Intermittent fasting (IF) is an excellent tool that can be used to boost your health and wellness in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, the world of IF has become increasingly “micro,” sometimes causing more harm than good. But no good can ever comes from a rigid routine!
Understand that intermittent fasting can become harmful if you:
- Fast for too many days in a row.
- Fast during your menstrual cycle.
- Don’t get adequate protein or calorie intake after your fast.
- Choose unhealthy foods to break your fast.
- Become too obsessed with the fasting schedule and worried about breaking the fast.
The journey toward optimal health and wellness often incorporates a variety of habits and tools that are needed to repair, heal and increase longevity — at Fuel 4 Ever, we believe intermittent fasting is key here. Yet IF is much safer and more effective when approached at the “macro” level.
Tips for Safe Intermittent Fasting
Here’s how to maintain a healthy fasting routine at a higher level view while staying grounded in your practice:
- Stay flexible: Listen to your body. If you feel hungry, then skip a fasting day and eat a well balanced meal. Try shorter fasting periods limited to a few days a week. If you feel stressed when fasting, again, listen to your body! Stress causes a cortisol spike that is counterproductive to a healthy fasting experience.
- Move daily: Incorporate daily movement and exercise. Try to aim for 8,000 daily steps and lift weights for muscle growth. Don’t be afraid to make strength your goal instead of lowering the number on the scale. One recent study showed that mortality rates among people with relative muscle mass compared to those without it, are much lower (source: U.S. National Library of Medicine). In short, you’ll live longer with more muscle!
- Understand your personal why: Remind yourself why you’re fasting and remember that the recipe for optimal wellness includes a variety of ingredients. Fasting is just one ingredient on that long list!
- Incorporate healthy foods: Aim for one gram of protein per pound of body weight daily. For example, if you weigh 145 pounds, eat 145 grams of protein (and don’t be afraid to weigh your food).
At Fuel 4 Ever, we firmly believe that intermittent fasting is an invaluable tool for your quest for lifelong health and wellness. But it can come at a price when we are strict in our fasting practices and get too fixated on the nitty gritty details. Don’t beat yourself up trying to follow the “rules.” Approach IF at the macro level and not only reap the amazing benefits, but also stay safe in the meantime.