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Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan For Vegetarians. - Roshni Sanghvi

Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan For Vegetarians.

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day"

How often have you heard this?

Breakfast was never really a separate 'meal' historically. People just ate anything leftover form the night before until the 'cereal' industry started booming. The breakfast food industry suddenly was making money like never before.

The first ever cereal invented, by the now infamous Kellogg's brand was by James Caleb Jackson. He believed mastrubation was a sin and eating bland food like cornflakes early in the morning will help's one stay away the same.

Your morning bowl of cereal looking not so good now, is it?

Checkout this picture below:

World renowned actor Deepika Padukone here urges people that the secret to her slim waist is a bowl of Kelloggs special K cereal every morning.

Just a cup full of this cereal has about 4 spoonful's of sugar and nearly 1/3rd of your daily sodium intake! It's nothing but a formula for diabetes and heart diseases.

Several misconceptions have existed for decades in terms of weight loss ideas. Intermittent fasting seems to be the latest trend.

But is it worth the hype?

There has been a growing body of evidence supporting its benefits to reduce body weight and diabetes parameters such as fasting glucose, fasting insulin in resent studies. Let's dig deep.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an eating arrangement that switches between fasting and eating on a 24 hour clock.

Unlike many diets that focus on what to eat, intermittent fasting is entirely about when you eat. Fasting as an ancient concept and not really a 'new trend'. Imagine our ancestors digging into a bag on chips and 'snacking' every few hours while working at the farms. the number of calories we consume has increased overtime, and our activity level's, decreased.

Considering we are eating more than ever, a little bit of fasting should not hurt us.

Research shows that intermittent fasting is the most effective way to manage your weight and prevent or even reverse some diseases.

An intermittent fasting diet plan is not about starvation. When handled properly, it has several health benefits on your body as opposed to chronic starvation.

With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time. Fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple of days a week is enough to start seeing benefit's.

This type of eating in 'patterns' or 'cycles' of fasting, helps people keep away from mindless snacking through the waking hours.

There are several practical approaches to it, but it mainly comes down to personal preference. Here is my personal experience with IF:

Personally, I will only suggest IF if it naturally fit's into your lifestyle. Lifestyle changes are the cornerstone of good health, more than anything else. What do I mean by that? Watch this:

Effects of Intermittent Fasting on our Circadian Clock.

Every health and nutrition expert has their own approach to eating the right away. Some believe in a high- carb diet, while others vouch for a keto type diet. Some suggest adding meat to build muscle mass, while others promote a plant- based approach. But irrespective of all the different views, one thing almost every expert will agree upon is to avoid eating once the sun sets.

No expert will tell you to wake up in the middle of the night to get a meal in.

This is because all research done on the circadian cycle points tot he fact that the body responds to food better in the day time VS the night time. Read the below article for more information:

Fasting during the night time and eating post the early dawn hours can interchangeably help fix our circadian rhythm.

The exposure to bright light at night is equivalent to night time eating. Several researches have been conducted to find the correlation between exposure to night light (eg. screen-time at night, staying up at night with the LED bulbs on) and obesity.

The aforementioned researchers specially carried out the studies on women and the studies too show a positive correlation- that exposure to night light indeed seems to aid in obesity among women. Now imagine the adverse effects of staying awake till late at night and munching mindlessly on snacks.

Some studies even characterised obesity as a chronological disease! The timing of calorie intake have changed over time due to the changes in lifestyle- it shifted to the intake of food later in the day, which subsequently raised a question about its possible role in the rise of obesity.

Middle-aged men and women who consume more calories in the morning seem to gain less weight over time. A study ‘Timing of Food Intake Predicts Weight Loss Effectiveness’ found that dieters having their primary meals earlier in the day seemed to steadily lose more weight than those eating their main meal later into the day.

By this logic alone, having a cut- off time by 6-7 pm in the evening and fasting till the next day is beneficial for weight loss.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.

Before we dive into trying a type of IF routine, let's look at what science says. Tons of research on IF proves beneficial. But so does any kind of restrictive eating pattern.

