Whether through social media or a friend, you may have been hearing a lot about intermittent fasting recently. Intermittent fasting is a variation of regular fasting that has skyrocketed in popularity over the years.
Gen-Z, Millennials, and celebrities everywhere are all trying to get in on this trend, and we’re here to help you break it down if you want to give it a go, yourself!
Intermittent fasting is particularly effective for weight loss and overall calorie intake. Whether you’re thinking about starting out or you are in the beginning stages, here is some background information on intermittent fasting and what you should and shouldn’t drink.
Intermittent fasting is a little different compared to traditional fasting. Traditional fasting isn’t always ideal, as you might begin to feel fatigued after not eating for more extended periods of time. This is where intermittent fasting comes in since eating windows and fasting windows change by the hour or day.
Intermittent fasting benefits will vary depending on your weight, age, and overall health needs, but here are some basic strategies if you’re looking to start intermittent fasting.
This is the most popular and yet also the most simple method of intermittent fasting. As the name implies, you have a 16-hour fasting window and an 8-hour eating window. You can easily fit in two or three healthy meals during the eating period.
There is a big emphasis on “healthy,” mainly because the fasting window will be ineffective if you eat meals high in calories, bad carbs, and sugar.
Admittedly, this type of intermittent fasting may be the most difficult one to pursue, but if you can stay consistent, weight loss can be a result.
The ESE method involves picking two days out of the week for a 24-hour fast.
If this is your first time fasting, we recommend starting with a smaller fast period between 16-20 hours. Yes, 24 hours of fasting seems very long, but, if you break it down to something similar to one lunch on Tuesday at 3:00 pm and then lunch on Wednesday at the same time, it can make things a lot easier.
Again, we must be clear that fasting will not work when combined with an unhealthy diet. The ESE and all other methods only work with a good diet and will be even more effective with proper movement each day.
Read: You cannot eat a whole pizza for dinner on Thursday, “fast” until dinner on Friday, hit your local buffet for more junk, then call it ESE fasting.
Out of all the intermittent fasting methods, this one definitely sounds the coolest. But make no mistake: this method is not for everyone. The warrior diet involves fasting for 20 hours daily followed by overeating during a four-hour window.
It is recommended that you include small portions of fruits and vegetables throughout the day to ensure your body is getting proper nutrients and vitamins. Not to mention, 20 hours of fasting is tiring and will take some getting used to.
Now that we know about intermittent fasting and what is involved, you’re probably asking yourself, “why should I do this?”
Well, there are a few reasons, the main one being weight loss.
Maybe you want to start losing weight, but you’re too busy to find time for a consistent schedule. Maybe you have started moving your body, but you aren’t getting the results you wanted. This is where intermittent fasting can really prove effective.
It’s simple: if you are trying to lose weight, the less empty calorie intake you have will result in more weight loss. It’s called a calorie deficit, and it’s the only way you physically drop pounds outside of plastic surgery.
As a bonus, you still get to enjoy your favorite healthy foods throughout the day, depending on which method you pick as opposed to traditional fasting.
If you are trying to lose weight, you should still get your body moving regularly, even if you begin intermittent fasting. But, we recognize that everyone’s life, body, and journey are different. If you decide to start intermittent fasting, try and carve out some time every day or every other day to get active. This will drastically improve your results and help you feel better than ever.
Yes! We highly recommend giving one of the many methods above at least a week or two before making a final decision on whether or not intermittent fasting is right for you. Even if weight loss isn’t your main focus, intermittent fasting still helps your body remain cut and lean due to the lower calorie intake.
While research on intermittent fasting is still in its infancy, the early results look promising.
Give intermittent fasting a trial run, and you will start to see results quickly. If it’s not for you, there’s no harm in trying!
Now you know the methods, benefits, and background on intermittent fasting. You definitely know what you should and shouldn’t eat (keep it healthy!).
But, what can you drink during your fasting period?
This may seem a little obvious, but as you begin your intermittent fasting and weight loss journey, water is your best friend. During the time (or day) of your fasting window, water is the most important thing besides sticking to the plan.
There will be times when you are exhausted and just want something to eat. We understand the struggle and the urge, but we also have the best alternatives to breaking your intermittent fast.
Drinking lots of water will give you the hydration necessary to power through the window, and it can help keep your stomach settled too even if it’s running on E.
Coffee during intermittent fasting comes with a lot of pros and cons.
The biggest pro is the energy boost you can get from just one cup. The biggest con is that you might be tempted to go for multiple cups to try and keep that energy up.
Drinking too much caffeine on an empty stomach can cause stomach aches, headaches, jitteriness, and can actually end up making you more tired. A caffeine comedown is already bad for your body, and having it happen on an empty stomach will only make it worse.
Additionally, if you aren’t a fan of black coffee, you are allowed to add a splash of milk or cream. Careful not to overdo it, as the goal of intermittent fasting is to decrease your calorie intake — this means you’re not making a run to your favorite coffee shop for a chocolate-caramel latte. You get standard black coffee, with a tbsp or two of creamer max.
If you want the ultimate weight loss tool, combine daily movement with intermittent fasting and a cup of green tea every morning.
Green tea also helps in the weight loss process thanks to its metabolism-boosting properties; not to mention it gives you an energy boost with moderate caffeine levels.
Make sure it’s unsweetened, though, as a lot of sweetened brand-name teas will do more harm than good to your body during your fasting period — see for yourself, it’s often almost as much sugar as a can of cola.
This is another health trend that has begun to pop up everywhere, just like intermittent fasting, but for good reason.
Taking one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily can help subside cravings during the fasting window. Apple cider vinegar can also help support your immune system.
You can’t go wrong with any of these options, but we recommend water and tea the most. Basically, any drink with little-to-no calories, added sugars, or preservatives is fair game throughout your intermittent fast — just make sure you do your due diligence and actually read the ingredients list. High fructose corn syrup is even worse than sugar, and you will be more likely to see that than “sugar,” so don’t be fooled!
Now that you’re ready to start intermittent fasting, you’re going to need a place to record your progress and seek motivation.
Able makes everything diet-related straightforward and simple, and it even includes a diet challenge to keep you on track.
All you have to do is sign up, list out your goals, and track your progress regarding intermittent fasting, calorie intake, and so much more.
Whether you are trying to lose or gain weight or are curious as to what your personalized weight loss routine would look like, Able is here to help.
Download the Able app, begin your routine, and start being a happier and healthier you. Have fun, and good luck!