As I promised on Wednesday, here are my tips for healthy and successful fasting. When I talk about fasting, I am talking about a 24 hour fast with water and herbal tea only. This is not a week long fast or juice fast. This fast is in conjunction with the carb cycling program I have been doing.
In case you want to learn more about carb cycling and intermittent fasting, check out these posts:
1. Understand it is a mental game. Fasting is definitely mental – especially the first few times. Be ready for it. Know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and that it is only for a limited time. The most we ever fasted during the six weeks was twice during one week. The majority of weeks contained only one fast. Don’t try to do too much too soon.
2. Be prepared. We ALWAYS feasted the day before a fast. Remember feasting is eating 1.5 times your normal calories. A LOT of food. For me it worked best if at least 1/2 my calories were eaten between like 2 and bedtime. Don’t skimp out on feast day think that will make it easier on fast day. Trust me, it won’t. Another thing to be prepared for – you might be extra cold on fast days. I am typically always hot or comfortable. On fast days, I am FREEZING. Take a sweater or jacket just in case.
3. Easy does it. Our exercise plan for fast days was either rest or 1 hour of light walking. One fast day I walked 1/2 hour on the treadmill, but typically I plan to run my errands on fast days. Gives me something to do. Or I take a nap during my typical workout time.
4. Plan and Schedule. When planning out your days, consult your schedule. A lunch meeting with clients might not be a good day to be fasting. My rule of thumb is no Wednesdays. That is typically when my Mom and I get to do lunch and my weekly date night with hubby. But also, schedule some fun into fast days. Errands, shopping, a massage, manicure, etc. Things that will keep your mind off the fact that you are not eating.
5. Be aware of your emotions. Everyone reacts differently so just be wary. Some people don’t tell anyone they are fasting, I told everyone. My coworkers were fabulous to not discuss food (ie lunch) in front of me or to offer me food. Mom was great in adjusting our lunch dates a couple of weeks during the program so I could be on the same schedule as everyone else. You may “feel” more during the time frame. You may be quick to lash out. Or not. Everyone is different.
6. Consult a doctor. If you have any concerns, always be sure to consult a doctor. Overall, I am very healthy with no medical issues to speak of. Trying the fasting was a simple decision for me.
7. Make it fancy and/or fun. Cut up nice lemon and lime slices, use your wine glasses, buy a new water bottle just for fast days. Add essential oils to your water. Try a new herbal tea.
8. Drink, drink, drink. Make sure to drink enough water or herbal teas during the day. But do be cautious. I actually drank too much water the first day and made myself sick. I liked to go to Sonic and get their fabulous ice with ice water and add my own lemon/lime slices.
9. Break the fast in a good way. Fasting doesn’t mean have a doughnut when you are through. Break the fast with a healthy meal or protein shake. Try for around 500 calories.
10. Stop when/if you need to. If you are feeling bad or sick, you might need to stop. A couple of times I was really hungry/sick and a few almonds in my stomach helped me to continue my fast.
11. Know the benefits. Fasting is designed to give your body and digestive system a break. This program keeps your body guessing to help burn fat all day (assuming you are doing all of the program including the workouts).
12. Realize this is not a quick fix. Fasting will not cause you to drop 5 pounds overnight nor is it designed to. I urge you not to weigh before and after this day or at all. Trash your scale. Seriously, it will be the best thing you have ever done.
13. Relax and enjoy! Fast days can be enjoyable and highly productive once you get used to them. I get a LOT done on fast days since I am not planning, preparing, or eating food.[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]13 Tips for Healthy and Successful Fasting #DoYouEvenCarbCycle #FitGirlsFast[/tweet_box]
Have you tried intermittent fasting? What do you think would be the toughest part for you? Any questions I haven’t answered?
Please note that while I am a certified health coach and certified personal trainer, I am not YOUR health coach or trainer. I highly recommend consulting your doctor before starting any new lifestyle or fasting for extended periods of time.