For me personally though, unlike any other diet plan, IF is sustainable and easy to follow. You do not have to count calories or worry about portion control as long as you do not munch on junk food.

Here are some of the benefits of IF:

  • Fat loss – Fat loss is a well-known benefit of intermittent fasting. In your fed state, the pancreas secretes to move sugar into the cells and the bulk of our sugar stores in our liver and skeletal muscles. But when our storage sites exceed, that sugar is stored as fat. However, in our fasted state, the sugar levels are low, and we can tap into fat stores for energy. Thus, just by restricting our eating window, we can burn calories. Check the results of this study below:

  • Mental clarity - When in a fasted state, the brain triggers the formation of a particular protein called brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF). Studies also discovered that BDNF boosts working memory in animals and verbal memory in adult humans.

  • Heart health - Intermittent fasting improves blood pressure and resting heart rates, and other heart-related measurements. It also improves blood pressure, oxidative stress, appetite, and some aspects of cardiometabolic health.

  • Anticancer properties – Fasting moderately with an 8 to 12-hour eating window may be beneficial to decrease cancer risk, especially breast cancer and its recurrence.

  • Obesity and diabetes - The results from a pilot study show that short-term daily Intermittent Fasting may be safe and tolerable. Dietary intervention in Type 2 Diabetes patients may improve critical outcomes, including body weight, fasting glucose, and postprandial variability.

  • Better Life Expectancy - There have been advancements in the average life expectancy of people from all over the world who have changed their eating habits. A recent case study revealed that people who regularly fast live 40% longer than the typical life expectancy of their community.

  • Autophagy- The most underrated benefit to IF is autophagy! let's dive a little deeper into this topic.

What is Autophagy and How does it help in longevity?

Glucose & fat are the two primary sources of energy. Based on availability, Glucose is given first preference. In its absence, your body will manage its energy production with fat reserves.

But what happens when the body is out of energy reserves?

Enter Autophagy.

The word ‘Autophagy’ derives its meaning from the Greek words – ‘Auto’ meaning - Self, and ‘Phagein’, meaning ‘To Eat’. So, Autophagy is your body eating itself, literally!

Autophagy is your body’s internal cleansing, decluttering, energy production, housekeeping, and quality control all combined into one! This is how the body can smartly eliminate obsolete, non-functional cells while generating the energy it needs to continue functioning at its best.

Autophagy is triggered through states of fasting for extended periods. During this time, the body initiates consuming its own broken mitochondria and non- functioning cells. Note here, the body will not breakdown functioning cells or important muscle mass yet. But will use up corrupt carcinogenic cells and dysfunctioning amino acids.

This is fascinating as your body is protecting you against chronic diseases. Human's experience a natural decline in autophagy with age, which explains an accumulation of cellular debris and reduced longevity. Fasting is one way to boost autophagy.

Experiencing autophagy regularly, in a smartly regulated way, has amazing effects on your lifespan and health span. It slows down tissue degradation that is associated with natural aging.

intermittent fasting and longevity

Autophagy affects women very differently from men. Primarily, due to hormonal variations. As you may know, Women experience a range of hormonal phases throughout their lives, particularly during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. These fluctuations influence the activity of autophagy in several ways.

  • During menstruation, estrogen and progesterone levels are relatively low and autophagy tends to be more active.
  • During pregnancy, when hormonal levels, especially progesterone, is elevated, autophagy may be slightly suppressed. This is our body’s protective behavior taking over to support the growth and development of the fetus.
  • During Menopause, there is a decline in estrogen levels, again impacting autophagic activity.

Can Fasting Help With Disease Reversal?

“Fasting is the first principle of medicine” - Rumi

Since ancient times, fasting has been practiced devoutly as a way to stay healthy, minimize the effects of aging & as a cure for illness.

We have many anecdotal studies showing spontaneous reversal of cancer with prolonged fasting. But this is beyond just intermittent fasting. I am talking about fasting for periods as long as a month here. This should obviously only be practiced under medical supervision and might not be suitable to all.

