Fast days: to do or not to do

FAST DAY

Many people consider a fast day to be a magic wand, designed to save against weight gain (and even to reduce it miraculously) after a week of festive gastronomic revelry. Of course, it is impossible to have it tomorrow – you need to be prepared morally! 

So, you plan on doing it in a couple of days (or when the vacation ends). That’s it, the day is appointed! The feeling of anxiety and guilt about overeating is receding, and we continue to happily lean on food. Sometimes with redoubled force, because now we have a magic remedy that will fix everything.

This is an example of how you should NOT implement a fasting day. From a psychological point of view, however, such day can be sort of a finish line for some people, or a way to switch to a more proper nutrition.

If this is the case,

  • do not expect weight loss,
  • avoid mistakes that people often make during the fast days (read on to learn more about these).

WHAT IS A FAST DAY

It is a day (sometimes 3 days) with a caloric deficit, when their number is reduced by about half, compared to the usual menu. The calorie content of a fasting day is often below 1000 kcal. It is also a day, in which we consume foods that are easier for our body to process, so:

  • we do not spend additional energy on digestion,
  • there is no heaviness in the stomach,
  • swelling goes away,
  • we acquire the feeling of lightness.

A fast day allows reducing weight by 0.5-1 kg. As a rule, part of the weight returns the next day. Why then should we do it, you ask? The fact is that systematically made fast days with an orderly diet on the remaining days will ensure a tendency to a slow yet sure decrease in weight.

Fast days are a tool for those, whose nutrition is ordered. It is an addition to the regime, and not a self-sufficient phenomenon. To do the fast day, you must be prepared.

Fast days

In matters of reducing and maintaining weight, the following is important:

  • the total calorie content of your menu should not exceed the total energy expenditure.

Per day, per week, per month. This means, if you eat well during the working days and overeat on weekends, your weight can grow. There must be a balance or a small calorie deficit if your aim is to lose weight.

In the situation with the fast days:

  • if you exceed the norm of calories for 6 days, and have a fast day on the seventh day, the calorie deficit of one day does not compensate for their excess, accumulated during a week.

GOALS OF A FASTING DAY

Weight loss. A fasting day can be a part of your nutrition plan to reduce the average weekly calorie intake and create a calorie deficit;

Overcoming the plateau. Your weight was reducing, and then froze. Fast days will help you to give dynamics to the weight loss process;

Rest for the body systems. Digestive and excretory systems need days off. Processing and assimilation of food is a hard and energy-consuming work for our gastrointestinal tract. Besides, we often overload it by consuming unthinkable combinations of products, not giving it the strength to recover;

Weight maintenance. Regular fast days will allow you to maintain weight, especially if you have a tendency to gain it. Again, this is possible due to the fact that you equalize the average weekly caloric value with the expenditure.

ERRORS DURING THE FAST DAYS

Fast days can be harmful, if your nutrition is chaotic. They are also not recommended for those, who strained relations with food (for example, eating disorders or being under stress at the moment).

What happens if you suddenly decide to have a fast day? You dramatically change your diet, introduce strict restrictions, and reduce the amount of food. As a rule, these sharp changes are accompanied by:

  • dizziness,
  • headaches,
  • bloating,
  • weakness,
  • decreased efficiency,
  • irritability.

It’s important to note here that weakness does not come because you eat very little. Just think, how often you did not you have time to eat all day and you were not covered by any weakness? As a rule, it comes from the fact that you sharply reduced caffeine and sugar. Your body reacts for want of habit.

This is enough to make the conclusion by 17 o’clock (when the blood sugar level drops and we especially want something sweet):

  • I feel bad while on a fasting day, and I definitely should eat it up as a compensation for suffering.

After a fasting day, your nutrition on the next day should be normal. Do not reward yourself with food for the feat that you made. Otherwise, you will negate all results of your torment and add discomfort to your body.

RULES OF A FASTING DAY

  1. Fast days, as a way of reducing or maintaining weight should be regular;
  2. Fast day is not a hunger strike.On this day, you can have 5 to 10 meals;
  3. You should have a meal plan – do not allow long-term breaks in food;
  4. Keep to the split meals principle;
  5. Drink at least 2.5 liters of water on that day;
  6. Avoid coffee and tea.Drink herbal or decaffeinated tea;
  7. Be prepared for the fact that the restrictions will cause psychoemotional stress;
  8. It is important to know which type of fast days is most comfortable for you – protein or carbohydrate;
  9. Eat what you like.If you do not like buckwheat, do not condemn yourself to a day of suffering;
  10. The last meal should be no later than 7-8 pm;
  11. Meals for the next day should be ordinary, without increasing the calories.Do not encourage yourself to eat for yesterday’s feat.

EXAMPLES OF FAST DAYS

Unloading days can be based on carbohydrates, proteins, or fats.

Carbohydrate days

  • Apples. 1.5 kg of apples;
  • Rice. 250 grams of rice, soaked in the evening, washed and boiled without salt;
  • Vegetables. 1.5 kg of various non-starchy vegetables (70% of which must be raw, 30% cooked);
  • Fruit. 1.5 kg of fruit and berries (except banana, persimmon and grapes);

Protein days

  • Yogurt 1%. 1.5 liters per day;
  • Cottage cheese. 600 – 800 g of semi-fat cottage cheese;

Mixed Days

  • Yogurt 1% 800 ml + cucumber 600 g. Alternation of yogurt and cucumber;
  • Cottage cheese + fruit. Low-fat cottage cheese 1 kg + 400 g of fruit (without grapes and banana!).

Mix in a blender (dilute with water, if needed), divide into 6 portions.