If you haven’t heard of intermittent fasting yet, it is a relatively new weight loss concept that involves alternating days where you fast and those where you don’t. It is becoming more and more popular because of the research behind it in support of weight loss.
Studies are now showing that intermittent fasting can be a more effective way of losing weight than just traditionally cutting calories as we were always told. Not only does intermittent fasting cause people to lose more weight, it also helps in reducing blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar levels, inflammation and markers for diseases like type 2 diabetes.
The only downfall to intermittent fasting is that people tend to give it up over time more so than they would a traditional diet. Here are some tips you can use to your benefit when it comes to sticking to intermittent fasting.
Pick and Choose Your Foods Wisely
There are many different types of intermittent weight loss plans out there but no matter which you choose it will involve significantly cutting your calories on some days. You can potentially go down to only 500 per day when you fast.
This means that on your fasting day, you have to have a good idea of what you are going to eat beforehand. Don’t waste your caloric budget on junk food like pretzels or candy bars which is just going to spike your blood sugar, and make you hungrier in the long run.
Stick to fresh healthy foods, especially vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits have lot of fiber, lots of nutrients while being low in calories. Vegetables are great in filling you up and keeping you from getting hungry throughout the day.
You will want to get most of your calories from protein and some from fat to keep you satiated as well. Stick to foods like grilled chicken, fish, and organic eggs which provide protein and nutrients that you need to get through the day.
Don’t Fast When You Have Planned Activities
You should be planning your fasting days around your schedule, not the other way around. Meaning that if you know you have a soccer or football game coming up this Saturday, that wouldn’t be a good time to do an intermittent fast.
If you fast on days that you do some kind of strenuous activity, inevitably you are going to crash at one point or another. To recover you are going to have to eat which defeats the whole purpose of fasting.
Not only will you have less energy to do your workouts, you will be getting less benefit out of them as a result and are potentially putting yourself at risk. Working out with brain fog and trying to go on autopilot is just asking for trouble, and you can potentially hurt yourself in doing so.
Save fasting days for ones where you have light jogging or meditation scheduled instead of intensive training.
Eat Foods that Are Going to Keep You Full
This sounds obvious, but the truth is some people don’t know that some foods are going to keep them full for longer. Foods like complex carbohydrates, proteins, fats and foods high in fiber take the body longer to digest, and gives you that feeling of being full longer.
Stick to foods like nuts, seeds, berries, seafood and olive oil when it comes to your diet. Stay away from foods that are highly processed and lack fiber like white breads, bagels, pancakes, waffles and other foods that use processed flour.
Eat More Volume to Keep You Full
As mentioned earlier, fruits and vegetables are key when it comes to weight loss. Vegetables, especially dark green vegetables do not have a lot of calories but are still rich in nutrients and take the body long to digest.
You can pretty much eat as much of these foods as you want without getting in trouble as far as your calories are concerned.
Use Lots of Herbs and Seasonings to Spice Up Your Meals
Your meals can get pretty bland without all of those tasty sugars, fats and salts so add in some herbs and spices to give your dishes a little flavor.
Spices are not only flavorful but also have properties that can boost your metabolism, helping you to burn even more fat in the process.