The Beginners Guide To Intermittent FastingLuke Coutinho
We often make a choice for fad diets when we are filled with insecurity, fear, desperation to lose weight or heal a disease. If you are one of those who has tried all diets and still finding the right one, then by now you must have known that none of the fad diets work. The only thing that can help you lose weight and keep it off in a safe way, help you to prevent the onset of disease and possibly help you heal from even most serious ones is a powerful drug called lifestyle.
Change is the only constant
We need to understand that what your diet is today, will not be the same tomorrow. The amount of energy you expend, the kind of mental strength you use in office and everything else keeps changing and constantly evolving on a day to day basis. Then how can one piece of paper listing out a couple of foods and a method of eating work effectively for all of us? Yet we keep looking at what the world us doing, read fancy things and believe that copying a particular diet is going to get us the same results as the person who follows it.It’s about time we wake up, pinch ourselves and come out of all the dreams and illusions that fad diets work, because they haven’t worked for the last 20 years and never will. Consider lifestyle instead.
Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle
Intermittent fasting, I believe is going to replace every single fad diet on this planet because it works beautifully. Hundreds and thousands of people are using intermittent fasts to change their health and life. The prerequisite however is to get weight loss out of your minds. Aim for good health instead. The very fact that you put on weight, and are unable to lose weight is because somewhere you stopped looking after your health. Embrace this way of life, called Intermittent Diet. It is actually not a diet but a way of life. It respects two cycles in the human body. Every human body goes through an elimination phase and a building phase. It’s as simple as that. If you eat in the elimination phase, it’s not going to help you with your weight, immunity or any aspect of your health for that matter. However, if you eat well in the building phase, that’s when cells are receptive to nutrition. They act as sponges waiting for nutrition, vitamins, energy and trace minerals. That’s precisely why it’s called the building phase. Elimination phase on the other hand is the phase when you are detoxifying, cleaning, repairing, rejuvenating, rebuilding. One cannot complicate the two phases.
Intermittent diet has always existed because years and years ago, people ate their last meal as the sunset. Many religions claim that these principles came from their religion, however let’s not get any religion here. If you ask me, the new religion is LIFESTYLE and it is going to be lifestyle. In earlier times, people ate early because after that there was hardly any light. We didn’t even have electricity at the point, so automatically after dinner the next meal was in the morning, probably at sunrise. So, your body automatically respects the elimination phase and moves into fasting without having to push themselves into fasting. It was the way of life and yet every religion across the world talks about the health benefits of fasting for spirituality and discipline. It basically makes us learn how to not give into greed and abstain. So, the same lessons come in different religions, however what I’m basically talking about is a new religion called Lifestyle.
Majority of us refrain from observing an intermittent fast because it doesn’t allow us to enjoy late night meals, parties or socializing. However, that’s a mental block We don’t like to believe that something as natural as fasting is probably the only thing that you need change your health right now.It’s necessary to understand that when our body undergoes an undisturbed elimination, every function in our body works perfectly just the way it was designed.
Imagine you have had a late-night party or a late dinner and the next day when you wake up you are not likely to feel hungry because your body is still in the elimination phase. In such a case, we should respect that and refrain from eating. Gone are the days where we believe and we were made to believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.There are some people and children who wake up genuinely hungry though because of their activity levels, metabolism, a job that needs physical work or several reasons. If you are truly physically hungry in the morning, eat. But all the others and kids who are force fed because of their belief in breakfast being the most important meal of the day are simply doing it wrong. If you are not hungry, do not eat because your body is still eliminating and when you are hungry, that is the start of your building phase. Its important to get in tune with your bodies because once you learn this, it can become your way of life. It’s important to know that something as simple as simple as this natural process will be the reason for your lifestyle, health, weight, acidity, immunity and everything else related to your overall wellbeing.
