Intermittent Fasting: Is It Right for You?

by | Updated: January 4th, 2018 | Read time: 2 minutes

What’s hot in dieting: Intermittent fasting. In contrast to standard fasts, however, that usually involve drinking only juice or even sipping only water, the newest variation on fasting involves a 5:2 approach: Eat your normal diet five days a week, then cut your calorie intake dramatically two days a week, usually 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men. Think it sounds do-able? Read on to learn more.

During fasting days, you’ll reduce calories drastically — but you can still consume 500 to 600 per day. Click to browse healthy food options at Vitacost!

First rule to remember: Talk with your physician about this approach. If you have certain conditions, such as diabetes, your physician may advise against intermittent fasting. So make sure that you have your personal health care provider’s approval before proceeding.

Second rule to remember: Focus on whole foods during your restricted calorie “fast” days. You want to choose foods that are low in calories, high in fibers and natural rather than processed products consisting of white flour and white sugar, which are higher in calories and result in energy spikes and drops that can accentuate your hunger.

For low-calorie foods and beverages for your restricted calorie “fasting days,” consider these options:

  • Are you a coffee lover? Make sure to avoid adding empty calories to your morning beverage. Heading to that coffee house for a “treat” could result in using up all your calories on a  sugar-laden, cream-heavy concoction! Instead, sip zero-calorie coffee flavored  with zero-calorie, flavored stevia drops, such as vanilla crème Wisdom  Natural SweetLeaf.
  • Drink water”¦and drink more water. When it comes to  hydration, it’s particularly important on those restricted calorie days. Jazz up that water, soothe your soul, and  support healthy  magnesium and  calcium levels with Natural Vitality Natural Calm in flavors  such as  raspberry lemon.
  • Choose your meals on those “fast” days  carefully. Your goal: Get as much foods as possible for minimal calories. We’re talking about leafy green  vegetables, cauliflower, mushrooms and tomatoes topped with a calorie-free  dressing from Walden Farms to add flavor without fat or sugar. From Thousand Island to coleslaw dressing, Walden Farms can help you savor that  salad without deducting from your calorie “allowance.”
  • Include protein during your “fast” day to  curb hunger. Those veggies will give you fiber, which helps, but protein  is key. Try Mori-Nu Silken Tofu for just 50 calories a serving.  It’s great steamed with lots of vegetables: Try zucchini, green beans,  mushrooms, red cabbage and yellow summer squash for variety. Flavor it with herbs or try zero-calorie Bragg’s Amino Acids.
  • Remember: Your fast days take place only two days a  week. On the other five days, aim for meals balanced with healthy foods