The health space is abuzz about intermittent fasting, and how it has helped them lose weight but is it as simple as it is said, or are we hurting our body organs because we think we are doing the ring thing? Before following intermittent fasting ask yourself how does it work? How long do you have to do it? How many hours do you have to fast? What changes do you have to do to your meal to achieve your goal? Here, we discuss the benefits, how to do it, and types of intermittent fasting and provide tips on how to maintain this type of diet.
Intermittent fasting is an eating plan that switches between fasting and eating on a regular schedule. It involves entirely or partially abstaining from eating for a set number of hours, before eating regularly again. Many diets focus on what you eat but intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat. Research has shown that fasting for a certain period or eating one meal a day for a couple of days a week can help burn fat. In prehistoric times, before humans learned to farm, they were hunters and gatherers who evolved to survive and thrive for long periods without eating.
There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting but they are all based on a specific time to eat and to fast. For instance, try eating only during a six-hour window each day and fast for the remainder. Or you might choose to eat only one meal a day two days a week. Staying without food, the body exhausts its glycogen stores and starts utilizing stored fat.
Fasting benefits are not only in the physical body but also helps get clarity in mind. It also increases our performance and makes us more productive not forgetting how our discipline levels are enhanced. However, it is important to check with your nutritionist/dietician before beginning intermittent fasting. This diet is not recommended for people who are prone to eating disorders, and it could be a potential issue for those with underlying health disorders. If you decide to try intermittent fasting, keep in mind that diet quality is crucial. You can’t eat ultra-processed foods during the eating hours and expect to manage weight and boost your health. Here are a few popular ways to do intermittent fasting.
- The fast diet involves eating what you typicallyeat for 5 days of the week and restricting your calorie intake to 500-600 for 2 days of the week. This diet is also referred to as the 5:2 diet and is effective at helping with weight loss.
- 24 hours fast is also referred to as eat stop eat and it involves fasting for 24hours once or twice a week. You can fast from breakfast to breakfast or from lunch to lunch, during this time only water, sugarless black tea, sugarless black coffee, and other zero-calorie beverage are allowed. The challenge with this method is it may be very hard to be consistent for many people. However, you can try 14- 16 hours fast until your body is ready for the long hours.
- 16/8 methods involve fasting every day for about 16 hours and restricting your daily eating window to approximately 8 hours. Within the eating period, you can fit in two, three, or more meals. During the fasting period, you can drink, water, sugarless black coffee, or sugarless black tea to keep you hydrated and help reduce hunger.
- Alternate-day fasting involves fasting about every other day, either by not eating anything or by eating only a few calories. It is not effective for someone who is aiming at reducing weight.
- The warrior diet involves eating smallamounts of raw fruit and vegetables, during 20 hours fasting window, then eating one large meal at night. The eating window is usually only around 4 hours, but it is advisable to consume plenty of vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats, and very few carbohydrates.
- Meal skipping is a flexible approach to intermittent fasting that may be good for beginners. It involves occasionally skipping meals. Someone can decide to skip a meal according to their level of hunger or time restraints. Many people find it more natural than all the other fasting technics. However, it is important to eat healthily.
- 12 hours a day fast the rules are simple for this type of first and normally it is very good and easy for beginners. This is because the fasting window is relatively short.
There are many challenges that come with intermittent fasting and that would make you not meet your target hours or days that you had opted to fast but here are a few tips that will help you get through intermittent fasting:
- Drink a lot of water during this time, and stay hydrated.
- Avoid too much exercise, you need to rest and relax so that the body is not overworked. However light exercise such as walking is fine.
- Choose healthy nutrient-dense meals after the fasting period. Eat foods that are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
- Keep yourself busy during fasting days to avoid thinking about food. Avoid obsessing over food.
- Eat high-fiber foods select filling yet low-calorie food, which includes vegetable salads, raw fruits with high water content.
It can be challenging to do intermittent fasting, and there is no single plan that will work for everyone. You have to try different intermittent styles to see which one works best for them. Regardless of the type of fasting, if the body is unprepared, it can be problematic. We hope this article will help you make the best decision on how to do intermittent fasting and answer the questions that you have been asking yourself about intermittent fasting.