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Keep fasting periods short

Keep fasting periods short

Longer periods of fasting increase your risk of side effects, such as dehydration, dizziness, and fainting. 

The best way to avoid these side effects is to stick to shorter fasting periods of up to 24 hours — especially when you’re just starting out.

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Keep exercise mild

Keep exercise mild

If you’re new to fasting, it’s best to keep any exercise to a low intensity — especially at first — so you can see how you manage.

Low-intensity exercises could include walking, mild yoga, gentle stretching, and housework.

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Keeping busy with low-intensity activities

Keeping busy with low-intensity activities

...such as walking or meditating, may make your fast days easier.

Avoiding eating on fast days can be difficult, especially if you are feeling bored and hungry. One way to avoid unintentionally breaking your fast is to keep busy.

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Healthy eating

Healthy eating

  • Eat enough protein: Having enough protein during your fast may help minimize muscle loss and keep your appetite in check.
  • Eat plenty of whole foods on non-fasting days: This may improve your health and keep you well during a fast.

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Intermittent fasting...

 ...is an increasingly popular eating pattern that involves not eating or sharply restricting your food intake for certain periods of time. It may boost your health. However, fasting can be dangerous if not done properly.

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Popular regimens of fasting:

  • The 5:2 Pattern: restrict your calorie intake for two days per week (500 calories per day for women and 600 for men).
  • The 6:1 Pattern: similar to the 5:2, but there’s only one day of reduced calorie intake instead of two.
  • “Eat Stop E...

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Eat a small amount on fast days

Eat a small amount on fast days

Eating a small amount on fast days rather than cutting out all food may reduce your risk of side effects and help keep hunger at bay.

If you want to try fasting, restricting your calories so that you still eat small amounts on your fast days may be a safer option than doing a full-bl...

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Stop fasting if you feel unwell

You may feel a little tired or irritable during your fast, but if you start to feel unwell, you should stop fasting immediately.

Some signs that you should stop your fast and seek medical help include tiredness or weakness that prevents you from carrying out daily tasks, as well as u...

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Fasting isn’t for everyone

The following shouldn’t attempt to fast without consulting a doctor:

  • People with a medical condition like heart disease or type 2 diabetes
  • Women who are trying to conceive
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • People who are underweight
  • Those wh...

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Stay hydrated

Mild dehydration can result in fatigue, dry mouth, thirst and headaches — so it’s vital to drink enough fluid on a fast.

During a fast, many people aim to drink 8.5–13 cups (2–3 liters) of water over the course of the day. However, your thirst should tell you when you need to dr...

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