A decision you make everyday apples or bananas, chocolates or wafers, pizza or burger, broccoli or peas, and the list goes on. The choice is yours, but as an old saying goes, “Health is Wealth.” You should follow a healthy routine and a healthy diet. Three essential questions to be answered to remain healthy are
1. What to eat?
2. When to eat?
3. How much to eat?
Fasts are a new way to be healthy. No, fasting does not mean that you stop eating altogether. Do you know that fasting can make you healthy? Many studies prove that fasting is the new fad to lose weight and maintain your health. Experiments conducted on lab rats, which have proven that fasting helps to
- Lose weight
- blood pressure improved
- blood cholesterol improves
- sugar level improved
Although human beings are benefitting from these fasts too, long-term results still have to be seen. If food is a feeling, then fasting is the lifeline to remain healthy.
What is Fasting?
When you abstain from food and drink for a specific time, our ancestors were used to fasting for many religious activities, but it helped them remain healthy and detox their bodies.
Different types of fasts
1. Intermittent fasting
Popularly known as “IF,” it is one of the latest fads amongst people to remain healthy. it means to follow a pattern between eating and fasting, which helps you reduce weight, reduce your risk of disease, and increase your lifespan.
Timeline of Intermittent fasting
It dates back to 1915 when treatments were used to treat obesity. In 1960 it gained interest again when mentioned in a medical journal by BLOOM and his friends for fasting for 14 days. Now in modern times, 2012 modern type of diet 5:2 made a trend.
How does this fast work?
The food eaten by us is broken down by enzymes in our gut and used as energy or stored in our bodies’ cells. If we do not eat anything, our sugar levels go down, and the fat cells release the held energy. The main principle of Intermittent fasting is to allow Insulin levels to go down so that we burn fat.
How to do intermittent fasting?
It is easy to follow by extending your fasting period, which can be done by skipping breakfast and eating your first meal at noon and last meal at 8 p.m.
What to eat during fasting?
You can eat high fiber foods during this period and drink a lot of water. Eat as many times as you want in the eating period. Foods to be avoided are
- fast foods
- Processed foods
- simple carbs
- sugary sodas
- sweetened fruit juice
2. Time-restricted eating
This is another type of intermittent fasting in which you fast for a period of more than an overnight fast of 8 to 12 hours.
In this fasting, what matters most is that the food is eaten along with your circadian rhythm. Eating at small intervals or skipping a meal does not matter, but you have to stick to the eating period to make the diet work. Avoid snacking or eating at night time.
Foods that you can eat while fasting
- Water: plain or carbonated
- Coffee and tea: without sugar, milk, and cream
- Diluted apple cider vinegar
- Healthy fats
- Bone broth
3. 16/8 fasting
In this fast, a pattern of fasting for 16 hours is followed, which must be maintained to gain from the diet. In this diet, you fast for 16 hours and eat in 8 hours. This plan’s flexibility is to eat anything you want in this eating period, making it easy to follow. To see the result of these diets, you need to follow them for a minimum of 10 weeks.
It is another type of intermittent fasting, in which you fast every other day but eats whatever you want on the other day. Live like a king for one day and like a pauper, the next day is the principle behind this fast.
5. The warrior diet
As the name suggests, this diet was created by a warrior Ori Hofmekler, a former Israeli Special Forces member. He is not a dietician or a doctor, but it will aid in weight loss and increase your survival instincts according to his warrior plan. He suggests taking supplements, including probiotics and a multivitamin. In simple words, in this diet, you have a 20 to 4-hour window.
- It is a drastic plan to eat for 4 hours in which people generally do not follow nutrition rules.
- In those 20 hours, you eat very little.
- The diet period is four weeks.
- In the first week, foods like broth, hard-boiled eggs, raw veggies and fruits, yogurt, cottage cheese, and vegetable juices are allowed in small portions during the 20 hours. In the four-hour window, dieters are allowed to eat salad dressed with oil and vinegar.
- During the second week in the 20-hour window, the same diet followed, but more fat was advised after a salad and no beans for the four-hour window.
