Get the most out of your fasting journey with the ultimate intermittent fasting food list, backed by science.
Throughout history, fasting has been utilized as an expression of political dissent, desire for spiritual reward, as well as a therapeutic tool.
But that brings the big question: Is there an ultimate intermittent fasting guide so you know what to eat while you’re on this practising?
Eating during intermittent fasting (IF) can be confusing. This is because IF is not a diet plan but an eating pattern. Keeping this in mind, we have created an intermittent fasting food list that will keep you healthy while you are on your fasting journey.
IF tells you about when to eat but does not mention what foods can be included in your diet. A lack of clear dietary guidelines can give a false impression that one can eat whatever they want. For others, this can cause problems with choosing the “right” foods and drinks.
Eating wrong foods during Intermittent Fasting can make you more likely to be undernourished or overnourished.
A Quick Overview of Intermittent Fasting and Its Types
WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING
Intermittent fasting is an increasingly popular eating pattern. It is divided into two phases: fasting phase and eating phase. During the fasting phase, you are not supposed to eat or drink anything except plain water. But during the eating phase, it is important to eat healthy and filling foods so that you don’t end up overeating.
There are many ways to do intermittent fasting. For starters, here’s a breakdown of typical Intermittent fasting schedules:
• Alternate Day Fasting (ADF)—1 day ad libitum eating (normal eating) alternated with 1 day of complete fasting
• Modified Alternate Day Fasting (mADF)—1 day ad libitum feeding alternated with 1 day very low-calorie diet (about 25 per cent of normal caloric intake)
• 2/5—Complete fasting on 2 days of the week with 5 days ad libitum eating
• 1/6—Complete fasting on 1 day of the week with 6 days ad libitum eating
Time Restricting Feeding (TRF)
• 12-HOUR: avoid eating any calories for 12 hours, eat all your calories within the next 12 hours
• 16-HOUR: This is probably the extended version of the 12-hour fast. You are not allowed to eat for 16 hours a day and can eat normally in the 8-hour.
• 20-HOUR: “THE WARRIOR DIET, long fasting window of 20 hours and a short eating window of 4 hours.
IS INTERMITTENT FASTING SAFE AND HEALTHY?
Here are some of the cases (but might not be limited to) of Individuals with the following conditions should abstain from intermittent fasting:
• if you have a diabetes
• if you take medications for blood pressure or heart disease
• if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
• if you have a history of disordered eating that involve unhealthy self-restriction (anorexia or orthorexia Nervosa)
• if you don’t sleep well
• if you are under 18 years old
• Active growth stage, such as in adolescents
Best Foods to Eat on an Intermittent Fasting Diet
My recommendations wouldn’t be very different from foods that I might normally suggest for improved health—high-fibre, unprocessed, whole foods that offer variety and flavour.” In other words, eat plenty of the below foods and you won’t end up in a hangry rage while fasting.
The intermittent fasting food list should contain foods:
1. FOR PROTEIN
Protein is an essential nutrient to keep your body functioning well. Proteins are part of every cell in your body and are needed to build and repair muscle, tissue, skin, nails and hair. Protein also helps build hormones and enzymes. Eating lean protein keeps you feeling full longer than consuming other foods and will help you maintain or build muscle.
The IF food list for protein include:
• Poultry and fish
• Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
• Seeds and nuts
• Beans and legumes
• Whole grains
2. FOR CARBS
Carbohydrates are an essential part of life and are most definitely not the enemy when it comes to weight loss. Because a large chunk of your day will be spent fasting during this diet, it’s important to think strategically about ways to get adequate calories while not feeling overly full. Though a healthy diet minimizes processed foods, there can be a time and place for items like whole-grain bread, bagels, and crackers, as these foods are more quickly digested for fast and easy fuel. If you intend to exercise or train regularly while intermittent fasting, these will especially be a great source of energy on the go.
The IF food list for carbs include:
• Sweet potatoes
• Brown rice
• Kidney beans
• Brussels sprouts
3. FOR FAT
Healthful high-fat foods are not something to shy away from. The body needs a certain amount of fat from the diet to aid hormone function, memory, and the absorption of specific nutrients.
Including healthful fats in a meal also creates a sense of fullness, slows down the digestion of Carbohydrates and adds flavor to food.
The most healthful fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
The IF food list for fats include:
• Whole eggs
• Dark chocolate
• Fatty fish
• Chia seeds
• Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
• Full-fat yogurt
4. FOR A HEALTHY GUT
For good gut health, experts suggest eating more foods that contain fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, or a combination of the three. Studies have found that foods with more dietary fiber tend to make people feel satisfied longer than foods with less dietary fiber. High-fiber foods also tend to be foods that require a lot of chewing. “That’s a good thing. “The more you chew, the more satiety, or stomach-filling satisfaction, you get.”
The intermittent fasting food list for a healthy gut include:
• All vegetables
• Fermented vegetables
5. FOR HYDRATION
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy eating pattern while intermittent fasting is to promote hydration. As we go without fuel for 12 to 16 hours, our body’s preferred energy source is the sugar stored in the liver, also known as glycogen. As this energy is burned, so disappears a large volume of fluid and electrolytes. Drinking at least eight cups of water per day will prevent dehydration and also promote better blood flow, cognition, and muscle and joint support during your intermittent fasting regimen.
The intermittent fasting food list for hydration include:
• Sparkling water
• Black coffee or tea
• Skim milk
• Plain yogurt
What (Not) to Eat During Intermittent Fasting
Some foods to avoid during intermittent fasting:
• Fast Foods
• Processed Foods
• Simple Carbs
• Sugary Sodas
• Sweetened Fruit Juice
Intermittent fasting: the pros and cons
After investigating the health claims and research surrounding intermittent fasting, there appears to be both benefits and concerns with the diet.
By Priyanshi Bhatnagar