Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight quickly but it isn’t a diet per se. Instead, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern – whereby you skip certain meals to put your body in a ‘fasting state’ where it is more likely to burn fat in order to get the energy that it needs.
While the results of intermittent fasting can be impressive, it isn’t easy by any measure. In fact, if not properly carried out intermittent fasting could actually be risky and unhealthy. With that in mind here are 5 rules that you absolutely must know and follow:
- Stay hydrated
It is absolutely crucial that you keep your body hydrated while you’re fasting and ideally you should try to consume about 3 to 4 liters of water each day. Not only is staying hydrated important for your health, but it can also help you to overcome some of the hunger pangs that you may feel. Taking a cup of coffee or tea may help in that regard too.
- Organize your fasting based on your schedule
Different people choose to fast in different ways – ranging from only eating during specific time periods to a ‘one day on, one day off’ arrangement. Try to find the best way to fast based on your schedule so that it doesn’t end up interfering or affecting your productivity.
- Start slow
As much as you may want to see dramatic results quickly – it does take a time to get used to intermittent fasting and if you try to skip too many meals you will find it harder to stick to the fast and will feel extremely lethargic. When you first start out take it slow and allow your body time to get used to your new eating pattern. Normally it will take up to 3 weeks for that to happen.
- Schedule your workouts towards the end of your fast
It is perfectly fine to work out while you’re fasting – and in fact, you will lose more weight if you do. However, it is best to schedule any workouts towards the end of your fast so that you can eat soon after and replenish your energy as well as provide your body with the nutrients that it needs. If you are doing strength training then this is especially the case, as your body will need protein to build muscles.
- Keep yourself occupied
Sticking to a fast can be difficult – especially if you’re just sitting down and allowing yourself to think about how hungry you feel. On the other hand, if you keep yourself occupied with work or other activities the time will fly by and before you know it you’ll be at the end of your fast. Some people find it helps to coincide their fasting schedule with their work, which is why fasting for 16 hours from midnight (or whenever you sleep) to 4 pm is a popular option.
By following these 5 rules you should be able to put yourself on the right track and make sure that you reap the benefits of intermittent fasting without exposing yourself to any risks. It is safe to say that you will find it tough and challenging, especially at first, which is why it is important that you try to make sure you steel yourself and stick with it.
If you need any help you will find helpful resources at Prudently. Keep in mind that at the end of the day you’re doing this for yourself – and the weight you lose will help you to lead a happier, healthier, and ultimately longer life.