To begin with, it should be noted that there are different ways to fastbut the one that is talked about on the networks and that many say continues with excellent results is the one known as “Time-limited fasting”that’s to say, stop eating on certain days of the week or at certain times of the day, which are planned in advance. The most common is the latter and the range of hours during which no food is eaten, to be considered a fast, can range from 12 to 21 hours (every day).
Types of Intermittent Fasting
- Protocol 12/12: You only eat for twelve hours (for example, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Its main benefit is that by simply having dinner earlier or delaying breakfast a bit, you are already getting some of the benefits of intermittent fasting.
- Protocol 10/14: Fast 14 hours and the feeding window lasts only 10 hours. This can be done by adjusting the meal schedule or removing the first or last meal of the day. For example, have dinner at 8:00 p.m. and only have lunch at 10:00 a.m.
- The most widely accepted fast is on 08/16, in which you only eat during the central hours of the day. It is recommended for those who cannot have breakfast or dinner. Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, you can adapt it. For example, having dinner at 8:00 p.m. and not eating anything until noon the next day (drinking tea, black coffee or broth does not break the fast).
What is intermittent fasting good for?
Talking about intermittent fasting is all the rage. It is considered, by some, the panacea for feeling better, giving the body a way of nourishing itself which, they say, facilitates mental clarity, among other things. There are those who also attribute benefits such as contribute to fat loss, better overall health and increased longevity, reducing cardiovascular risk and diabetesbut all are statements based more on experience than on scientific evidence.
Those who claim that intermittent fasting is good for them refer to feelings such as feeling light, with less intestinal discomfort, with more energy… The health benefit is something a doctor should determine through the relevant tests and if we are talking about the general population without pathologies, it is more difficult to establish that an improvement has occurred.
Nutrition experts who teach on social networks whether or not to fast – for the general population who do not present any pathology of any kind – argue that serious studies have only been carried out on this type of fasting in the mice and in small populations of humans and, for this reason, there are no definitive conclusions as to their long-term health impact.
What is certain is that intermittent fasting does not imply a better or more efficient way when the goal is fat loss or changes in body composition compared to other calorie restriction systems supervised by a physician or nutritionist.
What do the professionals think?
In addition, it is important to be well informed and to go hand in hand with a health professional When choosing, consider the convenience and lifestyle regimen associated with intermittent fasting, as it may not be harmless to some people’s mental and emotional balance.
In reality, psychonutrition experts advise against it to all those who have been or are struggling with an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia of course, but also binge eating disorder or orthorexia).
Basic rules for fasting without harming your health
If you decide to try intermittent fasting, you better follow a few rules:
- Set food window times in advance and don’t reduce them.
- Eat the same foods you would choose in a balanced diet, no more, no less.
- Maintain a varied diet, divided into at least three intakes.
- Hydrate properly throughout the day.
- Start gradually: you can start with 10 hours of fasting or directly with 12 hours, during the first weeks, and gradually increase if it suits you and is consistent with your lifestyle.
Conclusion: First, analyze your habits. Maybe you are someone who, even though you are not overweight, likes to eat frequently. Or the other way around: you tend to eat little and it may not be practical for you to restrict yourself further. If you start fasting and find that during the feeding window you have to binge, this system is not for you. First of all, It must be healthy, at all levels. Remember this is never recommended for people with diabetes or migraines as it can lead to poor disease control. And, finally, be very careful: If the technique is not performed correctly dizziness, lack of strength and mood swings and irritability may be experienced.
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