Of all the diet and lifestyle trends that have made waves over the last few years, from the keto diet to the carnivore diet to veganism, the one that has remained the most controversial is fasting. Fasting is something that many people will tell you is dangerous. But we only have to look at Muslims going through Ramadan or even those experiencing the famine in the 1920s to note that fasting has its benefits. In fact, during the great depression of the 1920s, life expectancy went up! And fasting is something that many people now do as a way to lose weight. And there are a few ways to do it. It’s about finding out which one works best for you. Here are some popular methods.
A Juicing Fast
A juice fast or cleanse involves consuming vegetables and fruit juice for a short period of time. There are many different ways of doing this and there is an abundance of juice fast tips online. While there are significant positives to doing this you may not feel so great during the fast. It’s a good idea to stick to light physical activity and focus on your mind and body wellness to minimize stress.
The 16/8 Fasting Method
Also known as the lean gains protocol, it is one of the best ways to incorporate fasting into anybody’s lifestyle. The approach involves fasting every day for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour time window. While this may seem like a long period of time when you consider that you have your last meal by 8 p.m., all you need to do is skip breakfast the next day and have your first meal at noon. Many people already skip breakfast and if this is you, but you have coffee with milk, there are things you can do just to make sure that you are in a fasted state. Anything under 50 calories consumed will keep you in a fasted state. So if you like having milk in your coffee in the morning just as long as the total calories in the cup of coffee doesn’t exceed 50, you will be in a fasted state. When you are in the 8-hour feeding window you can eat as much as you want. But the important thing to remember when you are in a feeding window is that you don’t gorge on everything because you are hungry. After a while, you get used to fasting and there will be times when you won’t want to eat. It’s crucial that you listen to your body. And sometimes if you are feeling hungry you might actually be thirsty. Always try a big glass of water when you are feeling hungry and wait 20 minutes to see how you feel. If this doesn’t work, sparkling water can also help.
The 5:2 Diet
A very popular approach to calorie restriction. The 5:2 diet means eating normally for 5 days of the week but on two days you restrict your calorie intake to 500 calories or 600 calories for women or men respectively. The challenge with this one is sticking to such a low-calorie count. Because the approach to the 5:2 diet is about mixing up the days where you consume such few calories it can mean that on those days you may be feeling particularly hangry. But you can offset this by consuming very small meals or staving off hunger with coffee, tea, or sparkling water until it’s time to consume your meal.
Spontaneous Meal Skipping
This might be the key for many people wanting to start a fasting protocol. When we think back to ourselves in the early days of humans as hunter-gatherers, we didn’t eat three square meals a day. Getting out of this pattern can be difficult, especially when we start fasting. But what we can do is listen to our bodies, and when we are not hungry, simply not eat. People believe that they will hit starvation mode or lose muscle if they don’t eat every few hours, but our body is more than equipped to deal with long periods of famine. So if you are not hungry one day, why should you force yourself to eat? You may find that restricting your calories to a certain amount will give you more energy. In fact, there’s a lot of research showing that calorie restriction is incredibly beneficial, including the Nobel Prize awarded to a scientist that discovered autophagy, a process where the cells repair themselves during fasting. And while it is so important to consume food, especially the right foods, we’ve got to make sure that we strike the right balance. This is the best approach for those that want to try fasting.