Over the past 3-4 years, a new kind of dietary technique called intermittent fasting has gained popularity.
Proponents say it’s helpful for weight loss, cellular rejuvenation, and increased energy levels.
And while much of that is true, intermittent fasting won’t help you get healthier unless you follow these tips.
The health-boosting effects of intermittent fasting are, without a doubt, some of the most significant discoveries of modern time.
Which is ironic when you consider how intermittent fasting is an ancient practice that’s only recently been popularized among health-conscious folks.
What Is Intermittent Fasting
And What Do You Need to Know For It To Work?
First off, if you’re unclear on what exactly constitutes intermittent fasting, it really isn’t a difficult concept.
Essentially intermittent fasting is time-restricted eating.
While most “fasts” people know of extend for days at a time, most intermittent fasting programs break up eating and fasting into 24 hour periods.
From there a person will fast for X amount of hours and then eat all of their food in the remaining hours.
The most popular format is 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating.
The principle behind the success of intermittent fasting is the fasting period induces cellular protection that sends the body into survival mode.
This reactionary measure produces a series of positive responses that help with cognition, blood sugar regulation, weight management, cancer-fighting, and more.
All that being true, to make intermittent fasting work for you, there are essential things to consider, or tips to follow.
Failure to follow this advice could upset you since you’ll have done all of the work and not see results.
1 – Ease Into It:
Many people who want to fast, find the process so difficult that they give up on it long before they reach the point where they can fast consistently (and comfortably).
For this reason, it’s crucial to consider easing into fasting.
Experts recommend if you’re used to eating 3 square meals and some snacks throughout the day to start cutting out snacks.
Getting rid of snacks and stretching the time between meals will help you grow comfortable with being hungry (something most people don’t enjoy).
From there, a person can start to move breakfast back, or move dinner up.
Generally speaking advancing dinner forward 15 minutes or breakfast back 15 minutes every single day will help you shorten your eating window.
Lastly, you can try alternating days of skipping an entire meal, whether it’s breakfast or dinner.
The idea behind alternating days is this gives you a baseline for a day of intermittent fasting with a day of reprieve.
2 – Ditch Sugar/Carbs:
Another important tip is to keep your sugar consumption low. This is true of when you’re fasting regularly, and when you’re easing into it.
While you can eat your whole day’s worth of calories in a small window 6-10 hours, if you ingest a significant amount of sugars during that time, it will lead to high blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar will cause rapid insulin spikes and crashes later, which may lead to cravings that you give into.
Many people who do intermittent fasting discover that going lo-carb is one of the best ways to circumvent the annoyance of hunger pangs.
If you decide that you still need carbs, it’s best to eat most of your sugars/carbs in your first meal.
That way if your insulin levels come crashing down you can eat another meal to help balance them out.
3 – Reassess Your Exercise Program:
If you’re someone who wants to try intermittent fasting out, and you exercise, bear in mind exercise + fasting could leave you feeling wiped out.
Thus you need to reassess exercise programs, (specifically timing and intensity) to make sure you can still exercise.
If you’re the kind of person who only likes to workout on an empty stomach, you’re going to be just fine.
If, on the other hand, you only want to work out while fueled up, consider working out in between two meals.
That way, you won’t feel weak during a workout and can still give 100%.
It should be noted, exercising in a fasted state is quite beneficial when it comes to weight loss, blood sugar control, and for inflammation regulation.
Yes, You Should Start Fasting Today
If you’re reading this and have been considering fasting for some time, there’s no better time to start.
It’s free, proven to work, and can be safely done when you follow these steps (and drink plenty of water).
If you wait to fast, you’re not hurting anyone else, but you may be hurting yourself.