Intermittent fasting is increasingly becoming a staple in the quest for weight loss and why not? Intermittent fasting is not like the other weight loss strategies where you are restrained and told what to eat and what not to eat.
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it is an eating protocol. Even though Intermittent fasting as a concept has become popular, many people are still confused about how it is properly done.
In fact, as a result of some confusion, some people are not losing weight. I wrote a very practical article on why people seem not to lose weight during intermittent fasting and what they can do about it immediately. You can click here to read if you seem to have been on Intermittent fasting for a while and are not losing weight.
Okay, to general rules of making intermittent fasting work for you. What are the do’s and don’ts of Intermittent Fasting?
Do drink lots of water
One of the common mistakes intermittent fasting beginners make is not to drink enough water during intermittent fasting. I think this comes from forgetfulness or ignorance. I literally have to remind myself to drink water too. This is how I trick myself to drink more water. During the fasting window, drinking enough water will help to reduce food withdrawal symptoms like headaches, exhaustion, and dehydration.
Don’t force things
Don’t beat yourself too hard if you are not finding it easy at first. If one type of intermittent fasting method is not working for you, try another one. In this article, there are all the common types of intermittent fasting protocols that you can follow. So, if the 16/8 method is not working, you can switch to something else like 5:2 until you figure out how to gradually transition to what you want. Also, take consideration of your lifestyle. If the majority of the people around you are doing the 16/8 intermittent fasting, for example, don’t force it if it is not fitting into your lifestyle. Pick and experiment with the different methods there are to Intermittent Fasting.
Do exercise during your fasting window
If you want to increase and speed up weight loss, you might want to add an exercise routine to your intermittent fasting. Be careful to drink lots of water. Also, don’t go in too hard on your first day as you may experience some dizziness.
Don’t obsess over numbers
Climbing the scale every morning will discourage you, don’t do that. Take the scale far away from your bathroom. You should only weigh yourself once a week or twice a month.
You did not gain weight in a day, it is not going to go all away in a day. So consider this in the use of weighing scales.
Do get occupied
If you are going to curb hunger and the feeling of loss as regards food, you might just want to be genuinely busy and mentally focused on something else. Sometimes the hunger is more emotionally fueled than physically caused. When you miss food and are less busy, you might go in to eat before your fasting period is over and this is even if you do not binge eat.
Don’t overshoot your calories
There is usually the probability of eating too much, overshooting calories and then not losing weight or still, gaining weight. It is a big lie that you can eat as much as you want during intermittent fasting. If there is no calorie deficit, there cannot be weight loss. It is just this simple. One simple way to avoid overeating is to drink water one hour before your first meal.
Do add enough proteins to your diet
Proteins will keep you feeling fuller for a very long time. This will help you to curb the customary hunger during intermittent fasting. Adding a decent amount of healthy fats is also going to help you stay fuller for longer.
Don’t start too fast
Never rush into intermittent fasting the first day. If you are the type that skips breakfast on a norm, it might not be difficult for you to go all into the 16/8 intermittent fasting right away. If you are the type that constantly eats, you should go in gradually. Something like 12/12 may be okay for a start. This is 12 hours of fasting and 12 hours of eating until you can gradually begin to increase your fasting window and reduce your eating window
Do meal preps
Preparing your meals way ahead will avoid overshooting calories and binging when it is time to break your fast. Meal preps will also help you stay healthy and make sure you are accountable to yourself as regards healthy eating.
Don’t feel obliged to explain to everyone
This is one thing I learned very late. A lot of people noticed that I wasn’t eating at certain times. So I would go on to explain the concept of intermittent fasting and they would just sneer.
A bunch of people even thought I was being cruel to my body. According to them, I was starving myself and they felt it was unnecessary. Of course, this gets to you somehow and you feel misunderstood and just discouraged. As long as you know what you are doing, you don’t need to explain anything to anyone, even siblings you guess won’t ever understand.
Do add lots of fruits to your diet
With intermittent fasting comes the flexibility to eat whatever you like, which is such a relief if you ask me. Because of this, there are chances that you lose sight of eating healthy. Not only will fruits help to comfortably add in a good portion of healthy meals, but they will also cause you to fill up faster and longer.
Don’t start without checking eligibility
It is important to check out with your Doctor or if you have some health issues or medical conditions. Don’t just jump into intermittent fasting without the assurance that it won’t hurt your health. Pregnant women and nursing mother, for example, might want to stay away from intermittent fasting.
Do avoid comparing your journey
Your body is never the same with your colleague’s so avoid comparison. This causes a lot of mental fatigue and can discourage you totally. This is why I mentioned that you should stop obsessing over weights too. Learn from other peoples success stories but let it stop at that.
>>>If you liked this article, you would love this too: how to curb hunger during intermittent fasting.
Intermittent Fasting video
I like how she takes time to address the set of people that should not go on Intermittent fasting. This one is worth watching.