The word “fasting” shouldn’t scare you or make you picture sacrifice, suffering, and hunger. Intermittent fasting means organizing your meals differently so that your digestive system has more time to rest.
Thus, other functions of your body will work better, like getting better sleep and losing weight.
Read on to learn what intermittent fasting consists of and how to do it for better health and easier weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is not a diet
This practice doesn’t have anything to do with what you think fasting is. You won’t have to go hungry or count calories. Rather, it’s a change in the way you eat to make it healthier and smarter. That’s how you’ll get to a healthy weight without having to obsess over food.
Intermittent fasting consists of extending the fasting hours that you naturally do at night between dinner and breakfast in order to enhance your body’s natural ability to regenerate and lose weight.
That means eating dinner earlier and eating breakfast a lot later than normal. However, it does depend on your lifestyle, family schedule and customs, work, etc.
The important thing is to not eat any solid food for at least 12 hours. Ideally, this should be for 18 hours. You don’t need to do it every day, but it’s best at least several times a week.
So what is the schedule like?
Some nutritionists suggest skipping breakfast or dinner. This is a valid option once in awhile, as long as you don’t feel too hungry.
If you’re a beginner you could try intermittent fasting with this schedule:
- Breakfast: 9am
- Lunch: 2pm
- Dinner: Before 9pm
Some of you may be surprised that you’re already doing a light fast, almost instinctively. But some people make the mistake of eating dinner too late, or eating at night.
This first option comes out to be a 12-hour fast.
For those of you who have already done 12-hour intermittent fasting without any problems, this is for you:
- Breakfast: 11am
- Lunch: 3pm
- Dinner: Before 7pm
With this option, you’ll be testing how your body responds to 16 hours of fasting. You may actually be less hungry in the morning the longer your nighttime fast is.
If you want to extend it to 18 hours, you could combine breakfast with lunch, or lunch with dinner.
How do I do it?
The secret to starting intermittent fasting is to take advantage of the opportunity to eat better. Choose nutritious, filling food and stay away from food that doesn’t have any nutrition.
- First cold-pressed vegetable oils, like coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, etc.
Not recommended foods
- Refined flour (pastries, crackers, white bread)
- White sugar
- Ice cream and other dairy desserts
- Fried food
- Processed meat
- Precooked food
- Soda and bottled juice
- Junk food
Practical tips for intermittent fasting
Here are some tips for successful intermittent fasting:
- Drink a lot of water throughout the day, but not with meals, and especially during the fasting period. Often you think you’re hungry when you’re really just dehydrated.
- Don’t go hungry. Fill yourself up, but on healthy food.
- During your fasting hours, you can drink medicinal teas.
- Chew your food well and enjoy each meal. Try new recipes and have fun.
- You might want to start your intermittent fasting on a holiday. This way you’ll probably already be sleeping in and the fasting won’t seem so long.
- Don’t fast too long on days when you have a lot of work to do, if you have to drive, or do anything else that takes your full attention.
Right from the first time you do intermittent fasting, you’ll feel full of energy, while bloating will go away and your body will feel lighter. The benefits you’ll notice will be the motivation you need to get in the habit of fasting without it feeling like work.