Among current food trends is intermittent fasting. More than a diet, this new way of eating would have many health benefits. Fasting to lose weight would even have become the new slimming secret. In this article, discover the real benefits of fasting and how to practice it with a typical day of a special fasting menu.
The health benefits of intermittent fasting
What is intermittent fasting?
This type of diet consists of alternating between periods of more or less long fasting and periods of food intake. Much more flexible and accessible than strict fasting which does not allow any food intake, intermittent fasting allows you to enjoy the same health benefits. There are different ways to practice intermittent fasting: partial fasting, 5: 2 method, fasting, etc.
Health interests of fasting
Fasting would have many benefits for the body. Especially in our society where overeating and junk food are two common facts.
- Here are the main health benefits of fasting:
- Reduces insulin production and fat and sugar storage in the body
- Stimulates the destocking of fats
- Better control of eating sensations
- Stimulates secretion of growth hormone
- Improves physical and intellectual performance and decreases recovery time
- Promotes cell regeneration
- Cleans the body and stimulates autophagy or self-cleaning function of the body by its own cells
- Reduces cell oxidation and premature aging of cells
- Prevents overweight and certain associated pathologies: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc.
Fasting to lose weight: the advice of a dietician
Fasting to lose weight is the new trend. As mentioned above, the health benefits of fasting are many and very interesting. However, in the context of weight loss one must remain cautious. In fact, an intermittent, unsupervised and poorly conducted fast can lead to more damage than benefits. Fatigue, frustration, food compulsions, cravings, etc. are all negative effects that can put the body to the test.
To avoid them, it is necessary to seek medical advice before starting the fast and to be accompanied by food professionals. Also, keep in mind that fasting is not a diet but a way of eating. Weight loss should not be the only motivation at the risk of making things difficult and frequent mistakes.
The main mistakes to avoid for a successful intermittent fast
Fasting to lose weight is not as simple as it seems. Indeed, some very common mistakes can ruin your efforts and make intermittent fasting counterproductive.
Here is a list of the main mistakes to avoid for a successful fast.
Not drinking enough water
Elimination of metabolic waste and toxins requires sufficient hydration. In periods of intermittent fasting, this hydration must be even more important so that the organism supports periods of fasting and continues to function optimally. When you fast, thirst is often much less. It is therefore imperative to pay attention to this point and to drink at least 2 liters of water per day, distributing the intake over the day.
Eat twice as much during food intake periods
When practicing fasting, it can be difficult to maintain a balanced diet during periods of food intake. Indeed, it is very tempting to jump on food, eat more and turn to pleasure foods. Now this is a big mistake. To enjoy the health benefits of fasting, the quality of the diet during periods of food intake is as important as the periods of fasting themselves. Thus, it will be necessary to favor meals rich in vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and essential fatty acids.
Setting goals that are too difficult to achieve
Fasting is a complicated exercise. To avoid missteps, it is recommended to go gradually and stay tuned to your body before anything else. If this is your first time fasting, try to set goals in stages. Start by advancing the time of your meal in the evening, move back the time of your breakfast in the morning, etc. In this way, you can slowly increase the fasting time without rushing your body.
Fast to lose weight only
Intermittent fasting is a way of life more than a diet. Its purpose is not weight loss, although it does help. Summarizing fasting to this one goal can make it much more complicated. In fact, you risk missing out on all the other benefits of fasting (physiological and psychological) and giving up more quickly. Also, it can be frustrating and guilty in case of food gap or weight loss deemed too slow.
A typical day of a special fasting menu
To help you build a menu day in practice, here is an example of a special fasting diet plan. Fasting is the most well-known and widespread method of intermittent fasting. This method consists of alternating an 8 hour food intake period with a 16 hour fasting period. Here, the last meal of the day is eaten before 8 p.m. and the first meal of the day is that of the next day at noon.
To better match your habits, it is possible to move back the time of dinner and therefore that of lunch. The important thing is simply to keep a 16h fasting period alternating with an 8h food intake period.
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