Why Intermitting fasting is better than diet
Intermitting fasting is a very fashionable food style in recent years. It is about eating only at certain times and fasting in others. The benefits of Intermitting fasting are weight loss, mental lucidity, and a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Anyway this method has not been discovered recently. Fasting has been practiced for millennia for religious reasons. It is known that fasting improves mental clarity and cleanses the body of waste and toxins. We have to understand that the human body is programmed to survive periods of fasting. In fact, in nature, humans did not have food available, and exactly like animals, they alternated feeding with fasting periods that could be more or less long.
Today it is stated that the ideal diet requires 5 meals a day, that you should never skip meals, and most of all you should have a big breakfast. Anyway, many people cannot find a balance and keep on fighting with weight and diseases. If you are one of these, you may be able to benefit from intermittent fasting.
How Intermitting Fasting works
There are several methods of intermitting fasting. The time slots are in fact different and can be chosen according to one’s lifestyle.
5/2: If you use this method you can eat normally 5 days a week and stay on the diet for the remaining two days. During the two days of fasting you can actually eat something not exceeding a total of 500 calories.
Usually the two days coincide on the weekend, when the commitments are few and we can rest. This method adapts to the lifestyle of those who can enjoy many hours of sleep, go for a walk in the countryside or on the beach, spend the afternoon reading a book.
Instead, if you like to spend the weekend attending clubs and discos, or face long hours of trekking on Sunday mornings, this is probably not for you.
7/1. With this method you fasts for a whole day once a week (sometimes two).
As in the previous method, this day a week should be fairly quiet, without too much physical effort and without stress.
16/8: With this method you can eat within 8 hours and fast for 16 hours every day. The simplest thing is to fast at night so eat the last meal before 8 pm, and start eating the next day lunch.
This is the most used method because it is also the easiest to follow. During the day you eat normally and the biggest difficulty is skipping breakfast in the morning. But it can be a perfect method for those who do not like breakfast very much, work a lot and then concentrate on something else in the morning and don’t think about food. This method is also suitable for those who do sports regularly.
What are the benefits of Intermitting fasting
The benefits of intermitting fasting are many and we can group them into 4 large groups. Some of these are common to other diets, but with intermitting fasting the results are achieved more quickly and last longer, such as weight loss.
Improve digestion and eliminate toxins.
With all the foods we eat everyday, our digestive system is subjected to great stress. Keep in mind that we spend most of our time sitting and the digestion of our meals can take many hours. Fasting helps to completely empty the stomach and intestine and allows it to rest, keeping the digestive tract healthy. Liver and kidneys also benefit from fasting periods by slowing down their activity. During fasting the body spend the energies it normally uses in digestion to cope with its vital functions.
It is undeniable that intermittent fasting leads to substantial weight loss for two fundamental reasons. The first is the reduction of calories, the second is the body’s ability to tap into the reserves of glucose and then fat. It is thought that weight loss due to intermittent fasting is more lasting than that resulting from other diets, precisely because the mechanism that burns fat is set in motion. We must say that weight loss is gradual and is effective if during the period of nutrition we do not overdo it with foods in an attempt to compensate.
When the body is not engaged in digestion, the brain also begins to improve its activity. Think about drowsiness and slowing of reflexes after a very abundant lunch … instead when we eat lightly, we are more active and lucid. Intermittent fasting fuels concentration, improves memory and improves mood. It has also been proven to be useful in fighting Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Strengthening of the immune system
Thanks to the elimination of toxins and waste, has been found a strengthening of the immune system and an effective response of our body towards diseases. Those who practice intermittent fasting get much less ill and even in the case of serious illnesses they have experienced a faster recovery. In this regard, very interesting positive reactions have been studied in cancer patients.
How to start intermitting fasting
If you decide to try intermitting fasting, first of all choose the method that best suits your lifestyle and work pace. Most start with the 16 hours of daily fasting and when they feel ready they can also switch to other methods with a total fast of 24 hours once or more a week.
If you are used to making large meals, you will need to prepare for the fasting period. Especially if you’re used to eating lots of sweets, try to control yourself at least the day before, so fasting won’t be too difficult. It is easier to stop eating after 8pm because you won’t feel hungry during your sleep. The most difficult time could be breakfast, so in the first few days you could still take an unsweetened tea, or even a coffee to avoid starting the day too numb.
After that, the day starts normally, you go to work and do your chores. Lunch should be normal, with the quantities you usually use. This is very important for two reasons. If you decrease the amounts you are reducing calories too much and fasting may be even more difficult. On the other hand, if you increase the quantities because you are more hungry than usual, you defeat all the efforts made with fasting.
If you are used to having a snack between meals, do it as well, otherwise don’t start now. At dinner you eat what you usually eat, the important thing is to stop eating at 8pm.
The rule of 16/8, with the hours of fasting at night is just a method chosen by most people because it is easier for them. On the contrary, if you are a person who eats very little during the day, for example due to work commitments, and then you love to have dinner late at night, you can safely reverse the hours and fast during the day.
If you are comfortable with fasting 16/8, you might think about switching to other methods, for example by fasting a whole day a week. Also in this case you could drink only water, or give yourself a tea or a coffee, maybe an orange juice.
Differences between Intermitting fasting and diet
As you can see, this is not an absolute fast but a semi-fast system. Intermitting fasting has no rules on food, but on meal times. However we have to make some clarifications. During times when eating is allowed, do not overdo junk food, drinks and desserts. Eating normally means that meals must be regular and of adequate quantities, it is not necessary to reduce the portions when we start intermitting fasting, but we must not compensate by eating more during the hours when it is allowed to eat.
During periods of fasting, it is allowed to drink tea or natural fruit juices without sugar. Especially at the beginning it can be very difficult to skip breakfast especially if you have to go to school or work, so you can take liquid food to get some energy. Liquid foods are recommended because they are digested very quickly. Otherwise the benefits of fasting are lost. During fasting it is recommended to drink plenty of water.
There is a reason why intermitting fasting is better than diet. Many people fail to diet because they do not have the will to give up or reduce food. Especially from a psychological point of view, those who use food as a comfort, have many difficulties in reducing portions and replacing the foods they love with others. For these people, eating a salad that replaces a steak is a real torture. Intermitting fasting can be an excellent solution because in the hours of fasting you don’t cook and don’t sit at the table. It is true that the hunger can be hard to face at the beginning, but it is much easier than when you are forced to eat something that you dislike.
Intermitting fasting is not a real diet, but a way of organizing your meals according to a time frame. The aim is to give your body time to rest and regenerate in order to improve all its vital functions. The most common benefits of intermittin fasting are weight loss, mental lucidity, healing of many diseases and elimination of toxins. To start intermitting fasting, you need to choose the method best suited to your lifestyle and change it when necessary.