Intermittent fasting: Benefits, explanations and schedules


There has been confusion for many years about the actual value of breakfast. And then it’s mainly about whether you can skip it or not. It is not clear to many whether this has a positive or negative effect on your weight. That’s why you discover what it really is here. You will learn about the benefits of skipping breakfast and what the scientific research says about this. You will also discover what intermittent fasting can do for you. For example, when it comes to your health and the other advantages. You will also learn how to approach it with a schedule.


What is intermittent fasting?

It is good to start with what intermittent fasting is in any case not. It’s not a diet. It’s not about what you do or don’t eat, but when you do or don’t eat. This can be done in different ways, but the best known is the one you work with with a so-called eating window. You have certain times between which you eat and the rest of the day you eat nothing. During this fasting period, you only drink coffee, tea, or water.

The most commonly used form

When it comes to the most commonly used form of intermittent fasting, you end up with the 16/8 schedule. This means that you are fasting for 16 hours a day. This also includes the hours you sleep. In the other eight hours, you use for your meals. For example, you can eat between 12:00 and 20:00. Although there are also people who start earlier or later. There are also all kinds of other forms of intermittent fasting, of which 5/2 is one. You will read much more about that later.

What can you do with it?

Of course also important to know what you can do with intermittent fasting. You can lose weight with it. It also has positive effects on your brain and body. It even seems to slow down aging. This is being further explored in scientific studies. One reason this form of fasting works so well is that it stimulates the production of human growth hormones. It also improves insulin sensitivity.

The Myths About Intermittent Fasting

Many people do not dare to start intermittent fasting. It is something very different from what they have always been taught. For example, they have learned that breakfast is essential to get the metabolism going and thus lose weight. They also learned that you need 5 to 6 small meals to keep your metabolism going. In addition, they think that fasting eats up muscle mass because you burn protein. In addition, you put your body in saving mode. All of these myths are pretty persistent. That’s why it’s good to take a look at the scientific side.

The role of breakfast on your metabolism

The role of breakfast on your metabolism is the biggest myth. This is also because everyone continues to keep him alive. Breakfast would be the most important meal of the day. This is what the nutrition center says, for example, but many manufacturers of breakfast products also say this. This is of course also logical, because they benefit from you taking their products such as breakfast cereals or margarine. They don’t want you to skip breakfast. When you get this often repeated, it is not surprising that you start to believe that there is a grain of truth in it. You will soon be convinced that breakfast is indeed essential. However, it is good to look at the other side as well.

The myth about the number of meals

The myth that you need to have a meal five to six times a day to ensure a good metabolism is also persistent. You would need 3 meals and 3 snacks. This prevents a slowdown in your metabolism. Many dietitians advise you to eat small portions, spread over the day. However, there is no scientific research to support this finding. Many studies indicate that the number of eating moments per day has no influence on your metabolism at all. So you can also eat 2 to 3 times a day and burn just as much.

It is true that there is a chance that you can counteract your hunger with many small portions spread over the day. On the other hand, you will never really be full and the chance of snacking is slightly greater. Scientific research has also proven that eating small portions helps you to reduce insulin sensitivity and ensures the development of belly fat.

The myth about muscle mass

When you look at bodybuilders, you see them constantly carrying bags full of Tupperware containers full of prepared healthy meals with them every day. They want to eat regularly to get enough protein so that they do not lose muscle mass. This also makes sense, because muscle mass is important for everyone. It contributes to your resting metabolism. If you lose mass, your resting metabolism will also decrease and you will gain weight faster. That is why it is important to maintain your muscle mass.

Of course, it is important that you maintain your muscle mass. Only it is not the case that you start to lose this within a few hours. For example, your body stores fat. That will digest it first. Only then will it start to build your muscle mass. It is therefore not correct that you have been taught this in this way. There are also many benefits for bodybuilders. In this way, more human growth hormones are produced. While you also get tighter.

The Myth About Power Saver

In the early days, there were regular periods when people were forced to fast. For example, animal hunting could fail. It was also the case that sometimes there are no edible vegetable products to be found. This forced the man to fast. As a result, man is provided with a saving mode, this is the result of evolution. This position allows your body to slow down the metabolism. The body then uses the supplies in your body more economically so that you do not immediately die of starvation. If you want to lose weight, it is of course of no use if your body goes into saving mode. Only that does not happen immediately after one skipped meal.

