Intermittent fasting is a fairly misunderstood approach to health and wellness. One of the biggest misconceptions is that it’s a special diet. But because there are no foods meant to be eaten or avoided it’s technically not a diet, but a pattern or schedule.
The foods that are eaten or avoided are determined by the person fasting, or more specifically their health goals. This can make it a bit tricky to do properly. Here’s four tips to help you when you fast.
Define Your Goals
Someone who’s fasting to lose weight won’t be eating or avoiding the same foods as someone who’s doing it as part of the keto diet.
It’s important to figure out early on what foods you’ll need to stock up on and what to avoid.
It’s also useful to know which foods help you achieve these health goals for future planning; even when you’re no longer fasting, you’ll already be aware of things like calorie count.
If your goal is to lose weight, you could also create an intermittent fasting weight loss meal plan. In fact, there are intermittent fasting free meal plan you can find online.
Establish Your Eating Schedule
There are many different ways to fast. One way is the warrior method, which involves eating small portions of fruits and vegetables throughout the day and a large dinner.
The 5:2 method is where you eat normally for five days of the week and restrict calorie intake for two days.
Different eating schedules have different benefits, so make sure you’re using one that best suits the health goals you want to achieve.
Develop Your (New) Routines
Fasting does free up time throughout the time, time that you might otherwise spend cooking and eating.
Just because you have more free time doesn’t mean you no longer need to meal plan though. If you don’t create a plan ahead of time it becomes easier to break the fast or your diet; those open periods might start to feel like cheat days.
When you’re creating your weekly meal plan, schedule that time for other things like meditating, a nice long nap, yoga, or seeing a movie with friends who know you’re fasting (they’ll keep you away from the concession stand if need be).
Keep your mind or body active.
Create Your Meal Plan
Learning how to meal plan while fasting isn’t very different from regular meal planning. The biggest differences are found in the portions and the food itself.
That said, it can be difficult to plan entire meals of any size around such a limited number of food.
To minimize the difficulty look into customized meal planners that take your dietary restrictions, from daily calorie intake to foods you’re cutting out, into account.