What is Intermittent Fasting?
IF is a dieting approach which cycles the periods of abstaining food and eating. It isnât just one method actually, its several methods adjust for the needs of an individual. For instance, time-restricted IF means eating all your calories for the day in a three to twelve-hour span. This does not deviate much youâre your typical eating habits if you tend to skip breakfast or a certain meal.
There is also the â5:2â, which means eating 500-600 calories for two consecutive days and then eating all you want for the remaining days of the week.
On the other hand, there is the strictest method: alternate-day fasting. Not taking in and food or beverage with calories for 24 hours. Then you can eat whatever you want for the rest of the days.
Does it work?
Well, it will depend not on when you donât eat, itsâ what you will eat when you can. For example, even if you go for alternative day fasting, if you binge on high calorie foods for the rest of the days, you will not see the health benefits or weight loss you expect.
The trick with IF is eating fiber and protein-rich foods when you can. Because these type of foods are not only healthy but keep you full longer. Just because you are fasting, it does not mean you will be eating a bunch of tasteless crappy foods. In fact, a piece of lean steak, grilled salmon, chicken or turkey can be your go to food. Soup, which is high-volume but low in calorie and sodium, can be great too. Then thereâs Greek yoghurt, almond and peanut butter, fruits, even spaghetti squash as snacks.
Remember that if you are a beginner, your body will signal you to eat. After all, it wants you to keep you alive. Fight the urge to gorge. Eat healthier foods. As you get used to IF, your body will eventually adjust. This includes your cravings for âjunkâ foods and your ability to be calm and not be hungry during fasting days.
Can you do fitness exercises?
You can include training and fitness with your IF routine, but it is advised not to do it in the same days. For example, if you do weight training during your fasting days, your muscles will not have the fuel it needs to recover. Instead, do it on the succeeding days when you have recovered. If you must exercise though, do light ones like walking or Yoga. If you experience lightheadedness, dizziness, or nausea, stop exercising and hydrate.
Is it for everybody?
Like in most diets, it is not applicable to certain people. Pregnant women, people with eating disorders and diabetes are also advised not to undergo IF. If you have an active job, work that entails heavy manual labor, alternate day fasting may not be for you. It may work, however, if your off days are fasting days. But it will be stressful for your body if you fast and do manual labor on same days.
And do not forget the rule of thumb: before starting with any diet or fitness regimen, consult your doctor.
If youâre ready and your doctor says go, then hereâs one effective tip to consider: drink lots of water. Your body will be dehydrated during the course of fasting. Drinking lots of water keeps your body hydrated, cleanses if of impurities and keeping the hunger pangs away since it makes you feel full.
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Article Added on Wednesday, April 25, 2018
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