Often people ask about the duration of fast. 14? 16? 20? Well, it doesn’t matter. A good fasting window is anywhere between 14-18 hours. To begin with you may start off with 10 hours and that’s okay. At least you tried, so the next day you can observe an 11 hour fast and gradually build up to 12, 14, 16 and so forth. Everyone is different and your progress shouldn’t be compared with anyone else. If you are extremely fit, clean, healthy then even 12 hours if intermittent fast is enough. Someone who has more toxins will need to be cleaned up more, so the fasting widow should also be according to that. For someone who is carrying a little more weight, then the fasting window may also go one for 16-18 hours.Hence its totally personal and we need to avoid hanging on to the number of fasting hours.
Rest and Digest
If we constantly snack throughout the day and small meals, we are constantly using our digestive power because we fail to give our digestive systems a break. Our digestive system uses a lot of energy, the same energy that can be used for healing and repair.However, when it’s the building phase, our job is to feed the human body well. You eat and give your body everything from fruits, nuts to whatever it wants but with sensibility and common sense and of course no overeating. That is the beauty of a building phase. You don’t have to diet in a building phase, neither should you restrict yourself to only fruits like some crazy diets preach. Diets like these can be very dangerous. They may help you lose weight but deep-down millions and trillions of cells in your body are deprived of digestive enzymes, raw fibre, trace minerals that natures given us and no other synthetic food or supplement can ever match to and give same quality of nutrition.
So, if you choose to embrace an intermittent fast, do it for three days because then you realise your body’s true potential and thus begin making it a lifestyle. The only thing that prevents us from trying is our own self-limiting beliefs, fears and insecurities.
Diabetes & Acidity
I am sure diabetics and people complaining of acidity issues will have their own concerns. It’s difficult to say without knowing your sugar levels but we have had Type 2 diabetes healed with intermittent fasting. Just that you would want to do it under supervision and speak and work with your doctor to safely do it because to make sure you don’t go into hypoglycaemia. I believe that fasting can reverse type 2 diabetes if it’s done in a controlled way.
People who are acidic, don’t give up. On day 1 you will feel a bit more acidic, on day 2, your acid levels will gradually start to settle down and by day 3, you will feel a lot better. You just got to believe and try. Having said that, fasting may not be the best thing for you if you have lost a lot of weight, have certain medical condition that need medications or are weak in general.
Talking about keeping long gaps between dinner and the next day, I am sure a lot of people will oppose because they were told to eat every 2-3 hours. Well, that’s the whole idea of doing intermittent fasting. Unless you don’t try doing what works for you, you will continue to follow everything you have heard. But when you break free from all the norms then you shall understand that myth behind this claim of eating every few hours. Very few people, like a type 1 diabetic, will need to take insulin dosages at a particular time. For everyone else, we don’t have to eat as much as we are eating today.
Structure of fasting:
For e.g., if you decide to start your intermittent fast by 6 pm or 7 pm evening with an intention to break after 12 hours, then you fast till 6 am or 7 am the next morning, or perhaps go on till 8 am or 9 am till your body allows you to. During the fasting period you can have plain water and nothing else. No tea, coffee, green tea, lemon water. Just plain water and as much as you want. Try to keep the water as per room temperature or a bit water. When you break your fast, break with some lemon water, followed by fruits, dates and then begins your building phase after half an hour.During your building phase, you eat what your body needs keeping your health goal in mind. Do not overeat or starve. Do not try to dive in the building phase. Respect the elimination as well as the building phase and I can guarantee your life is going to change in terms of your energy, immunity, hair, skin, weight.
When is the best time to begin intermittent fasting?
Start right now. Start today. Start this evening. Finish your dinner early and fast for 14 – 16 hours. If you can’t do 14 hours, do 12 hours and gradually keep add an hour more. Make it a lifestyle. Make groups amongst yourselves. Use WhatsApp groups amongst your close friends. It’s always fun to have someone close to you do a fast together because it’s motivating when your buddies are also doing it.
I also vouch for dry fasting. It’s a kind of fast, similar to intermittent, just that you don’t even drink water in the fasting phase. You can choose what you want. I prefer dry fasting because I find it easier than intermittent fasting. However, everyone is different and you should only do what works for you. There will be a few, thinking that fasting does not suit them. In that case, I would advise you to work on your mindset, peers and still if it doesn’t suit, just don’t do it. Everything doesn’t have to work for everyone. So, start making this lifestyle change right now and observe how your health changes for good.
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