One of the reasons I wanted to give intermittent fasting a try was reducing the amount of time it took me to meal plan. I used to eat six meals a day and planning all of those meals and checking the calories and macros was exhausting. Planning for only one or two meals is super easy now.
If you are new to my blog, my name is Paula. I’m a mother to three beautiful kids and the wife of a Law Enforcement Officer. Because of my interest in health and fitness since about the age of 12, I ended up getting a degree in Health Education. My heart and passion have always been to help people get healthy from the inside out!
However, I have always struggled with the right balance between food, exercise and enjoying life. But because of my “education”, I thought intermittent fasting was bad for me. Turns out, it’s incredibly healthy and has helped free me from the diet roller coaster I’ve been on for the past 30 years.
How to meal plan when you are intermittent fasting?
With intermittent fasting, you typically only eat one meal per day. It’s important to pack as much nutrition as possible into that one meal. By combining lots of healthy foods with just enough indulgence to keep you going until the next meal comes around. That’s why it is important to have everything on hand to prepare a balanced meal when dinner time rolls around.
The best way to ensure that happens is to plan your meals ahead of time. If you’re already familiar with meal planning you’ll be pleasantly surprised how quick and easy the process of planning and preparing your meals becomes when you’re only cooking once per day.
Intermittent fasting is a great way to improve your health and lose weight, but when you’ve been fasting all day, it’s easy to undo all the good you’ve done if your daily meal consists of junk food and sweets. Instead, make an effort to eat a healthy and balanced meal.
Fill your plate with plenty of salad and veggies, healthy fats and a good source of protein. Then round it out with a few treats you’ve been looking forward to all day. This way you can indulge in a handful of potato chips or a small slice of cake instead of ravenously finishing up the whole bag or way too much cheesecake when it’s time to eat.
Here’s How I Plan My Meals
I start with a healthy main dish. That could be grilled chicken, fish, steak or even a burger. Soups or a bowl of chili are favorites in the winter time. I may even fix my favorite pasta dish every once in a while.
Next, I plan on having a large portion of steamed veggies or a big salad along with another side dish if needed. That’s what goes on my meal plan and everything I need for the week goes on my shopping list. This makes it easy to shop. I know I have everything in the house to cook my healthy meals at night.
Of course, a few treats for dessert are fine as well. But, if your main goal is to lose weight, you want to stick to low carb options with your main meals in general and treats in particular. Dark chocolate, dill pickles and smoked almonds in moderation are all good choices. If your body can handle the natural sugars, some fresh fruit is another great option. Sliced bananas topped with a little heavy cream or whipped cream are a delicious treat.
You might find it helpful to plan in your treats and desserts as well and only by a few small things. Not having a lot of food, particularly anything you tend to crave, is a good way to keep temptation to caveat bay when you’re fasting during the day. Of course, it will also keep you from overindulging when it’s time to eat.
Do I need to eat high fat, low fat no fat?
After decades of demonizing all types of fat, we now know that the fat found in avocados, nuts, coconut oil and even things like lard or grass-fed butter is good for us and help keep our bodies healthy. And they are a great addition to your intermittent fast.
Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting are weight loss and the self-healing mode your body goes into when there’s no food to process. The interesting fact is that the addition of pure, healthy fat does not negate those effects and instead gives your metabolism a boost and encourages fat burning.
What does this mean for you during your intermittent fast?
It means that you can consume some fat throughout the day which will keep you from going hungry and helps keep your energy up without sacrificing the benefits of fasting. On the contrary, it enhances your intermittent fast.
An easy way to implement this is to add a spoonful of organic coconut oil to your coffee in the morning. Or you could give bullet coffee a try which is a mixture of black coffee, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter. It may sound weird – and a little gross. But the end result, when you blend everything together, is a delicious, creamy, frothy coffee drink, not unlike a latte. Just be sure to leave out the sugar. A little stevia is a good alternative if you need your fancy coffee drink to be sweet.
Give adding a little coconut oil and butter to your diet a try during your intermittent fast. You’ll find it much easier to skip breakfast and lunch while still keeping up your energy so you can get through your busy day.
Another option is to make a batch of bone broth that has plenty of healthy fat, collagen and various minerals in it. Making the broth is easy to do. Take the bones from a roasted chicken and put them into a large pot with plenty of water and a splash of apple cider vinegar.
The vinegar will help leach minerals from the bones. Cover, bring the broth to a boil and simmer it for 12 to 24 hours. You can also add a little garlic and some herbs for flavor if you’d like. Strain the broth, add little butter or coconut oil to each cup if you’d like and sip it throughout the day until you’re ready for your main meal.
Don’t be Afraid of Healthy Fats
Speaking of your main meal, don’t be afraid to include some healthy fats there as well. Cook up some bacon or slice up some avocado. Use butter and coconut oil when you cook or to finish off your meals and enjoy. The fat will help keep you full longer and your body needs them to do the internal repairs it’s busily performing during the hours you spent fasting.
Instead of cutting out fat, focus on cutting out refined carbohydrates and sugar from your diet. Not only is it much healthier, but it also keeps your blood sugar from spiking and makes it easier to stick to your intermittent fasting schedule.
Give it a try and see if planning and prepping your meals ahead of time makes it easier for you to stick to your intermittent fast.
Need more help getting started? Check out my free guide Intermittent Fasting Made Easy!
Save this post to read later by pinning it!