Macros For Intermittent Fasting

Macros For Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting is a great process to manage nutrition and weight alongside. Apart from these two intermittent fasting has many other benefits too such as it improves metabolism and increases energy level. While intermittent fasting is beneficial on its own if you combine the process with proper management of macronutrients then it can offer you best results. Hence, here in this article we will explain you the benefits of adjusting macros for intermittent fasting. This includes the following methods of intermittent fasting by managing macros, tracking macros and benefits of macros on intermittent fasting. But before that let’s start from the basics.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Unlike other diets intermittent fasting only focuses on when you eat rather than what you eat. This means this focuses on the timeliness of eating. In an intermittent fasting diet plan, you need to plan for temporary avoidance of food. The fasting does not restrict you from eating anything but it includes the alternating cycles of fasting and eating. It is an eating pattern where you can eat and fast in a periodic cycle.

What are Macros and Their Importance in Intermittent Fasting?

Macros or Micronutrients are the nutrients that our body needs in large amounts to function properly. Our body needs nutrients to maintain its system and structure. There are mainly 3 macronutrients that are; Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat. All have different roles in maintaining nutritional balance of our body.

Macros play key roles in running body functions hence it is important to keep tracking them to maintain a balance. Understanding macros while entering into a diet is very important. Consumption of the right amount of micronutrients from foods help make the weight loss journey more effective without losing muscle mass.

Adjustment of macros during intermittent fasting is an essential tool if you are looking for weight loss. This can be more effective if you consume the right amount of micronutrients along with maintaining the correct timing of food consumption. For example; high protein consumption during the feeding window can prevent muscle loss during the fasting, high carbs consumption during the feeding window can prevent the energy loss during the workout and fasting period, and also higher amount of healthy fat consumption during the feeding window can keep you satisfied for long hours by keeping you full. You must note that sources of macros must be healthy and calories should be maintained during the fasting days.

Methods of Intermittent Fasting By Maintaining Macros

There are many different methods of intermittent fasting depending on days and hours of fasting and the calorie allowances.

Time-Restricted Eating

The process includes fasting every day for a long period. The best examples of this method are the 14:10 diet and 16:8 method. For example if you choose the 16:8 method then you have to fast every day for 16 hours and you can only eat food in between those 8 hours of eating window. In this eating window you may fit in 2, 3, or more meals. Similar to the 16:8 method, in 14:10 you get 10 hours of eating window. Intermittent fasting timelines can differ depending upon the macros requirement and calorie allowance. Carbohydrate and protein consumption during the feeding window help to prevent energy loss and muscle loss.

The 5:2 Diet

The diet method allows the person to eat normally for 5 days in a week and restricts calorie intake to 500–600 calories on the remaining 2 days of that week. It is recommended to eat more high fiber and high protein foods during the diet which help in keeping you full and maintaining the calorie intake. The high-protein (one of the micronutrients) intake helps to maintain muscle mass.

Alternate-day Fasting (ADF)

As the name implies, the diet includes fasting on every alternative day. One study suggests that alternate day fasting is effective for weight loss and maintaining heart health. The diet can help you achieve fasting upto 36 hours. Some may avoid solid foods on fasting days whereas others may follow modified ADF by consuming up to 500 calories in the fasting days.

Since the calorie intake is low in this diet hence you must focus on nutritious, high protein foods and vegetables to maintain the nutritional balance.

Eat Stop Eat

In this method of intermittent fasting you fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. For example you fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch of the next day. People who follow this method may experience some side effects such as headaches, fatigue, hunger, low energy and irritability. In eat stop eat diet people face difficulty in meeting all of their nutrition needs. Eating healthy foods are essential as their compounds support vital bodily functions. So to avoid these symptoms or any risk associated with nutritional deficiency you must pay close attention to the foods that you eat on the non-fasting days so that enough protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals can be consumed to maintain the balance of macros and micronutrients in the body.

