Intermittent Fasting Food List – What Should I Eat?
What is Intermittent Fasting | Paleo | Vegan | Keto | carnivore
These days, it seems like everyone from celebrities to your next-door neighbor has tried Intermittent Fasting. With growing research to support the benefits of Intermittent Fasting, it can be a great way to kickstart your health journey.
You may be asking yourself, is Intermittent Fasting right for me? What foods should I eat while intermittent fasting?
Look no further, because we’ll discuss what Intermittent Fasting is, what diets work with Intermittent Fasting and what should be on your Intermittent Fasting food list.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
While fasting has been practiced for centuries, Intermittent Fasting has gained popularity over the last several years. It’s primarily used as a method to lose weight and improve certain health markers. Research shows Intermittent Fasting can improve things like inflammation and blood sugar control.
The basic concept of Intermittent Fasting is that there are a set number of hours during which you are restricting. There are many types of Intermittent Fasting, but some of the more common ones include 16/8 and 5/2. For example, someone fasting on 16/8 would have a 16 hour window of fasting and eat during the remaining 8 hours of the day. The exact times or window of fasting is dependent on your work/ personal schedule as well as lifestyle.
The good news is there are no set rules or restrictions to follow during the hours you are not fasting (aka your eating window). But, don’t reach for the box of doughnuts just yet! A healthy eating pattern is encouraged when practicing Intermittent Fasting.
In general, the best foods to include while Intermittent Fasting are nutrient-dense food choices such as whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein are best to include. It’s crucial to fuel your body with these types of foods for the best results. Of course, water is essential to consume both during fasting and eating windows. Proper hydration is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success and may even curb hunger during a fasting window.
Even if you already practice Intermittent Fasting, following a diet in addition to Intermittent Fasting can enhance the benefits of Intermittent Fasting. Many diets actually complement the effects of Intermittent Fasting and provide the results you want faster.
Since there are so many popular diet trends, it can be hard to know where to start. The first step is to understand what the diet involves and how it will help you reach your goals. Then, you will want to be familiar with healthy food choices that fit your diet’s guidelines.
With so much information on which foods are considered “healthy”, you may be thinking, “What should I eat?”
The good news is we have done the research to determine what diets work with Intermittent Fasting as well as an Intermittent Fasting food list for each diet.
What diets work with Intermittent Fasting?
Some may choose to follow a certain diet while also practicing Intermittent Fasting such as Paleo, Vegan, Carnivore, or Keto. Let’s take a closer look at what these diets are and foods to eat while following these diets and intermittent fasting.
Paleo & Intermittent Fasting
The paleolithic or caveman diet has risen in popularity over the last few years. The basic premise of the Paleo diet is to eat like our ancestors did. In a hunter/gatherer society, food choices were limited to what could be gathered from the land or hunted.
The Paleo diet focuses on whole foods such as meats, eggs, fish, seeds, and vegetables while avoiding grains, dairy products, highly processed foods, and legumes. There are a few variations of this diet and some include gluten-free grains as part of their Paleo eating pattern.
Paleo can definitely be used with intermittent fasting as long as your basic calorie needs are met. Since the Paleo diet includes generally lower calorie food choices, you will want to ensure you are eating large enough quantities to fulfill your basic metabolic needs. Since certain food groups are avoided, there is a greater risk of calcium and vitamin D deficiencies.
These micronutrients will need to be monitored if you are strictly following a Paleo diet. When Intermittent Fasting with a Paleo diet, you would eat the “Paleo approved” foods during your non-fasting window. Examples of what foods to eat when intermittent fasting with the paleo diet include:
- Chicken salad
- Pumpkin seeds
For a more complete Paleo meal plan with easy recipes and grocery lists, check out our 21- Day Intermittent Fasting Paleo Meal Plan.
Vegan & Intermittent Fasting
Veganism is a strict plant-based eating pattern that avoids any type of animal product. There are many reasons someone may choose to eat vegan including weight loss, preventing the exploitation of animals, or for general health. Research shows there are many benefits to following a plant based eating pattern such as preventing heart disease and weight loss.
There are several common myths surrounding a vegan eating pattern. For example, some may think that eating enough protein is difficult on a vegan diet.
However, with plenty of non-animal protein sources available, this could not be further from the truth. Eating vegan does require some careful planning of meals and snacks to ensure that all nutrient needs are met. Not all vegan food products are healthy, so it’s important to keep in mind the fundamentals of good nutrition.
