Get smart with intermittent fasting

Get smart with intermittent fasting

by Natalie L 11 Feb 2020

If you have tried to lose fat before, you would probably know that it is no easy feat. One of the most efficient nutrition plans for controlling calorie intake is time-restricted feeding, with the most popular model being intermittent fasting (IF). However, IF comes with many rules and restrictions, making it a challenging plan for beginners. If you want to make the most out of your effort and maximise your results with IF, here are some simple additional tips for your consideration. 


Exercise self-control. 

If you are accustomed to heavy and regular meals, you might feel a sense of emptiness and be tempted to eat all you can to replenish your energy after a fast. However, that would reverse your efforts and might even lead to eventual weight-gain as it can lead to an overcompensation for the calories “missed out” on after each fast. It is thus extremely important to exercise proper portion control when breaking a fast. Bear in mind that fasting does not give you the right to binge eat afterwards. 


Don't stress the small things

Stress-eating is not new to most of us. In addition to causing us to snack more, it has been found that stress causes people to preferentially choose snacks high in sugar, fat or both. Balancing your schedule well can help to alleviate this problem. Remember to take regular breaks during work and be sure to exercise regularly to reduce stress levels. 


Drink green tea

In addition to its many well-known health benefits, green tea has a distinct calming effects especially when drunk warm, which can help with stress management as well. For newcomers to the IF style of eating, the unconventional approach might prove to be emotionally taxing at first. Relaxing with a cup of green tea can help one to get through this rough initial phase. Also, green tea has also been found to contain some fat-burning properties, directly aiding in your fat-loss efforts. 


Take fibre to suppress appetite

One already well-known hack to appetite-control is to prioritise fibrous food during meal times or when snacking. On top of its many health benefits (such as keeping your blood sugar levels under control), dietary fibre helps to promote and sustain satiety. Thus, filling your plate with fibrous food during can make IF more sustainable for you while also boosting your health. 


Reduce food intake near bedtime

Many people on IF diets tend to bring over the habit of having a heavy dinner as they feel the need to “load up” before the fasting period begins. However, research has shown that fat-loss efforts show improvement when the bulk of the day's calories are consumed earlier in the day and taper down as night comes. Have a heavier first meal and try having a light dinner or supper instead. Metabolically speaking, these are the least important meals of the day as you're not likely to be expending much energy after having them. Furthermore, they won't leave you feeling as hungry as you might think since bedtime is typically only a few hours away after that. Of course, this only works if you adhere to a proper sleep cycle as people who constantly sleep late or are sleep-deprived tend to feel hungrier at night.


IF-style diets can be an efficient method of losing excess fat, especially when coupled with the little pieces of advice mentioned above. However, it is still critical to bear in mind that health should always take priority. Always listen to your body, tailor your nutrition to its needs and adjust your diet as necessary.