Tips for Making Intermittent Fasting as Easy as Possible
Intermittent fasting has rapidly gained popularity in recent years due to its benefits, convenience, and effectiveness. If the word “fasting” makes you intimidated, read on to learn how to get started with intermittent fasting and tips for making intermittent fasting easier.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting consists of restricting the period in which you eat your food. Essentially, you alternate periods of fasting and eating. Unlike other diets, intermittent fasting is more focused on when you eat as opposed to what you eat.
What Are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
- Weight loss
- Stress reduction
- Improved skin tone
- Improved metabolic health
- A change in cell function
- Reduced inflammation
- Natural support of the body’s cellular repair
- Reduced belly fat
- Increased energy
What Are the Lifestyle Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Along with various potential health benefits, intermittent fasting appeals to many because of its convenience. With fewer meals to plan and less restriction in terms of what you eat, intermittent fasting can simplify your life and cut down on food planning and prep.
Cutting down on actual time spent eating and snacking also saves on a lot of cleaning and preparation.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Humans have naturally practiced intermittent fasting for thousands of years. Both animals and humans instinctively fast during illnesses.
The human body is well adapted to handling extended periods of fasting. The process of digestion takes a surprising amount of energy and work. When the body gets a break from eating, a variety of important processes involving genes, cellular repair, and hormones can happen.
How Do I Get Started With Intermittent Fasting?
If you are just learning about intermittent fasting, you may be wondering how to get started.
1. Get the All Clear From Your Healthcare Provider
It is always recommended to talk with your healthcare provider before making major changes to your diet.
While intermittent fasting has a high safety profile, it is not recommended for:
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Individuals with low blood pressure
- Individuals taking medication
- Underweight individuals
- Individuals with a history of eating disorders
- Women who are trying to conceive
- Individuals with blood sugar regulation issues
- Individuals with diabetes
*It is recommended to check with your doctor before proceeding with any method of fasting.*
2. Decide on a Schedule
Next, it is time to research the different types of intermittent fasting schedules and decide which one you want to try.
It may take some experimentation to find the right method for your lifestyle and goals, but the 12/12 or 5/2 method (especially when supported with Isagenix’s nutritional cleansing plan) makes excellent plans to start with. It is easy to switch plans as needed or extend fasting periods once you are comfortable with a particular method.
Here is a quick look at some of the most popular intermittent fasting schedules:
- The 16/8 Method – The 16/8 method of fasting involves fasting for 16 hours a day with an 8-hour window for eating. For example, eating only between noon and 8 pm. For women, it is sometimes recommended to limit fasting hours to 14 rather than 16.
- The 12/12 Method or 14/10 Method – These methods are ideal for beginners who want to ease into intermittent fasting. Most of the fasting occurs during sleep and the fasting window is fairly short. You can choose to fast for 12 hours a day or 14 hours a day and work your way up from there.
- The 5/2 Method – The 5/2 method of fasting involves eating normally 5 days a week and practicing calorie restriction on the other 2 days. Isagenix utilizes the effectiveness of intermittent fasting with Shake Days and Cleanse Days to support the fasting process and take the guesswork out of nutritional cleansing.
- The 24-hour Method – The 24-hour method involves fasting for an entire 24 hour period during the week. This method of fasting is especially important to discuss with your healthcare provider beforehand.
Is Intermittent Fasting Difficult?
You are probably already fasting for 7 to 9 hours a day — during your sleep! Extend this fasting period a bit longer and you will be practicing intermittent fasting. It is that simple.
A couple of examples for the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting would be waiting to eat your first meal until noon and then eating until 8 pm or eating between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. Either of these methods still allows you a generous eating window but also gives your body a 16 hour fast every day.
Tips For Making Intermittent Fasting Easier
Intermittent fasting can feel overwhelming or challenging at first, but the right tips can make it easier.
The following tips may help you stay on track and maximize the potential benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Eat High-Volume Foods – Consuming filling, low-calorie foods (i.e raw veggies, fruits with high water content, air-popped popcorn, etc.) is a great way to fill up healthily.
- Spice It Up – Season your food generously with herbs, vinegar, spices, and garlic. These seasonings will add flavor
- Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods – Focus on eating healthy foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein such as nuts, fish, avocado, eggs, lentils, and beans.
- Stay Hydrated – Drink adequate amounts of water or herbal tea throughout the day and during fasting periods.
- Stay Busy – Staying busy during fasting hours will keep your mind off of food and pass the time with ease.
- Start Slow – Ease into intermittent fasting with a 12/12 schedule or the 14/10 schedule before working up to the 5/2 or 16/8 schedule. Build your tolerance and comfort level with fasting and increase your fasting window when ready.
- Focus on Fat – Be sure to include healthy fats such as avocado, coconut butter, and olive oil in your diet, especially with your evening meal.
- Rest – If you find yourself low on energy during your fasting period, feel free to take it easy and rest up or enjoy some light activity such as yoga.
- Eat Mindfully and Often – During your eating window, be sure to get your recommended daily calorie intake and choose foods that will nourish and fuel your body.
- Plan Ahead – Plan nutritious, healthy meals and snacks to ensure you do not reach for comfort foods or snacks, especially if you are busy and on the go. A healthy, high-quality protein shake can be a convenient option if you need a filling yet healthy meal to grab and go.
Are Certain Foods Better For Intermittent Fasting?
As mentioned earlier, intermittent fasting is more about when you eat rather than what. Still, ensuring you consume adequate calories and a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is key for fueling your body and supporting your overall health.
Are Any Foods or Beverages Allowed During Fasting Periods?
Most individuals find that hunger is not a huge issue during fasting, especially once the body adapts.
No food is allowed during fasting periods aside from water, black coffee, unsweetened tea, or other non-caloric beverages.
Some intermittent fasting plans allow for small amounts of low-calorie foods during fasting periods. During nutritional cleansing with Isagenix — a program based on the scientific results of the 5/2 method of intermittent fasting — Cleanse Day approved snacks and beverages are allowed during the two Cleanse Days.
These specially designed snacks and beverages help fuel the body and fight off hunger while still supporting the body’s natural cleansing process.
What Are the Best Supplements For Intermittent Fasting?
While intermittent fasting on its own is possible, Isagenix has formulated a variety of products and supplements to complement the intermittent fasting process and make it even easier.
Do You Want To Learn More About Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting can be an effective, convenient way to lose weight, support your health, and simplify your life.
Have you ever heard of intermittent fasting or tried it? Do you have any favorite Isagenix products you like to incorporate into your fasting routine? We would love to hear your feedback or answer any questions you have.