How does the saving mode work?

If your body doesn’t go into low-power mode right after a skipped meal, how does it work? In reality, you have to live at least 60 hours without food. This means that you should not eat anything for 2.5 days before your metabolism will slow down. Just before that, however, the metabolism actually picks up. Research showed that the metabolism was 10 percent faster after 36 hours and even 14 percent after 84 hours. This is because your body first produces hormones that give your body more energy. This contributes to the chance of survival because it encourages you to look for food.

Is intermittent fasting really that good?

In recent times, intermittent fasting has suddenly become very popular. Especially bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts are enthusiastic about it. It helps them burn fat and fuel muscle growth. However, fasting is not entirely new. It is actually the normal way in which our bodies deal with food. It’s just that over the centuries people have become less and less active and food has become more and more readily available. As a result, fasting has disappeared from the lifestyle.

Developments in society

The reason why fasting has increasingly disappeared over the centuries can be found in developments in society. In the first place, people used to do much more physical work. Today most of the work is done in offices. In addition, you no longer have to look for food. You can find places where food is being sold 24 hours a day. Don’t just think of supermarkets, restaurants and evening shops. Also think of, for example, the vending machines at stations, or the gas stations that are open 24/7. There is always something to find.

The way of life

The way of life of modern man has also been adapted to this. For example, it is very common to eat in public. Just look around you in crowded places. There are always people who just put something in their mouths. That was very different less than 100 years ago. The extent to which we move has also decreased. These two things together have led to many health problems. Insulin resistance in particular plays a role in this. We as humans are not attuned to this at all. The body is still suitable for the Paleolithic era up to 10,000 years ago.

Focused on survival

In the Paleolithic era, people developed to survive in difficult times. Think of periods when food was not needed for a long time and periods when food was available. Scientists now state that we still need these changes in capabilities for optimal metabolism. Intermittent fasting is the best method for this. The prehistoric man also did not eat breakfast. First, something had to be caught or looked for in order to eat.

The comparison with intermittent fasting

Because they had to hunt first, it is believed that humans only started eating at the end of the afternoon. This is also the pattern of intermittent fasting. Breakfast is skipped and a meal is taken for the first time late in the afternoon. To imitate the feeling of hunting, it is an option to do some sport at the end of the fasting period. It is also stated that in prehistoric times nothing was always caught or found. As a result, several days without food were sometimes necessary. Other forms of intermittent fasting than 16/8 mimic these kinds of situations. For example, you do not eat for one or two days.

Similar forms of feeding

There are even more eating patterns that are based on what prehistoric man did. An example of this is the paleo diet. This diet is based on what was eaten in prehistoric times. Intermittent fasting focuses on when food was eaten in prehistoric times. That means that there is no looking at what you can and cannot eat. Although it is recommended to keep it healthy. After all, it’s not a good idea to fast and then finish it off with a big box of snacks from the snack bar. Fasting is very common in some cultures. The best example is Ramadan.

Lose weight with intermittent fasting

Various scientific studies also indicate intermittent fasting as a suitable diet for weight loss. It is simple to apply and easy to maintain. For example, it was already discovered in 2016 that you can lose more fat mass with this form of food than if you follow a diet with great calorie restriction. There is also an explanation for this. You eat fewer calories because you skip a meal. However, this is not the only reason why fasting can have such an effect if you want to lose weight.

The effect of fasting

Fasting changes the hormone balance in your body. This also greatly improves your insulin sensitivity. This is due to the different hormones that play a role in intermittent fasting. Insulin, noradrenaline, and the human growth hormone are the best examples of this. It is therefore important to shed some light on all of these. This way you better understand what exactly happens in your body.

Human Growth Hormone

The best-known effect of intermittent fasting is the increase in human growth hormones. This can increase by up to 500 percent. In fact, studies show that in some men the increase can be up to 2000 percent and in women up to 1300 percent. Provided that a fasting period is observed for more than 24 hours. Thanks to the growth hormone, the loss of body fat further increases. That’s because it stimulates both the burning of fat and the maintenance of muscle mass.

