The Internet has the power to viralize something in a matter of minutes, making it disappear from the hive mind within a few hours or keeping it fixed for months. This is precisely what has happened with intermittent fasting, a regimen that exists for several years But thanks to many celebrities who practice it and social networks, it has been a trend for months.
This diet consists of alternating periods of food intake with fasting, a prolonged fast that lasts more hours than those that are usually taken between meals. It has a reputation for helping you lose weight, but it should be noted that “thinking that intermittent fasting is only to lose weight is the first basic error. This regimen also serves to letting the digestive system and liver rest, giving your body a break if you feel bloated “, explains Ariadna Fontanet, nutritionist specializing in coaching nutritional.
Also, intermittent fasting has been shown to be very beneficial in people with metabolic syndrome, according to a study by the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine of the Helmholtz Association in Germany. Research results reveal that both body mass index, blood pressure and the need for antihypertensive medication, remained stable at lower values, long-term, among volunteers who combined a healthy eating regimen with a five-day fast.
Too many hours without eating
One of the mistakes that can be made by following this strategy is spending too many hours without eating. Not by fasting longer, the benefits for the body are going to multiply. For example, the most popular fasting styles are 5/2, eat five days and fast two; on 8/16, in which they fast for 16 hours and eat for the remaining eight, also known as the Lean Gains protocol, created by nutritionist Martin Berkhan, combines intermittent fasting with training to gain muscle mass.
Another something more extreme is 12/12, in which you have to allow 12 hours between meals, a version light of the 24 or the 48, similar, but with the double and quadruple of hours between the ingestion. 4/20 is also well known, fasting for 20 hours and eating for four.
However, taking into account that for those with a higher level, you have to get used to the body to allow the metabolism to adapt, the 8/16, also known to appear in the series Friends, is the easiest to follow. “It is always going to be better to make fasts more affordable, but bearable, than to make them longer and break them in a short time,” says the nutritionist.
Guided by a professional
In terms of nutrition, health is at stake, so it is always advisable to go to a specialist who guides intermittent fasting, than to go online and follow it on your own.
“It must be clear that the moment the fast is over and food can be eaten again, do not eat what you want, because it could generate a very high glucose peak and cause even more hunger ”, adds Fontanet. You also have to pay special attention to eating foods with fat and protein such as avocados, in addition to carbohydrates.
Avoid binge eating and hydrate
By causing more hunger, the risk of binge eating appears. “There are religious fasts in which this is broken with a large intake of sweets, something that I do not recommend,” explains Fontanet.
The idea of intermittent fasting is to eat normal nutrition and eat low-glycemic foods to break the fast. The oatmeal bread with fiber or of rye or spelled, will attenuate these glucose peaks.
Fasting does not mean stopping fluids, keeping the body hydrated is essential for its proper functioning. If you don’t give your body enough water to hydrate, it responds by retaining fluids, something that can become dangerous by not properly expelling toxins from the body.
The nutritionist recommends being somewhat flexible. If during a fast, an activity that requires a lot of physical effort is carried out, it must be broken to nourish the body and avoid fainting.
The mental factor and stress influence this type of practice, being able to affect it in such a way that it causes high and low blood glucose levels and that, at the pancreatic level, insulin rises and falls. On the contrary, this will prevent the body from losing weight.
Don’t have too high expectations
No regimen is miraculous. Correct nutrition and good body behavior habits are aggressive. “If some herbal pill promises to make your life easier and lose weight effortlessly in an express way, run away. Because there are no tricks. The key is patience and performing a smooth process that takes time, “concludes Fontanet.