Mini-fasting (a.k.a. intermittent fasting) is my secret weapon for fast (and safe) weight loss. Not only is it a practical way to reduce your calorie intake and blast belly fat, but it also gives your digestive system a much needed break and reduces inflammation among many other wonderful things.
However, the concept of going without food for a 10, 16, or even 24 hour period may seem a bit scary. But I assure you, there’s nothing to fear!
Mini-fasting is safe, effective, and super simple if you follow the tips below:
Plan your fasting days and schedule ahead.
There are two types of mini-fasting. The first involves fasting for an entire 24 hour period a few times a week. In this case, you should schedule fasting on your least stressful and hectic days of the week. For example, consider social gatherings as well as personal and professional commitments. And note that your fasting days may change from week to week, which is perfectly ok.
It’s also worth noting that 24 hours doesn’t mean you can’t eat at all during your waking hours. For example, you could eat dinner at 6:00 PM and then fast until 6:00 PM the following day. This way you won’t go to bed hungry. And a majority of your fast will occur while you’re sleeping.
Now, the second type of mini-fasting occurs every day. And it involves eating during an eight hour window (e.g. 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM) and fasting for the remaining 16 hours of the day. Thus, it’s important to pick an eating schedule that works best for you. I typically recommend starting with skipping breakfast.
If hunger or cravings strike, load up on bone broth.
If you’re not used to fasting, your body may take some time to adjust. Which is why I always recommend having a batch of bone broth ready to go. And to sip on it if and when the need arises. Because bone broth is packed with easily absorbable proteins (a.k.a. amino acids) and minerals that satisfy your hunger and ward off cravings–without spiking your blood sugar or burdening your digestive system.
Add collagen to your morning coffee or tea.
During your mini-fast, it’s important to stay hydrated. This means drinking plenty of filtered water. However, black coffee or unsweetened tea are also fair game. And adding collagen to either one can make getting through a morning fast much easier. Because collagen offers similar benefits to bone broth.
Take advantage of technology.
Tracking your progress is very effective. You can go the old-fashioned route and use a journal. However, there are also some great apps available, such as Vora and Zero, that make tracking your fasting hours a breeze.
Your body is designed to burn fat in the absence of food. That’s how our ancestors survived when food was scarce. This means you won’t starve. I promise! But, nevertheless, if you start to feel nervous or shaky, you can always reach for bone broth or tea as I’ve previously mentioned. They both having a calming effect. I also recommend taking Epsom salt baths to boost your magnesium and promote relaxation. Meditation, gentle yoga, and nature walks are also high on my list. Because they all take your mind off of eating as well as promote wellness in many other ways.
Plan your “break” fast ahead of time.
While you’ll be burning excess body fat during your fast, you’ll gain it all back if you binge once your fast is over. Thus, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of having nutrient rich meals on deck and ready to go. This means incorporating meal planning and prepping into your weekly rituals.
So what does a “break” fast meal look like? Well, processed junk food is off the table, but you’ll be happy to know your options are far from bland or boring. In fact, my new book–The 10-Day Belly Slimdown–is full of simple recipes for delicious and filling shakes and meals that are perfect for breaking your fast.
How does a thick-and-creamy chocolate mint shake or chicken with creamy cilantro sauce sound? These meals all contain the perfect combination of protein, veggies, and healthy fat to satisfy your palate and keep you satisfied until your next meal. And, my new book even discusses how to prep these meals ahead of time to guarantee your success.
To Sum it Up…
Mini-fasting is one of the most EFFECTIVE approaches to FAST weight loss. But, if you find it a little daunting, be sure to follow the tips I’ve outlined above. I’m confident they will make mini-fasting approachable as well as easy to follow.
Keep thinking Big and living BOLD!