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If you’ve read my post Does intermittent fasting help to lose weight? Part I (click here if you’ve not read it yet), you’ve learned what intermittent fasting is, how it works for weight loss, and the benefit it can bring to your health. In the part I of Does intermittent fasting help to lose weight? I’ve also showed you the different phases of the intermittent fasting included the exact phase you must get to, to start burning fat – lose weight.
This article is a continuation of Does intermittent fasting help to lose weight? Part I, and here, I’ll teach you what to eat before starting the intermittent fasting and what to eat post-fasting.
Intermittent fasting is a nutritional strategy that has been used as a weight loss method for some years. It consists of alternating programmed periods of absence of food with periods of controlled food intake. The objective is to make the body use fat stores, allowing the loss of body fat.
Usually, 12 to 24 hours of fasting are indicated, which can be done a few times a week. The periods when eating is allowed are called eating windows and outside of them (during fasting).it is recommended to ingest only liquids that do not have calories, such as water (still or sparkling), teas and coffee without the addition of sugar or sweeteners. If you’re new to intermittent fasting, it is common in the first days to feel very hungry, but in the following days the body ends up getting used to it, making this process easier.
As I’ve already mentioned on the article “Does intermittent fasting help to lose weight? part I!, when you fast, initially (in the first 4 hours) your body consumes the energy from your last meal, which must be low carb, so that you don’t produce too much insulin that would make your blood sugar spike up, so that the fasting goes smoothie without feeling like a sacrifice.
To start the intermittent fasting in a more efficient way, your last meal should be rich in protein and fibre, which gives you more satiety and low in carbohydrates, mainly because when you eat carbohydrates, you stimulate the production of insulin and the more carbohydrate your last meal contains, the more the insulin goes up and if the insulin goes up, it also must come down. And when the insulin comes right down, it will make you feel hungry and wanting to eat – you must enter the fasting in a more comfortable way. So, no carbs in that last meal, okay?
For example, you can schedule your fasting to start on a day when you’re at home, that you’re not going out with friends – to avoid saying Oh, I can’t eat because I’m fasting – remember, the intermittent fasting is not punishment, you decided to do it to reap its benefit, right?
You can choose to do your fasting any day -the day you feel you can do it. for example, you can choose to begin your fasting 7:30pm and end it at 1:30pm the next day, then have your lunch. For the last meal before starting the intermittent fasting, you can make zucchini noodles, cut it into strips with lentils, for example, with a grilled chicken steak if you like it, or salmon with sautéed spinach and a sweet potato roasted with skin. Quinoa, row salad or leek soup is also a good option.
When your intermittent fasting is over, the first thing you should do after going for 14h, 16h, 18h or 24 hours without eating, is to drink an easily digestible liquid. For example, a bone broth, a vegetable broth, chicken broth or eat a light meal, that doesn’t need the body to do any digestive process, so it’s almost like a sign to your body that foods is coming, but what comes, is good food, low-carb food so you don’t have a spike of blood glucose.
If you eat anything too sweet, if you eat rice for example after fasting, you’re going to have a crazy urge to eat more rice, because you’re going to have a spike in blood sugar and you don’t want that after fasting – you’ll be throwing it all away, you don’t have to make up for the time you went without eating, right? Then the meal at that moment must also be low in carbohydrates, to avoid that suddenly, after 18 hours of fasting, a spike in insulin to digest the carb and making you feel like eating a lot of carbs to make up for all the hours you went without eating carbs, So this meal should also be low carb. you can drink 100-200ml of bone broth, 100 – 200 ml of this broth and 5,10, 15 minutes later, you have your meal.
If you break your fasting with a meal, you risk getting a diarrhoea, because it is a lot of food going in – it’s a digestive process that happens suddenly without warning, so don’t risk it. Remember what you want is for it to be a meal or a food that is easy to eat, but that is nutritious, to give your body a sign that you’re going to start eating and the next meal is following but with little carb and that is a good ending to the intermittent fasting. Also, remember your gut/intestine took a kind of mini vacation during the fasting period, so you have to take it easy, don’t you?
After the fasting period you should eat foods of easy digestion and low glycaemic index to ensure good digestive capacity and well-being, avoiding excess of fats or sugars, as it is thus possible to ensure the results of intermittent fasting. An example of a nice low carb meal to have after fasting is chicken breast with quinoa and roasted tomatoes or steamed salmon with spinach fried with garlic and olive oil, and roasted sweet potato or even easier, mushroom omelette.
