Dieting is rarely easy. One needs discipline and commitment in order to reap its
benefits. However, there’s one diet that has actually survived centuries of practice,
that is now all the rage—with celebrity testimonies (think: Hugh Jackman—the
Wolverine himself) heaping praise on it.
What is this new diet? Well, it’s none other than “Intermittent Fasting.” Or the discipline
or practice of crushing all food intake into an 8-hour window, or the equivalent of a third
of the time wherein people can eat and partake of food for the whole day. Intermittent Fasting is of course a practice that most likely got its start with the penchant of some religious groups to fast. Buddhists monks for instance have long practiced fasting as a means of self-sacrifice and for personal spiritual discernment. The same could be said for Muslims who have institutionalized this when celebrating the run-up to their most famous religious celebration, the Ramadan.
Personal and spiritual discernment aside, however, intermittent fasting eventually led to the realization that in a fasted state, one burns fat instead of calories. Be forewarned
though, that fasting may actually lead to some not so pleasant side effects like fatigue,
lightheaded and not surprisingly, low blood sugar. This makes intermittent fasting
not so easy to adhere to as people have known to go bat-crazy during fasting.
This is surmountable, however. With some planning and a few helpful tips, intermittent
fasting may be practiced with minimal side-effects. Here are some tips:
Start with 12 not 8 hours
One mistake people who want may want to practice
intermittent fasting is that they start with a bang but end with a whisper. What this
means is that some people immediately crush their food intake in the not so ideal 12 to
16 hours, thinking that they would immediately reap benefits. What they will get most
likely, are the immediate side effects that come from intermittent fasting. Let’s face it,
people’s bodies react differently to extreme and let’s say uncomfortable practices. The
best thing to do is to start with 12 hours, gradually reducing the window to 8 as one’s
body gets used to the diet.
Starting with a twelve hour window for eating and ingesting is advisable for intermittent, a time-frame longer than that may not provide a dieter with enough time and will power to get used to this dietary approach.
Eat normally at first
So you’ve started with intermittent fasting, should you reduce
your caloric intake and switch to healthier food immediately? This is a tricky situation,
but it is advisable that one doesn’t immediately make changes to the diet one is used to.
It’s true that practice makes perfect, as this will give you enough time to fine-tune your
body’s response to intermittent fasting. This will likewise give you an idea of timing your
food intake, overhauling your portion sizes and food preference, that will not leave you
feeling deprived and stressed.
Have protein-rich breakfast everyday
Breakfast has gotten a bum rap lately, with
most people totally ignoring the meal altogether. Despite this, the saying “breakfast is
the most important meal of the day” still holds true, albeit with a twist this time. As
things stand, breakfast may really be the most important meal of the day—especially for
those practicing intermittent fasting. This is not the typical carb rich breakfast we are
used to though. In order for breakfast to assist in intermittent fasting, it should be
protein rich. This is because a protein-rich breakfast has been linked to less hunger
throughout the day, thereby giving you a feeling of fullness that will enable you to avoid
snacking. Another benefit is that it helps stabilize blood sugar levels which actually
makes you also feel less hungry.
Protein makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
Eat carb-rich foods at night
Conversely, if one’s breakfast is protein-rich, better make
one’s dinner carb-rich. There are several reasons for doing so as carbs will leave blood
sugar levels steady before falling approximately around the time one is deeply asleep.
The second reason is that carbs increases the production of serotonin (what is
sometimes called the happiness or satisfaction hormone) that will enable one to feel
good after a meal, thus leaving you with a satiated feeling that will stop one having the
urge to eat more.
One caveat with regards to this tip is to not choose carbs that are considered white.
This is because white carbs raise blood sugar faster, but it also dips faster. This usually
leaves one if not cranky, crazy an obvious disadvantage is one is fasting intermittently.
Carbs help produce serotonin the happiness hormone which also imparts a feeling of satisfaction and satiation leaving you less likely to eat.
lots of it. One relatively easy way to allay hunger pangs is to drink a lot
of water—starting from the time one wakes up until just before one rests for the day.
More than just alleviating hunger pangs, drinking lots of water also “fools” the body into
thinking that it is not hungry; as the sensations of hunger and thirst are actually difficult
for the body to differentiate. In fact, most of the time, the body is just thirsty even if the
body thinks it’s hungry. Better yet, always remember to drink lots of water upon
Hydration is an ideal way by which to mitigate hunger pangs during the window when the intake of food is not prescribed
Don’t be afraid to undergo trial and error and refrain from changing the window
for food intake
This has something to do with keeping to and fine-tuning one’s habits.
Maintaining one’s window for food intake will enable the body to get used to the time it
has for ingesting nutrition. On the other hand fine-tuning one’s schedule will enable the
body to be attuned to the times by which it responds best to intermittent fasting, thereby
enabling it to become a workable dietary approach. Simply put, if your body thinks that
you feel less hunger for the rest of the day if you eat breakfast at 7 am instead of 8 pm,
then by all means do so.
Keep busy and exercise at night
If you are preoccupied with work (professionally
and at home), then chances are you will less likely notice that you are hungry and thus
be able to distract oneself into feeling hunger. As such, keep your schedule full and or
otherwise think hard about joining a gym for those times when you feel that snacking or
taking a meal is not an option. Better yet, schedule your workout at night. Exercise
raises the levels of peptide a hormone that suppresses appetite. Exercising at
night will thus leave you less hungry and tired that heading straight to bed—and thus
not eating will become an attractive option.
Exercising at night will leave you less hungry and tired helping you eat less
Keep your social media engagement minimal
Bad news for most but probably ideal for others is to keep some distance from social media (when fasting) or at least minimize one’s engagement in it. This is especially true for posts that feature food that can tempt one into snacking. It’s not exactly Pavlovian, but seeing food on your smartphone or the computer scene will no doubt fix the idea of food on one’s mind,
making it harder to commit to this dietary approach.
Looking at food in social media makes it harder to commit to a diet plan
Brush your teeth especially after dinner
It seems that the act of brushing one’s teeth holds a lot of health benefits. Aside from keeping our enamels clean, our gums healthy; and if it is to be believed our heart healthy; brushing may also help us lose weight—especially if one is faster. As an act, it deliberately puts a stop to eating and
may just as well serve as a reminder that you’ve done eating … at least for the day.
The act of brushing one’s teeth serves as a definite if not symbolic act, to the act eating
Surprised? Don’t be. Some weight management supplements
may be incorporated into intermittent fasting simply because of the benefits that they
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main ingredients help in Thermogenesis—the process that is helpful in converting fat
into energy. As such, even when one is not partaking food, taking a supplement like
Cosmo Body L-Carnitine + Green Tea may prove ideal, as one is less likely to feel
sluggish and even be more energetic during that time. Moreover Cosmo Body L-
Carnitine + Green Tea also enhances muscle build-up. Indeed, it is a well-known fact
that when one is trying to lose weight through dieting, one immediate result is the loss of
muscle—especially when one is not exercising. However, this is mitigated by L-
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Cosmo Body L-Carnitine + Green Tea include boosting metabolism, providing fuel for
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Cosmo Body L-Carnitine + Green Tea is an ideal supplement when intermittently fasting; as it promotes Thermogenesis, boosts metabolism, helps manage weight, fuels energy and contributes to muscle building.
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