It sounds like you’re ready to give this intermittent fasting a try. Or maybe you’ve been fasting for a few weeks and you’re starting to wonder how long you can and should keep it up. Unlike traditional fasting, intermittent fasting is something you can keep up indefinitely. The answer is “as long as you need to”.
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.
Let me explain…
If losing weight is your main goal, stick to your fasting schedule and ideally some lower carb meals when you eat until you have reached your weight goal. This could take three months or more than a year depending on how many pounds you have to lose, how much of your day you fast, and what you eat the rest of the time.
It is perfectly fine to stay on an intermittent fast for as long as it takes to lose the weight. It’s also fine to take a few days off from fasting here and there. Just make sure you get back on track when the time comes.
If your main goal is to improve your health and possibly live longer, you may want to stick to this way of eating for the rest of your life. That’s perfectly fine too. Just make sure you get all the nutrients and calories you need to keep your body healthy and strong. If you find yourself losing more weight than you should, for example, you may want to fit in an extra meal or snack.
If your main reason for intermittent fasting is spiritual, you may find it helpful to set a goal in the beginning. You may want to fast intermittently for 30 or 40 days for example. Striving towards reaching that end goal will be part of your spiritual journey or experience
If on the other hand, you are using intermittent fasting to improve your health and feel better, your ultimate goal may be to make this way of eating permanently. In other words, you would continue to fast intermittently to the end of your life.
That can seem like a daunting proposition. If the idea scares you, or keeps you from giving intermittent fasting a try, start by committing to it for a week, then two more, and then a month etc. Keep setting smaller goals that you can comfortably reach and before you know it intermittent fasting will become a habit and simply the way you eat now.
The Easiest Schedule to Follow
One of the easiest ways to fast is to simply cut out food for a big part of your day. This works particularly well when you have a busy day full of things to do and you need to be able to continue to work hard and stay on top of your game. The idea is simple. You fast for 16 hours per day and fit two meals or a meal and a snack into an eight hour period.
16 hours may seem like a long time, but when you figure in the fact that you spent about 8 of those hours sleeping, it doesn’t seem as daunting anymore. Most of us eat dinner a few hours before we go to bed. That adds a few more hours to the clock. If you are also one of those people that can’t or don’t eat breakfast first thing in the morning, you’re all set. Fasting for 16 hours will be easy-peasy for you.
If You Love Breakfast
If you are a breakfast eater and typically wake up hungry in the morning, I promise you that it won’t take you long to adjust to making do without food for the first few hours of the day. Try this. Make yourself to wait for an hour or two before you eat. An easy way to do this is to just have coffee while you get ready in the morning. Keep busy and make yourself wait until you get to the office before you eat. After a week, push your breakfast or first meal back by another hour. Keep going until you can comfortably fast for 16 hours or longer at a time.
Before long you will find yourself consuming only two meals per day. And don’t be surprised if you only eat once as you get used to intermittent fasting. One large meal in the late afternoon or evening along with a big cup of coffee with coconut oil or another healthy source of fat, like grass-fed butter, in the morning is a comfortable way of fasting and eating for many.
Contrary to popular belief, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day and you don’t need to eat three to six times per day to keep your energy up… that kind of thinking leads to the obesity epidemic we’re facing today. Intermittent fasting may just be the solution we need to reverse it.
Need more help getting started? Check out my free guide Intermittent Fasting Made Easy!
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