Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular weight-loss strategies doctors and fitness professionals promote.
Throughout the years, many companies had claimed they can help you lose weight by doing nothing as long as you take some pills or follow a certain diet. As you may know by now, these are all scams. Fortunately, there is one thing you can do to get fit and not change what you eat or how much you eat. Although intermittent fasting seems simple for many, it can be quite challenging, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.
Here are 11 tips to make intermittent fasting work for you.
1. Don’t Go In Cold Turkey
One of the most common mistakes people make when beginning intermittent fasting is going in cold turkey. Often times, your motivation and drive to accomplish this isn’t going to be enough when the serious hunger pains kick in an hour into the day.
So, what’s the best way to do this? The best approach to intermittent fasting is to simply ease into the process. Instead of aiming for an eight-hour fasting timeframe, it would be better for your body and will power to first aim for three or four during your first week.
2. Accept The Side-Effects
When you begin to change when your body consumes food and liquids, you are also going to see changes in how you feel. These side-effects often catch people by surprise as they believe that not eating would actually make them feel better.
Some of the side-effects other than hunger are going to be constipation. Because of the fact that no food is going into your body for several hours, your body will also have nothing to flush out. There is simply nothing to flush out your system, and thus constipation is often one of the first things that people feel.
The best way to avoid this or at least mediate it during your first few weeks is to take as much water and fiber as possible.
3. Don’t Avoid Water Consumption
A common misconception regarding intermittent fasting is that because you can’t have food, you also can’t have water. This is not true; not only can you have water, but it’s highly recommended that you do so. Not only does it aid you in removing some of your constipation, but it also helps you feel full and thus makes those hours fly by without too much of an issue. However, there has been some debate on how much water you should have during this time.
The reality is that it all depends on your body type, level of activity, and a slew of more variables. The best thing to do is to simply consume enough water where you feel hydrated and full.
4. Don’t Just Sit Around
One of the reasons why people tend to fail intermittent fasting is because they simply don’t give themselves enough to do while fighting hunger pains. In addition to water, you should also make sure that you are not just sitting around looking at the clock. Take your dog for a walk, clean the house, start on that work project you’ve been putting off.
The goal here is to distract you long enough to get through the difficult parts of hunger.
5. Avoid Over-Eating Afterwards
Yes, intermittent fasting provides your metabolism with a boost. However, this is not such a huge boost that you can go out to eat two handfuls of calories the minute your fasting is over. In the end, those calories still count, and you’re just sabotaging yourself and the difficult process you just put yourself through.
The best thing to do is to listen to how your body is responding after the fasting. Is it just your brain telling you to eat more, or are you actually hungry?
6.Meal Prep the Night Before
Getting through a fasting period is only half of the equation when it comes to getting fit. Often the mistakes are made not during fasting but rather after it. This usually involves the foods consumed afterward.
So, what can you do to avoid making this mistake? The best way to ensure that your intermittent fasting was for nothing is to meal prep your food a day or a few days before.
7. Stick to Your Run Time
As stated before, most people are going to be incredibly motivated to do their best during this process. The issue with this drive to succeed is that many will also continue their fast past their run time. This is not only a mistake, but it can place you in what is called “starvation mode.”
When your body is in starvation mode, it will start to slow down your metabolism to conserve energy. You won’t be losing weight when you do this. Fast when you need to fast and eat when you need to.
8. Keep Your Workouts in Mind
When a person workouts, the body is going to require more energy to actually get the job done. Therefore it is crucial to keep your workouts in mind when you start a fasting program. You may want to wait a few hours after completing your fast before hitting the gym.
9. Take Your Life into Consideration
When big social media influencers promote intermittent fasting, they often don’t mention that issue with a person’s lifestyle. As influencers, some of them don’t’ really have day jobs that require them to be at work from nine to five.
To succeed in intermittent fasting, it is paramount that you plan around your own particular lifestyle. For some, fasting in the morning might not be the best of choices. Instead, look for ways to add these hours within the day or even at night.
10. Don’t Look at It as a Diet
Professionals say it best when stating that intermittent fasting is more of a habit than a diet. Diets end, they take pauses or simply don’t work. This is why you should never see intermittent fasting as a diet that you’re going to only do for a few weeks. When you begin to see it as a habit, you start to incorporate into your life for a longer period and with much more ease.
11. Never Give Up
When you first begin to fast, you’re going to feel extreme hunger, there’s simply no way around this, no matter how much water you intake. The good news is that your body is an incredible thing that can quickly adapt to the situation and help you see your goals through.
If you’re seeking a way to lose fat and get the body you’ve always wanted, then intermittent fasting is for you. However, much like with anything in life, you will face some challenges. Simply adhere to the tips above to better prepare yourself for the journey ahead.