The method behind intermittent fasting diet plans consists of voluntary abstinence.
The ingestion of solid foods, drinks, or both are avoided for a stipulated period of time that usually varies.
Timeframes can range between 16 and 32 hours, several times a week, on a scheduled basis; returning to a regular diet, preferably based on foods low in sugars and fats.
Keep in mind, though, this lifestyle is only recommended for healthy people. Nevertheless, the consent and support of a specialist should always be sought.
Benefits of intermittent fasting and types
There are different ways to achieve this form of deprivation, although there is a period of food restriction and a period when you can eat.
- Intermittent fasting 16/8: fasting is performed every day, including the sleep period, for 16 hours, and there is a “window to eat” where you can consume 2, 3, or more meals. For example, having dinner at 9 pm and eating again at 1 pm the next day
- 24h fast: is done for a whole day, 2 or 3 times a week
- Fasting for 36 hours: consists of spending a whole day and a half without eating. This one should be performed by more experienced people and under medical guidance
- Eating 5 days and restricting 2 days: means eating for 5 days a week normally, and in 2 days reduce the number of calories to around 500
During the fasting period, water, tea, and coffee are allowed, with no added sugar or sweeteners. It’s common in the first days to feel very hungry.
However, if hunger is extreme, you should eat a portion of light food; no one should suffer or have a bad time adopting this habit.
The main benefits of intermittent fasting diet plans are:
- Accelerating metabolism: contrary to the belief that fasting can decrease metabolism, it is only true when fasting lasts more than 48 hours. But in controlled fasts, the metabolism accelerates and burns accumulated fat, favoring weight loss
- Regulate hormones: helps balance hormones that are associated with weight loss or weight gain
- It does not favor flaccidity: this diet does not decrease muscle mass, like other diets that produce a great decrease in calories. It actually helps to increase muscle due to the production of growth hormone
- Eliminate defective cells from the body: as the body becomes more active in eliminating altered substances and cells, which can cause diseases, such as cancer, for example
- Anti-aging action: because it stimulates the body to live longer, prevents diseases, and maintain the organs and tissues in a healthier state
Some people report that by performing this diet, they can feel their brain more alert and active. Also presenting a feeling of well-being due to hormonal regulation.
This type of diet, despite its benefits, is not for everyone. So it’s important to seek advice from a professional to verify if you can really adapt to this lifestyle and suit your needs.
What to eat after fasting?
After a fasting period, it is recommended to eat easily digestible foods without excess fat or sugars to achieve better results.
1. Recommended foods
When done fasting, it’s important to eat rice, cooked potatoes, soup, puree in general, cooked eggs, meats without roasted or cooked fat, which are easily digestible.
In addition to this, the longer the fasting, the less food you should eat—especially the first meal, to ensure good digestive capacity and well-being.
2. Foods that are NOT advised
Avoid fried or prepared foods high in fat, such as French fries, thighs, white sauce, ice cream, filled biscuits, fast food, or frozen foods.
To achieve weight loss with intermittent fasting, it is important to practice physical activity. Never on an empty stomach and preferably guided by a physical training professional.
Who should NOT perform intermittent fasting
- People with a history of anorexia or bulimia
- Carriers of diabetes
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Regardless of your health, you should always consult with a specialist to evaluate your conditions before starting this or any other diet.