What to eat on intermittent fasting for weight loss


When you’re considering intermittent fasting for weight loss, it’s natural to be a little concerned. Your neighbors tell you they’re on a high protein diet and eat nothing else but protein shakes, and that’s exactly the opposite of the diet plan you’ve been doing up to this point. Don’t panic! Here are some essential facts about intermittent fasting for weight loss with helpful tips on how to make intermittent fasting work for you!

Foods to eat during intermittent fasting for weight loss

Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular in recent years, not only as a means of weight loss but also for its potential health benefits. However, what you eat during your feeding windows is just as important as the fasting periods themselves when it comes to weight loss. Here are some foods to eat during intermittent fasting for weight loss:

  1. Lean proteins: Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles and keeping you full for longer. Good sources of lean protein include chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs. These foods are also low in calories and high in nutrients.
  2. Non-starchy vegetables: Non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, asparagus, peppers, and mushrooms are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also low in calories and can help you feel full without adding extra calories.
  3. Whole grains: Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and barley are great sources of fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied. They also provide important nutrients like B vitamins and iron.
  4. Fruits: Fruits like berries, apples, oranges, and grapefruit are good sources of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. They are also low in calories and can help satisfy your sweet tooth.
  5. Healthy fats: Healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil can help you feel full and satisfied. They also provide important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E.

Foods to avoid during intermittent fasting for weight loss

While there are many foods that are great for weight loss during intermittent fasting, there are also some foods that you should avoid or limit during your feeding windows. Here are some foods to avoid during intermittent fasting for weight loss:

  1. Processed foods: Processed foods like chips, crackers, cookies, and other packaged snacks are often high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats. These foods can easily derail your weight loss goals and should be avoided or limited during your feeding windows.
  2. Sugary drinks: Sugary drinks like soda, juice, and energy drinks can be high in calories and sugar, which can lead to weight gain. Instead, try drinking water, tea, or black coffee during your fasting periods and limit sugary drinks during your feeding windows.
  3. High-fat and high-calorie foods: High-fat and high-calorie foods like fast food, fried food, and junk food can be tempting during feeding windows, but they can also sabotage your weight loss goals. Try to limit these foods and opt for healthier options instead.
  4. Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, and spirits can be high in calories and can also lower your inhibitions, leading to poor food choices. If you do choose to drink alcohol during your feeding windows, try to limit your intake and choose lower-calorie options like light beer or wine spritzers.
what to eat on intermittent fasting for weight loss
what to eat on intermittent fasting for weight loss

Meal planning and timing during intermittent fasting

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Meal planning and timing are important aspects of successful weight loss during intermittent fasting. Here are some tips for meal planning and timing during intermittent fasting:

  1. Plan your meals ahead of time: Planning your meals ahead of time can help you avoid making poor food choices during your feeding windows. It can also help you stay on track with your calorie and nutrient goals. Try planning your meals for the week ahead and prepping ingredients in advance to save time.
  2. Choose nutrient-dense foods: When planning your meals, focus on nutrient-dense foods like lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and healthy fats. These foods will help keep you full and satisfied while providing important nutrients for your body.
  3. Determine your eating windows: Depending on the type of intermittent fasting you’re following, you’ll need to determine your eating windows. For example, if you’re doing a 16/8 fast, you’ll eat during an 8-hour window and fast for 16 hours. Plan your meals accordingly so that you’re getting the nutrients you need during your eating window.
  4. Time your meals strategically: Timing your meals strategically can help you manage hunger during your fasting periods. For example, if you’re doing a 16/8 fast, you may want to eat your first meal later in the day, so that you can have a larger meal in the evening and feel satisfied before your fasting period begins.
  5. Listen to your body: It’s important to listen to your body during intermittent fasting and adjust your meal timing and size based on your hunger levels. If you’re feeling very hungry during your fasting periods, you may need to adjust your meal timing or size during your feeding windows.

Limit processed and sugary foods

Limiting processed and sugary foods is an important aspect of a healthy and sustainable diet, especially when it comes to weight loss. Processed and sugary foods are often high in calories, low in nutrients, and can contribute to overeating and cravings.

