Intermittent fasting (IF), an eating style that’s typically paired with high-protein or keto diets, begs a lot of questions, especially if you’re new to it. You might be curious what type of fasting schedule you should try, what the legit health benefits are, whether you’ll experience any side effects, and what kind of weight-loss results you can expect. Another common question is whether you can have beverages, like coffee and water, during your fasting periods.
The short answer is: It depends on the beverage and the type of IF diet you’re following (different types of intermittent fasting, from dry fasting to the Warrior Diet, have different guidelines). But a good rule of thumb is to avoid any drinks that have any calories while you’re fasting, says New Jersey-based dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet.
Consuming any carbs, proteins, or fats when you’re trying to maintain a fasted state can negate the weight-loss benefits of intermittent fasting, she says. IF diets are also thought to lead to a reduction in insulin resistance and help control blood sugar, both of which can reduce your chances of becoming diabetic. These benefits can be quickly cancelled out if you consume too many liquid calories during a period of what should be a fasted state.
Here’s what you should know about all some of the most popular drinks you might *want* to consume while doing intermittent fasting, and whether or not they’ll take you out of a fasted state.
You can drink it black. Black coffee is calorie-free, so it’s fine to enjoy during the fasting phase. But adding in sugar, cream, or milk is best avoided, as it can add calories to the drink that can take you out of a fasted state.
“If you do want to flavor your coffee during a fast, experiment with calorie-free flavouring from a spice like cinnamon,” says Palinski-Wade. “Save the coffee add-ons for your non-fast windows of time.”
Additionally, avoid having more than one cup, or switch to decaf, when you’re fasting. Excessive caffeine, especially on an empty stomach, may increase those jittery feelings which can often increase appetite and the desire to snack, she says.
Go for it. Just like coffee, tea is naturally calorie-free and fine to have during a fast, so long as it’s simply brewed tea that comes from tea bags, leaves, or flakes. Bottled ice tea is often heavily sweetened, so if you go that route, make sure you’re opting for one that is unsweetened and not loaded with added sugar and calories, says Palinski-Wade. Caloric add-ons such as honey, milk or cream should be reserved for non-fasting times, just like with coffee.
“Since tea is naturally lower in caffeine than coffee, you can have a bit more during fasts, however, I would still recommend opting for decaf when possible,” she says.
Water and soda water
Drink up. Water is naturally calorie-free so there’s no need to restrict it, says Palinski-Wade. Water in general is a good idea to sip on during fasting times to ensure hydration but also as a way to fill your stomach and prevent hunger.
If you enjoy flavored water, you can add in fruit wedges or a splash of lemon or lime juice (or a splash of another juice) as long as it is a true “splash” and doesn’t add more than a trivial amount of calories, says Palinski-Wade. Carbonated water can be treated in the same way as water, as long as it is naturally flavoured and calorie-free.
Skip it. If you’re wondering if you can drink soft drinks (or diet soft drinks) while you’re doing intermittent fasting, Palinski-Wade recommends staying away from soft drinks in general, even if you’re not following a diet like intermittent fasting.
Regular soft drinks are usually loaded with sugar and calories and offer no nutritional value, she says. There also isn’t enough data and research to say whether diet soft drinks are okay to drink during IF, but research suggests that consuming too many artificial sweeteners (as diet soft drinks tend to have) can increase cravings and appetite, as well as promote weight gain and the storage of fat.
“Your best bet is to limit all soft drinks as much as possible and satisfy carbonation cravings with carbonated water,” she says.
Pass on it. Alcohol should never be consumed when in a fasting period, as its effects can be intensified when consumed on an empty stomach, says Palinski-Wade. Alcohol is also a source of calories, so drinking it would break your fast while also likely stimulating your appetite and leading to increased hunger and cravings.
What about taking supplements during a fasting period?This depends on the fasting schedule you’re following, and you should discuss any supplements with your doctor before beginning to take them, says Palinski-Wade. If you fast for a set amount of hours each day, take your supplements during the eating hours (unless otherwise instructed by your doctor or dietitian), since most supplements like a multivitamin are better absorbed when taken with food.
If you practice intermittent fasting that involves fasting on specific days, like the 5:2 diet, taking supplements is still recommended to ensure you are meeting your nutrient needs each day. Palinski-Wade recommends taking a high-quality multivitamin daily when following any IF plan.
“Generally, the small amount of calories found in a chewable/gummy/liquid vitamin would not offset a fast day,” she says. “But do discuss this with your doctor or dietitian first to make sure you can take your supplement on an empty stomach.”
The bottom line: At the end of the day, you want to consume close to zero calories during fasting periods. By avoiding sweetened drinks and bottled iced tea, as well as caloric add-ons in your hot beverages, you can ensure you follow your IF plan correctly and successfully.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com
This article was originally published by Womenshealthsa.co.za. Read the original article here.
The paleo diet is one of the most popular diets around. Unlike most other diets which are just fads, unsustainable in the long run or ineffective, the paleo diet is highly effective and a long term solution to a leaner and healthier body. We actually do not consider it a diet plan but a healthy "eating plan"
The paleo eating plan is low on sodium and sugar but high in protein and moderate with the carb intake. This is exactly why it is so effective in weight loss and keeping other health issues in check.
Obesity is a growing problem in the US and around the world. The paleo diet, if strictly followed, will definitely ameliorate this problem. Nothing but good can come from giving up processed and refined foods in favor of wholesome, healthy, natural foods. Your blood sugar levels will be stable and you will be much healthier.
Of course, the paleo diet is not a be all and end all to good health. There are a few other factors to consider that will ensure all round good health when combined with the paleo diet.
1. Sufficient sleep
All too often people sacrifice precious sleep to squeeze in more living into their day. The problem is, in most cases, sleep is sacrificed for the television, surfing the internet, late night partying, etc.
Over time, this will take a toll on one’s health. Burning the candle at both ends is never a good idea and sooner or later, your body will suffer the ill effects of sleep deprivation. Always ensure that you get enough sleep.
2. Engage in resistance training
Men and women alike will benefit from resistance training. Stronger muscles are always a good thing. Weight training has multiple benefits from stronger ligaments, increased metabolism and even slows down the aging process. It is not a man’s thing. Women too should train with weights.
3. Do at least 3 sessions of cardio a week
Cardio activity is crucial to good health. Your cardiovascular system requires constant training. Any activity that raises your heart rate for 20 minutes continuously can be considered a cardio activity. Find one that you like and do it thrice a week for about 20 to 30 minutes. It could be walking, running, cycling, rowing, skipping, anything that you like.
4. Cook for yourself
It is understandable that cooking can be a hassle in today’s fast paced world. There just does not seem to be enough time. It is highly recommended that you cook in large amounts. For example, you could cook on Sunday for the whole week or just for the next 3 days. It’s up to you. If you cook for yourself, you will know exactly what goes into your food and if it’s nutritious. You’ll also save money in the long run.
5. Learn more paleo recipes
The paleo diet, though slightly restrictive, does not have to be bland. There are many excellent cookbooks on the market dedicated to paleo recipes. Grab a book and try out the recipes. Your food will taste better and you’ll have variety. This will go a long way in making sure you stick with the paleo diet.
These are just a few methods you can use to improve your health and see faster results while on the paleo diet. You will lose weight faster, look better and feel great if you use the above tips while on the paleo diet.