6 tips to keep diet on track, beat diabetes, High BP, obesity

Via Peters

Tips from renowned nutritionist on how to successfully carry on Intermittent Fasting.

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So, you decided to bite the proverbial bullet and take the plunge into one of the most practical and efficient healthy diets of contemporary times – Intermittent Fasting (IM). If you are new to the IM regime you must find out how to get the most out of this weight-loss strategy.

Dr Jason Fung, Dr Michael Greger, Dr Michael Mosley, several world-famous doctors have praised the Intermittent Fasting method and offered their insights into the process.

The best part about IM is that the plans can be easy to follow; some don’t require any calorie counting; they can make people healthier and may even delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, writes A Pawlowski in the online magazine Today.com. She brings advice from Krista Varady, a professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago, on how to deal with hunger, when to exercise and if it’s OK to skip breakfast. But a word of caution: Always check with your doctor before starting a diet.

Krista Varady – co-author of a 2022 review of studies that found intermittent fasting is generally safe and produces few gastrointestinal, neurological, hormonal or metabolic adverse effects – has been studying fasting for almost 15 years and offers tips about it on her Instagram page. Varady practices intermittent fasting herself. She says that the 16:8 plan is less intense than the other plans and that the alternate-day fasting method aids rapid/faster weight loss.

Varady’s research showed that obese people who followed the 16:8 fasting regimen for three months modestly lost weight and lowered their blood pressure without feeling hungry or deprived.

“The first five fast days are pretty tricky, but once your body gets adjusted to that kind of up-down pattern of eating, it actually gets really easy,” Varady told TODAY.

Who must not take up Intermittent Fasting?

According to Hopkins Medicine, some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
  1. Children and teens under age 18.
  2. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  3. People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
  4. Those with a history of eating disorders.

After consulting your doctor, and provided you have a go-ahead, you may choose between some of the popular Intermittent Fasting regimens such as:

  1. The 16:8 diet, or time-restricted feeding: Fast for 16 hours a day, eat what you want in the next eight hours.
  2. Alternate day fasting: Eat nothing or up to 500 calories a day, then eat normally on the next day. Repeat.
  3. The 5:2 plan: 2 non-consecutive fast days into your week, then eating normally during the other days.

Apparently, fasting is very good for the heart as it helps maintain healthy body weight; lowers triglycerides, helps decrease blood pressure and improves blood sugar regulation. As per findings of a study published in 2019 by the New England Journal of Medicine, intermittent fasting helps combat obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and neurologic disorders.

Tips to stick to Intermittent Fasting Plan:

  1. Eat smartly, avert loss of control: Eat high-fibre and high-protein foods during your eating window. That will give you a feeling of being satiated for a longer period.
  2. Drink lots of water: Drinking black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or liquorice herbal teas suppresses appetite, Varady tells Pawlowsky.
  3. Watch less TV: Varady warns that while watching TV, we are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. That can trigger hunger pangs in you though you may not be hungry at all.
  4. Exercise before you eat: That is because people get hungry about half an hour after they finish working out. If you workout at some other time, you may find yourself overcome by hunger pangs and therefore may give in to the temptation.
  5. Practice meditation: It will have a calming effect and as you focus on your breath, it will also take away the attention from the hunger pangs that you may be imagining as a matter of habit.
  6. If you have alcohol, know when to drink: Varady advises Today.com readers to not drink any alcohol during a fasting window or a fasting day since it’s high in calories and has no nutritional value. Also, practice control/moderation. Women, not more than a drink a day; men not more than two.


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