You don’t need any special tools to start intermittent fasting. You already have everything you need. At a base level, intermittent fasting is a deliberate practice that prevents overeating. It is practicing restricting the hours you consume food, followed by a longer period of not eating. The biggest reason people fast is to lose weight. If you compress your feeding window, you’ll naturally consume fewer calories. And when you consume fewer calories than you expend, you lose weight. Before you start intermittent fasting, here are 5 things to know about it and if intermittent fasting is right for you.
5 Things to Know About Intermittent Fasting
1. You Don’t Need to Completely Not Eat
Research shows that you don’t need to completely not eat at all during a fasting window. You can see results even if you consume less than 25% of your total daily calories during the fasting interval.
2. Different Fasting Windows
There are many different windows that are considered intermittent fasting.
- 12/12: Not eating between dinner and breakfast.
- 16/8: Eating all of your calories within an 8-hour window each day.
- OMAD: Eating “one meal a day”. All of your calories come from that single feeding.
- 5:2: Eating 0-25% of normal calories on two non-consecutive days per week. For example, on a 2000-calorie diet, one would consume 0-500 calories on Monday and Friday and then 2000 calories on the other five days.
- ADF: Eating on an Alternate-Day Fasting schedule. You consume 0-25% of your regular calories every other day.
3. Eat High Volume Foods
When you are first starting to try intermittent fasting, it is helpful to find foods that will keep you the fullest longest. Do this by selecting filling yet low-calorie foods, like popcorn, raw vegetables, and fruits with high water content.
4. Same Amount of Calories
Due to contrary belief, you don’t actually have to consume fewer calories than you are already consuming. You can consume the same amount, except with intermittent fasting, you are just consuming them in a shorter window, aka you will be consuming bigger meals.
5. Intermittent Fasting Helps You Live Longer
Scientists have long known that restricting calories is a way of lengthening life. Hear us out, when you’re starving, your body finds ways to extend your life. Starving ourselves is obviously not fun and not what we are promoting here, but calorie restriction has many of the same mechanisms for extending life. In other words, you get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.