Fasting has quickly grown to be one of the most well-researched and used approaches to losing weight today.
That is because it is scientifically effective and helps overweight people lose weight much faster than the rest of the approaches.
However, to start your fasting journey, you must gather certain information and create cycles, which is easy if you have a proper tool.
That’s why it is so important to learn to properly use the fasting calculator since it can save you time, cut costs, and much more.
Keep reading below to learn what intermittent fasting is, how to use the fasting calculator, the benefits of fasting, and much more.
- A fasting calculator is a piece of online software that gives you information on how many meals to eat a day, rest periods, suggested workout splits, and the fasting method to use.
- Fasting is one of the most popular health regimes, which involves cycling between fasting and eating.
- There are different fasting methods, some of which are the 16/8 and 14/10.
- Some benefits of intermittent fasting include reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, disease prevention, improved cognitive function, and weight loss.
- Many people aren't ready to adopt a fasting lifestyle, and that's why many of them fail to lose weight with this approach.
What Is a Fasting Calculator?
A fasting calculator is an online tool that helps you gather information to choose the fasting method, good workout splits, and nutritional information such as how many meals you should have a day.
In addition, it is much more cost-effective, saves more time, and is easier to use for your fasting journey compared to the rest of the approaches.
Fasting has quickly become one of the most popular ways to lose weight fast.
The philosophy behind intermittent fasting is that you must cycle periods of eating and fasting for a specific amount of time.
For example, one of the methods called 16/8 consists of 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating period.
Many more approaches and methods of intermittent fasting rely on the same philosophy: cycling the eating and non-eating period in a single day. Fasting has proven to be one of the most effective ways to lose weight and burn fat.
Moreover, it is also effective at regenerating your body by killing the old cells and growing new ones that restore your body and improve your metabolism.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a health regime that consists of cycling between eating and fasting. It is one of the most cost-effective ways of losing weight but requires a lot of discipline over time.
Another method that has gained popularity is water fasting for weight loss, which involves abstaining from all food and only consuming water for a set period.
However, intermittent fasting isn't the typical weight loss diet routine where specific foods or even the amount of food you consume is specified.
On the contrary, intermittent fasting is rather based on a specific period where you refrain from eating, meaning you fast, and for the time in a single day, you are allowed to eat.
For instance, let's say you are fasting for 16 hours. This means you are allowed to eat for the rest of the day, meaning 8 hours. In addition, some fasting practitioners will fast for the entire day and a couple of times a week to achieve the desired result.
Furthermore, there is more than one way to implement the intermittent fasting approach.
However, the general idea of fasting generally boils down to providing health benefits to your body by fasting, which allows your metabolism to reset.
After the entire process, you can eat whatever you want most of the time without worrying about gaining excess kilograms. It is well-known that the process of fasting has been used for more than a couple of thousands of years, especially in Chinese and Indian culture.
However, as humans, we would naturally revert to fasting since the food isn't available 24/7 like today.
This is the main reason fasting is considered a natural process that slowly started disappearing over the course of history due to the abundance of everything, including foods and drinks.
Different Methods of Intermittent Fasting
Today, there are many different ways of implementing intermittent fasting in your daily routine.
However, some fasting approaches are more popular than others.
Here are the most popular methods of fasting:
- 16/8 method - consists of fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours
- 14/10 method - consists of fasting for 14 hours and eating for 10 hours
Here are different ways of implementing the OMAD(one meal a day) approach:
- OMAD (23:1)
- OMAD (22:2)
- OMAD (20:4)
All you must do is type in the required information based only on your goals and individual approach.
Then, the calculator will provide you with essential details which you must follow to ensure you achieve the best results possible.
How to Get Started With Intermittent Fasting?
To get started with intermittent fasting, you must complete five simple steps.
Some of them include choosing an appropriate fasting protocol, calculating the calories, and creating a meal plan.
Here are all the necessary steps you must provide to start fasting:
- Choose the protocol or method you want to follow
- Calculate your calories
- Calculate the macronutrients
- Create the meal plan that suits you the most
- Train while fasting (optional approach)
Below you can find all these steps explained in much greater detail:
1. Choose Which Protocol You Want to Follow
Since the fasting approach has blown in recent years, there are plenty of methods and approaches to choose from.
