Fasting and social trends run hand in hand. Just another leisure day biting into a slice of pizza could easily turn into a calorie-conscious evening driven by an alarming social media notification. The latest fasting fads - like intermittent fasting and water fasting - eagerly spread through the internet to influence our lifestyles.
Weeks could go by in painstaking hunger and health complications in an attempt to mirror a slimming strategy endorsed by your favorite celebrity. But is fasting a game-changer or a risky tight rope that could do more harm than good?
Fasting benefits but there's a catch!
Google is an easy way of dropping into a rabbit hole of fasting boons. Various research has highlighted that fasting might have the perks of:
Boost in Immunity
Longer Life Spans
All these are plausible but, here is the catch - there is not sufficient evidence that proves that these fasting trends are beneficial to everyone. Every individual has unique nutritional needs and copying someone else's model of what works for them might not be ideal for you.
Trend-setting celebs often have the added perks of personal nutritionists guiding their fasting with specialized food plans. When restricting food for 8 or more hours Nutritionists advise a diet that caters to all nutrients necessary that can sustain the body throughout the day.
Fasting unsustainably is Pandora’s box full of trouble
Depriving the body of calories and vital nutrients can lead to more than just a growling tummy. A shortage of magnesium in our system spurs muscle cramps while a vitamin-D deficiency can cause migraines. Hair loss, nail growth, and productivity at work and school are all tied to nutrition.
Especially, in the case of women fasting can result in hormone imbalances and fertility problems. They can face untimely periods and severe PMS symptoms. Fasting is indeed quite taxing to the body. Many people often revert to their regular eating habits after a few weeks of trial and error when the fasting schedule becomes too difficult to maintain.
Fasting the right way
Nutritionists are less likely to recommend restrictions on eating for more than 4 hours. However, instead of outright avoiding food in a drastic effort to lose weight, eating controlled portions of nutrient-rich food throughout the day is a much healthier and more manageable diet.
There’s a set amount of nutrition that each individual requires to comfortably get them through the day and consulting a nutritionist on how best to fuel our bodies provides the ultimate roadmap to health and well-being.
Some people cope well with fasting too! But they also need to know what best to eat at the end of their fast so that all their nutritional needs are full filled. Our body types, metabolic makeup, and lifestyles all determine what food plan works best for us which is why there’s no right way of fasting until we understand the role of nutrition in making us who we are.
GENERAL TIPS USEFUL DURING FASTING
During the fasting period, you can drink plain water or zero-calorie drinks like black coffee, herbal teas.
In your eating window, avoid going crazy on junk and high-calorie foods and stick to healthy and balanced meals.
Always open your fast with complex carb or protein-rich food, to avoid acidity. Avoid sugars and refined grains
Be active throughout your day.
Follow a workout routine-exercise combined with a steady diet plan for more effective results.
If it’s getting difficult for you during the fasting window, apart from liquids you can opt for nuts and seeds. Don’t force on yourself!
Practice Fasting/Intermittent fasting under the guidance of professionals. Your Nutritionist/Dietitian will know it better than the internet.