If your goal this year is to maintain your health or lose weight, you may be thinking of intermittent fasting, which is the eating pattern that involves cycling between fasting and eating periods.
Although there are no technical restrictions on what you can eat when intermittent fasting, some foods are better than others, and they will help you improve your health and fight hunger pangs more easily.
How intermittent fasting works and what to eat
Mark Matson, PhD professor, neuroscience professor at Johns Hopkins University, says that in order for fasting to be considered intermittent, the fasting period must cause a change in your body when the liver's energy stores, called glucose, are used and fatty energy stores are used.
When this happens, lipid molecules are released into the blood and enter the liver as the cells convert them into ketones. This condition is called ketosis, which researchers say can be beneficial to the health of the body and brain.
Matson tells Insider that the liver can store up to 600 to 700 calories of glucose. During normal daily activities, these glucose stores are usually depleted within about 10 to 12 hours of not eating, and more slowly during sleep. Every time someone eats, the liver's glucose stores are replenished.
This is why avoiding carbohydrates, especially added sugars and refined grains, is a good idea during your eating, says Monique Tello, MD, MPH, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School.
Eating a diet rich in sugars and refined grains, such as frappuccino and a regular bagel, is quickly broken down into sugar and won't keep you feeling full for a long time. Moreover, this will cause your blood sugar and insulin levels to rise more quickly than if you were eating a meal that contained whole grains of fiber and grains like fresh fruit with a bowl of oats - made from old oats, not instant oats.
"Don't worry about sugar in a piece of fruit, go crazy, eat the fruit," says Tillow. "It's actually full of fiber and antioxidants." “Instead, you worry about sugar in juice, soda, coffee drinks, baked goods, as well as many yogurt [flavor] and yogurt drinks.”
And consuming high-fiber foods during the eating window will keep you full for a longer period because your body digests it more slowly. Foods rich in fiber include nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, and protein-rich foods including meat. The optimal caloric intake and the specific meal plan needed for weight loss will depend on the person's activity level and their current body mass index.
Eating protein with every meal is another good strategy because protein-rich foods, such as chicken, fish, eggs, and legumes (beans and legumes), also help manage hunger. The packing meal includes about half a bowl of vegetables, about 4 to 6 ounces of protein, a portion of starchy vegetables or full-sized carbohydrates that meet your needs (often between half to one cup), and some healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, or avocados. This gives you an idea of how to eat to fill food when intermittent fasting, but the amounts of individual foods may vary, depending on your body and your goals.
Why follow a healthy diet when intermittent fasting
If you are trying to intermittent fasting for weight loss, it is still important to eat well to keep your insulin levels steady and prevent mutations.
Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that reduces blood sugar by transferring it to our cells where it can be used as fuel or stored as fat in the body. Research indicates that a higher insulin level prevents fat breakdown for energy. And if you are not toned or very active, it will end up with large amounts of excess sugar in your liver as it can cause excess fat and overweight.
It is also important to get enough nutrients, which can help you sleep better, regulate your moods and compensate for difficult diseases. In fact, if you are looking for a plan to eat during intermittent fasting, recent studies support the use of the Mediterranean diet to improve overall health.
The Mediterranean diet promotes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cereals, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and moderate amounts of fish, chicken, eggs, dairy products, and red meat once a week or less. These foods provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances that help maintain your health, so it is a good guide to eating during intermittent fasting.