But even in my private practice, we have seen very good success with inflammatory bowel diseases and auto- immune disorders with short periods of fasting such as three day's.

Biologically speaking, fasting does tend to decrease levels of certain hormones such as IGF- 1, which as fuels carsinogenic cells. Cut the fuel, you can cut the cancer.

Have you ever observed that when we get sick, the first thing to go is our appetite?

Think of it as our body's pre-programmed response to hard times. Hence the saying – Starve a fever!

When we aren’t eating, the body can direct its entire energy toward healing, while also giving the digestive system a much-needed break from its constant operations. Unlike starvation, where the body is forcibly deprived of any nourishment, fasting is a choice we make consciously for the sake of recuperating & recovery.

fasting for cancer reversal

So, does fasting help with disease reversal?

It absolutely can! We have seen the benefits of short- term fasting on chronic disease reversal such as hypertension management, thyroid management and even cholesterol management.

But long- term fasting must only be done under the guidance of a medical professional.

Fasting helps the body to become more efficient in using insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. These improved insulin processing capabilities contribute to reversing insulin resistance, a major symptom of type 2 diabetes.

Consistent fasting promotes metabolic flexibility. What’s that? Think of it as our body's ability to easily switch between different fuel sources as required, particularly between glucose and stored fat.

I hope this has given you a deeper understanding of fasting's biochemical impact on your body as a means to combat chronic diseases.

However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that to maintain the results obtained by fasting, it is necessary to adhere to a health-positive lifestyle that includes, a healthy, balanced diet of minimally processed, whole plant-based foods, regular sleep, and exercise.

Does Intermittent Fasting Effect Women Differently?

In my practice, I often see women with extreme hormonal imbalances and PCOS symptoms like this:

Women's health is intricately linked to hormonal fluctuations. Tailoring fasting schedules according to menstrual cycle phases must be customised to avoid worsening hormonal health. Here's a brief guide:

  • Menstrual Phase (Day 1-10): Ideal for Time- Restricted Eating of 12- 14 hours.
  • Follicular Phase (Day 11-15): Limit fasting to a maximum of 15 hours.
  • Ovulation Phase (Day 16-19): All fasting types are generally suitable.
  • Luteal Phase (Day 20-30): A time to pause fasting and focus on nourishment.

fasting during periods

Fasting isn't just about weight management; it's a powerful tool for healthy aging. Reducing body-wide inflammation and enhancing cellular energy production can lead to a more youthful feeling and appearance.

Integrating fasting with a healthy diet is pivotal. By blindly following an influencer on social media and trying to go on longer fasts can impact women's hormonal health negatively.

Besides this, incorporating specific foods can support hormonal balance. Think soy products, flaxseeds, green tea, whole grains and walnuts!

Intermittent fasting has shown potential benefits for a range of health issues, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, and neurodegenerative disorders. It's a wellness tool with far-reaching implications.

We help clients introduce fasting at various stages of life differently. Menopause brings significant hormonal changes, often accompanied by insulin resistance. Fasting can be an effective strategy for managing these changes, improving overall health during this critical phase.

The key takeaway is to embrace a fasting lifestyle that harmonizes with your hormonal rhythms. It's not about following a one-size-fits-all approach, but about understanding and aligning with your body's needs.

6 Different Types of intermittent Fasting.

Under intermittent fasting, there are mainly six different ways or schedules that might work differently for every individual. The following are those schedules to choose from as your best option to embrace as part of your fasting experiment.

16:8 Method.

The 16:8 Method involves fasting for 16 hours every day and only eating during an 8-hour window. You can eat your regular three meals during these assigned 8 hours. However, I personally would limit to two big meals and a snack.

Overeating during the 8 hours in anticipation of the 16-hour fast period will be counterproductive to your goals.

It is the most frequently preferred fasting method because the bulk of the fasting period typically happens when you are asleep. What you can try is eating an early dinner and skipping breakfast to stick to the schedule effectively. Generally, if you end dinner at 8 pm, your next meal will be an early lunch at noon.