The hormone insulin

One of the most important hormones in the human body is insulin. It is very important in metabolism. For example, it is necessary to absorb glucose into the blood. In addition, it contributes to fat storage and tells the fat burning when to stop. If you suffer from chronically high insulin levels, you will hardly be able to lose weight. That’s because the body is constantly stimulated to store fat. This also leads to obesity. If you want to break through this, you should eat low-carbohydrate or apply intermittent fasting.

The hormone norepinephrine

The stress hormone noradrenaline is produced to keep you alert. It has many similarities with adrenaline. When you do not eat for 24 hours or more, your body produces this hormone. This was previously necessary to ensure that humans began to look for food. The effect of this hormone is therefore based on that. It gives the body the ability to release fatty acids in the fat cells to burn. This hormone also increases your metabolism. After 24 hours by 10 percent and after 84 hours even by 14 percent.

The health effects of intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is not only suitable when you want to lose weight. It is also good to take care of it to improve your health. That can be done in different ways. So you don’t just lose weight with it, but it is specifically about belly fat. In addition, it contributes to the recovery of body cells and possibly slows down aging. Another known health benefit of fasting is that it reduces oxidative stress and reduces inflammation in the body. It is good to take a look at all of these points.

Lose weight and lose belly fat

To live in good health, a stable weight is of great importance. You can determine whether you are a healthy weight based on your BMI. Intermittent fasting is a good way to lose weight. You make sure that you lose more calories than you take in. The amount of calories in is lower because you skip meals. The amount of calories out will increase as your metabolism speeds up after 24 hours and 84 hours. This can significantly lower your insulin levels. That helps to lose weight and prevent type 2 diabetes . Studies show that you can lose 3 to 8 percent overweight in a period of 3 to 24 weeks. Then calculate your BMI

The recovery of the body cells

The other health benefit that studies are increasingly showing is that your body cells recover better. When you eat frequently, your body constantly needs the energy to digest food. If you choose to fast, your body has long periods of time to reserve the energy for other tasks. Think of the removal of waste from the cells. This development is called autophagy. Intermittent fasting helps maintain nervous system health. It can also activate proteins that play a role in longevity. Research in mice shows that fasting stimulates the stem cells to refresh the tissue. This is because you burn fatty acids instead of carbohydrates.

Reducing inflammation and oxidative stress

Oxidative stress is part of the reason you age and why you can develop chronic diseases. This is because free radicals damage parts of the cells. Think of DNA, proteins and lipids. This stress is due to things like obesity, hypoglycemia, smoking, alcohol abuse, medications, too much sunlight, and even intense exercise. Intermittent fasting can help you resist oxidative stress. It is also the way to curb inflammation. This is often the beginning of many chronic diseases.

Lower risk of type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is seen by virtually all health experts as the greatest threat to public health in the coming century. About 1.5 million people die each year as a result of this condition. An increase in blood sugars and insulin resistance contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes in humans. However, by choosing intermittent fasting you can greatly reduce the risk of this disease. That’s because fasting reduces both insulin resistance and blood sugars.

This advantage also applies to all forms of intermittent fasting that you can apply. Researchers compared the results of more than 70 existing studies on the different forms of intermittent fasting. It showed that things like slowing down aging and reducing the risk of chronic conditions like diabetes and cancer always occurred. In addition, it always proved effective for weight loss and fat burning.

Lower risks of cancer and Alzheimer’s

Cells in the body can be damaged. In general, the cells themselves are able to repair the damage or refresh themselves. This is also known as the process of autophagy. Fasting stimulates this process. This allows you to better protect yourself against various diseases. Good examples are cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. However, studies into the effect on these diseases are still ongoing. The results are mainly seen in animals. Although small-scale results have already been achieved on people with Alzheimer’s in this way.

Less risk of cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease can develop in many ways. Think of high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, elevated blood sugars, inflammation and triglycerides. By applying intermittent fasting you can positively influence all these risk factors. That way you reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This has emerged in several studies.

Improving brain function

By applying intermittent fasting you can also ensure improved growth of new nerve cells. This has a positive effect on brain function. Intermittent fasting stimulates the production of BDNF. This is important to make sure you form new synapses and keep your memory and learning processes working properly.

