Listen to this story



Intermittent fasting: everything you need to know

Ramiro Guzman
7 min read
Intermittent fasting: everything you need to know – Health – WebMediums
Intermittent fasting is a widely used technique for weight control as such

Intermittent fasting is a very widespread methodology throughout the planet. This is a specific way to control a person's daily calorie intake.

Although there is a lot of controversy around the term, the truth is that it continues to be studied. There are even those who claim its benefits, as well as other beneficial qualities.

Do you know what intermittent fasting is exactly?

To speak of intermittent fasting is to refer to a type of fast in which calorie intake is regulated. According to social criteria, it is an "excellent measure" to control weight gain in particular.

The word fasting emphasizes the fact that you stop eating or drinking. It is the person who decides to practice this tendency totally or partially in the time that they see fit.

As a result, intermittent fasting is defined as alternating periods between the same fasting and eating. That is to say, it does not last too long, but the user resumes his eating routine when he decides.

Today there are various forms of application depending on the individual or specialized criteria. However, it is possible to highlight the following:

alternative fast

It is described by the official Mayo Clinic website as "alternate day fasting" and can be done in two ways. In the first and most basic, you take one day to eat normally with a total fast the next.

Intermittent fasting: everything you need to know – Health – WebMediums
Alternate day fasting is one of the least strict variants of this practice of all.

In the second place, the maneuver is more permissive, but with profitable results. A normal or common diet is prioritized for any given day and, 24 hours later, calories are reduced. In other words, dishes are assembled with less than 500 kilocalories.

This last variant is the most indicated, since it is not feasible to remain so long without eating or drinking liquids. It not only affects the level of muscle mass, but also health in general.

There are studies that affirm that it has the ability to prolong or improve the quality of life. Also known as interday fasting, it is the less strict variant of this practice.

The famous "5:2" fast

The 5:2 denomination is conducive to detailing another type of fast with greater practicality. The number 5 represents five days of the week in which the normal diet or diet will continue as usual.

On the other hand, the number 2 symbolizes the days in which the body will go into fasting, either total or partial. The criteria will be decided based on the experience of the same person.

As an additive, the 2 days of fasting should never be completed to the letter. It means that it is not advisable to stay more than 24 hours without eating or drinking water, emphasizing what has been stated in previous paragraphs. In essence, it is better to organize dishes with fewer kcal.

Daily fast with long breaks

The daily long raisin fast, as its name implies, is performed every day of the week. The difference lies in the fact that the number of intakes in 24 hours is reduced, mostly discarding breakfast.

Both lunch and dinner are prepared at the wrong time with a distance of 8 hours between them. Thus, as a final result, a special caloric control is acquired.

How to do intermittent fasting? The keys to not fail

Performing an intermittent fasting routine is not as easy as it seems. The false belief that it is simply to stop eating should not be trumpeted as a creed. Given this, it is essential to highlight some crucial tips that will make a difference:

  1. The entire process must be advised by a specialist in the nutritional area. It is never recommended to open the fast without first knowing the body state or the minimum calorie requirements for the body.

  2. Intermittent fasting consists of adapting to long intervals of time without eating. The ideal in these scenarios is to start with short periods and gradually increase the level. With the passing of the sands of time, coping with the procedure will be easy.

  3. Another differential guideline is not to take fasting as an excuse to prioritize junk food. On the contrary, once the stipulated periods of time are met, when returning to the diet, it should be optimized with healthy, little processed products.

  4. The amount of kilocalories needs to be adjusted in detail of the body weight and the requirements of the person. It is never advisable to enter a prolonged caloric deficit given the health consequences that may arise.

Intermittent fasting: everything you need to know – Health – WebMediums
A good intermittent fast will never allow you to go more than 24 hours without eating or ingesting anything

It is always to remember that intermittent fasting must be supported by a professional in the field. Those practices that are exaggerated with more than 24 hours without eating anything can be harmful to health. Therefore, it seems useful to know an experienced opinion before.

Intermittent Fasting: Benefits Backed by Science

Entities qualified as the Mayo Clinic glimpse the benefits of this strategy to lose weight. Together with low-fat diets, they are the preferred methods by society.

The main advantage of fasts, regardless of which one is taken, is to control the diet. In other words, it allows a better use of the calories that are acquired day by day. At the same time, it imposes a peculiar limit on that prospect.

Several clinical trials and studies conclude that, when combined with a balanced diet, the favorable results are maximized. In addition to exercise, it participates in the prevention of metabolic diseases such as diabetes or multifactorial diseases such as overweight and obesity.

As if that were not enough, a well-structured intermittent fasting with healthy lifestyle habits prevents the appearance of sleep disorders. It also reduces the incidence of nocturnal apnea, as well as other complications associated with night hours.

Incredibly, its contribution against inflammatory and rheumatic conditions was confirmed. Therefore, the risk of bronchial asthma, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and cerebrovascular accidents decreases.

Intermittent fasting diet: what to eat and what not?

The intermittent fasting diet causes confusion in those who are not yet familiar with the technique. Fortunately for them, today is the time to find out what can and cannot be eaten.

As an appetizer, the expert nutritionist criteria manages an ideal fast of 16 hours for 8 hours of food. The setting should be designed so that the largest time interval coincides with sleep so as not to hinder the strategy.

Intermittent fasting: everything you need to know – Health – WebMediums
Healthy food will become the fundamental pillar to enter the world of intermittent fasting

In short, it would be 8 hours of sleep plus 8 hours of fasting and 8 hours where you can eat. From that base, then the following products or foods can be prioritized:

  1. Beverages: such as water, coffee and natural juices without sugar preferably; teas and infusions. Milk should take a back seat, as its high fat content provides a large number of kilocalories.

  2. Solids: transcend the relevance of vegetables, preparing stews or roasts with them. Meat products from beef or chicken are allowed, but in amounts based on body weight requirements.

Some nutritionists recommend chewing sugar-free gum to reduce the effects of cravings. It will keep the brain busy, sending a signal of momentary satiety.

It is worth remembering that ultra-processed foods or junk food are not allowed. There is a risk of a possible counterproductive rebound effect for the metabolism. Soft drinks, sweets, alcohol and all its derivatives are prohibited.