A fasting diet is a nutritional therapy involving either full or partial caloric restriction. It can be a challenge if you embark on one unprepared and unaware. There are many ways you can prepare yourself for a fast. In this article, I’ll give you the tips and tricks that’ll help you successfully reach your fasting goals such as healthy habits, nutrition, and hunger management.
Make things easy on yourself from the very beginning. First, make sure you do your research into fasting, especially if you’re aiming a for specific health benefit. Not all fasts have the same results, so choose your fast carefully to achieve your goals. Before embarking on your fast, speak with your trusted health care provider about your plans. They’ll be able to advise you if any medications or supplements you take will need to be adjusted for the fast.
Tips on How To Get Through a Fast
- Get a head start on any new projects before starting your fast.
- Complete any chores to make mornings easier.
- Don’t over-commit to social engagements for the duration of the fast.
- Prepare yourself emotionally for hunger and irritability.
- Begin fasting on Friday afternoon.
- Take a nap during lunch breaks.
- Go easy on your workouts.
- Go to bed earlier.
- Drink plenty of water or tea.
- Trying indulging in a hobby you don’t normally have time for to keep busy.
- Set clear boundaries before beginning.
Establish Clear, Measurable Goals
With any new routine or healthy habit, it’s important to set measurable goals, instead of vague, undefined objectives. Assign a number to the goal. Pick a percentage, duration length, or reading on a ketone strip. You’ll get a big boost in your sense of accomplishment once if you make it. If not, you’ll be able to evaluate how close you got to it, giving a new milestone for next time. When fasting, your goal might be to go a set amount of time without breaking the fast, liver detoxification, losing body fat, cleansing your diet of particular foods, or experiencing the clear thinking associated with fasting.
Despite the many benefits, fasting is still challenging. If you’re crabby when you’re hungry, expect to be the same on your fast—only slightly worse. For the first 2-3 days, you’ll likely experience some negative sensations, and your mood may suffer as a result. During the first day or two, intense hunger is normal, but this feeling quickly fades. You may find the mild physical discomfort of hunger pales in comparison to the effect on your mood. Some people report feeling shaky, weak, dizzy, or just generally out of sorts while their body adjusts. Prepare yourself mentally for these sensations.
These feelings can affect how you respond to adverse situations and interact with other people. Check in with yourself and your feelings. Are you impatient for a reason or are you just feeling a little irritable? Are you dealing with your challenges healthily, or are you letting them get the best of you? Be cognizant of your mental state and emotional disposition through your fast and do what’s necessary to steer yourself toward a more positive experience for yourself and those around you. When you speak with others, try to acknowledge that any crankiness is due to low blood sugar rather the person or project you’re currently working on. Take a moment to compose yourself by breathing deeply or try meditating to reflect on your emotional state.
Get a Jump on Work
The first few days will be the toughest, so prepare yourself at home and work so that your days run as smoothly as possible. To compensate, try to get ahead on any projects that require intense mental effort in the days leading up to your fast. The best practice is preparing as though you’ll be slightly dazed for the first 2-3 days. Stress and fasting are not a good pair, so try to make up for any heavy mental lifting early by getting ahead. That way you can relax, and you’ll be able to dial it back a little and take the pressure off for the first few days.
Detox Your Diet
Two weeks before your fast, eliminate the food you crave the most. If you have a particular weakness for soda or fries, try eliminating these items from your diet before you begin fasting. Cravings for specific foods are normal, but while you’re fasting, you won’t be able to satisfy them. To dispel their power over you, try cutting these kinds of foods from your diet a week or two before fasting.
Tidy Up at Home
Losing your shoes, misplacing your keys, or not having something to wear are some of those daily frustrations that you can easily avoid with some timely preparation. When you’re fasting, these kinds of frustrations can feel a lot more frustrating, so plan for them to make mornings easier.
Before your fast, complete your chores. Pick up the dry cleaning, pay any bills due soon, wash and fold your laundry, make sure all the walkways in your home are clear of tripping hazards—take care of anything that might cause you to hit a snag or have a meltdown. As you fast, you might begin to feel floaty and euphoric, so try to be diligent about putting your belongings where they need to go.