If you haven't read part 1 and part 2 of this serie, you can find them here:
Paleolithic, ketogenic and modified Atkins diets: CLICK HERE
Mediterranean, vegetarian and vegan diets: CLICK HERE
In this third article, we will shed light on INTERMITTENT FASTING!
Is it better to eat or to fast to be healthy?
Firstly, let’s see exactly what is intermittent fasting as it exists in many forms:
- Fasting for 12, 14 or 16 hours, including sleeping time: We stop eating at 7:00 pm and don’t take our next bite until 7:00 am, 9:00 am or 11:00 am the next morning. This type of fasting is easy to practice.
- Fasting for 24 hours: Most often, it is recommended to do it from one supper to the next supper. We stop eating at 6:00 pm and we do not eat again before 6:00 pm the next day.
- Fasting every other day: Many people consider it fasting if you only eat a quarter of the calories you need, around 400-500 calories a day. You can fast this way every other day by not eating at all or reducing your food intake to 400-500 calories.
- Fasting 5:2: This method consists of not eating at all (or reducing your calorie intake to 400-500 calories) two days a week, not consecutively.
- And so on ... all variations can range from four days a year to four days a week.
What is THE reason or the many reasons that motivate you to fast?
We do it naturally when we get sick. When we have a cold or flu, when we feel congested and feverish, we don’t normally feel hungry! The body is conserving its energy to heal.
The benefits of intermittent fasting include standardization of insulin and leptin sensitivity, gene expression and cell repair.
It can be harder to fast for some women
What seems to motivate most people to fast is "weight loss". It is said to be beneficial for reducing cardiovascular risks, fighting type 2 diabetes, optimizing cancer treatments, etc.
- There are more women than men who are attracted to intermittent fasting.
- According to some therapists, many women feel uncomfortable with intermittent fasting due to an existing blood glucose imbalance. They live with daily glycemic fluctuations that affect their concentration as well as their mental balance (anxiety and depression).
- When fasting, a normal reaction that occurs in the body is an increase in cortisol levels in order to cause a rise in blood glucose to give us energy.
- If someone is already dealing with fatigued adrenal glands, there may be an exaggerated or insufficient response of secretion of cortisol, which will result in a difficulty in losing weight, more fatigue and brain fog. Fatigue of the adrenal glands is common in people who live with chronic and repetitive stress.
- We also know that cortisol slows down the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that keeps us in a good mood!
If this is your case, it is recommended to regulate your blood sugar levels before starting a fast. After, start with a 14:10 or 16: 8 fast, which means you finish your evening meal at 6:00 pm and do not eat breakfast until 8:00 am or 10:00 am the next morning.
As for the meals, the quality of the food you eat is very important. And above all, there is no point in fasting only to stuff yourself afterwards. If that's what happens to you because hunger obsesses you, you might benefit from eating a balanced diet over three meals!
How to fast?
What do you drink during periods of fasting? Purified water, herbal teas, maximum two coffees a day. Some allow a modified version of fasting by incorporating beef or chicken broth, or green juice. Others add butter, MCTs or cream to their coffee, which brings a sense of satiety that helps to cut hunger.
If you are underweight, a high protein fast is another alternative. Use vegan protein or whey protein powder.
Fasting is not recommended for children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, type 1 diabetics, elderly people taking medication (unless they have medical attention).
Do not lose sight of the main objective which is above all to feel good, energized physically and mentally!
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