Introduction: What is intermittent fasting?
I.F (intermittent fasting): is a diet in which you have to fast for a certain time frame, last for at least 16 hours (can be up to 24 hours) and only eat within the remaining time frame of the day (from 1 to 2 meals). During the fasting period, you should not get anything with calories. (Usually only drink water)
At first glance, this method seems unscientific and inconsistent with the living habits of the majority of Vietnamese. But this is a safe, scientific and effective method for weight loss, body cleansing (and for improving health and overcoming a number of medical conditions), widely used and applied by many bodybuilders and athletes and nutrition experts.
Some common questions about fasting:
1: Is Intermittent Fasting safe? skipping breakfast so unscientific? Are there any health effects?
Breakfast is important to most regular diets, but skipping breakfast during fasting is not unscientific and unhealthy. As the body gets used to the fasting process, the body makes hormonal changes to adapt and protect the body from depression, blood sugar problems, fatigue, hunger, muscle loss, even, if fasting long enough you won’t feel hungry anymore. And of course, the body will burn its stored fat faster than usual.
2: Does I.F cause stomach pain or other symptoms?
Side symptoms (mostly temporary) are likely to develop from person to person, and most normal people without stomach problems don’t have to worry about stomach upset. On the contrary, if you have a history of stomach pain you might get used to gradually increasing the fasting time for your body to adapt.
3: How can we bear to be hungry for so long? How to focus your mind?
As answered in question 1, the body will change to adapt, once you get used to fasting, you will not only not feel hungry but you will also be healthier than usual, both physically and mentally.
4: Does fasting have a drop in blood sugar?
As explained in Q1, you don’t have to worry about hypoglycemia, unless you exercise too hard during fasting.
5: Does fasting cause muscle loss?
Almost all diets cause the body to lose muscle a little or a lot, if you fast properly, and get enough nutrients and protein during the eating phase, you won’t have to worry about it.
6: Can I drink milk, 1 piece of sweet candy in the fasting phase?
No, because just a little bit of calories intake can destroy the fasting months your body achieves.
Methods of implementation:
There are 2 main popular methods:
- Basic method (16: 8): Fasting for 16 consecutive hours, the next 8 hours are allowed to eat and drink relatively comfortably, should be divided into 2 meals. The fasting period should start close to the time before bed.
2. The Advanced Method (23: 1): Fast all day, and eat only 1 large (unlimited) meal at night.
Essentials for fasting to ensure consistent health:
• Minerals: add mineral water instead of filtered water
• Salt: 1 small dose of additional diluted salt is required between phases
• Water: drink plenty of water (very important)
The only beverages that allow and should be added during fasting:
• Unsweetened black coffee (moderate amount, remember to be pure)
• Unsweetened tea (be careful because it can get drunk)
• Apple cider vinegar (small amount)
Drinks that can destroy the commonly misunderstood fasting can be used:
• Coconut water
• Lemon juice without sugar
• BCAA / Pre-workout
• Unsweetened / whey milk
Foods to / should supplement within the eating time frame:
Carb group (40-50%): oats, brown rice, sweet potatoes, soybeans
Protein group (30-40%): eggs, fish, lean pork, beef, chicken breast, milk …
Fatty group (20-30%): nuts, eggs, fish oil.
The body burns more stored fat during fasting, limits unnecessary calories consumed during the day> effective in weight loss.
Enhancing muscle protection hormone -> limits muscle loss during weight loss.
The body does not get fatigued, depressed, in contrast increases the body’s resistance, concentration and health, improves the cardiovascular system, digestive system, health problems (cholesterol, insulin, blood pressure, fatty liver ..) and increased life expectancy.
Eat more comfortably within the meal time frame.
Save money and time for meals during the day.
* The article is based on personal experience and shared from Coach Duy Nguyen.