Intermittent fasting is not a diet. It is a timed approach to eating. Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting. Unlike a dietary plan that restricts where calories come from, intermittent fasting does not specify what foods a person should eat or avoid. Intermittent fasting may have some health benefits, including weight loss, diabetes regulation.
Intermittent fasting is a popular method that people use to:
- simplify their life
- lose weight
- improve their overall health and well-being, such as minimizing the effects of aging
For those ready to start fasting, the following tips aim to help them make the experience as easy and successful as possible.
1. Identify Personal Goals-
Typically, a person who starts intermittent fasting has a goal in mind. It may be to lose weight, improve overall health, or improve metabolic health. A person’s ultimate goal will help them determine the most suitable fasting method and work out how many calories and nutrients they need to consume.
2. Pick The Method-
There are four potential methods that a person may try when fasting for health reasons. A person should pick the plan that suits their preferences and which they think they can stick with.
- Eat Stop Eat
- Warrior Diet
- Alternate Day Fasting
Typically, a person should stick with one fasting method for a month or longer to see if it works for them before trying a different method. Anyone who has a medical condition should talk to their healthcare provider before beginning any fasting method.
3. Figure Out Caloric Needs-
People who are looking to lose weight need to create a calorie deficit for themselves — this means that they consume less energy than they use. People who are looking to gain weight need to consume more calories than they use.
There are many tools available to help a person work out their caloric needs and determine how many calories they need to consume each day to either gain or lose weight. A person could also speak to their healthcare provider or dietitian for guidance on how many calories they need.
4. Figure Out A Meal Plan
A person interested in losing or gaining weight may find it helps to plan what they are going to eat during the day or week.
Meal planning does not need to be overly restrictive. It considers calorie intake and incorporating proper nutrients into the diet.
Meal planning offers many benefits, such as helping a person stick to their calorie count, and ensuring they have the necessary food on hand for cooking recipes, quick meals, and snacks.