Fasting has been around for centuries. It is said to be an ancient practice that was more concerned with ritual than reason. It put on a medical cape when scholars found that fasting had a lot to do with recovery from illness. Ever since there’s been no turning back.
Gone are the days when people fasted either to appease the gods or align planetary positions. It is commonplace in society today for health reasons, of which weight-loss takes the top spot.
The desire to lose weight is stirring the pot, big time. Gymnasiums are busier than before and nutrition is big business. Reasons for losing weight may be many, but strategies must be sensible.
Intermittent Fasting has been catching up recently among the fitness community for its versatile health and weight-loss benefits. Intermittent means irregular and fasting means going without food. Together they are a dynamic combination with a promise. There are tried and testing methods of fasting intermittently, but these are the famous four.
The 16/8 is everyone’s favourite.
Known to be the most effective, it allows a self-selected 8-hour slot during which you can eat all you want without overdoing your portion size, avoiding fried and processed food and including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, fish and eggs. The next 16 hours would see you starving – literally. Those who swear by the 16/8 opt to do their 16 during sleeping hours. So ideally, they eat (not hog) between 9am to 5pm or 10am to 6pm, and fast thereafter through the night.
The 20/4 is a variant of the 16/8 in which you eat meagrely for 20 hours and well for 4.
The 5:2 is a breeze.
Eating normally for five days a week and fasting for the other two on a diet that is 1/4th your daily intake is what the 5:2 is all about. The rule of not running riot on the normal eating days applies here too. On the flipside, the 5:2 is not for those who have pre-medical conditions that necessitate a normal eating pattern and specific quantity on a daily basis.
The Eat-Stop-Eat isn’t what it sounds like.
It is a fast that you do for 24 hours straight, followed by a normal eating pattern for the rest of the week. Eat-Stop-Eat brings the desired results simply because the length of the fast ensures that the body starts using fat for energy – the key to weight loss. Just remember not to approach food like the Neanderthals, and you are good to go.
Alternate Day Fasting is for the adventurous.
The name is as spot-on as the intention. You eat on one day and fast on the next, and repeat. The fast is quite tedious as going without any food on alternate days is not a piece of cake. But there’s respite. If you are testing the waters, it is advised to resort to a 500-calorie diet on fasting days instead of a total fast. When you are ready to take the plunge, go full on.
The results of Alternate Day Fasting are verified.
Intermittent Fasting is a well-thought-out fusion of fasting – which is based on not eating for a specific period of time, and dieting – which focuses on eating at regular intervals. We however advise you to talk to your doctor to determine which of these four would work well for you.
Wear and remove, wear and remove
If your sneakers have to hit the road – do so, but wear your mask over your chin. When you are in a place where social-distance is not practiced or possible, pull your mask up over your nose and mouth while running through that stretch. Release your mask when you are out of the crowd.