What is the diet for intermittent fasting? Is it like any other diet?
The day I got to know about intermittent fasting, this was a tricky question standing right in front of me.
Like Keto, Paleo or the Whole30 diet? To my surprise, it’s nowhere close to any of these. It’s not even a diet.
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating. It has more to do with “When” to eat, rather than “What” to eat.
While it has many forms, the most famous one is the 16/8 method. This method asks you to fast for 16 hours and then feed in the remaining 8 hours of the day. In simple words, don’t get to eat anything for 16 hours.
This might sound ridiculous to you. Does it? Don’t worry; I have been there.
Yet, it’s not as demanding as it might sound. What the diet is asking you is to miss either your breakfast or dinner. Don’t you already miss your breakfasts, most days?
What is the Logic Behind Intermittent Fasting?
It’s simple. Your body is a doctor of its own. You give it time, and it’ll treat you out of almost anything troubling.
When you don’t distract your body again and again with food to digest, it starts producing the growth hormone.
Growth hormone speeds up an injury and repairs muscle tissue. It helps regulate body fluids and burns excess fat in the body.
Fat burning further promotes better heart health and helps balance hormones. It also encourages Autophagy.
Autophagy is a detox process that the body undergoes to remove damaged cells from the body. Thus, helping improve immunity, skin health, brain health, and more.
However, the production of growth hormone doesn’t take place when Insulin is present in the body. But how does Insulin get into the picture? It’s produced every time you eat something. That is because its job is to help the body digest your food, find the energy and save it for later in the form of fat.
Insulin is the very reason why you turn fat and might even get diseases like Diabetes and PCOS.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting-
To recap, intermittent fasting helps us in the following.
- Fighting Diabetes
- Repair of muscle tissue
- Improved immunity
- Wholesome heart health
- Better skin and hair health, &
- Removal of extra fat.
Diet for Intermittent Fasting – The 16-hour fasting period
So, what should you eat during the 16-hour fast?
Eating anything during the fast will lead to an unwanted generation of Insulin. This, further, will bring you some dreadful, if not deadly diseases.
But, you can drink something during the 16-hour fast.
You can include plain water, coconut water, infused water or green tea without honey in your diet for intermittent fasting. Caffeine freaks can have black tea or black coffee without any milk, sugar and honey.
Diet for Intermittent Fasting – The 8-hour feeding period
Technically, there are only time constraints and no constraints in the diet for intermittent fasting. That’s not me saying, it’s what the experts say.
That’s why this method of getting healthier is delightfully opted by many foodies in the world, including me.
And let’s be honest. You can only eat so much in these 8 hours. Especially when it becomes a habit. Because then, you will find that your cravings will surprisingly reduce.
Still, since most people opt for intermittent fasting to lose weight, it is better to optimise it.
To do so, you need to add more fibre to your diet. Particularly in your first meal. Otherwise, your sugar levels may spike up. Thus, you might end up with a messed up system if you eat a carb-rich meal.
Also, stay clear of sugary foods, processed foods, or anything you find in packets because these are dense with chemicals which your body defines as toxins.
Try to eat more plant-based foods. Include more nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies for a balanced diet.
That’s it for the diet part.
If you want to skyrocket your health success, opt for light exercises regularly as well.
For the most part, with Intermittent fasting, you have way more suitable to expect than any harm.
The only scenario where you should be thinking twice before opting for it is if you have diabetes or suffer from any chronic illness. In that case, consult your doctors before.
Otherwise, go ahead, share this with your friends and skip your breakfast with pride!
Lakshmi Jaisimha is a freelance health and wellness writer and blogger at lakshmijaisimha. Having won over lifestyle diseases and lost more than 60 pounds herself without any fad diets, medicines, and extensive exercises, she aims to help people achieve their health the same way. A stress-free and passionate life is what she practices and preaches. You can find her on LinkedIn for a lovely little chat.