Ready to start your fast? Though you may be excited, if you haven't tried it before or are still getting the hang of it, fasting can be quite daunting. So, what exactly is intermittent fasting? While most 'diets' focus on what you're eating, intermittent fasting is all about when you eat. The basic idea is that you eat during a certain window of time and fast for the rest of the day/night. You can choose to fast for a set number of hours in a 24 hour day or you can simply eat 1 meal per day for 2 days in the week. Each method of fasting is believed to not only help weight loss but research has shown there are a number of health benefits too.
If you're ready to try intermittent fasting, we've put together our top four tips to set yourself up for success!
1. Remember the benefits of fasting
If you're looking at fasting with dread, it will be hard to stay the course when the going gets tough. By keeping benefits front of mind, you'll find you can go for longer not having to stress about those inevitable hunger pangs.
- Clearer thinking
- Digestion support - not having to constantly break down food
- Assistance with stable blood sugar
- Saving time and money on food
- More structure around meal time
- How your meals will be more structured
- General health and longevity
- Easier to stick to a calorie deficit
Whatever you feel you're gaining out of fasting, make sure you focus on it as a reminder to keep you going when you feel like a snack!
2. Not ready? Do a modified fast
Some people swear by a strict fast (nothing but water or sometimes not even that!) Depending on how far you want to go with it, fasting can mean something different for everyone. If you're not going to be 100% strict, you may find you can hold out a little longer. For example, you can sip on black coffee or tea without sugar, milk or cream.
The key is essentially to avoid a blood-sugar spike, which naturally occurs when eating most foods. If you're not quite ready to dive in, try one of these options:
MCT oil (goes great with coffee!)
Ward off hunger and keep energised with MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides). You can find MCTs in the popular 'Bulletproof coffee', that modified-fasters use to power on through their morning to their first meal.
As MCTs have calories, they WILL break your fast, but the chemical structure in these fats means that they are processed via the liver which makes them an easy source of energy, and takes pressure off digestion.
Some supplement drinks you'll find at Vitamin King contain almost no calories and have no or a very low effect on blood sugar. Try some of these options that are loved by athletes and gym goers:
3. Eat enough before you fast!
Not only enough calories, but make sure that the last thing you eat is going to help you stay full! Focus on slower-digesting fats, meal volume with fibre and muscle-sparing protein: A grilled salmon with asparagus and mashed potato can fit this picture perfectly. With a hearty meal, you'll go the distance a lot easier than a simple carbohydrates meal like cereal or a huge bowl of pasta.
A couple of simple dinner options:
Chicken thighs, salmon or steak + roast root vegetables
- Vegan curry with brown rice
4. Make it an experiment
Lessen your fasting anxiety when you aren't pressuring yourself to get it right the first time - When you treat it like an 'experiment', you can just focus on the next steps ahead instead of feeling like you've made a 'forever' choice.
Now you can look at it with curious eyes, like a researcher. It'll help you practice mindfulness and you'll be aware of what is working and what isn't working.
Make fasting life easier for yourself. You don't have to go it alone!
Stay satisfied and support muscle sparing:
Support your detoxification and energy: