Intermittent fasting is a popular health trend in recent years that has been linked to a whole host of benefits, including weight loss and improved cognitive function. It’s an eating pattern that involves eating during a certain time frame and fasting for the remaining time. While many people find it difficult to get started with intermittent fasting and stick to it, there are some tips and tricks that can help make the process more manageable.
In this article, we’ll share our top 10 tips and tricks to help you with intermittent fasting so you can experience the benefits that come with this practice.
Time Frames For Intermittent Fasting
It’s important to find a good window/time frame that works best for you. Many do 16:8, but it might be hard to start that high. You may want to try 14:10 or 15:9. Some even start as low as 12:12, and that’s fine too. Whatever window you choose, keep in mind your body may revolt a bit and want food. Push through those moments when you think you’re hungry or starving. You’re not. It’s just that your body has been so accustomed to eating at certain times and now you’re depriving it. You’ll get through this period.
It’s important to ease your way into intermittent fasting. Try skipping breakfast and only eating during a 10-hour window to start. Then, gradually reduce that eating window to 7 hours and then to 6. This slow progression will help your body adapt to the changes and make the transition more manageable.
During your fasting periods, it’s essential to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, herbal tea, or black coffee. These beverages will help reduce hunger and keep you feeling full. Your body will try to tell you it wants food, but if you just give it water, it should be happy with that!
Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods
When you do eat, make sure you’re consuming nutrient-dense foods. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods will keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods, making it easier to stick to your fasting schedule. If you opt for high-carb foods or foods that aren’t keto-friendly, your body will continue to crave food.
Regular exercise can help you with intermittent fasting. Not only will it help you burn calories, but it can also reduce hunger and improve your overall health. Try to exercise during your eating periods, as this will help you fuel your workouts and make the most of your food intake. You’ll be more apt to reach for healthier foods after a good workout as opposed to junk food.
Don’t Overexert Yourself
It’s important to listen to your body and not overexert when you exercise during fasting periods. Don’t push yourself, and avoid strenuous activities if you’re feeling weak or dizzy. While intermittent fasting and exercise are a great combination, you must be careful as well in the beginning.
Planning your meals and snacks in advance can help make intermittent fasting more manageable. Prepare all your healthy meals and snacks ahead of time so you’re not tempted to reach for unhealthy options during your eating window. You can plan to make sure your last meal/snack is at 6 pm, or whatever time, will be filling, and after that, the eating window closes.
Keep Yourself Busy
Staying busy during fasting periods can help you avoid thinking about food. Try to engage in some stimulating activities like reading, listening to podcasts, practicing a hobby, or spending time with friends or family. If you sit around doing nothing, you may fall back into the ‘eating out of boredom’ trap, and that’s what we don’t want to happen.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being but especially important during intermittent fasting. Lack of sleep can increase feelings of hunger, making it harder to stick to your fasting schedule. Take naps if you have to when you start feeling irritable, hungry, bored, or cranky. This will keep you out of the kitchen and in fasting mode.
Stock up on Healthy Snacks
During your eating periods, it’s important to have healthy snacks on hand to help keep you feeling full and satisfied between meals. Try to choose snacks that are high in protein and fiber, like nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Avoid sugary snacks at all costs!!
Be Patient With Yourself
Intermittent fasting is challenging and can be quite an adjustment for your body and mind, so it’s important to be patient and give yourself time to adapt. Don’t get discouraged if you experience setbacks or don’t see immediate results. Stay consistent, and you will eventually reap the benefits over time.
Intermittent fasting is a challenging but ultimately rewarding practice that can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. The key to success is to start slowly, stay hydrated, eat nutrient-dense foods, exercise regularly, plan ahead, stay busy, get enough sleep, stock up on healthy snacks, and be patient. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to stick to your fasting schedule and improve your overall health and well-being.
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