Intermittent fasting is a controversial subject because of the intricate details associated with it. It does not have to be complex with the right information.
Are you thinking of starting intermittent fasting?
Would you like to know more about intermittent fasting?
This post highlights the answers to frequently asked questions about intermittent fasting you should know.
1. WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Intermittent fasting is a habit of fasting regularly for short periods. It is a pattern of eating that entails reducing your eating frequency.
You eat only when you feel hungry. It does not have to do with starving yourself or eating small frequent meal.
2. WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF BODY FUEL IN INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Stored fat is the source of body fuel during fasting. The major goal of intermittent fasting is to switch the body’s fuel source from glucose burning to fat burning metabolic state.
3. HOW TO BEGIN INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Start by withholding breakfast until you feel a little hungry. So if you don’t feel hungry, delay your breakfast. You keep pushing your breakfast relative to how your body can tolerate. Most times, people do not feel hungry in the mornings but they have been conditioned to eat breakfast early. This habit does not induce fat burning because insulin is released each time you eat. Continue this delay in eating until you can reduce your meal to twice a day.
4. WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF INTERMITTENT FASTING REGIMENS
The Intermittent fasting regimen varies based on the periods of fast and the eating window/number of meals per day you allow.
- 12 hour fast- The individual fasts for 12 hours and allows an eating window (time interval between the first and last meal) of 12 hours too. For example, eating by 7pm and waiting till 7 am the next day to eat breakfast.
- 16 hour fast- Here, the person fasts for 16 hours and allows an eating window of 8 hours. Most people usually skip breakfast and limit themselves to 2 meals. For instance, eating by dinner by 6pm and having your next meal by 11am. This is usually the recommended type of intermittent fasting that promotes a gradual and steady body fat loss. It is easy to sustain as well.
- 20 hours fast- The individual eats only one meal in a whole day usually in the evening. The eating window is confined to just 4 hours. For example, your first meal maybe by 1pm and last meal by 5pm.
5. SHOULD YOU CONTINUE WITH YOUR DRUGS DURING FASTING?
While fasting, certain drugs like aspirin, diabetic drugs, and anti-hypertensive drugs should either be stopped or taken under the counsel of your doctor. If you must take these drugs, you can take them with some leafy green vegetables.
6. WILL I GET TIRED WITH FASTING?
Intermittent fasting does not cause tiredness because of the associated release of adrenaline hormone which keeps you sharp and alert.
7. HOW TO BREAK YOUR FAST?
Break your fast gently especially after a prolonged fast. AVOID EATING EGGS WHILE BREAKING YOUR FAST.
Eat small portion sizes of foods like vegetable soups with slices of meat, walnuts and small salad. Watch how your body reacts.
8. WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF FOOD PRODUCTS TO AVOID DURING YOUR FASTING WINDOW?
- Sugary beverages eg Soda.
- Refined products like snacks, white bread etc.
9. HOW INTERMITTENT FASTING CAUSES FAT LOSS?
Intermittent fasting triggers fat burning by reducing insulin spikes and stimulating the body to burn body fat. This process provides alternative fuel required to drive basal cellular metabolism in the body. Also, insulin spike is reduced because there is no food to trigger its secretion.
If this cycle continues, the body will continuously burn fat without replacement of the fat stores due to decreased insulin level. This is a gradual process because it is a metabolic shift so drastic improvements may not be seen until 2-3 weeks of adopting this process.Thus, the longer the fasting interval, the higher the degree of fat burning leading to sustained fat loss.
10. WHY YOU SHOULD AVOID THE OLD ADVISE OF EATING SMALL MEALS?
The more you eat, the more insulin is secreted to the blood. Eating unhealthy snacks frequently even in small sizes keeps the insulin level constantly high and prevent any fat burning process.
11. HOW TO ACCELERATE FAT LOSS WITH INTERMITTENT FASTING
- Eat only whole grain and plant based foods during your eating window.
- Combine intermittent fasting and keto diet.
- Practise extended fast like the 20hour fast 2-3 times per week as tolerated.
- Stop eating snacks or other processed foods.
12.WHY AM I NOT LOSING WEIGHT ON INTERMITTENT FASTING?
There are many reasons. Fat loss with intermittent fasting is a gradual process. To speed fat loss, you need to maximize your fasting period by shrinking your eating window gradually till you are left with one meal a day daily diet plan.
This can be very daunting and I recommend you watch how your body reacts. You can also combine intermittent fasting with keto diet to help with weight loss.
13. IS INTERMITTENT FASTING HEALTHY?
Intermittent fasting is healthy as long as you stick to a defined fasting regimen and you begin slowly. Also, do not attempt to fast if you have medical conditions that prevent you from fasting.
14. WHO SHOULD NOT FAST?
People who should not engage in any form of fasting are pregnant women, malnourished people, breastfeeding mothers, diabetics and individuals with gout.
15. IS INTERMITTENT FASTING EFFECTIVE AGAINST WEIGHT LOSS?
Intermittent fasting triggers fat burning hormones and reduces insulin which is the major fat storing hormone. It causes gradual loss of fat weight and has been scientifically proven to be effective for weight loss.
16. WHAT THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF FASTING?
Apart from weight loss, intermittent fasting helps to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, increase mental concentration, improves physical energy and decreases inflammation.
17. HOW FREQUENTLY DOES ONE NEED TO PRACTICE INTERMITTENT FASTING FOR IT TO BE EFFECTIVE?
You should aim to practice intermittent fasting as your schedule and lifestyle can tolerate. Even though, daily fasting is recommended.
18. WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING?
During the initial phase of fasting, you will experience mild headaches, dizziness, constipation, heartburn and muscle cramps. These side effects are often tolerable and transient but if you notice severe symptoms, see your doctor for professional counsel.
19. CAN YOU EXERCISE WHILE FASTING?
Yes you can. The low insulin and high adrenaline levels during fasting ensures steady supply of fuel energy for the cells and muscles.
20. IS INTERMITTENT FASTING EFFECTIVE AGAINST TYPE 2 DIABETES?
Intermittent fasting promotes fat loss which improves insulin sensitivity of tissues to insulin. Type 2 diabetics usually notice improved blood sugar levels because of reduced fat stores.
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