Are there really such things as intermittent fasting rules for weight loss? A reader asked me that the other day and I decided to write a small post on that.
Nowadays, the internet is chock full of testimonies around the world about how people have lost huge weight with the help of intermittent fasting.
While it is indeed beneficial for both your general health weight loss, you simply have to do it the right way.
Otherwise, you might see little to no progress at all.
In this article, I will show you what mistakes you should avoid and following a few simple rules is key to a successful intermittent fasting.
So, if you’re on the point of starting your intermittent fasting, I urge you to keep scrolling so you are better aware of what you should avoid in order to get the best results out of your fasting.
1. Start Your Intermittent Fasting Progressively
One of the most typical mistakes many dieters tend to make is to start abruptly. Usually, people are so excited and motivated to lose weight that they get on the boat way too fast.
And I really believe a radical start into intermittent fasting can have a negative impact, especially in the very beginning of the fasting journey.
What I mean by that is that in the beginning one may choose to do a 16:8 intermittent fasting (which is not bad) but since their body is accustomed with regular eating, doing a 16 hour fast can be painful at start.
Physical discomfort can follow (for some).
So what I suggest is to choose a slow approach first. For instance, an 8-12 hour fast can be a great start.
Sometimes, your body will send you a few signals of where it feels comfortable or not. So, listen to your body!
With that being said, you should also take into consideration that during your intermittent fasting, you should keep a basal metabolic rate.
A basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy/fuel your system needs to perform all its functions during the day.
Generally, it is recommended to have a decently fair calorie deficit of 30% max during a fasting.
Tip: Calculate how much energy you need and try to eat accordingly to get enough calorie for the day.
2. Drink Your H2O
The second most important rule to follow during an intermittent fasting is to drink enough water, i.e, 2-3 litres of water each and every day.
Drinking too little water during a fast will definitely make it more difficult to lose weight because water is an essential weight loss booster.
It’s true that the main role of water is to provide our body with enough fluids for its different purposes but water has the ability to satiate us.
One of my many healthy habits is to resort to water first when I feel hungry. And you won’t believe how much 1 or 2 cups of water can suppress the appetite.
When our stomach gets stretched after 1 or 2 glasses of water, signals are sent to the brain that our stomach is filling up. And as a result, this reduces our hunger or cravings.
Of course, the sense of fullness after drinking water does not last long because water is easily digested through the intestinal tract. But it still helps in curbing the appetite for a little while.
3. Make Sure To Sleep Enough
While sleep does not have a direct effect on weight loss, it still plays a huge role. And if you don’t know it yet, obesity and weight gain are often linked to poor sleep according to many health studies.
A good sleep pattern will keep you healthy, enhance your mood and definitely boost your weight loss, be it through intermittent fasting or whatever diet you choose to do.
So, I will say that again: sleep has an impact on both our overall health and weight loss.
You might ask how can sleep help you lose weight?
There’s a hormone called leptin that comes into play when sleep is involved. In fact, when you don’t get enough sleep, your leptin levels drop.
As a result, this increases your hunger and appetite when you wake up.
So, if you want to keep your satiety hormones at their optimal levels, regulate your sleep pattern, i.e, 8 hours of sleep every day. (if that’s not the case of course)
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4. Make Your First Meal The Best One
Another rule you will have to follow if you want to succeed in your intermittent fasting journey is to get an amazing first meal. ** By amazing, I mean super healthy 🙂
This is a common mistake I did when I was doing intermittent fasting. Not on purpose but here in Mauritius, it’s not common for us to have eggs, juice, a bowl of fruit for breakfast. Our breakfast is usually made up tea, 30-50g of bread with butter and cheese and some might take a banana.
But since I got into the healthy eating and dieting world, I’ve understood the importance of having a protein-rich breakfast.
In fact when you sleep, your body goes on an 8-hour or so fasting period and if your first meal is not nutrient-rich, it’s no doubt that you will feel more hungry during the day.
Now what happens when you start craving for food throughout the day?
You will find yourself overeating and therefore ingesting more calories than you are expending.
So, get yourself a royal breakfast in the morning with foods that are rich in protein and fiber.
5. Cut Down On Alcohol
Alcohol is surely not allowed during a weight loss journey, let alone during a fasting phase. I mean, it’s not recommended at all.
When you fast, the only liquids that you can have are calorie-free liquids so as not to interrupt your fast.
Believe it or not, alcohol is a caloric drink that can easily add up to your calorie requirement and not in a good way.
Alcoholic drinks such as beer are highly caloric and two of the many bad things they do is that they promote cravings and cancel the fat burning process.
6. Monitor Your Calorie Intake
I remember doing my first intermittent fasting my sister. We were doing literally the same thing, i.e, eating the same foods, at the same time…but while she was feeling more energetic, it was not the case for me.
Put simply, I was not getting enough necessary nutrients that’s why I was in that condition the very first weeks.
But as I started counting my calories and knowing how much energy I needed for the day, I adjusted my intermittent fasting and ate accordingly. Guess what?
I was feeling healthier, more energetic and didn’t have recurrent cravings.
It’s proven that when we consistently eat less calories that our body requires, we start developing cravings which can later trigger binge eating.
Therefore, you must make sure you are getting enough calories in your eating window through various nutrients such as fiber, good fats, protein etc…
Final Thoughts on The 6 Intermittent Fasting Rules To Follow
Intermittent fasting is one of the best ways you can improve your health and also lose weight. But doing it the wrong way can be frustrating as you won’t see concrete results whatsoever.
Are you ready to follow these simple intermittent fasting rules for weight loss?