Can You Take a Break from Intermittent Fasting on Weekends?
Intermittent fasting is more than a diet. It’s a lifestyle that you must commit to for the best results. Once you pick a plan, stick to it if you want to lose weight. It will be challenging at first, and you’ll definitely spend time counting down the minutes until you can eat again. But what happens if plans come up unexpectedly? Can you take a break from intermittent fasting on the weekends?
You’re in control of when and how you intermittent fast, so if you want to take a break from intermittent fasting, you can. Just know that your results may slow down if you stray too far off your intermittent fasting schedule. Your eating windows are just as important as your fasting windows, so if you’re taking the weekend off, you want to make sure that you still eat relatively healthy.
It may be tempting to eat a whole deep-dish pizza or split a bottle of wine with your friend, but it won’t feel as satisfying as it once did. Weight loss is a journey, and you have to be committed while allowing for flexibility along the way.
Plan for Breaks
If you know something special is coming up, plan for it! Adjust your intermittent fasting schedule so that you can still enjoy the festivities. Perhaps that means you’ll extend your window one day so you can shift your eating day. Life happens, so allow for some flexibility in your intermittent fasting schedule.
It’s okay to take a day or a weekend off. Listen to your body, especially if you’re feeling too fatigued or run down. Perhaps you didn’t eat enough protein or fiber during your windows. Maybe you carb-loaded and now you’re body’s coming down from the sugar high. Intermittent fasting is about learning what works best for you and your body. If your body’s telling you you need to step back, take a step back.
Once you’re ready or your weekend plans are done, start over. Reset your schedule. You don’t have to fast two extra days to make up for it or reduce your calories to accommodate for eating junk. Give yourself grace and understand that setbacks or pauses are normal.
What Should I Eat On Breaks?
Just because you’re taking a break from intermittent fasting on the weekend doesn’t mean you should eat everything. Your body has forgotten how to process a lot of the fatty, fried foods, so you’ll end up feeling tired and bloated. You’ll still want to eat relatively healthy, even on a break, integrating lots of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and other nutrients. Of course, you can indulge, but make that the exception, not the rule.
You may even find that some of your old favorite foods taste different. This is because your taste buds change, so what once hit the spot may fall flat. Instead, you’ll start craving fruits and veggies. It’s a process, but when you eat for fuel instead of enjoyment, your outlook changes.
Should You Take Breaks?
If you’ve been at intermittent fasting a while and notice your weight loss has begun to slow down, then you may want to consider taking a break to help restart your metabolism. Your body will get used to the number of calories it’s consuming, especially if you’re planful about what you eat, and your metabolism levels will slow. If you take a break, your body will kick back into normalcy, processing calories as you consume them rather than storing them away for later use. Then, you can get back to your intermittent fasting routine.
Intermittent fasting is about you and your lifestyle, so it’s okay to take breaks once and a while, depending on your needs. Plan for them to avoid hindering your progress.