A Guide to Intermittent Fasting

FASTING BLOG 2There are plenty of trendy diet plans out there that promise to help people lose weight and stay healthy. From juice cleanses to raw food diets, there can be a lot of misinformation about the reality of living a healthy lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief, intermittent fasting does not mean starving yourself in an attempt to lose weight. Instead, it focuses on restricting your daily calorie intake so your body will adjust to eating smaller, healthier meals. 

In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, intermittent fasting may also decrease your risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a study published in Cell Metabolism. There are different versions of intermittent fasting that you can choose from. For example, you may consider eating all of your meals only during certain hours of the day. Another popular approach is known as the 5:2 plan, which calls for two days of fasting (with a goal of 500-600 calories per day) and five days of following your regular diet.

The transition to an intermittent fasting diet can be challenging at first, but success is possible! Here are some tips to ease the transition between a non-fasting and intermittent fasting diet:

  • Eat lots of protein and fiber rich foods. Foods rich in protein and fiber will fill you up, which is especially important on fasting days when you won’t be eating as much. Some examples of protein and fiber rich foods include: chicken and lean meat, broccoli, milk, black beans, almonds, peanut butter, bananas and pasta.
  • Don’t over-indulge on non-fasting days. It may be tempting to scarf down a double-bacon cheeseburger with a large fry and chocolate milkshake on your non-fasting days, but this can hinder your end-goal. You can still reward yourself with a tasty meal that’s also healthy, such as a grilled Portobello mushroom burger.
  • Drink plenty of water. Oftentimes people tend to drink more while they are eating, which is why it can be easy to get dehydrated on fasting days.
  • Consult with your doctor. There are many lifestyle and health factors that need to be considered before starting a new diet. Be sure to talk to your doctor about whether an intermittent fasting diet is right for you.

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