Ah, the fast. The withholding of solid food for a whole day (or at the least, 14 hours) in order to lose weight, eat more healthily, or to simply control calorie intake.
Okay, that sounded bad. But fasting is necessary in order to build strength and help the body improve on its metabolism. Don’t believe me? That’s okay. A lot of people find the idea of willingly depriving yourself of food for a certain period of time as ridiculous and generally not healthy. But for those who would like to know more, here are the links to some of the how’s and why’s of intermittent fasting: Beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting, the good and the bad of intermittent fasting, intermittent fasting for weight loss, how intermittent fasting works, James Clear’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting , and, of course, the book Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon.
* Point to consider, I’m just an average 23-year old who has decided she wants to make a change in her lifestyle and diet by eating healthily and working out more. I am not a health expert, a physical therapist or a medical practitioner. I have decided to try intermittent fasting with an open mind (hence, the resolution to try it out for 21 days to see if it will help). I am not endorsing intermittent fasting to anyone. YOU always have the choice when it comes to YOUR health and to YOUR body. I am also not related, in any way, to any of the writers and bloggers who have supported intermittent fasting. A good friend of mine introduced it to me and I would like to try to see how it works.
Now that we’ve got that covered (and you’re still interested), here’s how I stay hydrated during whole day fasts:
1. Drink 8 glasses of water
I kid you not.
Getting hydrated is very important during fasting since I’m not consuming solid food during the fast. It is doubly important to keep the body hydrated in order to feel full enough to resist solid food throughout the day and to avoid getting headaches induced by your body craving for solids.
I find that drinking exactly eight glasses of water helps me keep my focus and I actually have energy to workout and dance.
I make sure to time my water intake. I take two glasses as soon as I wake up and I take two more during lunch time and dinner time. That’s already six glasses. The other two glasses, I drink during and after I workout.
2. Drink 3 cups of tea
I find that drinking three cups of tea also helps me feel full throughout the whole day fast. This is very important since I have to be able to resist any urge to put anything solid in my mouth for a minimum of 14-hours. Tea is also an antioxidant and a good caffeine alternative to coffee. Green tea, in particular, helps improve metabolism.
Honestly, I just love green tea so I’d drink them as much as I could. The health benefits are just a definite plus.
3. Drink 2 glasses of milk
I love milk. There, I said it. I don’t think there’s a lot of explanation needed. It’s a good source of nutrition.
You may wonder, why drink milk during a fast? Doesn’t that have approximately 180 calories? Are you not fasting anymore if you drink milk?
The thing is, I am only just starting. I don’t want to shock my system by immediately going to full fast mode. It has to be done gradually until the body gets used to doing fasts and can do it more often.
Also, 180 calories is easily burned off by walking for 30 minutes.
4. Drink black coffee
Pretty much the same rationale as milk.
Now, with all these liquids taken during a fast, it’s almost impossible to say “I’m thirsty” or “I’m hungry”. In fact, just drinking two glasses of water alone is enough to keep me full for five hours. I could jog for thirty minutes if I drink at least two glasses before I go.
The same goes to drinking milk and tea. This is very helpful because a fast only happens once or twice a week and I need to keep focused on the task at hand.
So far, so good. I’m currently on my second fast for the week. That means I can look forward to all the food I’ll be cooking up tomorrow. That’s another motivation to keep moving forward.
Also, I still have that photo of me looking all big and unhealthy to remind myself why I’m doing this in the first place.
Wish me luck!