Remember when skipping breakfast was considered a cardinal sin in the health and nutrition world? Nowadays, several wellness experts and influencers are raving about the benefits of fasting–the practice of going without all or certain kinds of food or drink for a set period of time.
There are many ways to fast, but intermittent fasting is the most popular and sustainable method. This eating pattern involves alternating between periods of fasting and eating. Many people have reported positive results from using intermittent fasting for weight loss, reduced inflammation, and anti-aging benefits.
One of the key reasons why intermittent fasting is one of today’s hottest wellness trends is because it’s a flexible eating plan that’s easy to modify your intermittent fasting plan to best suit your lifestyle. And, since intermittent fasting doesn’t restricting what you eat–only when–vegans, omnivores, and everyone in between can give it a try!
Some intermittent fasters choose to follow the 16:8 method which includes a 16-hour daily fast followed by an 8-hour eating window. You can also choose to alternate between your fasting and eating periods every 24 hours. Another popular intermittent fasting plan is the 5:2 method. This method involves consuming a very low number of calories (typically between 500-600 calories) two days a week and eating as usual throughout the remaining five days.
Although many people rave about the positive benefits of intermittent fasting, it’s important to remember that it’s not a magic remedy for weight loss or any other wellness goal. Still, many people venture into the world of fasting to reap its potential health benefits. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your intermittent fasting plan:
Intermittent Fasting Tip #1: Eat Plenty of Healthy, Nutritious Foods
Whether you stick with the traditional three-meals-a-day eating pattern or choose to give intermittent fasting a try, it’s always important to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. Because there are no restrictions on what foods you can eat while following an intermittent fasting plan, many people make the mistake of filling up on high-calorie fast food and processed snacks during their eating window.
But, since this eating pattern limits the amount of time you have to eat and causes hormonal changes that can reduce your hunger levels, it’s important to make every calorie count. Instead of opting for an easy high-calorie fast food meal to break your fast, eat hearty meals that contain plenty of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Intermittent Fasting Tip #2: Eat Enough Calories During Your Eating Window
It’s also important to make sure that you consume enough calories while intermittent fasting. As we mentioned earlier, you have a shorter period of time to consume the nutrients your body needs when you’re following an intermittent fasting plan. It’s important to make sure that your meals are satisfying and nutritionally-dense so that you can avoid nutrient deficiencies and have plenty of fuel to keep your body functioning smoothly. It can be a good idea to break your fast with a nutritionally-dense smoothie to make sure you get plenty of nutrients and calories from a healthy source.
Intermittent Fasting Tip #3: Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is extremely important during intermittent fasting. Although drinking eight glasses of water each day significantly contributes to your body’s hydration, we also get around 20-30% of our water from food. So, when you’re fasting, it’s important to make up for this lost water intake by drinking more water to avoid dehydration. In addition to helping with hydration, drinking water can also help you curb cravings during your fasting periods.
Intermittent fasting isn’t a magic pill for all of your wellness goals, but it has been shown to provide a variety of health benefits including weight loss, reduced bodily inflammation, and anti-aging. If you want to try following an intermittent fasting plan, be sure to consult with a nutrition expert and follow the tips mentioned above to maximize your results!
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