In the before times (pre-Covid) one of the people in my French class was fasting.
It was the first I’d heard of fasting as a weight-loss method and I was intrigued.
Then she told me that she ate nothing for 2 days and everything for 1 day.
I lost interest….. Not that I was looking to lose weight but I’m always interested in learning about reasonable ways to lose weight.
Her method was not reasonable (in my opinion).
As someone who, for all the years I worked, skipped breakfast (thus fasting for 15 or 16 hours every day), the reasonable fasting regimens make sense. Plus I’ve being seeing actual studies on the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Read on for some tips:
Fasting is becoming increasingly popular amongst people looking to lose weight and develop healthier eating habits.
Different types of intermittent fasting offer a range of health benefits, including controlled blood sugar levels, blood pressure, enhanced heart health, and brain function.
These benefits lower the risk of disease. Therefore, fasting regularly is one of the healthiest ways of losing weight steadily. But, unfortunately, some people starve themselves for too long.
For example, some people follow a fasting window of 48 hours while others opt for 72 hours. This could cause many health problems such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, fatigue, headaches, hypertension, and hypovolemia.
So fasting improperly does more harm than good for your body. This is why we have provided you with some of the most practical tips to fast safely.
Best Tips for Fasting Safely
Whether you’re going to fast for religious reasons or just want to follow intermittent fasting to reduce your body fat, here are some practical tips to ensure safe fasting.
- Don’t Skip Your Morning Meals
Many people skip their morning meals when they’re fasting. However, you mustn’t skip meals before you start your fast. Also, your food choices for your morning meal affect you throughout the day.
For example, eating lean protein for your morning meal provides you with more energy throughout the day and gives you the feeling of fullness. It also reduces appetite.
However, if you choose carbohydrates before starting your fast, they will not provide you with long-term energy. This is why you should eat protein and healthy fats before fasting.
- Stay Hydrated
Did you know that your body gets around 20% to 30% of the fluid from food? This is why you are likely to get dehydrated when you’re fasting.
Mild dehydration causes thirst, headaches, dry mouth, and fatigue. Thus, you should increase your fluid intake and drink about two liters of water every day to keep yourself hydrated.
- Follow Short Fasting Periods
There are different fasting windows for intermittent fasting. Here are some popular fasting regimens.
- 5:2 pattern: You have to restrict the calories intake for two days every week. You have to consume about 500 calories only.
- 6:1 pattern where you consume reduced calories for one day per week.
- Eat-stop-eat method: you have to fast for 24 hours two times a week.
- 16:8 pattern which involves consuming food in an eight-hour window. You have to fast for 16 hours every day.
Most of these fasting regimens will put you into starvation modes. This is why we suggest that you choose the eight-hour eating window.
It will help you consume nutrient-dense food throughout the day, and you can fast throughout the night. Have your breakfast a little late in the afternoon.
Such a fasting window will help you avoid more extended fasting periods that increase health risks such as dehydration, fainting, lack of energy, etc.
The DoFasting app is worth trying because it will not only guide you towards your goal weight, but also help keep you on track.
- Avoid Breaking Fasts With a Feast
After a period of fasting, many people opt for huge meals. However, consuming rich food and huge meals right after fasting will keep you bloated.
In addition to this, feasting right after a fast will ruin your long-term weight loss goal because you’d be tempted to consume more rich foods.
Moreover, feasting will add more calories to your everyday calorie intake, which will have a negative impact on your weight loss goal.
The best way to break your fast is by eating a small meal and then getting back into your regular eating routine by taking nutrient-dense foods throughout the eating window.
- Be Conscious of Food Portions
Remember to keep your portion size in control because it is common for people to consume a lot of food right after fasting.
After 16 hours of fasting, you may be tempted to eat everything there is, resulting in overeating. We suggest that you make small portions of food.
Remember to include protein, whole grains, and lean meat. You should also consume salads with vegetables and chicken.
- Eat Enough Protein
Many people follow intermittent fasting to lose weight. If you’re also looking to fast to reduce your body fat percentage, it’s vital to consume sufficient protein in every meal.
Consuming protein will ensure that you don’t lose muscle mass. Moreover, a diet rich in protein will keep you feeling full for longer, and it will reduce your appetite.
Fasting done right will not only help you shed body fat but also boost your health.
So if you’re fasting for dietary purposes, make sure that you follow these six practical tips to fast safely without causing your body to go into a starvation mode that may pose health risks.