Preventing aging symptoms

Opting for intermittent fasting is also popular among circles of people who believe in extending longevity. Fasting has several anti-aging effects that you can take advantage of. Research in rats found that fasting every other day could lead to an 83 percent increase in life span. Calorie restriction has been used for some time to extend life. Research has now shown that intermittent fasting can help achieve the same results. It is important to know that this has only been proven in animal experiments. More research is needed for that.

Improving endurance and recovery

Fasting can help you to stimulate the production of human growth hormones. In men, the increase can be up to 2000 percent. In women, fasting can increase human growth hormone by up to 1,300 percent. Having more growth hormone in you will help you improve your stamina. It also helps your muscles to recover faster after exercise.

How do you start intermittent fasting?

If you want to start with intermittent fasting, it is smart to first take a look at your current situation. If you’ve been looking at the options for a while, you may be inclined to immediately follow a schedule from a professional. You want to take advantage of the positive effects as quickly as possible. Schedules such as 20/4 with a HIIT workout at the end of the 20 hour fast are very tempting. It’s just not always smart to start with that when you come out of a situation of 6 eating moments a day and no exercise.

The enthusiasm to start rigorously with intermittent fasting immediately also carries a danger. Your insulin sensitivity is still too low and you will really get sick of the low blood sugar level at the end of the fast. Complaints that you may experience are: Dizziness, blurred vision, headache, irritation, confusion, palpitations, sweating, trembling, yawning, hunger pangs, and restlessness. When your blood sugar level even gets too low, you can even become unconscious or in a coma. This won’t happen anytime soon, but people who have diabetes and need insulin are at risk.

You can recognize low blood sugar by the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Quickly irritated
  • hunger
  • Yawn
  • To sweat
  • palpitations
  • trembling
  • restlessness

If you do not exercise and you are going to follow a serious sports program in addition to intermittent fasting, you will often feel very bad. It may even leave you questioning the benefit of intermittent fasting for you. If you do exercise and you also eat low-carbohydrate, you can make the transition to intermittent fasting a bit easier than others. Nevertheless, your body will always have to get used to fasting. So you will have to build it up slowly.

Learn to fast

If you have become used to eating five to six times a day over the years, you will also feel good about it. Don’t you feel well outside of this rhythm? Then you have low insulin sensitivity, high insulin levels, and high blood sugars. It is then smart to build up the intermittent fasting schedule slowly for the best results. You do that step by step. You start by stopping eating sugars and fast carbohydrates so that your blood sugar and insulin drop. After two weeks you will eat less once a day. Then you take a moment off every week. When you are used to eating three meals a day, you take the last step to two meals.

You do not have to follow the step-by-step plan to the day, do you notice that the step from eating four to three meals is still too big after a week? Then feel free to wait a few more days or a week before you take that step. This way you can let your body get used to it and you can grow in intermittent fasting in the right way. In almost all cases it should be possible to take a step after two weeks. If this does not work, there are probably still too many sugars and fast carbohydrates and your diet. Your blood glucose and insulin then react to this.

Eliminate carbohydrates from your diet

You can cut carbohydrates from your diet by choosing more protein-rich foods. Healthy fats also help. In addition, slow carbohydrates are of course also much better. You can find this in vegetables, sweet potato, quinoa and brown rice. Once you get used to eating twice a day and to these products? Then you can make your fasting period a little longer. This includes your sleeping time, among other things. In order to extend the period optimally, you generally also skip breakfast. If you eat your last meal at 6:00 pm and the next meal is not eaten until 12:00 the next day, then you have fasted for 18 hours. Provided of course you don’t eat snacks in between. In the end you only skipped breakfast.

Fasting and sports

When you switch to intermittent fasting, it is also smart to exercise during your eating period, or just after your last meal. That way you still have enough energy to exercise in a normal way. Once you get used to it, you can get more out of fasting by placing exercise in the fasting period. Exercising at the very end of the fasting period will give you the most benefits. Then you have an optimal amount of human growth hormone in your body.

If you approach it smartly, you can eat your first meal immediately after exercising. It is not necessary, but it often feels nice just after exercise because you have used up everything in your body. Your schedule for the day should of course allow it. Sometimes it feels better to exercise after getting up and then wait until lunch before eating. That is also an option. Moreover, this also optimizes your fat burning. Moreover, you can completely empty your glycogen stores with exercise. This also contributes.

