Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan 

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating, not a diet. IF does not require that you eat certain things; instead, it requires that you set certain times during which you eat and fast. Eating nutrient-dense whole foods and drinking plenty of water will help you maximize the benefits of IF. Actually, choosing healthful foods and forgoing processed foods is an ideal plan whether or not you follow IF. 

We are accustomed to the idea of eating at least three meals a day with snacks in between. However, some research indicates that eating fewer meals carries significant benefits. IF is a powerful strategy for disease prevention and weight loss, so you really are not missing out by missing a meal(or more). 

However you chose to go about fasting, it is recommended that you eat your last meal no later than three hours before retiring. By doing so, you allow your body time to burn the calories you have taken in before you go to sleep. Some nutrition experts even recommend that dinner is the best meal to skip with IF. 

How to Prepare for Intermittent Fasting 
By laying some groundwork before embarking on fasting, you will help ensure a smooth transition into your new way of eating. You will also increase the likelihood of being consistent and successful as a faster. First, decide how you want to fast: 16/8...2/12...5:2...East-Stop-Eat? 16/8 is the most popular, but any method works with persistence. Select what works with your schedule and preferences and feel free to make adjustments as needed. 

People who switch to a low-carb diet before fasting tend to fare better. This is because following a low-carb diet trains the body to burn stored fat for fuel. The ketones that are released curb the appetite. Increasing the intake of water helps fasting as well. Often, feelings of hunger are actually signs of dehydration. Water helps stave off those pangs while it hydrates and cleanses the body. 

What You Can I Eat and Drink with Intermittent Fasting? 
Many people decide not to eat anything during their fasting times. However, some chose to eat low-calorie foods, no more than 500 calories, during their fast hours or days. Water and non-calorie drinks are permissible at any time. 

IF does not tell you exactly what to eat; you are free to continue your normal diet within your eating time frame. However, it is important to remember that we become what we eat. Cutting back on low-nutrient, high-sugar foods and drinks and replacing them with nourishing whole counterparts will contribute significantly to your well-being with any diet or eating plan. Here are a few places where you can find plenty of nutritious and satiating options for your eating times: 

  • Popsugar has a seven-day meal plan to get you going with IF.

  • Diet Doctor has over 30 meals plans, including keto, vegetarian, and non-dairy.

  • The Nourishing Home offers a 30 days’ worth of family-friendly whole food recipes.

With all the benefits that intermittent fasting provides, it is no wonder that it has become so popular. IF allows your body to boost its metabolism and reduce inflammation. It triggers an increase in the human growth hormone which contributes to longevity and vitality. Wholesome eating augments the effectiveness of this amazing tool for just about any health goals. Consult your medical practitioner before beginning IF, especially if you are on medication or have a history of eating disorders.