Have you heard of the latest diet craze, the intermittent fasting diet? There is a reason why so many celebrities are doing it and why so many people have had success with it. This diet is actually not a diet at all, when implemented properly it should actually become a habit. Don’t be mistaken by dated diets like skipping meals, we all know those diet taboo’s don’t work. Intermittent fasting doesn’t mean you are skipping meals, it doesn’t mean you are counting calories, it doesn’t mean you are tightly restricting what you eat (what a relief!) it simply means you are choosing to eat in a certain time frame while making sure you are fasting for the other periods of time. It’s crucial to understand it is not about deprivation but more about divvying up your calories in a different way.
By following intermittent fasting, it can help lower your blood pressure, improve glucose levels, or even slow down aging process (yes, this is a thing) as well as help you eat fewer calories. When we eat food our insulin is increased and then that turns into stored sugar in the liver and produces fat in the liver. Whereas when we fast our insulin decreases and then we burn out stored sugar. So let’s put that into perspective if you are constantly eating your body will use the incoming food as energy then in result your body will never burn the body fat you have stored.
Diets can complicate and take time out of your life, they can limit you and can also be very expensive. In contrast, fasting helps simplify your life and it’s free to do. It helps you save time because you need to prepare fewer meals and its available to you anytime, anywhere. There are so many great reasons to start this diet and turn it into a habit. Of course, with any major lifestyle change, it’s recommended to chat with your doctor about it first! When you’re ready to dive into trying intermittent fasting, here are 10 tips to help you succeed!
Considering the intermittent fast is so adaptable to have great success with it, you must choose a style that will fit well with you. There are few different ways to follow it. You can choose the 16:8 method or 20:4. The 16:8 method includes daily fasting for 16 hours of the day (keep in mind a big part of that will be during sleeping hours) and then you have an 8-hour window to eat. The 20:4 method involves a 20 hour fast followed by a 4-hour eating window. Both of these methods you have the flexibility of starting and finishing them when you please. Such as you could break your fast at 12 pm and eat up until 8 pm. However, if breakfast is more important to you and you have the willpower to say no to evening snacking then a 10 am to 6 pm window might work better for you.
Or, you can choose a longer fasting period. This can include the 5:2 method, which means you eat 5 days of the week with 2 days being full fasting days. The great thing about this diet is it is so customizable that you can choose whatever appeals to you or is more practical for you and get the same results.
When starting a new lifestyle or diet such as intermittent fasting its is recommended to start at a gradual pace. This will help your body adapt to a smoother transition. If fasting through your normal breakfast time until 12 pm just does not work for you try bumping up your normal breakfast time by one hour the first day then 2 hours the next day until you can make it until lunchtime without food.
Some people are capable to jump right into something new and push through the hard times and cravings but if you are not one of those people if you want to see success try starting gradually.
Hunger doesn’t last forever, it comes in waves. The next time it seems like it’s unbearable try riding out the hunger wave. Contrary to belief once you get hungry it doesn’t keep building up and up until you feel like you might explode, it will eventually subside and you just have to make it through.
Hydration is often key when hunger strikes. Your body may be reacting to being dehydrated by showing signs of hunger when really you just need some H20!
Like mentioned above, when fasting it is so important to drink plenty of water. This helps you stay hydrated but also helps your stomach feel full. You can drink as much water as you want.
Even try drinking coffee or tea (but make sure it’s black, cream and sugar will break your fast) to help subside any cravings you may get during the times of fasting.
This is so very important when fasting. Do your best not to break your fast by binge eating. Especially in the beginning, it can feel really hard to not jump on the biggest meal you can get your hands on when breaking your fast. If you do, you may eat way too quickly, too much and also make poor food choices that your body will hate you for later.
The best thing to do when breaking your fasting period is to plan out good foods to eat and eat slowly. Start with a light meal, and if you’re hungry again soon after, try another snack.
This seems like a no-brainer but make sure in between the non-fasting periods you are fueling your body with wholesome meals. Some studies recommend that you follow a low-carb diet while intermittent fasting to help reduce hunger when you are fasting.
Not to mention eating wholesome food makes your body feel good and powers your mind so you can think properly. We all know what it feels like to eat a fast food meal, although satisfying you develop a sense of brain fog and can make your body feel heavy and de-motivated for the rest of the day.
One of the best ways to distract yourself from what might feel like hunger is to keep busy. How many of you, like myself find yourself unnecessarily eating when you’re bored. This happens because you have nothing to keep your mind moving, so in the result, you think “oh, I’m hungry” when in reality you might actually not be.
Try picking up a new hobby to keep yourself busy. It can be as simple as reading a book, listening to a podcast, or even cleaning the house. Even better yet get your booty moving and keep yourself busy with a workout. There’s nothing better than promoting a healthy lifestyle than incorporating at least 30 minutes of activity into your day and not to mention will you distract you from food all the while making you feel good. If you find you can’t stop thinking about food at work re-asses your task at hand. Maybe you need to take a 5-minute mental break and change up your task, the key point here always stays busy so that the thoughts of food don’t linger in your mind and put you off track.
This is a great and very important tip, journal! Track everything right from the beginning. You can use your phone if you love technology but if you’re more of a traditional person like myself, record in a journal.
It’s a good idea to keep track of your daily food intake during your non-fasting hours and also important to track your moods, good and bad through the whole process. This way you can see if you’re progressing. If you were in an angry mood Monday afternoon it could have been from your body getting used to the new fasting you have been trying or maybe it was from that giant bun you ate at lunch. It’s hard to tell if there are any patterns in a weight loss or healthy lifestyle journey if you don’t track it. Along with tracking moods and food intake make sure to take lots of photos. The easiest way to believe is to see. Make sure to take well before photo’s and progress photos so you have something to reflect on to see if you are indeed making any progress.
When trying a new diet or trying anything you’re really excited about for that matter it’s important to inform the right people. If you have a lot of negative people or you know off hand which people have negative thoughts, in particular, do not include them in on your new journey.
It is so important to have the right support system when starting a new diet or lifestyle. You need people to help you, encourage you and promote your new journey to help your success.
Like starting any new regime or task, the most important thing is to always give it time. The saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” holds incredible meaning. You can’t try intermittent fasting for a couple days and expect extreme weight loss.
Your body takes time to adjust, and your mental states take time to make something into a habit. If you’re going to give intermittent fasting a try make sure to give it a full month before deciding if it is or isn’t for you.