10 Things You Must Know Before You Start Intermittent Fasting

10 Things You Must Know Before You Start Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is so versatile in the benefits it can bring, whether it’s to go down a few sizes or to improve health markers. Nonetheless, if you want to profit from the advantages of intermittent fasting, you too have to be versatile by making changes and adapting to new, healthy habits.

Preparing yourself in every aspect before starting any intermittent fasting regimen is vital to ensure success and diminish potential drawbacks. Here are the 10 things you must know before you start intermittent fasting.

1. Understand Intermittent Fasting

You don’t have to be a fasting expert to give it a go, however, it is ideal that you know the types of intermittent fasting methods available, the necessary dietary and lifestyle adjustments needed, and whether it's the best option to reach your health goals. 

Some of the benefits intermittent fasting offers are:

Intermittent fasting is great in that it allows you to choose the method that best fits your lifestyle and overall objectives. There are different types of intermittent fasting approaches and each one has variations to them. Keep in mind that no two bodies are alike, therefore the fasting approach and results will vary from person to person. What might work for someone else might not work for you. 

2. Set Clear and Realistic Goals

To effectively start intermittent fasting, being real about what your body can achieve is a must. Be conscious of what your body can handle and don’t pressure it over its limits. Setting clear and measurable goals, even if it’s to lose 1 pound in a week, is much more reasonable than expecting to lose 30 pounds in 1 month. The Fastic app can assist you in setting tangible milestones from the get-go to achieve your goal weight.

3. Asses Current Lifestyle and Diet

If you were considering dropping the midnight snacks or aiming to sleep more than 6 hours, the time has come. Fasting alone won’t suffice to reach your ideal weight and reset your body’s metabolism. You need to put in your grain of salt and change certain habits to help your body start its fasting journey on a clean slate. A poor diet, lack of physical activity, or an irregular sleeping schedule all influence the way your body reacts to a fast. Make a list of what foods need to go, establish a low to medium-intensity workout routine, and set a strict sleeping schedule. Flexibility and commitment are imperative for an optimal start and long-term success. Remember, intermittent fasting is a two-way street!

4. Gradual Transition into Fasting

To begin intermittent fasting you should gradually introduce it into your lifestyle. Start by progressively increasing the fasting window over several days or weeks. If it’s your body’s first fasting experience, it is indispensable to approach eating and routine changes with caution. Set a strict schedule with fixed eating windows and a sleeping schedule. Establishing a routine will help your body adjust to the new schedule and learn when to expect food and when not to. While introducing fasting, hunger might peek through the fasting window. Sugar-free gum is an infallible way to tackle these hunger cues as your body adjusts little by little.

5. Stay Hydrated

If staying hydrated during a regular diet is expected, doing so during intermittent fasting is a must. Food is also a source of water for your body, and since you aren’t consuming anything, it's necessary to make up for the water you aren't obtaining from food. Drinking water during fasting periods serves as a source of energy and helps control hunger pangs. Zero to low-calorie drinks like water, black coffee, and herbal teas are ideal because they won’t disrupt your fasting state. 

how to start intermittent fasting

6. Plan Balanced Meals

Incorporating nutrient-dense meals during eating windows can bring that extra energy your body needs during fasting. Eating a balanced diet is necessary to maintain a healthy body and prevent nutrient deficiencies. If your fridge and pantry aren’t stocked in nutrient-rich foods, it’s time to hit the supermarket. 

Include the following foods in your everyday meals:

Water-rich fruits: watermelon, cantaloupe

  • Vegetables high in essential vitamins and minerals: cucumber, spinach.

  • Legumes with high protein and fiber content: chickpeas, lentils

  • Whole grains rich in complex carbohydrates: oats, quinoa

If it so happens that planning well-balanced meals isn’t on your bucket list, start a fasting diet using the Fastic app as an ally. It offers a broad menu of nutrient-rich and straightforward recipes so that you only have to swipe and cook.

7. Incorporate Exercise

Exercising can boost fasting effects. Data suggests that fasted resistance exercise relies more heavily on fat metabolism than carbohydrates, which enhances fat burning and encourages weight loss. Low to medium-intensity exercises are ideal. Here are a few options that go well with intermittent fasting:

  • walking or jogging,

  • yoga,

  • pilates,

  • resistance bands,

  • and gentle cycling.

Exercising is not necessary during fasting, however, it can give your body that extra push it needs to see intermittent fasting results faster. Don’t engage in strenuous exercises and consult with your doctor to determine which exercises are better for your particular health background.

8. Adequate Sleep

Sleeping is the time when your body undergoes multiple restorative processes, including muscle growth, hormone regulation, and tissue repair. Experts recommend that adults sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night. Sufficient sleep helps regulate your body’s response to stress, particularly that which comes with fasting. It's important to mention that poor sleep interferes with adequate hunger hormone balancing. Hence, proper sleep is necessary to keep these hormones regulated and ease hunger during fasting windows. 

9. Consult Your Healthcare Professional

As previously mentioned, no two bodies are the same. Before beginning intermittent fasting, consult a healthcare professional to determine if intermittent fasting is right for you. People with certain health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease should not do fasting. Additionally, older individuals are more prone to developing chronic diseases, therefore seeking medical advice beforehand is recommended. Individuals taking medications should also refer to their physician to determine if their medical condition allows fasting.

10. Listen to Your Body

Always listen to your body. You know your body better than anyone else, therefore whatever signals you might notice during fasting, don’t ignore them. If your fasting regimen is too harsh, it’s alright to make changes. Fasting obliges your body to experience additional physiological stress, and pressuring your body to do more than it already is can be detrimental. Be mindful of signs of discomfort, and take note of the symptoms you experience. Consult with your primary physician to determine if your fasting plan is too excessive.

Learning the dos and don’ts of how to start intermittent fasting will allow you to have a better notion of whether it’s ideal for your lifestyle, body, and health goals. Assessing your current habits, making lifestyle changes, and setting clear and grounded objectives are necessary to start intermittent fasting on the right foot. Now that you know the basics of starting intermittent fasting, take the Fastic quiz to learn which fasting plan is right for you and begin your fasting journey with confidence. 

Disclaimer: It is advised to speak with a health professional before beginning intermittent fasting or a diet program. There may be side effects for people with certain medical conditions.

With Fastic, millions of people have achieved their desired weight, overcome disease and regained their quality of life.

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