Intermittent fasting schedules

It is possible to approach intermittent fasting in different ways. It’s not that one method is much better than the other. Provided you always follow certain guidelines. It can then differ per person which schedule suits best. This depends, for example, on your daily schedule and the goals you have. Fasting bodybuilders are looking for lean muscle mass. They also train a lot. This is different from when you just want to get rid of your beer belly.

Intermittent fasting only works if you always fast for at least 12 hours straight. Only after 12 hours will the glycogen stores in your body run out. That’s when you’re going to burn fat. It is a little earlier for some people, but much later for many people. In any case, it is important to then take advantage of the fat-burning for a few hours. That is why schedules also look like that you do not fast for 12 hours, but for example 16, 18, or 20 hours. This way, you still get a few hours of combustion. During your fasting period you should absolutely not consume carbohydrates or proteins. This will negate the fasting because your body will start producing insulin.

Breaking the Effects of Fasting

If you would break the fast by, for example, eating a small cracker immediately after getting up, your entire cycle will be broken and you will therefore have much less effect. The only thing that can possibly help is eating pure fat. That’s because it doesn’t trigger a metabolic reaction. Coconut oil can therefore help. Coconut oil contains the so-called MCTs. These are absorbed directly in the intestines and go directly to the liver via the blood. There the fatty acids are released to serve as energy, without making insulin.

Drinking while fasting

It is of course clear that during intermittent fasting you do not eat during the fasting period. What about drinking? It is of course important that you continue to get enough fluids. You do that with water, green tea and black coffee. Also make sure you don’t get any sweeteners. So diet drinks aren’t options either. Studies seem to indicate that sweeteners also trigger reactions in the body. So you have nothing to do with it. This also applies to coffee milk, for example. Black coffee is full of caffeine and that can help. It speeds up your metabolism.

Intermittent fasting schedule: 16/8

The best known intermittent fasting schedule is without a doubt 16/8. This is the schedule that also fits best into a daily rhythm. It can also be called a relatively social scheme. You can participate in most things. It means that you fast for 16 consecutive hours and then have 8 hours to eat. You do this every day in this way. Although you can also choose not to engage in intermittent fasting during the weekend, for example. The advantage is that you do not have breakfast alone in this schedule. You can simply share lunch with colleagues and dinner also fits into a normal pattern.

If you eat dinner at 6:00 PM, you still have the chance to have one last snack at 8:00 PM. Then the fast begins. If you keep this up until 12:00, then you have completed 16 hours. You can then have lunch without any problems. After lunch you can then continue until dinner. Although there is also room for a snack, if necessary. Please note, because 16/8 stands for two to three eating moments per day. So do not start every hour with a snack. You can of course slide the times as much as you want. If you come out on 15/9 or 17/7, that is also possible.

While the 16/8 schedule may seem perfect for people who just want to experience lunch and dinner, it’s not a requirement to keep the eating period between 12 noon and 8 pm. You can also go before 10am to 6pm, or for 6am to 2pm. If this suits you better, that is no problem. The main thing is that this method is nice and flexible and you can therefore start well with it. It is also easy to start with a 12 hour fast and then build it up to 16 hours. That is also an advantage.

Intermittent fasting schedule: fasting for 24 hours

Another intermittent fasting schedule that is widely used is that of fasting for 24 hours. You can do this once or twice a week. For example, you can eat dinner on Tuesday evening at 6:00 pm and then have the next meal on Wednesday at 6:00 pm. It is also possible from breakfast to breakfast or from lunch to lunch. Of course, this depends on what best fits your lifestyle. If you choose this schedule, it is important to make sure that you do not eat more than before on the days that you are not fasting. Otherwise you will destroy your work. It is important to work towards 24 hours. For example, by going from 12 noon to 2 p.m. and thus constantly pushing the limit for two hours.

Intermittent Fasting Schedule: The 5:2 Diet

The 5:2 diet is also often used as an intermittent fasting schedule. You eat for 5 days according to a normal pattern and then you have to deal with 2 days of calorie restriction. So this is not really fasting. You choose two different days, so no consecutive 48-hour period. On the restriction days, a man does not eat more than 600 kcal and a woman no more than 500 kcal. Fat must be burned that way.

