Intermittent Fasting – Diets that limit certain foods, such as low-carb diets, often fail. That’s because you have to avoid the foods you like. However, if you want to diet without feeling sad, you may want to try intermittent fasting.
What is this?
Intermittent fasting (fasting diet) is a method of controlling eating habits by fasting for some time. However, you can still drink between then and now.
Compared to the term “diet,” which usually refers to reducing or limiting eating, the intermittent fasting method tends to regulate your eating habits more.
The fasting diet does not regulate what foods must be reduced or consumed, but when you eat and when to stop eating, aka “fasting.” This method often recommends fasting for 16 hours, but you can set the time yourself.
Fasting itself has a good role in health, especially since fasting has been known for a long time to help people survive.
Your daily eating patterns may be irregular because you often eat outside of meals or skip meals. By doing intermittent fasting, you can improve or develop healthier eating habits.
This method trains the body’s resistance so that it can still carry out its functions even though you are not consuming food for a certain period.
Intermittent fasting also helps the body control blood pressure and cholesterol because the body burns fat more effectively when fasting, and makes the insulin hormone more sensitive to food.
As a result, the body will be aided in rejuvenation and repair, improving overall body fitness. The fasting diet also increases the body’s response to fight or prevent organ damage.
How to Practice
Intermittent fasting has various regulations to reduce food consumption. In general, this method only determines when to fast during the week.
You simply eat it quickly. During this period, you are required to consume small amounts of food or not eat at all.
There are various surefire ways to do intermittent fasting. Below are some of the most popular methods.
- The 16/8 method: dividing 16 hours of fasting time and 8 hours of eating time Example: You may eat from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., then continue fasting for the next 16 hours.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: requires you to fast for 24 hours on a certain number of days per week. For example, you stop consuming food from dinner time until the next dinner, then continue after one day of not fasting. Going without food for 24 hours may appear to be a lot of work, but you can begin this method gradually, i.e., you do not have to begin for 24 hours.
- The 5:2 diet: involves reducing the amount of food consumed to 25% of the normal amount, or around 500–600 calories per day, or the equivalent of one meal. This method is done on two non-consecutive days, and you can still eat normally five days a week.
In addition to the several methods above, intermittent fasting can be done in various ways according to your abilities. Adaptation is also essential to run it consistently.
Below are some tips to make it easier for you to adapt to the fasting diet.
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration so that it is easier for the body to go through the fasting period.
- Do a stop-eating period at night, because bedtime will make it easier for you to go without eating.
- Change your mindset about fasting as a time to feel hungry or deprived of food, rather than a time to rest the body from eating activities.
- Begin periods of food deprivation while you are busy with your routine, as it is easier to get distracted.
- Accompany intermittent fasting with regular physical activity, enough with moderate intensity or active but regular activities to be carried out two or three times per week.
Things to Consider in Running it
The intermittent fasting method can make you hungry and make you feel stressed because you are not used to a new eating pattern. Hunger can also reduce activity performance if you don’t meet your nutritional needs during the eating period.
Other side effects, such as headaches and changes in sleeping hours, may occur when you start using this method. The good news is that these effects are temporary until your body adapts and you find a method that works.
Although it tends to be safe, intermittent fasting is not intended for people with certain medical conditions. Therefore, avoid them or consult a doctor if you experience some of the conditions below.
- Have a history of diabetes.
- Having problems with blood sugar levels.
- Have low blood pressure.
- Undergoing treatment.
- Have a body mass index below normal.
- Have a history of eating disorders.
- A woman who is trying to get pregnant.
- Women who experience excessive bleeding during menstruation.
- A woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding.
Keep in mind, eating with adequate nutrition and regular exercise is the key to living a healthy life and maintaining an ideal body weight.
If you use this method for weight loss, the effects may vary depending on nutrition and activity patterns.