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Intermittent fasting is a very popular weight loss method that involves cutting calories for specific periods of time. IF is usually done by eating smaller meals but more frequently, or cutting your food intake to a certain number of hours in the day and fasting for the remaining time.
This article focuses on IF with an 16-hour fast once or twice weekly, which has been shown to be particularly effective at helping people lose weight, improve their blood sugar, and reduce their risk of diseases like diabetes and heart disease. However, with any eating plan there are always going to be limitations on what you can and cannot eat.
While there are some foods that are easier than others when it comes to fasting, this article will explore if you can eat whatever you want when intermittent fasting and provide you with some suggestions on how to meet your macronutrient targets during your fast days without sacrificing taste.
What to eat on intermittent fasting days?
As with any diet or lifestyle change, the first thing you want to do is understand the nutritional guidelines behind your new way of eating. While it is possible to eat whatever you want on a daily basis, when it comes to fasting those options are somewhat limited. Luckily, there are some foods that are easier than others when it comes to fasting.
Fats and proteins are your two best friends when it comes to fasting. These macronutrients are both very easily digested and absorbed by the body, making them great choices if you are trying to get your calories from these sources without eating too much or too little during your fast.
Fats and proteins are also very filling, so you are less likely to experience hunger pangs during your fast. Fats are also one of your best options for meeting your daily micronutrients, as fats are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Vegetables are also allowed
Vegetables are also great for fasting since they are high in fiber and low in calories, which makes them easily digestible. They are also loaded with vitamins and minerals and are pretty flexible when it comes to preparation methods. Most vegetables are very low in calories, so they are a great way to meet your macronutrient targets while still getting the vitamins and minerals you need.
Carbohydrates are a no-no
While some vegetables are great for fasting, starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, and corn are not. These vegetables are high in carbohydrates, which are digested slowly by the body and are, therefore, digested very quickly during a fast.
As a result, they cause a large spike in blood sugar and insulin and are not recommended if you are trying to follow an intermittent fasting eating plan.
Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different and you may need to experiment with different foods to find out what works best for your body and preferences. Just remember that regardless of what you eat on your fasting days, you need to make sure you are getting enough calories and nutrients to support your daily activities.
Keep your portions small and your macronutrient targets in mind when choosing what to eat on your fasting days. Remember that a significant part of any diet is self-discipline, so try to avoid situations where you know you will struggle and choose to eat poorly.