Intermittent fasting schedule: The warrior diet

Whoever chooses the warrior diet, chooses the way in which prehistoric humans got their meals. That means that fruits and vegetables were picked from nature while hunting. During the day you can only eat raw vegetables and some fruit in small portions. In the evenings a large meal follows, comparable to eating the produce of the hunt. You have to do this within 4 hours. Outside you eat fruit and raw vegetables for 20 hours at most.

The warrior diet is a form of intermittent fasting that revolves around making the right choices. It is similar to the paleo diet. The point is that you eat meat, but no grains, dairy, and food products that have been processed. This way you get everything out of it for yourself with this form of fasting.

Intermittent fasting schedule: Occasional fasting

There is also a schedule for intermittent fasting that is actually not a schedule at all. You can of course fast wherever and whenever you wish. That also means that occasionally skipping a meal when it suits you can also work. For example, if you’ve had a busy day and come home late, you can order a takeaway. However, you can also just skip the food. Or you stay just a little longer and skip breakfast to go straight to work. You basically only eat when you need it. Make sure that you really do skip a meal now and then and not just fast in thought.

Intermittent fasting schedule: Day on, Day off

One method of intermittent fasting that is emerging is that of every other day. One day you fast, the next day you can eat. This is also the form most commonly used in studies. You can also use the 5:2 technique for this. You limit your calorie intake on certain days to 500 kcal. On other days you eat normally. However, you can also make this as extreme as you’d like. It is also possible to eat nothing at all on fasting days. Pay attention, because you need some experience with fasting for this.

It is not immediately very easy to follow this method. It can be difficult to maintain this over a longer period of time. However, many people have a lot of success with it in the short term because they lose weight quickly in a short time. For example, if you want to reach a target weight, you start with this schedule. Then you reduce it to, for example, 16/8 to maintain your weight. This way you benefit from all the health benefits of fasting.

Intermittent Fasting Schedule: The Fast-5 Diet

Another form is that in 24 hours you only have a period of 5 hours to eat. This is then 5 consecutive hours. This is called the Fast-5 diet. The ideal period to eat is set at 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM. This is because, according to studies, prehistoric humans would normally eat at these times. First, they had to hunt and collect. This was not completed before 3pm each day. This diet has many similarities with the warrior diet. Although at Fast-5 you have an hour longer to eat. Fast-5 also has no restrictions such as only raw vegetables and fruit but just leaves you free.

Intermittent fasting schedule: Eating one meal a day

You can also fast on a daily basis. For example, you eat only one meal each day. However, it is important that you continue to drink enough. You do this by drinking water or tea. This is a very difficult form of intermittent fasting. You have to stand firm in your shoes to keep it up. It is not a good option for beginners. For example, it is also not so suitable for bodybuilders and strong athletes. For them, just one meal doesn’t bring in enough protein and carbohydrates. This is often possible in two meals.

Intermittent fasting schedule: Moderate fasting

You can also create a schedule in which you have one or a few fast days each week. These days are not as strict as in other intermittent fasting schedules. You can eat and drink normally, but you limit your calories as much as possible. For example, you can choose to have vegetable smoothies all day long on such days. The advantage is that your metabolic reaction remains very limited on such days. The amounts of carbohydrates are very small. So you partly benefit from the effects on your hormones.

The advantage is that you do ensure a good calorie restriction. So it should be possible to get rid of it. The method will not help you to make your human growth hormone stronger. You will therefore not quickly see that your muscle mass increases strongly because you have chosen this form of fasting. It is therefore important to take that into account.

Intermittent fasting schedule: A 36 Hour fasting schedule

The last schedule regarding intermittent fasting is that of fasting for 36 hours. So you eat nothing for 36 hours straight. You can do this once a week. For example, you start on Monday evening and only break the fast again on Wednesday morning. By using this schedule you can burn a lot of fat in a short time. Be careful, because this schedule is too heavy for beginners to follow.

Other types of schemes

The intermittent fasting schedules you will find here are the most commonly used in practice. Keep in mind that there are actually infinitely many other possibilities. Some people opt for their own methods, for example by fasting for two to three days in a row. You have to make sure you stay within 60 hours to stay out of the low power mode. When you do that, you can actually go either way with the fast. It is especially important that you find a schedule that fits your daily schedule. You should also feel comfortable with it. It is therefore not surprising to first test some different options.

