HOW TO CARRY OUT INTERMITTENT FASTING
The practices that involve fasting or abstinence from food are found in every culture ever since very ancient times.
Fasting can in fact be seen as an expression of self-control: manifesting itself in the capacity that a person has to keep under control hunger, represents the measure of his willpower on one of the primary instincts of man.
This theory was then applied to nutrition as a concept of health and therefore there are studies on the effects on the metabolism and on the general state of health: in this regard have been studied and are still being studied currently various protocols on food approaches, under the name of Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent fasting (or intermittent diet) provides various possible applications and sets of rules on the ways in which meals are to be consumed.
This is the synthesis of eating less but better, trying to enrich our dietary intakes with important nutrients.
Initially the investigations were carried out on primates: a famous study published by a group of American researchers in 2009 on “Science” reported the experience observed on two groups of primates, one group treated with a caloric restriction and the other free to eat what they wanted.
At a distance of twenty years the results were surprising: in the treated group the survival was significantly higher as compared to the untreated group, and had emerged a substantial disappearance of degenerative chronic diseases such as diabetes, myocardial and tumors.
More recent studies and applications of fasting on man confirm the old data and are consistent with the improvements in the reduction of the risk of disease and with the potential anti-aging effects.
Parallely and recently protocols based instead on intermittent fasting have been devised, namely on the caloric restriction only in programmed periods, which alternate periods of normal food intake, on a recurring basis. There are several schemes:
- Scheme 16/8 (or also called Leangains) in which you fast for 16 hours a day and consume meals during the remaining 8 hours, carried out generally on a maximum of 2 days per week;
- Scheme 5:2 (also called “Fast Diet“) in which there are provided caloric contributions imitating fasting (about 500-600 kcal) during 2 days in a week, while during the remaining 5 you eat normally;
- Scheme “Eat-Stop-Eat” where you fast for 24 consecutive hours one or two days a week.
The 16/8 Scheme
The 16/8 scheme is the most popular and also the one can be done easily: you can use for example anticipating dinner and skipping breakfast the next day.
A weekly scheme could include skipping dinner, so as to pass the time required during the night, taking advantage of the sleep phase. Thus the time window in which to eat breakfast and lunch narrows to 8 hours.
For example: breakfast at 7 in the morning and lunch by 3p.m.. Then only liquids free of calories (therefore without added sugar but preferably only water) until 7 am the next morning. In this case 16 hours would have passed. You can move the window from 8 am to 4 pm and resume the next morning at 8:00.
It is essential to maintain a certain regularity. Remembering that this diet, also called mima-fasting, must not be thwarted by eating too much and too badly. The 16/8 scheme allows coupling to the 16 hours of fasting also the physical exercise, in the afternoon.
Other schemes, including those not mentioned, are difficult to follow due to the need of a strict programming of both the food supply and the physical activities, hence I do not recommend it, especially to the ones who are not followed by a professional.
Of easier Implementation instead is the liquid diet for a day that helps to detoxify,and clean our intestine and body.
- You choose a day, you have breakfast normally but of course always without exaggeration, and then for snacks, lunch, and dinner you choose only liquid foods such as vegetable soups, Fruits and vegetables smoothies, vegetable extracts or fruit gelatine without sugars obviously, the soups and smoothies of vegetables can be seasoned with extra virgin olive oil (maximum a teaspoon)
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