Countless keto dieters and health advocates alike use the effective tool of intermittent fasting (IF). Intermittent fasting involves fasting and feeding windows and strategic times for eating and for abstaining from eating. One of the goals is to strengthen metabolism and help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. Many athletes also advocate intermittent fasting as a way to boost athletic performance, endurance, strength, and physique. If you’re new to intermittent fasting and keto, if you’ve hit a plateau, or if you’re just beginning on your intermittent fasting journey, check out these useful tips:
1. Stay Hydrated!
When you’re fasting, it’s equally important that you stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. You might choose to add lemon and salt to your water to make it more refreshing and nutritious.
2. Shift Your Focus
When you’re fasting, it can be helpful to shift your focus to another activity. Focusing on something else can serve as a distraction from eating, so you make it through your fasting window.
Exercise not only improves blood sugar and cravings, but it also gets you closer to your health and fitness goals and distracts you from eating! Are you exercising during your fasting windows? You might also need to switch up your exercise routine and incorporate strength and resistance training, cardio, and different types of exercise to determine what feels best.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re likely to have more cravings and be more tempted to fall off the keto track and break your fasting and feeding windows. One of the simplest intermittent fasting tips is to make sure you’re getting plenty of restful sleep and work on improving your sleep environment.
5. Switch Up Your Fasting Schedule
Most people choose 16:8 and similar fasting and feeding windows. This means you fast for 16 hours and eat food for 8. With IF, you can easily amend your schedule to better suit your needs.
Most people naturally fast while sleeping, so you could practice shutting your kitchen down around 9 pm and not eating again until breakfast around 8, which is a natural 11 hour fast. Experiment to see what feels best.
6. Ease into It and Choose Smaller Windows
If you’re new to fasting or you’re not sure which windows are right for you, it’s best to ease into it and choose smaller windows. An 11 hour fast overnight might be a good place to start, and 24-hour fasts might be too long for those just starting off with IF.
7. Know the Difference Between Needing and Wanting
Recognize the difference between needing and wanting to eat. Is your stomach rumbling because it’s really time to eat and because you need nutrients, or are you just hankering after a salty, sweet, or crunchy snack?
8. Avoid Overeating
Just because you’ve stopped fasting doesn’t mean it’s time to overeat and feast. Eating too much can leave you feeling uncomfortable and bloated and sabotage your health and weight loss goals. Remember, it’s not how much you eat, it’s more the quality of your food. The right nutrient-dense foods can help you feel fuller for longer and nourish your body.
9. Break Your Fast Slowly
After several hours food-free, you might be ready to devour any food in sight. However, it’s best to take it slowly and chew your food properly to allow your digestive system to fully process the food. This also gives you a better idea of your fullness, so you’re less likely to overeat.
10. Track Your Progress
Especially if you’re switching up your fasting and feeding windows, tracking your progress can help you figure out which window is most optimal for your body and schedule. You can write down and log how you feel, what you eat, and your fasting and feeding windows.
11. Maintain Balanced Meals
When you’re eating, go for more balanced keto-friendly meals with a nice portion of good fats, protein, fiber, and nutrients. A balanced keto dish curbs your hunger and keeps you satiated, nourished, and on track with keto! Choose low-glycemic keto-approved fruits and veggies that are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized.
12. Listen to Your Body
Always listen to your body because your body knows best. When it comes to nutrition, intermittent fasting, and general health, take a step back and listen to what your body’s telling you.
How do you feel after fasting for that time period? How does your digestion feel after that keto meal? Which type of exercise feels more invigorating?
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Steph Green is a writer, researcher, and singer/songwriter with a passion for all things wellness. In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.