In this article:
- Get into the Right Mindset
- Choose How You Want to Fast
- Stick to the Routine as Much as Possible
- Stay Hydrated
- Exercise Portion Control
- Eat the Right Kinds of Food
- Sleep Well
Get the Intermittent Fasting Results You Seek with These 7 Tips
1. Get into the Right Mindset
A lot of people fail to achieve their intermittent fasting results because they weren’t able to set the right mindset. They quit before they can even see the changes they want.
Also known as IF, intermittent fasting cannot and should not be a one-time program. In fact, you have to be consistent and make it part of your lifestyle.
You must also be clear about your goals. Are you doing intermittent fasting for weight loss, for example?
These objectives will help you set benchmarks when you need to assess whether IF is working for you or not.
Some people may not even be a candidate for IF. These can include children or people below 18 years old, pregnant women, and those with weak immune systems.
Even if you’re healthy, you should not proceed with IF without getting clearance from your doctor. You want to ensure you’re in tiptop shape before you begin this.
2. Choose How You Want to Fast
What is intermittent fasting? It’s a cyclical period of fasting, which can be calorie restriction or non-eating of food, and consumption of food. With this definition, we have different types of IFs:
- Intermittent Fasting 16/8 Method—You fast for 16 hours and eat within the 8-hour window.
- Warrior Diet—You eat for only four hours and fast for the remainder of the time.
- Alternative Days—You fast every other day or on selected days of the week.
- 500-Calorie—You choose the days when you limit your whole-day calorie intake to only 500.
- 12-Hour Fast—You eat for only 12 hours and fast the rest of the day.
- Skipping Meals—You avoid eating one of the three big meals. Usually, it’s breakfast.
If you’re a beginner, you may want to begin with a 12-hour fast and then work your way to 16:8, which many people do.
Note, though, fasting for longer periods can have health repercussions such as gallstone formation. The risk is higher among women, regardless of their weight.
Skipping breakfast may also not be ideal. According to a study by the American College of Cardiology, this habit tends to have a link to atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the narrowing and hardening of the arteries.
If you truly want to skip breakfast, you may substitute it with Rising Energy, which works like coffee but without the jitter. It can give you the energy you need until your first meal of the day.
3. Stick to the Routine as Much as Possible
Your preferred IF type only comes secondary to your commitment to the routine. As much as possible, you want to choose an intermittent fasting schedule you can follow religiously.
These tips may help you:
- Make dinner your last meal so your sleep can count toward the fasting period.
- Plan ahead for the activities of the week. If you expect to attend a birthday lunch on Friday, adjust your fasting period the day before that.
- Keep yourself busy, so you don’t end up thinking and grabbing food in the middle of the fast.
- Are you planning to work out? Do it after the fast, if possible.
4. Stay Hydrated
One of the immediate effects of IF is hunger, and when you’re hungry, you are more likely to jeopardize your intermittent fasting results.
To avoid it, drink something in between. IF does allow you to consume herbal teas, coffee, and water during your fast.
5. Exercise Portion Control
Just because you’re doing the intermittent fasting diet doesn’t mean you have the luxury to consume as much as you want during your non-fast period. This only offsets the benefits of intermittent fasting.
You still need to exercise portion control, but it may be difficult when you can feel your tummy grumbling. One of the techniques is to pace your meals so you don’t have to eat large ones during your non-fast window.
If you’re on an 8-hour feeding window, you may consider the following schedule:
- First Hour—Eat your first normal meal.
- Second Hour—Have a small snack.
- Third Hour—Eat your second last normal meal.
- Fifth Hour—Have another small snack.
- Seventh Hour—Eat your last normal meal.
Drink plenty of healthy fluids between these meals, and if it helps, use a smaller plate for better portion control.
6. Eat the Right Kinds of Food
Eating the right kinds of food is the perfect complement to portion control. When IF leaves you wanting when it comes to food, you may tend to grab microwavable meals or head to the nearest burger-and-fry shop.
You may also consider drinking sweetened beverages because, after all, you believe you need to increase your carbs.
All these will not give you the intermittent fasting results you want. Processed foods, especially ultra-processed foods, can leave you feeling even hungrier. Worse, you’re increasing your risk of metabolic conditions, including obesity.
Here are some tips for eating healthily:
- Focus on foods with healthy fats, such as avocados and salmon.
- Eat healthy and lean proteins, such as grass-fed beef or chicken.
- Stuff your plate with leafy greens.
- Consume some nuts as snacks.
- Consider healthy food swaps.
7. Sleep Well
You can also lose or not achieve your desired intermittent fasting results if you lack sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to many problems, including the poor ability to control hunger.
It can increase the production of a hormone called ghrelin, which stimulates the appetite. It may also decrease the release of leptin, which should curb it.
Lack of sleep may also make you want to eat more cookies and other types of sweets. This is because it may activate endocannabinoid, the same type of lipid you stimulate when you take marijuana.
Give yourself at least seven hours of sleep. If you’re having a hard time sleeping, supplements such as Relax & Unwind may help keep your sleeping patterns normal.
This intermittent fasting guide brings you closer to the intermittent fasting results you want, but only if you’re willing to work hard for it. It’s okay if you fail once in a while, as most people do.
What’s essential is you get back on track as soon as you can, provided you have your doctor’s blessing and it’s doing your body some good.
What are the other intermittent fasting benefits you like to share? Add them in the comments section below!