Let’s get to the facts. Intermittent Fasting is a proven, science-backed measure to lose weight easy. But it’s not the easiest to follow, especially in the beginning.
It has also been one diet that many seem to have adopted during the lockdown and in between long work hours.
Sticking to long fasting hours, sometimes as long as 20-hours could also mean that you encounter stress, fatigue and not to forget, hunger pangs and gnawing stomach noises in the middle of a busy workday.
Unorderly eating, or not moderating portion sizes in your actual ‘eating hours’ could also leave you further from gaining actual benefits of the fasting plan.
So, if you are a beginner or just want to make Intermittent Fasting easier for you, here are some practical tips to make it better:
- Modify your plan at first
You don’t have to go all-in at the very beginning. If you are someone who has just started to follow Intermittent Fasting, modify your diet and make it easier for your body to adapt. Rather than intensity, to make the diet work for you, focus on following a plan which suits your schedule. The more you start to become tolerant to fasting hours, the easier it will become in the longer run.
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to fight stress and extreme cravings while you fast. Remember, water and most hydrating drinks are still zero-calorie, are absolutely safe to have during the fasting window. You can also have black coffee( without sugar), herbal teas and hydrating fluids throughout the day. Ensure you match up to your daily requirements.
Meal prep what you will have during eating hours
If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, meal prepping is the best way to ensure that you eat healthy, mindful meals. Prepping your meals in advance will also make sure that you don’t actually go overboard during the non-fasting window, and end up having too many calories at a go. If you end up having too many calories, junk food or oily food, you negate the effects of fasting.
Eat slowly, frequently
Another tip experts advise to make Intermittent Fasting work for you when you are starting is to have smaller meals, and make the most out of your eating window. Rather than having one big meal when the eating window opens up, split your calorie intake. For example, if you have an 8-hour eating window, have something to eat every 2-3 hours. Also remember to match your calorie intake and not actually undereat, just because you are fasting.
Which one is the easiest to stick to?
There are a lot of ways to try Intermittent fasting, some easier, and some way more extreme.
To make the diet work for you, it’s pertinent that you listen to your body and not go against it. Depending on your lifestyle, eating habits and preferences, choosing one ‘style’ of Intermittent Fasting will be beneficial over the other. Following extremely long fasting hours, in the beginning, wouldn’t be preferable as well. Go slow, and be mindful.
The most popular way to follow the diet includes the 16:8 model which gives you an 8-hour eating window. It’s the easiest, to begin with.
If you cannot follow the diet on a daily basis, another way to do so is to follow the 5:2 model, where you limit your calories twice a week. So, find out what works for your body and then go ahead.