So much has been said about intermittent fasting, that we have forgotten that if we streamline our lives, we can do it everyday.
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Intermittent fasting is one of those buzzwords that is doing the rounds nowadays, just like coconut and coconut oil was doing five years ago. There are doctors, nutritionists, patients, other health experts who have suddenly woken up to the newness of intermittent fasting. But, the concept is age-old. And it is also a pillar in healthy eating if we stick to our timings well.
The wonderful part about intermittent fasting is that it is not a diet chart with restrictions. The really bad part about intermittent fasting is that everybody can’t do it. Women with hormonal issues, diabetics, people with a compromised immune systems are all at risk of different kinds if they get into intermittent fasting. So who can do it and who will benefit? Below are the four categories of people who can benefit from intermittent fasting:
1. If you have a toxin load: if you wake up in the morning bloated and feeling lethargic, are not fresh even after eight hours of sleep, you obviously have a lot of allergens and toxins inside your bloodstream and colon. You will benefit greatly from intermittent fasting being adapted as a way of life.
2. If you are overweight but don't have any other serious health issues: Intermittent fasting just resets your metabolic clock and helps you digest food faster and expel toxins better. It also reduces calorie intake by the virtue of you fasting for 16 hours, hence accelerating weight loss.
3. If your stress levels are high: Intermittent fasting reduces stress levels inside the body and you start feeling calmer and more energetic.
4. If you want to look at it as a weekly measure: People with low immunity, heart issues like high cholesterol, hypertension, women with hormonal issues will benefit from intermittent fasting once a week as it will release toxins and help them reboot their immune system. This kind of fasting needs to be done during the day rather than at night.
So how do you do intermittent fasting and still be safe and get the benefits of it?
Do it every day. Make sure that you eat your dinner by 6:30 PM. You also know, that this is the time that your major hunger pangs occur. Instead of reaching out for a bhel or a samosa or a biscuit and putting empty and useless calories inside your system, order in a great dinner comprising a vegetable soup, a wholesome leafy salad with extra virgin olive oil and either a portion of boiled brown rice or grilled fish. You will be amazed that once you're done with dinner by 7 PM - and your next meal is only at 8 AM or after - how fresh you will start feeling on a daily basis. You can break this rule 1-2 times a week but follow it mostly through weekdays to enjoy the wonderful benefits of releasing toxins, and feeling much higher energy than you have felt before.
Do it weekly. For people with health issues, a weekly fast like we normally do in certain religions, without the heavy fasting food, is a good way to rewire your immune system. Have a breakfast of fruits and nuts and green tea through the day, and finish at 7 PM with wholesome vegetable soup with some white rice. Yes, white rice. On the day that you have fasted the entire day, white rice is a prebiotic and it will suit your stomach lining and made the absorption of vital nutrients from vegetables in the soup much faster. But quantity of white rice should be a few tablespoons only.
So the next time somebody looks at you and says that they have these miraculous benefits of intermittent fasting which they just started, you can just roll your eyes and say, "But I do it every day." It's a good line and habit to feel good about! (I just winked).