If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re familiar with intermittent fasting and are interested in learning how to make intermittent fasting work for you.
It’s not some magic solution or a passing diet trend. It’s a different approach to eating that has gained popularity in the health and wellness community. Intermittent Fasting (IF) is like a practical tool in your kit, and when used correctly, it can help you reach your health objectives.
But here’s the thing – IF isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. What works for one person might not work for another, and that’s perfectly normal. This article is your guide to understanding IF and, more importantly, making it work for you.
So, let’s dive into the world of IF and discover how to optimize its benefits. Are you ready to get started? Let’s go!
How To Make Intermittent Fasting Work For You
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: When it comes to staying hydrated during Intermittent Fasting, here’s the deal – feel free to chug as much water as you darn well please. No need to hold back. Here’s a simple rule of thumb: aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day. So, if you’re a 150-pound person, shoot for around 75 ounces of H2O. Easy, right? Don’t overthink it – just keep sipping that water, and your body will thank you.
- Get enough sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial, and I’m here to make it simple for you. Ditch the screens before hitting the hay. Try some meditation to calm that busy mind. Snuggle up with a cozy weighted blanket. Don’t forget those sleep-friendly supplements like magnesium or L-theanine.
- Try MCT oil: You can slurp MCT oil straight from the spoon – no need to be dainty about it. Fancy a cup of joe or tea? Pop some MCT oil in there for an extra kick. Whenever you’re feeling those hunger pangs or your brain’s in a fog, MCTs are your secret weapon during the fast.
- Exercise: Depending on your activity level and health, exercising during fasting might be a good idea. Start easy with low-intensity stuff like a leisurely jog, walk, or bike ride. As you get used to it, you can crank up the workout intensity. If you’re more active than the average Joe, you might need extra carbs. Remember, it’s all about what works for you. Try to squeeze in your workout just before breaking your fast. That way, your body can refuel with fats, proteins, veggies, and carbs while it’s still in turbo mode from the sweat session.
- Sip some tea: Go for tea instead of coffee if you can. Tea’s got less caffeine. Tea also packs these things called catechins, which help tone down that pesky hunger hormone called ghrelin. Translation: Tea makes fasting feel just a little bit easier!
- Eat a rainbow: Munch on fresh, juicy fruits and veggies. They’re your friends. Keep the H2O flowing. Drink up! If you’re feeling fancy, add a pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt, sip some bone broth, or toss in an electrolyte supplement (just make sure they’re not loaded with sugar). No need to make it complicated – just stick to the basics, and you’re on the right track
Common Issues With Intermittent Fasting
- Hanger: Have you ever had those moments when that irritability creeps in, maybe a touch of anger, and the insatiable cravings for sugar and junk food? Yep, that’s what we call “hanger.” It’s like your body reminding you that it’s time to refuel in a not-so-subtle manner. It’s a clear sign that your body is adjusting to a new way of eating. As you become more metabolically flexible, those moments of hangry irritability will start to fade away.
- Fatigue: Fatigue often shows up when your body isn’t getting the right fuel it needs. It’s like trying to run a car on an almost empty tank – it’s not going to go far. So, if you’re feeling sluggish and foggy, it might be time to amp up your nutrient game. One simple fix? Add some healthy fats to your diet. They’re like the premium fuel your body craves to keep you going strong.
- Digestive Problems: Think constipation or other tummy troubles. One simple fix – eat more fiber (think fruits and veggies) and make sure you’re staying hydrated. Fiber keeps things moving smoothly, and water is your digestive system’s best friend.
- Headaches or nausea: More often than not, these two are because your body’s missing out on some key electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. The fix? When you hydrate, toss in a little extra of these electrolytes to keep those headaches and queasiness at bay.
Things To Consider If You’re Still Struggling
Still, struggling with how to make intermittent fasting work for you? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you cutting calories? If yes, it might be time to eat a bit more during your eating window. You don’t need to count macros or calories but a good breakdown for your diet is 60-75% healthy fat; 10-15% carbs; 15-30% protein.
- Can you pile on more veggies, protein, and good fats onto your plate? Go for non-starchy veggies like dark green leafy veggies, broccoli, cucumbers, peppers, and Brussels sprouts. Grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, and wild-caught seafood are all good animal protein sources. Good fats like avocados, coconut cream, grass-fed ghee, olive oil, and full-fat coconut milk are the types of fats you want to use.
- How’s your stress game? Keep it in check. Doing a stress check-in can help keep your stress levels under control. Check out this article to find out how to do a stress check-in.
- Maybe ease up on the caffeine if you’ve been going overboard. Black coffee or tea with no added cream or sugar is fine in moderation but too much is not ok. Everyone’s caffeine tolerance is different so there’s no specific recommendation – figure out what works best for your body.
- Have you been scrolling mindlessly on your phone before bedtime? Shut off those screens on all your devices – phone, laptop, TV – at least 1 hour before climbing into bed.
Intermittent Fasting can be a game-changer for your health and well-being, but it’s essential to keep a few key things in mind. First, stay hydrated. Water is your best buddy during fasting, so drink up.
Quality sleep is when your body performs its magic, so prioritize those Zzz’s. Exercise is essential too, but start slow and crank it up gradually. Work out before breaking your fast for best results.
Your food choices matter too. Opt for clean, wholesome foods during your eating windows. Load up on fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats to fuel your body effectively.
We’ve also talked about some common issues with IF like hanger, fatigue, tummy troubles, headaches, and nausea, and some easy fixes for them.
The fundamental principles of hydration, sleep, exercise, and clean eating are your foundation. And when you encounter challenges along the way, remember these simple tips to keep you on track.
***Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice***
If you like this post check out my article on the fasting-mimicking diet. Here’s a little sample:
Alright, imagine a diet that’s like that friend who says, “Hey, why don’t we go for a walk?” instead of dragging you to a boot camp class.
That’s the fasting-mimicking diet – a health hack that nudges your body gently, rather than with a frantic kick, toward recharging mode.
The idea here is to give your body a taste of fasting’s perks without the daunting “no-food” sign hanging over your head.
This isn’t about saying goodbye to meals entirely; it’s more like hitting the pause button on your usual eats for a few days, while still having a small, curated selection of foods to keep your body fueled.
While the details of the diet may vary, here’s a general breakdown of the foods typically recommended for this regimen:
- Low-Calorie, Nutrient-Dense Foods: The diet usually includes plant-based, whole foods that are high in nutrients but low in calories. This can encompass foods like vegetables, particularly leafy greens, carrots, and other colorful veggies.
- Healthy Fats: Some versions of the diet may include small amounts of healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados, to ensure the body receives essential fats without significantly elevating calorie intake.
- Proteins: For protein sources, options might include plant-based proteins like legumes, seeds, or limited portions of fish. Protein intake during the fasting-mimicking diet is generally limited to moderate amounts to support muscle maintenance.
- Complex Carbohydrates: Whole grains and legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, or quinoa, might be part of the diet, offering a source of sustained energy without spiking blood sugar levels.
- Restricted or Minimal Animal Products: This diet often focuses on plant-based foods, with limited or no inclusion of dairy or meat products, emphasizing a predominantly plant-centric approach.
The goal is to provide the body with the necessary nutrients while keeping caloric intake low enough to trigger the fasting-mimicking effects. Check out the full article to learn more.