It is nothing new to talk about Fasting, since this topic is the order of the day on all social networks and more and more people are encouraged to practice it. Actually, fasting is nothing new, since humans have practiced fasting throughout human history.
Evolutionarily, human beings did not always have food available and the general rule was to spend hours and sometimes days without taking any food. We also see several examples, such as Hippocrates or Galen, who practiced fasting for the treatment and prevention of diseases.
1. WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING
Intermittent fasting is a strategy or tool to help certain people with various pathologies reduce and improve their symptoms, and people who seek a specific objective such as improving their metabolism, glucose and insulin levels or to reduce an excess percentage of fat. .
The importance of fasting lies in the current overeating, since we eat in excess and the vast majority are processed foods with high loads of sugar and empty calories, all this accompanied by a sedentary lifestyle that leads to the body being oversaturated and limited. its natural ability to eliminate toxins. Physiologically, our body is very wise, and has purifying organs such as the intestine, liver, kidney, skin and lungs to eliminate all the toxic waste that we generate physiologically.
Before starting, whatever your reason, consult with a medical health professional or nutritionist to follow a good fasting protocol adjusted to your nutritional needs. Since we do not want you to start restricting foods after practicing fasting, reducing your intake of macronutrients and entering into a caloric deficit that in the long run will bring you several health problems.
2. HOW TO DO INTERMITTENT FASTING
There are several types of fasting that we can practice depending on our needs.
2.1 Fasting 12/12
It consists of twelve hours of fasting and a 12-hour eating window. Without realizing it, we do this type of fast one day by having dinner earlier or eating breakfast later.
2.2 Fasting 10/14
It is based on 14 hours of fasting and a 10-hour window to eat food.
2.3 Fasting 8/16
It consists of eating food for 8 hours/day and for the remaining 16 hours you do not eat any food. For example, you would do this fast by skipping breakfast and going directly to lunch or lunch, having had dinner the day before at 8 or 9 in the afternoon.
2.4 Fasting 4/20
This fast consists of 20 hours a day without eating food and in a 4-hour window eating only once. This type of fasting designed by Ori Hofmakler who divulges the method “The Warrior Diet” where he combines a period of overeating with a period of underfeeding. This fast is more complicated, because in a single meal you must ingest all the macronutrients and calories needed for the day.
2.5 One-day fast
A full day of fasting. On this day, the ideal is to replace the main meals with vegetable and fruit juices with a low glycemic index, or infusions or vegetable broth. That is, intake of low-calorie liquids and continually hydrating yourself.
2.6 Fasting 5/2
This fast represents 7 days of the week. It consists of fasting two days of the week and the remaining five days are without fasting. On that fasting day, you can include small amounts of drinks and smoothies, to provide some nutrients and calories so that the body has more energy.
2.7 Fasting alternating full days
It is done alternating one day with a regular healthy diet and the next day a 24-hour fast.
There are various modalities to enter into the so-called “intermittent fasting” as we have explained previously, but it is worth mentioning that to this day the one that has been studied the most and has the most scientific evidence is the 16/8 fast and the 24-hour fast. h.
Now that we know the types of fasting, the key question is how to do it correctly and not give in to the attempt. Well, there are a series of key factors to take into account:
1. Prepare the body
Before you start fasting, you must eat properly so that your body is well nourished with vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
2. Correct hydration
Drink water quite regularly before starting it, since the cells produce an energy molecule which is ATP, each unit of ATP has 600 kj of energy and when mixed with water, it increases 10 times more. That is, when we drink water we are providing our body and helping the cells to obtain more energy.
3. Sunlight and a good dose of Vitamin D
The sun's rays and having correct vitamin D levels will help us throughout this process and charge our energy “battery” to face the fasting period. Always remember to sunbathe in a healthy way .
4. Review biochemical parameters in blood
It is very important to have a blood test, above all, to know the levels of fasting blood glucose, to avoid entering states of hypoglycemia and altering insulin levels in the blood.
