Intermittent fasting (IF) is a method that has gained popularity as an effective tool for managing weight and improving general health. This method involves alternating between eating and fasting for a certain number of days or hours. Unlike regular weight loss plans, intermittent fasting doesn’t affect what you eat. IF regulates when you eat.
Here are 5 tips for successful intermittent fasting.
Identify and set your goals
Before you begin an intermittent fasting diet, you should have a goal in mind. For instance, it could be to lose weight, counter the aging effects on your body, or improve your metabolic health.
An individual’s main goal on why they choose to fast will help them identify the most suitable IF plan. It will also help in choosing the best foods and exercises to pair with intermittent fasting.
Choose your preferred method
Once you understand your primary purpose for fasting, you can select an IF plan. There are several schedules to choose from. You should stick to a single plan for some time, like a month or so. This will help you find out whether it works before giving a different method a try. Popular IF methods include:
- Warrior Diet
Warrior diet follows the rule of restricting calories for 20 hours then eating during a 4-hour window. It’s one of the most extreme methods. Warrior diet is not suitable for beginners.
- Alternate Day Fasting
Some people prefer to fast on alternate days. The most common method involves fasting for two days each week. Alternate day fasting is great for weight loss as it often results in a calorie deficit.
Here, people choose to fast for 14 to 16 hours each day. They then eat whatever they feel like for the remaining 8 to 10 hours. Males tend to fast more hours than females.
Understand your body’s caloric needs
As much as intermittent fasting does not restrict food intake, it doesn’t mean you can take as many calories as you wish then expect to lose weight. For you to lose weight and get positive results, you have to take in fewer calories than you need. This helps create a calorie deficit which leads to weight loss.
Create an excellent workable meal plan
Planning your meals will help make your diet easier. You’ll find that when you are about to break your fast, you’ll be tired and hungry. In that case, it will be easier for you if you prepare your meals ahead of time. Ensure the meals are delicious. You can include your favorite snacks. With that said, consider your calorie intake if you aim to lose weight.
Check your calorie intake for effective weight lose
It is essential to understand that calories found in different foods are not the same. For example, junk foods have more calories as compared to healthy foods and fruits. One should, therefore, aim at taking foods that have high nutrients when fasting. It may be hard to stop taking processed foods completely. Ensure you take junk food in moderation. Practice healthy eating for maximum benefits.
Intermittent fasting is a proven way of losing weight. It has also been shown to have lots of health benefits. With that said, seek medical advice before embarking on an intermittent fasting diet.