Plenty of diets are going around these days to stay healthy and lose weight. Many found the intermittent fasting is the easiest one of all. It keeps you in check and eating healthy, but without any food deprivations. Why should you try it and how will it work? Here’s everything you need to know.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a healthy dieting system based on splitting your day into two periods: eating and fasting. There are not many restrictions for this diet, simply eat as healthy as possible, control your portions, and commit to it for great results.
Many people favor this dieting pattern to others as it is not complicated at all. That is because it targets eating timings and periods rather than the food itself which works best for almost everyone.
In addition, many people agree that this dieting system is not just that, but it is also a healthy lifestyle. In other words, even if you are not looking to lose weight, this diet helps stay healthy and highly active.
Intermittent fasting techniques
The fasting patterns can be divided into three main ones:
This method is the most popular. It involves daily fasting for 16 hours straight, and eating for 8 hours. The wide eating window can help you fit 2 or 3 meals, or a couple snacks and 1 meal. Of course, in order for it to work, avoid eating junk food or sugary snacks.
We recommend making a meal plan where you divide healthy meals, snacks, and slip in a couple not so healthy options for twice a week tops.
This way you’ll satisfy all cravings while also staying on track whether to be healthy or to lose weight. There is a belief that you should eliminate sugary foods and stick to a certain regime, but at some point your body will get used to this kind of intake and burn calories slower. Changing the meal plan every now and then and sliding a small portion of oily or sugary foods will keep your body active and burning.
For beginners, you can start by 14 hours of fasting, and gradually increase them to 16. Keep in mind that sleeping hours are included as well – amazing that sleeping contributes to losing weight, right?
Known as the fast diet, this pattern focuses on your calorie intake. It works by restricting your calorie intake for two days a week to only 500 calories a day. You can divide those calories into multiple snacks, or 2 meals with 250 calories.
3| Eat – Stop – Eat
This is the most advanced pattern where fasting lasts up to 24 hours straight. For example, you had dinner at 7 p.m, so you stop eating till 7 p.m. the next day. Dietitians usually recommend this after trying the 16-8 pattern as it is more challenging. So they recommend starting with 16 hours of fasting and gradually increasing the fasting periods.
How does this diet contribute to your health?
In general, fasting is a great method to keep our bodies healthy and energetic. While it might seem very challenging or tiring at first, the more you fast, the more your body gets used to it and normalizes not eating. Here are some other great benefits for intermittent fasting:
1| It improves your metabolism, thus improving your calorie burning and helps you stay fit.
2| Fasting helps and even cures many disorders like insulin resistance and underactive thyroid.
3| It boosts your immunity system and makes your body disease-proof!
4| Fasting lowers the levels of harmful fats and cholesterol in your system.
5| The brain becomes more active in producing BDNF hormone which protects your nerve system.
Is it a good diet for mums?
Multiple studies show that this diet is good for all women, especially mums. However, the drastic change in your intake can temporarily influence your menstruation cycle. The best way to solve that is to follow a balanced fasting pattern and mix between long fasting periods and short ones.
Best fasting methods for mums
Any healthy and balanced dieting pattern is good for mums. In general, fasting is good for mums as it reminds them to eat or snack during the day and avoid unhealthy foods during the night. As mentioned earlier, there are no restrictions when it comes to foods, so you can eat any quick healthy treat and recharge to stay active all day long.
Having said that, here are some fasting plans that work great for mums:
– Multiple fasting patterns
As in to fast 12-16 hours 3 days a week. For this to work best, take days off between each fasting day. For example, fast on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
Start by fasting 12-16 hours 2 days a week and gradually increase fasting periods to 24 hours.
Counting calories and restricting them two days a week can be great for mums. Those two days can be dexoting days to rid your body of all harmful and stored fats.
– Alternate-day fasting
This pattern allows you to take 500 calories for one day, and have a free day the next.
Again, this is the most popular fasting pattern. Start by 14 hours a day and gradually increase them to 16. Having an 8 hour window to eat is plenty and good for all routines.
Whatever you choose, make sure not exhaust yourself or over do it. After all, this is a lifestyle to keep you healthy and active. If you feel tired or dizzy, consult your doctor and see what works best for you.
How to start?
Starting is very easy. Simply stop eating at a certain time and have your meal the next day according to your fasting hours. Of course, at first it will seem challenging, but once you get on track you will love it and feel light and energized all day long.
It is highly recommended to include physical activity during your day. Doing some workout at home, going to the gym, or simply walking for 30 minutes or more every day all contribute to a healthy lifestyle and makes losing weight faster.
Most importantly is to keep your body hydrated enough. Water is essential for any kind of diet and it is a key element to keeping your body healthy and your metabolism high.
Tips to stay healthy and energetic during fasting
- – Consult your doctor if you have any medical condition.
- – Drink a lot of water.
- – Eat healthy meals every day
- – Make sure your body takes what its needs of nutrition and vitamins
- – It is okay to feel tired or exhausted the first few days, but make sure not to over do it.
What is allowed during fasting periods?
During fasting periods, stop all kinds of foods. If you feel hungry more than usual, you can have some lettuce or cucumbers. But nothing else. As for drinks, there are a wide range that you can have during fasting periods, that includes:
- – Water, and it can be fruit flavored if you like.
- – Tea and coffee, but surely with no sugar.
- – Calorie free drinks.
- – Milk, but no more than one glass.
We recommend you making your own drinks at home. This way you will be sure that they are made to your liking and won’t break your fasting.
Finally, whatever dieting technique you pick, make sure it is good for you. A diet is not just to lose weight, but it is to gain a healthy lifestyle. So, stay healthy, and stay safe!