intermittent-fasting

The Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan and How it Works

So, you have been trying to lose weight, and you are stuck. Either that excess weight doesn’t want to budge, or you lose it and it comes right back! So do you want to try an intermittent fasting diet plan?

Two big reasons that people tend to gain weight as they age is decreased activity and loss of muscle mass. So, what options do you have?

The Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan

Though fasting is safe for most healthy, well-nourished people, it may not be appropriate for those who have any medical conditions.

The intermittent fasting diet plan has no restricted foods. You can eat what ever you desire.

The thing that makes this eating plan special, is only that you eat at specified times.

Intermittent Fasting Options

You can fast for 16 hours and then eat your daily allotment of calories during an 8-hour window of time. That is called the 16:8.

intermittent-fasting-options

There is another option, you could have nonrestrictive eating for 5 days of the week, and then for the remaining 2 days of the week, you would consume only 500 calories a day.

Some people prefer the 12:12 way of eating, with an eating window of 12 hours and a fasting window of 12 hours. Perhaps they eat their final meal of the day at 7 P.M. and then breakfast at 7 A.M.

The more common fast is a 16-hour fast. For the 16:8 many people find it works best when they eat a normal supper, and then do not have anything to eat for the next 16 hours.

So, if you had supper at 6 in the evening, you would not eat again until 10 A.M. That would be a 16-hour window of fasting.

Disease Prevention

Research shows that you are more likely to gain weight by eating late in the evening. It also shows that you may have higher blood sugar levels, higher blood pressure and higher cholesterol levels from late night snacking.

What if Intermittent Fasting Does Not Work with My Schedule?

The interesting thing about the intermittent fasting diet plan is, if 6 P.M. to 10 A.M. does not suit your schedule, you can change it. Suppose you are working shift work or other elements of your schedule do not work well with those hours, you can vary them to suit your schedule.

A routine is best, though. If you can get into a routine, it is easier to continue, and not make some excuse, “Not today.”

Why is Intermittent Fasting Recommended as a Healthy Option?

Intermittent fasting allows your body some time to rest and rejuvenate itself. It allows time to reset itself metabolically.

When you eat, glucose is stored in your liver as glycogen. It takes at least six hours to be used up. Once the glycogen is used up, your body switches from glucose to fat as its source of fuel.

Your body needs a time of rest, and your digestive system does as well.

How Can You Make This Eating Pattern Work for You?

Concentrate mainly on eating vegetables, protein and legumes. If you are hungry for bread, eat it at the end of your meal.

Turn off the TV and put away your phone while you eat. Savor each bite. Pay attention to the flavors and textures of your food.

stay-hydrated

Some Tips for You

  • Keep hydrated.
  • Drinking some unsweetened herbal tea during the fasting period, may curb your appetite.
  • Consume water to stay hydrated.
  • Keep active. Watch less television and keep moving. It is not as easy to snack when you are busy.

Before Trying the 16:8 Method

You should speak with your doctor before trying the 16:8 method of intermittent fasting diet plan, especially if you are on medication or have low blood pressure.

The 16:8 intermittent fasting diet is not suitable for people with type 1 diabetes. Some people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes may be able to try this under doctor’s supervision.

Supporters of intermittent fasting feel that it can prevent several conditions and diseases:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Some heart conditions
  • Some cancers

Where

There is a group of people in Icaria, Greece, who live long active lives.

The people eat a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, red wine and homegrown vegetables. Many of them are Greek Orthodox Christians, a religious group that have many periods of fasting for religious holidays.

Fasting has been known to lower blood cholesterol and lower body mass index (BMI) as well. This group of people has the highest percentage of 90-year-olds with almost no dementia.

Intermittent Fasting is About More than Losing Weight.

One USC study found that patients who “fasted” for 5 consecutive days each month,(consuming between 750 and 1100 calories on these days) using an intermittent fasting way of consuming food, helped to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and IGF-1 levels (a compound associated with increased risk of cancer) than those who did not follow this eating plan.

The Downside of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting may not be for everyone. Some research suggests it may be less beneficial for women than it is for men.

It also suggests that the 16:8 plan may not be advisable for those with a history of depression and anxiety and that fasting is a risk factor for persons with eating disorders.

In addition to the above-mentioned problems, intermittent fasting is not usually sustainable. A way of eating should be something you enjoy and can live with. It seems like many people cannot last more than 6 months following this eating pattern.

Research seems to indicate that intermittent fasting is good in many respects, but the persons involved must be able to live with the eating pattern!

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, if you want to lose weight, it is not about when you eat, but how many calories you consume. There is an “Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan”. Eating during an eight-hour window of time may restrict the number of calories you consume and that alone will help you lose weight.

Finally, we are looking for a healthy lifestyle. Would you be able to live with an intermittent fasting diet plan? Have you ever tried it? Could you maintain it?

Leave some comments below I would love to hear from you!

Disclaimer: I’m not a nutritionist, or a doctor. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.

 


 

 

14 thoughts on “The Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan and How it Works”

  1. I have no problem losing weight, it’s keeping the weight that is the issue. I have tried intermittent fasting in the past and it has worked for me quite well. The problem arises when I stopped fasting, that’s what makes you wonder I always have to constantly fast to make this work. I know there are people who give themselves an eight-hour window to eat and then they’re done. But I have health issues which means I have to spread my eating out to over 12 to 15 hours.

    Before I had to intermittent fast, as you suggest I will talk to my doctor he is this all makes sense for my body. Thanks for bringing it to the forefront of my mind once again.

    1. Hi and thanks for the comment. Yes Intermittent Fasting is not for everyone. Many who try Intermittent Fasting do not continue with it for any length of time.