Here are some tips for reducing your intake of processed and sugary foods:

  1. Read labels: Look for added sugars, artificial ingredients, and preservatives on food labels. Try to choose foods with shorter ingredient lists and fewer processed ingredients.
  2. Cook at home: When you cook your own meals, you have more control over the ingredients and can avoid processed and sugary foods. Try to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats into your meals.
  3. Choose whole foods: Whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are naturally low in added sugars and are rich in nutrients. Focus on incorporating these foods into your diet, rather than relying on processed snacks and convenience foods.
  4. Avoid sugary drinks: Sugary drinks, such as soda and juice, are high in calories and can contribute to weight gain. Try to drink water, unsweetened tea, or other low-calorie beverages instead.
  5. Plan ahead: If you know you’re going to be in a situation where unhealthy foods will be available, plan ahead by bringing your own healthy snacks or eating a healthy meal beforehand. This can help you resist temptation and stick to your healthy eating goals.

Consider macronutrient ratios

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When it comes to weight loss on intermittent fasting, considering macronutrient ratios may be helpful for some individuals. Macronutrients, or “macros,” are the three major nutrients in our diet: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Each macro plays a different role in our body, and the optimal ratio of macros can vary depending on an individual’s goals and preferences.

Here are some things to consider when it comes to macronutrient ratios:

  1. Protein: Protein is an important nutrient for weight loss because it helps to build and maintain muscle mass. Additionally, protein is more satiating than carbohydrates or fats, which can help to reduce cravings and overeating. Aim for a protein intake of around 0.8-1.2 grams per pound of body weight.
  2. Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates provide our body with energy and are an important nutrient for physical activity. However, excessive carbohydrate intake can lead to weight gain. For weight loss, aim for a moderate carbohydrate intake, usually around 30-50% of your daily calories.
  3. Fats: Fats are an important source of energy and help to regulate hormones in the body. However, excessive fat intake can also lead to weight gain. Aim for a moderate fat intake, usually around 20-40% of your daily calories.
  4. Experiment and adjust: Everyone’s body is different, and the optimal macronutrient ratio may vary from person to person. Experiment with different ratios and adjust as needed based on your hunger levels, energy levels, and weight loss progress.
  5. Focus on whole foods: Regardless of your macronutrient ratio, it’s important to focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods. Choose lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats to ensure that you’re nourishing your body with the nutrients it needs.

Pay attention to portion sizes

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Paying attention to portion sizes is crucial when it comes to weight loss on intermittent fasting. Even healthy foods can contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess, and it’s important to listen to your hunger cues and stop eating when you’re satisfied.

Here are some tips for managing portion sizes:

  1. Use smaller plates: Using smaller plates can help to visually cue your brain that you’re eating a larger portion, which can help you to feel more satisfied with less food.
  2. Measure and weigh your food: While it may be tedious, measuring and weighing your food can help you to get a better idea of what a serving size looks like. This can be especially helpful when it comes to calorie-dense foods like nuts, seeds, and oils.
  3. Practice mindful eating: Mindful eating involves paying attention to your food and the experience of eating. Take small bites, chew slowly, and savor the flavors and textures of your food. This can help you to feel more satisfied with less food, and can also help to reduce stress and improve digestion.
  4. Stop eating before you’re full: It takes time for your brain to register that you’re full, so it’s important to stop eating before you feel overly full. Aim to stop eating when you’re satisfied but not stuffed.
  5. Avoid distractions: Eating while watching TV, scrolling through your phone, or working can distract you from your hunger cues and lead to overeating. Try to eat in a calm and quiet environment, and focus on the experience of eating.

Sample meal plan

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Here’s a sample meal plan for a day of intermittent fasting that incorporates the principles discussed in this article:

  1. Breakfast (during eating window)
  • 2 eggs cooked in 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 slice of whole grain toast
  • 1/2 avocado
  1. Lunch (during eating window)
  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Quinoa salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese
  • Balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  1. Snack (during eating window)
  • Apple slices with 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  1. Dinner (during eating window)
  • Grilled salmon
  • Roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Side salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber
  • Lemon vinaigrette dressing

Although intermittent fasting is often referred to as a “new diet”, it’s actually not new. It has been part of human culture for thousands of years, and was even referenced in the Bible 2,000 years ago. The only difference between then and now is that we now have access to modern tools and tactics that allow us to implement intermittent fasting more easily. But if you’re interested in trying intermittent fasting for weight loss, it’s important to familiarize yourself with all the research behind this concept. You don’t need to be eating food your body isn’t capable of utilizing; on the contrary, those are likely the worst “diet” principles on which to base your decision.


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