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The ultimate guide to intermittent fasting

The ultimate guide to intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasts are most often applied during periods of reduction. They are designed to help get rid of excessive body fat. Not many people

realize, however, that they can also have a positive effect on health. Their great advantage is that there is no need to introduce complicated dietary changes. Nevertheless, they allow obtaining satisfactory and often surprising results. What exactly are they about? For more details, read below.

Intermittent fasting – what is it about?

Anyone who is on reduction dreams of being able to eat everything, without major sacrifices, every day. When it comes to intermittent fasting, this is possible. It involves eating regular meals most days of the week. All that is required is a calorie reduction for one or two days or at certain times.

This method helps lose excess weight and, at the same time, improves health. Surprisingly, many people apply this principle unconsciously. Some skip breakfast in the morning, claiming that they do not feel hunger in the morning. Still, others give up their evening supper – thanks to that they organize a dozen or so hours of break from eating. There are many methods of intermittent fasting. Here are the most popular ones.

The 16:8 method

As the name suggests, it means eating for 8 hours a day. During the remaining 16 hours, the body should fast. The mentioned 8 hours is for many people called a “time gap” – during this time you can eat even several meals. The method itself is very simple. It is often enough to give up supper or breakfast to gain a 16h break between the last and first meal.

The hours of consumption are not strictly defined. The first meal can be eaten at both 7 and 10 o’clock. It is important that the last meal is eaten by 3 and 6 o’clock at the latest. Within the rest of the hours, you can only drink – both water and tea as well as herbal infusions or coffee. It is important that all of them are unsweetened.

The 5:2 diet

In this model of fasting, regular meals are eaten 5 days a week. The consumption of calories is limited for only 2 selected days. This reduction is significant – up to 500 calories per day for women and 600 calories for men. This means that it is possible to consume about two meals a day.

24-hour fast

It is one of the most difficult to maintain. It is based on the so-called one-day hunger strike, which means not eating food for 24 hours. It means that by eating the last meal at 6 pm, the next one can be eaten only at 6 pm the next day.

What can you eat and drink during intermittent fasting?

The great advantage of intermittent fasting is the fact that everything is allowed with restraint during the specified periods. However, the proper adjustment of the diet influences the results obtained. People who eat according to the principles of healthy eating do not have to make radical changes. Moreover, they do not have to give up on sweet or unhealthy meals. Following the above-mentioned principles will not bring results when eating highly processed food. Furthermore, it is not recommended to consume large amounts of sugar, simple and refined carbohydrates, or trans fats. This means that intermittent fasting should not contain: white bread, sugary beverages, salty snacks or fast food.

An important role in intermittent fasting is also played by hydration. During fasting periods you are allowed to consume water, tea, and herbal infusions, and coffee. All these should be sugar-free and not contain any other sweeteners. It is important not to drink fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and any dairy products.

Can intermittent fasting negatively affect the body?

There is a belief that breakfast, but also dinner, are important meals every day. Many people wonder whether skipping them will not have a negative impact on their health. However, it is worth remembering that the first meal should not be eaten too late. This will make it necessary to eat the last dish late in the evening or at night, and this, in turn, does not facilitate reduction.

Some of the concerned also wonder what the impact of hunger on the metabolism is. It turns out that short-term fasts have a positive effect on the metabolism and enhance it. It is important that they are short-term. Maintaining them longer than 3 days negatively affects the body and significantly inhibits the metabolism.

Can intermittent fasting be done by athletes?

Periodic intermittent posts are also done by athletes. It is important that the workout is not too intensive. Therefore, it is not recommended to apply them during the days of the competition. Combining fasting with training can improve the reduction and the results obtained, however, it should be remembered that they must not be too much strain. Intensive workouts should be performed throughout the days when normal meals are consumed. On fasting days, however, you should do lighter forms of workout.

Who isn’t supposed to do intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is recommended to many people. It is worth remembering, however, that as in any case, there are some contraindications. This form of reduction should not be done by:

  • pregnant women,
  • children,
  • people suffering from underweight,
  • people suffering from diseases such as diabetes or hypoglycemia,
  • people who have undergone cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, etc..,
  • people after transplantations,
  • people with high blood cholesterol levels.

All these groups of people should not only not implement intermittent fasting, but, first of all, they should focus on healthy eating. For this reason, they are recommended to use a diet and nutrition tailored individually to their needs. All recommendations should be individually matched by doctors and nutritionists on the basis of the examinations.

Why do intermittent fasting?

People doing intermittent fasting unanimously confirm that this method allows them to maintain their proper energy deficit and, at the same time, to eat their favorite meals. They also point out that in the initial period the feeling of hunger may be strong enough to make it difficult to cope with. The process of the body getting used to it can take both a few days and even 2 weeks – everything depends on individual factors. To get a proper feeling of well-being you need time – after the hormones have stabilized, your appetite is also reduced. When the body becomes accustomed to the new mode of nutrition, some people notice the new energy, greater motivation to act, and, surprisingly, being constantly on the move makes them forget about eating.

An important advantage of intermittent fasting is also the fact that it is simple. It does not require hours of preparation of meals. The possibility of preparing any dishes makes it possible for a person on reduction to eat tastily and to eat whatever they want at the moment.

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