The DEFINITIVE guide to FASTING: 7 Golden Rules

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Guide to FASTING

Today, I’m going to share with you all you need to know about FASTING (Intermittent Fasting or IF).

You will learn practical diet and training tips to fasting in a healthy and effective way.

What is Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is an increasingly popular eating pattern which involves not eating or sharply restricting your food intake for certain periods of time.

Intermittent fasting is, basically, about abstaining from food for a set period of time, ranging from as little as 12 hours to one full day, or even longer, followed by a period of healthy eating, known as the feeding window.

In recent years, numerous studies have suggested that intermittent fasting – abstaining or reducing food and drink intake periodically – can be good for us,

Studies of intermittent fasting show that not only do people see improvements in blood pressure and their cholesterol levels, but also in their insulin sensitivity.

Also, intermittent fasting  has been linked to a range of potential health benefits, including short-term increases in human growth hormone (HGH) and changes to gene expression.

Such effects are linked to longevity and a lower risk of disease. Thus, people who fast regularly often hope to lose weight or live a healthier, longer life.

In June 2014, for example, Medical News Today reported on a study suggesting periodic fasting – defined in the study as 1 day of water-only fasting a week – may reduce the risk of diabetes among people at high risk for the condition.

Although fasting for short periods is generally considered safe, the following populations shouldn’t attempt to fast without consulting a medical professional:

.- People with a medical condition like heart disease or type 2 diabetes

.- Women who are trying to conceive

.- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

.-People who are underweight

.- Those who have experienced an eating disorder

.- People who have problems with blood sugar regulation

.- People with low blood pressure

.- Those who are taking prescription medications

.- Woman with a history of amenorrhea

.- Older adults

.- Adolescents

Intermittent Fasting and weight loss

Since the body is unable to get its energy from food during fasting, it dips into glucose that is stored in the liver and muscles.

This begins around 8 hours after the last meal is consumed.

When the stored glucose has been used up, the body then begins to burn fat as a source of energy, which can result in weight loss.

Also, abstaining from all or certain foods and beverages should decrease your overall calorie intake, which could lead to increased weight loss over time.

In fact, one review showed that whole-day fasting could reduce body weight by up to 9% and significantly decrease body fat over 12–24 weeks.

Another review found that intermittent fasting over 3–12 weeks was as effective in inducing weight loss as continuous calorie restriction and decreased body weight and fat mass by up to 8% and 16% respectively.

The definitive guide to Intermittent Fasting: The golden rules

1.- Choose the duration of your fast

The duration of your fast is up to you.

Most of these regimens advise short fast periods of 8–24 hours.

However, some people choose to undertake much longer fasts of 48 and even up to 72 hours.

Practical example of fasting 2

Popular regimens include:

  • The 5:2 Pattern: Restrict your calorie intake for two days per week .
  • The 6:1 Pattern: This pattern is similar to the 5:2, but there’s only one day of reduced calorie intake instead of two.
  • “Eat Stop Eat”: A 24-hour complete fast 1–2 times per week.
  • The 16:8 Pattern: This pattern involves only consuming food in an eight-hour window and fasting for 16 hours a day, every day of the week.

ATENTION: Longer fast periods increase your risk of problems associated with fasting. This includes dehydration, irritability, mood changes, fainting, hunger, a lack of energy and being unable to focus.

Practical example of fasting

2.-  Drink a lot

Mild dehydration can result in fatigue, dry mouth, thirst and headaches — so it’s vital to drink enough fluid on a fast.

Most health authorities recommend the 8×8 rule — eight 8-ounce glasses (just under 2 liters in total) of fluid every day — to stay hydrated.

However, the actual amount of fluid you need — although likely in this range — is quite individual.

Because you get around 20–30% of the fluid your body needs from food, it’s quite easy to get dehydrated while on a fast.

fruits with water

During a fast, many people aim to drink 8.5–13 cups (2–3 liters) of water over the course of the day.

However, your thirst should tell you when you need to drink more, so listen to your body .

3.- Walk

Avoiding eating on fast days can be difficult, especially if you are feeling bored and hungry.

One way to avoid unintentionally breaking your fast is to keep busy.

Activities that may distract you from hunger — but don’t use up too much energy — include walking and meditating.

However, any activity that’s calming and not too strenuous would keep your mind engaged. You could take a bath, read a book or listen to a podcast.

4.- Listen to your body

During a fast, you may feel a little tired, hungry and irritable — but you should never feel unwell.

In the end, you are the boss, and you get to decide which approach works the best for you.

With that said, to do that, you need to keep in mind that it’s of paramount importance to listen to your body’s signal of pain and discomfort—mainly your hunger signals.

Practical example of fasting 3

5.- Drink coffee and tea

Water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages are fine.

Do not add sugar to your coffee.

Small amounts of milk or cream may be okay, but if you can avoid it, do it.

Coffee can be particularly beneficial during a fast, as it can blunt hunger.

6.- Eat Enough Protein

Many people start fasting as a way to try to lose weight.

However, being in a calorie deficit can cause you to lose muscle in addition to fat .

One way to minimize your muscle loss while fasting is to ensure you are eating enough protein on the days you eat.

Additionally, if you are eating small amounts on fast days, including some protein could offer other benefits, including managing your hunger.

Some studies suggest that consuming around 30% of a meal’s calories from protein can significantly reduce your appetite.

Therefore, eating some protein on fast days could help offset some of fasting’s side effects.

7.- When you eat, don’t eat bad food.

Many people have ruined IF by going for all sorts of crap food1.

In fact,  a lot of people who fast are much more likely to opt for bad food choices and reach for high-calorie foods when they eat again.

So please, whatever you do, DO NOT eat high-sugar highly processed and fast foods.

This will only undermine your performance and health (and don’t get me started on the weight gain).

Fasting is all good and awesome but if you are eating crappy food during the feeding window, then don’t bother with it.

Once it’s time to break the fast, make sure to go for a meal that includes plenty of complex carbs and proteins.

Fill your diet with nutrient-dense foods during your eating periods to maximize the potential health benefits.

In other words, stick to healthy food choices. Or it’s a no deal.

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The DEFINITIVE guide to FASTING

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