Fasting is considered the best method of detoxifying and cleansing the body. It helps in providing the digestive system with a much-needed break. And contrary to popular belief, in recent years, intermittent fasting has emerged as an effective and popular method for weight loss.
However, one struggle that usually comes with intermittent fasting is the urge of having food throughout the day and constantly feeling hungry. It can pose a big threat to your fasting routine if not controlled effectively.
But did you know, fasting with food can help you through that?
Fasting with food might seem preposterous when you hear of it first. But, hear us out. The act of fasting with food is all about balancing the desire to eat so that it does not affect your fasting routine.
Keep on reading the article till the end as we share how intermittent fasting works and some effective ways in which you can curb your hunger during your fasting period.
1. Different Methods of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has a lot of methods all of which have been proven to be effective to lose weight. You should follow the one which suits you the best.
1.1. 16:8 Method
This is the most followed method for intermittent fasting as people believe that it’s the easiest to stick to for weight loss.
The 16:8 method involves skipping breakfast and eating in an 8-hour window. For the rest of the 16 hours of the day, you are not supposed to eat anything.
For example, you can eat between 11:00 am- 7:00 pm and for the rest 16 hours of the day, skip consuming any meals.
1.2. Eat Stop Eat
This method involves not eating anything for the entire 24 hours of a day. For example, you can finish dinner today and not eat anything until tomorrow’s dinner.
By following this method, fasting with food will become difficult to follow since you will not be consuming food for an entire day.
Eat Stop Eat should only be followed once or twice a week. For the rest days of the week, one should eat normal meals.
1.3. 5:2 Method
The 5:2 method allows you to consume 500-600 calories a day. But, you should follow it only on two inconsequential days of a week or follow alternate-day fasting.
This method is where you will probably use fasting with food the most. You will have to limit your portions and count your calories in the 5:2 method.
Note: One should always keep in mind that these methods will only be effective if a good balance is maintained between the hours one eats and the amount of food one consumes during the eating window.
2. How to Control Eating While Fasting with Food?
Fasting with food is not as complex as the name might give off. People who have experience of following a diet, know how hard it can be to stick to one. But, since intermittent fasting prevents you from eating normally, having the urge to eat is normal.
Here are a few ways you can use to curb your hunger while fasting.2
2.1. Drink Coffee and Herbal Teas
When we say you can drink coffee on your fast days, we mean without cream, milk, or sugar. Black coffee will help you to curb your hunger and also boost your metabolism simultaneously. If you can’t drink it without unsweetened, it is okay to use an artificial sweetener like Sugar-Free or Stevia.
Herbal teas like green tea will serve the same purpose but it is important to remember that fruit-flavoured tea can break your fast.
Certain drinks like zero-calorie beverages might also help you feel full.
2.2. Start Small
When you are just starting, don’t expect your body to suddenly adapt to this new eating routine. Initially, long fasting periods and short eating periods aren’t easy to sustain.
Since you will skip breakfast and a lot of other important meals on your fasting days, you should consider having supplements to fulfill your nutrition requirements. You should take adequate measures not to compromise your health.
Also, don’t perform high-intensity exercise on your fasting days.
2.3. Eat Smart
This is where the benefits of fasting with food majorly come into play. Fasting with food might sound like a very complex routine to follow in itself, but once you make practice, it will be a breeze to follow.
During your eating window, fill yourself up with whole grains and high-fibre foods like nuts, fruits, vegetables, and meat so that you can prevent yourself from feeling hungry throughout the day.
You should also not stop consuming healthy fats and protein-rich food. With body fat and weight, fasting also makes one lose muscle, therefore, eating food that contains protein becomes essential.
2.4. Distract Yourself
Distracting yourself with simple activities like meditation and low-intensity exercising might be the easiest way to keep your mind off of the fact that you are ‘fasting’.
It is important to remember that your exercise should not demand a lot of energy. Otherwise, it might get difficult for you to get through your fasting period.
3. The Flip Side of Intermittent Fasting
There’s no doubt about fasting brings a ton of health benefits. Research has proven that it helps in maintaining safe levels of blood pressure and blood sugar and also prevents chronic diseases like diabetes and upkeeps good heart health.
Adopting methods like alternate-day fasting and fasting with food can be extremely beneficial if you can sustain long periods of fasting. Alternate-day fasting combined with mild exercise can really help you achieve your body goals.
But, it is important to acknowledge that intermittent fasting might be suitable for everyone.
Who shouldn’t follow intermittent fasting?
Fasting with food or without food is not appropriate to follow for everyone.
Adolescents, older adults, women who are trying to conceive or are pregnant or breastfeeding, women with a history of amenorrhea, people with type 2 diabetes, and heart conditions, and those who are taking prescription medications should not follow fasting or any type of restrictive diet without consulting a doctor who can legitimately provide medical advice.
People with a history of eating disorders should not follow a diet or fast without medical consultation.
For example, adolescents struggling with obesity might consider fasting or going on a diet, but it would do more harm to their bodies than good. Pregnant women might jeopardize their nutrition and health if they go on a diet or fast unless they are advised by a doctor or any healthcare professional.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does intermittent fasting aid weight loss?
It has been well established that weight loss is the most common reason why people adopt intermittent fasting in their lifestyles. It is effective because it automatically reduces the calorie intake as one consumes fewer meals and therefore helps in burning the fat faster and easier.
2. What foods to avoid while fasting?
You should avoid high-calorie foods as they don’t satiate your hunger, instead, they might even make you hungrier.
One should not expect fasting to work overnight. It is a process that might take weeks or even months to work and show the desired results.
Fasting with food helps in providing your daily nutritional uptake. Not having meals can lead to bad health, undoing the benefits of fasting. It is not uncommon to notice people starving and degrading their health to burn calories. Fasting with food, therefore, helps in striking a balance.
Hopefully, this article was able to shed some light on fasting with food. We would also like to recommend consulting with professional medical advice before you include a fasting regime in your daily routine.