We have all heard of Paleo, Keto and Mediterranean diets, but there is a new trend in dieting that is gaining in popularity called the “IF Diet,” which stands for “Intermittent Fasting.” Just as it sounds, Intermittent Fasting means taking either a day, or a couple of times throughout the week, to fast. In a nutshell, it is a time-restricted diet that doesn’t specify what you should eat, but when you should eat.
While there are various ways to approach this diet, there are three common methods.
First is the 5:2 diet. Following the 5:2 diet allows you to eat normally five days a week. However, for two days you can only consume between 500 and 600 calories.
The second method is the eat-stop-eat routine. This involves fasting for 24 hours one to two times a week. You can choose the days and times of your fast, but you need to follow either the 5:2 or the 24-hour fasting guidelines.
Intermittent fasting can be a much harder diet to follow, especially if you’re an active person who works out on a regular basis or are someone who likes to have snacks throughout the day. In general, the 5:2 and eat-stop-eat routine methods are more suited for people who only eat a few small meals a day.
If you’re a snacker or more active, the 16/8 method may be your best “IF” option. By following the 16/8 method, you limit your daily eating periods to just eight hours and skip breakfast. The goal is to get 16 hours of fasting and only eat between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Between 7 p.m. until 11 a.m. the next day, you fast.
Intermittent Fasting doesn’t involve specific foods, so it is easy to choose the method that best suits your lifestyle. However, there is one important step that is overlooked on this diet: meal planning.
The Key to Success
Meal planning is where a lot of people fail an “IF” diet. For example, if you’ve fasted for 24 hours, chances are you’re probably really hungry (did someone say “hangry?”). If you have no prepared meal, what do you do? This could result in over eating or grocery shopping while hungry – neither of which is going to help you lose weight.
On the IF diet, it is extremely important to have your meals prepped. To reach your goals, you need to have a plan in place. At Fresh Meal Plan, we take all of the time for planning, shopping and meal prep out of your week. Forget researching your meals, controlling your caloric content or balancing proteins, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. We provide time-saving convenience and fully prepared, healthy meals that are delivered right to your door at a time that is convenient for your busy, active lifestyle.
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*Fresh Note: Always consult a doctor before attempting any method of Intermittent Fasting. Individuals with eating disorders should not attempt Intermittent Fasting. For help with an eating disorder, please visit the National Eating Disorder Association.