Intermittent fasting is a wonderful healthy lifestyle choice, but one that does take some getting used to. If you are struggling to keep up with fasting, you might want to ease into it at a slower pace.
Be Clear About What You Expect and Why
When you see success stories about people who get amazing results from their endeavors, it’s important to keep in mind that every person is different. Each person starts from a different place, and chances are pretty high that people who are doing 18-20 hour fasts didn’t start there.
It is always good to consider why you are fasting, why you chose the protocol you did, and understand what you personally expect from it. Remember that fasting in any form is still going to be good for your body, whether it is 14-16 hours or over 20 hours a day.
Do Something Easy To Start
The best way to prepare for success is to set yourself up to have success. Choose some easy goals that will help you to move in a positive direction. If you aren’t ready to completely skip breakfast, don’t! Just eat a little later and keep pushing it further and further away.
Another way you can start with something easy is to have 3 meals a day, without snacks. Still eat the amount of calories and nutrients you need, but condense them into those 3 meals, instead of also having snacks. This gets you more used to eating more of your food in meals, as opposed to 5-6 times a day with snacks and desserts.
Be Flexible with Time
Something that can be hard for people to grasp is that there should only be one specific time frame when you can fast. When actually, your eating window can be at any time during the day or night, depending on your schedule and when you feel the most hungry.
You hear so often that the 16:8 protocol is “skipping breakfast” and you just don’t eat until noon. But this isn’t true for everyone. While it is often easy to skip breakfast, others find that they are hungry in the morning, but prefer instead to either skip dinner or eat a much earlier dinner.
Pick a Few Days to Experiment
Fasting can be fun in some ways, but only when you’re finding success. Choose days that leave you room to make more choices. Try not to start out fasting when your schedule is crushed 7 days a week. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to balance the calendars. Just be sure to make small amounts of progress and stay patient. Work up to having a day where you do a full day of your chosen fasting schedule. Eat the food you love within your chosen time slot.