We are not talking about a diet that only serves to lose weight; we are talking about a style of food that can make you live longer and better. Have you heard of the intermittent fasting diet?
How many meals a day do you have to make? You may have read that it is best to do five, but you may be surprised if we tell you that the healthiest, physiologically speaking, is to do only two. And is that many studies, such as the one carried out by the University of California, have concluded that ingesting food twice a day, while fasting the rest of the day, reports many benefits to the human body.
This type of diet is called an intermittent fasting diet, which consists of alternating periods of fasting with periods of food ingestion. There are different types of intermittent fasting, although the best known are fasting 16/8, fasting 24, fasting 48 and fasting 5:2, the first being the most practiced and the easiest to carry out by “beginners”. The fasting 16/8 consists in fasting periods of 16 hours, followed by feeding periods during 8 hours. That is, if for example, we made the first meal at 13:00, we would make the intake of all our daily calories between 13:00 and 21:00. The next day, we would eat again after 16 hours from the last meal, that is, at 13:00 a.m. again. Sounds easy to follow, does not it?
Of course, in the periods in which it is allowed to eat, food should be as balanced and healthy as possible, so that the body does not lack nutrients: meat, fish, pasta, vegetables, fruits or vegetables are allowed, but not So fast food, processed food, sweets or sugary snacks. Make sure some of these foods are not missing in your pantry!
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Benefits of Fasting Diet
Intermittent fasting has multiple benefits for our body, and is a strategy of eating with which you do not go hungry, lose fat, eliminate toxins and gain muscle mass, among other things:
- Help reduce mortality and slow aging, both physically and at the cellular level. Fasting intermittently cleanses mitochondria from cells, the ultimate responsible for generating energy from food.
- It helps to improve our lipid profile, i.e. our cholesterol, in addition to reducing triglycerides.
- In the case of cancer, it helps to limit the growth of cancer cells.
- It helps improve pancreatic function, insulin sensitivity and improves the use of glucose as energy.
- Protects against cardiovascular diseases.
- It improves the ability to self-control, as it normalizes ghrelin levels, also known as the “hunger hormone”.
The Lean Gains protocol, the most recommended for women
If you are accustomed to eating many times a day (five or more) and want to try to perform an intermittent fast you should take it easy. In fact, the most appropriate and advisable for women is to perform a fast 10/14, ( a variant of 16/8 and known as Lean Gains Protocol), i.e. fasting 14 hours and eating 10. Begin by reducing daily meals to Three (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and when you’ve gotten used to it, try reducing the calories and volume of breakfast until you feel that you can survive without it. When you have reached that point, it will be easy enough to make only two meals a day, which you must space in 10 hours.
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The Lean Gains protocol, as it is more balanced, also allows to do sport without risk, provided that they take 20% more calories in the days of training (increasing the consumption of carbohydrates ) and 20% less of them in the days of Rest (reducing carbohydrates). The best thing to do is to do strength exercises three times a week, and to consume, in general, enough proteins (3 grams per kilo of weight), since they are very satiating and they give the muscles all the force that they need to function and to develop.