Lifestyle

The ABC of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a concept that we hear more and more about lately. But is intermittent fasting a weight loss method? Well, some might say that intermittent fasting is all about keeping healthy and with high energy levels without making any compromises when it comes to your diet. Fasting can help you lose weight, but this is not the main reason why people switch to one meal a day or other types of intermittent fasting.

With intermittent fasting it is possible to lose weight without giving up on your favorite foods. You can also detox the body and feel more vibrant than ever.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is more than a diet, it can be considered a lifestyle. It involves alternating periods of eating with periods of rest. In other words, you are only allowed to eat during a certain period of time during the day or the week. What makes fasting so popular is the fact that it doesn’t involve any dietary restrictions. You can eat what you like, the only thing you need to be careful with is when you eat. Intermittent fasting is more than a diet, it’s easy to adjust to it once you understand how it works and many people talk about its numerous benefits.

Types of intermittent fasting

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You might have heard about people eating for just 6 or 8 hours during the day, while others only eat a meal every day. Some people even fast for two days every week. Which one is the right way to do it? While there are different types of intermittent fasting, the most popular ones are:

  • 16/8 Fasting

This intermittent fasting method is all about eating for 8 hours a day and fasting for the rest of the time. This means that you’ll either have to skip breakfast or lunch. For example, you can have your first meal of the day at 12 and have one, two or even three meals by 8 pm, when you should stop eating until the next day at 12. This is a popular and easy to implement intermittent fasting method and most people get used to the new routine in a matter of days.

  • 24 hour fasting

Another way to do intermittent fasting is to stop eating for 24 hours once or twice per week. This means that you can have your last meal of the day at 8 pm for example, and refrain from eating the next day until 8 pm. Despite what you might believe, it takes a very short time for the body to get used to the intermittent fasting and it will be easy for you to do it every week. It’s also a good exercise for your disciple and mind, not only for the body.

  • 5:2 Fasting

If you’re choosing the 5:2 fasting method it means that you are on a calorie restriction two days of the week and eating normally the rest of the time. Usually most people choose to restrict calories in different, not consecutive days for better results. When you’re doing the 5:2 fasting, women can eat about 500 calories per day and men up to 600 calories within 24 hours.

Intermittent fasting is not necessarily about restricting calories; however, having a smaller window for meals every day can lead to eating less calories.

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How to make intermittent fasting work for you:

  • One of the most important things you should keep in mind is that restricting the calories for one or two days doesn’t mean you can increase it in the following days. So, don’t over eat in the days when you are not fasting.
  • Water is crucial. We often associate fasting with a period with no food or water. But this is not how intermittent fasting works. It’s quite the other way around. When there is no food intake you should drink plenty of water or herbal tea infusions to keep the body hydrated.
  • Avoid foods rich in calories in the day when you are not fasting. I know we mentioned before you could eat your favorite foods when you are not fasting, but for a healthy lifestyle and superior results, you should always avoid foods that are over processed or too rich in calories. Often, these are sweets, fast food or pastries. If possible, avoid them and choose fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds and good quality proteins for a well-balanced diet.
  • Exercise with care. Exercising is always a good idea, especially if you are trying to lose weight or improve your health condition. However, your fasting days might not be the ideal time to exercise. Try working out when you are not fasting to avoid feeling too tired.  

More about intermittent fasting

An intermittent calorie restriction has been proven to be efficient not only for weight loss but also for longevity and to help fighting certain health conditions. It might sound a little too good to be true – all you have to do is fast from time to time and you can lose weight and feel better. However, there are certain studies claiming that the potential benefits of intermittent fasting go way beyond weight loss. Intermittent fasting can also reduce the risk factors for diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions and even cancer.

Intermittent fasting is for you if you can commit to a goal and do your best to achieve it. Reducing the caloric intake, even for a short period of time can be a significant change in your life. It’s important to talk this through with your doctor if you are under medication or suffering from chronic or severe health conditions.