3. INTERMITTENT FASTING: COMMON ERRORS
There are some mistakes that are often repeated when fasting and that we are going to expose so that you do not fall into them:
1. Start fasting drastically. Do not go to extremes, that is, going from overeating to not eating at all. It is preferable to start by skipping two dinners during the week and see how you feel, and if you want to continue next time you can skip breakfast. Listen to your body.
2. Eat poorly. Thinking about why you have been fasting, you can allow yourself the luxury of the first intake being wild and, above all, processed food with a high load of simple carbohydrates. Because this behavior can lead to binge eating disorders. Therefore, your intake should be rich in vegetables, fruits, a good source of protein, legumes and nuts.
3. Reduce water consumption and not be well hydrated. Hydration with sugary or highly sweetened drinks (sucralose, aspartame...) will have an impact on the intestinal flora.
4. Entering into severe states of hypoglycemia due to going for a long time without eating any food due to making the mistake of prolonging the non-eating of food.
5. Restrict intake, and with it calories and essential nutrients. Count the calories you need to eat per day and schedule a healthy diet.
WHAT YOU CAN EAT WITH INTERMITTENT FASTING
In itself, fasting is the expensive bet of eating, but many people do not know that they can eat something when fasting.
Apart from hydrating correctly, a cup of tea or vegetable broth will allow you to continue enjoying its benefits.
5. INTERMITTENT FASTING AND LOSING WEIGHT
The only thing you need to lose weight is to be on calorie restriction (consume less than you spend) and in this sense the fasting strategy can help, but it is not its purpose. Its purpose is to enhance health.
If your main goal is to lose weight, consult with a Nutritionist to guide you in acquiring good eating habits without having to make any effort or restrictive diet. The key is to eat well and exercise to achieve a healthy weight.
You will not lose more weight by doing intermittent fasting if you consume the same calories.
6. INTERMITTENT FASTING AND WOMEN
Intermittent Fasting is equally beneficial for women but there are times when they do not respond as well as men. If this is your case, do not force it, you can achieve many of its benefits with calorie restriction in a reasonable period and by practicing healthy lifestyle habits. An inconvenience in women who do intermittent fasting regularly or excessively, their fat percentage can be altered, causing a deficit that will lead to hormonal imbalances such as amenorrhea and risk of infertility.
7. INTERMITTENT FASTING: HEALTH BENEFITS
When performing any type of fast, a process called autophagy of cells and tissues begins, in which a cleaning process begins in which metabolic stress is reduced at the cellular level, which positively affects achieving greater longevity and therefore mechanism, the immune system is stimulated, helping us defend ourselves against infections and improve neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.
The benefits that have been scientifically proven to date are:
- Improve insulin sensitivity by reducing blood glucose levels.
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces Triacylglycerides
- Lower mitochondrial oxidative stress
- Improves stress and anxiety levels
- Improves mood and emotional balance
- Limits the growth of cancer cells
8. POST INTERMITTENT FASTING FEEDING
After fasting, the first intake should be light and with healthy foods providing a good source of complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Later, add easier-to-digest protein such as fish and fermented dairy products.
A perfect idea would be to start by drinking a fruit and vegetable smoothie to start with something easy to digest and well loaded with nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
It is very important that people who decide to start fasting periods start with less restrictive fasts and go little by little, that is, not go directly from one extreme to the other. Likewise, the first meal after fasting should not be to gorge on the first thing you see or eat excessively because then the fast will not have been of any use to you.
9. CONCLUSION AND WARNINGS
The wide variety of benefits attributed to it is undeniable, but this does not mean that because everyone is talking about it now and it is fashionable, one should jump headlong into intermittent fasting to lose weight or as an elixir of eternal youth.
They can cause several problems if you do not do it properly, for example, if you reduce your intake to a window of 6 hours, and in those six hours you have to ingest all the macronutrients with your caloric needs, and without realizing it you can eat less and you will be causing a caloric and nutritional deficit.
Finally, emphasize that it is not a panacea, it is simply a strategy to cure certain pathologies or restore the balance of our body when an imbalance has occurred.
If you have any questions or want to contribute something, we'll wait for you in the comments!