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Intermittent fasting
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What is Intermittent Fasting 14:10?

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Intermittent fasting is a type of time-restricted feeding. This type of eating regimen switches from periods of fasting, where little to no calories are ingested, to periods of eating[1]. It is more of an eating pattern, rather than a typical diet – it focuses on when you eat, rather than what you eat. 

IF can be adapted to each individual based on lifestyle & dietary preferences and provides some forgiveness to an irregular daily schedule. There are many types of popular IF strategies such as 16:8 fasting, 5:2 method, alternate-day fasting, and the Warrior Diet, among others. 

The 14:10 fast, a variation of the IF diet, where the ratio of fasting and feeding periods is 14 hours to 10 hours, meaning you have a 10-hour window in the day to eat all of your meals, while you fast for the other 14 hours (but don’t worry that can include your time asleep!).

14-hour Fast Benefits

In the 14:10 diet, a person who eats their first meal at 8 am would have their last meal by 6 pm and would fast throughout the night before starting their next feeding window no earlier than 8 am the next morning. 

This 14-hour fasting period can provide more benefits than just a reduction in total daily calorie intake, which is a key to losing weight [3,4]. Recent literature has shown that IF, including 14:10 regime, benefits may include:

  • Supporting brain [5]
  • Supporting heart health [6]
  • Improving glucose sensitivity [7]
  • Reducing hunger [8], which may lead to weight loss [9]. 

With ongoing research becoming ever more prevalent, the intermittent fasting strategy may become an even larger part of both weight loss and overall wellbeing strategies for decades to come.

Is 14:10 Intermittent Fasting Effective?

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, 14:10 intermittent fasting results may consist of increased energy and improved sleep [10]. Deciding if any diet is effective, whether it’s 14:10 fast or something else, depends on what outcomes you are expecting. As can be seen by the potential benefits above, research has shown that intermittent fasting 14:10 can be very effective in many measured outcomes. 

The most important thing is that you continue to try adhering to your plan even if you make mistakes along the way. We all have our days where we give into temptation on the restaurant menu or decide to have an extra snack. But not allowing a slip up to completely bring your intermittent fasting 14:10 diet crashing all the way down is the best way to ensure that it is effective for you in the long term.

What To Eat during 14:10 fasting?

There are no exact recommendations on what you should eat, it is still recommended to follow the general rules for a healthy balanced diet. This means eating a balanced diet consisting of a variety of foods. Two important nutrients to focus on include:

  • Protein: Lean Meats, fish, tofu, eggs, low-fat dairy
  • Fiber: Whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes. 

Foods that are high in protein and fiber will be beneficial to any diet because they will help you feel full during your fasting periods. Prioritizing nutrient-rich foods over those that are high in added sugar and fat content will not only provide your body with the macronutrients and micronutrients that it needs for normal daily activity, but it will also ingrain the habit of eating healthy as a lifestyle rather than a temporary fad.

Using a resource like the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for America [11] and the USDA MyPlate website [12] during your 10-hour feeding window will help you adhere to your 14-hours fasting window by keeping you satiated and alert by ensuring you eat a healthy and balanced diet. The success of your plan will depend on the quality of your diet, regardless of whether the goal is weight loss, so planning ahead and using these tools will be a great advantage to long-term adherence.

What Foods to Avoid During 14:10 Intermittent Fasting?

You should avoid food and beverages with calories during the intermittent fasting 14:10 plan. A significant intake of calories would break your intended fast, no matter if those calories came from nutrient-rich food or beverages that are considered “healthy” or junk-food and snacks that are considered “unhealthy”. Read more about what to drink while fasting.

However, beverages like unsweetened coffee, teas, and lemon water will all be vital to keeping you hydrated until you break your fast with food intake, as they contain little to no calories. So, the short answer on which foods to avoid during your intermittent fasting 14:10 diet is: all foods. But remember to drink plenty of fluids (hydration is key to overall health and wellbeing), get a good night sleep as often as you can, and don’t beat yourself up if those 14-hour fasting windows seem too long every once in a while, and you need to have a snack. The great thing is that you’re learning to be more in tune with what your body needs, and there are many types of eating patterns that you can try that best suit your lifestyle.

References

  1. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/intermittent-fasting-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work
  2. Welton, Stephanie, et al. "Intermittent fasting and weight loss: Systematic review." Canadian Family Physician 66.2 (2020): 117-125.
  3. Klempel, Monica C., et al. "Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women." Nutrition journal 11.1 (2012): 1-9.
  4. Wilkinson, Michael J., et al. "Ten-hour time-restricted eating reduces weight, blood pressure, and atherogenic lipids in patients with metabolic syndrome." Cell metabolism 31.1 (2020): 92-104.
  5. Cerqueira, Fernanda M., Bruno Chausse, and Alicia J. Kowaltowski. "Intermittent fasting effects on the central nervous system: how hunger modulates brain function." Handb Famine, Starvation, Nutr Deprivation [Internet] Cham: Springer (2017): 1-18.
  6. Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. "Fasting, circadian rhythms, and time-restricted feeding in healthy lifespan." Cell metabolism 23.6 (2016): 1048-1059.
  7. Jamshed, Humaira, et al. "Early time-restricted feeding improves 24-hour glucose levels and affects markers of the circadian clock, aging, and autophagy in humans." Nutrients 11.6 (2019): 1234.
  8. Ravussin, Eric, et al. "Early time‐restricted feeding reduces appetite and increases fat oxidation but does not affect energy expenditure in humans." Obesity 27.8 (2019): 1244-1254.
  9. Gabel, Kelsey, et al. "Effects of 8-hour time restricted feeding on body weight and metabolic disease risk factors in obese adults: A pilot study." Nutrition and healthy aging 4.4 (2018): 345-353.
  10. Gill, Shubhroz, and Satchidananda Panda. "A smartphone app reveals erratic diurnal eating patterns in humans that can be modulated for health benefits." Cell metabolism 22.5 (2015): 789-798.
  11. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov.
  12. https://www.myplate.gov/myplate-plan
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