Most people have heard about intermittent fasting and how effective it can be to help people lose weight. However, it is certainly not easy, and restricting your calorie intake can be a real challenge for many.
Following the steps below will help you find the most appropriate type of fast diet for you, and allow you to ease into it gradually to give yourself the best chance of success.
Seven Tips for Success
- Research the different types – There are so many different types of intermittent fasting that a great starting point is to educate yourself as to which you think might be the best fit for you. Do you want to start with something like the 5:2 diet, or simple time-dependent eating? Each has pros and cons, and by evaluating a few of the variations, you’re more likely to find something you like.
- Don’t be too ambitious – If you start out with a diet that is too restrictive, you’ll find it really difficult to stick to it. Instead, make it slightly easier initially, give yourself a gentle introduction and ramp it up as you become more confident. For example, with time-dependent eating, don’t go straight to an 8-hour window, start with an 11-hour window instead.
- Plan your diet ahead – As the saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Make sure you’ve planned out your meals ahead of your fast days so that you know what you’re eating and when. You don’t want to find yourself in a scenario where you’re starving hungry and a long way from a healthy low-calorie snack.
- Look for substitutes – Rather than eliminating things from your diet altogether, look to substitute out your favorite treats for low-calorie alternatives. This way you can still feel like you’re enjoying your food, but being healthy at the same time. This includes portion control as well. If you can’t find a low-cal version of your preferred treats, see if you can get by with a smaller portion instead.
- Hydrate – One of the main things that people struggle with while fasting is obviously hunger! But people very often think they are hungry when they are actually suffering from thirst. Make sure you are properly hydrated, getting at least 2L of water each day. You can also stave off hunger with other low-calorie drinks like black coffee.
- Add some exercise – If you want to accelerate your progress, diet is just one part of the equation. Try to increase the amount of exercise you do, even if this means going for a walk, or doing a few simple bodyweight exercises.
- Give it time – Typically with intermittent fasting, you can expect to see results reasonably quickly, but if you don’t, that doesn’t mean you should give up straight away. Make sure you track your weight at the same time each day, and you’ll eventually start to see your weight going down.
If you’re serious about losing weight, intermittent fasting is an excellent option, and it is something you can use on and off over time to help keep your weight at the desired, healthy level.
While you might find it difficult to start with, it is definitely possible to achieve success via intermittent fasting, and hopefully, the tips outlined above will help you to get there.
About the author
Rob Smith writes at 500 Calorie Fitness, where he shares information on sustainable ways to achieve a happier, healthier life. Topics cover everything from how to eat 500 calories a day and feel full, to reviews of the best home exercise equipment.