Intermittent Fasting; Introduction
Intermittent fasting is an eating method, which cycles over a specific time period between calorie restriction or fasting and normal food consumption. There are many intermittent fasting practices, including the 5:2 cycle, the time-restricted, and alternate-day fasting. And the most common form of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 method which involves eating before fasting, then wait for 16 hours and eat only during an eight-hour timeframe. Intermittent fasting is primarily used as a method of weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is not a new idea, in fact, people have been fasting intermittently for thousands of years, but this is a topic that has gained a lot of prominence over the course of the last few years. For decades, the benefits of fasting have been documented and researched. Still, fasting has gained popularity so rapidly in recent years that many blogs, writers, and bloggers have jumped onto the fasting bandwagon that it seems to be a fad to the untrained eye.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent fasting omits the frequency of consuming food. You let your body decide what to eat and how long to go without meals, so you can eat only when you’re hungry. With intermittent fasting, longer periods should begin slowly and gradually fast. For example, if you eat five to six meals a day, you will need to start with three meals a day and take out snacks.
Then you may want to make a 16-hour pattern of fasting with an 8-hour eating schedule. It is ideal to wake up for at least 4 hours before your first meal. The true force of intermittent fasting exists during the night you sleep.
- Slight hunger: The body can have a hormonal surge in cortisol (stress hormone) at around 8:00 in the morning, which can get you slightly hungry, and it passes after some time. This is something you can ignore and continue fasting.
- Strong hunger: Stomach pain, dizziness, weakness, and grouchiness all suggest strong hunger, so it’s time to eat.
The longer you do intermittent fasting, the more quickly the body can go from sugar burning to burn fat. It takes time, though. For some people, it may also take 3 or 4 months to get through ketosis completely.
Why would you do Intermittent Fasting?
For thousands of years, human beings have actually been fasting. Often it was done for necessity because no food was available. Often, human beings also naturally fast when sick. Clearly, there is nothing “unnatural” about fasting, and our bodies are well prepared to cope with prolonged eating periods. When we don’t consume for a time, all kinds of processes in the body shift to allow our body to survive through the famine. It concerns hormones, genes, and essential processes for cell repair.
When we fast, blood sugar and insulin levels are significantly reduced, and human growth hormone is greatly increased. Many people fast intermittently to reduce weight since this is a straightforward and efficient method of reducing calories and burning fat.
Intermittent fasting can get your body into ketosis much faster than the keto diet. That’s how the body retains its energy balance while it is fasting by changing its fuel supply from carbohydrates to fats — the exact principle of the keto diet. Combining diet and fasting could help you burn more fat than just the diet. Since intermittent fasting promotes metabolism by encouraging thermogenesis or heat production, your body may begin to use persistent fat stores.
Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
The primary reason for weight loss why intermittent fasting succeeds is that it makes you eat fewer calories. During fasting times, all the various procedures entail skipping meals. You will consume fewer calories unless you compensate by consuming even more during the eating periods. In a period of 3-24 weeks, intermittent fasting decreased body weight by 3-8 percent, according to a 2014 study. Intermittent fasting will result in weight loss at an average of nearly 0.55 to 1.65 pounds (0.25–0.75 kg) per week by analyzing the weight loss rate.
People have also reported a decrease of waist circumference of 4-7 percent, suggesting that they have reduced belly fat. These studies show that intermittent fasting can be a helpful method for weight loss. That said, the advantages of intermittent fasting go well beyond losing weight.
It also has many metabolic health effects, which can also help minimize the risk of heart disease. Simultaneously, calorie counting is normally not important when intermittent fasting; weight loss is often mediated by an overall calorie intake decrease. When calories are balanced between classes, experiments comparing intermittent fasting and constant calorie restriction find little difference in weight loss.
Intermittent Fasting for Reduced Inflammation
Research found that inflammatory and autoimmune conditions enhance caloric restriction, but the processes by which inflammation regulates decreased caloric intake have been poorly understood. To explain the processes underlying fasting more precisely, both mouse and human cells are affected by fasting. They observed that the release of ‘monocytes,’ a pro-inflammatory cell, began with intermittent fasting kick-started.
