Intermittent Fasting and Socializing
Intermittent Fasting and Socializing: What You Should Know
While intermittent fasting offers multiple health values in the short and long term, determining what to eat during social meetings could be a struggle. And interestingly, it is an important part that can ¨make or mar¨ your intermittent fasting effort while socializing. If you have difficulty maintaining your fasting schedule due to numerous social gatherings, here are important tips to make the process easier going forward. Enjoy reading!
Experiment with suitable intermittent fasting plans
Before you can determine a perfect choice of intermittent fasting plan for yourself, you should consider the trial and error method. Ideally, the most common options are the 14/10 and 16/8 since practitioners naturally fast during their sleeping hours (7 to 9 hours per night). When you delay or skip your breakfast, it will prolong your night-time fasting hours for a reduced daytime eating period.
Common Intermittent Fasting Plans
14/10 – In this case, you have an eating period between 10 am and 8 pm.
16/8 – In this plan, the eating period spans between 12 pm and 8 pm.
Several benefits come with intermittent fasting. Among them is that you will start to care about what goes into your mouth. Before your fasting plan, you may eat just about anything, including snacking or munching any junkies. This could spike your blood sugar levels and weight gain.
However, intermittent fasting requires planning what you eat and, consequently, making you highly conscious of your eating habits. According to experts, getting comfortable with an intermittent fasting plan may take a few weeks. Thus, don’t rush the process; take your time to experiment and find the most suitable plan that you can integrate with your social situations.
A flexible eating window for social life
Below are recommendations for individuals who often have early morning engagements:
1- Make your eating period earlier than usual if you need to have breakfast with friends or co-workers. In this way, you have a longer fasting window during the day without ruining your plan. Return to your regularly scheduled eating timeframe quickly in the next day to get back on track.
2- Adjusting an intermittent fasting schedule could be easier when your social engagement is in the morning. This is because early morning meetings or breakfast rarely attract much attention to skipping a meal. Get a black coffee or plain tea to keep up with others.
Below are important recommendations for individuals who are more likely to have evening engagements:
3- If you have a dinner plan by eight and your regular eating period ends by 6 pm, consider adjusting your standard eating period by a few hours for that day. You can do this by breaking your fast a bit later to enable you to eat dinner later. In this way, your fasting window on a subsequent day should be shorter by when you return to your regular eating period.
Sharing a meal with family or colleagues is a big social aspect for many individuals. If you fall into this category, endeavor to consistently schedule your means towards your eating period. In this way, you can keep up with your intermittent fasting and socializing plans and achieve your weight loss goals without losing connection with your loved ones.
How do you replace long-evening alternatives to foods when bored?
As you are probably aware, intermittent fasting helps get rid of evening snacking. With such a change alone, it can lead to weight loss. Adhere to the following tips to maintain your evening fasting:
A- After taking a meal, brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash. This changes your mindset about eating and consequently helps you move on to non-food-related activities.
B- If you often engage in habits that involve snacking, it’s about time to change it. This could be replacing watching TV with internet shopping or going for a stroll. The idea is to avoid anything involving mindless snacking.
C- Engage in yoga, meditation, or gentle stretching to unwind.
How to socialize without food
If your social life centers on food, it will do your intermittent fasting more harm than good. For this reason, it’s important to get creative in terms of how you meet friends, families, or colleagues. Consider the following recommendations that help focus less on foods.
1- Rather than using a restaurant or bar, consider meeting your partner at a park. Also, you can walk together with your friend to inject some gentle exercise into your body.
2- Instead of gathering in a restaurant, have fun with your family playing old yard games or fun activities. Focus more on the activity and conversation than the appetizers or entrees.
3- Go on a tour with your friend or relative around your city and document the experience. Alternatively, you can explore the new neighborhood and take pictures to capture your immediate community.
4- Consider signing up in a book club, whether in-person or virtual. It’s a great option to spend time together with like-minds and learn. Having a discussion with friends is not only emotionally rewarding but easier on the waistline.
5- Take a plain coffee or tea together with a friend or colleague while focusing on the conversation or person.
Ask for help when setting up a new eating plan
It’s not strange to see people having difficulty while trying to ask for help. Don’t feel bad; you are not alone. Bear in mind that you need other people as much as many people need you. From sharing responsibility with friends about your meal planning, food prep to grocery shopping, most loved ones would like to be a part of your social life. So, feel free to talk to them.
More so, there is a good chance of achieving your health and body goals faster when you speak about your intermittent fasting plan with your spouse, partner, or other closed ones before you begin. Consider the following:
A- Explain your new eating plan to your spouse or partner and show them why it’s important to you and what you would like to accomplish. Consider telling them how it might influence family meals too.
B- Share with your spouse about how he or she can help keep you accountable about your new plan. Remember that this is usually an evolving conversation as you can’t determine possible situations from the start. In the process, you might need to make some adjustments to your diet plan.
C- Before changing family meals, inform the rest in advance. If you aren’t taking breakfast during the weekend with family, reassure them that you will be taking water, tea, or coffee with them.
D- Consider your priorities and adjust as appropriate. For instance, consider not engaging in intermittent fasting on Sunday if you and your family traditionally dine together every Sunday after church. Get back to your fasting plan on Monday.
Intermittent Fasting and Socializing: A final note
Losing weight and staying healthy gets easier as you spend more days with an intermittent fasting plan. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t practice at the expense of your business meetings or family union. As you have probably found out here, intermittent fasting can be comfortably integrated into our social lives without stress. Be flexible, mindful, and watch your schedules when setting up your intermittent fasting plan. Remember that it’s not about perfection; it’s about progress!