Most people think that intermittent fasting (IF) involves just not eating for a few hours to lose weight. Technically, this is the point of IF. It’s a simple weight loss method that promotes eating within a timeframe and fasting for the rest of your day.
Many people are turning to IF to shed excess pounds, improve their health and simplify their lifestyles. In fact, many studies back up these benefits, reporting that intermittent fasting can have powerful effects on your brain and body.
Are you interested in creating your own intermittent fasting schedule? Before you go down the IF route, it pays to know the basics first.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet; it’s an eating pattern. When you think about intermittent fasting, you’re talking about a schedule. You’re scheduling your meals so you get the most out of them. You’re not changing the food you consume; you’re changing when to consume them.
Why change the schedule of your meals?
First, it’s a great way to shed pounds without cutting your calories down to nothing or taking part in a crazy diet. Most of the time, you’ll end up with the same amount of calories when you start your IF schedule. In fact, many people eat bigger meals during their short window of time. On top of this, intermittent fasting can also help you keep your muscle mass while you become leaner.
With that said, one of the main reasons people do IF is to lose fat. Intermittent fasting is also one of the easiest ways to keep good weight and remove excess pounds. It’s a simple technique that is meaningful enough for you to see the difference.
What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Losing weight is great, but it’s not the only benefit of intermittent fasting.
When you do IF, you benefit from the following:
A Simpler Lifestyle
If you want to simplify your life, start with your meals. Since you eat for a limited time only, you don’t have to worry about breakfast (or the meals that you’re skipping). Just grab a glass of water to start your day.
Intermittent fasting lets you eat one less meal, which means you plan one less meal, stress out about one less meal and cook one less meal. Life is simpler.
Research has confirmed that limiting your calories can help prolong your life. Intermittent fasting activates many mechanisms that promote a longer life, which includes the restriction of calories. Simply put, you can live longer without starving yourself.
Easier Alternative to Dieting
One of the reasons dieting doesn’t always work is because people don’t religiously follow their diets. It’s not a good problem; it’s a behavioral problem.
This is where intermittent fasting becomes a more doable alternative. It’s easy to implement scheduling your meals. Initially, the idea of not eating during a certain period is complex, but the execution is easier. With a diet, the contemplation process is easy but the execution is difficult.
How to Get Started with Intermittent Fasting
With intermittent fasting, you can follow your usual eating pattern or fast for just a few times a week. You also have the freedom to customize the time you spend between meals, which is a plus for people who follow schedules.
To start your IF journey, follow these steps.
Choose a Time Window
Find the perfect fit by paying attention to how you feel with different fasting schedules. For example, if your stomach can’t handle not having breakfast, change your fasting period. Eat breakfast at around 8 AM then stop eating at 4 PM. Even if you eat breakfast, you’re still practicing a 16-hour fast.
Choose Your Meal Plan
You don’t have to follow a specific diet plan to benefit from your intermittent fasting. However, one of the side-effects of IF is that it supports your metabolic switch into ketosis. Support this process by eating high-fat, low-carb foods once you break your fast.
During the period that you can eat, if you get hungry, snack on keto-friendly foods and avoid sugary treats. Treat yourself to some fat-fueled coffee, avocados and eggs.
Tips for Maintaining Your IF
How can you stick to your current intermittent fasting schedule or routine? Here are some tips to keep you on the right road.
- Eat satisfying meals that contain protein and quality fats.
- Stick to a fasting schedule that fits well with your lifestyle.
- Start fasting after your dinner so a huge part of your fasting period will occur while you’re asleep.
- Busy yourself with exercise to keep yourself from thinking about food.
Intermittent fasting is the easier alternative to dieting. But before you start your IF journey, learn more about the basics of this journey, create a plan and stick with it.