- The third-week dieters switch one or two higher carb days in the four-hour eating window, and the 20-hour window remains the same. Only changes are there in the four-hour window to eat more fat.
This diet will surely help you reduce weight, but the limitation of this diet is that proper nutrition is not consumed in that 4-hour window.
6. The 5:2 diet
Another popular form of the diet, the week is divided into 2 plus 5, which involves eating 25% of the recommended calorie needs on two fasting days and then eating normally the other five days of the week.
- Days are chosen far apart for fasting in the week.
- There is no restriction on eating on the fasting days but the calorie intake should not exceed the limit.
- Studies show that this diet does not meet our daily intake of calories, so it is highly recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
- How to ensure you make the best choice in diet planning on the fasting days
- try to include vegetables and fiber as they are more filling
- add protein and take small portions of white fish, lean animal cuts, eggs, beans, peas, lentils, and tofu.
- dark berries as they do not add many calories
- Soup, water, coffee, and tea are essential parts of the fasting periods as they help you keep hydrated.
Some of the best meal plans for the fasting days to meet 25% of your calorie intake are two hard-boiled eggs, vegetable soup, steamed vegetables with spices, and salt.
7. The Daniel fast
This fast is a religious partial short famous in North America. It has picked up the latest fad among the youngsters as it has shown excellent results. The basic principle in this diet is
what to eat and not when to eat
- It is a 21 day fast based on the biblical book on Daniel
- Animal products and preservatives are not allowed
- fruits and vegetables are allowed
- canned or fresh vegetables both are permissible but no salt
- The other foods are sacrificed as a gesture of worship for God.
- White rice and white flour are not allowed in the whole grains
- foods with artificial flavourings, additives, and preservatives are not allowed
- deep-fried food is not a part of the diet
- solid fats are banned from the diet plan
- diet has shown promising results like 5 to 6 pounds are lost over the three weeks and clearer skin.
It helps in spiritual cleansing too, one diet which will not make you irritable or angry.
Benefits of fasting
1. The body burns down the stored fats into glucose energy during fasting as it is not in usual access to glucose, forcing the body to use other resources and means. This leads to a process called gluconeogenesis, which is a natural process of producing sugar.
2. Our body feels the same pressure as we think during any cardio exercises.
3. When our body burns stored fats as the primary source, it is called ketosis. It helps in weight loss.
We can see so many scientific benefits regarding fasting but other benefits of different fasting are
# support weight loss: Fat burning begins almost after 12 hours of fasting and increases between 16 and 24 hours of fasting. Studies show that this method has been influential in patients who have cancer after following short-time fasting or Intermittent fasting protected the healthy blood cells from the stressors caused by chemotherapy.
Fasting for up to five days before the treatment helped to reduce the side effects of the treatment. # boost cognitive performance: In simple words, fasting improves your abilities to stay active and reduce the risk of
- high blood pressure
- Alzheimer’s disease
- heart attack
- Symptoms of depression
These all lead to better cognitive health.
# protect from obesity and other chronic diseases: These are known as lifestyle diseases, which can be prevented by different fasting types. For some people, even reducing 5 to 7 % of their body weight helps them to avoid type 2 diabetes. Fasting helps us in taking a completely balanced nutritional meal and prevents us from developing chronic diseases. It helps us in taking a completely balanced nutritional meal and prevents us from developing chronic diseases.
# reduce inflammation: There are two types of inflammation in your body
*acute:- Acute is not harmful. That is a natural way for your body to protect you when you get hurt. Chronic is dangerous, which slowly creeps up in your body over a period of time due to an unhealthy lifestyle and eating a lot of junk food.
*chronic:- Fasting helps prevent our body from developing chronic inflammation, as was concluded in one of the recent studies done by PubMed Central. This reduction in inflammation is due to cells called monocytes, which are reduced when we are fasting
Our body has excess Inflammation. As experts are pointing out, the reason for this is that people eat too much and too often, so fasting helps prevent such problems.
# improves overall fitness: Marvelous benefits have been seen when a daily exercise regime is followed along with fasting.
