24 Sep Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is a popular food-related practice for weight lose
But Why intermittent fasting? What should it be used for? How does it work? I will endeavor to answer all these questions in a basic and simple manner so that in the end this article will be a fundamental initial guide to practice intermittent fasting.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a food guide that is characterized by alternating between periods of fasting and eating, in other words, it alternates cycles of time where you can eat. It is not about thinking precisely about which foods to eat, the key is about focusing on when to eat them.
There are various methods of intermittent fasting, but the most widely known and used are:
1.The time method
12-12 fasting 12 hours and eating during the other 12 hours14-10 (fasting 14 hours and eating during the other 10 hours) 16-8 (fasting 16 hours and eating during the other 8 hours)… and so forth until up to 24 hours of complete fasting. These base methods are practiced two or three times a week.
2.The method of calorie intake:
Known as the 5: 2 DIET where you are only allowed to eat between 500-600 calories per day during two consecutive days or two non- consecutive days in the week, eating normally for the other five days.
3.The day method
This method is called eat-stop-eat given that the idea is that you alternate a few times a week to complete fast for 24 hours of normal food intake.
How does it affect your body?
Intermittent fasting is much more than restricting calorie intake give that when you fast, it produces changes on cellular, molecular, and hormonal level especially. For this reason, we are going to mention some of the changes that will be undergone when we do intermittent fasting.
The sensitivity to insulin improves (above all if you combine it with an active live and exercise, promoting a lowering of insulin levels in the blood, which allows for better processing of stored body fat.
- Growth hormone
The levels of the growth hormone increase, which promotes the synthesis of protein and helps use body fat as a source of energy. In order words, you burn fat and build muscle.
- Cell repair
During fasting, cells undergo cell reparation and body regeneration called autophagia (they eliminate old and impaired proteins which build up in the interior)
Why should we do intermittent fasting?
These are my fundamental reasons why we should do intermittent fasting:
- To improve our relationship with food.
- As a tool to help be calorie deficient.
- To improve our metabolic rate.
- If you don’t fancy dinner or breakfast.
Don’t do intermittent fasting if you think that:
- You are going to lose fat eating the same thing.
- You are going to improve your health.
- You are going to compensate for a bad diet.
- You have to do it as it’s fashionable.
Is intermittent fasting suitable for everyone?
If you are in good health, you can fast according to your lifestyle. However, it is not advisable for people with:
- Metabolic disorders (for example diabetes).
- Cardiovascular illnesses.
It is not suitable for the following to do it:
- Pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding.
- Older people.
- People who have suffered from eating disorders.
What are you allowed to drink while fasting?
During the fasting cycle you are allowed to drink:
- Black coffee (without milk or sugar).
- Herbal teas or tea (without milk or sugar).
Advice when it comes to intermittent fasting
- In the meals that you are going to have after fasting, don’t overdo quantities nor underdo it either. It is not about a free bar of food, rather about adopting suitable food habits, following a healthy and balanced diet. It is really important to eat a sufficient amount of protein so as not to reduce your muscular mass.
- VERY IMPORTANT, during your fast, stay hydrated with the drinks allowed.
- Adapt intermittent fasting to your lifestyle: training, social life, rest, work hours…etc.
- Intermittent fasting is not advisable for everyone and it is VERY IMPORTANT that before starting to do it, you consult your doctor or nutritionist.
Intermittent fasting promotes a better body composition (reducing weight and body fat), reducing the risk of illness and it can help improve brain functioning. However, it can be difficult to maintain this longterm, as it can affect our social life, lifestyle and can end up causing some health problems.
For those reasons, use intermittent fasting as a food method based on calorie deficit that will help reduce body fat if you do it correctly, watching the foods you eat and doing it according to the right times. Remember it is not suitable for everybody!