We all love food, which makes weight loss a challenge. What if you can eat the foods you love and just skip a meal? That sounds like a fantastic deal and that’s what people often assume intermittent fasting is all about. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Skipping breakfast isn’t the defining feature of any diet. Like all diets, it’s about self-control. So what really is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting or time-restricted fasting is, at its core, eating at specific times and refraining from eating during others. It limits the number of calories you take every day, giving you the ability to maintain your calorie intake without changing what you eat. The goal is to set an eating window that’s between 6 to 12 hours a day. For example, if you’re going by the “skip breakfast” route, your eating window might be between 11 A.M. and 10 P.M.
But the hard part is, you have to train yourself. When you set your eating window, you have to stick to it. Cheat days don’t really apply to this diet like the rest. In a way, you’re training your metabolism. This diet does require physical activity. That means you need to exercise between one of the meals in your eating window. Go on a nice walk or hit the gym when possible to get the most out of your intermittent fasting experience.
Beyond exercise, there’s one more “catch.” Ideally, you should avoid sugary foods and drinks. More importantly, you need to stay hydrated. One should always stay hydrated, but in this case, you should increase your water intake if you’re exercising in order to replenish your fluids. And while this diet gives you the ability to eat what you want, that’s not 100% true. It requires you to add more fiber and protein to your meals as well. Protein, for one, is a must when you’re exercising. But when paired with fiber, which in itself is fantastic for your GI tract, it makes you feel fuller for longer. When you’re not eating for hours on end, you’re going to want that full feeling to keep from breaking your dieting window.
- Set and stick to an eating window
- Stay hydrated
- Eat more fiber and protein
- Eat outside your set window
- Drink or eat sugary things
- Be inactive
What do you think about intermittent fasting now? It’s far from the skip breakfast misconception most believe it to be. But in all reality, this is a great diet for losing weight healthily. It just requires a lot of self-control. If this diet doesn’t sound like a fit for you, check out our article on the Mediterranean diet. It may be a better fit for you, especially if you’re a fish-lover. And if you struggle to eat healthily, or just aren’t a fan of meal prep, don’t forget we make and deliver meals and snacks tailored to fit individual dietary needs. Click here to learn more.