For many people, fasting is a healthy and effective dieting practice that has several science-backed health benefits. However, it’s important to start any fasting practice carefully and with a good system in place for planning and tracking your journey. These are several ways you can fast safely and effectively, and these apps and gadgets will make it easy.
1. Use a Fasting Tracker
According to research in CMLS, restricting calories can prevent several age-related diseases in mammals. When you’re planning to fast, timing is crucial when deciding to fast. Different types of fasting have different meal timeframes, and every individual may respond differently to fasting. Thus, a personalized fasting tracker can be quite helpful. Zero is a popular intermittent fasting tracker with a vast content library.
In this app, you can learn from some of the world’s leading researchers and doctors. Zero incorporates diets such as keto, vegan, and low-carb, as well as simple calorie tracking. The app gives detailed statistics about your fasting period, including different fasting phases, and syncs data from Google Fit.
With milestone awards and achievements, Zero brings gamification to fasting. You can enter challenges and even invite friends to start a fast together. Zero simplifies every kind of fasting and enables you to create custom presets. With a paid subscription, you can also access videos and articles from health experts.
2. Keep Yourself Hydrated
During intermittent fasting, you typically abstain from food for 12–16 hours at a time. Keeping yourself hydrated during intermittent fasting is extremely important. According to a study in the journal Nutrients, water from food constitutes over 20 percent of an average person’s daily water intake.
Thus, you may risk dehydration while fasting for extended periods if you don’t actively increase the amount of water you drink.
The Water Reminder app is a simple yet feature-rich app that can help you stay hydrated throughout the day. You can select different water doses, create a reminder schedule, and track your progress over time. On a smartwatch, you can get reminders without needing to reach for your phone.
If you want a more concrete water reminder throughout the day, a smart water bottle is the right pick. While they may seem unnecessary, smart water bottles are better at tracking daily water intake. Since they can accurately track how much water you drink, the reminders are also more personalized to your needs. Additionally, the LED notifications built into the bottles make them hard to miss.
3. Distract Yourself
Dietary restriction can promote blood sugar control, according to 21 Day Hero. However, abstaining from food for long periods takes practice. If you’re just starting, this will likely be the most difficult part. Therefore, keeping yourself occupied with other activities can help divert your attention. Guided meditation, podcasts, brain training, and language learning are great ways of keeping yourself busy.
If you’d like to practice meditation, Calm is one of the best apps. A subscription gives you access to its extensive library of guided meditations, breathing exercises, soothing music, and much more. Or complete a quick session in less than five minutes. You can also listen to guided sessions narrated by popular celebrities.
Mentally stimulating apps such as Duolingo, Elevate, and NeuroNation are some other apps that provide great value and can distract you from eating. They are highly engaging and fun and can help you develop new skills. Therefore, these apps can keep you busy for a long time. Plus, mentally stimulating apps can keep your brain young.
4. Count Your Calories
Calorie tracking is useful even when you are not fasting. But tracking calories during a fast will ensure you don’t burn or consume excess calories, as breaking a fast must be a gradual and controlled process.
Mealime and Lifesum are two of the best meal-planning apps that promote healthy eating. They have plenty of diet-specific recipes curated by chefs to fulfill all your needs. Using these apps you can plan what to eat before and after your fast and reduce the risk of excess calorie consumption.
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, you burn more fat when you exercise during the fasting period. Therefore, monitoring how many calories you burn is important. Fitness trackers such as Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin, and WHOOP can help keep a check on your activity level.
You can also sync data from most of these wearables with the Zero app to get all your metrics in one place. By preserving calories by closely monitoring activity, you’ll conserve energy and ensure you don’t feel tired by the end of your fast. Set a maximum limit for burning calories and try to stick to that.
5. Choose Light Exercise
Since your body burns more fat during fasting, you risk expending more calories than necessary. Therefore, opting for lighter workouts is a better option while fasting. Instead of intense resistance training, try yoga or static stretching.
Fitify Yoga is a simple app for users of all levels. You can try out a wide range of yoga poses and workout plans, each of which is categorized based on its purpose – increasing flexibility, strengthening your core, or targeting specific areas. Practicing a couple of low-intensity yoga poses can help you improve your flexibility without burning too many calories.
Other methods of improving your flexibility include static and dynamic stretching. Apart from improving flexibility, stretching exercises are helpful for pain relief. The Stretch Exercise app has plenty of ailment-specific training sessions. This app will help you improve your mobility and relieve stress without breaking a sweat.
Fast Safely For Prolonged Health Benefits
Fasting even once a week can be extremely beneficial, especially if you are trying to lose weight. While fasting, it is essential that you listen to your body. If you begin feeling unwell, do not push yourself. The Zero fasting tracker has a journal where you can easily jot down your experience throughout this period. Use these tools to prepare yourself to fast safely and feel better.