Intermittent fasting is a diet plan that has been gaining popularity in recent years. There are a few different ways to do intermittent fasting, but limiting your eating window to 8 hours or less per day is the most common way. While there are many purported benefits of intermittent fasting, one of the most frequent questions people ask is what they can and cannot eat during their fasting window.
In this post, we will explore what foods are allowed during intermittent fasting and provide some suggestions to help you make the most of your fasting window.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting dietary pattern alternates between periods of fasting and eating. There are a few different ways to do intermittent fasting, but restricting your eating window to 8 hours or less per day is the most common method. For example, you may choose to eat all meals between 10 am and 6 pm. This would mean that you would fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day.
There are a few different reasons why people may choose to do intermittent fasting, including weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and reduced inflammation. Additionally, some people find that intermittent fasting helps them to feel more alert and energetic during the day.
What to eat during your fasting window?
The good news is that there are no hard and fast rules about what you can and cannot eat while fasting.
Getting enough protein is one of the most important things to focus on during your fasting window. Protein is required for muscle growth and preventing hunger, so it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough.
Some good protein sources include chicken, fish, tofu, legumes, and eggs. You can also get protein from supplements, such as whey protein powder or casein protein powder.
Another essential nutrient to focus on during your fasting window is fat. Fat is a high-calorie nutrient that can help keep you feeling full and satisfied. Additionally, fat helps your body absorb vitamins and minerals from food.
Some good healthy fat sources include avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. You can also get fat from supplements, such as fish oil or krill oil.
Fiber is another important nutrient to focus on during your fasting window. Fiber satiates hunger pangs and makes you feel full because it is an effective appetite suppressant.
Some good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. You can also get fiber from supplements, such as psyllium husk, or simply check for essential fiber complex by DoFasting, with glucomannan and cellulose.
Water Last but not least, it’s essential to ensure you stay hydrated while fasting. Water is vital for all of the body’s functions, and it can help reduce hunger and fatigue and keep headaches and lightheadedness at bay.
Some people find that they prefer to drink flavored water during their fasting window. You can also add a slice of lemon or lime to your water to help make it more palatable.
Tea and coffee are also permitted during your fasting window, but avoid adding sugar or cream, as this will break your fast.
Vegetables are a nutrient-dense food group that should be included in your diet, regardless of whether or not you’re fasting. Vegetables are a rich resource of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, they’re low in calories, making them ideal for people trying to lose weight.
Some good sources of vegetables include leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, and tomatoes.
Fruit is another healthy food group that can be included in your diet during intermittent fasting. Fruits provide enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, fruit provides natural sugar for energy.
Some good fruit sources include apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, plums, pears, and grapefruit.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are other excellent methods to add taste and nutrients to your meals during your fasting window. Herbs and spices are full of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Some good herbs and spices to eat during your fasting window include clove, thyme, oregano, turmeric, ginger, garlic, cumin, and cinnamon.
Note: You are allowed to take water-soluble supplements during the fasting period. However, other supplements (having sugar and calories) should be consumed along with the food during the eating window. The latter may break your fast.
Remember that you can eat whatever you want during your eating window. There is absolutely no need to deprive yourself of your favorite foods while intermittent fasting. However, if you are trying to lose weight, you may want to limit your intake of high-calorie foods during your eating window.