Intermittent fasting has been gaining popularity in the fitness community in recent years. It’s an effective tool used by bodybuilders for cutting, and it helps people who are doing a low-carb “keto” diet to overcome plateaus in weight loss. Intermittent fasting can seem like a daunting task for people who have never tried it, but you can reap the benefits of this fat-cutting strategy with some clever hacks.
1. Get into a Routine
One way to make any challenging endeavor less difficult is to build it into your routine. This gives your mind and body a greater ability to adapt to the new lifestyle, and you will develop a higher tolerance emotionally and otherwise to going 12 to 20 hours without eating. Try to break your fast at the same time each day, and use a consistent approach to preparing foods and grocery shopping. Sticking to a small variety of meals also helps you keep track of calories and macros.
2. Take the Edge Off of Cravings
The most challenging aspect of dieting for most people is overcoming the hunger that comes with reducing calories or decreasing the frequency of meals. To make intermittent fasting less difficult to bear, have some standby 0-calorie drinks or foods around to take the edge off of the hunger. There are a lot of beverages that have nearly zero calories, and some of them are beneficial for health, such as tea or spring water. If you want something more tasty or satisfying, you could also have your favorite zero-calorie soda, but on a limited basis for best results and better health.
3. Be Sensible When Breaking Your Fast
When you are using the approach of having an 8-hour feeding window with 16-hour fasts each day, you might think it’s a license to pig out on whatever you want on your first meal. Bear in mind that you still need to maintain a calorie deficit during the program to lose weight, so eat a moderate-sized meal, whether it’s an early-evening dinner or breakfast.
4. Keep Yourself Occupied
When you’re sitting around playing games or watching TV, it’s pretty difficult to keep your mind off of that delicious snack in the refrigerator. If you’re out of the house and moving around, you’ll have a much easier time avoiding a temptation that could break your fasting period prematurely.
5. Use the Right Timing to Curb Hunger
It’s crucial to understand how your hunger patterns arise so that you can create a strategy to mitigate urges to eat. One way to approach this is to pay attention to what times of day that your appetite is bigger. A lot of people are hungrier in the evening, which is why experts advise skipping breakfast and eating during a feeding window between late afternoon and toward the later evening hours. Those late-night snacks can be the worst diet killers, so a satiating meal a few hours before bed can help you avoid this pitfall.
Don’t let the idea of intermittent fasting intimidate you. Many people find that intermittent fasting along with a low-carb diet reduces overall hunger. Although this approach might not be for everyone, it could be the best strategy to help you get past a plateau in your keto diet or another type of weight loss program.