7 Ways to Begin and Succeed at Intermittent Fasting For Women.
Our Fasting Plan devotees' tried-and-true methods for staying on track.
Intermittent fasting has been a popular diet for years, with devotees swearing it helps them lose weight and stay healthy. There is also research to support the benefits of intermittent fasting.
A new scientific review published in the Annual Review of Nutrition looked at 25 studies on intermittent fasting and discovered that people lost up to 10% of their baseline weight on this type of eating plan. Intermittent fasting can also improve many metabolic health markers, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and the associated weight loss—especially when combined with a good exercise regimen—can result in lower risks for weight-related diseases. In general, intermittent fasting has a lot of benefits.
Fasting Options For Women.
Of course, there are a variety of intermittent fasting options, and the type you choose is ultimately up to you. Time-restricted eating is one of the most popular and effective types of fasting, and forms the basis of our fasting plan for women. You fast for a specific period of the day and have a specific eating "window" with this type. There are important parameters for women to follow when fasting using the time-restricted approach to fasting that are covered in detail in the plan.
Whatever type of intermittent fasting you choose, this eating plan requires discipline and some background knowledge before you dive in with both feet. That's why we spoke with a few experienced intermittent fasters that have been following our Fasting Plan. They shared their advice on how to get started on the diet and stay on track, so you can have the best chance of success.
1. "Begin slowly."
Beth D., 42, has been fasting intermittently with us since February 2020. "I've lost about 40 pounds and have mostly kept it off," she says. "Start slowly," she advises newcomers. For example, you could begin with shorter fasting time blocks and work your way up. You can then transition to a smaller eating window. "I gradually transitioned to [fewer meals per] day, about four to five months after I began intermittent fasting," she says.
2. "Really know why you're doing it."
Emma C., a 28-year-old chiropractor, has been intermittent fasting with us for about three years. She usually fasts once a week, and Kira says she chose intermittent fasting because she knew it could help her gut health.
Kira points out that if you don't have a reason to follow the fasting plan, it can be difficult to stick with it. "Clearly define why you're doing it," she advises. "Sometimes, certain hours can be difficult, and you can feel challenged at the time." Allow your 'big why' to motivate you to persevere in the face of adversity. My big why was improving my gut health. I feel better than I have in years’.
3. "Sleep through as much of your fast as you can."
Dana S., 37, points out that it is easier to fast overnight and then delay breakfast. "If you normally eat breakfast at eight o'clock, try to push it to nine or ten," she suggests. "You can then gradually shift it to whenever you want, like 12 or 1 o'clock." Dana says it helps her to be busy in the morning so she doesn't think about food. "I forget about food once I get to the office," she says. "At some point, I'm like, 'Oh! I need to eat!'" "I was surprised at how long I was able to delay my first meal." Leveraging sleep is just one of the tactics we explore in the plan to make this diet approach as easy as possible.
4. "Drink plenty of water."
It's strange, but true: your body can confuse thirst with hunger. That's one of the reasons why many people who practise intermittent fasting advise staying hydrated. "Drinking a lot of water was one tip that helped us control our appetites and stay on track with our fasting." "Our goal is a gallon a day," says Darren B., 31, who began the Male version of our intermittent fasting plan (included with the Female Plan) with his wife in April 2018. “Kudos for including both a male specific and female specific version in the plan. Those differences were important.”
Our Fasting Plan contains both a Female & Male specific version, because there are important differences between the plans that need to be followed to optimize success.
5. "Make it work for your schedule and make it work for you."
Choosing an eating window that coincides with your hectic workday, when grabbing food is difficult even under the best of circumstances, isn't ideal. That is why Lauren advises you to "find something that works with your schedule."
"I enjoy eating dinner with my family." "I usually break my fast around 5:30," she explains. She is, however, adaptable when it comes to fasting. "When there are celebrations or lunch with friends," she says, "I allow my schedule to be lenient."
6. "Don't compare yourself to what other people are doing."
Helena C., a 46-year-old registered dietitian, has been doing intermittent fasting for over a year and describes herself as a "huge fan" of the eating plan. "Intermittent fasting has enabled me to lose those last five stubborn pounds and, more importantly, to keep them off," she says.
"My best advice is to not compare yourself to what others are doing," she says. “Fasting has become popular, but a lot of people still don’t understand it’s benefits or how freeing it can feel compared to more traditional diets. They sometimes wrinkle their noses, but the results and how I feel speaks for itself.”
7. "Develop your own routine that works best for you."
Everyone's metabolism and goals are different, according to Rose, 49, who adds, "Don't be afraid to use trial and error to see what works best for you and your body."
Rose, began the intermittent fasting plan two years ago and claims that it has helped her "maintain lean muscle mass" and "maintain a healthy weight." She aims for a longer fasting schedule but allows herself some leeway in terms of when she eats.
"I prefer real, whole foods," Rose says. She usually breaks her fast with a fruit and protein smoothie in the early to mid-afternoon. "I almost always have chicken and avocado with a variety of vegetables for dinner," she says. "When I get a sweet craving, I usually have a smoothie for a snack."
Rose says she drinks ginger tea to satisfy cravings during fasting periods. "Drinking ginger tea in the evenings and mornings always helps with cravings and keeps me satisfied during the fasting hours," she says.
For more about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting you can check this article.