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7 Ways Intermittent Fasting Can Transform Your Health

7 Ways Intermittent Fasting Can Transform Your Health

While most people that you mention your intermittent fasting schedule to will either call you crazy or say that “they could never do that,” the practice is relatively easy and has lifelong benefits. Why would anyone want to deprive themselves of food for hours or days at a time? Widely debated studies have existed on the medical implications of controlled fasting for some time. However, there are a number of great benefits to intermittent fasting.

1. You’ll have better cognitive abilities

Despite what Snickers would have you believe in their “Why wait?” campaign, being hungry during the day can help you think more clearly and keep your mind sharp.

2. You’ll get more of your day back

Think about it: if you start your fast at 12:00 am when you go to sleep and don’t eat again until 4:00 pm, that’s 2-3 meals you aren’t having to prepare and cook or go and pick up. When you stop thinking about food, you’ll realize how much of your time you actually spend worrying about where the next meal will come from, your grocery list, and who you’re going to lunch with.

3. It’s closer to how our cavemen ancestors ate.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors hunted and foraged for food all day and then prepared it and ate after sunset. Have you ever seen an overweight caveman?

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4. You’ll have a longer life

Simply put: your lifespan is directly related to what you eat, or in this case, what you don’t. While still being studied, some early clinicals suggest you’ll live longer.

5. It helps prevent disease

Two of the biggest killers today in America are directly food-related: heart disease and diabetes. With a scheduled eating regimen, you’ll be significantly reducing your risk factors for both.

6. You’ll have more energy

Assuming you are still getting your recommended caloric intake for the day, your body will expend less energy digesting and leave you with more energy to get all the things done in your day.

7. You’ll lose weight

With intermittent fasting, you are basically telling your body to stop burning sugars that you intake during the day and directing it towards burning fat.

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The program itself is fairly straightforward and simple: you have a fasting window in which you don’t eat and an eating window in which you can eat what you want. There are many variations of this, so you’ll want to find your own rhythm, but probably the easiest is to stop eating an hour or so before you go to bed and start a 16-hour clock for your fasting window. This schedule is nice because you’ll spend a large portion of your fast sleeping. Let’s say you go to bed at 12:00 am. In that case, you will fast until 5:00 pm and then eat until 11:00 pm. Pretty easy.

Tips to help you stick to your plan:

1. Stay hydrated

Not only is water excellent for every faucet of health, it also helps you maintain a feeling of being full, which will stave off cravings.

2. Exercise right before you eat

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This way, you’ll be able to resupply all those hungry muscles right after you finish your workout.

3. Set goals for yourself and measure your progress

If you don’t know where you’re going and consider your progress every now and again, how will you recognize the benefits?

4. Pack some emergency snacks the first few days

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While there is evidence eluding to the fact that intermittent fasting can help regulate your insulin levels, the first few days may be a little tough — it’s okay to grab a granola bar or piece of fruit if you start feeling faint.

5. Stick to your plan

It takes a few weeks to break or change a cycle, and the first few days will be toughest. New fasters typically describe day 3 as “the wall,” in which you may be driven to drop your guard — stick with it. You’ll soon be reaping the benefits and be glad that you made such a positive lifestyle decision.

6. Stay busy

If you’re active and engaged in work or play, you’ll seldom have time to ponder on your hunger status.

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7 Ways Intermittent Fasting Can Transform Your Health

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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