These cells go into sleep mode during fasting cycles and become less inflammatory than the cells which have been fed. Monocytes are highly reactive immune cells that can cause extensive damage to the tissue. As a result of the food habits that humans have gained in recent years, the population has seen a growing amount of blood circulation.
Intermittent Fasting for Improved Heart Health
The way your body metabolizes cholesterol and sugar may also be connected to daily fasting and improved heart health. Your low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol, may be lowered through daily fasting. It’s also assumed that the way your body metabolizes sugar can be changed by fasting. This will reduce the risk that you will gain weight and grow diabetes, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Therefore, if we suggest such diets, including a very low-calorie diet and a changed fast diet that saves protein, they require medical monitoring. Few reports also suggest that fasting can help avoid cancer or improve the efficacy of treatment with chemotherapy. Most of the literature on fasting, however, is in preliminary phases. Researchers say we have a lot more to understand about fasting.
Intermittent Fasting for Fighting Cancer
Cancer recurrence is expected by many persons diagnosed with early-stage cancers, but it is a leading cause of death. Many patients with stage IV breast cancer, for example, were first diagnosed with an early-stage illness and then experienced a metastatic recurrence. The average life expectancy is just three years after breast cancer becomes metastatic, while some survive much longer.
New research addressing that the risk of recurrence of breast cancer for women who have estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer does not decrease after five years have highlighted the need to address ways of reducing the risk of recurrence. In reality, women with hormone-positive breast cancer are more likely than in the first five years of diagnosis to experience a recurrence after five years.
A 2016 research investigated the role that intermittent nighttime fasting could play in the recurrence of breast cancer. About 2,000 women diagnosed (who did not have diabetes) with early-stage breast cancer between 1995 and 2007 were tested. Women who had a short nighttime fasting period (defined as less than 13 hours between dinner and breakfast) were found to be 36 percent more likely to have a recurrence of breast cancer than those who had a fasting duration of more than 13 hours at night.
The elevated risk of recurrence was not associated with a high risk from cancer or total mortality, although a correlation could be discovered over longer follow-up times. The authors concluded that a basic non-medication way of minimizing recurrence could be to increase nighttime fasting duration.
Intermittent Fasting for reduced insulin levels
In recent decades, type 2 diabetes has become incredibly popular. In the sense of insulin resistance, the key characteristic is elevated blood sugar levels. Anything that lowers insulin resistance should help lower blood sugar levels and protect against type 2 diabetes.
Interestingly, it has been demonstrated that intermittent fasting has important advantages for insulin resistance and leads to a remarkable drop in blood sugar levels. Fasting blood sugar has been decreased by 3-6% in human experiments on intermittent fasting while fasting insulin has been reduced by 20-31%.
One research in diabetic rats also found that intermittent fasting, one of the most serious complications of diabetes, protects against kidney damage. This suggests that, for persons at risk of having type 2 diabetes, intermittent fasting may be extremely protective. There may be some variations between genders, though.
If you want to know more about Diabetes and Insulin Resistance, Checkout our Detailed Article on this topic
During a 22-day long intermittent fasting regimen, one study found that blood sugar management actually deteriorated. It’s important to understand a little more about the physiology of the body when it comes to the action of glucose and insulin to understand the advantages of intermittent fasting and diabetes fully. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose (sugar) to enter the muscle cells, stored fat, and the liver, where it is used for energy derived from the food we eat.
Insulin is released from the pancreas when blood glucose levels rise; insulin lowers blood sugar levels as it carries glucose into the cell, keeping blood sugar levels at normal levels. When muscle, fat, and liver cells are unable to react normally to insulin, glucose starts to accumulate in the blood because it cannot enter the cells properly. This is called insulin resistance.
The pancreas will try to produce more insulin when insulin resistance continues to resolve the disease (to transport the blood sugar into the cells). The level of blood sugar will remain within the normal range until the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin to overcome cell fatigue.
