The art of eating has become too habitual, and the sight of food often invokes a desire to eat.
To stay hungry over a certain period, can sound impractical, especially when you are used to eating at any time you feel like eating.
Intermittent Fasting has been shown to have several health benefits, inclusive of helping in the management of arthritis, hypertension, PCOs, IBD and prevention of several other cardiovascular diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Why do you want to try intermittent Fasting?
Most people choose to go into intermittent fasting often to lose weight.
To lose weight! Most people would say.
What is intermittent Fasting?
This is you going into conscious voluntary intervals of eating and not eating.
You can decide to go for some hours of the day without food and then eat for a certain period. And definitely you can start and stop at any time.
It’s you choosing a period of fasting like 16 hours, then a period of eating, for example, 8 hours.
You can start slow like 12:12 (12 hours of eating, then 12 hours of fasting.) And gradually get to even smaller intervals.
How does it work?
Intermittent Fasting works by pushing your body into burning fat that is stored in the body. This is what helps your body burn the extra fat. It works by switching between eating and fasting.
Often we don’t eat for hunger rather for pleasure
When we want to lose a few pounds then we have to get into a calorie deficit situation. Eating too much, without periods of fasting and also with extremely reduced physical activity, can quickly lead to weight gain.
Periods of fasting get your body into a state of ketosis. Especially when you also get into a low carbohydrate diet, then your body gets to burn fat, eventually leading to weight loss.
What are the basic rules of intermittent Fasting?
The rules are very easy. Because you get to decide what schedule works best for you. 16:8 is quite common, having your dinner as early as 6 pm, and then breaking your fast at 10 am the next day, and having 8 hours of Eating Nutritious, portion-controlled foods, is what most people start with.
Once you can achieve this, then you can easily get into longer periods of fasting, and less of eating.
However, you must proceed with a lot of caution lest you get into extreme hunger, dehydration, fatigue, deficiencies, and even sleep problems.
Longer periods of fasting can be very dangerous, especially for patients with diabetes on medication.
Once you are on an intermittent fasting schedule, and you get to your eating window, you must remember to also choose healthier food options, and also watch your portion controls. It doesn’t make sense to fast for 16 hours and only eat too much unhealthy food. This will take you several steps back.
How many hours of Eating and Fasting?
This highly depends on your own schedule. Your work, your sleep and so on, you want to choose hours that work best for you lest it stops being sustainable.
For instance, if you work on night duty, your schedule has to favour you eating during the night as opposed to during the day when you’ll sleep.
What are the health benefits of intermittent Fasting?
The benefits of intermittent are so many;
- Weight loss.
- Prevention and treatment of several diseases like diabetes.
- Burns fat.
- Improves heart health.
- Reduced inflammation.
- Also pocket-friendly.
Are there any food restrictions during the eating window?
We have to have restrictions, otherwise, it becomes hard to achieve any goals like weight loss.
To fast for 16 hours and then eat lots of fatty, sugary foods, does not help because again you and taking too much foods that can have negative effects on your health.
Which type of Intermittent Fasting is the best for weight loss?
Achieving weight loss is very important, for the prevention and management of most diseases. For Diabetics especially, weight loss can help a big deal in helping to keep the blood sugar levels under control.
To achieve weight loss, you have to reduce the amount of food you eat. Basically, when you consume too much food, too frequently and remain physically inactive, you will not get any weight loss rather you will end up with too much weight gain.
Longer periods of fasting, allow your body to burn the extra fat in your body but only get into longer fasting periods after consulting with your doctor.
Being consistent is paramount, regardless of your fasting schedule, anyone you choose will only give you substantial results when you stay committed, choose healthy foods and remember to do portion control.
Is intermittent fasting safe?
Before you start intermittent fasting, consult with a doctor. Intermittent Fasting is not safe for example for children with type 1 diabetes, it can get really dangerous as it can push them to many episodes of hypoglycemia.
Longer periods of fasting can also lead to;
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Extreme dehydration
- Poor sleep patterns
To make sure you stay safe always choose healthy foods during your eating window and hydrate even when on fasting periods.
What about intermittent fasting and diabetes
Diabetes mellitus, especially type 2 diabetes has a risk factor, and that is obesity. Intermittent fasting has been shown to lead to weight loss, which in turn will help in preventing the occurrence of diabetes.
Diabesity, which is obesity in diabetics, will also need to lose a few pounds to get good control of their blood glucose levels.
However, for diabetics especially those with type 1 diabetes, intermittent Fasting is not recommended at all.
For type 2 diabetics, close monitoring will also be highly encouraged, and having your own glucometer will be important to keep track of your blood glucose levels, especially during the fasting period.
How will you deal with the hunger pangs?
- You will need to train your stomach to adopt your new eating schedule.
- Keep yourself really busy, because bored eating can be very dangerous.
- Drink tons of water, when fasting and even during your eating window.
- Idol snacking is bad, go to bed early to reduce snacking.
- Keep consistent, so that you don’t mess up with your results.
- Choose healthy, nutrient-dense foods to avoid any nutrient deficiencies.
- Do mild exercises on the days you are on intermittent fasting, to avoid getting extreme fatigue.
- Eat enough proteins.
- Avoid junk foods that contain lots of sugar and fat.
Who should not try intermittent Fasting?
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding mothers
- Children with type 1 Diabetes
- Diabetics on medication
- People with a past history of eating disorders.
1. What are some examples of healthy food options to choose from during the eating window? whole grains, green leafy vegetables, healthy fats, water and more water, smoothies, and legumes.
2. How long should someone be on an intermittent fasting schedule before consulting with a doctor? Always start by consulting with your doctor before even starting intermittent fasting,
3. Can intermittent fasting be dangerous for people with certain medical conditions other than diabetes?
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