Every day, millions of people all over the world engage in intermittent fasting because it promotes weight loss and alleviates a number of other health problems. Adopting this nutritious eating pattern has a wide range of advantages.
- Enhanced fat burning
- Improved heart health
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Increased autophagy (cellular repair)
- Increased energy levels
- Increased metabolic rate
- Reduced inflammation
- Simplified meal planning and timesaving
- Better brain function and cognition
- Weight loss
The benefits of intermittent fasting are obvious just from the aforementioned points, especially if you feel lethargic or are overweight. If a person has diabetes or inflammation, they will find that following an intermittent fasting protocol helps them manage their conditions much better.
So, What Is Intermittent Fasting?
As the name suggests, you will only eat during a specific eating window and refrain from eating the rest of the time. During your fasting window, you’re allowed to consume as much water as you like, but you can’t have any soda, juice, or other calorie-containing beverages. Different protocols for intermittent fasting exist.
In order to follow Brad Pilon’s “Eat-Stop-Eat” plan, you must fast twice a week for 24 hours. During your fast, you aren’t allowed to eat anything, but the rest of the time, you are free to eat whatever you want.
The OMAD fast requires you to fast for 23 hours each day and only eat one substantial meal in the evening.
According to the 16/8 method of fasting, you should only eat within an 8-hour window while fasting for 16 hours each day. We’ll concentrate on this type of IF because it is the most common.
Common Problems And Mistakes
- Hunger is the most frequent issue people run into when starting an intermittent fasting protocol. Indeed, hunger pangs.
- The majority of people are so accustomed to eating whenever and wherever they please that restricting their eating to an 8-hour window suddenly feels torturous.
- Lack of energy during the initial adjustment period is another issue. Their bodies are accustomed to blood sugar spikes and drops brought on by frequent eating, so when they are fasting and have stable blood sugar levels, it may feel as though they have low glucose levels, which reduces their energy. Generally, this problem subsides within 3 days.
- For those who have trouble maintaining self-control, following the protocol can be challenging. One’s willpower may suffer as a result of forgoing social gatherings, observing the fasting window, resisting temptation and binge eating, among other things.
- Starting your IF journey with a step-by-step approach will be the best course of action to address this issue.
- When implementing the IF protocol, novices frequently make a number of mistakes.
- They overextend themselves and suffer (or give up) as a result. Or they improperly schedule their eating or fasting window. or they even eat the wrong foods, which makes fasting more challenging.
We’ll go over the specifics of how you should organize and carry out your intermittent fasting strategy below. Let’s get going.
- Monitor Your Eating Habits.
You should keep a notebook and record the precise time you eat (for each and every meal you have) for the first two days.
Write down things like when you have lunch every day at 12:30 p.m.
There’s a rationale behind this. Your body has a strong habitual nature. It typically experiences hunger at the same time each day. So, if you’re fasting and intend to skip breakfast and eat your first meal at 2pm, you can anticipate that, if you haven’t eaten yet, your stomach will begin growling around 1pm.
You’ll have a better idea of what to anticipate when choosing your eating window if you know exactly when you typically eat.
- Eat Upon Waking… Or… Before Bed.
In general, opinions on this matter are divided.
Some prefer to eat a substantial breakfast right after waking up and don’t mind waiting until 4 or 5 o’clock to eat. Others, however, choose to skip breakfast and opt for a late dinner in order to feel full before going to sleep.
Here, there is no right or wrong response. You only need to select the approach that works best for you. Either dinner or breakfast will be skipped. Once you’ve made your choice, proceed to the next action.
- 10-to-15-Minute Adjustments
You’ll need to get used to skipping dinner if you prefer to eat breakfast right after waking up. Dinner shouldn’t be immediately abandoned. You’ll only get hungrier as a result, and you might end up bingeing later.
Do you recall how you kept track of your mealtimes?
Examine your journal. When do you typically eat dinner?
You should eat dinner the following night at 6.50 p.m. If it is 7 p.m. You’ll get it at 6.40 p.m. the following day, followed by 6.30 p.m., 6.20 p.m., and so forth. You’ll modify your eating period by 10 to 15 minutes each day. Your body will have time to adjust as a result.
Your final meal of the day should occur just before 4 pm if you eat breakfast at 8 am. It is an eight-hour window for eating. Therefore, if you normally eat dinner at 7 p.m. And reduce that time by 10 minutes every day, it will take you roughly 18 days to get to 4 p.m.
Although it might seem long, it’s not. IF adjustment will be much simpler if you take a gradual approach.
Similar to this, you must first note your bedtime if you prefer to eat a late dinner. If you go to bed at 10 p.m., your final meal of the day must be two hours earlier at 8 p.m. By doing so, you’ll give your body enough time to digest the food and get better sleep.
By working backwards from the time, you know your dinner must be, you can determine that your eating window should start at 12pm (noon). It is an eight-hour window for eating.
If you eat breakfast, put it off by 10 minutes every day, increasing the delay until 12 o’clock. The rest will be easy once you get used to skipping breakfast.
- A Glass Of Water… Before And After.
Before every meal, sip a glass of water 30 minutes in advance. Your digestion will be improved, and you won’t feel as hungry.
30 minutes after finishing your meal or meals, drink a glass of water. You’ll feel satisfied after this and less likely to feel bloated.
- Reduce Your Consumption Of Carbohydrates And Sugar.
An effective intermittent fasting protocol can help you lose weight. However, your weight loss will be significantly accelerated if you limit your daily carbohydrate intake to no more than 50 grams.
The easier it is for you to follow your IF protocol, the less sugar and carbohydrates you eat. You won’t experience uncontrollable food cravings because your blood sugar levels will be stable.
- Don’t Undereat.
The key to making intermittent fasting work is to consume your required calories for the day within the eating window.
You can check your daily caloric needs here: https://www.freedieting.com/calorie-calculator
Even if you choose to have a 5-hour eating window (21-hour fasting window), you must consume all 2,200 calories in those 5 hours if your daily caloric needs are that high.
This will prevent you from starving yourself or being nutrient-deficient.
That encapsulates it. There is no magic to intermittent fasting. It’s simple, and if you go slowly, you’ll find it simpler to get used to fasting and adhere to the eating/fasting windows.
- Sleep Is Your Friend.
If you sleep for eight hours each day, you will be fasting during the time when you plan your windows. In order to plan your fasting window so that it feels more comfortable for you, get enough sleep.
Should You Fast For Longer Periods?
In general, if you want to benefit from autophagy, your fasting window shouldn’t be shorter than 16 hours. In contrast, extending the fasting window to 18 or 19 hours will hasten your weight loss because your insulin levels will remain stable for a longer period of time.
Fitness experts frequently state that IF is useless because a caloric deficit is what counts. While that is true, it ignores the hormonal effects of constant eating.
Hormonal issues contribute to a lot of people’s weight loss difficulties. Because of this, even if they consume fewer calories than they burn throughout the day, their bodies are still constantly experiencing insulin spikes. This has a negative impact on their fat loss.
However, since the body is fasted for the majority of the day when you practice intermittent fasting, you won’t experience this issue. Therefore, it may be beneficial if you want to have a smaller eating window of 4-5 hours.
You’ll be fine as long as you’re eating enough calories per day and feeling good. Having said that, you might want to speak with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting regimen.
You now have all the information you require to get going from this article. Really, you don’t require any more information than this. From this point on, execution is everything. Start now, and you’ll become accustomed to IF in about 3 weeks.
You can follow this protocol for the rest of your life because it is sustainable. So excellent.