Are you the kind of person who needs to get their workout in before 10am or it’s not happening? You’re not alone! But that doesn’t mean you can’t get on the intermittent fasting train.
Intermittent fasting, for those of you not in the loop, is a way of eating that requires you to fast (not eat) for a period of 12-20 hours at a time. This reduces your available eating time to a period of 4-12 hours. Numerous studies have been done on IF that show its health benefits include weight loss, better sleep, reduced inflammation, better gut health, more energy, clearer focus, and lower risk of cancer and disease.
Sounds doable, right? Except for the not eating for 12-20 hours, it’s a total breeze (insert eye roll here). Where it gets tricky, is for those morning workout people who need some post-workout protein within 30-minutes of finishing their 5:45am total body conditioning class at the studio.
The solution to this problem is fairly simple but requires some commitment. If you know you need eat by 7am, your eating window should start at that time. Work forwards about 12 hours, and you get to 7pm, which is an easy starting point for IF newbies. As you continue on your IF journey, and play around with your fasting windows, however, you may find you want to decrease that eating window.
Some tips for intermittent fasting:
- Drink lots of water. This will help with the hunger pangs but will also prevent fatigue and headaches.
- Drink caffeine. Yes, we said it. Coffee (and green tea) is your friend! Just avoid adding cream or sweeteners during your fasting window.
- Add some salt to your water. Sounds weird, but that little extra salt helps balance your electrolytes!
- Make sure you eat enough during your eating window. But also, try not to overeat during your eating window.
- Keep yourself busy. Try to keep your hands occupied so you’re not reaching for snack foods!
- Give yourself time to adjust. IF isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. That means it will time to get into the routine and get used to the changes that come with it.
- Go easy on yourself. Start small and be kind to yourself. Change doesn’t happen overnight.