- Limit eating hours of the day when doing intermittent fasting
- Do not eat or drink anything except water during fasting phase
- Do not starve yourself and eat nourishing foods
Intermittent fasting is a popular eating pattern which can help with weight loss, improve fitness and regulate sleep cycle. It can help in detoxifying your body and even reversing type 2 diabetes. However, the same lifestyle pattern can affect your health in a negative way if you constantly change the fasting period. To make intermittent fasting work for you, it is important that you eat right foods during the eating phase, not eat anything except drinking water during the fasting phase, and you don't starve yourself.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern in which your day is divided into two phases: the eating phase and the fasting phase. As the name suggests, you are required to eat only during the eating phase and fast during fasting phase. During the fasting phase, you are only allowed to drink water (not even tea or coffee). Lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho believes that your fasting phase can last for as long as you want: 10 hours, 12 hours, 14 hours or 16 hours.
An easy way to follow intermittent fasting is having an early dinner by 8 pm latest. You can then begin your fast overnight and have your next meal accordingly. But it may be easier said than done. What you eat during eating phase and your physical activity are important factors to consider, especially if you want to reach a health goal.
Nutritionist Ishi Khosla, in an Instagram post, shares a few tips that can help you reach your health goals while practicing intermittent fasting.
1. Eat healthy: Intermittent fasting is a few of those diet plans which does not involve any restrictions. But, it is important to eat healthy foods and stay away from refined grains and sugar. Your diet should include fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, healthy grains, proteins and healthy fats. You can have the Mediterranean diet, recommends Khosla in her post.
2. Avoid snacking: Allow your body to burn fat in between meals and avoid snacking. Be active throughout the day and make sure exercising is a part of your routine. Yoga, light weight lifting and some form of aerobics can be beneficial.
3. Limit the hours of day when you eat: According to Khosla, it is better to eat more in earlier parts of the day. She writes that you can divide your eating time between 7 am to 3 pm and 10 am to 6 pm. Avoid eating in evening before bed.
4. Do not eat all the time. Eat small meals and eat only till the point it satisfies your hunger.
(Ishi Khosla is a practicing clinical nutritionist, columnist and author)
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