Fasting has been practiced for thousands of years and is still a part of many religions and cultures around the world today.
Recent research has shown that fasting has many health benefits including better digestion, weight loss and improved insulin resistance and cognition.
There are many different versions of intermittent fasting.
· 16/8 intermittent fasting.
· 12 hour fast
· 5:2 diet
· Alternate day fasting
· Meal skipping
· Warrior diet
If you are thinking of trying intermittent fasting here are a few things to consider:
Find your window
Research the different ways you can fast and consider what option would best suit your lifestyle.
With 16/8 fasting, noon until 8pm is a popular window. This means you only need to fast overnight and skip breakfast.
Another popular window is 9 am until 5 pm. This allows for a healthy breakfast around 9 am, a normal lunch and a light early dinner or snack around 4 pm before starting your fast.
Alternatively, you may decided to fast for an entire day once or twice a week or restrict your calorie intake two day a week, as with the 5:2 diet.
Breaking your fast
It is essential that when you break your fast you eat a substantial, nutritious meal that contains a good amount of protein and good fats. If you break your fast with a carbohydrate rich meal or snack, for example a bowl of fries or a slice of cake, your blood sugar will spike and you will be very hungry again in about 30 minutes, undoing all of your hard work.
To get the most out of fasting ensure you balance each meal with a good variety of healthy wholefoods, such as:
Veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens, tomatoes, etc.
Healthy fats: Olive oil, avocados and coconut oil.
Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds.
A small amount of whole grains: Quinoa, rice, oats, barley, and buckwheat.
It is important to stay hydrated. You can drink water, unsweetened tea and black coffee while fasting. This can help control your appetite and will keep you hydrated.
What not to do
Restricting your food intake can cause some people to eat more than usual during their eating window in an attempt to make up for the time spent fasting. This is not the goal.
Can anyone try intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. Fasting is not recommended for women who are trying to conceive or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is also contraindicated with some medications, hormonal imbalance and adrenal fatigue.
What to expect
When you first start fasting you may experience hunger, weakness and fatigue. These feelings pass quickly once you are in a good routine. For this reason I recommend starting your fasting over a weekend.
Before long you will be experiencing a clearer mind, weight loss, improved energy and improved digestion.
If you would like to know more about intermittent fasting make nutrition appointment at Elemental Health and get you started on your road to health.