How do you stick to a fast is the question? Fasting is one the most popular diets out right now when searching on Google, specifically Intermittent Fasting. Although many call it a diet I wouldn’t call it a diet per se. It’s more of a type of eating pattern rather than a diet. A diet in a conventional sense focuses more on what you eat while fasting focuses on when you eat. Now, of course, if you combine the two properly, you can really reap some incredible benefits such as lowering body weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and much more.
However, despite all the wonderful benefits, it’s not enough for people to stick to a fast. They still struggle and end up breaking their fast earlier than intended. I’ve had a few personal training clients in the past tell me they were going on a fast just to find out they couldn’t even last two days. Well, after listening and watching a few podcasts, years of being observant of my clients and people, I’ve come up with some practical tips to help you. These tips below will assist you to successfully stick to a fast.
Know the Different Fasting Methods
There a several fasting methods to choose from. You want to pick one that is the most conducive to your lifestyle to increase your chances of sticking to it in the beginning. Below are a few methods.
- The 16/8 method: Fasting every day for 14–16 hours and restricting your daily eating window to 8–10 hours.
- The 5:2 Method: Eating 500–600 calories for 2 days out of the week and eating normally the other 5 days.
- Alternate Day Fasting: Fast every other day, either by not eating anything or only eating a few hundred calories.
- Eat Stop Eat: One or two 24-hour fasts per week.
- Random Meal Skipping: Skip meals randomly whenever you feel like it. Skip breakfast one day, then dinner another, and so on.
Pair it Up
Pair fasting with tasty nutritious food. Don’t just eat a bunch of junk that could possibly make you feel terrible and trigger more hunger. Make when you eat count by fueling your body with unprocessed whole foods.
Don’t Go Cold Turkey
Ease your way into fasting. You don’t have to jump right into it especially if you chose a fasting method that asks for longer periods without food. Fasting methods of longer duration could be eased into by cutting out certain food groups a day at a time. For example, Cut out bread the first day, meat the second day, and so forth until your only intaking water.
Do it with a Community
Religions such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism fast as a part of their faith. The community atmosphere allows them to feed off one another in addition to their faith. A Higher Power and/or community provide accountability and support.
Interrupt Your Schedule
Instead of eating during your regular scheduled breakfast, lunch, or dinner time; schedule something else in its place. Work through your lunch, go for a walk or take a nap. Just find something to occupy the time instead of eating.
Avoid food advertisements and people eating food. This is a tough one but it can really keep you on track. Read a book or pick up a non-food related hobby or a new skill to avoid television where food is constantly advertised. Stay away from food courts and trucks where the smell of food and people eating food will tempt you. Basically, stay away from food when you’re not hungry.
Ride the Wave
You naturally have a hormone called “ghrelin” which is your signal for hunger. You’re going to be hungry while on a fast but that feeling of hunger won’t be constant. One study found that ghrelin levels increased and decreased at various timepoints in participants during a 24-hour fasting period. It’ll come in like a wave and fade out like a wave, just ride it out.
When tempted to eat, sip on some tea or water to pass the time. It’ll help with the feeling of satiation and keep you hydrated. A few calories if any in the tea, won’t break the fast as long as you don’t add anything.
Enjoy Your Food Thoroughly
When you get into that window for you to eat, whip of something good and nutritious to eat. Make it a whole experience. Savor every single bite and take in the aroma of the meal. Look at this as a reward for your patience and hard work.
There you have it, some tips on how to stick to a fast successfully. Hopefully, this time around your fast will last as planned and you’re able to sustain it. Before going on a fast, I recommend that you speak with your healthcare provider, especially if you have pre-existing conditions, pregnant, and so forth. Also, visit my online healthy lifestyle shop and resources for more help products and companies to aid in your health journey.
Be Healthy, Be Balanced, Be You