Intermittent Fasting for Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
HGH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland (the master gland) that, as the name suggests, plays a massive role in the normal growth of children and adolescents. In adults, though, it also plays a part. Adult HGH deficiency results in higher body fat rates, lower lean body mass (sarcopenia), and reduced bone mass (osteopenia).
Low levels of HGH can decrease the quality of life, increase the risk of sickness, and make you get fat. During weight loss, injury healing, and physical fitness, optimal levels are significant. Interestingly, your options for diet and lifestyle will greatly impact your levels of HGH.
Studies suggest that fasting contributes to a substantial rise in levels of HGH. Many studies have observed some results, with double or triple HGH levels after only 2-3 days of fasting. In the long run, however, prolonged fasting is not sustainable. A more common dietary solution that restricts eating to short periods of time is intermittent fasting. Multiple intermittent fasting strategies are available.
A daily 8-hour eating window with a 16-hour fast is one traditional technique. Another consists of consuming only 500-600 calories two days a week. In two primary ways, intermittent fasting can help optimize HGH levels. Next, it will assist you in dropping body fat, which directly impacts the production of HGH. Second, it will keep the insulin levels down for much of the day since insulin is released when you eat.
Intermittent Fasting for Gut Microbes
While the evidence of how this relates to human biology is still early in its growth, our diets can significantly change our gut microbe communities. We know from several animal and human experiments that what we eat will reshape the microbial populations living in our guts, such as the relative quantities of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins that we consume. But it can also influence our gut microbiomes and hence our metabolic health.
The composition of your microbiota can also be changed by prolonged fasting. The presence and absence of food are very sensitive to your intestinal bacteria. The microbiome changes in structure as you remove food. A new bacteria associated with positive health indicators, such as reduced intestinal inflammation and a healthy gut barrier, is increasingly spreading. It is less about where your calories come from in your gut and more about providing rest to your digestive tract.
We also thoroughly explored how the things you consume influence your microbiome. That’s because it’s alive with your gut. In your gut, you play host to trillions of bacteria, fungi, protests, etc., and directly influence their breathing environment with your everyday activities. And your gut, like all living things, needs moments of rest.
Intermittent Fasting for Brain Health
Recent studies and clinical trials show that prolonged fasting regimes continued over months or even years can even boost memory along with executive function and general cognition; not just does intermittent fasting assist with weight loss. Restricting calories also has physical advantages. As of now, few experiments have examined the cognitive advantages of human fasting.
Intermittent Fasting with Keto Diet
Cutting carbs and loading the body with fat is just steaming. But if you’re someone who follows this reliable approach for weight loss results, you might be curious about kicking it up a notch and mixing keto with intermittent fasting to break through a plateau or improve your outcomes. Is there something that you need to try?
The short response is yes, but you should know upfront that this combined technique has been tested and shown to work for weight loss. Before undertaking prolonged fasting on a keto diet, people with such health problems, such as diabetes or heart disease, should see a doctor.
Although some people will find it beneficial to combine diets, it is important to remember that it may not succeed for everyone if they do not do it properly. Some people may find it too difficult to fast on a keto diet or suffer adverse reactions such as overeating on non-fasting days, irritability, and fatigue.
Remember that to achieve ketosis, intermittent fasting is not mandatory, but it can be used to do so quickly. For those trying to boost fitness by cutting back on carbs, simply eating a balanced, well-rounded keto diet is enough. However, while this approach can work wonders for others, combining both is not appropriate, and some individuals should prevent this combination. You’re welcome to try and see if a mix fits well for you or one practice on its own. But it’s advisable to talk to the healthcare provider first, as with any big lifestyle shift.
What is Autophagy? How is it Related to Intermittent Fasting?
The body of an average human carries trillions of cells, and unwanted molecules can build up in them over time. Often, some of their pieces are destroyed. A 2015 article explains that autophagy is a biological process that addresses this problem. The cells eliminate unnecessary molecules and defective components during autophagy. Sometimes, some of these molecules and components are destroyed by autophagy.
The cell recycles these components at other periods into new components. The word autophagy comes from ancient Greek for “self-eating.” Research has related autophagy to many health effects, but this cellular mechanism is complicated, making it difficult to conclude.
