Many people who want to lose weight resort to fasting. Fasting refers to abstaining from consuming food for days. Some people do this as an act of penance or as part of religious practice.
Today, most people, especially women, fast in order to lose weight. Regardless of the purpose, fasting for a day or two may not cause serious harm to healthy individuals. However, if you are suffering from a health problem, fasting may do more damage than good.
Since many women still believe that fasting can help them lose weight, others have found ways to abstain from eating without suffering from serious health issues. One of these modified ways of fasting is intermittent fasting.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not one of the diet programs recommended to people who want to lose weight. The focus is not on limiting calories in one’s diet but instead involves scheduling when to eat and when to fast.
However, some methods may not be safe. For instance, one method is fasting for two days a week and eating everything one wants. However, people who are new to abstinence might not be able to remain hungry for such length of time.
Here are the safe ways to do intermittent fasting:
Observe Short Fasting Periods
Fasting for 24 hours can be too much for those who are practicing it for the first time. Since one is free to choose the length of fasting, taking shorter intervals may be better because it will not result to health problems. Instead of 24 hours fasting, some people opt to fast for 16 hours and eat during the remaining 8 hours.
Eat Small Amounts During Days of Abstinence
A person may eat small amounts during fasting days. However, he must reduce the amount of calorie intake. This is considered as a safer way of fasting rather than avoiding food for longer periods, such as up to 72 hours.
The key to safe fasting is to drink lots of water to replenish the amount of fluids that should have come from the foods that you eat. Some people drink several liters a day. However, the safest way is to take note of what your body is telling you. This means that every time you become thirsty, it is a signal to drink water.
Focus Your Attention on Other Things
Thinking about food will surely tempt you to eat during fasting days. Why not take a short walk or meditate? These can make you forget about food and your hunger. The secret of successful intermittent fasting is to keep you occupied during those days.
Avoid Binging at the End of Your Fasting Period
Some people spend the period between fasting days binging. Eating too much to compensate for the meals that you missed is unhealthy. It will be worse if you feast on chocolates, cakes, pastries, and other foods that are loaded with calories.
Intermittent fasting may be safer than fasting for three days or more. However, one has to observe short fasting periods to stay healthy. Eating too much on non-fasting days can also affect one’s health. It is best to eat little amounts of healthy foods even on fasting days.