The question of the effect of fasting on health has long been discussed. While some channels claim that fasting is good for health, others claim that fasting does not or adversely affect health.
So is fasting really good for health? Should I fast constantly? What is the difference between your fasting in Ramadan and intermittent fasting? Will you be able to maintain your health by continuing intermittent fasting after the end of Ramadan?
Most of us fast during Ramadan to fulfill our religious duty. In the last part of our Ramadan series, we will talk about the impact of fasting on our path to a healthy life and look at a diet called intermittent fasting. Let’s talk about the benefits of keeping this habit in our daily life:
Is fasting helpful?
Studies have proven that infrequent feeding in the animal kingdom prolongs life and improves health. Animals fed little and infrequently in experimental environments simultaneously reduce calorie intake and balance blood sugar levels, resting many of the body’s systems, including the digestive system, and detoxifying the body. For this reason, fasting is good for both heart health and reducing the risk of diabetes.
Of course, it is difficult to draw conclusions directly from the animal kingdom in favor of humans, but a limited number of human studies show the same results as above. In short, we concluded that fasting is a good method for both stopping weight gain and preventing disease in people at high risk of developing diabetes. Fasting, which people seeking to live a healthy lifestyle, have recently combined with their lives under the name “Intermittent Fasting” (Intermittent Fasting), has become an integral part of athletes and fitness enthusiasts. So, at first glance, we can say that fasting is good for health.
So, are there factors that make fasting unhealthy?
Perhaps the most important point of fasting is to prevent dehydration. A feature of intermittent fasting is the frequent drinking of large amounts of water, but considering that even water is not drunk during Ramadan fasting, it is very important to consume enough water between iftar and suhoor. If necessary, thirst can be prevented by waking up 2-4 times during sleep, drinking half a glass of water, and drinking at least 3-4 glasses while awake between iftar and suhoor.
As we warned earlier, if you want to switch to intermittent fasting after Ramadan and try this diet, you definitely need to have water with you. Drinking water frequently throughout the day also prevents unbearable hunger.
Another factor that can cause unhealthy fasting is consuming too many calories and nutrients at mealtimes. Especially in Ramadan, a person who breaks his fast can eat as he wants after it. Unless you set a limit for yourself or change your diet, Ramadan limits nothing but alcohol. For this reason, in the hours between iftar and suhoor, a person may consume more calories than they will consume, as we mentioned in our previous article. Similarly, there are those who follow this type of intermittent fasting diet, and this seriously reduces the benefits of fasting.
What is the difference between your fasting in Ramadan and intermittent fasting?
Firstly, the biggest difference between the two fasts, as we mentioned above, is that during Ramadan one needs to take a long break from water and other liquids. The fast we keep in Ramadan is not really much different, but the number of hours of fasting is less compared to intermittent fasting. In Ramadan, from sunrise to sunset, nothing can be consumed either in food or in liquid.
There are many different types of intermittent fasting. Most people practice the 8-16 system. A person eats a light and low-calorie meal for 8 hours, and in the remaining 16 hours, drinks without calories, such as water, coffee and tea. Another type of fasting for 24 hours. In this system, a person eats 5 days a week and spends 2 days in a row consuming only 500-600 calories. In another similar system, a person completely stops eating for 24 hours on any 2 days in a row. Another popular style is “One Meal a Day”. People who follow this style end up eating only one meal a day and fasting for the remaining hours.
Compared to fasting in Ramadan, hours are not the only difference between intermittent fasting. Diet is also very important in this system. Most people prefer the ketogenic diet when following an intermittent fasting system because more food can be consumed with fewer calories and this diet promotes weight loss.
In the previous two articles, we shared with you what the ketogenic diet is and how to implement it. If you’re thinking about trying intermittent fasting, be sure to read them too.
Should I fast?
As with any sudden change, there can be major issues when you decide to start Ramadan or intermittent fasting. During Ramadan, people who have illnesses or problems decide not to fast. Similarly, it is up to you to decide whether to fast during Ramadan and intermittent fasting. When deciding whether fasting is right for you or not, you should consider the following:
- Fasting can be unpleasant if you have severe dietary restrictions.: Vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free people, etc. may experience vitamin deficiencies during intermittent fasting. For this reason, do not forget to take blood tests as often as your doctor has prescribed, and take the necessary vitamins. If you are unable to do this, this post may not be for you.
- There may be severe weakness, dizziness, nausea, fainting, etc.A: Although it seems very rare, there are problems that fasting can cause. Although fasting people usually experience these problems within the first 1 or 2 weeks, if this is a recurring situation, you may want to stop fasting and see a doctor first. Situations such as nausea, headache, dizziness, etc. should not last long.
- serious illness: Doctors recommend avoiding intermittent fasting if you have serious heart, intestinal or similar problems, or if you have previously struggled with eating disorders such as anorexia (refusal to eat) or bloomia (purgation from food). Fasting can trigger these problems again, especially in people with a history of eating disorders, so if you have any serious problems or are unsure, don’t start intermittent fasting without consulting your doctor.
- Pregnancy: Here we will be very short. If you are pregnant, intermittent fasting is not for you! Unfortunately, this issue is non-negotiable. Think about your child’s health and try to eat right during this time.
A growing number of doctors and nutritionists are supporting the positive link between fasting and health. Of course, it is up to you to decide whether this nutrition system suits you or not. If you decide to switch to an intermittent fasting system right after Ramadan, you should definitely keep an eye on the nutritional value. You need to make sure you get enough macro and micronutrients and drink enough water. Of course, you can keep track of the nutritional value and the water you drink with the free Fitwell app. Thus, you can continue fasting without endangering your health.
No matter what decision you make, Fitwell is always with you with its dedicated exercise and nutrition program and motivational messages.
Good luck!! 💪🏽🤗
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