Intermittent fasting is getting some buzz in the health and wellness world at the moment. A lot of people have successfully lost weight by adopting this eating schedule. If you’re considering trying it — maybe as a new challenge for the new year — take a look at this list of tips we made!
But first… what is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting can be carried out in a few ways, based on your preference.
But regardless of how you do it, the idea is the same. You choose certain hours — usually a period of 6-8 hours — during which you eat, and any time outside of that time period is spent not eating. You only do it on certain days and try to pair it with healthy eating and exercise.
It’s best to choose your eating period based off of your lifestyle. There are several ways to do it.
If you think you may want to give it a try, check out this list of tips and tricks for intermittent fasting:
A common question for those starting intermittent fasting is when does my fast officially start?
The answer is that your fast begins when you finish your final meal.
People wonder if they should wait for their food to digest, but it can be difficult to know exactly when your digestion cycle is finished. So, to keep things simple, when you take that last bite of the meal and swallow it, that’s officially when you’re fasting period starts.
Drink a lot of green tea! It’s powerful stuff. Not only can it offer energy with its caffeine and stimulate fatty acid mobilization, it also helps prevent your body from stopping adrenaline.
Adrenaline is helpful when you’re fasting because that’s what mobilizes fat. But you have mechanisms in your body that naturally stop that process. Green tea stops the stopping of that process, allowing adrenaline to play a more powerful role in your fasting!
Additionally, green tea is high in theanine. The cool thing about theanine is that it makes you calm, pushing your brain into the GABA cycle. You want to be calm and relaxed while you’re fasting because — from a hormonal standpoint — your body is actually kind of confused by the whole process. Theanine makes it so that your mind remains calm. It can also prevent cravings.
Don’t be afraid to use salt.
The main reason that salt can be useful here is due to your NST receptors. When you think you’re craving something sweet, often it’s just your wires getting crossed because of NST receptors, and what you actually need is something salty.
Fast on your busy days. These are the best days to fast because they go by fast! Also, if you’re busy at work or with travel, it’ll be easier to keep your mind off of food. If you start fasting on a day you have nothing to do but hang out at home, it’s going to be tougher to get through that fasting period.
Try working out while fasting.
You have fat deposits inside your muscles called intermediate cellular triglycerides. Studies have shown that if you exercise while in a fasted state, your body recruits these fats for energy first, and you end up burning a lot more fat.
Some studies have even shown that you burn two to three times as much fat training in a fasted state as you do normally! Wondering where in your fast you should train? Try for at least eight hours in.
Do not break the cardinal rule of intermittent fasting, which is combining fats and carbs.
When you break your fast, it’s best to eat something lean and clean. A lot of people want to load up on nuts or fruit — or they combine them. But when you combine them, you end up insulin sensitive, meaning your body is more likely to store what it has taken in as fat.
You are much better off to eat the lean clean protein before anything else.
If you are fasting over 16 hours, do not fast multiple days in a row.
If you fast back to back days, your metabolism may slow down due to restricted calories. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern and a lifestyle, but it should still act as a spontaneous caloric restriction.
The benefits of a fast come from the shock of that spontaneous caloric restriction. If you fast too many days in a row, you may develop micronutrient deficiencies as your metabolism slows down.
The rule of thumb is that if it’s under 16 hours, you’re likely okay to go back to back because you have more opportunity to get the nutrients you need in that 8 hour eating period.
If it has calories, it breaks your fast. Black coffee and tea are the only exceptions to the calorie rule because those are both under 5 calories (and, come on.. it’s coffee!).
The polyphenols in coffee and tea can also help the fasting mechanisms.
Try not to eat out on fasting days unless you’re experienced or know the restaurant well. When you’re first starting out on an intermittent fasting journey, it’s best to have your meals controlled. It can be difficult to know exactly what’s in every dish served at a restaurant.
Most supplements should be during your eating window, not during your fast.
A lot of supplements break your fast. Anything that’s a soft gel or fish oil breaks a fast. Things like vitamin C are antioxidants. You are fasting because you want to encourage a stress response in the body and adapt to it. If you take a vitamin C or any other antioxidant in this period, you’re reducing the level of stress on your body and therefore reducing the effectiveness of the fast.
The only exception to this rule is minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium, etc. These can help with hydration and help you feel better during your fast.
So That’s It!
This list of tips should help you along on your fast!
But if you’re still not sure, consult with your doctor before getting started — especially if you have a health condition or are on any medications.
Are you going to try it? Maybe just once? Let us know how it goes!
If you’re looking for a boost during your eating period, PuraTHRIVE can help!
Active B-complex contains 16 essential nutrients to keep you going — 9 of which are minerals that can help keep you hydrated and energetic throughout your fast!