The Definitive Guide to Intermittent Fasting for Men
- November 04, 2020
Roughly 50% of American adults are trying to lose or maintain their weight. Of those, nearly 80% are trying to do it alone. However, study after study shows most people can’t keep the weight off, even if they’re successful. For some men, intermittent fasting may just be the golden ticket to weight loss.
While it’s not for everyone, intermittent fasting can be incredibly beneficial for some people. It’s not clear if intermittent fasting works better for men than women with regards to weight loss. But the research does show that it’s a healthy strategy for improving health in both men and women.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating to lose weight that doesn’t require dieting.
The basic idea is to cycle between periods of eating and not eating. You don’t focus on which foods you should eat or avoid.
The neat thing about fasting is everyone already does a daily fast.
Every night, when you go to bed, you stop eating for between 6 and 8 hours (depending on how long you sleep).
When done correctly, you shouldn’t feel deprived from extended periods of fasting. You may initially feel a little hungry, but most people report having more energy during the fast.
Simple Rules Of Fasting
There are a few rules you need to follow if you want this to work out for you.
First, get plenty of sleep.
Sleep is good for you anyway, but getting more sleep while doing intermittent fasting increases the likelihood you’ll stick with it because you are awake fewer hours during the day. That translates into less willpower needed to stick to the fast.
For example, if you go to bed at midnight and get up at 6 a.m to go to work, you have to “fight” late-night cravings.
If you go to bed at 10 p.m., it shaves 2 hours off your day, and you’re less likely to have a midnight snack if you’re already in bed and sleeping.
Most people choose to fast for 14 to 16 hours. This means you effectively either skip breakfast or dinner. Most people choose to skip breakfast and eat lunch and dinner as normal.
Drink coffee to hold you over.
While some versions of intermittent fasting allow one shot of cream in your coffee, the choice is entirely up to you. The important thing is to not go crazy with it. For example, don’t add 2 or 3 shots of cream and a tablespoon of sugar.
Finally, eat everything you’re going to eat for the day inside of 8 hours. This can be tricky if you’re not used to it. If you get up at 6 a.m. and eat by 7 a.m., you can eat a big breakfast and a moderately-large lunch, as long as you stop eating by 3 p.m.
Alternatively, you can skip breakfast and eat lunch at noon, and dinner sometime before 8 p.m.
Choose an Eating Window You Will Stick To
If you decide to go on a 16hour/8hour fasting/eating schedule every other day, but that 16 hours lapse with your workout schedule, and you find yourself resisting food at an impossible time, you may want to change it up to work with your schedule.
Intermittent fasting is a great strategy for increasing your chances of weight loss, but it won’t help if you don’t stick to the plan. There are several different ways to use intermittent fasting in a beneficial way:
- Alternate day fasting
- A specific number of days per week
- Daily fasting schedule
- 12 + hours of fasting
To optimize your rate of weight loss, you will need to develop a schedule that works for you. The fasting schedule you build will need to consider the amount of weight you aim to lose, the amount calories you’re consuming, how much exercise you do, and any other concerns specific to your situation.
What to Avoid
There are a few traps people fall into when doing intermittent fasting.
First, some people simply don’t track their “eating window” and eat outside of the 8 hours. The result is they’re not fasting long enough and don’t get the results they want.
Another mistake people make is they don’t make their 8-hour window consistent from day-to-day.
Consistency is key.
Choose an 8-hour timeframe when you’ll eat and stick to it. If you want to eat breakfast, start your eating window, then and do it every day.
Your body gets used to eating at the same time every day, so don’t confuse it or it’ll be hard to stick to your fast.
Intermittent fasting can be difficult at first because most people aren’t used to skipping meals. A new habit needs to be formed. However, for those that make the switch, they often find fasting is enough to lose weight, and they don’t have to remember complicated dieting rules or deprive themselves of foods they enjoy.
Don’t go overboard during the eating period.
You may find yourself feeling hungry after an extended period of not eating. Be conscious of why you’re fasting in the first place and stick to a healthy diet.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating where a person cycles between eating and fasting.
There are different variations of intermittent fasting. Some people may only do it a couple of times a week, while others do it every day or every other day.
