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It promises to improve our quality of life and is super trendy in the health and fitness world right now. So what is fasting? Fasting is a dietary model that consists of concentrating our food intake to a reduced time slot during the day, leaving a window of time where we go without eating. This model focuses less on what we eat, but when we eat it.
The History of Fasting
Although it may seem like something new, fasting has actually been around since our beginning. When man had the need to search for food, there were natural periods of fasting in times of scarcity.
Later, some religions used fasting and abstinence as a way to reach a higher spiritual state. But fasting has also been used in history for therapeutic and curative purposes: Socrates, Plato and Hippocrates were some of the staunchest advocates of fasting.
“Before going to the doctor, fast one day”, Hippocrates.
3 Simple fasts to get you started:
- 12/12: This is the most basic and simple way to fast and many people do it without even realizing it. This method concentrates meal times into 12 hours and leaves a 12-hour window for fasting. If you eat dinner at 9 p.m. and breakfast at 9 a.m., you’ve got it!
- 14/10: The fasting time with this method increases to 14 hours and according to experts, this fasting time triggers the autophagy process. This is where the body regenerates newer and healthier cells while also eliminating damaged cells and everything else that is no longer useful. In addition, the body begins to use it’s fat reserves as a source of energy (ketosis). You can get your 14 hour window by eating dinner one hour earlier at 8 pm and delaying breakfast til 10 am. Plus by doing this, you will also be adapting to the body’s circadian rhythms that are regulated by our natural sleep-wake cycles.
- 16/8: A 16-hour fast. I’m a big fan of this fast and I have to tell you that it isn’t as hard as you may think. Just follow your sleep cycle like with the previous two,and don’t eat after 8pm. But, this time wait til noon to eat.It is simply a matter of skipping breakfast 😉
Another option (for those you like breakfast too much) is to skip dinner, for example, fasting from 6 pm to 10 am.
– 6:1:Fasting one day a week: Another very interesting method consists of eating a normal diet six days a week and leaving one day for a complete fast.
It’s important that each person adapts their fasting to their own rhythm of life, work, training and sleep schedules… If you have any doubts, I recommend consulting an expert.
Who can fast?
Everyone in good health can benefit from this technique, but there are some groups of people who do particularly well. Take note!
- People with heavy and slow digestion.
- People who suffer from problems with gas and fluid retention.
- Cases of obesity and overweight
- Patients with type 2 diabetes: always with medical supervision if there is medication.
- Women who are perimenopausal or menopausal: prevents the natural tendency to retain liquids and gain weight.
- Athletes: the energy that the body devotes to the digestion process is instead used to increase physical performance.
Not Recommended For:
- Children and Adolescents they are still growing.
- People who are underweight.
- Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.
- People suffering from eating disorders, anxiety, stress, depression or migraines.
- Cases of hyperthyroidism.
- Renal or hepatic insufficiency problems.