The relation between autophagy and liver health is also of concern to researchers. A 2020 review article investigated ways in which autophagy would protect liver cells against drug and alcohol injury. Other evidence indicates that autophagy plays a role in several liver functions and could inhibit many liver disorders from developing, including:
- Wilson’s disease
- Acute damage to the liver
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Chronic liver disorder linked to alcohol
However, most autophagy experiments have been performed in test tubes or animals. As the researchers say, more research is required in humans to decide how autophagy can affect treatment.
Autophagy will continue to be attracted by researchers doing further work on the health effects it has. For the time being, dietary and health researchers point out that we still have a great deal to understand and promote autophagy. However, if you are interested in stimulating autophagy in your body, she advises that you begin by adding fasting and daily exercise.
What is OMAD (One Meal a Day)?
An extreme version of time-restricted eating, including intermittent fasting, is the One Meal a Day (OMAD) diet. However, the OMAD diet has a one-hour feeding time, unlike intermittent fasting that typically provides four to eight-hour eating windows. So for the other 23 hours of the day, you are fasting.
OMAD is also used by physicians skilled in prescribing intermittent fasting to aid with weight reduction stalls. Temporary use of OMAD will help kick-start weight loss if a patient eats low carb but does not lose weight as expected. In our evidence-based guide, you can learn more about fixing stalls for weight loss.
Many who adopt the OMAD pattern do so for the convenience of cooking meals and eating only once a day. For those who travel regularly, do shift work, or have hectic and busy schedules, this can be extremely beneficial. Eating only one meal a day is the main practice. That means no snacks, tiny nibbles, or “grazing” every few hours, but at any moment, you can drink calorie-free liquids like water and black coffee or tea. Variations occur within that. People obey these rules frequently:
- Choose a part of the day for four hours, say noon to 4 p.m. Or 2 to 6 p.m., and to be reliable from day to day, still feed within one hour of that time.
- For your lunch, use one dinner plate, about 11 inches in diameter.
- The meal shouldn’t be greater than 3 inches to prevent having piles of the meal.
What is Window Eating?
A general term that applies to many unique eating habits is intermittent fasting. Each type of intermittent fasting entails fasting intervals of 8 to 12 hours longer than a normal overnight fast. Time-restricted diet,” or “window eating,” refers to a certain number of hours each day when eating.”
The fasting period, in which no calories are eaten, is the remaining 16 hours per day. It will repeat the same timetable every day. A lot of people eat from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed. Switching from this eating style to time-restricted eating can cause you to eat less normally.
Some studies have shown that the number of calories you consume in a day can be decreased by time-restricted feeding. One research showed that when stable adult men limited their eating to around a 10-hour window, about 20 percent of the calories they consumed per day decreased. Another research found that, when they reduced their food consumption to a 4-hour duration, young men consumed about 650 fewer calories per day.
However, other tests have shown that certain persons do not necessarily consume fewer calories during window eating. Some evidence suggests that eating with time constraints will lead to weight loss, heart health enhancement, and lower blood sugar. Not all research, however, agrees, and more evidence is required.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
1. The 5:2 Method
This IF approach focuses on limiting the calories for 2 days a week at 500. You follow a safe and normal diet throughout the other five days of the week. A 200-calorie meal and a 300-calorie meal are typically used in this method on fasting days. To help fill you up, it is important to concentrate on high-fiber and high-protein foods and keep calories down while fasting. As long as there is a non-fasting day between them, you can choose any two fasting days (Tuesdays and Thursdays). On non-fasting days, make sure you eat the same amount of food you would usually eat.
2. The 16:8 Method
The 16:8 diet is a kind of fasting that is time-restricted to maintain improved health or lose weight. On the 16:8 diet, you spend 16 hours every day eating nothing but unsweetened liquids such as water, coffee, and tea. The remaining window of eight hours is when all of your meals and snacks are consumed. By beginning a fast at night, missing brunch, and consuming their first meal in the middle of the day, most individuals do this.