      Those who do stay with the eating program often do it to lower cholesterol or improve insulin resistance in their body, which is associated with type 2 diabetes.

      The Mediterranean diet is a healthy diet that is more sustainable. Some people eat that way for their entire life.

      A healthy lifestyle is something we do over a lifetime. It involves our diet, exercise and even healthy attitudes. 

  2. As I read your article, I could think of at least 2 of my friends who have tried what they call, a water diet. It seems this may be the same as Intermittent diet. They swear by it that it works, I really do see lessened weight but I’m glad that you have also pointed out the downside and precautions for people with eating disorders, diabetes etc. It’s interesting that your article states it’s more effective with men? I think women are more always concerned with losing weight.

    Why would it be more effective with men, I wonder?

    I like the pattern of not eating after 6pm until 10am next day and that it may help keep off some cancer. So it’s for all of us then, not just weight watchers.

    Interesting facts. Thanks for the insight.

    1. Hi MarieRose, and thanks for the comment.

      The water diet is an unusual diet that I too have heard of. To my knowledge it is not time restrictive like Intermittent Fasting is. People with medical conditions should always be careful when making changes to their lifestyle and consult their physicians first.

      Women do seem more preoccupied with their weight than men do. Men typically have more muscle mass in their bodies than women. This makes some of the difference.

      It has often been said, not go to bed on a full stomach. It is good to give the digestive system a time to rest as well as our bodies.

  3. I’ve dabbled with IF and I don’t find it too difficult unless my work schedule gets in the way. I feel like 5:2 gives the most amount of freedom because 5 days of the week you don’t really have to think about it. I’ve heard there’s been little difference between this style of eating and a reduced calorie diet though in terms of weight loss. It’s the same principle but different psychology, which may make it easier for some people to follow. 

    I don’t know how I feel about it. But perhaps it’s one of those things that helps some people when they’re learning to eat better. ideally, you reach a place of healthy, sustainable eating practices that make dieting at all unnecessary.

    1. A healthy lifestyle is one that you can live with for your lifetime. There are many different types of eating habits. Intermittent Fasting is but one of them. The Mediterranean diet seems to be the most highly approved for sustainability. Many live with it for a lifetime. It includes whole grains, fruit, vegetables, fish and healthy oils (olive oil).

  4. Many thanks to you for sharing such a wonderful article with us .I am very aware of my health and I always try to keep my balance .I’ve noticed that as I get older my weight gains because of decreased activity and decreased muscle mass. Since I have high pressure and refuse to fast for a long time, As an alternative to intermittent fasting I divided my routine into 5 days and two days .And I noticed that I was gaining more weight in the evening, so I stopped eating in the evening. With that I have regularly done as much exercise as possible but I have done it regularly. And through your article I have some more important knowledge. Which I will definitely use to reduce my weight. And I hope I get better results. As well as getting tips about some diseases, I must show my dad because my dad has type 2 diabetes.And I drink herbal tea during fasting because it has a very effective role in reducing my appetite .

    Lastly, I hope your article will benefit everyone and they will certainly share their new experiences with you.

    1. Hi Shanta, Thanks for your comment.

      People have been fasting since time began. Some for many different reasons. It is beneficial for the body to give it a time to rest. Our digestive system needs a time of rest as well. The body is designed to heal itself, during the resting state it can do that most effectively. An additional benefit is weight loss as well. 

  5. Thank you very much for talking about very important issues.
    Now on earth, many people are worried about being obese because when people become obese, their immunity is greatly reduced and they suffer from various diseases. My sister is getting overweight, her weight is not controlled in any way, she likes food very much and we are very worried about her health. I love reading your post, I think 16: 8 this routine will work well.
    I encourage my sister to follow this routine. Hopefully, I can share some good results with you soon. Thank you so much.!

    1. Unfortunately we often see things that are more difficult for the others to acknowledge. Living a good example is sometimes the best we can offer to those around us. It is a difficult job for the body to carry around excess ‘luggage’ in the form of excess pounds. It is hard on our organs and our bones.

      Most importantly we need to live a healthy lifestyle, and give our bodies the best advantages to live the healthy life it deserves! A cheerful disposition also goes a long way in adding years to our lives!

  6. Wow! This is mind blowing. Thank you very much for sharing this, my mom will be extremely happy to hear about intermittent fasting menu as she has tried several solutions to weight loss provided online. 

    For me, I’ll prefer the ’16:8′ method as the effectiveness will be quick though it takes discipline to carry out.

    1. Hi Evagreene, Thanks for the comment.

      Intermittent Fasting is beneficial for the body. Putting good, healthy food into our bodies, giving them necessary exercise, rest and a pleasant disposition to live with makes a fantastic recipe for a healthy lifestyle. Intermittent Fasting gives our bodies a chance to rejuvenate itself. All the best to you and your Mom.

  7. I really appreciate this article.
    Thank you so much Carolyn for sharing this beautiful article with us. Your post is very informative and helpful to me.

    After reading your post I got a clear idea about Intermittent Fasting. I will certainly follow the 16: 8 method with doctor advice. The tips you give will benefit me. During the evening, I did not know that diet increased in weight. I will refrain from any evening meal. I hope the 16: 8 method will benefit me. And the 16: 8 Method apply i will share with you later my experiences.

    Lastly, I would like to say that I will share this post on social media. I hope others will benefit.

    1. The 16: 8 method of Intermittent Fasting gives you a window of 8 hours to eat in and 16 hours to fast. During 8 of those hours you will probably be asleep. It is not desirable to eat a large meal just before bedtime. It is best to allow your digestive system to have a time of rest, as well as your body, during the time you are asleep. 

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