We have heard so much about intermittent fasting and its health benefits. Following intermittent fasting is not comfortable for many people because of the number of hours of fasting and the timings of the day. However, there is an alternative to intermittent fasting with the same beneficial effects. It is called reverse of intermittent fasting. What is reverse Intermittent Fasting? (Indian Diet Plan for weight loss ). Let us find out.
What is Reverse Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting skips breakfast and has a dinner which is eaten after 16 – 18 hours of fasting. Unlike traditional intermittent fasting, reverse intermittent fasting skips dinner or rather has an early dinner and emphasizes consuming breakfast.
Reverse intermittent fasting is also known as a sun cycle diet. It follows the natural circadian rhythm. It consists of exposure to direct sun or sunlamp along with intermittent fasting.
Reverse intermittent fasting doesn’t count calories or restrict food. Instead, it emphasizes timings and eating patterns to burn more fat. It is based on the fact that digestive genes are very active in the morning. Hence this science is in sync with Ayurveda.
What is Circadian Rhythm?
This follows the simple rule of following the body’s own circadian rhythm or its own body clock. Each cell has a proper time at which it turns on and turns off. As the sun rises the body cells turn on. They need energy and fuel. Whereas, when the sun sets, the body’s digestive process slows down and needs a break. This is the time when the body focuses on repairing and rejuvenation of the body cells.
Late-night binging can slow down your digestion, increase acid reflux, and also leads to indigestion. When this is continued for a long time, it may invite bigger health issues like insulin resistance, and fat deposition as well as diabetes. Once the sun is up in the sky, the body cells turn on and are more active, thus eating food in the morning ensures complete digestion with negligible health issues.
Steps to follow Reverse Intermittent Fasting
- Determine a suitable eating window between 6 to 10 hours
- 3 main meals i.e breakfast, lunch and dinner are included
- There need to be 13 hours fast between dinner and breakfast
- Consume your last meal of the day before 6 pm
- Twice a week fast for a minimum of 15 to 16 hours, by consuming dinner much before 6 pm
Eating and lifestyle pattern to follow in Reverse Intermittent Fasting
- Drink bulletproof coffee and eat a protein-rich breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up
- Eat Dinner before 6 pm
- Include variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables
- Get maximum light or sun exposure during the daytime
- Adjust your sleep schedule between 9 pm to 11 pm and wake up time between 5.30 to 7 am
- Expose yourself to early morning sun for a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes daily before 10 am
Benefits of Reverse Intermittent Fasting
- Controls blood sugars, especially fasting blood sugars
- Maintains normal blood pressure
- Aids in weight loss
- Maintains hormonal balance
- Corrects the sleep schedule
- Reduces stress-related free radicals in the body
- Exposure to the sun helps in maintaining vitamin D and calcium balance
Foods to include in Reverse Intermittent Fasting
Consume complex carbohydrates with moderate to low GI to maintain blood glucose levels. Include a lot of fiber in the diet which helps you to remain full for a longer period of time. More fiber means more chewing, which gives you more satiety and you, consume fewer calories. Include whole grain cereals, millets, whole fruits and vegetables, bran, oats, and quinoa.
Protein-rich foods help in early satiation, increase metabolism, aid in weight loss, prevent overeating, and lead to fat loss. Start your day with a protein-rich breakfast to kick-start your metabolism. According to circadian rhythm, proteins are better digested during the daytime. Include dals, pulses, dairy products, eggs, lean meats, soy, and nuts.
Fats are necessary for lubrication and insulation of the body. Good-quality fats help to reduce oxidative stress in the body. Omega 3 fatty acid reduces inflammation, reduces stress, and boosts immunity. Include omega-3-rich fish, olive oil, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. Consume groundnut oil, rice bran oil, or canola oil for cooking.
Vitamins and minerals:
Vitamins and minerals are necessary for proper body functioning. They help to reduce inflammation, reduce stress and boost immunity. Consume whole fruits and vegetables that provide the majority of the required vitamins and minerals. Eat a minimum of 5 to 6 servings of fruits and vegetables.
Fluid intake is as important as food. Consume enough liquids to prevent dehydration. During the fasting period, you can freely consume water, infused water, or zero-calorie liquids like a vegetable stalks or chicken stalks.
Foods to avoid in Reverse Intermittent Fasting
- Deep fried: Deep-fried foods might seem a better option that will keep you full for a longer time, but that increases the weight. Avoid junk, creamy gravies, white sauce, and mayonnaise.
- Sugary foods: Sugary foods make you feel hungry in no time. It leads to high sugars, weight gain, and cardiac problems. Avoid desserts, bakery products, sweets, chocolates, sugary beverages, and table sugar.
- Canned foods: Canned foods are high in preservatives, sugar, and salt. All lead to weight gain. Avoid canned beans, fruits or any other products.
- Alcohol: Alcohol hinders with the normal functioning of the body. It affects the liver, kidney and muscles. Alcohol promotes weight gain, increases sugar, and affects cardiac function.
Reverse Intermittent Fasting (Indian Diet Plan for weight loss )
Sample Diet Chart for Reverse Intermittent Fasting
Empty stomach (7.00 am): Bullet coffee (No sugar).
Breakfast (7.30 am): 3 small Moong dal chillas with green chutney and 1 cup curd + 1 Fruit (100 – 150 gms).
Mid-morning (10.00 am): 1 boiled egg or 40 gms Paneer + ¼ cup Nuts (Almonds, walnuts, dried fig, date, black resin).
Lunch (12.30 pm): 1 cup Green salad + 2 Phulka (Multigrain atta) + 1 cup Vegetable + 1 cup Dal or Sprouts or Pulse + 1 cud curd or 100 gms chicken or fish.
Mid-afternoon (3.30 pm): 1 cup of green Tea.
Dinner (5.00 – 5.30 pm): 1 cup Spinach broccoli Soup + 1 cup Dal khichdi + 1 cup Vegetable + 40 gms Paneer or tofu or 1 cup curd.
Following a natural body, cycle enhances the effect of reverse intermittent fasting and gives good results. Always remember to consult professionals before following any of the diets to ensure the correct method is followed. Reverse intermittent fasting is not only easy but also a very healthy way to lose weight.
Interested for weight loss
RD, Payal Banka (Registered Dietitian)
Hi Vandana, emailing you the details. In case you don’t receive the email, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org