The intermittent fasting It is one of the latest nutrition trends that is generating more and more interest and gaining more followers. Nor is it without controversy, but, unlike restrictive diets, it is a more flexible eating pattern whose benefits increasingly seem to be verified by science, although it is not infallible or suitable for everyone.
It is a practice to which we cannot go crazy; It is necessary to be clear about which pattern best suits our needs and, above all, to plan our diet well. The usual thing is to concentrate food intake in the last hours of the day, so dinner becomes the main meal and it will have to be well complete and healthy.
Three keys to decipher the labeling of any food
What is intermittent fasting?
Broadly speaking, intermittent fasting is a nutritional model planned according to specific times of intake. Daily meals are arranged to establish in which time slots you can eat food, and in which ones not, allowing the habitual consumption of water.
There are different types or models, depending on the number of hours the fast is prolonged. The most common are:
- 8/16. You fast for sixteen hours, and your meals are concentrated on the remaining eight hours of the day. It is the simplest and that probably many people practice without realizing it.
- 20/4. An intermediate model that lengthens the fast for twenty hours and only allows food to be eaten in the remaining four hours a day. In this way, it is usual to eat only once, or, at most, two, in smaller doses.
- 12/12. At first it seems easier but it is difficult to adapt to most daily routines. Yes, it can be a simple option for those who dine early or do not have breakfast at all in the early hours of the day.
- 24 or alternate days. This practice alternates days of normal, uncontrolled meals with long, full-day fasts.
- 48 or more. The most extreme fast in which you spend two full days, or more, without eating, just water.
The benefits (and risks) of intermittent fasting
The temporary caloric restriction proposed by this pattern has numerous proven benefits, with weight loss being one of the most interesting. Space meals can help you lose weight and also to reduce the risk of diseases such as hypertension or asthma, it can help the intestinal microbiota and increase lean mass or muscle, promoting fat loss.
But these benefits are always long-term, and within a healthy lifestyle. Fasting itself it has no advantages if the diet is not balanced and healthy, or if more calories are ingested than are burned, for many hours that we go without eating. Lack of adherence is one of the great difficulties posed by this pattern, and the consequent rebound effect.
Very long fasts ill adapted rhythms of life -in which the social component must be included-, as well as poor planning of micronutrients and macronutrients, can have negative effects on health. Therefore, as in the ketogenic diet or any other, it is advisable to consult a professional.
Complete dinners to carry out intermittent fasting
As we’ve noted, the most popular and accessible type of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 pattern, especially for beginners. If we decide to incorporate this system into our daily lives, we will have to go 16 full hours without eating; we can only – and must – drink water, also coffee, tea or herbal teas natural, without adding sugars, dairy or the like.
The advantage is that we will spend approximately eight hours of that fast sleeping; I just need to hold out for another eight hours This involves skipping breakfast and mid-morning, leaving the first food intake at lunch or lunch. Obviously, the precise hours will have to be adjusted depending on when we stop eating the day before, being able to advance or delay meals and dinners.
The usual thing is that this first intake is more frugal, since it coincides with the working day, and reserve the bulk of nutrients and calories for dinner. It is advisable to have dinner relatively early, so that it does not affect rest, and thus make the most of the overnight fast for the next day.
This dinner should be satiating, nourishing and complete. It is a mistake to dine too light because we want to lose weight, and also to eat anything because we think that fasting gives us “carte blanche” to eat poorly.
So that no one runs out of ideas, below we propose a selection of recipes as complete as they are appetizing, varied and simple for those who dare to practice intermittent fasting.
Very complete salads
Now that the good weather is coming and you want fresher dishes, salads are a very comfortable option because they allow you to put together very complete dinners on the same plate. We need them to be satiating but not heavy, with all the necessary nutrients and avoiding excessively caloric sauces.
Vegetarian and vegan recipes
The important thing when practicing intermittent fasting in vegetarian and vegan diets is to ensure a good intake of all nutrients, especially of protein. Legumes in this case are our best allies, without forgetting the presence of cereals and the nutritional power of nuts and seeds.
