Intermittent fasting is becoming a popular weight loss method that many people are trying and finding success with. Besides helping people lose extra weight and get healthy again, intermittent fasting has also been shown to have benefits to the brain and mental health.
Unlike other types of weight loss or diet plans, intermittent fasting helps people lose excess fat instead of muscle or water weight.
How Does Fasting Improve Mental Health?
The mental health benefits of fasting are becoming clearer as more people try this method of eating and more research is conducted on results. The process of fasting helps reduce the number of toxins throughout the body and may provide a boost to the brain.
This may help with focus and clearer thinking. Some research has also shown a link to a better mood and an improved memory with an intermittent fasting plan.
How To Improve Your Fasting
To really understand what happens to your brain during intermittent fasting and get the benefits of weight loss, you’ll need to get started on a solid schedule and plan.
There are many different methods and strategies to master intermittent fasting and make it work for you. This type of eating plan may take some time getting used to, but luckily there is some flexibility with eating style, menu options and timeline. Here is how you can improve your fasting.
Set a Schedule
Before starting a fasting plan, you need to create a schedule that aligns with your lifestyle and your sleeping hours. You’ll need to set aside time for fasting, when you won’t eat, and time for your eating window.
The most common schedule is a 16/8 plan. With this schedule, you must fast for 16 hours, usually starting after dinner, and eat during an eight-hour period. You can also fast on certain days of the week or skip one meal a day if that works better.
Hydrate Your Body
No matter what schedule you choose for your fasting time, it’s essential to drink plenty of water. Water helps maintain your body’s hydration during your fast and when you start your meals in the eating window.
Try Mints and Gum
If you’re struggling with hunger during the fasting period, you can try some allowable items to help stick to the plan. Sugar-free gum or intermittent fasting mints may help you get through the first few weeks of fasting and keep you from giving up too easily.
Eat Quality Foods
When it’s time to eat, you also have to make sure to choose healthy options. Intermittent fasting gives you a little more flexibility with calories, but that doesn’t mean you should stuff yourself with fried food, sugar or other junk. Eat fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of meat, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
Maintain Quality Sleep
Lastly, be sure to maintain quality sleep throughout your fasting journey. During the first few days or weeks of your fasting plan, you may struggle with energy and tiredness. Getting your full eight hours of sleep each night can help you stay focused on your goal and find success.
Intermittent fasting is a popular method of losing unwanted pounds. Fasting also offers plenty of brain benefits to your mood, memory and thinking. Work around your schedule and habits to find an intermittent fasting plan that matches your lifestyle.