Intermittent fasting (IF) is a popular trend that has been gaining momentum in recent years. The practice involves prolonged periods of not consuming any food or calories. However, it is important to note that water is an essential part of fasting, and it is crucial to drink enough water during the fast. In this article, we discuss IF and why it could be one of the best ways to lose weight, detox and regulate your body.
IF has been around for centuries, with religious and spiritual communities around the world fasting for various reasons. Today, IF is gaining popularity for its potential to help people lose weight and maintain a healthy diet.
One of the biggest benefits of IF is that it allows your body to enter a state of ketosis, where your body burns fat, instead of sugar, for energy. This can lead to quick and effective weight loss, as well as a range of other health benefits. Some studies have suggested that IF can help improve insulin resistance, reduce inflammation levels, improve brain function and protect against certain diseases.
The most common approach to IF is to fast for a minimum of 16 hours and then have an 8-hour eating window. It is important to note that sleep time counts as fasted time, which means that if you sleep for seven hours, then your remaining fasting time is only nine hours based on the 16-hour minimum.
If you are new to IF, it is best to start with a 14-hour fast and a 10-hour eating window. After a few days or a week, you can scale up to a 16-hour fast and then an 18-hour fast. The sweet spot for many is an 18-hour fast.
It is essential to exercise while fasting, so your body doesn’t use readily available energy (calories) from the food you have consumed. Instead, seek energy from stored fat deposits in the body. A routine that involves warm-up cardio, weight lifting and cool-down cardio can work for you.
It’s also crucial to break a fast properly, depending on your goals. Clean eating with salads, lean meats such as chicken or steak, and fish in moderate carbs like brown rice or vegetables is recommended. While breaking a fast with multiple meals, plan ahead so you can allocate enough time for eating the first meal, allowing for digestion before you get into the next meal. If fasting for 20 hours, you may want to consider having a single massive meal or more.
When breaking fasts, people often make the mistake of gorging themselves with food which can lead to counterproductive bloating and discomfort. It’s best to take your time and slowly ease into a meal to allow your body to absorb the nutrients and sustain itself for the next fasting day.
In conclusion, IF is an effective way to lose weight, detox and regulate your body. By planning and executing consistently, you can be able to maintain your fasted state successfully. Water and unflavoured BCAA supplements can help sustain your body throughout the fast. As with any diet or lifestyle change, it is always best to consult a healthcare professional before starting an IF regime.