- Vegan bean burger with miso, walnuts and oatmeal. Tasty and very complete, this hamburger could be eaten by itself and it would already be a great banana, but completed with the bun and other toppings it becomes a dinner that it has everything to hold onr with fasting until the next day.
- Stewed vegetables with beans and pasta. A dish that has all the necessary nutrients and that feels just as good served very hot on cold nights, as warmer when temperatures rise. Eliminating the cheese It is a vegan recipe that we could complete with a simple salad and a piece of bread.
- Green lentil stew with bulgur. Substituting the lentils for one skinless variety We will have a very light and digestive dish, but satisfying and energetic, full of flavor. Bulgur is made from wheat; swapping it for quinoa, millet or rice we could make the dish gluten free.
- Lentil hummus. To vary the typical chickpea, this version incorporates almonds as well as sesame. With a good selection of crisp breads and raw vegetables We will have a very appetizing and complete snack dinner.
- Light falafel. Avoiding frying we save a lot of calories and also the risk that it is too heavy a dish for the stomach. Well accompanied by pita bread or similar, with green leaves, greens and vegetables, it will be a fantastic dinner.
- Seitan fillets in pepper sauce. Very fast to prepare, seitan is rich in protein, very digestive (unless we have problems with gluten) and easy to accompany with a nutritious sauce and a garnish of potatoes that round the plate.
- Rice noodles with tofu and pepper stir fry. Without glutenHigh in protein, light and full of flavor, this recipe also has the advantage that it is prepared in a jiffy, and it admits many variations with other vegetables and spice sauces.
Dinners with meat
Avoiding the fattiest, less healthy and much heavier parts to digest, meats provide a fantastic source of protein that lengthens satiety for many hours. The challenge is to get dishes that are also healthy and balanced, looking for recipes that are complete in terms of contribution of vegetables and carbohydrates complex, not to forget the fiber.
- Swedish turkey meatballs. Inspired by the famous Ikea, the homemade version has nothing to envy or even surpasses, as they are full of aromas and flavor. Combined with some pasta, the juicy meat and the rich sauce complete a very complete dinner.
- Veal prey tataki with spiced basmati. Good lean meat presented in an original way and a little aromatic rice are the base of this nutritious dish, topped with a mixture of green shoots and quick pickled onion. Low in fat but satiatingIt is a simple recipe that is made in a few minutes.
- Chicken marsala with mushrooms and tomatoes. It is a stew of chicken with wine and vegetables that we can make with breast, thighs or thighs, better if we leave the bone so that it has more flavor. To complete the dish we can serve it with white rice or with another cereal, pasta or simply good quality whole wheat bread that provides the necessary complex carbohydrates.
- Chicken tagine with honey, carrots and zucchini. An excellent mix of poultry meat with vegetables and all the flavor of that sweet and sour sauce, delicious to accompany our favorite garnish, although what best suits the dish is some couscous, which we could use in a whole version.
- Lamb pie with tahini and tomato sauce. A very complete and very original Dish with Middle Eastern flavors to eat hot, without anything else, or cold, cut like cold cuts to fill sandwiches, sandwiches or pita bread.
- Beef Stew in Red Wine in Crock-Pot. Leaving the slow cooker programmed in the morning we will have dinner ready waiting for us hot on time. The delicious sauce of the stew calls for potatoes, white rice or a lot of bread for dippingAlthough some pasta would also be a good garnish to complete.
- Chicken in hunter sauce or easy chasseur. Inspired by a French recipe that has variants throughout Europe, it is a very tasty but light chicken stew, enriched with mushrooms, delicious accompanied by mashed potatoes creamy and some good bread for dipping.
- Gardener Meatballs. A classic of home cooking that does not fail, very complete and full of flavor, comforting and very healthy. The advantage is that we can prepare a good quantity and have reserves in the fridge or freezer, to solve dinners on emergency days.
Also an excellent source of quality protein, fish and shellfish are even more recommended than meat as they are generally a low-fat food. Alternating white fish with blue fish we will add …