Intermittent Fasting, one of my favorite diets and the first one to ever get me really lean. Some of you might not know what IF is so here’s a quick rundown on it:
IF (or Intermittent Fasting) is where you fast for a set number of hours a day. I usually do either 16 or 20 hours and since there’s 24 hours in a day that leaves me with either 8 or 4 hours to eat however many calories I should be eating to lose weight. Basically what you’re doing is eating what you would normally eat to lose weight just in a shorter amount of time so rather than a bunch of small meals, you get 1 or 2 really big ones. This is great for people like me who love bigger portions or who have issues with binge eating. Now that we’ve briefly gone over what IF is lets jump into 6 tips that have helped me:
- Stop complaining. Sure you’ve probably ate breakfast your whole life upon waking up but that doesn’t mean by skipping it you’re gonna starve to death. You’ve also probably tied your shoes the same way your whole life but there’s definitely other ways and possibly more efficient ways to tie them. Let your body adjust and before you know it you’ll forget what breakfast was.
- Don’t let yourself get too hungry. What I mean by this one is if you’re planning to fast for 18 hours and after 16 all you can think about is food, it’s probably a good time to break the fast that day. It’s better to break your fast early then to risk binge eating into oblivion. If you don’t have issues with binge eating then I guess you could suck it up but the last thing you wanna do is develop an eating disorder to lose a few pounds. Listen to your body and know the difference between eating out of habit or boredom and actually needing food for fuel.
- Black coffee and tea are your friends. Not only will they fill you up and most of the time taste WAY better than water but caffeine which is in both of them will give you more energy, put you in a better mood, make you focus on other things, and so on. Because caffeine does this, it could be said that it plays a role in suppressing your appetite. Oh, and the most important fact about these is that they won’t break your fast so long as you don’t add anything to them!
- Don’t neglect your calorie intake. Just because you’re only eating 1 or 2 meals a day doesn’t mean you still can’t gain weight. Sure, there’s less of a chance you’re gonna overeat but you still wanna make sure to keep track of your calories and macros (at least in the beginning so you can gauge how much you should eat to lose weight). You can go for a run in sandals but proper running shoes will make things much easier. Catch my drift?
- Work around your schedule. Getting up earlier one day or have a random meeting right in the middle of your eating block? Change up your hours! The only thing that matters is that you’re fasting for as long as you comfortably can that day and in my opinion, at least 16 hours at a minimum but if you can only do say 14 that day, it’s really not a big deal. Be more flexible than strict with your schedule, just focus on your total hours fasted and you’ll be good to go.
- Workout fasted OR don’t workout fasted. Personally, I almost always like to workout fasted and before you ask no, I don’t lose strength and yes, I have energy when doing so. My body reacts really well to IF but yours might not so my take on this is that if you’re someone who just can’t get a good workout in without eating before then you should put your eating block right before your workout. Even if “science” says a fasted workout is more beneficial, if you’re not in the zone mentally or just lack the energy to workout at your highest level then you’ll be missing out. Breaking your fast and eating so you can workout at a high level will have way more benefit to you than any extra benefit from just fasting. I hope this makes sense. Think of it like this, caffeine wakes you up but if you’re not sleeping enough…you’re still gonna be tired.
So there you go, 6 tips that have helped me. If you guys have any tips that have helped you progress while doing IF, let me know them in the comments below! Stay healthy!!!