Fasting is becoming more and more popular, both as a weight-loss diet and as a long-term healthy lifestyle choice. Many people have questions about how to set up a fasting diet. Here are five key points to get you started.
1: Choose how long your fast will be
The possibilities here are endless. However, most effective plans use a technique called intermittent fasting. This involves alternating periods of fasting and periods of normal (although healthy) eating. Perhaps the two most common methods are a 16 hour daily fast (think overnight until lunch the next day), and a 24 hour period one or two times a week. The beauty of both of these schemes is that they can be made to fit in with you and your life.
2: Drink more water
This is a simple trick that serves two purposes. Firstly, this will increase satiety (the feeling of being full), which is psychologically very important when you are not eating. Secondly, this will accelerate the cleansing effect of a fast, and allow your body to function optimally.
3: Break your fast with a healthy meal
Again the interest here is twofold. firstly, when you are getting a healthy meal in first, you are simply leaving less space to eat crap during the rest of your eating “window”, which is a guaranteed method to reduce that waistline. Secondly, eating a high sugar meal immediately after fasting will drive your insulin sky-high. Spending your eating hours crashed out in a carb-induced sleep is not the best way to eat! There is one exception here. Is your first meal coincides with training, it is good to release insulin. This will help the body drive nutrients into the muscles rather than stocking them as fat.
4: Workout regularly
This should be a no-brainer, but working out and particularly weight-training should be at the heart of every diet. This gives you the opportunity to eat more while still burning fat, increases muscle-mass which in turn increases metabolic rate (meaning you burn more calories doing nothing) and will make the biggest difference to your appearance in the shortest time.
5: Follow a plan
Again, this should be fairly obvious, but the easiest way to succeed with a diet and exercise regime is to remove any choice. Don’t over-think things. By following a plan, you are relying on an expert who has already thought it through. Just follow the instructions.