Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone but if you test it and you find that it works, fasting is a great long-term practice.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind to make fasting sustainable.
1. Vary your fasting times
When you first start fasting things can be quite confusing. You go from many meals per day to eating one or two. This can create quite a shock to the body. It’s best that you start with shorter fasts.
The best fasting protocol for beginners is the 16:8 protocol. Essentially, this means that you fast for 16 hours per day and have an 8-hour eating window.
Most people simply skip breakfast but you can skip dinner as well.
It’s easy to get super strict with your meal times but in the long run, this won’t serve you.
It is good to pick a time when you generally have your meals but it doesn’t have to be the same every day.
In fact, it’s better that you have some variation.
This keeps your body from relying on food at the same time every day.
Take weekends off or a few days here and there to prevent burnout. You’ll still reap the benefits of fasting while being able to maintain a social life.
Benefits of fasting include:
- Steady weight and body fat loss
- Increased mental clarity and focus ( after an adjustment period)
- Decreased risk of common diseases like diabetes, high blood sugar, and heart disease.
- The retardation of the aging process (studies are beginning to formulate an official hypothesis on this)
Also if you are starting to fast, shorten your fasting times on days when you’re highly active. This way you’ll have the chance to refuel properly.
Fast anywhere from 13–16 hours. This gives you freedom. You won’t get burned out or plateau in your weight loss goals.
2. Create a diet and exercise routine that works
Fasting won’t be effective if you don’t have a good diet in place. If you eat a diet like the Standard American Diet (SAD), focus on switching to whole minimally processed foods.
Highly processed diets will derail your efforts with fasting. They also make your fasting session harder to complete because your body isn’t properly nourished.
Focus on eating foods like:
- Grass-fed meats-Bison and lamb are popular alternatives to beef.
- Root vegetables– Sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, and rutabaga are filled with necessary vitamins and minerals. Fall and winter are best for eating them.
- Leafy greens– Greens like arugula and dandelion have phytonutrients that you won’t find in other foods. Arugula is high in magnesium which can help with anxiety.
- Legumes– Red beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, and beyond. There are so many options. Beans fill you up fast and give you long-lasting energy. Plus they are usually inexpensive.
- Fruit– Eating fruit can be a great alternative for a sweet tooth. Plus if you aren’t worried about carbs they’re a great gluten-free option.
- Nuts and seeds– can help get rid of the urge to munch on chips and other junk foods.
When you eat a healthy diet you won’t get cranky during your fasting times. You’ll manifest change in your body faster.
Exercise is also crucial in reaping the benefits of fasting.
We now live in a time where gyms and fitness classes aren’t as accessible so it’s up to you to create a program.
Use tools like YouTube to find fitness influencers that you resonate with. Mix things up. Try and get at least 5 sessions per week.
Popular home workouts include:
- Yoga and mat pilates
- HIIT training (high-intensity interval training)
- Low impact
- Walking in nature
Make sure that you listen to your body and modify workouts accordingly to prevent injury.
3. Support your fasting efforts with a morning routine
Fasting is a great way to lead a long-term healthy lifestyle and it’s best to stack on other good habits gradually.
One of the best ways to support your fasting is to create a morning routine.
A morning routine:
- Creates a grounded start to your day.
- Allows you to be focused and centered during your fasting period
- Gives you the space to develop into a strong loving person
Your morning routine could include:
- Affirmations and mantras
- Stretching or yoga
- Intense physical activity
- A gratitude and blessing practice
This way when things get tough with fasting, you have your practice to fall back on for support.
If you don’t currently have a morning routine it’s best to start with one or two practices and then build from there.
Your routine doesn’t have to be drawn out. A few good consistent practices will change your life for the better.
Fasting shouldn’t be used for quick fixes. It’s possible to lead a long, productive, and healthy life while always having a fasting protocol.
You don’t have to fast every day, especially in the beginning.
As time goes on you’ll most likely want to experiment with longer fasts and that’s great. You’ll have more success than if you started with extended fasts.
As the years go by you’ll wonder why you didn’t start fasting sooner.
Here’s a Guide That’ll Help You with Hunger When You Start Fasting
Download the Stop Hunger Guide. Implement the 5 tips suggested. You’ll see a positive change in a short period of time