We all want to be the healthiest version of ourselves. Sometimes that means we try many different diets until we find what works for us. Intermittent fasting is a diet that many turn to because of the benefits and the ease of it.
If you are reading this, you probably know a little something about intermittent fasting. If you are looking to learn more about the different types, read my post, Intermittent Fasting: Is It For You?
Once you decide to try fasting, or if you are already started, these tips will help you stick to it!
There are several different versions of intermittent fasting that you can try. If you want higher odds of sticking to this diet, start off easy.
Begin with fasting for 12 hours a day and gradually work your way up to 16 hours of fasting. Then get to the type of fasting you want.
You don’t want to start off right away doing alternate day fasting or fasting 24 hours a week because those are more intense types of fasting.
We all want results fast but starting at the hardest level will only make you frustrated and you mostly likely won’t stick with it.
Make a Plan to Start
When you are doing any diet, it is always best to plan when you are going to start it. It is important to decide when you are going to start so that you can prepare.
With intermittent fasting, timing is a must. So, before you jump right into it, you want to make sure you have your fasting times decided.
I would recommend starting your fasting on a Monday. No one wants to start a diet on a weekend and starting on Monday gives you the week to get into a routine, so your odds of sticking with it over the weekend are higher.
Planning a start date also allows you to mentally prepare. If you know when you are starting, you can keep reminding yourself that is when you are doing it. If you keep telling yourself that, without switching the date, you have a much better chance of starting.
When my husband and I chose to do intermittent fasting, we planned our fasting hours out before we even started the diet. This made it much easier to do because we mentally prepared that our eating time in the morning was going to change.
That was a few months ago and we are both still sticking with it!
Keep Snacks on Hand
This might seem silly, but when you are first starting out, this is a must!
If you are essentially skipping breakfast and eating it later in the day, you will be surprised how hungry you are once you reach the end of your fasting period.
Obviously once you are doing it for a while it gets easier. But initially, you are going to be hungry right at the end of your fasting because your body is still adjusting.
Even if you think you will be fine, better to be prepared than yelling at a co-worker because you are hungry and don’t get to eat anything for 2 more hours.
Learn to Love Black Coffee or Tea
If you are a coffee drinker, this is great. If you can’t do black coffee, there is still hope.
When you fast, you are allowed no more than 50 calories during that fasting time. Drink your coffee black if you can, but if not, you can add a splash of milk.
If you aren’t a coffee drinker, try tea.
As long as you aren’t going over the 50 calories, you are good to drink it.
It is also great to have the coffee or tea because it can help you feel fuller.
I have noticed if I drink coffee in the morning, I do not feel as hungry when I reach the end of my fasting time. When I don’t have it, it seems like I get hungry sooner.
Stick to a Schedule
This is an important tip. A schedule is your friend!
Do not constantly change the times that you are fasting and eating. You will find if you do, it is very hard to stick to this diet.
When you don’t stick to a schedule, you body can’t adjust. That means it isn’t sure when you are going to be eating.
You will feel hungry all the time and make things much more difficult on yourself!
Also, during the weekends, try your best to stick with your schedule. This can be very challenging, but it is doable. You might end up flexing your times a little bit, but don’t make it drastic and try not to do it often.
Small Amount of Salt on Your Tongue
Yes, you read that right. In my research, I have found that if you put a small amount of salt on your tongue and drink some water when you feel hungry, it can help curb your appetite.
I personally have not tried it. I have found many that have tried it and claim it works.
I thought it was a very interesting tip and if it does work, I think it is worth sharing.
If you are looking to lose a decent amount of weight with intermittent fasting, throwing in some exercise can help.
I know it is a pretty common-sense tip, but sometimes, to see results or if you hit a plateau, working out can help get you over that hurdle.
It can take weeks before you see any results with intermittent fasting. Exercise can help speed it up so you can see results sooner.
If you are looking for a quick workout to burn a lot of calories, try this Beginner HIIT Workout.
Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
I want you to say this one out loud to yourself. Don’t be hard on yourself!
This is a long-term diet if you really want to see a good outcome. There will be bumps in road, as with anything else.
So, if you mess up your fasting time or aren’t seeing results fast enough, don’t be hard on yourself.
This will not help you. It will only discourage you and most likely cause you to quit.
Good things can take time. Let any negative feelings go and stick with it.
Beware of Mood for the First Week or Two
Changing your eating pattern affects people in different ways. For many, when they first start out, they can be kind of moody during their fasting time.
I know I am a person that gets hangry. This was important for me to realize ahead of time so I could stay aware of my mood.
Yet another reason snacks on hand is important.
Be aware that you also could get moody. This is especially true during the first week or two when you are adjusting. Once your body does adjust, that moodiness will go away.
Also be aware, there can be times after this that you get moody. For example, if you eat earlier that usually the night before so your fasting time is increased. Or if you increase your fasting time on purpose or even switch types of fasting.
Keep These Tips Handy
Intermittent fasting is a popular diet plan for many people.
Whether you are just starting intermittent fasting or you have been doing it for a while, these tips are good to keep on hand.
Everyone struggles at some point, but these tricks can help make it easier.
Remember to start easy and work your way to the fasting plan you want. Always make a plan and keep snacks with you just in case. Black coffee (or tea) or a small amount of salt on your tongue with water can help you fight hunger.
Stick to the schedule you have planned to help you stay on track. Throw in some exercise if you want faster results. And be aware of possible mood swings, not just in the beginning.
Most importantly, don’t be hard on yourself.
If you want to be successful, keep these tips in mind and practice them as needed.