Meal Planning for Intermittent Fasting

Meal Planning for Intermittent Fasting

  • DIET
  • Katherine Li
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It’s important that we do all we can to ensure we’re maintaining a healthy weight. One of the most efficient ways to maintain your weight is through intermittent fasting. In this article, we will go over how intermittent fasting can benefit you, what you should eat when practicing intermittent fasting, and other diets that can help. 

What is the Best Meal Plan for Losing Weight?

The best way to lose weight is by practicing a healthy, well-balanced diet. Just as it’s important to not overextend yourself when starting an exercise regiment, it’s important to not overextend yourself when starting a diet. This is why many “crash diets” happen. The best diets are ones that are healthy, easy to follow, and more importantly, tasty. Here are some of the best meal plans for losing weight:

  • Intermittent fasting - This diet plan involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating. This is one of the best ways to lose weight and may not be as hard as you think. Passing on breakfast is one way to practice intermittent fasting.
  • Plant-based diets - Vegetarianism and veganism restrict animal products for health, ethical, and environmental reasons. However, more flexible plant-based diets also exist, such as the flexitarian diet, which is a plant-based diet that allows eating animal products in moderation.
  • Low-Carb diets - The most practiced low-carb diet is the keto diet. This diet involved cutting out high-carb foods in order to induce ketosis in your body. Many experts consider this diet effective although it should only be practiced in moderation.
  • Low-fat diets - Like low-carb diets, low-fat diets have been popular for decades. In general, a low-fat diet involves restricting your fat intake to 30% of your daily calories. Some very- and ultra-low-fat diets aim to limit fat consumption to under 10% of calories.

Just like with weight loss pills, you should consult with your doctor to ensure it’s healthy to practice the diet you’re interested in. 

What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

As we mentioned earlier, intermittent fasting is one of the most efficient ways to lose weight. But its benefits extend well-beyond weight loss. Here are some evidence-based health benefits of intermittent fasting:

  • Intermittent fasting can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
  • It can be beneficial for heart health.
  • It can induce various cellular repair processes such as autophagy.
  • Intermittent fasting may help prevent cancer.
  • Experts believe it is good for your brain.
  • It may prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Intermittent fasting may extend your lifespan, helping you live longer.

Intermittent fasting has become very popular among the anti-aging crowd. Given the known benefits for metabolism and all sorts of health markers, it makes sense that intermittent fasting could help you live a longer and healthier life.

What to Eat While Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

When fasting for weight loss, the best way to maximize your results is by pairing it with a healthy diet. Fortunately, there is no specific diet that you need to follow when fasting. A balanced, nutrient-rich diet should do the trick. Here are some of the foods you should look to add to your diet:

  • Non-starchy vegetables - Broccoli, bell pepper, cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, and carrots
  • Starchy vegetables - Peas, potatoes, and corn
  • Fruits - Berries, oranges, apples, bananas, grapes, and mangos
  • Whole grains - Quinoa, brown rice, millet, and bulgar wheat
  • Beans and legumes - Lentils, black beans, and pinto beans
  • Nuts and seeds - Almonds, walnuts, cashews, and sunflower seeds
  • Healthy fats - Avocado, olive oil, coconut, nuts, and cheese
  • Lean proteins - Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs, Greek yogurt, and tofu

By adding these foods to your diet, you will feel the immediate impact of both fasting and practicing a healthy, balanced diet. 

What is a Good Schedule For Intermittent Fasting?

Fasting for weight loss can be done in a lot of different ways. It is important to listen to your body and find what works best for you. There are some studies that show more or less benefits from specific styles of fasting than others. 

Popular intermittent fasting schedules include 8/16 and 12/12 plans. The 12/12 schedule has an 8 hour eating window followed by a 16 hour fast, while the 12/12 schedule has a 12 hour eating window followed by a 12 hour fast. 

Another fasting method is to alternate your fasting days. 24 hours of regular eating to 24 hours of fasting. The 24 hours of fasting can be done in two different ways. Some people will restrict solid foods all together during that day, while others will allow 500 calories in the day. Either way, alternating days have shown great results for fasting for weight loss. 

Can I Do Intermittent Fasting While Doing Keto?

Intermittent fasting helps induce ketosis in your body, which can help improve your overall health while increasing your longevity. Ketosis occurs when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, it burns fat and makes ketones, which it will use as fuel. 

Both the keto diet and intermittent fasting can induce ketosis but they do so in different ways. The keto diet greatly reduces the number of carbohydrates you consume, but it doesn’t necessarily involve fasting. Many of those who practice the keto diet pair it with intermittent fasting. Meanwhile, fasting reduces your carbohydrate intake by reducing the overall amount of food you eat and the number of nutrients you consume. 

Supplements May Help

A healthy lifestyle extends beyond your diet and fasting. Pairing your healthy lifestyle with exercise and a regular supplement regimen can help enhance the positive effects of dieting and fasting. Spermidine supplementation can help your body induce both ketosis and autophagy. Furthermore autophagy provides many of the same benefits of fasting without the need for caloric restriction.