“Walao Ramadan already over still want to fast ah? Die la like this”
My friends, this is not your regular fasting method where you don’t eat or drink from dawn till dusk. This is something else.
This is INTERMITTENT FASTING or IF.
Well that REALLY explains everything doesn’t it?
Okay okay, drama and jokes aside, I will explain what IF is, the benefits, the formats, things to look out for when fasting. The whole shebang. Sit back, relax and read on. But first and foremost, a public service announcement.
CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING ANY DIET OR CHANGING YOUR LIFESTYLE IF YOU HAVE A CONDITION OR DISEASE
Intermittent fasting is technically not a diet, but instead a dieting pattern of a lifestyle. Which means if you’re disciplined enough and your body is able to function normally and optimally while intermittently fasting, you can practice it regularly. However, I advised you to fast a few days a week only, especially if you’re a beginner. This will introduce your body to a new eating pattern and ease into it without serious complications. IF is a cycle of a period of fasting and non-fasting designated between hours of the day. Basically, you have hours of eating and then hours of thinking on what to eat.
What can I eat and drink?
Well, during fasting hours, you’re allowed to drink water, tea and coffee but you cannot add any sweetener, creamer or milk. Anything that contains calories should not be consumed, period! The basic principal of intermittent fasting is that if you consume excess calories that will not be used, the body will store it as excess fat. And inversely, if you don’t have enough calories, the body will use the excess fat storage for energy. In easy terms, during fasting hours, excess fat in your body is being burned (in a way) to make energy.
When it’s time to feast, you should not reduce too much calories because you might miss out of key nutrients needed by the body to thrive. Instead, eat more wholesome and nutritious food such as whole grains, dairy and eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables. This will make sure you’ll have all the vital nutrients of your body even when you’re fasting.
A HUGE disclaimer; we do not highly encourage people to practice IF because it may not work for you as different people are built differently. Biologically, mentally and all of that right? IF can also cause hormone imbalances in women if not done correctly because we are more sensitive to starvation signals. Which is why we definitely recommend thorough reading on this matter and consult your doctor or a physician if you’re unsure of things.
Let’s continue! There are few formats of IF to know:
12/12 is 12 hours of fasting and another 12 hours window of eating. This is suitable for beginners as most of the time during fasting is spent on sleeping. 8 hours of sleep and add a few hours before that, and that already makes up 12 hours of fasting.
16/8 is what most people on intermittent fast practice. They fast for 16 hours and eat any time during the 8 hours feeding period. This is done easily because some people already are not eating 3 square meals per day. It also lessens the stress of choosing and preparing what to eat. Hugh Jackman and Terry Lewis is known to practice this format.
20+ is the extreme because you’ll fast more than 20 hours or even a whole day. It is generally done once a week for the ones with the will of iron.
So, what are the benefits?
Oh boy am I excited to tell you! IF can promote stronger insulin sensitivity which means you have better blood sugar control. Not only that, IF can reduce blood lipids ultimately leading to losing body fat. OMG YEAY!! Besides that, you’ll have improved inflammatory markers, reducing risks of certain diseases caused by inflammation. IF increases production of hormones in-charge of energy balance which are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin causes hunger while leptin helps to stretch out the energy we get from food. If you want to know more about the benefits of IF that are based on scientific studies, head over to Health Line.
Impressive? I think so too. If dieting, fasting, all this shizzle is not your thing, there is nothing wrong with a little bit of reading to expand your knowledge on various lifestyles that people practice to be the best version of themselves. As a bring-home token, here’s an infographic to sum up INTERMITTENT FASTING.