The desire to lose a few pounds makes many people adhere to “fad diets”. Intermittent fasting, for example, is among them. But many do not know that this idea of abstaining from food is not new. Our ancestors already performed a type of fasting since they were forced to hunt for their food.
Intermittent fasting is a diet characterized by going some periods of the day without food; that is, you cannot eat anything during the stipulated hours. Water and calorie-free drinks are the only foods allowed. The idea is to intersperse the period between fasting and regular eating.
This diet is a way to lose weight or maintain the desired body without wholly abolishing the foods you love. But how does intermittent fasting work?
Types Of Intermittent Fasting
There are several ways to perform intermittent fasting; it is up to the individual to choose what suits him best, with medical advice.
With the new wave of diet searches, many decide to adopt this dietary restriction without even seeking the help of a nutritionist, which is not good. Removing food for long periods is not advisable without knowing how your body is doing and without the approval of a professional, so stay tuned.
Among the methods of intermittent fasting are 16/8, 5:2 and 24 hours. The 5:2 approach frees up five days for everyday eating, meaning you can eat whatever you want in that period. Solid foods are entirely removed in the remaining two, and calories are reduced to 25% of those ingested daily.
In the 16:8 method, patients eat for 8 hours in a row. After this period, the fast lasts for 16 hours. The 24-hour is when the individual fasts for the entire day, only ingesting liquids with no calories, such as water. Typically, this fast is performed once a week.
Remember that none of these methods should be adopted without proper guidance from a nutritionist. Performing restrictive diets incorrectly can trigger numerous physical and mental health problems.
Should I Or Should I Not Do Intermittent Fasting? What Should I Eat?
Many wonder if it is worth doing this fast since the recommendation is to eat every three hours. The point is that regardless of choice, you need to have a diet rich in nutrients.
The ideal is to put together a complete menu, that is, that contains all the nutrients necessary to keep the body up to date. Can you imagine what your body would be like if you went hours without food and, when the time came, received foods low in vitamins and minerals and rich in sugar, sodium and preservatives?
Post-fasting food, like any other, should contain energy foods (carbohydrates with good sources of fiber), builders (proteins) and regulators (foods such as fruits and vegetables).
It would help if you opted for a functional diet. Avoid industrialized foods as much as possible (frozen foods, box juices, soda, sweets) and refined products (white sugar, white rice, white pasta). Making it a habit will certainly help you.
Vegetarian or vegan people also perform this type of fasting since proteins can be acquired in natural foods such as legumes (beans, chickpeas, peas, lentils, fava beans, soy, etc.) and leafy greens.
When done right, intermittent fasting can offer some benefits to the practitioner. Control of blood glucose and insulin, control and reduction of abdominal fat and body detoxification are among some advantages of adhering to the diet. In addition, the method can help you lose weight, prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce blood pressure.
Going long hours without eating may not be very good for some people, especially those with diabetes, children, specific chronic diseases, and pregnant and breastfeeding women. These people cannot do intermittent fasting. The truth is that no one should adopt this diet without consulting a doctor. People with psychological and emotional disorders should also be aware.
Lack of guidance can lead to dehydration, malnutrition and muscle weakness. Dizziness, lack of concentration and mood swings are also possible side effects.