Recently, many health experts and fitness programs have recognized the benefits of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting involves restricting the times that you eat, going hours or even a few days in between meals. If you’re new to this concept, read on to learn what fasting involves and how you can avoid accidentally breaking it.
Best Fasting Practices
Intermittent fasting has many health benefits, including weight stabilization, improved sleep, and lower levels of inflammation. At the same time, going without food for extended periods can be dangerous if you don’t follow some best practices for fasting. Always keep a water bottle with you and drink as much as possible. Your body relies on water to keep its oxygen level up and your blood circulating, both of which are even more crucial when you’re not ingesting energy.
Think about your day carefully when you’re planning your fast. If you’re working outside in the sun in the heat, going more than 12 hours without eating is probably not a great idea. Similarly, if you’re breastfeeding, pregnant, or working through a chronic illness, ask your doctor about recommended maximum fasting times.
Also, understand what does and doesn’t constitute a fast. Even a small snack such as a handful of nuts or a granola bar ends your fast because your digestive system starts to convert your snack into energy. Similarly, sodas and other sugary drinks give your body plenty of glucose, restarting your digestion.
On the other hand, not everything you ingest will mess up your fasting routine. Does a mint break a fast? Because most fasting mints are less than one calorie, they have no impact on your fast’s length.
Tips That Make Fasting Easier
If you’re fasting for the first time, consider using fasting products such as mints to get you through the day. Mints take your mind off your hunger, satiate your cravings for food, and help you refocus on what you’re doing.
For a longer period without eating, such as a 72 hour fast, break your fast into chunks instead of trying to handle the entire challenge at once. For example, focus on getting through the first 12 hours, when your body is still digesting your previous meals. Then, concentrate on going 24 hours without eating. Break these increments down as much as you need, and offer yourself a non-food reward such as a break from work when you succeed.
Also, if you eat mindfully on the days when you’re not fasting, it’s much easier to withstand extended intermittent fasting. Prioritize proteins, complex carbohydrates, and other foods that provide energy over a long period of time. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and ask your doctor to check whether you’re anemic. When it’s time to eat again, start with a small snack and then build up to a meal so that your stomach has time to adjust.
If you’re interested in resetting your body’s metabolism and building a healthier version of yourself, try intermittent fasting products today.