Strategies for Smarter Intermittent Fasting
Have you ever tried intermittent fasting? I came across a book called “Eat Stop Eat” several years ago and read the first 50 pages only to realize I wasn’t going to be able to follow that approach, blame my weakness if you want but whatever it was I forgot all about it until I saw the following article on Livestrong this morning:
7 Strategies for Smarter Intermittent Fasting
I’m a firm believer in meal timing for fat loss and fast metabolism. I ask clients to consume a protein shake within an hour of waking, eat every four to six hours and stop eating about three hours before bed. Sticking to this regimen minimizes hunger and cravings, steadies blood sugar levels and promotes optimal fat burning.
Intermittent fasting (IF) cancels out these and many other dietary rules. Adherents argue that among its benefits, abstaining from food for certain periods — anywhere from 16 hours to days — can boost immunity, increase metabolism, curb insulin resistance and other blood sugar issues, and improve athletic performance.
But let’s be honest: Most people are doing IF for fat loss.
I’m not entirely sold that IF is your most effective ticket for fat loss, but that hasn’t stopped countless people from trying this regimented pattern of eating and fasting.
Whether you’re curious about IF or you’ve been doing it for years, these 7 strategies can bolster your success:
1. Don’t make eating a free-for-all. Fasting for 18 hours does not give you permission to dive into a deep-dish pepperoni pizza. You’re setting the stage for numerous problems: food intolerances, potential binge eating, fat gain, and post-meal digestive issues. Plan your meals ahead of time and stick with lean protein, green veggies, high-fiber slow-release starches and good fats. Otherwise, your ravished state makes you vulnerable to a potential eating disaster.
2. Don’t make food your new hobby. “I fantasize about elaborate meals when I’m fasting,” a friend doing IF confessed. I get it: food occupies my mind when I get hungry too. Trouble is, you’re potentially hungry a lot of the time while doing IF, leaving room for numerous food fantasies. Avoid situations that trigger those thoughts. For instance, don’t go grocery shopping when you’re fasting. Remember to have your next meal planned in advance; see rule one above.