Once you have decided to get started with intermittent fasting, it’s important to understand that while most of the time you may find it an easy plan to follow. It may not always feel effortless to stay on track with it each day, and that’s ok! SlimFast Plan Consultant and Registered Dietitian, Maryann Walsh, shares her tips to help you succeed.
By proactively being prepared you can set yourself up for staying on track even on those more difficult days. Below I share 5 of my favorite tips for staying on track with intermittent fasting!
Plan Your Meals and Snacks Ahead of Time
With intermittent fasting, it can be incredibly helpful to have your meals and snacks planned ahead of time so you aren’t just grabbing whatever is available during your eating window. For those seeking weight loss with intermittent fasting, the structured eating window can be helpful to avoid overeating, but ultimately the calorie amount you eat during that window needs to put you in a caloric deficit, which is why it’s important to plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. The SlimFast Plan can give you the proper framework to ensure you are eating a calorie level that is appropriate for weight loss.*
Depending on what your daily routine looks like, your overall meal and snack plan may vary. However, utilizing SlimFast ready to drink meal replacements or meal bars can make it easy to have nutritious meals available whether you are home most of the day or out and about/working out of an office, etc.
In order to feel your best during your eating and fasting windows, it is important to take in adequate fluids each day to stay properly hydrated. Even mild dehydration can impact concentration, energy, and mood which can in turn make it more difficult to stick with your intermittent fasting regimen1. Some popular guidelines include drinking half of your weight in ounces of water, or eight 8oz cups of water each day. A good rule of thumb is to keep an eye on your urine, as you want it to be a pale yellow color. Darker urine indicates you may need to drink more water or fluids while clear urine may indicate you are overhydrating. You can usually let thirst help guide you, but sometimes certain medical conditions or medications make it difficult to do so. It’s recommended to discuss with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns. You can check out this blog post for more information on how to figure out an adequate amount of water/ fluid intake for the day!
Don’t Dwell on Mistakes or Slip-Ups
As with any weight loss or dietary changes, it’s important to understand that if you only aim for perfection, you are more likely to be frustrated if you encounter minor slip-ups! Having an all or nothing mentality when it comes to intermittent fasting sounds great in theory, but in reality, you may have times where things come up that have you eating outside of your intermittent fasting window like special events, holidays with family or work gatherings. Additionally, you may have days where you aren’t feeling all that great or you cave into food temptations…life happens! It’s important to not get derailed by these types of occurrences and to get back on track the next day. Remember, consistency beats perfection!
Choose Foods that You Enjoy
As with any weight loss journey or any changes to your dietary habits, it’s crucial to include foods that you enjoy, otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to make these lifestyle changes last longer than a few weeks (or a few days in some situations!) Whether you choose to follow the SlimFast Favorite Foods Plan, Low Carb Plan, or Keto plan, there are ways to incorporate your favorites or versions of your favorites that you love so that you can experience enjoyment while nourishing yourself! When following the SlimFast Plan, you can choose from a variety of flavors when it comes to meal replacement shakes, smoothies, bars, and snacks! You can swap in your favorite 100 calorie snacks, whether they be sweet or savory and then there are truly endless options when it comes to your sensible meal, check out the SlimFast.com recipe page for sensible meal inspiration!
Adapt as Needed
As with anything in life, oftentimes the ability to succeed lies in the ability to adapt and make changes as you go, and following an intermittent fasting plan is no different! Perhaps you are finding that your fasting and eating windows aren’t working quite right with your schedule so you choose to move the eating window up an hour or move it back an hour and then see how that works. Another example is if you find that you’d enjoy your biggest meal when breaking your fast versus before starting your fast, you can go ahead and try to switch that mealtime and perhaps try having a more breakfast-focused sensible meal (click here for some great recipe inspiration) instead of a typical lunch or dinner.
Hopefully, you find these suggestions helpful as you embark on or continue upon your intermittent fasting journey! Remember to stay focused on your “why” and the reason why you started and if you need some extra encouragement along the way then don’t forget to join the SlimFast Together or SlimFast Keto Together private Facebook groups for tips, advice, and support! And, seek the counsel of your health care provider prior to starting any new diet or exercise program.
* The SlimFast Plan is based on a general recommendation of 1200-1300 calories per day for women and 1600-1700 calories per day for men. Your calorie needs for weight loss may vary, please check with your doctor before starting any weight loss plan.
A consultant of the SlimFast Plan, Maryann is a Registered Dietitian with Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences and Dietetics and a Master of Food and Nutrition. She has extensive experience working with clients of all ages and from all walks of life, helping them to achieve their wellness and weight-loss goals. Learn more about Maryann.