym as well.
You can also do intermittent fasting without working out in your fasting window. But you can workout an example right before your dinner. So you already have some calories that day. You can just go workout and kill it and you have full of energy. Then once you’re done, you can have a big meal with some calories, carbs, protein, and all of that out feeling guilty.
When you are working out right before dinner, you don’t have to worry about for. How long you’re working out for and when you have to rush through the workout with fearing that you’re gonna lose some muscle mass. Also when you are working out fasted in the morning, let’s say you have to workout for 2 hours or if you are working out faster for a longer period, I really recommend for you to take some kind of BCAAs.
BCAA will not break your fast. It helps prevent a muscle breakdown and it’s a speech your recovery and this is so good. You can take it before during or after your workout. You can even take it once your workout is done and right before you go get something to eat you drink it on the weight. Just because it gets absorbed faster than your food are you about to get and you might have to wait for that food so you can take BCAAs right after your workout.
I recommend to workout right before you are breaking your fast. If you are working out early morning like there’s still a lot of always till you have to break your fast then joint alone BCAAs take two scoops of that stuff and that’s going to help you retain your muscle mass.
How Long Should I Do Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is one way when someone wants to be healthier. This is a way to limit the number of calories consumed which mostly involves eating short-term during the day. Answering the question above, actually not a standard reference.
When you come and follow the guidelines, you might start enjoying true intermittent fasting. You can do this program for 1 month, 2 months, or even months as part of your meal plan. Overall and to see the change it takes about 10 weeks or 2 weeks plus exercise if you fast 3 times a week.
Is Intermittent Fasting Good for Diabetics?
I would strongly recommend that you talk to your doctor before trying this kind of plan. If you are on insulin, if you have a prescription for a medication, the presumption is that you are eating at certain times of the day. So you are taking your medication at certain times of the day, to bring your blood sugar down.
If you don’t have food coming in, you don’t have calories, carbs going in then that medication may have a negative effect, and in fact, make you too low. So, if you are interested in giving this a try, talk to your doctor first, figure out when your periods of not eating are going to be, and adjust medication, insulin accordingly. Definitely, something to talk to your doctor about before trying, like any drastic diet change.
By following these intermittent fasting guidelines for beginners, you can get rid of fat while increasing your body’s metabolism. So as long as you stick to healthy and fast food, soon you will get impressive health benefits while making a new and better lifestyle.