Never in the history of mankind has food been so readily available as it is today, and we are especially talking about high-calorie food, full of sugar. In addition, most people live a sedentary lifestyle where food full of sugar and calories is especially harmful. When someone walks and runs a lot, the body will experience less negative effects than when you just sit. And many jobs are related to sitting and office work, so it happens that a person does not walk at all for days. This is exactly what led to the obesity pandemic in the Western world. Everything that led to a comfortable life also led to widespread obesity.
Because obesity is such a huge problem, you keep hearing about new different diets that should magically solve all problems. Some of them have no scientific basis, while others, such as intermittent fasting, have been proven to be effective. Intermittent fasting is based on autophagia for which Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize. But like any other diet plan, different rules must be followed in order to experience the benefits. Read the top 5 tips for intermittent fasting success and start your journey.
The body needs time to get used to anything new, including a new diet. That’s why it shouldn’t be exposed to shock, and a 16-hour fast will be just that. It is a mistake to think that only 16 hours without food and eating within window of 8 hours is the correct approach to intermittent fasting. Start with 12/12 or 14/10 methods, which will not be so stressful for the body. It is ideal to start with 14/10 as it will not be much different from your usual eating timing at all, so you will adapt within a week.
If you really want to start immediately with 16/8 or even 18/6, then we recommend the 5/2 method. This means that 5 days a week you will eat as usual, and that there will be only 2 days of intermittent fasting. So over time, increase the window in which you do not eat or the number of days in which you fasting. It will be the most effective and you will easily get used to it. While if you start starving right away, you may quickly give up.
It is necessary to ingest sufficient amounts of fluid, for several reasons. When we say liquids, we mean primarily water. But you can also drink tea, coffee and anything else that has zero grams of sugar. It is always important to drink enough water to cleanse and hydrate your body, but during intermittent fasting it is especially important.
You will definitely get hanger waves, especially after 6 to 8 hours from the last meal, because then your body will fully digest that meal. And since you are not allowed to eat anything because you are in a fasting window, the only thing that can help you fill your stomach is water. If you are not hydrated enough, food craving will probably be too strong and in the end you will eat something and ruin the whole process.
When we say you eat wisely, we mean that you must avoid overeating during the time when you are allowed to eat. You will have two meals and you will definitely eat more during both meals than you normally eat during meals. But that doesn’t mean you should binge eat and eat fast food and other unhealthy things. These must be carefully balanced meals, during which you will ingest a sufficient amount of macronutrients from healthy sources.
Intermittent fasting does not have to be used only for weight loss, it is used by people only to reduce the load on your digestive tract. That means you want even have to be in calorie deficit. So eat enough, but not too much. If you overeat for those two meals, you won’t feel good and you’ll be bloated for the rest of the day. You will also create an excessive calorie surplus and you will not lose weight, if that is your goal, even if you do not eat for the other 16 hours.
If you are used to not thinking about what you eat, but eat anything when you feel hungry, you need to change that. You need to create a habit to keep track of your every meal. Only in this way can you achieve a balanced and healthy diet. If you do not have time to prepare food every day, then you need to think ahead and prepare for the coming days. You should normally do that, but it is especially important now. The reason is that you only have two meals during when you have to ingest all the macronutrients.
If you fail to do so, you won’t be able to make up after work, for example. Also, it is important that you have a food journal so that your diet does not become monotonous. Write down how many macronutrients and calories you have ingested during the day and then you can gradually reduce the number of calories to lose extra pounds without starving. The body will gradually get used to lower food intake. Also, a food journal will help you more easily calculate on which days you ate less food than you needed. When you have days like these, nutrition bars, such as Fastful, can help you get enough macronutrients before the fasting period begins.
Avoid 24-hour fasts
It is an increasingly popular method not to eat anything once a week for 24 hours. We strongly advise against that method. While this sounds tempting as a method for rapid weight loss, it will not happen, it is even very possible that it will cause a counter-effect. During those 24 hours, you will not lose a lot of weight, and you will exhaust your body very much. You may feel weak and unable to perform daily tasks.
When that 24 hour window is over, you will be prone to overeating because your body will be very hungry. So you will eat a lot more calories in a two day span than you should. So do not measure calories on a daily basis, but on a weekly basis. If you really want to practice 24-hour fast, don’t do it more than once a month. Then it can be useful for cleansing the body, and will not have a negative impact.
The main reason why intermittent fasting is an incomparably better approach to nutrition than the Atkins diet and many other methods is that it is long term sustainable. Any diet that gives fast results will also lead to a yo-yo effect and then you will achieve nothing. Intermittent fasting can be practiced from today to the end of life and you will be healthy, which is the most important thing. So if you are considering which diet to choose, let intermittent fasting be your choice.