Intermittent fasting has become quite popular these days among health enthusiasts because of its multifaceted advantages. There is a fair chance that you have already heard quite a lot about it and what it can do for your health. People adopt intermittent fasting techniques to manage the blood glucose levels, shed some pounds, or prevent specific ailments. However, if you are not doing it right, it may have adverse effects on your overall well-being.
It is a good idea to talk to your doctor about this to ensure that you do not have an underlying condition that may exacerbate this fasting technique. You have to be strategic about intermittent fasting to reap its full benefits. To get you started on intermittent fasting, we have some expert tips for you.
Staying Hydrated is the Key
While you are fasting, you should be drinking lots of water. This is a critical component that makes intermittent fasting a success. Staying hydrated will save you from constipation and dehydration and put a damper on the hunger pangs. It is easy to skip drinking water, especially during winter, because you are not often thirsty. However, you must keep a water bottle with you at all times and take a sip now and then. Our bodies require a lot of water to ensure optimal functioning.
If you feel bored of drinking plain water throughout the day, you can get creative with it. You may go for herbal teas like chamomile and peppermint or add a few slices of lime or mint to infuse the water with a light flavor.
Have a Balanced Meal
It does not matter how long you have been fasting; your body must be eager to eat something (anything!). You should not eat mindlessly, and the food that gets to be your fast breaker carries a lot of importance. Health and nutrition experts at 21 Day Hero recommend that you should go for a balanced and proportioned meal, so your body can digest it easily. Be mindful that your meal is not full of simple carbs or sugar because your blood glucose levels will spike rapidly.
Let’s say you plan on breaking your fast at around lunchtime; a great healthy meal option would be a fresh salad with veggies, leafy greens, olive oil, and pecans. You may also opt for eggs, oatmeal, and vegetable soup.
Be Strategic About Caffeine Intake
According to research, caffeine may contribute towards curbing the hunger pangs for a while. You feel less hungry and are more likely to keep your fast for long. Adding caffeine intake to your intermittent fasting schedule is a great idea, but you have to be strategic with when and how much to consume. You can start the day with some black coffee to freshen yourself up and feel energized. It would also lessen the hunger. But do not over-consume caffeine because you may then start experiencing side effects, like dehydration, headaches, muscle tremors, or irritability. To counter all these side effects, you should be drinking plenty of water.
Working Out While Fasting
Many people assume that you should avoid strenuous activities during fasting because you are unable to have the required energy. However, exercising can make the fast easier for you because it also suppresses hunger pangs. With exercise, you can also control your blood sugar levels. Generally, aerobic exercise is quite beneficial, and you can select activities that are fun for you. These aerobic exercise activities may include walking, cycling, rowing, or swimming. However, you have to strike a conscious balance because spending ample time in the gym is not a good idea.
Watch Those Carbs
It is pretty easy to get hooked to simple carbs like corn, flour, and rice. They are not only unhealthy and addictive but can also leave you feeling hungry for more. Foods rich in simple carbs would make your blood glucose levels go insane with rapid spikes or falls in blood sugar level. Ideally, before you fast, during, and immediately after you break the fast, your blood sugar should be stabilized. To avoid this carb-filled trap, you may want to go for a high fiber meal, especially before starting the fast. Fiber not only keeps the blood sugar concentration in check but also makes you feel much fuller.
Be Practical About It
You should avoid overdoing it. If you are just starting on an intermittent fasting journey, avoid going for an 18 hour fast the first time. You may begin to experience severe symptoms like lethargy, dizziness, irritability, and feeling shaky. A lot of people give up on intermittent fasting because of feeling scared of such symptoms. It is best to start where you feel most comfortable. You can always increase the duration of the fast gradually.
With all the tips we have shared above, you should reap maximum benefits out of intermittent fasting. It is a fantastic health booster if you are doing it the right way. So, fast right to stay healthy.