Intermittent fasting can help with weight loss, insulin sensitivity, inflammation and is even being studied as an alternative treatment for diabetes. If you’re ready to jump on the bandwagon, and give it a try, here’s the most important intermittent fasting dos and dont’s you need to follow for the diet to work.
Do Fast For 12-16 Hours
Trying to break the habit of eating every 3-4 hours can be incredibly challenging and a little awkward at social gatherings. If you’re going to fast, make it worth all the effort by getting into an optimal fasting range.
Fasting for 8-9 hours each day is technically an intermittent fast. You’re doing it, but you’re stopping just short of when the magic happens. Getting comfortable with a fast of 14 hours or more should be your long term goal.
Do Suppress Your Appetite
Why test your willpower to avoid eating food if you don’t need to? Instead of getting into a staring contest with a breakfast muffin, suppress your appetite with supplements that won’t break your fast.
It’ll make the intermittent fasting schedule easier to follow and, in some cases, it can help your metabolism.
Drinking unsweetened black coffee first thing in the morning is a quick way to curb your appetite for a few hours until it’s time for your first meal.
Do Workout During Your Fast
Fasted workouts are not mandatory, but exercising during your fast is helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. Your body has an internal process for finding energy. It’s like a pecking order, with calories from food at the top of the preferred energy list.
When you’re fasting, there isn’t food digesting to provide easy access to needed energy. During this fasted state, your body is more likely to utilize stored energy. The more calories you burn while fasting, the more stored energy will need to be used.
Don’t Eat Zero Calorie Foods During Fast
Forget about trying to find a loophole that will let you eat during your fasting time frame. This includes soups, zero calorie diet foods, and anything with artificial sweetener.
Try to maintain a strict fast with consecutive non-eating hours.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
One of the underrated aspects of intermittent fasting is when it’s time to eat your meals are going to be pretty big. Instead of splitting your total calories into 4-5 meals and snacks on a normal day, you only have time for three big meals while intermittent fasting.
Don’t make the mistake of drinking too many of your calories. It takes calories away from your meals, making them smaller, and doesn’t do enough to make your feel full.
You want to feel full and satisfied when your fast begins. If your stomach is grumbling and your fast is about to begin, it’s gonna be a long night.
Don’t Reward Yourself With Junk Food
Everyone who’s tried intermittent fasting knows what that last 30 minutes feels like. You check the clock every two seconds because you’re gonna absolutely destroy an entire chocolate cake when it’s eatin’ time.
While there’s nothing wrong with eating a nice treat or dessert, don’t make the mistake of over rewarding yourself and negating all the benefits of fasting. It doesn’t matter how long you fast if you’re consistently in a 500+ calorie surplus every day.
You May Also Like
Image Credit: Jacob Lund / iStockphoto