We see a lot of health fads and diet trends come and go, leaving a trail of superfood powders, cleansing juices and expensive mistakes in their wake. The true test of a healthy fad turned habit are those with enough staying power to become a lifestyle choice, like the much buzzed-about intermittent fasting. You may have heard this term thrown around in health blogs and magazines by social media influencers and celebrities, but what is it?
Intermittent fasting is actually pretty simple. It’s essentially an eating style where individuals have an allotted time to intake calories before fasting the rest of the day. It may sound pretty straightforward, because it is, but there are a few ways to do it — all without having to buy any equipment or quick-fix elixirs.
Waiting until later in the day to have your first meal allows for a later dinner. Whether your first meal is at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m., it allows for an eight-hour window to consume the rest of your meals for the day — known as fast and feast times.
Whether eight hours or less, this option allows users to have a strict timeline to consume meals. Your last meal should always be several hours before bed, so, if you can’t commit to five days a week or more, opt for one or two days of fasting to start.
For early birds, skipping dinner may be more optimal. Adjust the fast and feast window as needed, by day. If one day you can only fast for 14 hours and another day you can do 18, that’s fine. Listen to your body and mix it up as your schedule and energy levels allow.
Test the Waters
If you find yourself mindlessly munching throughout the day or long into the night before bed, give the fasting lifestyle a try. Choose a day to go 16 hours without eating (including sleep) and spend just eight hours of the day enjoying meals. Remember to keep it within the eight-hour window, for example if you have breakfast at 7 a.m., your last meal of the day has to be before 3 p.m.— this includes adult beverages, which should be kept to a minimum (if any) on fasting days.
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