The most popular approaches you might hear today are definitely Eat Stop Eat, Leangains, The Warrior Diet, and alternate-day fasting.
However, there are many other fasting methods and protocols, but most of those are just derivatives of the previously mentioned ones.
Now, let's take a closer look at the basic approaches we mentioned earlier and hopefully give you the necessary information to choose the one best suited for you.
This method is an intermittent fasting diet that was created and brought to light by Martin Berkhan. He designed this fasting diet primarily for weightlifters and people who care deeply about their body composition.
This is the main reason it has got a lot of traction in the bodybuilding scene.
In addition, it is one of the most effective and less demanding fasting approaches since it doesn't involve inordinately long fasting periods.
The philosophy behind the diet is that men should fast for 16 hours and eat all food in the remaining 8-hour window. In addition, women should fast for 14 hours and eat all food in the remaining 10 hours of the day.
One of the rules is that the fast starts after you eat the last meal and ends with your first meal of the day.
Lastly, you aren't allowed to drink or eat any calories during the time of the fast, but zero-calorie sweeteners, black coffee, and diet soda are allowed for consumption.
Eat Stop Eat
Brad Pilon initially designed this method of fasting. It is very easily implemented into your daily routine. However, it calls for long fasts, which can be tough on your nerves and challenge your will to stay hungry for longer.
The idea is that you should fast for 24 hours once or twice per week.
Also, you can start fasting whenever you want, but they must continue for the next 24 hours.
Lastly, you aren't allowed to drink or eat any calories while fasting. However, you can consume calorie-free beverages such as tea and black coffee.
The Warrior Diet
The Warrior Diet is one of the intermittent fasting approaches primarily popularized by the book of the same name, which Ori Hofmekler wrote.
The whole approach involves fasting for 20 hours a day and eating a large portion of your food in a single large meal each night.
However, in this system, you can eat a few small vegetables, fruits, and protein meals during the 20-hour period leading up to the big meal.
With this approach, you are bound to elevate insulin levels, which translates to the end of fasting.
In addition, one of the interesting claims made by Hofmekler is that eating most calories at night is more in line with our biology.
In addition, the author adds that this method can help us build more muscle, lose fat faster, and even sleep and recover better.
However, there isn't sufficient evidence to support previously mentioned claims, so we are left to believe or not believe the author of the Warrior method.
It is important to mention that this diet makes it significantly difficult to hit your macronutrients without desiring to puke.
This is because you must eat up to 200 grams of protein in the same meal, which isn't pleasant. If you enjoy eating just one meal a day, then the Warrior diet is the right one for you.
This method involves intermittent fasting, where you basically alternate between the days of eating and fasting.
In this diet, you are supposed and recommended to eat about 20 to 25% of your TDEE, which is your total daily energy expenditure.
TDEE is the number of calories you spend in a day when you take into consideration all the activities you do throughout the day.
This is usually somewhere between 500 and 600 calories for most people. On your eating days, you should remember to eat more or less the amount of energy you burn on the same day.
You aren't supposed to increase caloric intake to compensate for the low-calorie days with the ADF diet since it can have some negative side effects.
You should eat nothing but protein on low-calorie days to minimize muscle loss.
In addition, the diet isn't completely workout-friendly, and that is something you should keep in mind to remain healthy and not injure yourself.
2. Calculate Your Calories
The second step is to calculate your calorie intake. No matter which weight loss or weight gain calorie you follow, it is crucial to properly set your daily caloric intake.
To lose weight, you should eat fewer calories than your total daily energy expenditure.
On the contrary, if you seek to gain weight, you should eat more than your total daily energy expenditure, scientifically known as a calorie surplus.
This is all you need to know; everything above that is overcomplicated and will miss the point.
3. Calculate Your Macronutrients
The third step is to properly calculate your macro intake.
Here are some things to keep in mind when calculating your macronutrients:
- If you want to recover faster from your workouts, avoid muscle loss, gain muscle, and control hunger, you should consume enough protein, up to 2g per kilogram of body weight daily.
- You must eat enough carbohydrates to perform better in your workouts, have enough energy, and gain muscle faster.
