Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight, get more energy, and improve your mental focus. And all it takes is not eating for a little while. There are different ways to practice intermittent fasting. To keep it simple, we’ll talk about one of the easiest ways to do it for the purpose of this report. Of course, the tips shared below will help you no matter how you decide to fast.
The type of intermittent fasting most often recommended for beginners is what’s referred to as the 16/8 method. The idea is to fast for 16 hours and have all your meals for the day in the remaining 8 hours. It’s not nearly as hard as it sounds. For example, you could have a late breakfast at 10am and then just go about your day, eat, but make sure you have finished dinner by 6pm and don’t eat again before nedtime. That sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it?
It is on paper, but when you start to practice intermittent fasting, you may find yourself craving a snack or waking up hungry. Here are 10 tips that will help you make it through your fasting hours.
Tip #1 – Cut the Sugar Before You Start Fasting
The biggest thing new and experienced Intermittent Fasters struggle with is sugar cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It isn’t so much that you’re really hungry during the hours you spent not eating. It’s more that you’re craving a piece of chocolate, a biscuit or cake. The best way to deal with this is to cut as much sugar from your diet as you can before you start to fast.
You know it’s not good for you, so take a week and wean yourself from fizzy drinks and sweet coffee. Empty out the biscuit tin and stop eating ice cream as a late night snack. Once you’ve eliminated a lot of the sugar you’ve been consuming, you’re ready to get started with your fast.
Tip #2 – Stay Well Hydrated
Water is your best friend when you are fasting. Not only will it keep you full and quite frankly give you something to do when you’re not eating, it will also make sure you keep up your energy and continue to function throughout the day.
The main reason many people will start to feel bad and get headaches when they are fasting is because they are getting dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water will also help your body burn through excess body fat for energy.
Tip #3 – Get Plenty Of Sleep
It’s important to get plenty of quality sleep any night of the week, but in particular when you’re fasting. When we’re tired and sleep deprived it’s harder to make smart decisions. Willpower goes down and you find yourself drawn to those sweets or crisps in a vain effort to stay awake.
As an added bonus going to bed a little early will keep you from late night snacking temptations.
Tip #4 – Go For A Walk
Sometimes the best thing you can do when you’re struggling with your fasting is to go out for a walk. It takes you away from your fridge and gets you thinking about something other than food.
Plus walking, or any type of exercise boosts endorphins and makes you feel better. And I don’t know about you, but most of us could stand to move around a little more. Instead of breaking your fast and fixing a snack, go for a walk around the block.
Tip #5 – Coffee and Tea Are Your Friends
Coffee and herbal teas are your best friends during fasting hours. You already know this. Get up in the morning and drink a big cup or two of black coffee. That usually fills you up enough that you won’t miss breakfast.
Herbal tea works really well at night, if you’re a snacker. Yes, it isn’t your favourite treat, but it gives you something tasty to sip that fills your belly. Try it and see if that isn’t enough to keep you from grabbing your favourite snack before bed.
Tip #6 – Time Flies When You’re Staying Busy
The worst thing you can do when you’re first starting to fast is to keep your eye on the clock, counting down the hours until it is time to eat again. That didn’t work well when you were in school waiting for the bell to ring and it doesn’t work well when it comes to fasting either.
Instead find something to keep you busy. Meet a friend for coffee, read a good book, watch a movie or bury yourself in work. It doesn’t matter what you do, but stay busy and the time will start to fly.
Tip #7 – When You Eat, Savour Your Food
When it’s time to eat, you’ll be tempted to grab something and eat it fast. Trust me, you’re not starving to death. Instead take your time. Fix something you really like and take your time preparing it and arranging it on your plate.
Sit down at the table and savour your food. Eating is as much a visual and tactile experience as it is about the nutrients you’re getting into your body. By taking your time and savouring your food, you’ll satisfy that part until it is time to eat again. Give it a try and see if it helps you stick to your fasting schedule and as a bonus makes you enjoy the food you prepare and eat more.
Tip #8 – Get Out Of The House And Away From Temptation
We all have days when fasting is hard, really hard. All we want to do is raid the fridge or freezer. The best thing to do when that happens is to get out of the house and away from the available food
Of course you maybe can’t head to your favourite coffee shop or the food court at the mall. Instead do what you can to stay away from food. We already talked about going for a walk. That’s always a great option. Or go for a drive, or go window shopping (avoiding the food court at all cost). Just distract yourself long enough to allow your will power to come back.
Tip #9 – Save A Special Treat
Here’s a great little trick that works for many fasters. When you see a special treat you’d really like, get it and then save it. Instead of telling yourself that no, you can’t have the cupcake, tell yourself that you can have it, but not right now. Making yourself wait for your favourite food is much easier than giving it up for good.
The same works for pizza or your favourite takeout. Of course, you wouldn’t get it right away. Instead, make a deal with yourself that you can order Chinese food later this afternoon when your fast is over.
Tip #10 – Stick To The Same Schedule
Let’s wrap this up with one more tip. We’re creatures of habit and will adapt to a particular schedule if we stick to it for a while. For example, if you get up every morning and eat breakfast right away, your body gets used to that and you find yourself waking up hungry.
If on the other hand you stick to a schedule where you don’t eat until 11am and have your last meal by 7pm, you won’t wake up hungry and after a while you won’t even crave that late night snack before bed. Your body learns that food is something to expect between 11am and 7pm – roughly. That’s why it’s important to stick to the same schedule when you fast intermittently. It will keep you from getting hungry during your fasting hours and make it much easier to stick to your plan.
I hope these tips have been helpful. Give them a try as you start Intermittent Fasting and see what works well for you. You won’t need to follow all of them all the time, but keep this report handy for those days when you’re struggling.
After a while eating and not eating this way will become the new normal for you and you won’t need to use any of them.
Of course this is not an extensive list by any stretch of the imagination. I’m sure as you start to go down this journey of fasting, you’ll come up with your own helpful tips and coping strategies. And of course reminding yourself why you’re fasting in the first place (be it for the health or spiritual benefits) is always helpful as well.