What can and can’t you eat?

Intermittent fasting is not a diet. That means that the focus is not at all on what you can eat. The focus is on when you eat. Please note, because this is not a license. If you break your fasting period and you only eat junk food during your eating period, the fasting will have too little effect on your health. You eat less often, so it is smart to make your meals extra nutritious. The point is that you get enough vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in these meals. Fewer eating moments should not be at the expense of sufficient good nutrients in your diet.

The role of insulin

The benefits you get from intermittent fasting mainly come from the reduction of insulin in your body. You retain less fat as a result. When you start eating more fast carbohydrates and sugars, you will notice that you have to deal with insulin to a large extent during your eating period. So you should always try to avoid this in your meals as much as possible. If you want to take full advantage, you stick to the guidelines as given earlier. This ensures that you do not have to process peaks. Also, avoiding sugar is one way to make fasting a little easier.

Stay away from peaks

A big spike in your blood glucose is always followed by a deep dip. This is why you get hunger pangs. Even if you have just started your fasting period. If you eat raw vegetables and vegetables with every meal, you will get a lot of fiber. They ensure that your blood sugars do not rise too quickly. This way you can stay away from these peaks. In addition, the fibers contribute to a healthy functioning of the intestines. It also makes you feel full for longer.

Dealing with intermittent fasting

Do you want to know more about what it feels like to deal with intermittent fasting? Then you can of course do that online. There you will find all kinds of people who have successfully used this in their lives. It is interesting to see what the experiences of these people are. For example, you can find a lot about the way in which it contributes to health. It’s nice to see that other people think so too.

For example, people who have fasted before will tell you that the first week is very difficult and causes a lot of hunger pangs. You will soon feel fitter after that. You also hear positive stories about the fact that you can eat anything. This is quite different from following a diet. Many experience experts point out that you quickly forget about food while fasting. For example, the advantages you have are also a reason for having to use fewer medicines for all kinds of conditions. You often see this in people who have been fasting for a longer period of time.

Those who use intermittent fasting to become drier will notice that the muscles become much more visible than with any other diet. It is also attractive for athletes. Many people are also surprised that they have much more energy during fasting than with a regular diet. Another unexpected advantage is that you spend much less time preparing and eating. Just like sleeping will go a lot better for many people.

Bodybuilders and Intermittent Fasting

Bodybuilders have only one goal and that is to build as much lean muscle mass as possible. That means that fat burning and muscle growth are paramount. This makes intermittent fasting such a good method for these athletes. When it comes to increasing human growth hormone to 2000 percent, this works better than many types of doping. This has to do, for example, with the production of testosterone in the body. Studies show that the production of this increases by up to 67 percent. This allows the testosterone level to grow by up to 180 percent.

Food, on the other hand, lowers your testosterone level. When you look at 300 kcal of food, your testosterone level will therefore remain lower than normal for more than 3 hours. So if you have fewer eating moments in a day, it also means that you are better able to keep your testosterone level at the right level during the day.

Burning fat

Fasting is also important when it comes to optimal fat burning. When you start exercising, the fat tissue will break down more easily. This is the conclusion of English research on fasting mode training. Insulin levels drop significantly due to fasting, causing the body to burn significantly.

The right amounts of macronutrients

The right ratio of carbohydrates, fats and proteins is essential for a bodybuilder. What the right ratio is also has to do with the phase of training you are in at that moment. This makes no difference for intermittent fasting. You make sure you include adequate amounts of macronutrients in your meals. You only do this in fewer meals than you would normally put it into. If you eat less, it will slow down your build-up of muscle mass. It can also interfere with your workout.

It is also important for bodybuilders to train at the right time. This is best done at the end of a fasting period. Precisely because then you have the largest amount of human growth hormone in you. When you train intensively, you only produce more growth hormone. You also wait a while before eating after training, even if you are hungry. You have to ensure that you benefit optimally from the fat burning. This is of course ideal in your situation.

Bodybuilders are often afraid of losing muscle mass when fasting. For that reason, BCAAs are then taken to replenish the proteins during the fasting period. Bodybuilders have a lot of discussion about this. Not everyone is convinced that this works well during the fasting period. This is because they trigger a metabolic reaction. That means that you actually just break the fasting period with BCAAs. You will start making insulin. This is actually not what you want while fasting.

