Intermittent fasting basically refers to occasionally reducing or eliminating food intake for a period of time. There are many ways to approach this (which we will cover in this post). In studies, this was often done with alternate-day fasting, though there are many ways to incorporate fasting.
When I first heard of it, intermittent fasting seemed to go against all the health advice I’d ever heard. Emerging research is showing that fasting is not a threat to overall health, but it actually has many health benefits. But fasting is always difficult to begin with. So here are some tips :
- Stay Hydrated : Making sure you drink plenty of water is always important but when you’re fasting, it’s something you need to pay extra attention to. When you don’t eat, you’ll miss out on the water in foods, so you need to be drinking more fluids than you usually do to compensate for this. In addition to this, drinking plenty of fluids helps you to feel full during the periods of fasting and reduces your cravings for food.
- Avoid Temptation : Being around tempting food makes fasting unnecessarily difficult. The look and smell of these foods will set off your appetite and make you crave them. Therefore, make sure you stay away from places where tempting foods may be on offer during the days and times that you fast.
- Choose Your Best Days : During the week you’re going to have busy days where you hardly have a moment to spare and quiet days where you have no commitments and lots of free time. These quiet days are much more suitable for fasting, so find them and plan your fasts accordingly.
- Get Plenty of Sleep : Numerous studies have shown that getting a good night’s sleep suppresses your appetite and keeps your hunger cravings under control. While this is important at all times, it’s extra important when you’re going without food, so you should make it a priority to get at least six hours of quality sleep the night before a fast.
- Make Use of the Spare Time – When you fast you create free time in your schedule during the slots where you would usually be eating. This spare time is a perfect opportunity to do something you love such as reading, listening to music or going for a walk. By using the spare time in this way, you’ll not only feel happier but also look forward to fasting and the unique opportunity it provides.
- Spend Sometime Outside : Natural sunlight cleanses your blood and enhances the detox effects of fasting. The sun’s rays also boost your mood and your energy levels. By spending some time outside on the days you fast, you can enjoy these benefits and make your fasting experience more pleasant.
- Do Some Light Exercise : Doing large amount of intense exercise when you’re fasting isn’t a good idea as your body won’t have the fuel it needs to perform effectively. However, a small amount of light exercise can enhance your circulation, your energy levels and your mood and keep you feeling refreshed as you fast.
- Take Time To Relax : Rest and relaxation is something you should be making time for every day. However, when you’re operating on fewer calories, it’s extra important. Therefore, on the days you fast, try to avoid any stressful situations and spend as much time as you can resting and relaxing.
- Reward Yourself : One final way to make intermittent fasting more enjoyable is to reward yourself after a successful fast or fasts. These rewards can be big to small and whatever you can think up can act as a reward. Some good reward ideas to start with are your favourite meal, a new outfit, a day or night out, doing an activity you’ve never done before or a vacation.
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