The benefits of intermittent fasting for men may slightly outweigh the benefits for women, but that should only be viewed as a positive result for men. The research is clear that intermittent fasting is beneficial for both men and women.
Here are just a few the benefits of intermittent fasting:
Intermittent Fasting Aids in Weight Loss
The best and most obvious benefit to intermittent fasting for men is that it aids in weight loss.
During the hours you are eating, it’s important that you don’t pack in as much food as possible.
You want to eat the normal amount of meals you would for the time period. Intermittent fasting will help you to eat fewer meals and snacks in a 24-hour period.
Intermittent fasting also helps to improve the function of the weight loss hormone.
As long as we don’t snack, our insulin levels will go down, and our fat cells can release their stored sugar to be used as energy.
Studies have shown that alternate day fasting decreases blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for both diabetics and weight loss promotion.
Intermittent Fasting is Good for the Brain
There are a few ways in which intermittent fasting is good for the brain. Intermittent fasting may increase the rate that new nerve cells grow.
This is beneficial to the brain. Cellular repair processes also improve when intermittent fasting.
This removes waste from cells and may help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Intermittent fasting also improves levels of a brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
When levels of BDNF are low, you are more likely to experience depression.
Intermittent Fasting May Benefit the Heart
According to the Intermountain Medical Center, intermittent fasting plays a role in keeping the heart healthy. This is great news considering heart disease is a leading cause of death around the world.
Intermittent fasting helps to lower blood pressure, which is good for the heart. LDL and total cholesterol levels will also beimproved. Blood sugar levels will benefit from intermittent fasting as well.
Keeping the heart healthy will help to prevent heart disease. If you have a history of heart disease in your family, intermittent fasting is something you may want to consider.
Intermittent Fasting Helps to Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s response to outside threats such as toxic chemicals and infections. This is the body’s way of protecting the cells and tissues.
Too much inflammation in the body is a different story though. Too much inflammation is linked to lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, gut problems such as ulcerative colitis, and gouty arthritis.
Symptoms of inflammation include joint pain and stiffness, redness, fatigue, headaches, and muscle stiffness.
Intermittent fasting can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Intermittent fasting benefits your body and health in many ways. An intermittent fasting cycle is flexible, so you can adjust it to suit your lifestyle.
Increase the Effectiveness of Intermittent Fasting
To say intermittent fasting is a popular weight-loss trend would likely be the understatement of the year.
Weight loss enthusiasts are flocking to this healthy eating plan thanks to its excellent weight loss results over short periods of time.
If you’re considering using time-restricted eating to help you lose weight fast, the following are a few hacks you should know to increase the effectiveness of your intermittent fasting diet.
Follow a Calorie Restricted Diet
This one is simple and obvious. During your eating hours, make sure you’re eating healthy foods. Stick to good carbohydrates, lean protein, and lots of vegetables. Eat foods that increase satiety like eggs, fish, apples, nuts, and almost all vegetables.
Increase Restricted Hours
Many dieters attempting to lose weight quickly via intermittent fasting restrict their food intake for only 12 -14 hours.
If you restrict your food intake for 16 hours, you can increase the rate at which you lose weight.
Stop eating by 8 p.m. in the evening, and most of your non-eating hours will occur while you’re asleep.
When you’re intermittent fasting period is over, focus on eating foods high in protein.
Instead of instantly consuming carbohydrates once your 16 hours of fasting have passed, eat protein-rich foods like chicken, tuna, and turkey instead.
This helps keep your body in fat-burning mode longer and gives your body necessary proteins too.
Selective Carbohydrate Eating
Just because you’re using time-restricted dieting to lose weight, that doesn’t mean you should consume high-carbohydrate or sugar-rich foods when you’re not in fasting mode.
Eatlow-glycemic carbohydrates instead of high-carbohydrate foods, and you’ll speed up your weight loss rate.
Carbohydrates are a necessary component of healthy eating, but you must be smart when choosing the appropriate ones.
Focus on eating carbohydrates that convert to sugar at a slower rate, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can shed pounds.
These are just a few tips to keep in mind with intermittent fasting for men. The power of time-restricted dieting can work for you.
Focus on healthy eating and exercise habits over the long haul, and you too can become an intermittent fasting success story.
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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on intermittent fasting for men.
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