Tips On Intermittent Fasting For Vegans10.06.22
Before agriculture began, humans were hunter gatherers. This meant that we’d eat when food was available, not three meals a day with snacks in between. Fasting became a natural part of human life, and since then has returned to the limelight as a way to aid healthy living.
Intermittent fasting for vegans can be incredibly beneficial, as well as for anyone else looking to improve their health. Fasting focuses on when you eat as opposed to what you eat and so it can be combined with other diets to form a balanced eating routine.
But what is intermittent fasting for vegans, and can it have a positive impact on your lifestyle?
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is the switch between fasting and eating over a regular period of time. There is not one set method of intermittent fasting for vegans, but some of the popular methods include:
16:8: This is a method of fasting for 16 hours and eating during an 8 hour window.
14:10: Here you fast for 14 hours and eat during a 10 hour period
5:2: This is one of the well known methods of intermittent fasting, you eat a normal number of calories for 5 days and restrict your diet to 500-600 calories for 2 days a week.
However, intermittent fasting can be done for any period of time so long as there is a prolonged period where either your calories are heavily reduced or you don’t eat at all.
Benefits of intermittent fasting for vegans
Research shows that people who eat a plant-based diet in comparison to those that don’t have a lower BMI (body mass index), lower cholesterol and reduced glucose levels. However, this is just a snippet into the health benefits of a vegan diet. If you want to know more, read our post on how to make your diet more plant-based.
If you combine a vegan diet with intermittent fasting then there are even more benefits. Some of these include:
- Improved blood pressure
- Lower resting heart rate
- Improved memory
- Increased concentration and alertness
How do I start intermittent fasting as a vegan?
Ease into it
If you’ve never tried fasting before it might come as a shock to your body, especially if you jump straight into one of the more extreme versions such as the 5:2 diet. If you’re not used to limiting your food intake for long periods then this can disturb your mood and cause unnecessary hanger. Start by reducing your eating window to 12 hours, then chip it down each week until you’ve reduced it to 8 hours. This is the healthiest way to begin intermittent fasting for vegans, as well as helping to make sure it is sustainable.
Consider your training routine
Another thing to take into account with intermittent fasting for vegans is ensuring you’ve still got enough energy to train. If you’re trying to build muscle mass then you need to make sure you’re eating enough, especially around training to maximise muscle growth. This means making sure you fit intermittent fasting around your training schedule. If you’ve opted for low calorie days then it might be best using these as rest or active recovery days.
Be kind to yourself
Remember, you’re doing this to improve your health, not to punish your body. Although there might be times when you have to resist eating, you shouldn’t be completely overcome with hunger. If you need to eat, eat.
Precautions to take when intermittent fasting as a vegan
There are several benefits to intermittent fasting, but there are also some precautions you need to consider, especially if you’re following a vegan diet.
A plant-based diet is already restrictive in terms of the foods you eat, therefore, also participating in intermittent fasting can make it even more restrictive. To make sure this doesn’t have a negative impact on your health you need to be eating enough of a variety of foods. It might be possible that you have to supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals, however you should consult a medical professional before doing so.
Another thing to be cautious of in relation to intermittent fasting for vegans is that you’re not being too extreme with fasting. Not eating for long periods can be detrimental to your health. Not only will you not be providing your body with the nutrients it needs, but this can also hinder your metabolism. When this happens your body won’t be as effective at burning calories and will begin storing more fat than necessary. If you notice you’re more fatigued than usual, struggle to concentrate or have low energy, then you might be fasting too much.
The most important thing to take away from this is that you should be using intermittent fasting to suit your lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation, you can choose to fast when it suits you. Intermittent fasting for vegans can work really well for some people, and not so well for others, so give it a try to find out what works for you.
Let us help you with intermittent fasting as a vegans
Each of our meal prep plans contain nutritionally balanced and filling meals, which helps to make intermittent fasting for vegans more sustainable and also enjoyable. Try out the plant based meal delivery that is designed and developed by chefs so you never have to compromise on flavour for health!
by Eryn Barber
Eryn is a content writer who specialises in health and fitness articles. When she’s not writing, Eryn is helping people improve their strength and overall health as a Personal Trainer and is currently undertaking her Msc in Strength & Conditioning. You’ll usually find Eryn out on the trails running when she isn’t working.