What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern in which there is a window where you can eat and a window where you can fast. It doesn’t indicate which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them. People are using intermittent fasting for weight loss, to improve their health, and simplify their lifestyles. This is the most powerful mending solution ever. It is currently very popular in the health and fitness community. Fasting is also often done for religious or spiritual reasons, health reasons, and protest as well.
How intermittent fasting works?
Insulin levels drop when a person is not consuming food. During a period of fasting, decreasing insulin levels cause cells to release stored glucose as energy. Repeating this process regularly, as with intermittent fasting, leads to weight loss. Also, this type of fasting often results in the consumption of fewer calories overall, which contributes to weight loss.
Intermittent fasting also allows the GI tract to rest and repair while in a state of fasting. This is when your body can use fat stored in your cells as fuel, so you’re burning fat instead of storing it, which leads to weight loss.
Benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Weight loss
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced inflammation
- Lower cholesterol
- Better Outcomes for Stroke Survivors
- Boosted Brain Function
- Reduced Insulin Resistance
- Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Issues
- Good Sleep habit
Types of intermittent fasting
There are many ways of doing intermittent fasting. But the popular methods are the following:
This method involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. For example- Eating lunch and not eating anything for the rest of the day until lunch the next day.
The 16/8 method
In this fasting for 16 hours and feeding for 8 hours during the day. For example – eating between 12 pm and 8 pm till 12 pm the next day.
The 5: 2 diet method
It allows you to eat only 500 – 600 calories twice a week. While you eat the normal number of calories for the rest of the week.
Can you drink during intermittent fasting to weight loss?
Yes ..!! Here are some drinks to enjoy during your fasting windows:
Plain water is one of the best options to drink during a fast. It will keep you hydrated and doesn’t have an enzymic effect. Water is also a great tool for banishing hunger pangs — it will fill up your tummy. It’s important to keep hydrated during a fast, so aim to drink between 1-3 liters of water a day.
Tea provides great comfort and can be enjoyed in copious amounts while you fast. Feeling colder than normal while fasting is normal. Tea will keep you warm and make you feel full, without the caffeine hit you normally get from coffee.
Drink herbal, black, oolong, green and white tea, without anything added. Please be aware that tannins in tea can cause nausea if you drink them on an empty stomach. You may need to shop around to find one that agrees with you.
Coffee is an effective appetite suppressant and can be used as a meal replacement for breakfast or lunch. Research has even shown that coffee consumption can increase ketone production and regulate blood glucose, which enhances metabolic health.
However, some people are particularly sensitive to caffeine and it can raise blood glucose levels — sadly I’m one of those individuals, so I avoid it.
Drinking coffee on an empty stomach can make you more sensitive to caffeine, so you may experience acid reflux, upset stomach, anxiety, the jitters, or sleepless nights. If you’re nodding along to this, then try to avoid coffee or use swiss water decaffeinated coffee.
Drink black coffee, without anything added, and limit consumption to earlier in the day so it doesn’t disrupt your sleep.
Bulletproofing is a brilliant technique to ramp up your morning cuppa with added fats like butter, coconut oil, MCT oil, and ghee. Creamy, delicious, and full of healthy fats, this beverage will stave off hunger for hours, helping you reach your fasting goal.
There are mixed opinions as to whether or not bulletproof coffee maintains a fasting state. Bulletproof coffee contains many calories, and some argue that this would break a fast. However, these calories come from fat, and fat does not raise blood glucose or insulin — unlike protein and carbohydrates. In theory, this should not kick you out of ketosis or halt autophagy. If adding fat to your coffee means that you prolong fasting, or find it easier, then I would say, roll with that.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is loaded with health properties — boosts healthy gut microbiome, aids digestion, improves insulin sensitivity, lowers blood glucose, and increases satiety. It is mostly made up of water, acetic acid, and gut-loving probiotics. It has a very minor calorie content and won’t break your fast.
Apple cider vinegar will help mute cravings and quench thirst. Dilute 1-2 tablespoons in still or sparkling water, and enjoy.
Bone broth is a rich source of minerals and will help replenish electrolytes, which are normally lost during a fast. It is also a great source of collagen, which will restore and repair the gut lining.
Bone broth contains protein, which can cause an insulin spike and break a fast. However, the calorie content is considerably low, so it will keep you in ketosis. Similarly with bulletproof coffee, if drinking bone broth means that you prolong fasting, or find it easier, then I would say, roll with that. It will help you repair insulin sensitivity, which is the ultimate goal.
Electrolyte loss is a common and normal reaction during irregular fasting. As a result, you may experience dry mouth and thirst, inspite of drinking gallons of water.
Salt is a great way to replenish electrolytes, cleanse the palate, and dampen hunger. Utilize a little piece at once, a couple of spots on your tongue, and let it do something amazing — in the blink of an eye, craving will evaporate, alongside that horrible coating in the mouth.
Avoid using artificial sweeteners. Some people can tolerate natural sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol, without it causing cravings or raising insulin levels. If you tolerate natural sweeteners, then you could use these sparingly in water, tea, or coffee.
- Consuming water regularly throughout the day.
- Watching less television to reduce exposure to images of food, which may stimulate a sense of hunger.
- Exercising just before or during the eating window, as exercise can trigger hunger.
- Practicing mindful eating when consuming meals.
- Trying meditation during the fasting period to allow hunger pangs to pass.
Who should avoid intermittent fasting?
- Insulin-dependent diabetes person
- Pregnant Women
- People With a History of Disordered Eating
- Endurance Athletes