Drinking plain water during the fasting window is highly suggested.

14:10 Method.

If fasting for 16 hours sounds too long for you, you can also go for the 14:10 fasting period method. In this case, you would fast for 14 hours and eat your meals for 10 hours. This is the one I prefer the most and often follow.

Ideally, starting your fast at 7 or 8 pm is recommended as it typically has you eating your last meal a few hours before your bedtime. In addition, it gives your body time to digest your food well before you sleep.

5:2 Method.

With the 5:2 Method, you need to restrict the number of calories (or even completely fast) you consume for two days a week. During the other five days, you can eat your regular meals.

On fasting days, it is typically recommended that you eat no more than 400 to 500 calories or even completely fast. However, if your goal is fat loss, or you struggle with low metabolism, I suggest you avoid this method.

We often look at food as pleasure and abstinence from food as a punishment to the body. However, there are people who have reached a higher branch of spiritual realm who look as food only to fuel the body. Most of us are not there yet.

Trying to go on a full day fast only creates negative association with food and will lead to eating disorders. Not only this, but completely avoiding food will also interfere with your thyroid hormone function, cause blood glucose fluctuation and further damage metabolism.

From a health perspective, any kind of fasting method will lead long term results if it is sustained.

Alternate Day Fasting.

Alternate day fasting requires you to fast every other day according to your comfort. This method has become quite popular in recent years, but medical experts advise consulting a doctor before beginning with the diet.

Once again, unless you can sustain this type of lifestyle forever, it is not suggested you start this method. Given that this is an extreme way of dieting, it is advisable to only follow this under expert guidance.

Eat-stop-eat Method.

This method involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. This is similar tot he 5:2 method.

Although 24 hours may seem a lot of time to be endured, you can choose the day or time of fasting according to your schedule during the week.

It is of course advisable to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated during the fasting period. Additionally, if you fast twice a week, it is sensible to choose two non-consecutive days.

Spontaneous Meal Skipping.

In spontaneous meal skipping, you can skip a meal you don't need to eat from time to time. It is especially great for beginners who aren't sure what intermittent schedule might work best for them.

For example, if you had a big lunch, you might be able to skip dinner. Although flexibility is a massive advantage to this fasting method, you need to make sure that you do not indulge in overeating afterward.

This is not a long- term solution though. Following a planned eating and fasting schedule is essential to help you stay consistent and chronic to be successful at intermittent fasting.

How to get started with Intermittent Fasting?

Researchers who study sleep all agrees to get a minimum of 8 hours worth of rest. This automatically will give you an 8- hour fasting window.

It is generally suggested to avoid food for the first hour of waking up. Watch this to understand more.

Thus, beginners can just aim for a 12 hour fasting cycle by finishing the last meal 1-2 hours before going to bed and eating the first meal 1-2 hours after waking up. As you get more comfortable, aim for a 14- 16 hour fasting window and depending on your health goals, replace the dinner with a wholesome one- pot soup meal.

Besides this basic schedule, do not forget to include at least a 30-minute physical activity schedule, preferably during the daytime.

Drawbacks of Intermittent Fasting.

Some people try intermittent fasting for weight loss, and others use it to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol, or arthritis.

As great a strategy as this is, intermittent fasting is not for everyone. It might not be suitable for every individual, and people falling in this category should avoid this form of routine:

  • Children, teens under age 18, and people with geriatic diseases.
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Those with a history of eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating.
  • People with chronic heart issues, kidney or renal issues.
  • People with low body mass index or who have recently been in the hospital.

Besides this, people struggling with eating disorders, negative food association and body image issues should also avoid any restrictive type of eating pattern.

What can you eat or drink during your fasting window?

Technically, a fast breaks the moment your liver triggers the release of digestive enzymes. Any supplements/ medicines/ coffee etc will break your fast.

But drinking fresh water and some zero calorie drinks like herbal tea's are allowed during your fasting window. I would avoid coffee, sugar loaded beverages and supplements though.

