Such effects are associated with longevity and a reduced risk of various diseases. This means that people who regularly arrange fasting days for themselves can not only lose weight, but also live a healthier and longer life.
Although a short fast is considered safe, the following groups of people are better off not having fasting days without first consulting a doctor:
- People with diseases such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
- Women who are trying to get pregnant.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Underweight people.
- Those who have experienced an eating disorder.
- People who have problems regulating blood sugar.
- People with low blood pressure.
- Those taking prescription drugs.
- Women with a history of amenorrhea.
- Aged people.
This fasting method has a number of potential health benefits, including a short-term increase in human growth hormone levels and changes in gene expression.
However, if you do not follow certain rules, the benefits can develop into harm. Here are 10 tips to make your fasting days safe.
Fasting periods should be short
Popular schemes include:
- Scheme 5: 2. Limit calorie intake for two days a week (500 calories per day for women and 600 for men).
- Scheme 6: 1. This scheme is similar to the 5: 2 scheme, but instead of two days there is only one day of reduced calorie intake.
- “Eat Stop Eat” : 24-hour fasting 1-2 times a week.
- Scheme 16: 8. This scheme involves eating food during an eight-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. And so seven days a week.
Most of these schemes offer short fasting periods – from 8 to 24 hours. However, some people prefer not to eat longer – from 48 to 72 hours. However, it should be noted that longer periods of abstinence from food increase the risk of a number of problems, including dehydration, irritability, mood changes, fainting, lack of energy and inability to concentrate.
The best way to avoid these side effects is to stick to shorter periods of fasting (up to 24 hours), especially if you are a beginner.
Eat a small amount of food on fasting days.
Despite the fact that you can completely refuse food on fasting days, some nutritional schemes, such as 5: 2, allow you to consume up to 25% of the daily calorie intake per day. This option is considered safer than complete fasting.
Mild dehydration can lead to fatigue, dry mouth, thirst, and headaches, so drinking plenty of fluids is important.
Since you get about 20-30% of the liquid your body needs from food, the risk of dehydration on fast days increases dramatically. Drink 8.5-13 cups (2-3 liters) of water throughout the day.
Take a walk or meditate
Refusing food can be difficult, especially if you’re bored and hungry. One way to avoid a breakdown is to keep yourself busy. Activities that can distract you from hunger but don’t consume too much energy include walking and meditation.
Nevertheless, any activity that calms and does not require much effort will help to survive on a fasting day. You can take a bath, read a book, or listen to an interesting lecture.
Do not have a feast of the abdomen after fasting days
Eating everything you dreamed about during fasting can be a very tempting idea. But this is not worth doing, because you will only feel the heaviness and fatigue.
In addition, if you want to lose weight, a feast can damage your long-term goals, slowing down or stopping weight loss. Since the general calorie intake affects your weight, eating too much food after fasting will reduce your calorie deficit.
The best way to get out of a fasting day is to return to your normal diet.
Stop starving if you feel bad
On fasting days, you may feel a little tired, hungry and irritable, but you should never feel bad. If you are new to this business, do not starve for more than 24 hours and always keep snacks on hand in case you begin to feel very weak.
Some signs that you should stop fasting and seek medical attention include fatigue or weakness that interferes with your daily tasks, as well as a sharp feeling of nausea and discomfort.
Eat enough protein
Many people arrange fasting days to lose weight. However, a lack of calories can lead to loss of muscle mass, not fat.
One way to minimize muscle loss during fasting is to provide enough protein on the days you eat.
If you regularly do fasting days, you may not receive the necessary nutrients.
People who follow different diets are more likely to be deficient in a number of essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, and vitamin B12. Thus, those who regularly starve should take multivitamins for peace of mind and prevent unpleasant consequences. However, it is always better to get nutrients from whole foods.
Do light exercise
Some people may maintain their workout routine even on fasting days. However, if you are a beginner, it is best to choose exercises with low intensity, gradually increasing the load.
Light exercise includes walking, yoga, stretching, and homework. Most importantly, listen to your body and rest if you feel a breakdown.