intermittent fasting

Intermittent Fasting: Most Important Questions And Answers

Author: Anne Jonson

Diet & Nutrition Expert

Fasting for a few hours and then eating normally – is the principle of intermittent fasting really that simple? We took a closer look at the popular fasting method.

There is currently a lot of reports about intermittent fasting, also known as interval fasting. This type of diet is presented as very healthy and promising. Just how do you know if intermittent fasting is the right thing to do?

Basically it is suitable for everyone as our ancestors already used this type of diet. Therefore, intermittent fasting is in our genes, so to speak.

We have selected the most important things about this trend. We have summarized everything you should know about this form of nutrition and what you should pay attention to here.

  • Intermittent fasting, or interval fasting, is a special form of nutrition. This involves fasting at regular intervals for a certain period of time and then you can eat normally again.
  • There are different methods of intermittent fasting. We’ll go into the three most common forms. These are the 10 in 2 method, the 5: 2 method, and the 16: 8 method.
  • The special thing about this type of fasting is that intermittent fasting was already known to our ancestors. Intermittent fasting can therefore be very healthy for the entire body and metabolism and is already in our genes.

What is fasting?

The term fasting is understood as the voluntary renunciation of food and drinks. This happens over a period of time and there are several ways to fast. Often only certain foods such as carbohydrates are avoided or certain luxury foods are avoided.

Today fasting is often used for health promoting purposes like detoxifying or purifying. Of course, as many know, fasting is also used for weight loss. Other reasons for fasting can be religious or cultural.

What you need to know about intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a special form of fasting. In the following sections, we will explain the most important questions about intermittent fasting to you.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting, also called interval fasting, is a special type of fasting. With this form one fasts consciously over a certain period of time. This period depends on the type of intermittent fasting. There are many different ways of intermittent fasting. We’ll go into more detail on the three most common types 10 in 2, 16: 8, and 5: 2 later.

This type of fasting has a revolutionary idea. In the days of hunters and gatherers, it was commonplace to not get anything to eat for a long time. Most of the time they hunted and collected during the day and only ate together in the evening. This may make it easier for many to skip breakfast than to skip dinner, and that’s perfectly fine.

Basically, intermittent fasting is not a typical diet where you do this diet over a period of time and lose weight as a result. There is much more to this fast than there is. Intermittent fasting isn’t necessarily just for weight loss. On the contrary, this type of fast is also recommended for athletes and is ideally integrated into your life over the long term.

How does intermittent fasting work?

With intermittent fasting, your body has the opportunity to regenerate itself over several hours. Depending on which method you choose, the fasting period is different. It is important, however, that the fasting period is at least 16 hours in a row, or longer.

The aim of this fast is to keep insulin production as low as possible. Due to the long fasting period, your body gets rest and can regenerate well. The long fasting changes the lipid metabolism and also supports cell and vascular regeneration and renewal.

What are the different types of intermittent fasting?

There are several types of intermittent fasting. We take a closer look at the 3 most common types of intermittent fasting below. These 3 shapes are called the 10:2 model, 16:8 model, and 5:2 model.

10:2 Model

This method looks a bit strange at first glance. The 10 in 2 method describes a fast every other day. On one day you can eat what you want and on the other you fast, hence 0. On the day you fast, you can eat a maximum of 500 calories. It is best to eat these in the form of vegetables and protein. With vegetables you get important vitamins and with protein you can prevent unnecessary muscle breakdown. Because when the fat reserves are running out, the muscles are pulled and this can lead to a reduction in muscle mass, which is not the point of this diet.

16:8 Model

With the 16: 8 method you fast for 16 hours and 8 hours you can then eat normally. This diet can be integrated very well into everyday life, because you can freely choose your meal times as it best suits your daily routine. If you’re not a big breakfast baker, you can skip your breakfast and don’t have your first meal until 1:00 p.m. This means you can have dinner until 9:00 p.m. Of course it works the other way around and you start with a hearty breakfast and then forego your dinner. Just try to choose a suitable time period for yourself and keep this rhythm.

5:2 Model

The 5:2 method is another form of intermittent fasting. With this method, you fast 2 days a week and you can eat normally on the other days. However, make sure that on your normal days the meals are not oversized. You should consume a maximum of 500 calories on your fasting days. Also, try to find set days of the week that you are fasting. This makes it easier for your body to adjust to the fasting days.

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting has many advantages. First and foremost, intermittent fasting is healthy for our body. The long fasting period of 16 to 48 hours gives the body time to regenerate. The fat metabolism is boosted and the cells can regenerate and renew themselves more easily.

In addition, intermittent fasting increases brain performance. This was evident centuries ago. The hunters and gatherers had to look for food with full concentration.

If they hadn’t done this, they would have died of hunger because they didn’t get enough food. Studies show that feeling hungry improves cognitive and motor performance. In addition, studies have shown that intermittent fasting over a longer period of time can promote the learning process.

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting has many advantages. First and foremost, intermittent fasting is healthy for our body. The long fasting period of 16 to 48 hours gives the body time to regenerate. The fat metabolism is boosted and the cells can regenerate and renew themselves more easily.

In addition, intermittent fasting increases brain performance. This was evident centuries ago. The hunters and gatherers had to look for food with full concentration.

If they hadn’t done this, they would have died of hunger because they didn’t get enough food. Studies show that feeling hungry improves cognitive and motor performance. In addition, studies have shown that intermittent fasting over a longer period of time can promote the learning process.

