Few things are more challenging that trying to lose weight. Some go in for fad diets, trying to apply unusual discipline over hundreds of meal decisions during a given period of time. Others opt instead for intermittent fasting, a strategy that’s effective for those who have a difficult time with the grind of daily dieting. Intermittent fasting is quite simple. You simply stop eating for an extended period of time each day or week, skipping meals so you can cut your calorie intake without changing what you eat. It’s a means of changing how often you eat rather than the com position of your meals Understand when you embark on this strategy that you will run into some challenges. People who love food can find it difficult to go 24 or 36 hours without eating. Here are five tips to help make things a little easier.
1. Avoid drinks that make you hungrier
During your period of intermittent fasting, it’s critical to fill the time with various drinks. Many people eat only because they’re bored, and drinking can help to fill the idle moments. Some drinks are shown to increase hunger, though. Avoid soft drinks, even if they’re low-calorie. If you need the burst of energy that comes from caffeine, you might opt for green tea instead. Water is the best option for those in the middle of a fasting period. It will leave you feeling full and satisfied, while also helping to flush your system.
2. Plan exercise for periods when you’re eating
Whether it’s weight lifting or distance running, exercise will make you hungry. People looking to lose weight should plan their exercise for those times when a meal is available. After you’ve gotten back into the house after a run, you’ll have two challenges to overcome. First, your body will practically beg for food to replace the energy you just burned. On top of that, you’ll have the knowledge that you burned a few hundred calories, making it easier to justify eating. It can be very difficult to maintain a planned fast after exercising, so make sure you’re timing your runs or lifts with your meals.
3. Fast on your busiest days
It might not make sense to plan a fast on Sunday when you’re watching NFL games. You’ll have an easier time when you fast during your busy work day. Find a time when you have meetings or travel to attend to. This will help to cure the bored om so you won’t think about how long it’s been since your last meal.
4. Learn to love the pangs of hunger
Pulling off intermittent fasting is a psychological battle. Your body can handle many days without food, but your brain will send signals of hunger. Successful fasting requires more than just a tolerance of these hunger pangs. You’ll need to love and appreciate them. Every time your mind sends a hunger signal, you can take solace in the understanding that your body is burning up your fat stores. The body must fuel itself somehow, and when you’re not feeding it, the body will start munching on the extra fat you’ve accumulated over time. Rather than thinking about the unpleasant nature of the pain, try to focus on the benefits of losing that unwanted weight.
5. Remove snack foods from your home
Convenience can be the death of an intermittent fasting plan. Even the most dedicated people can fall victim to an open bag of chips sitting on the counter. You’re much more likely to stick with the plan when getting food requires you to get in your car. If you know you’re about to go through a month of intermittent fasting, get the snacks out of your house. If this isn’t feasible because you live with a family full of snack lovers, at least put these foods out of sight. Those who remove temptation find it easier to maintain their fasting regimen.
Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight in a healthy, reasonable manner. You’ll be able to eat what you want if you can survive a missed lunch or two during the week. It won’t be easy, though. If you’ve grown accustomed to three meals per day, your body will go through an adjustment period. Use these tips to give yourself the best chance at success.