You've probably heard of intermittent fasting as a religious practice.
And perhaps you have also experienced it when your doctor told you to stop eating for more than 8 hours to perform a blood test.
But here I am going to share with you about intermittent fasting, a practice that has been in vogue since science has been able to show that it offers important health benefits .
Among them the possibility of losing body fat.
Due to its simplicity, it is an excellent option for those who want to lose weight without complicating their lives with complicated eating systems to follow.
If you dare to try it, with this quick guide you will be able to find out what it consists of, different ways to practice it, strategies to stay firm until the end and how in supplementation you have a healthy and delicious ally to finish it off.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a period where you don't eat any food , alternated with a period when you do eat. Spot.
But… is it that easy?
Well yes, although to practice it in a healthy way and obtain all its benefits there are protocols that I will talk about later.
To understand it well, take into account that the nutrients in your food are the fuel that makes you function in your day to day.
Every time you eat, you take in more energy than you can use immediately. For this reason, your body stores what is left over to access it when required.
Well, fasting begins the moment your body consumes the nutrients from your last meal .
When you do not eat foods rich in glucose (commonly known as sugar) the body begins to use its own reserves that are stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles, from where it obtains the energy it needs.
Well, as the time of not eating lengthens, glycogen runs out and that is when you enter ketosis , a natural state that occurs when the body feeds almost completely on the fat you have stored.
And that's when you can potentially start losing fat .
Intermittent fasting has its variants
Intermittent fasting is about alternating periods of normal food intake with prolonged periods where your food intake is very little or none. For this reason we decided to graphically explain the different protocols that you can execute to get the most out of this practice.
To fast or not to fast?... There is no dilemma here
To determine if intermittent fasting fits your lifestyle and which variant is best for you, there are a few important things to consider.
Because your body is not going to behave the same if your goal is to lose weight or if what you want is to alleviate symptoms of a chronic or inflammatory disease.
Nor is it the same if you have insulin resistance or what you want is to lower your high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
That is why before starting, the best thing to do is consult with your doctor or nutritionist.
You should discard it if your body fat index is less than 18.5 BMI, you are pregnant, lactating or you are under 18 years of age, because these are stages when you need to nourish yourself more.
And if you suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, gout, high uric acid or take prescription drugs, medical supervision is non-negotiable.
But where there is no dilemma is that if you practice it properly, combined with healthy eating habits, you can gain a lot to improve your health and transform your figure.
Helps you lose weight
Intermittent fasting has been shown to offer good results in controlling body weight.
So much so that almost 14% of adults in the United States practice it for that purpose.
The equation is simple. To lose weight, you need to burn more than you eat or, conversely, eat less than you burn.
And intermittent fasting is one way to make it happen.
Some studies have been done on fasting during Ramadan, the month during which Muslims, by faith and belief, fast daily from sunrise to sunset.
The results showed some weight loss in body fat stores in the participants. It was reflected that it was most likely due to body water changes and decreased intestinal volume.
Other studies did not show significant weight loss. But it is estimated that it could be due to overcompensation of food after fasting.
What can be concluded from this study?
That you should be careful, because if you decide to do intermittent fasting, but at the end you eat to the extreme or in an unhealthy way, you will not see any results.
Protects you against aging
Believe it or not, eating is a way of stressing the body.
Yes, I understand if this statement seems crazy to you because for many this is the most comforting and delicious moment of the day.
But it turns out that your body needs energy to digest and absorb food.
And in the process of metabolizing nutrients (when your metabolism turns the food you eat into energy) it creates free radicals and other potentially harmful byproducts that put stress on your body, which promotes aging.
Here it is not about you thinking that eating is going to make you older, because there are other determining factors such as bad habits and genetics that have the highest percentage of incidence in the aging process.
However, caloric intake seems to affect the rate of aging, and reduced food intake (fasting) could slow down that process.
And when it comes to increased longevity and chronic disease control, a recent study by the American Journal of Cardiology of a population of Mormons suggested that in these groups who fast regularly for religious purposes, the risk of disease could be reduced. coronary and diabetes.
take care of your brain
Fasting can also shield the brain from age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Scientists compared caloric restriction in the elderly with a higher intake of fatty acids (known to improve brain function), and it was shown that reducing calories by 30%, for three months, significantly improved memory.
The researchers suggested that the brain benefits of caloric restriction may come from lowering insulin and inflammatory C-reactive protein levels.
Could regulate your cholesterol levels
Fasting has also shown that there may be favorable changes in good cholesterol (HDL) during intermittent fasting.
This is because large and infrequent meals are made.
However, it must be taken into account that when regular eating patterns are resumed, cholesterol numbers return to the reference baseline.
What can you consume during intermittent fasting?
During the fast, you should not consume calories from food or drink, but there are some healthy actions you can take to stay firm and receive all its benefits:
You can also take nutritional supplements , especially if you exercise while fasting, as aerobic conditioning may be slightly diminished.
How a protein likeFit & Slim can help you end intermittent fasting
Imagine that you are about to end your fast and you feel like a winner because you got over the worst part.
But stay alert because that could be the most challenging moment and when you must appeal to your full strength.
Because if you let your guard down, you could end up binging on food full of fats, carbohydrates and sugar, which will make you lose all the effort you put into it.
But don't lose your cool because there are ways to prevent that from happening.
The Harvard Medical Publications website reported that just as eating protein at breakfast helps reduce appetite for the rest of the day, you'll get the same effect for breaking intermittent fasting.
Thus, an ideal option is to take a protein shake high in fiber during your post-fasting meal, as it will give you a feeling of satiety that will prevent you from exaggerating your calorie intake in the following hours.
You should also remember that while intermittent fasting doesn't come with strict eating rules, you'll maintain the results longer if you eat plenty of protein, healthy fats, and some complex carbohydrates.
In fact, work from the lab at Yale found that after fasting, if you eat low-carb, high-protein, the activity of genes that increase fat burning is further amplified with food.
But if you go back to eating a diet rich in carbohydrates, the activity of many of these genes decreases.
Depending on the length of your fast, you may experience stress, headaches, constipation, or dehydration.
But it is usually normal and will pass in a short time, if you take the appropriate measures.
Staying hydrated is particularly important and will also help ease any headaches or constipation.
And very important. Guarantee yourself enough hours of quality sleep, because otherwise it would be a disadvantage for your body's recovery.
If you have already practiced intermittent fasting we would love to hear about your experience. And if you dare to try it, but still have questions, write to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you.