Another benefit that intermittent fasting brings is that of the nervous system. Intermittent fasting makes the nerve cells more active and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other nervous diseases can be prevented.

Another study shows that intermittent fasting also shows its advantages in sports. The connection with weight loss through intermittent fasting and increased athletic performance plays a significant role. But an increase in performance through intermittent fasting was also found in athletes.

Who should do intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is basically suitable for almost everyone. Because intermittent fasting is not only good for losing weight, but is also sustainably health-promoting, the area of ​​application is very large.

If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, you can try intermittent fasting. This allows you to boost your fat metabolism, improve your motor skills and optimize your learning process.

Intermittent fasting is particularly suitable for you if you do not like to give up certain foods. With this fasting method, you fast for a certain period of time and as soon as this is over, you can eat whatever you want again.

Of course, common sense is required. If you only eat chips, candy and cola during the normal phase, the pounds will not fall off by themselves. So a reasonably healthy and balanced diet is still important for success on the scales.

Due to these positive effects, intermittent fasting is not only ideal for losing weight, but also for athletes and people with a conscious and healthy lifestyle. So, what are you waiting for? Get advice from a dietician and doctor to find the right intermittent fasting method and get started right away.

The question of whether you can intermittent fasting during pregnancy has often come up in our research. Basically, if you have been fasting intermittently for a longer period of time, you can continue to do so during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

However, it is not advisable to start intermittent fasting during pregnancy and breastfeeding. When you start fasting, toxins are released that can harm your baby.

Intermittent fasting is not necessarily recommended if you have specific pre-existing conditions such as eating disorders, migraines or a lack of menstruation. If in doubt, you should definitely consult with your doctor as to whether intermittent fasting, and in what form, is suitable for you.

What are the side effects of intermittent fasting?

The greatest risk with intermittent fasting is hypoglycemia. This can have devastating consequences for diabetics in particular and should always be monitored.

If you have a pre-existing illness or are taking medication, you should definitely consult your doctor. This is mainly for your own safety.

Other side effects that can occur from intermittent fasting are headache, dizziness, nausea and insomnia. Particularly at the beginning of intermittent fasting, you may feel hungry and growled margins.

Tips & tricks for intermittent fasting

In this section we will give you tips and tricks on how to best organize your intermittent fasting. We will also show you delicious and healthy recipes to make yourself.

What can I eat?

On the subject of what you are allowed to eat, we should distinguish between the fasting period and the time during which you are allowed to eat.

During normal meal times, you can eat whatever you feel like. Of course, it is advisable to have a balanced and healthy diet and not just eat fast food and sweets.

With a balanced and healthy diet, you should consume plenty of phytonutrients. It is best if you make your diet as varied as possible. Use all kinds of fruits and vegetables and healthy fats. You should also include enough fiber in your diet. You can take these in the form of pulses or cereals, for example.

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Depending on which method you choose, your fasting time will also depend on it.

If you choose the 16: 8 method, you should avoid any calories during the 16 hours of fasting.

However, if you choose the 10 in 1 or 5: 2 method, then you can eat small amounts of food on your fasting days. Ideally, you will consume a maximum of 500 calories. With a lean chicken and vegetables, you have a low-calorie meal for your fasting days.

Purely vegetarian or vegan food with vegetables is also recommended. You should avoid foods rich in carbohydrates as this will drive up insulin levels.

What can I drink?

Basically, you should drink plenty of water. This applies to both fasting days and normal days. Often a feeling of hunger is confused with a feeling of thirst and unnecessary calories are consumed as a result.

Next time you’re hungry, try just drinking a glass of water. You will see that you will be a little less hungry or not at all anymore.

During your fasting period, you should limit yourself to water and unsweetened tea. Coffee is also allowed for the convenience of many. However, only black and without sugar or milk, as these would raise the insulin level again.

Did you know that 100% fruit juice contains the same amount of sugar as a cola?

A French study compared cola and 100% fruit juice. It was investigated whether these drinks increase the risk of cancer. Both drinks had roughly the same risk of cancer. This is attributed to the same sugar content.

On your normal days, you should avoid sugary drinks and juices, if possible. Fruit juices should not be underestimated either, because they have a very high sugar content.

Listen to your body!

With intermittent fasting on a schedule, there are set times when you can and cannot eat. The methods of fasting are just as diverse as the needs. So listen carefully to your body and adapt your fasting times to your individual needs!

Don't eat too little!

If you want to lose weight, you have to consume fewer calories than you consume during the day. Intermittent fasting is one way to reduce your calorie intake. Even if you are highly motivated to get started, you should not exceed a maximum calorie deficit of 300 to 500 calories a day.

Don't stress yourself!

Did you know that stress causes cortisol to be released in your body? This so-called stress hormone makes it difficult for you to reduce body fat. Especially with a form of nutrition like intermittent fasting, we quickly tend to adhere strictly to the guidelines. However, we recommend that you approach the matter relaxed!

Summary: Intermittent Fasting

In summary, we can say that intermittent fasting can have positive effects on your health. Especially with the knowledge that our ancestors already made use of this type of diet and this is practically in our genes.

The positive effect on our health has already been refuted by many scientific studies. Intermittent fasting is also a form of fasting that is well suited for those who are new to fasting, as you can choose your own method.

In principle, however, if in doubt, before you change your diet, you should contact a doctor and dietician and get individual advice.

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