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A Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting

by Sarah Syakira
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Intermittent fasting is more than just a buzzword used by health gurus and juice companies. It’s a way of resetting your body by ridding it of harmful toxins, accelerating weight loss, and revitalizing cells. To better understand what it does for the body and the steps that it entails, you must first get to know what intermittent fasting is medically and nutritionally.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

This type of fasting requires a person to abstain from eating for a pre-determined amount of time. Doing so helps initiate the body’s natural detoxification process. It’s a healthy way to improve your health and begin weight loss.

There are three popular methods of intermittent fasting. They are the 16/8 Method, 5:2 Diet, and the 24-Hour Fast Once a Week. To better understand how they are structured, you’ll find details of each listed below:

  • 16/8 Method – This method of fasting is among the most popular because of how easy it is to follow. For 8 hours a day, you eat food and drink beverages. For the remaining 16 hours, you fast.
  • 5:2 Diet – Five days a week, you eat like usual. Two days a week, you only eat 500-600 calories per day as part of the fasting process.
  • 24-Hour Fast Once a Week – This method requires you to eat regularly throughout the week except for one 24-hour session of fasting with no food and only permitted beverages.

Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting can do more for you than kick start weight loss. Some other health benefits include:

  • reduction in insulin resistance,
  • reduced inflammation,
  • removal of waste from cells, and
  • new nerve cells growth, which enhances brain function.

How to Begin Intermittent Fasting

On occasion, you may naturally fast due to time constraints or even a lack of appetite. With intermittent fasting, you deliberately withhold from eating for a specific length of time. The best way to prepare for a fast is to plan ahead. It’s essential to plan the eight hours and the days of your fast carefully as it will affect your plans.

What Can You Drink While Fasting?

You cannot eat during a fast, but you can drink certain beverages. Experts recommend that you stay hydrated by drinking water. You’re also allowed to have coffee or some teas, like amla tea. You may want to limit how much caffeine you consume, however, because it can cause you to feel jittery.

Oolong green tea is permitted while fasting. It’s a natural appetite suppressor that helps you feel full even when you haven’t eaten.

Amla powder is another permissible item. If you’ve never heard of it before, you’ll want to know a bit about its history, accessibility, and preparation.

Amla tea benefits include providing the same amount of Vitamin C that two oranges contain in a single serving. It helps fight cancer-causing free radicals, expel toxic substances from the body, improve eyesight, and ease constipation. It can be mixed into water to make amla tea and drank twice a day for best results.

Misconceptions

Some common misconceptions about intermittent fasting include:

  1. You’ll starve!
  • You may feel hungry, but your body will not go into starvation mode. Fasting is a deliberate way to detox. You start and stop whenever you see fit. Your body will also adjust to those initial hunger pains.
  1. You’ll be malnourished from a lack of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
  • The average fast lasts no longer than 24 hours, and therefore, you will not be deficient in nutrients. If you were to deprive yourself of food for extended periods purposely, you could very well become vitamin deficient. Since you’re coming from an informed place, you won’t be doing that.
  1. The food you eat after fasting turns to fat.
  • No, the food will not turn to fat. You’ll need to replenish glycogen levels in the liver first. It’s typically an intake of 2,000 calories that does that. You’ll need it for fuel for your muscles before it even has a chance to become fat.

A Final Note

Intermittent fasting is a natural way to reset the body and detox without the need for expensive juices and supplements. It has a profound cleansing effect, which revitalizes cells and makes you feel happier and healthier.

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