Time-Restricted Feeding: Four Steps to Success

Many people can become overwhelmed or nervous at the concept of time-restricted feeding, but by following these four steps, you can have success at following this recommendation and reducing weight.

Step 1

Before you start a time-restricted feeding schedule, you should talk to your doctor or health care provider.

Get medical advice from a professional who is aligned with your health goals.

You may have medical conditions that need close monitoring. Likewise, you may be on medications that may need to be adjusted. It is important to have a strong understanding of your medical history and the medications you take prior to initiating a fasting program. Please talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.

Step 2

Stop all sugars, including all artificial sweeteners.

Many sugars and processed carbs just aren’t satiating — they don’t make you feel full. Stop all sugar and artificial sugar-sweetened beverages. Before you start your protocol, you should eliminate sugars and processed carbohydrates.

Also, stop all sources of vegetable oil and replace with healthy natural oil and real butter. Replacing industrial seed oil with real oils is easy if you are not eating processed foods.  It even makes the food taste better.

Stop all processed foods.  Processed foods are engineered to make you eat again and again and again, every 2-3 hours.

Step 3

Focus on getting meals that are rich in protein and healthy fats. Eat all types of meat like beef, fish, chicken, eggs, lamb, and seafood. Yogurt and cheeses are also nutritious and filling. Fill up on low-sugar vegetables like olives, peppers, cucumbers, and avocado, and eat as many green leafy vegetables as you please. This approach will help you get better adapted to fat metabolism and may make fasting easier to adopt.

Step 4

Start slow.  This metainflammation didn’t happen in one day, and it won’t go away in a day.

Consider a liberal 8-hour eating window on your first day to see how it feels. Eat as you please during your 8-hour time frame and see how your body and appetite feel during the remaining hours of the day.

Then, slowly narrow your eating window.

As you feel more comfortable assessing your hunger, and understanding the nature of hunger pangs, you can slowly decrease your daily feeding window. Consider decreasing by one hour a week, until you reach a 4-hour window.

Things to think about:

If you haven’t made adjustments to your diet beforehand to include more satiating foods filled with protein, healthy fat and fiber, you may notice hunger pangs. If you are experiencing hunger pangs, consider drinking some hot tea, coffee, water or seltzer. This will fill your stomach up and give you enough time to realize that maybe you really aren’t as hungry as you initially thought.  Some people use lemon in seltzer water.

This should be a fun experience, not a miserable experience.  If you are having a miserable experience, something has been overlooked.  Remember that time-restricted feeding is a great way to limit snacking. Eating filling real food during your eating window will restore and realign your hormone system.

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