As we start this article, let’s begin with a disclaimer. Before starting intermittent fasting, you must seek the counsel of a medical physician. We’ll have you know that intermittent fasting is not for everyone. For this reason, you should discuss it with a professional before going into it.
Fasting means abstaining from specific or all food for a particular time. On the other hand, intermittent fasting means fasting based on a cycle. To practice this fast, you should keep some rules in mind. One crucial rule you should never forget while practicing intermittent fasting is that you can not eat or drink calorie-dense food during the period.
Intermittent fasting is advisable for a wide variety of reasons. You can practice this to lose weight fast and for health and brain benefits. If you are practicing the fast for weight reduction, you should adhere strictly to intermittent fasting. This rule says no to eating calorie-dense food.
However, you should ensure that you take nutritious meals when it’s time. Moreover, we would like to clear this myth about intermittent fasting. It will help if you remember that the fast is not about starvation but about how much and what you consume.
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Fasting is a word that you should understand when it comes to practicing intermittent fasting.
Fasting is when you refrain from consuming specific food staples for particular periods. While fasting can cause beneficial metabolic changes in your body, it can also lead to detrimental effects. Some health benefits you can enjoy from fasting include weight loss, better focus, and probable control of diabetes. Then again, unhealthy fasting can cause anxiety and depression.
People fast for different reasons and intentions. First, some people fast to burn their fat or lose weight. Additionally, other groups of people fast when they must undergo a medical procedure with an empty stomach. The last reason people fast is due to a religious ritual. If you are experiencing a fast for a medical procedure, you should ask your doctor what you are permitted to eat or not. Similarly, you should obey the rules guiding a religious fast if you will be practicing one.
Finally, there is the intermittent fast which is usually to lose weight.
While practicing intermittent fasting, your day is broken into two; the eating and fasting windows. We’ll have you know that there are different schedules you can follow to decide on the hours each window will include. However, the 16/8 hour is the commonest schedule. You can choose to have the longer eating hour and the short, fast hour and vice versa. It is essential to avoid eating during the period of fasting. However, you can take beverages that lack calories, as you need to stay hydrated during fasting.
Intermittent fasting has several benefits and, as a result, should be part of one’s routine. Some of the benefits of Intermittent fasting include the following.
One of the most common reasons people engage in intermittent fasting is to lose weight. When they practice this, they can reduce their food intake and, as a result, their calorie intake. Additionally, you feel more satisfied when you take your regular meals within shorter hours. Hence, most people remain full and need no side or consistent eating. Depending on your fasting schedule, your body tends to burn fat when it enters the fasting window. When your body enters the “fasted state” or fasting window, it can burn fat gotten from the eating window.
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Fasting can cure certain things. While sleeping, our bodies start repairing cells and begin hormonal cycles. Then again, when the body has little to no food to digest, it can focus more on the cellular repair of these cells. The cellular repair process, commonly called autophagy, occurs when cells repair themselves and remove wastes. Autophagy helps in the maintenance of muscle mass and drastically reduces aging effects. Significantly, when you undergo intermittent fasting, your body can heal and repair itself more efficiently.
Another health benefit of intermittent fasting is how much it fosters mental clarity, especially in the mornings after the fast. Depending on your schedule, the fasting window helps you to stay focused as you work. However, once you resume eating, you can get sluggish and quickly tired.
When your body does not respond rightly to insulin, you can say it’s resistant. Furthermore, insulin resistance occurs when it’s difficult for your body to take up glucose from its blood. Often, this condition occurs as a result of inactivity, poor diet, obesity, high blood pressure, and genetics. Fortunately, intermittent fasting helps in the reduction of insulin resistance. It does this by regulating blood sugar levels. Finally, fasting reduces insulin resistance and prevents type 2 diabetes risk.
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One natural choice you can make concerning your zero-calorie drink is taking water. Water is what you can and should take while fasting. It can be ordinary sparkling water or spice it up a bit. If you love lemon water, you can add a bit of lemon to the water. Furthermore, you can put orange or thin slices of cucumber in the water to achieve flavor variations. However, it would be best to use something other than artificial water enhancers as it interferes with your fast. Finally, it would be best to remember that water can be an essential factor that boosts weight loss. However, there are ways you can spice up the water to avoid drinking it plain.
One calorie-free beverage that has no effects on insulin levels is black coffee. While on intermittent fasting, you can take regular caffeinated drinks or decaf coffee. However, you should not add milk or any sweetener to it. Many coffee drinkers take expresso while fasting, and it does not affect them or break the fast. On the other hand, some people suffer from racing hearts or stomach upset when they drink coffee while fasting.