- You must consume enough healthy fats to promote a healthy hormone profile and absorb the nutrients better.
To lose fat, you should consume up to 2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. 1.2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight will maintain your current body weight.
In addition, if you want to lose fat, you must eat between 0.2 and 0.25 grams of fat per pound of body weight per day.
Also, to maintain your current body weight, you should consume between 0.3 and 0.35 grams of fat per pound daily. Carbohydrates should comprise the remaining calories for the day.
4. Create a Meal Plan That Works
There are many things that can go wrong with meal plans, some of which include being too restrictive with your foods or allowing yourself too much. Many people often wonder, how long after eating does your body start to burn fat? This is why it is so crucial to become skilled at meal planning.
It is because it is one of the most guaranteed ways of becoming successful with your fasting journey.
Your meal plan shouldn't be too boring, inconvenient, or restricting. In fact, you should aim to make your meal plans the complete opposite of that.
You should create meal plans to always look forward to them. Incorporate the foods you like since incorporating the opposite ensures 100% failure with the fasting approach.
5. Train While Fasted (Optional)
You have probably heard of the term fasted training. Fasted training is the approach to weight and fat loss that includes an appropriate workout regime while on a fasting diet.
Fasted training is considered every intensive activity or exercise session that occurs up to 5 or 6 hours after fasting.
This is when your insulin levels are low, and your body relies heavily on its energy stores to stay alive. It is not necessary to do fast training, but it has many benefits you may not miss.
For example, some benefits include preserving muscle mass, increasing metabolism, and experiencing less anxiety.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits/Research
Here are some of the most important benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation
- Prevention of different diseases
- Increased production of growth hormone
- Improved cognitive function
- Improved insulin sensitivity and weight loss
- Easier meal planning
In addition, the research indicates that fasting for up to 16 hours allows your body to burn more fat since it becomes more efficient for releasing ketones into your bloodstream. Also, it helps preserve cognitive health, like learning functionality, memory, and other health processes, including decelerating brain diseases .
Intermittent Fasting Concerns
Intermittent fasting is one of the hardest diets to maintain since it requires a lot of discipline. You probably don't want to jump right into intermittent fasting because you heard it is effective for weight and fat loss.
Many wonder, is being hungry a sign you're losing weight? While hunger can be a side effect, it's essential to differentiate between genuine hunger and the body's initial reaction to change.
This is the time when you may experience some side effects, such as headaches and muscle pain since your body isn't used to adapting so quickly to radical changes such as intermittent fasting. This means you should probably start implementing intermittent fasting at a slower pace. In addition, you should slowly reduce your carb intake, start eating more plant-based foods and drink more water.
Who Should Not Do Intermittent Fasting?
Anyone suffering from heart issues, high blood sugar, or serious health conditions shouldn't do intermittent fasting. You may experience serious side effects and even die if you do intermittent fasting while having previously mentioned health problems.
Always seek professional guidance from a nutritionist or doctor before implementing any diet, such as intermittent fasting. This is because this type of diet can be dangerous for many people with some form of diabetes and heart issues. This is due to the restriction of nutrients for an extended period of time. In addition, people suffering from heart issues should be the most careful in maintaining healthy electrolyte levels.
Furthermore, people with eating disorders shouldn't do any fasting regime without consulting a doctor since the lack of self-control can be a big issue for many sufferers. Lastly, if you believe you don't have enough discipline to implement intermittent fasting, you should try the basic calorie-restricted diet since it is much easier and beginner-friendly.
You calculate fasting time as the time before you start eating and the time after you finish eating. Basically, fasting is the opposite time of the day of your normal eating window in an intermittent fasting diet
It depends if fasting for 12 or 16 hours is better. This will mainly depend on your personal goals, previous experience with diets, discipline, and metabolism.
To lose weight, you should fast for at least 12 hours a day. This has scientifically been proven to be the lowest threshold for losing weight with intermittent fasting.
Why Should You Use A Fasting Calculator?
You should use a fasting calculator to easily create your intermittent fasting routine.
Fasting has been proven to be one of the most effective approaches for losing weight and fat while maintaining lean muscle mass.
Always consult your doctor or dietician before implementing intermittent fasting into your daily routine to avoid serious health side effects.