* The outcomes of this diet depend on the person's individual predispositions and cannot be guaranteed in every person. We advise you to consult your doctor before you start a diet programme.
Simple intermittent fasting or Everything you need to know about it
Strict diets aren't your thing, but would you like to lose some kilos after Christmas? How about trying intermittent fasting? You don't know how to begin and what exactly posting involves? With our brief overview of the most important information, you can easily handle it.
What exactly is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent Fasting may not sound entirely healthy to you now, but the opposite is true. Giving the body a few hours' break from eating is perfectly natural, even beneficial, for our digestion. You may not even realize that you're already fasting intermittently, because at night (usually) none of us eat. With conscious observation of intermittent fasting, we then try to shorten the time window set for eating, thus prolonging fasting. Why, you ask, is it so beneficial to extend your night fasting?
Each of us is used to eating in a different (un)regularity. Somebody eats three times a day, and they're fine with it. Someone else adds a snack or two to the three main meals, and someone "eats" practically all day. But when we eat too often, more insulin is released into the blood, which over time can lead to “insulin resistance”. Simply put, your blood sugar is building up. In this way, moreover, it can accumulate undetected for years, and with a long-term increase in blood sugar, you then mess with being overweight, but also with more serious cardiovascular diseases or type 2 diabetes.
Let the body "breathe out," it will pay you back
To keep your blood sugar down, you need to give your body a break from eating, which intermittent fasting will provide. By limiting the time you eat or reducing the number of individual meals per day, you allow your body to function as it should.
- You will feel lighter.
- You can help your body burn fat faster including the dangerous visceral fat.
- You will support detoxification of the body.
- You will encourage regeneration of the body.
- You will accelerate brain activity.
Intermittent fasting is not a strict diet, but it will help you lose weight
A lot of people think of intermittent fasting as a short-term diet. But it is not. Intermittent fasting is considered more as a style of eating that you can practice on a long-term basis. Plus, it can make you lose weight. "I've lost a few kilos since I started with intermittent fasting. So it's not only making me feel great but I can finally zip up my pants," says accountant Petra (32), who started the interruptions six months ago. She was led to it by a friend, to whom she had confided a long history of indigestion. These were probably due to a slight overweight due to lack of exercise, in addition to irregular diet.
How is it possible to lose weight with intermittent fasting when we're practically eating what we want? For one thing, you let your body relax from constant eating, but mostly you think about what you eat a lot more. You then reach for quality nutritious food that will fill you up for a long time. But the important thing is not to eat too little so your body doesn't suffer in the "starving" window instead of relaxing. Your portions should cover your daily energy needs, so if you spread your food across 3 main meals, they will be hearty and nutritionally rich.
Did you know that intermittent fasting doesn't have to be done every day, but maybe just 1 or 2 days a week? Some even engage in a method called 24 Hours, where you don't eat all day in the week and eat on the other days as you're used to. Listen to your body and find out what eating routine is right for you.
Do you suffer from a lack of exercise because of a sedentary job like Petra's? Try our tips to lose weight even working in an office.
How to begin and what type of intermittent fasting to choose?
The unique thing about intermittent fasting is that everyone can choose the option that suits them. And you can even try out more options if you want. "My friend only eats in an 8-hour window and fasts for 16 hours. This seemed too radical to begin with, which is why I started simply with a "fifty-fifty" style. I spread out five meals within 12 hours, starting with breakfast at 7 a.m. and then not eating for 12 hours after 7 p.m. After a month, I felt the need to extend the fasting window to 14 hours, and I've been practising the 14/10 model until now. And I feel much better than I used to," says Petra, who now eats only four meals a day.
And even the experts agree with Petra. Women are generally recommended to apply the 14/10 fasting model (14 hours fasting/10 hours eating) and men 16/8. However, even one fasting model can have multiple variations. You can have breakfast at 7 a.m. and not eat after 5 p.m., or skip breakfast and not start eating until 10 a.m., which allows you to have a dinner after 7 p.m. The rules of your fasting are your own. The important thing is not to force yourself into something that doesn't suit you. This reduces your chances of sticking with the new food system.
What to eat during intermittent fasting?
Since intermittent fasting is not a diet routine, it is entirely up to you how you set your diet. But if you put it together correctly, you won't be hungry during the fasting. How? Choose nutritionally rich healthy quality foods. Prefer:
- High-quality protein (lean meat, high-percentage hams, cheese and other dairy products including fermented products);
- Healthy fats in the form of nuts, seeds, avocados and vegetable oils (olive, walnut, flax oil, etc.).
- Think of plenty of vegetables, but also fruits.
- Do not forget complex carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread, wholemeal cereals or brown rice.
- Heavily neglected legumes are also a great source of nutrients. Try red or beluga lentils in addition to the traditional lentils, and have some chickpeas or beans now and then. How about making vegan burgers out of them?
If you are a fan of other types of eating, such as low carb high fat style or enjoy a paleo, you don't have to stop. Just adjust your diet according to your time windows.
Instead, you should avoid simple carbohydrates and trans fats, which will make you even hungrier, especially the excess of sugary foods and beverages, industrially processed preparations, white pastries, or salty or fried snacks.
Don't skip meals! Since you have limited time to eat during intermittent fasting, try not to skip any. If you're regularly in a hurry, always keep a nutritious snack handy, such as a protein drink that just needs to be mixed with water or a protein bar.
Watch your drinking routine, too. Fasting doesn't mean “no drinking”. But stick to plain water, unsweetened tea or coffee that will not ruin the resting of the body from digestion. You'd better have your favourite latte or coffee with cream in the time window you're eating.
Cannot build a healthy diet? You can also try starting a lifestyle change with a diet plan compiled by experienced nutritionists. You just have to choose based on your overweight level.
Who is intermittent fasting good for?
Intermittent fasting can be tried by all healthy adults who are not currently satisfied with their diet settings and who want to feel good again in their bodies and possibly lose a few kilos. But, of course, a variety of variables, such as diet composition, age, gender, excess weight, dietary history, and current health, will influence its results.
In addition, intermittent fasting is currently used as an additional treatment for diabetes or other kidney diseases. It is already common practice abroad, but do not self-medicate without consulting your doctor.
Who should avoid intermittent fasting?
- But you should avoid experimenting with eating habits if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. In that case, think first about the health of your baby and yours. You'll be back in shape after giving birth when you have your body all to yourself again.
- You should also consult your doctor before any significant change in eating habits if you are being treated for a disease and possibly taking medication. Their use is often linked to the individual meals of the day.
- Intermittent fasting is not well suited to individuals with eating disorders or too slim people.
- Of course, children should also avoid controlled fasting, because we should not limit their portion counts per day.
Do you no longer find intermittent fasting so unrealistic, and would you even like to try it? Go for it!
Author: Nikola Nevečeřalová
Photo: Pexels, KetoDiet
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