Combining a vegan diet with intermittent fasting can enhance the benefits of both. Again, it’s important to carefully plan your foods during your non-fasting window to ensure that both your calorie and nutrient needs are being met. Keep in mind that fueling your body with adequate carbohydrates, protein, and fats is an important key to success while following vegan intermittent fasting.
There are plenty of vegan-friendly options available at most grocery stores and with a little planning, combining a vegan eating pattern with intermittent fasting can work for you. The following is an intermittent fasting food list while also eating vegan:
- Legumes (peas, lentils, beans)
- Fruits (bananas, strawberries, pineapple, mangoes)
- Vegetables (potatoes, corn, kale, beets, squash)
- Soy products (tofu)
- Nuts (macadamia, almonds, pistachios)
- Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin)
- Plant- based milks and yogurts
If you are thinking about starting Vegan Intermittent Fasting, check out these 10 tips to do Vegan Intermittent Fasting the right way.
Keto & Intermittent Fasting
The ketogenic or keto diet is another extremely popular diet trend for weight loss. Originally used to treat epilepsy, the keto diet has become hugely popular in recent years. It is a diet that is extremely low in carbohydrates (about 20-50 grams per day!) and relies heavily on protein and fats to meet caloric needs.
The idea is to eat so few carbohydrates that your body reaches ketosis. Ketosis happens when the body starts using stored fat instead of carbohydrates as its primary energy source. When following a keto diet, most of your calories come from higher fat foods and some protein such as butter, cream, beef, poultry, pork, and eggs. Higher carbohydrate foods like pasta, potatoes, rice, certain fruits, and refined sugar are limited.
One of the more interesting benefits to following a keto diet, is the effect it has on appetite suppression. Numerous studies have shown that the hunger hormone ghrelin is suppressed when following a keto diet vs. a non-ketogenic diet. This can be especially beneficial to those who have tried other methods for weight loss without success.
So, what if you want to combine the keto diet with intermittent fasting? Many have used the combination of keto and intermittent fasting to speed up weight loss and suppress feelings of hunger. It can be an effective way to really kick start burning off stored fat. Keto intermittent fasting is generally safe for healthy individuals, but it’s not for everyone. It is not recommended for those with diabetes, anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding, and those who have a history of disordered eating. If you are ready to start, here is a keto-friendly intermittent fasting food list:
- Butter and full fat dairy
- Avocado, olive, and sunflower oils
- Grass-fed meat and poultry
- Non-starchy vegetables (peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, radishes, green beans)
- Raspberries and strawberries (in small amounts)
Carnivore & Intermittent Fasting
The Carnivore diet, as the name implies, is a diet consisting only of meat and animal products. It restricts all other foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and some dairy. Similar to the Paleo diet, the Carnivore diet aims to eat as our ancestors did.
The major difference between the two diets is that the Paleo diet includes certain carbohydrates in small amounts, but the Carnivore diet aims for no carbohydrates at all. The Carnivore diet claims to promote weight loss as well as improve anxiety, depression, and arthritis. Research is very limited on the benefits of the Carnivore diet and none of the claims have been supported by controlled studies.
There are nutritional concerns to consider when following the Carnivore diet. Since many of the major food groups are restricted, there is a greater risk for certain micronutrient deficiencies. There is also concern with the high sodium and low fiber aspect of the diet. If followed for a short period of time, there is a potential to see weight loss results from this diet.
When combined with Intermittent Fasting, the Carnivore diet will enhance weight loss effects. Since there is limited research on the Carnivore diet, little is known on the long term effects of the Carnivore diet combined with Intermittent Fasting.
While this diet should not be followed long term, these two diets could enhance faster weight loss results. A Carnivore-friendly Intermittent Fasting food list includes:
- Bone marrow
Whether you are new to Intermittent Fasting or want to step up your game by combining it with other diets, these Intermittent Fasting food lists will start you out on the right track.
I recommend starting here to learn more about these types of fasting which are the MOST popular, starting with 16/8 Fasting, click on these guides below to learn more:
16/8 Fasting Guide, 14/10 Fasting Guide, 18/6 Fasting Guide, One Meal a Day Guide.
Also need help fasting? Check out these Top 6 Fasting Mobile Apps we recommend to help you on your journey.