Meal prepping can really help with your intermittent fasting goals. Here's how!
As it's most commonly practiced, Intermittent fasting is a method of only eating within certain windows of time. However, there are a few types of intermittent fasting including alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting, and daily time-restricted fasting. People normally pick the option they can commit to, with the primary goal of fat loss in mind.
- Nearly 42 percent of Americans suffer from obesity.
- Anyone that wants to lose weight and improve their health can possibly benefit, while meal prepping can make it even easier.
- In this post, we’ll explain why intermittent fasting is important, explain how to intermittent fast with meal prepping, and provide 3 suggestions if you’re new to intermittent fasting.
What is Intermittent Fasting, and Why Does it Matter?
Intermittent fasting is a diet plan that considers windows of time for eating, whether that be taking every other day off from eating, eating 5 days per week while taking two days spread out through the week to fast, occasionally fasting, or only eating within certain hours every day. We will even be as bold as to say that not everyone can or should use intermittent fasting. Some people can easily make it a day without eating, but most people prefer having an established daily window of time dedicated to eating.
16:8 method, which is 16 hours of not eating and an 8-hour window that allows for limited eating.
20:4 method, which is 20 hours of not eating, and a 4-hour window for eating.
Should you try Intermittent Fasting?
People typically either use intermittent fasting to lose fat, control their blood sugar levels, feel rejuvenated, or as a spiritual or religious act. It is quite normal for those within a religious group to fast, and then donate the money they would have spent on those meals to a charity that feeds those in need.
According to personal trainer (and meal prepper!) Airon Mallars, “I intermittent fast every day. I’d say the best time for fasting is before bed, it’s easiest, too. Have your last meal at 8pm and don’t eat until late morning or around 12 noon." He likes this idea especially for beginners, just because you’re sleeping while you’re doing it. "You don’t have to worry about getting hungry while you’re asleep!” he says.
He says a reduction in excess fat typically indicates a correlated reduction in the risk of cancer, diabetes, joint pain, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, immobility, better sleep, and more. Maintaining a healthy weight can also make us feel better, and provide inspiration to others as a positive externality. Intermittent fasting is an easy way to accomplish this weight loss, while meal prepping makes intermittent fasting even easier!
How to Intermittent Fast with Meal Prepping
Knowing your personal energy levels, blood sugar, and capability of accomplishing your goals is important for your success with intermittent fasting. Some people cannot do an every-other-day fast, or a 20:4 fast, but they might be able to do a 16:8, or another variation. If someone is active, working out a lot, using a lot of cognitive thinking in their daily life, etc., they especially may need to find a balance that works best.
Once you have the hours figured out, you’ll want to balance your diet with the proper amount of macros and nutrients your body needs. Meal prepping while intermittent fasting makes the latter process easier: you give yourself the peace of mind that you are getting the right foods when it’s time to break the fast.
Prepping your meals ahead of time allows you to eat easily without stopping to prep, when you are ready to break your fast. Cooking when you are hungry can be frustrating and torturous at times. Meal prepping while intermittent fasting can also help save additional money you’d normally be spending on those skipped meals, and it can save more time throughout the week. Using meal prep to your advantage can help deter spontaneous destructive eating choices or habits. It can also create a greater sense of personal responsibility while pursuing your goals.
3 Tips and Reminders for Intermittent Fasting
- Plan. Know your BMI, your goals, and calculate your macros. This requires you to step on a scale, plug in your basic information, and look into which meal prep recipes will work with your newly created plan to help hold yourself accountable.
- Patience. Patience is key to this body transformation process. When you beat yourself up because you ate something you weren’t supposed to or splurged during the holidays, you discourage yourself. Handle yourself with care, understanding, and love; you'll naturally encourage your growth, stick to your goals, and signal to others that they can do it, too. All without judgment. Incremental success and delayed gratification are necessary components for any long-term success. Trust the process.
- Persist. Imagine yourself embodying these changes to ensure the results you worked so hard to achieve can actually stay. Think past the time frame required for weight loss. Perhaps the plan changes from losing fat to maintaining, or muscle gaining, but stick with it. Too many people go on diets and go through destructive cycles, which inevitably means their weight bounces back up to what it was—or worse. Shoot for the stars to reach the moon.
You've Got This!
Once you are ready to start your body transformation through intermittent fasting with meal prepping, be sure to check our recipes that are dedicated to your goal plans. Dieting does not have to cause suffering! It can be a legitimate step in the right direction of a healthier lifestyle that has you looking and feeling great, and living longer!