- Improves your muscle health and brings hormone optimization
- One of the best times to exercise to attain these benefits is to exercise during the fasting cycle, first thing after you get up.
- It is best to avoid eating even after exercising after an hour for optimal results.
# support weight loss: Fat burning begins almost after 12 hours of fasting and increases between 16 and 24 hours of fasting. Studies show that this method has been influential in the loss of visceral body fat.
# decrease the risk of metabolic diseases: A metabolic disorder means that the metabolism process fails and causes the body to have too much or too little of the essential substances needed to stay healthy.
A recent study conducted by Dr. Taub on patients suffering from metabolic disorders shows that they responded better after intermittent fasting. “As they started to adhere to this eating window, they started feeling better with more energy and better sleep, and this was positive reinforcement for them to continue with this 10-hour eating window,” said Dr. Taub. After three months, the participants reduced 3% weight and body mass index and a 3% loss of abdominal or visceral fat.
# Improves brain power and increases the generation of nerve cells: Many studies conducted on animals have shown a lot of improvement in brain cells after fasting, which can help treat diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
# Helps increase longevity and delay aging: Again, eating right and moderately does fantastic work for your bodies. However, this research is limited to animals only that fasting helps in longevity.
# helps cancer patients in chemotherapy: Suffering from cancer and after a lengthy trial of chemotherapies, a person tends to lose healthy blood cells. Recent studies were done on patients who have cancer after following short-time fasting or Intermittent fasting protected the healthy blood cells from the stressors caused by chemotherapy. Fasting for up to five days before the treatment helped to reduce the side effects of the treatment.
Is Fasting Safe for everyone?
The answer to this question is yes, it is safe to follow intermittent fasts for everyone. But the studies done regarding intermittent fasts till now are only conducted on animals. So long term effects are still to be seen. Individuals with special needs should avoid Intermittent fast altogether *underweight people should not follow unique quick fads.
- pregnant female should not keep fasts as it affects the child
- breastfeeding mothers have higher caloric needs, so they should avoid following fasts.
- people who are at risk of an eating disorder should stay away from observing Intermittent fasts
- Under 18 years of age should not follow fasts at all.
For rest, it is safe to follow Intermittent fasts but be careful to remain hydrated at all points of time. In the beginning, you will feel a little weak and less energetic, but over a while, the benefits of becoming healthy will be seen.
Don’t wait for long and step into the healthy world of fasting.
BEGINNERS GUIDE TO FASTING ON ALTERNATE DAY FASTING
|DAY 1||DAY 2||DAY 3||DAY 4||DAY 5||DAY 6||DAY7|
|EAT NORMA LLY||24 HOUR FAST OR EAT ONLY A FEW HUND RED CALOR IES||EAT NORMA LLY||24 HOUR FAST OR EAT ONLY FEW HUND RED CALOR IES||EAT NORMA LLY||24 HOUR FAST OR EAT ONLY FEW HUND RED CALOR IES||EAT NORMA LLY|
BEGINNERS GUIDE TO FASTING THE 5:2 DIET
|DAY 1||DAY2||DAY 3||DAY 4||DAY 5||DAY 6||DAY 7|
|EAT NORMA LLY||WOMEN 500 CALOR IES MEN 600 CALOR IES||EAT NORMA LLY||EAT NORMA LLY||WOME N 500 CALOR IES MEN 600 CALOR IES||EAT NORMA LLY||EAT NORMA LLY|
Famous stars who follow Intermittent fasts
Fasting has become one of the latest trends among youngsters but is quite a hit in the star circle. Many famous personalities have benefited from it and are openly recommending their fans to join in.
- Terry Crews – One famous Hollywood actor eats his first meal at 2 p.m., and then his eating window opens till 10 p.m.
- Benedict Cumberbatch – Famous Mr. Sherlock Holmes follows a 5:2 diet regime, and yes, the results are very much visible.
- Kourtney Kardashian- A hot trend among the stars revealed herself on her show that along with the keto diet, she follows intermittent fasting. She fasts for 14 to 16 hours.
In the end, old teachings, “Have breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper,” have been replaced by the latest fad of fasting, proving to be very beneficial.