At the time, no food is necessarily off-limits, but certain persons will adopt the keto diet at mealtimes to boost up their weight loss. Although many of us may be new to the word intermittent fasting (or IF), the tradition is not all that different from how our ancestors probably lived: hunting, harvesting, and eating during daylight; sleeping and fasting during darkness. The idea that fasting decreases oxidative stress on the body, and can minimize inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases, is based on extended fasting patterns such as the 16:8 diet.
3. The 24-Hour Method
This solution includes fasting for a full 24 hours entirely. Sometimes, it’s performed only once or twice a week. From breakfast to breakfast, most people fast, or from lunch to lunch. The side effects can be severe in this version of IF, such as exhaustion, headaches, irritability, hunger, and low energy. On your non-fasting days, you can revert to a regular, balanced diet if you follow this process.
Here, once a day, you snack. Some people prefer to eat dinner and then not eat again until dinner the next day. That means 24 hours is your fasting time. This varies from the approach of 5:2. Fasting times are basically 24 hours (dinner for dinner or lunch for lunch), whereas fasting is 36 hours at 5:2. (You eat dinner on Sunday, for instance, “fast” on Monday by consuming 500 to 600 calories, and split it on Tuesday with breakfast.)
The bonus is that if done for weight loss, it’s tough (though not impossible) to eat the calorie value of an entire day in one sitting. The downside to this technique is that it’s impossible to provide all the nutrients your body requires to operate optimally with only one meal.
4. The Alternate-Day Method
With a fast consisting of 25 percent of their calorie needs (about 500 calories) and non-fasting days being regular eating days, people could fast every other day. For weight loss, this is a common approach. In fact, a small study showed that alternative fasting days were effective in helping obese adults lose weight.
By week two, the side effects (like hunger) diminished, and by week four, the patients began to become more comfortable with the diet. Over the experiment’s eight weeks, the downside is that participants said they were never completely “full,” which may make it impossible to stick to this approach.
5. The 36 Hour Method
After 36 hours of fasting, you begin to burn fat over glycogen (carbohydrate) for energy as you start feeding again. In fact, long-term use of IF can change the substrate the body uses for energy preferentially to fat, but it is not clear how much this shift has to be brought about rapidly.
However, one worry about every-other-day fasting is that it could be too great a metabolic challenge: it appears to reduce glucose tolerance in the long run. It could contribute to or predispose one to diabetes growth. There has to be more work to figure out the optimal pace at which you can lose weight quickly.
Interestingly, on the days you eat, IF does not seem to make you hungrier. In reality, studies indicate that on feeding days, individuals typically consume 20% less. This may be because it appears like consuming less itself reduces the quantity of food that makes you feel whole. If you eat just 0.9 g of protein/kg of body weight on non-fasting days while you are intermittently fasting, research indicates that you will lose muscle. It appears like on non-fasting days; you need to eat 1.2 g of protein/kg of body weight to maintain fat-free mass. In other words, if you don’t consume enough protein and exercise, IF will cause muscle loss.
Intermittent Fasting Q/A
Q1. What can I eat while Intermittent Fasting?
The most prominent cause for people to attempt intermittent fasting is weight loss. Intermittent fasting can contribute to an automatic reduction in calorie consumption by letting you consume fewer meals. Also, to promote weight loss, prolonged fasting affects hormone levels. It enhances the release of the fat-burning hormone norepinephrine, in addition to reducing insulin and rising growth hormone levels (noradrenaline).
Short-term fasting can increase your metabolic rate by 3.6-14 percent due to these changes in hormones. By encouraging you to eat less and consume more calories, by manipulating all calorie equation sides, intermittent fasting causes weight loss. Studies suggest that a very effective method for weight reduction may be intermittent fasting. How can you get started now that you know more about intermittent fasting? Following these moves, we suggest:
- Determine the type of fast you want to do.
- Decide how long you want to fast for.
- Starting with fasting. If you’re not feeling well, or if you have other doubts, stop doing it.
- Outside of eating, continue all the daily tasks. Keep engaged and usually work. Imagine that you “eat” a whole meal of your own fat.
- Gently break your fast and Repeat.
Q2. How Do I Break a Fast?