Reasons not to choose intermittent fasting

There are of course also reasons not to do intermittent fasting. This can be the case in various situations. For example, pregnant women should not do this, as should women who are breastfeeding or women who are still trying to conceive. Women with chronic stress or with a predisposition to eating disorders should not go for intermittent fasting either. People on blood sugar medications can also fast uninterrupted. This also applies to people with low blood sugar. In addition, it is not smart to start with this if you never diet or exercise.

Fasting During Pregnancy

Not much research has been done on what intermittent fasting does during pregnancy. Only a few small studies have been completed, from which different conclusions have been drawn. It does seem that it is better not to do intermittent fasting during pregnancy. It could harm the baby, for example due to a lower birth weight. Also, a study into pregnancy during Ramadan shows that there is a link with extreme preterm birth.

In any case, it does not seem like a good idea to adopt any form of diets or dieting when you are pregnant. This is only a good option if there is a medical necessity. After all, don’t forget that you need more calories during pregnancy. After all, you eat for two people, for you and your unborn child.

Intermittent fasting and breastfeeding

It is also not immediately smart to do intermittent fasting after birth. When you breastfeed, the body still needs about 500 kcal extra per day. In addition, it needs a lot of moisture. It is therefore not a smart idea to eat less during that period. It is also true that many toxins are stored in adipose tissue. You don’t want this to pass into breast milk. It is better to choose to first guide your child through this period in a healthy way. Only then can you focus on losing your pregnancy pounds.

It is also important to emphasize that not giving breast milk is a much bigger problem for the child. The small amount of toxins in it are much less threatening. Therefore, be sensible and wait until you are past the breastfeeding period. Eat healthy and exercise enough. This is often enough these days. Later you can see what you can do next.

Getting pregnant and fasting

It is not clear how intermittent fasting affects female fertility. It is true that there are studies that focus on extreme forms of fasting. Think of the hunger winter or of women suffering from anorexia. If this continues for a longer period of time, it can make menstruation irregular or prevent it altogether. This is of course comparable to intermittent fasting, so you will not experience the same effects. However, the studies are not yet clear whether or not it affects fertility. Therefore, be careful with intermittent fasting when you want to become pregnant.

Experiencing chronic stress

A small study has shown that women experienced an increase in the stress hormone cortisol during a long fast of 72 hours. So if as a woman you already suffer from stress in a chronic form, for example due to a burnout, then intermittent fasting may not be a good idea. This can only amplify the stress further because the cortisol levels only go up further.

Blood sugar medications

Do you have type 2 diabetes? Then you may be given medication to lower your blood sugar. When you take these medicines and you start intermittent fasting, there is a serious chance that your blood glucose will drop to such an extent that you get a so-called hypo. So it is not smart to determine for yourself whether you are better off fasting. It is always advisable to discuss with your doctor whether this is the best way to tackle your excess weight. You may be able to coordinate your medication and fasting in a schedule.

Suffering from low blood sugar

Are you dealing with blood sugar that is naturally quite low? Then it is smarter not to do intermittent fasting. It is better to first look at how to get your blood sugar stable at a good level. This will often be a matter of changing your diet or changing certain medications you have to take. Sometimes you can even stop the medication altogether.

Differences between the men and women

It is clear that men react differently to intermittent fasting than women. This has to do with the effects on the hormones that this form of fasting has. Women’s hormones are very different from men’s. This can also cause a lot of trouble for women. For example, it can disrupt the secretion of GNRH. That is the hormone that causes the release of two reproductive hormones, namely LH and FSH. For example, this can make the menstrual cycle irregular, deteriorate bone health and cause other problems.

Women are often better off with the milder forms of intermittent fasting. It is therefore also slightly less effective than in men. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t provide any benefits for women at all. There are plenty of women who have been using it for years. It is also true that it is of course different for every person how it will turn out. That is why it is also smart to try everything yourself.

Using a good schedule

Most diets are not complete. That’s because they don’t address all issues related to weight loss. This makes it more difficult to achieve your goal with it. It is therefore important to opt for a complete plan, such as intermittent fasting. This way you will reach your target weight faster. It’s about focusing on healthy living. This also prevents the yo-yo effect.





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