Using your MC dynamically – intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting simply means that you go without food at particular times or on specific days, or drastically reduce your calorie intake over that period. You eat consciously and healthily on eating days. The fasting intervals ensure that your blood sugar level drops sharply, so your body draws more of its energy from your fat reserves. As such, not only is intermittent fasting ideal for keeping your weight under control and promoting weight loss, but it also improves your sugar and fat metabolism, can lower your blood pressure and can improve your blood sugar levels.
There are three different types of intermittent fasting, which we will outline here. You can choose the version that is best suited to your everyday life.
The following applies to each version:
- Plan in 1–2 healthy snacks every day.
- Avoid fast food and processed foods.
- In order to ensure that you get full and stay full, make sure you eat enough vegetables (fibre) and sources of protein (dairy products, eggs, fish, meat, pulses, mushrooms or nuts) at every meal.
- If you find yourself very hungry on fast days, drink a hot cup of vegetable broth or a glass of vegetable juice.
- Eat in peace and take your time.
- Opt for low-fat dairy products and lean meat.
Version 1: 16:8 – no breakfast or no dinner
With 16:8 interval fasting, you fast over 16 hours and eat over 8 hours. This means that you go without breakfast or without dinner. During the 16-hour fasting period, you should have nothing but sugar-free drinks, while you can eat normally over the other 8 hours. As a result, you need to choose your mealtimes carefully. If you decide to go without breakfast, you could, for instance, eat between 12pm and 8pm. If you think it will be easier to drop dinner, you could eat between 8am and 4pm.
- Two main meals per day
- At least one meal should contain carbohydrates such as potatoes, as these keep you fuller for longer.
- Only drink calorie-free drinks like tea or water during the fasting hours.
- Try using whole grains instead of products based on white flour.
- Sugary baked treats and sweet foods should be an exception.
- Take enough Omega3 fatty acids 1–2 times per week. These are also found in foods like salmon, tuna, linseed and linseed oil.
Version 2: 5:2 – no more than 800kcal 2 days a week
With 5:2 intermittent fasting, you eat normally for five days and severely limit your calorie intake for two days. Proper 5:2 fasting does not mean inserting ‘cheat days’ into the five ‘normal’ days, but rather eating healthily and consciously over this period, with three meals a day. On the two fasting days, you scale back your calorie intake to a maximum of 800 calories per day. You can build the two fasting days into your weekly schedule however works best for you. These two days do not have to be consecutive.
- Plan in 1–2 healthy snacks every day.
- Detox tea will help your body get through fasting days.
- Have oatmeal or unsweetened muesli for breakfast to keep you full for a long time.
- Treat yourself to no more than one sweet thing per day.
- Fruit sugars, which are found in fruits and fruit juices, are not allowed on fasting days.
- Rapidly digestible carbohydrates like potatoes, pasta and sugar should be avoided on fasting days.
Version 3: 6:1 – eat-stop-eat
In this version, you build a 24-hour fasting interval into your week. This means eating no more than 500 kcal over an entire day. This approach is also known as ‘eat-stop-eat’. Here, too, you will achieve the best possible results if you eat a healthy, balanced diet on the other six days. On eating days, make sure that you have only one serving of food at each meal. This allows your body to adjust more effectively to the fasting day.
- Try not to overdo it on the first fasting day. You have to accustom yourself to the new rhythm.
- In order to get your circulation going, start the day with a black tea or coffee.
- Treat yourself to a substantial breakfast on eating days, e.g. porridge.
- Three main meals per day
Are you thinking about opting for one of these versions, but still aren’t sure? Consider asking your doctor for advice.