First and foremost, when you break a run, stick to whole foods, and go for a balance of macronutrients; you don’t want a straight shot of carbs on an empty stomach (especially processed carbs). Definitely avoid carb-loaded meals and sugary beverages as they cause a roller coaster of blood sugar, raise your insulin levels, and make you feel much hungrier. In comparison, consuming tons of sugar will make fasting much harder for the next day because the hormones of appetite [like ghrelin] will be boosted.
What do you eat, then? One should break a fast for a low-glycemic meal of choice with a regular 16:8 diet. If you’re going to get carbohydrates, make sure they’re matched with protein and fat. A protein salad, avocado and vegetable eggs, a homemade protein drink, or a leftover protein and roasted veggies could all function as the number one meal.
Q3. What do you eat on a Prolonged Fast?
You know how to break your fast now, but what if you just don’t want your fast to end yet? Some items will help get you through the hungry hump without sabotaging the performance when you first start IF or whether you’re trying to graduate to a longer fasting time. (Of course, if you feel lethargic and can’t perform your normal day-to-day activities, you should always end a fast early.) Seltzer water, coffee, and tea are the non-caloric (or very-low-calorie) options generally recognized among intermittent fasting experts. Grey Tea contains bergamot extract, which will help reduce your appetite.
Just make sure that stevia or non-caloric sweeteners are not added, which may induce an insulin response. If you need something a little more substantial to hold you over, or if you have a low percentage of body fat (in which case, strict forms of fasting may not be wise, as they might throw your hormones out of whack), then sipping on a high-quality bone broth or coffee or tea mixed with coconut or MCT oil are both great options during your fasting window.
Q4. Does Tea of Coffee Break the fast?
As for having tea or coffee, you will be just fine during your fast. If you drink anything of fewer than 50 calories, your body will stay in a fasting state as a general rule of thumb. So, the coffee is just all right with a splash of milk or cream. Tea shouldn’t be a concern either. Surprisingly, much of the advantages of fasting can be strengthened by coffee. This includes increased control of the brain and lowered risk of inflammation, blood pressure, and heart disease.
Many of the same advantages as fasting are shared by coffee, including lowered inflammation and enhanced brain health. If you drink coffee, avoid high-calorie, high-sugar additives during your fasting times, as they can interrupt your fast. It is completely safe to drink a small amount of black coffee throughout intermittent fasting. You’ll also want to moderate the diet and skip the bulk of contaminants, such as sugar or milk. You can, however, steer clear of high-calorie additives. Watching your diet is also better since overconsumption will affect your health.
Q5. Can Supplements Break the Fast?
If you’re fasting intermittently, you probably know that giving your body a break from food will have great health benefits. So what are nutrients for fasting? Fasting will change how your body consumes many vitamins and drugs, so you’ll want to take them with meals. On an empty stomach, some supplements may be taken, while others can actually break your fast. Get the information below on intermittent fasting nutrients.
They are supposed to take these intermittent fasting supplements on an empty stomach. Otherwise, they are unable to break a fast. Take heed to how you feel. Without food, some people can’t stomach any supplements. Try taking them 20-30 minutes until you have a meal instead if that’s you. Here are some supplements you should consider taking:
- Creatine: Creatine is not going to break your fast because it contains zero calories and does not affect your insulin levels, whether you take it pre-workout or post-workout.
- Electrolytes: Remember potassium, calcium, and sodium. As long as there are no sweeteners or calories in your electrolyte replacement, it’s good to take it easy and may also help you handle the side effects of transitioning to ketosis. Find out with our keto supplementation guide why electrolytes are perfect keto fasting supplements.
- L-tyrosine: This is supposed to be consumed on an empty stomach. No worries here. You can better relieve depression with L-tyrosine and support your mood. It’s an amino acid, but when taken in smaller doses, it’s difficult to break down easily.
- Probiotics: There are healthy bacteria in the stomach, and the whole body benefits from improved gut health. Some probiotic supplements, when stomach acid levels are smaller, are intended to be taken without food. For the manufacturer’s instructions, scan the sticker on your probiotic supplement.
