Intermittent fasting has been proven to lose weight for years. Generally, there are different types of intermittent fasting. The most popular form is time-restricted eating. Another one is alternate date fasting. No matter what type you choose, intermittent fasting requires discipline and needed background knowledge before you jump into it.
What You Need To Know About Intermittent Fasting?
From tell-tale grumbling of your stomach to experiencing fatigue, it’s highly challenging to stick to an intermittent fasting program. You may also experience stress while you maintain the new eating schedule.
So here are some tips to keep it manageable:
- Starting slow is a key to successful IF.
Rather than jumping into a 16:8 schedule (where you fast for 16 hours and have an 8-hour eating window), you can try starting with a 12:12 schedule (where you fast for twelve hours and have a twelve-hour eating window). Initially, you can start with 12 hours of fasting and a 12-hour eating window. From there you can also bring transition to a smaller eating window if you prefer. Obsession over food should be completely avoided. You can try different distractions during your fasting to keep you away from food, such as watching movies, engaging in paperwork, etc.
- Try eating breakfast as late as you can.
Studies show that it’s easier to fast overnight and then push back the time you eat breakfast. If your average timing for having breakfast is around 8 o’clock, try to push it to nine or ten o’clock. This in turn will make you capable of pushing it to whenever you want, like 12 or 1 o’clock.
- Staying hydrated.
You must keep hydrating yourself with “noncaloric fluids” during your fasting period. Drinking a lot of water can help you control your appetite and stick with fasting. Also include consuming calorie-free drinks, such as herbal teas, throughout the day.
- Addition of healthy fat to your evening meals.
Try adding 2 to 3 tbsp. of healthy fat like coconut butter, olive oil, or avocado in the final meal of the day. This can help in keeping up sugar levels steady overnight.
- Eat slowly during the eating window hours.
You should remember that IF can become dangerous to your health if you don’t consume your recommended daily calorie intake. Eating high-volume foods during your eating window is necessary. Incorporate low-calorie foods which include, raw vegetables, popcorn, and fruits with high water content like grapes and melon. Season meals generously with spices, garlic, herbs, or vinegar are extremely low in calories and still give you full of flavor, which also helps reduce cravings.
- Modify your schedules.
If your schedule is incredibly busy, set aside time to prepare needed meals in advance. This can save your time and help you maintain your diet balanced. At the beginning of IF, you can customize your schedule that’s realistic for you and then bring changes in the intensity and duration of fasting. During a hectic workday, choose an eating window that’s appropriate for you. You can also have the chance to keep your schedules lenient during celebrations or while hanging with friends.
- Make a plan of your healthy and nutritious meals in advance.
Always choose nutrient-dense foods after your fasting period. Fiber, vitamin, and mineral-rich food balance your sugar level and prevent nutrient deficiencies. This can affect weight loss and overall health. Even after the fasting period, try to stick to a healthy diet including fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
- Switch to ginger tea.
Your best companion during fasting periods could be ginger tea. Drinking ginger tea in the mornings and at night can keep you satisfied without any cravings during the fasting hours.
- Define yourself a reason for doing it.
Intermittent fasting can be hard to stick with if you are doing it without a reason in mind for following the eating plan. Your ‘big why’ will push you through the toughest times.
- Never compare your diet plan with others.
Create a regimen that works best for you without comparing it to others’ plans. Everyone has a different metabolism. Make yourself free to use trial and error to see what suits you the best for your mind and body. Resting and relaxing is a must during fasting. Try out light exercise such as yoga and avoid strenuous activities during the fasting period.
Lacey Arlo is a wellness expert and a nutritionist who aims to help members with health and diet queries. Lacey Arlo has worked with junior, national, and Olympic-level athletes by providing them with customizing programmers, supplement strategies, and support during their travel and competition. From weight management, PCOD, thyroid-related weight loss, and nutrition for children to diets for pregnant and diets for senior citizens, She offers nutrition-aided solutions for different age groups with consideration for each person’s unique health demands.