Especially with Thanksgiving around the corner, you might be thinking about ways to reset your metabolism, boost your energy, and promote weight loss. Fasting is often discussed in relation to these benefits, and it can be very effective, if it’s done right. Fasting involves not eating or severely restricting calories for a dedicated period of time, and it is often most beneficial in short bursts rather than prolonged periods.
If you are considering incorporating fasting into your routine, take a look at these tips on how to do it the healthy way.
Though each individual’s dietary needs vary, fasting is generally best when it’s done over a period of 12-36 hours. Any more than this and you may risk malnutrition and adverse effects on your weight—because your body will start to think it’s starving by the next time you eat. If you’ve never fasted before, try starting with a smaller chunk of time, maybe just 8 hours.
You might just fast for one day, or you might make a habit of it as you realize the potential benefits involved. If you do decide to fast regularly, be consistent and plan ahead. Fast days may still include some eating, but it might be limited to just 500 calories over the whole day. Once you break your fast, be sure to eat slowly and healthfully so that you don’t reverse the positive effects of your fast.
It’s easy to forget just how much of your daily water intake comes from food—about 25%. When you aren’t eating, you need to supplement that water with a few extra glasses throughout the day. You should also concentrate on packing in more nutrients when you do eat, so you can sustain through the fast more effectively.
Fasting isn’t right for everyone, and it should never be attempted without the go-ahead from a doctor. To talk to a medical professional about your dietary needs, connect with MeMD for a quick, convenient online consult.