It is essential that you only eat healthy, unprocessed nutritional food when you are ready to eat. Especially in the beginning, it is easy to give in to junk food after the fast ends, so planning ahead is essential.

Some foods will be more advantageous for you to consume when you are ready to break your fast.

The most vital food products to focus on are real whole food and plant-based products.

  • Ideally, go for the best quality, organic proteins like beans, lentils, seeds, tofu.
  • Crucial healthy fats for building healthy hormones and satiety like nuts, seeds.
  • Unprocessed carbohydrates like rice, wheat, oats, quinoa, sweet potatoes.
  • Lots of green leafy vegetables.

What can you not eat or drink during your fasting window?

There are also some foods that you should avoid as far as possible to get the maximum benefits of this fasting process and ensure a healthy body.

The essential items to avoid or limit are sugar and alcohol. They can offset all the good habits that you are incorporating as part of intermittent fasting.

Additionally, when you break a fast with inflammatory foods like dairy, sugar and oil's, you end up with gas and bloating. Therefore, avoid taking dairy products or any other food that can cause inflammation.

Another thing that you should recognize and keep in mind is that it may take 6 to 8 weeks to realize its benefits. Therefore, make sure that you give a solid 30 days before determining that it is the right strategy for you.

Sample Vegetarian Intermittent Fasting meal plan:

Indian Vegetarian Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan

If you want to try Intermittent Fasting, it is recommended that you start with a more moderate approach of time-restricted eating. The process might seem a little overwhelming at the beginning but gets better and easier with time. Once you start getting used to it, fasting is a highly beneficial way to improve your overall health and well-being.

Let's Just Talk. No Obligations.

I do free consultations every Tuesday's and Thursday's. Either way you will get some actionable tips to reach your fitness goals faster.

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ERIC LOZADA - January 22, 2024

I am trying to start IF. I have prediabetes, high in triglycerides, uric acid, mild fatty liver, have disturbed sleeping. thank you very much.

Tanya - October 19, 2023

Hullo!!! Looking for Indian vegetarian diet chart with 18-6 intermittent fasting. Please help!!!

Abha Agrawal - September 1, 2023

Hi , am looking for a personalized veg diet plan

Tuli - May 20, 2023

Can you send me a diet without meat and dairy products. I want to get fit

Nimit - March 26, 2023

Want a diet plan

Rachita - March 18, 2023

I am looking to loose around 7-8 kg of weight. And looking forward to have personalized intermittent fasting plan.
Can you please send me some plan

Pooja Sharma - February 3, 2023

Hi dear ,

My height is 171 cm, weight is 78 . Pregnancy fat but it’s 2 years since I delivered not feeding also .

Need to go up to 68 kgs suggest a vegetarian plan thanks Pooja

Sonali - January 3, 2023

Hello, I am 43, I follow vegetarian diet, no eggs , active individual, would like to reduce belly fat.
I have to reduce my over all weight in order to reduce fat. I would like personalized vegetarian diet plan.

Veni - August 31, 2022

Hi I am 59years old and I want to lose weight and be healthy. I am a vegetarian…no eggs but I do have dairy products..Please send me an eating plan…thank you

Raks - August 2, 2022

I would like to have intermittent fasting diet plan please ( I don’t eat eggs or fish). Thanking you in advance.

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About Roshni Sanghvi

Roshni Sanghvi is an Indian plant-based sports nutritionist and body transformation specialist. She is the first Indian to represent on a national bodybuilding stage being on a 100% plant-based diet. Roshni is a holistic nutritionist, graduated from the prestigious NutraPhoria college of nutrition in Canada.

She is also an ACE-certified personal trainer, certified PlantFed gut coach, certified Bodyshred, and Animal flow instructor with a specialisation in disease reversal through food and lifestyle modification.

Her approach is more focused on helping you in adopting a healthy lifestyle. With her result-oriented holistic methods, she has managed to transform and reverse lifestyle diseases such as PCOS, Thyroid, Diabetes etc for 12k+ clients worldwide.