Intermittent fasting is not a danger, neither is it a form of diet. Short bursts of staying away from food and consciously choosing what we eat to help us attain a better balance of the body are what we term as intermittent fasting.
It is a method of fasting so well weaved into the fabric of our society with conscious religious pretexts. These pretexts helping us to focus on the higher aspect of life and taking care of health and well being. It is a method of calling the brain away from the regular hunger pangs and allowing it to focus better so the body can be eased into performing the necessary changes.
If you have been toying with the idea of fasting and wondering how it can be used without the additional add-on pounds following the fasting, here are some insights from my research and readings.
What happens when we are on intermittent fasting?
The few hours that the body spends processing the food after consumption is now being channelized towards, breaking down the excess food stored previously. This will provide the energy necessary so you are not starving. The glycogen stored in the liver is the first source of energy. The amount of energy spend to get the calories hidden in this is higher and hence is not a preferred process for the body when we are on a normal day. this is where it begins to aid weight loss.
Following this period you will have remarkable sensitivity towards insulin and it is important to know what kind of carbohydrates you intake. Make sure it is the complex carbs and not refined flours or sugar. Keep it natural and simple preventing a sugar spike (diabetics are advised to consult doctors suggestion)
Working through intermittent fasting slowly and steadily over a period of time promotes liver detox. Simple logic, more time for the liver to spend on self rejenuation when it does not have to continuously keep removing toxins( maybe from ingested food) from the blood. Slowly the body begins to tap on the fat reserve and slowly mobilizes these fats to provide the energy. This promotes further weight loss and better absorbability of the now consumed thoughtful produce.
Intermittent fasting has shown remarkable changes in gut-lining bacteria, better immunity and reduction in inflammation.
Doable types of intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is a much simpler option to practice than the 6 small meals a day plan and hence preferred among the youth. there are quite a few ways in which you can achieve this.
Have you heard of alternate day eating?
Essentially you eat well one day and abstain the next. tough one for me as my brain will just be looking forward to the next day and never allow me to go through the current one.
The pretty popular one day a week fasting
The benefits of this aim towards detox for the liver and helps in maintaining a decent amount of weight loss if you focus on being active and consciously choose what you eat through the rest of the days
No, this is not your 8-hour sleep, you need to eat your dinner early . Give the body up to 12-14 hours to process and move on. Quite doable ( has been working well for me with intermittent cheating)
a meal a day plan
the plan works if you can just tuck in a conscious well-balanced meal one time day. Then forget about food for the whole rest of the day. Not workable if you have issues of acidity.
9 hour off fasting
This intermittent fasting plan works on the keeping away from food for the first 8 hours when you are awake. Then begin eating from the 9th. Somehow I am sceptical if I will hold up that long though evidence suggests they are effective.
the most popular 16/8
fasting for 16 hours and choosing a useful 8-hour window to feed yourself in multiple meals. This is one of the most practical forms. The 8 hour period gives you ample time to relax and feel like you have been fasting. (makes the brain feel better). It gives enough time for the body to detox. Eat thoughtfully and move responsibly for best results
Some more thoughts
Following your period of staying away from food don’t go back to the cravings. Keep the hydration and activity levels up to normal. Being active during this phase helps in two ways, one it aids weight loss. It also takes your mind away from the hunger pangs. But yes, initially you will feel more tired than normal. So relax and take a break. Make sure your food choices reflect a good balance of proteins and carbs. Do provide your body good source of fat to compensate and recover. For the detox process to be complete ample amount of water is needed to flush out the toxins. Hence adequate amounts of water and liquids are to be provided for optimum results.
Easier said than done a conscious time break from food actually bring a marked reduction in binge eating. A 12-16 hour break from food is what we mean by a time break. It is highly compelling to reach out for a bag of chips or take a bite of the chocolate. But hold that thought at bay just for a bit longer.The craving will stop by day 2.
Breaking the fast
The care that must be exercised in breaking a fast is in proportion to the length of the fast and to the general condition of the fasting individual. It is very typical to break the fast on liquid food, using for this purpose fruit juice, or tomato juice, or Watermelon juice, or vegetable broths. Fruit juice–usually orange juice–is used most often. The vegetable stews can also be used to break the fast. The most important thing to look is to introduce the food slowly [ and chewing it properly ] into the system.
I hope this article helps you to understand a bit more in detail about the complex mechanisms of our body.
The views and expression are purely based on personal understanding and are not a nutritional advice. Please seek the advice of a professional or your doctor based on your medical conditions. This article is not a religious advice or meant to be a part of any religion,. It is just a share of acquired knowledge and personal experience.
If you like to see some of the recipes that can help you break the fast, check these out.
featured image credit @adisri