Below is a few ideas of nutritious and low carb foods that are allowed for you to eat after your fasting. They are all low glycaemic foods that you can use at will. But remember that everything has a relationship with variety, health, and quantity, so don’t exaggerate.
Another great trick for you, to be even better is that the vegetables motioned above have a lot of soluble fibre that make the intestine work better and release toxins through the faeces. Then you should add to these vegetables, a good source of protein and a good source of fat too, and there you’ll have a wonderful meal for you to end your fasting
Some fruits that can also be consumed after the fasting, along with the meal are apple, strawberry, raspberry, pears, and blueberry. Because the less sweet the fruit is, the less fructose it contains – yes, it is true that fructose is a natural sugar, but it’s sugar, thus it stimulates insulin production too and you don’t want a spike in blood sugar or fructose. Also, the longer you stayed without eating, the lower will be the quantity of food you consume after the fasting, especially the first meal.
Chewing food well is another way to have the rest of the digestive system work less in taking the benefits or the nutritional value of the food – so work hard at the beginning of digestion! and, as your stomach is elastic, the fact that you stayed for a while without eating will make your stomach kind of readjust its size. So, take advantage of this opportunity to eat exactly what fits inside, you don’t have to eat the same amount of food as before, you should adjust the quantity of food you eat to your new self – to your new gastric capacity, you’ll eat less and less.
programming your pos-fasting meals is key for you fasting to work. You can’t think about what you’re going to eat only when the fasting is over – because then you’ll likely get a piece of bread that will make your blood sugar spike up, because you were starving. And then this will make you wanting to eat a lot more after fasting, spoiling the result of the metabolic evolution that you intended -so, remember programming yourself for when the fasting is over makes all the difference for you to achieve it.
Now, intermittent fasting is not for everyone, and it is not for you, if you are very low weight, if you are a teenager or a child, if you are breastfeeding or if you are pregnant, and if you have problems with anorexia, bulimia or binge eating – just having a family history of these things should not do intermittent fasting.
And if you have any chronic diseases that is not under control such as diabetes, kidney problem, or even hypothyroidism, if it is not under control, you’ll need help from a health professional to give you that support for it to be safe, because health always comes first. Attention! and if you are an athlete, you can do intermittent fasting, but during the period you eat, you must be aware of the number of calories you ingest so you can build muscle and get big.
If you want to build muscle. If you have been training and your goal is not exactly to lose weight, but you want muscle growth, but then you say intermittent fasting, it’ll be a period without eating – it’s going to make me lose muscle, right? Your body quickly goes from the moment it takes energy from the food you consumed to the moment it finds the alternative source. Fat is much more efficient than the carb in your meal. At that time, the ketones your body produces protect your muscles from being consumed or used as a source of energy.
And there’s another thing – the hormonal issue. The growth hormone is still produced in greater quantity during the fasting period, which helps the growth and maintenance of healthy muscles mass. But the important part is, for muscle growth you have to do what you always have to do which is to stimulate the muscle. Without muscle definition, there is no muscle growth with or without food and if you stimulate your muscle, there will be muscle reconstruction. Because you fast one day, but the other days you return to your normal food intake, which makes you reserve enough energy for the production and for the increase of muscle mass.
If you’re tired of dieting and want to adopt a diet that’s simple and makes you lose fat and burn fat constantly, intermittent fasting is the way. And if you still want to have muscle growth but have some fear of losing muscle during the weight loss process -because be honest, who doesn’t want burns fat and grow muscle! – intermittent fasting will help you do that, but if you just want a way to improve your health and live longer and better, intermittent fasting should be part of your day-to-day routine.
The 16h – 18-hour intermittent fasting is what I recommend for losing weight, but of course by then you’ll have already gained all the other benefits that I have mentioned as a bonus. Fat burning happens immediately after each fasting during the last phase of each fasting but, its benefit to the body comes along as a bonus every time you do the fasting. You’ll then become thinner, happier and with a body that function better.
I hope you find these tips helpful and if you have any question about “Does intermittent fasting help to lose weight? Part I” or want to leave your own personal opinion, leave me a comment below. And if you liked what you’ve read, share this post with your friends and family
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