Congratulations on your decision to give intermittent fasting (IF) a try. An eating pattern that involves cycling between periods or days of eating and fasting, IF can be an effective way to lose weight, beat inflammation, and improve overall health.
While you’re probably excited to get started with your new dietary plan, you might also be nervous. After all, how do you know what to eat during the non-fasting times? Do you still need to count calories? Should you follow the food pyramid? Read on to discover some expert tips on prepping meals for intermittent fasting.
Water, Water Everywhere
If you’re going to make intermittent fasting part of your lifestyle, drinking enough water is crucial. Of course, your body needs plenty of water to continue functioning effectively. However, staying hydrated is especially crucial for IF practitioners. According to an article in “The Telegraph,” the body starts to break down toxins while in a fasted state. If you aren’t drinking enough water, you won’t have the fluid necessary to flush out damaged components. For best results, aim to drink 4 to 5 liters of water every day, and increase that amount while fasting.
According to Brad Pilon, author of the book “Eat Stop Eat,” you should also drink plenty of tea and coffee when you’re starting IF. Both beverages contain few if any calories, making them ideal for fasting periods. Just be careful not to add too much milk or sugar to your drink, as these substances can easily derail your dietary plans.
Add Some Apple Cider
Along with drinking more water, you might want to consider imbibing a little apple cider vinegar at the start of your day. Elivate Nutrition is one of many sites to recommend stirring 1 to 2 teaspoons of this substance into your water in the morning. Not only does apple cider vinegar contain essential minerals that help regulate blood sugar and aid in digestion, but it’s also known to battle bad gut bacteria. According to a 2018 study in “Scientific Reports,” ACV boasts antimicrobial potential that could offer positive therapeutic implications. There are also reports that apple cider vinegar helps in the treatment of acne, but more research is needed to determine the validity of these claims.
No One Path to Health
The fact is, there’s no one diet plan you should follow while fasting. Instead, the goal is to consume healthy, whole foods during your eating periods while avoiding refined carbs and sugars. While you don’t have to deprive yourself of the foods you love—one of the greatest benefits of intermittent fasting is that you don’t necessarily have to count calories—it’s important not to fill your diet with “junk foods,” like French fries, chips, and cookies. By consuming nutrient-rich foods, you can expedite your weight-loss goals while ensuring you stay full longer.
Trying intermittent fasting for the first time? We’d love to hear your tips for crafting healthy, satisfying meals during IF.