The eat stop eat method helps the body to burn carbohydrate first and then fat for energy. It slowly leads the body to ketosis (A process followed in Keto Diet), which helps in losing weight by losing some fat.

The Warrior Diet

The warrior diet was popularized by the fitness expert Ori Hofmekler. The diet is popular for weight loss, energy levels improvement and mental clarity. In this diet you are allowed to eat small amounts of fruits, nuts, and vegetables during the day time and one large meal at night. People who don’t feel hungry in the morning find it quite easy.

Since humans are natural nocturnal eaters hence eating at night allows the body to gain essential nutrients. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and lean protein consumption is encouraged in this diet to maintain the balance of carbohydrate and protein.

Determining Macros for Intermittent Fasting

This involves determining the amount of macros that you need to consume while on intermittent fasting diet. This includes setting goals for calorie intake and maintaining a balance of macronutrients in your diet. The goal depends on your age, weight, height, and activity level. Hence the consumption may differ depending upon those factors. Most common ratios for macronutrients are 40:40:20 (protein, carbohydrates, and fats, respectively) and 30:40:30. Though this is the most common and recommended macros ratio but the ratio depends on an individual’s goals and needs.

  • The person who exercises for an hour or less then for her/him the macros ratio should be 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbs.
  • The person who exercises for 1 to 2 hours then for her/him the macros ratio should be 30% protein, 25% fat and 45% carbs.
  • A personal certified sports dietitian is recommended if a person exercises more than 2 hours.

Importance of Tracking Your Macros while in Intermittent Fasting

Tracking macros helps you to maintain a balance in nutrition consumption. This can be an essential tool for a successful intermittent fasting diet journey. By tracking the macros you get to know which portion of micronutrients are more required to intake while doing exercise or in a fasting, similarly you get to know which micronutrient you need to consume less to avoid gaining weight. For example, if you do not consume enough protein then this can cause you loss of muscle mass similarly excess consumption of carbohydrate can cause you weight gain. Unknowingly too much consumption of these two macronutrients can cause an increased amount of calorie intake which can affect your diet and can slow down the process of weight loss. Hence by tracking your macros you can identify their deficiencies or imbalance and can adjust them whenever is required during the fasting and non-fasting days.

Further, Tracking the macros helps you to track the amount of calorie you intake and the amount needed to cut. Tracking macros can help you keep motivated throughout your intermittent fasting journey. The improvement results can keep you encouraged to keep going. It helps you to identify which area needs to improve. Combining the tracking of macros with intermittent fasting increases your likelihood of success.

Benefits of Managing Macros during Intermittent Fasting

Hours for intermittent fasting may differ depending upon its different methods but counting macros while on intermittent fasting will always stay as an effective way to get the best result out of the process.

Weight Management

Intermittent fasting helps you to lose weight but the process becomes more effective when you start counting on macros. This lets you know how much you need to eat during the fasting or non-fasting days. This lets you track the calorie intake during the fasting days. By doing these this helps to stimulate fat loss and prevents unnecessary weight gain.

Increased Longevity

Not only in weight management, the balanced intake of macronutrients also helps in maintaining good health that helps to extend the lifespan. Combining the tracking of macros with intermittent fasting increases the longevity of the diet.

Nutritional Balance

By promoting greater nutritional awareness tracking of macros helps you to maintain the nutritional balance even if you are in fasting.

Enhanced Metabolic Health

Tracking macros promotes metabolic health by reducing the risk of developing metabolic disorders. The balanced macronutrient intake helps to get the necessary nutrients which contribute towards the enhanced metabolic health.

Maintaining nutritional balance is very much required especially when you are into a diet. Hence adjusting macros for intermittent fasting is very much needed and helps you to enjoy the process. Though it’s a job to do, but when you start adjusting macros properly then this becomes very much helpful to make the diet process more effective. We have discussed all the benefits that you may enjoy by adjusting macros, now it is up to you how you are going to adjust them depending upon your body’s requirements and method that you adopt for fasting.

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