- Prebiotics: Prebiotics need to be consumed, and to help a balanced gut microbiome, Prebiotics feed the healthier gut bacteria.
- Vitamins that are water-soluble: During a fasting time, you should take vitamins B and C with water. Vitamin C is typically pretty easy to use on an empty stomach, but B-complex vitamins can make people feel nauseous when eaten without food. Only take these vitamins when you break your fast if that happens to you.
Q6. Is It Good to Work out While Fasting?
Yes, it is OK to work out while fasting because not only calories and exercise but hormone optimization is the key to weight loss and muscle gain. Studies show that intermittent fasting alone has amazing advantages, but combining fasting with sprint training takes each one’s advantages to a whole new level. Combining the two increases growth hormones and makes you more susceptible to insulin, which is the key to staying youthful and lean.
Many individuals are obsessed with calories in versus out and fear muscle loss that theoretically occurs without refueling when you exercise. But if you understand the beneficial effect of exercising on the body’s hormones during a fasting state, you will see that fasting and exercise are not only OK; they are actually the optimal way to improve your health and body composition.
The best time to work out during intermittent fasting is usually to support the natural circadian rhythm of the body upon waking or shortly after. Studies show that working out (or eating) too close to bedtime can disrupt deep and REM sleep levels, so it is better to save exercise for the next day. Ideally, for the same reasons that you are exercising in a fast state, you don’t want to eat directly after a workout: hormone optimization.
Studies show that even waiting two to three hours before eating after a workout promotes a growth hormone increase, making you a fat burner and replaces the energy used (sugar). The reason a hormone shift occurs is an adaptation to the stress created from a high-intensity workout.
The hormonal benefits you get from exercising in a fasting state are linked to the depleted glycogen stores in the muscle and liver that occur when you fast. It is fine to do cardio during intermittent fasting, but your performance will depend on how fat-adapted your body is (how good it is at burning fat for fuel instead of glucose).
You can expect your performance to drop a little if you’re new to fasting and exercise; it can take up to six months for some athletes to fully adjust their endurance to this new source of fuel. For instance, if you’re a competing athlete, and your race performance is your primary goal, a few weeks before a competition, don’t switch to fast training.
Q7. Is Intermittent Fasting Good for Women?
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to dieting. For extended fasting, this often occurs. Women should usually take a more casual attitude to fast than males. This can entail shorter periods of fasting, fewer days of fasting, and/or a limited amount of calories expended on days of fasting.
Choosing one of the strategies above and giving it a try is the easiest way to get started. If you feel any adverse effects, stop immediately. Intermittent fasting can induce hunger, low levels of energy, headaches, and bad breath. Before beginning an intermittent fasting regimen, people that are pregnant, seeking to conceive, or have a history of eating disorders should obtain medical advice.
While intermittent fasting has been proven to be effective for heart health, diabetes, and weight loss, some research suggests that some women may have adverse effects on fertility and blood sugar levels. That being said, for most women, updated versions of intermittent fasting seem secure and could be a more reasonable choice than longer or tougher fasts. Intermittent fasting is certainly something to remember whether you are a woman trying to lose weight or boost your fitness.
Q8. Won’t Intermittent Fasting Burn Muscle?
There are many intermittent fasting forms, such as time-restricted feeding, alternate-day fasting, sporadic fasting, diet 5:2, and biblical fasting. Although they share certain common characteristics, the individual programs differ greatly. You usually lose both fat mass and lean mass when you lose weight, especially if you do not exercise daily.
It does not indicate that intermittent fasting induces more muscle loss than other diets that cause weight loss. Intermittent fasting needs you to consume fewer calories than a regular diet and eat less often. You can have difficulty consuming enough calories and protein to create muscle because of this. Overall, for muscle gain, this might not be the right diet. And when losing fat, weight training during intermittent fasting will help you retain muscle.
Other types of exercise can also be useful, such as using a stationary cycle or an elliptical bike. It is probably not more advantageous to exercise when fasting than to exercise at all times. In reality, the success will likely be diminished. Whether or not to exercise rapidly is a matter of personal interest for most persons.