In the search for the right diet and eating pattern to achieve that optimal health, fasting is one that everyone should try.
Fasting is the act of not eating for a period of time and for some, not drinking either. Intermittent fasting is a form of fasting that is done cyclically every short period of time.
Fasting for a period of time had been initially tested in animals, such as rats and monkeys. Both showed positive results in terms of health and longevity.
- Reduced risk of cancer and faster treatment for patients with cancer
- Prevents dementia
- Burning fat and weight loss
- Preventing diabetes
- Appetite and blood pressure control
- Better metabolism
Is it Really Because of Fasting?
Interestingly, Dr. John M. Berardi and Dr. Krista Scott-Dixon in Precision Nutrition had put out quite an amusing idea about intermittent fasting where many subjects that were involved in the experiments had been people who “consumed more than what they burned”.
When they enter the program by fasting up to 20 hours a day, they experienced the benefits. But truthfully, not eating is equal to burning more than what you have, so it’s a given. Then, is intermittent fasting the main factor or is it the less-in and more-out?
The doctors than conduct further result and found a possibly decisive factor. One trainer who frequently worked with people who exercise and undergo intermittent fasting by skipping breakfast could not lose weight. In fact, some of them still experienced weight gain compared to those that skipped lunch and dinner.
The explanation is not yet clear, but breakfast plays a big role in intermittent fasting. Aside from that, many other studies have also found that several people diagnosed with different types of illnesses had skipping breakfast as one their contributing factor.
Doing It Right
The fact is that starving yourself excessively is often related to a hike in weight gain after fasting often shown in reports of desperate people aiming immediate weight loss by doing so. So, what’s wrong with fasting?
If you notice, during the Ramadhan month, Muslims undergo fasting, somewhere around the world as long as 14 to 20 hours a day! However, no dangerous medical conditions are reported as to be directly reported with this habit during the holy month of Muslims.
Sugar is your worst enemy. Don’t even get me talking about the calories and its danger to your teeth; they are addictive. Sugar is part of our natural resources and sometimes it got us thinking why is that sugar is so dangerous nowadays.
The problems lies in high sugar composition in everything we eat, whether that is the bread and chocolate milk we had this morning, that bottled juice we had the other day or the snacks they offered in the waiting room, they all contain sugar and the tendency is to use more than what the human body needs every day.
Hold yourself from directly having sweet food after fasting, because they cause your blood sugar level to spike. Low sugar intake with high healthy fat such as vegetables, grains, and legumes are better. Avoid syrup, carbonated or sweetened beverages. Drink water during your intermittent fasting. Coffee and tea are good as long as you are not using creamers or sugar.
While benefits of intermittent fasting are usually seen around 20 hours after, exercising regularly can help you see the result 3 to 4 hours faster as well as maximizing other positive impacts of fasting.
Incorporate various exercises during fasting and retain your body liquid at a healthy level by drinking more. You can’t let yourself starve and dehydrated; that’s dangerous!
Overall, every adult can enjoy benefits of intermittent fasting and realize how it helps especially with appetite and food cravings while promoting health and better metabolism.