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Intermittent Fasting Methods

April 13, 2021
A woman holding a clock

Intermittent fasting is a very popular method for trying to keep our body weight in control. Besides that, fasting has many other health benefits.

The benefits of this method are: helps metabolic health, weight loss, and lengthen the lifespan.

There are many techniques or varieties of intermittent fasting from fasting for 16 hours to fasting 24 hours or eating half of the calories you consume daily.

Some of the intermittent fasting techniques you can find below.

The 16/8 method

This method involves fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours. 

It means that during these 8 hours you can eat one, two, three or more meals. You can schedule your fasting based on your preferences but it is better to finish your last meal at 8 p.m that means the next meal you can consume should be around noon the next day.

During this method try to eat healthy to maximize the effects, also you can drink water, coffee, and tea beverages that contain 0 calories before your first meal.

The eat stop eat method

This method involves 24-hour fasting once or twice a week.

Choose two days a week to fast for 24 hours. Let’s say you eat your last meal on Tuesday at 7 p.m than you fast on Wednesday until 7 p.m after 7 you are allowed to eat normally.

You are allowed to drink coffee, water, or tea during the fasting period.

The 5/2 method

This method involves eating normally 5 days a week while reducing your calorie intake for 2 days a week.

Let’s say you eat normally for 5 days but on your 2 chosen days you eat half the calories you would eat normally.

Alternate day-fasting

This method of intermittent fasting means fasting every other day.

Some say that you can eat only 500 calories on the days that you are fasting some practice not eating at all during those days.

The warrior diet

This method involves fasting during the day and eating a large meal at the end of the day.

During the day you can eat only raw fruits and vegetables, but at night you can eat a large meal.

This method includes a 4-hour eating.

Besides intermittent fasting, there exists a whole month that you can fast called Ramadan and is a holy month for the Islamic religion.

How to eat healthy during Ramadan

Ramadan is known as a holy month in Islam. For the Muslim community, it is a special month as it combines spirituality, reflection, and self-discipline. 

During this holy month, grown Muslims are obligated to fast. The fasting starts at dawn before the sun comes up and ends at sunset. 

This year Ramadan is expected to start around April the 12-th.

Besides levitating on the spiritual level during the holy month of Ramadan, fasting is good for our bodies too.

Is Ramadan healthy?

There have been many studies about fasting during Ramadan and the benefits it brings to our health and body. Many studies show that on obese people fasting affects lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

What happens to our body during Ramadan?

The first days are always the hardest, but after a week you will get the hang of it and it will no longer cause you any “trouble”.

During the first days, our body will start the cleansing process, blood pressure drops, and also blood sugar drops.

After a week the body’s processes will stabilize to the fasting schedule and the digestive system will rest and work at a normal pace.

After ten days our body is used to fasting and the energy levels are normal, and all the body’s toxins are almost eliminated.

Healthy foods during Ramadan?

a varieties of vegetables for fasting during Ramadan

There are a variety of foods you can consume during this month to feed your body with the right and useful nutrients.

When first breaking fast at Iftar try to drink plenty of fluids, and try to eat slowly so you don’t get full fast. Try to drink plenty of water or milk, plant-based milk is a really good source of nutrients too. But avoid drinks with added sugar that are filled with empty calories and also avoid caffeine. It will leave your mouth feeling dry or it will make you urinate more often causing you to lose body fluids faster.

Consume a bunch of dried fruits and dates, since they are a good source of natural sugars that are good for energy levels. Dates and dried fruits contain a high amount of fiber that the body needs.

While at Suhoor try to eat foods that will give you energy for the day and try to drink plenty of water and fluids to keep you hydrated during the day.

Top foods to eat during Iftar.

Iftar is the meal when one breaks fast at the end of the day. Is best that during this meal to eat plenty of healthy food. Eating three dates to break the fast is the traditional way.

Foods high in  potassium

foods high in potassium for Ramadan Fasting

Foods that are high in potassium are a very good source to keep our body system working properly. Foods that contain a high amount of potassium are beans, dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, avocado, yogurt, mushrooms, and bananas.

Fluids

Drink plenty of fluids between Iftar and Suhoor so you don’t dehydrate during the long days. Drink water and foods that are hydrating such as watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce. 

Foods to avoid during Iftar

Try to eat as healthy as possible during the hours you are allowed to eat.

Carbonated drinks

Carbonated drinks are full of sugar and empty calories also they can cause bloating and leaving you thirsty in the long run, they also can contribute to weight gain.

High sugar foods

Foods that contain a high amount of sugar should be avoided during this time because they don’t have any nutritional value for your body, they will only contribute to weight gain.

Fried food

Avoid fried foods that also have empty calories. It will only make you feel more thirsty and will slow down your metabolism and digestion and will cause acidity.

Top foods to eat at Suhoor

Do not ever skip this meal! Suhoor the meal that you eat right before dawn, try to eat a meal that will keep you energized and hydrated for the rest of your day. 

Fiber-rich foods

Rich fiber foods for fasting

During Suhoor it is ideal to eat food that is full of nutrients and will leave you full longer, for this reason, try to consume foods that contain a high amount of fiber.

Foods high in fiber include flax seeds, oatmeal, different types of nuts and seeds, chickpeas, almonds, and so on.

Calcium and vitamin-rich foods

Dairy products are the best sources of calcium, use dairy products to make smoothies mixed with different fruits to give the body a variety of vitamins.

Foods to avoid during Suhoor

Same as for Iftar at Suhoor you should avoid carbonated drinks, salty food, fast food, and caffeinated drinks.

During this month try to eat as much healthy food as you can. Try to drink as much water or soup during the hours when you are allowed to eat. And when it is sunny and hot outside try to stay inside a cool place and avoid. 

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