So, you want to lose weight … again. It’s one of your New Year’s resolutions (that happens every year). Perhaps, you are still looking for the right way to help you lose weight. And you have found several resources that talk about intermittent fasting. And you wish to try it out. But you wonder, “How can I start intermittent fasting?”
Keep reading to give you ideas on how to start this eating plan.
How Can I Start Intermittent Fasting?
It’s important to note that intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. If you have medical conditions, you need to talk to your doctor first.
Now, if you’re ready, you may heed these tips.
1. Choose the Method
Intermittent fasting isn’t just one method. There are plenty to choose from.
- 16:8. With this method, you need to fast for 16 hours and have an eating window of 8 hours.
- OMAD. This method involves fasting for 23 hours and 1 hour of eating window. This is an extreme version of 16:8. To help you get started, I recommend reading Planning Your Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan.
- Eat Stop Eat. It’s a fasting method that requires you not to eat for 24 hours or a day. However, unlike OMAD or the 16:8 method, you can do this method once or twice a week. If you’re not familiar with fasting, you shouldn’t start with this method.
- Warrior. This method requires fasting for 20 hours every day. In the remaining 4 hours, you can consume any food you like. However, if you wish to lose weight, you still need to watch your calories. Even though you only have 4 hours eating window, you can still overeat.
- Alternate day. This is also known as the 5:2 method. When you choose this IF, you eat 500 to 600 calories on two non-consecutive days every week. Then, for the rest of the week, you can eat any food you want.
Ideally, you pick a shorter fast, like 16:8. Or if it’s too extreme for you, you can try fasting for 12 hours and have an eating window of 12 hours.
Once you have chosen the IF method, you need to figure out the calories you need to take every day.
2. Know the Calories You Need
One of the attractive features of intermittent fasting is that you can eat anything. Some say that there’s no need to watch your calories. However, if you wish to lose weight, calories still matter.
In other words, even with intermittent fasting, you still need to create a calorie deficit. That’s why you have to determine the calories you need to consume each day to lose (or gain) weight.
Thankfully, there are several tools available that can help you determine the calories to need to lose or gain weight.
However, if you wish to be thorough, you may talk to a dietitian or a nutritionist to give you a comprehensive guideline.
Related: Can You Exercise on Ketosis Diet?
3. Plan Your Meal
One of the reasons many fail to follow intermittent fasting is that they don’t plan their meals. Hence, if you wish to lose weight successfully with IF, you need to plan what you eat during the day or week.
When your meal is planned, you can avoid eating more calories than you burn. You can easily stick to your calorie count and ensure that you have the right food on hand.
Several YouTube videos can show you how to plan meals.
Or read What to Eat on OMAD
4. Eat Nutrient-Dense Food
Indeed, intermittent fasting has not set restrictions on the calories you consume. You still need to consider what you eat.
Since you’ll be fasting for a certain period, you need to ensure that what you’re eating is satiating. In that way, you can last for hours without eating anything.
You should also avoid eating junk food because it has no nutrients.
Related: Weight Loss with 48 Hours Fasting
5. Drink a Lot of Water
Sometimes, your body can confuse being thirsty with feeling hungry.
To control your appetite, you need to drink a lot of water. You may drink a gallon of water a day if you can.
You may also incorporate a keto diet with intermittent fasting. Because you’re eating healthy fats, you can successfully avoid not eating for 16 or even 23 hours.
6. Choose an Eating Window that Fits Your Schedule
It’s not ideal to choose your eating window on your hectic workday. For that reason, you should find a schedule that fits your lifestyle.
Thus, if you want to have dinner with your family and you’re following OMAD, consider having your first and last meal at dinner.
Be lenient when it comes to choosing your eating window. In that way, you don’t have to feel that you’re sacrificing a lot.
How can I start intermittent fasting? The first thing to consider is to know the method that fits your lifestyle. To know more about intermittent fasting, you may read these articles: