As much as there are several ways of fasting, intermittent fasting is by far the most commonly practiced. It involves restricting the consumption of any particular types of foods for prolonged periods.
Intermittent fasting has been linked to several potential health benefits like a possible reversal of type two diabetes, increased energy and weight-loss. Some even link IF to longevity and healthier living among other things.
Despite these benefits, intermittent fasting can be dangerous if not done the right way.
On that note, below are tips on how to safely fast.
Since there is no food consumption during the fast, the importance of staying hydrated cannot be overemphasized. By not doing so, you risk suffering from headaches, fatigue, and a dry mouth.
Health experts insist on eight glasses of water a day but how much you drink is purely dependent on the individual. Thou, it should be in that range or more.
Since you are on a fast and most probably restricting calorie intake, drinking water, and sugarless coffee that are zero in calories is mostly recommended.
Additionally an article published on dofasting.com, during eating periods, you could include bone broth as part of your meals as it has a variety of recipes. It is a healthy drink that has added benefits like pumping in collagen and gelatin, two essential nutrients that help in anti-aging as well as improve both gut and joint health.
Keep fasting periods short
Maintaining short periods of fasts is recommended especially for beginners. However, other people go for longer fasting periods of 48 to 72 hours. This is dangerous as it increases the chances of suffering side effects such as dizziness, fainting or worse, dehydration.
Eat a small amount of food on fast days
This is mostly recommended for people who are exploring intermittent fasting for the first time. However, during fast days, calories should be restricted to between 500 and 600 calories.
This reduces the risk of the side effects mentioned above. It also makes fasting more bearable and reduces the chances of abandoning it altogether.
Fasting is not easy. Especially when that hunger pang strikes. To counter this, there are a couple of things you could do to take off your mind from the fact that you are hungry.
Taking a walk, going into the shower, reading a book or listening to a podcast are some of the activities that do not use up much energy and you could do to distract yourself. Avoid strenuous activities that many increase hunger.
Do not overeat during eating periods
It is tempting to want to reward yourself for making through the fast with a huge meal. Avoid this.
Eating too much food after a fast can leave you feeling bloated and tired. It is will also be an obstacle to people seeking weight-loss benefits. In this case, it is advisable to go back to a normal eating routine and avoid feasting.
Eat enough protein
The main reason why people get into IF is to lose weight. However, this can make the body eat away into fat and muscle. To avoid losing muscles, it is advisable to eat enough protein during eating periods.
Additionally, eating small amounts of protein on fast days could help in keeping hunger at bay.