Intermittent Fasting is a new weight loss craze which takes our bodies back to a time when we had to hunt and gather our food; we fasted for prolonged periods of time and pigged out when we finally did catch something.
Usually, intermittent fasters eat their first meal at 12 noon, continue to eat throughout the afternoon and have a small dinner around 8 PM. BUT, although you can eat whatever you want, it is advisable to nourish your body with proper and wholesome foods during the 8-hour eating window.
HOWEVER, for several people, such as myself, who suffer from blood sugar problems such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or diabetes, intermittent fasting may not be great for your body. Aside from the usual side-effects of headaches and low energy levels that accompany any new diet/lifestyle change, people with low blood sugar may also suffer from shaking, anxiety and in the worst cases, fainting spells.
ALSO, what I have found even worse, is the discomfort of what I call hunger-bloating, alongside the more easily ignored hunger pains. I have suffered from hunger-bloating since I was a child and now that I want to practice some variation of fasting, I have struggled to fall into a healthy and comfortable eating routine.
If you suffer from similar discomforts such as hunger-bloating, or just the pangs of hunger generally, and you want to start fasting (for weight-loss, fitness goals or whatever the case may be), here’s what I suggest you keep on hand to help you stay on track without sacrificing your health and/or well-being.
Just as a side note: –
I eat breakfast at 10 AM
Lunch at 1 PM
Snack at 3 PM
Dinner at 6.30 PM
My “fast” is between 8 PM and 10 AM and I’m currently trying to cut out my 3 PM snack by filling the void with tea or chocolate milk.
Coffee (and tea)
Keeping hydrated is always key, but water isn’t exactly filling. If you’re prone to morning hunger I suggest filling your stomach with coffee or tea. Although coffee isn’t too bad for you, having it after 12 noon isn’t advisable. There are also decaf options like rooibos tea which are full of antioxidants, have varied tastes and don’t make you need the bathroom as often as regular tea.
BCAAs are a healthy source of amino acids, muscle-maintaining vitamins, and minerals. They keep your energized and usually come in the form of fruit-flavoured powders that you can mix with water and consume like juice. They have very few calories and will keep your tummy full and hunger-pain-free.
More of a post-hunger-bloat reliever, charcoal tablets help you expel the extra gas that is bloating your stomach through burps and farts. Plus, they’re great for your skin and digestion.
Some people ingest small spoons of coconut oil during a morning fast to keep their stomach at bay when hunger strikes. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of coconut oil because it is high in calories and isn’t super fun to slurp down casually. BUT, there are now softgel coconut oil supplements available for all your on-the-go hunger-relieving/healthy-fat needs.
So, there you have it – my recommendation as someone who has hypoglycemia but is still keen on fasting for practical lifestyle and fitness goals: fast as you wish but be sure to take preventative measures, so you don’t hurt your stomach or general health and well-being.
If you have HYPERglyceamia (high blood sugar – usually a result of consuming too much sugar) – intermittent fasting may be able to regulate your body and hormones and I would highly recommend fasting, even if you start slowly and move your dinner time one hour early, or breakfast one hour later each week until you create a healthier eating routine.
Originally published at theprogressivemillennial.com