Additionally, you need to understand how your body works to prevent starting something that will put you in danger. Finally, it has specific benefits if you are not allergic to taking coffee while fasting. One is that it helps to support ketone production. Then again, it aids in long-term healthy levels of blood sugar.
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If you are someone who can’t go a day without her favorite soda, you should try out diet soft drinks while practicing intermittent fasting. We’ll have you know that taking sugar drinks while fasting will automatically break the fast. Hence, drinking diet soda with no sugar and zero calories is crucial. Additionally, you should be careful not to take artificial sweeteners as these might cause insulin resistance later in the future. Thus, it would be best to strive to take other zero-calorie beverages. And this is because, while diet soda is acceptable on an intermittent fast, it is advisable to take other healthier drinks.
While undergoing intermittent fasting, natural and calorie-free tea is a fantastic choice. In addition, tea is a drink that aids the success of your fasting and makes it easier. Generally, you can take all teas while fasting, ranging from green and black to herbal and oolong teas. Taking teas on your intermittent fasting supports your gut’s health and maintains probiotic balance. Specifically, green tea has proven to be indispensable in managing weight and satiety increase.
Apple cider vinegar is not necessarily a zero-calorie drink, but it’s common in intermittent fasting. We can ascribe the popularity of this drink to its ability to help lower your body’s blood sugar. Additionally, the drink helps users to reach the metabolic state where they burn fat quickly. Similarly, you can use apple cider vinegar to reduce a sharp surge in insulin. While apple cider vinegar is not a zero calories drink, it is part of the list since it’s good at any time.
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Bone broth is a big no while you are fasting. Thus, if you enjoy sipping the warm goodness of bone broth, you should wait till after your fasting period. While bone broth is acceptable in some fasting circles as it is satisfying, it can be a protein source. We’ll have you know that protein causes an increase in blood glucose, increasing Insulin levels. Although protein does not have as much impact on blood sugar as carbohydrates, it still breaks fast.
It would help never to take alcohol while you are fasting. And this is because drinking alcohol on an empty stomach can intensify its effects. Then again, alcohol is a huge source of calories which breaks your fast immediately after you take it. Additionally, it will stimulate your appetite and get you hungry.
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Taking supplements while undergoing intermittent fasting depends on your fasting schedule. However, discussing this with a medical practitioner before you decide would be best.
If you are fasting for a specific number of hours per day, you should take your supplements during the eating hours. And this is because most supplements get absorbed better when you take them with food. However, if your fast schedule involves eating on some days and fasting on other days, you can take your supplements. Doing this is to ensure that you meet your nutrient requirements per day. Then again, the tiny amount of calories in vitamins cannot break a fast. It is essential to discuss this with your doctor before starting.
If you are on a fast for a medical procedure, you should ask your doctor if you can take anything apart from water while on a fast. However, if you have an intermittent fast for weight loss, you should decide based on the rules guiding the fast. A lot of fasting diets allow people to take zero-calorie drinks. Similarly, you must drink water during this period to counter hunger pangs.
While having your intermittent fast, you should refrain from eating at all. However, there are drinks you can take that won’t break your fast or expose you to increased blood sugar. These diet drinks include sparkling or lemon water, black coffee, tea, and others. We advise that you run away from sugary drinks while having your fast; this will trigger your insulin response.
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Coconut water and almond milk have high sugar. Sugar has carbs. Hence, when you take sugar, you break your fast. For this reason, you should avoid drinking these while having your fast.
We cannot overemphasize the health benefits associated with intermittent fasting. This fast helps you shed weight and reduces exposure to several obesity-related diseases, such as high blood pressure. Finally, intermittent fasting aids in improving insulin sensitivity.
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We’ll let you know that the sudden transition to an intermittent fasting lifestyle can trigger some symptoms. Some of these symptoms include headache, muscle cramps, and hunger.
However, these only occur in the initial adjustment stage, as everything returns to normal. However, there are steps to take to overcome these symptoms if you don’t want to wait for them to pass naturally.
Conclusively, many diets fail because they are either too difficult to continue or complicated. We’ll have you know that the massive success of intermittent fasting is because it is straightforward to follow.
As a result, people who start the cycle can finish it with the desired results. Once you follow the rules that guide intermittent fasting. You should also ensure that you take note of the drinks to take to help support your intermittent fasting. These zero-calorie drinks will surely enhance the results you will get.