Intermittent Fasting (IF) took a big leap in popularity back in 2013 with “The 8-Hour Diet” by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore.

Iran Press/America: Zinczenko and Moore claimed that eating all your daily food within an 8-hour period would result in dramatic weight loss, reported.

The diet consists of restricting the time period in which you eat food. In other words, you go through alternating cycles of fasting and eating. Unlike most other diets, it’s about limiting when you eat rather than what you eat.

Various studies have shown that by adopting this eating pattern, you might experience benefits like:

weight loss

improved metabolic health

protection from disease

a longer life span

If you’re interested in trying this trending eating plan, you may be a little worried about just how you’ll manage it.

Read on to discover some practical tips and tricks that anyone can use to start eating on an IF schedule.

Getting started 

You know you want to try IF, but maybe you aren’t sure where to start.

First things first: Do your research. IF can be dangerous for people with low blood sugar, according to Stephanie Rofkahr, a nutritionist. Talk with your doctor before you make any changes to your diet.

Next, decide which type of IF schedule you want to try. There are six popular fasting patterns to choose from, but this list is by no means exhaustive.

According to Rofkahr, the most popular option is the 16/8 method. In this pattern, you fast for 16 hours, then eat within an 8-hour period. Rofkahr tends to advise that people eat between noon and 8 p.m.

Once you’ve done your research and decided on the schedule that works best for you, you’re ready to go.

Ways to keep it manageable 

IF can be tough, especially in the beginning.

In addition to the telltale grumbling of your stomach, you may also experience fatigue, irritability, and stress while you try to manage your new eating schedule.

Here are some tips to make your life a little easier:

Start with a modified schedule. No need to dive straight in! Build your tolerance to eating in a smaller time window each day, and do the full schedule when you’re ready.

Stay well hydrated. Keep hydrating with “noncaloric fluids” during your fasting period. This can include water, herbal teas, and calorie-free flavored drinks.

During the eating period, eat slowly and frequently. Rofkahr recommends that you aim to eat every 3 hours within the 8-hour window so that you can “get your calories in.” Remember that IF can become dangerous if you don’t get your recommended daily calorie intake.

Plan healthy, nutritious meals ahead of time. While you may be tempted to treat yourself to your favorite snacks and comfort foods as soon as your fasting period is finished, try to stick to a healthy diet with proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

Prep your meals in advance. If your schedule is incredibly busy, set aside time on the weekend or a few nights a week to prepare some meals in advance. This will save you time and help you keep your diet balanced.

Add 2 to 3 tbsp. of healthy fat to your evening meal. Healthy fat like olive oil, coconut butter, or avocado in the last meal of the day can keep blood sugar levels steady overnight.

If you have trouble sleeping, IF might not be for you. According to IF expert Cynthia Thurlow, “If you can’t sleep through the night, do not attempt to use this strategy. Work on sleep first.”


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