Randomly fasting without a plan or not fully understanding the process won’t necessarily get you to your goals very quickly. So when starting intermittent fasting, make sure to look over these tips and follow the directions of the plan you choose. It’s important for your weight loss success and so that you do things in a healthy way.
DO Plan Your Fasting Correctly
Now the two main intermittent plans are either to fast every day for a specific time period or to pick two non-consecutive days a week where you greatly limit your calorie intake for the entire day. When fasting every day pick a time window that matches with your daily schedule.
Plan to eat most of your food close to the middle of your day. You do not want to be eating within 2-3 hours of your bedtime. If you choose the 2 full day option you will still eat but your entire daily caloric intake should be around 500-600 calories.
DO NOT Overcompensate
Don’t overcompensate or binge in between fasts. One of the goals of intermittent fasting is to reduce your overall calories for the day or for the week. So, binging and eating extra-large meals when you do eat will obviously not accomplish this. Eat normal sized portions of healthy foods as if you hadn’t just finished a fast.
DO Start with Smaller Fasting Time Windows
Start with a smaller fasting time window and then slowly increase it. If you are just starting intermittent fasting, a 12-hour fasting window is suggested to begin. This is usually quite obtainable as you are asleep on average for about 8 of those hours. That means it would only be 2 hours of you waiting to eat in the morning, and not eating anything 2 hours before you go to sleep; pretty simple.
After successfully completing a small period of time, you can slowly start increasing the window as long as you can stick to it. Between 14 and 16 hours are the most common fasting periods.
DO Break Your Fast Gently
Break your fast gently with something healthy and easy to digest. It is also important to avoid anything high in sugar, even natural sugars, immediately after your fast. It is suggested to start with a small snack first like a handful of nuts and then wait 15-30 minutes before eating a meal. This can help with avoiding over eating.
DON’T Avoid Fats
Your body needs fats to function properly. Make sure you are getting the recommended daily allowance of healthy fats every day. You should especially make sure your first meal after fasting has enough healthy fats and aim for a few high fat snacks as well.
DO Follow a Nutritious Diet on Non-Fast Days
Follow a nutritious diet on non-fast days and aim to eat healthy foods high in fiber. Intermittent fasting is not your get out of jail free card for eating unhealthy for the rest of the day. It is your extra help to get you to your goals faster; it is not magic. All the food you eat is highly important. Plan your meals and make sure you are meeting your recommended daily intake for fats, proteins, and complex-carbohydrates.
DO Drink Plenty of Fluids
You are only fasting from foods, so it is very important to stay hydrated while fasting. Drink plenty of water and you can also have green tea and coffee. Staying hydrated can also help with hunger cravings. And on occasion, thirst and dehydration can be confused as hunger. So, opt for a beverage to help fight it and make sure to stay away from additives like cream and sugar.
DO Stay Busy
Do stay busy and don’t worry about the hunger, it will come and go in waves. Staying busy will help keep you focused on your goals and keep your mind off your cravings. And pretty soon, your hunger will decrease.
Intermittent fasting is probably one of the easiest ways to lose weight. So if you’re considering this option, then definitely follow these do’s and don’t’s so you can experience weight loss quickly.