Intermittent fasting is unlike any other fad diet trend.
It is more of a lifestyle habit, which has been around for many years and has been a crucial part of many religions. And in recent years, interest in the meal timing approach to eating has been renewed.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern which alternates between periods of fasting with no food or very restricted caloric intake, and periods of unrestricted eating.
It has come into popularity as a way to help people lose weight, without restricting what they eat - just when they eat.
So if you are considering intermittent fasting, here are some things to consider.
There are several different ways you can get involved in intermittent fasting.
Popular eating schedules are to eat for eight hours a day, and then to fast for 16.
Another way is to eat only four hours a day and then fast for the remaining 20 hours.
An additional approach is to fast for an entire 24 period and to then eat regularly on the next day - ultimately fasting every other day.
Staying hydrated is key
The key to avoiding dehydration while fasting is to consume plenty of liquids that are not filtered and have no added sugar.
You can drink water, hot and cold tea (with no sugar, but maybe a bit of lemon), or if you decide that your water needs some flavour, then you can add a lemon or lime to it.
It has some side effects
Just like any other eating trend, intermittent fasting also has side effects and is not recommended for everyone.
Change in the eating pattern and fasting for long hours may be harmful to expecting mothers and those suffering from diabetes and eating disorders.
For pregnant women and diabetic patients, it is important to eat food at regular intervals.
Not eating anything for 16 hours may be harmful to your health. In such a case, always consult your dietitian before trying anything new.
It can disrupt your social life
Meeting up with friends after work or cooking up delicious breakfasts and dinners on the weekend may not be easy to sustain if you are trying intermittent fasting.
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, if you are meeting people during a fasting period, you may not want to be around others who are eating and drinking.
Secondly, you may have less energy initially, which could mean that you do not go out as often as you would.
While maintaining a social life may be a little difficult while fasting, it is not impossible.
Intermittent fasting, like any other health trend, has its own pros and cons. But, if done right, it could definitely help you shed a few kilograms and lead a healthier lifestyle.
Eating healthy is still important
Intermittent fasting is not an excuse to load up on junk food, especially if you are fasting for health reasons.
You don’t have to rid your house of potato chips, chocolate, or soda, but you don’t want to polish off a bag of chips in one sitting either. This is where mindfulness becomes important.