Food is the ultimate drug. We eat it to energise, brighten a bad mood, or simply because we’re bored. In developed parts of the world, excessive eating—not starvation—kills people. Not only are we eating in excess, we’re also consuming the wrong kinds of food. The result is obesity, lifestyle diseases, and an addiction to food. Intermittent fasting is one of the world’s most popular fitness trends borne out of a need to cut back on mindless eating and lose weight. While celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, Beyoncé and The Rock follow this technique, this is hardly new, especially in traditional cultures. “The ideal ratio of intermittent fasting is 16:8—you fast for 16 hours and eat for eight, exactly the way people fast in Ramadan,” says Lovneet Batra, Delhi-based sports nutritionist and founder, Arbhavya. However, she also says that it is every hard to stick to this ratio for the long term. “You can do it for a week every quarter to give your system a break.” We spoke to her about why you should take up intermittent fasting for weight loss and how to do it right.
The two types of fasts
“Fasting is beneficial for those who do it correctly.” While intermittent fasting is an option to lose weight, you can also choose to do a complete fast (like we do traditionally) twice a week. “In traditional fasts, your intake is 500-600 calories, which you can get out of a combination of fruit and yoghurt every three-four hours thrice a day, clear soups, coconut water or vegetable juice.” In intermittent fasting, you fast for 16 hours, so you have dinner at 6pm and then lunch at 12pm the next day. You can have water and herbal teas in the interim, but nothing with milk.
Excerpted from Vogue