Intermittent fasting requires that you fast for a period of time and then only eat within a certain window. And what’s more, you aren’t exactly told what to eat…
The popular lifestyle choice is fairly flexible, but for you to reap the reported benefits the most optimal time is 16:8. That means you fast for 16 hours and eat within the remaining 8-hour window.
- Stimulates brain function
- Increases fat metabolism
- Helps prevent cancer
- Promotes weight-loss
- Boosts the immune system
- Improves heart function
- Improves glucose intolerance
Here are some tips that can help you prevent overeating and use intermittent fasting as an effective tool for weight loss:
1. Have your first meal prepped
This one is similar to the old saying ‘don’t go shopping on an empty stomach’. It’s important to have your first meal prepped for when your eating window opens up. Bringing a packed lunch to work, or have a plan of exactly what you’re going to cook at home. You’ll probably be feeling very hungry and knowing what you’re going to eat will eliminate you going for whatever you can get your hands on!
SEE MORE: The 2+1 Diet: Plant-Powered Lunch Ideas
2. Fill up on veggies before anything else
Start off by eating a large portion of fibre-rich veggies when your eating window opens. This is because fibre will help to keep you fuller for longer. A good option would be to have a big hearty salad as your first meal and not a bowl of pasta.
3. Eat slowly
Fasting for 16 hours is sure to make you hungry. Be careful not to eat too fast. When eating try to make a practice out of mindfully considering each bite. Consider the texture, the taste and try to stay off of your phone. Allow your meal to be a moment of rest and not just something you tick off from your to-do list. Eating slowly may also help you to eat less.
4. Be flexible
Staying consistent is important if you want to see results with intermittent fasting. But it’s equally important to listen to your body and be flexible when you have to. If you had a particularly difficult workout at the gym and you’re at a point of falling over by 10 AM and your eating window doesn’t open until 12 PM, you may want to shift your eating window to earlier in the day.
5. Your last meal should be balanced and filling
As your eating window is about to close, you want to be filling up on a meal that will keep you going during your fasting period. This last meal should be one that is a nutrient-dense, healthy and satisfying meal. It’s important to eat good amounts of protein, plant fats, good fibre, and complex carbohydrates. This will provide ultimate satisfaction and keep you from sneaky trips to the fridge in the middle of the night.
SEE MORE: The 2+1 Diet: Plant-Powered Dinner Ideas
By Features Writer Andrea Cresswell