Intermittent fasting has been front and center among the diets that work for women over 50. It’s even the cornerstone of our weight loss program, PLATE ! In addition to its anti-aging benefits and weight loss effects, it also doesn’t require expensive cookbooks, time-consuming guides, or even a specialized trainer or dietician. However, it’s still important to keep in mind that the foods you eat while you’re intermittently fasting play just as much of a role as the timing of the fast itself. Read on to learn the best foods to eat for intermittent fasting, so that you can achieve optimal health and weight loss results.
First Things First—Decide On Your Intermittent Fasting Schedule
Our weight loss program, PLATE recommends the 16:8 Intermittent Fasting schedule, as it tends to work best for women. However, everyone is different and you may find that another schedule works better for you. Here are other fasting schedules to check out, before reading more about the best foods for intermittent fasting:
- Alternate Day Fasting (ADF): One day of normal eating (ad libitum) alternated with one day of complete fasting;
- Modified Alternate Day Fasting (mADF): One day of normal feeding alternated with one day of a very low-calorie diet (about 25 percent of normal caloric intake);
- 2/5: Complete fasting on two days of the week with five days of ad libitum eating;
- 1/6: Complete fasting for one day of the week with the rest of the week eating normally;
- Time Restricting Feeding (TRF): Fasting for 12-20 hours per day (as a prolongation of the nighttime fast) on each day of the week with a “feeding window” of 4-12 hours. Our PLATE app falls under this schedule.
Now that we’ve covered the fasting schedules and time windows, here are the best foods to eat while intermittent fasting.
The Best Foods To Eat While Intermittent Fasting
If we’re going without food for a specific window of time, hydration is more important than ever. As we fast, our body’s preferred energy source becomes the sugar stored in our liver (glycogen). As we burn this energy, we also lose a large volume of fluid and electrolytes. So, it’s vital to drink at least eight cups of water per day. This not only prevents dehydration, but it will also promote better blood flow, muscle and joint support, and cognition.
Love them or hate them, carbs are an essential part of life. And while you’re fasting, it’s important to think about how to strategically get enough calories without feeling too full. Opt for quickly digestible foods like whole-grain bread and crackers. These will also be a great source of energy on-the-go.
If you’ve been avoiding this diet because you can’t live without coffee, good news: it’s allowed! Coffee in its natural state is a calorie-free beverage, so it can even be consumed while you’re fasting! Just skip the syrups, creamers, and other flavorings.
Just half a cup of lentils equals about a third of your total daily fiber needs! They’re also rich in iron (about 15 percent of your daily required intake), so it’s especially important for women to eat up!
Searching for a sweet way to up your fiber? Reach for raspberries. These berries contain eight grams of fiber per cup and it also helps you with your whole fruits intake.
This creamy, tasty dip is a great plant-based protein for those that are intermittently fasting. It also makes a great substitute for mayonnaise. If you are doing the 16:8 intermittent fast, hummus would be a great mini-meal to have during the mid-point of your 8 hour eating window.
Just like our minimally-processed grains above, white potatoes are pretty easy to digest. If you’re working out and intermittently fasting, you can pair them with a protein source for a post-workout snack to refuel your muscles. Another benefit of incorporating potatoes in an IF diet is that once they’re cooled, they form a resistant starch that fuels good bacteria in your gut.
With a shortened meal window, you need to make sure you’re getting your vitamins and minerals with every food you consume! It’s high in brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Serve it alongside some of your favorite roasted vegetables (coconut oil is best), and you have an easy (and tasty) superfood meal.
Vitamin D Fortified Milk
Adults need around 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day, which equals about three glasses of milk. So while most people do not enjoy three glasses of milk per day, you still want to prioritize high-calcium foods. Add it to your smoothies or cereal. If you’re lactose intolerant, reach for other foods like tofu and leafy greens like kale.
Nuts of all varieties are good for you! In fact, a prospective trial published in the British Journal of Nutrition associated nut consumption with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and overall mortality. So pack some in your purse and keep them around when you’re within your feeding window.
We don’t typically recommend a specific product, but we’ve recently discovered these handy bars that are a perfect complement to your fast. You can eat Fast Bar to help reduce hunger in between your meals without breaking your fast. The bar It is a nice proprietary blend of high-quality ingredients including premium nuts which nourish your body while keeping it in a fasting state. This allows you to meet your fasting goals. Instead of giving up or breaking your fast you can just eat one of these bars. Use coupon code PRIME to get $10 off.
Want to give intermittent fasting a try? Take a look at Prime Women’s PLATE program. Now available in an app on Apple or Android with reminders to keep you on track.
As with any dietary changes, be sure to check with your doctor before incorporating these suggestions into your own lifestyle. Information provided here is solely for educational purposes and not intended as medical advice.