Moving your fasting window does not have to be a stressful event. Just follow these simple tips for success. This post explains how!
I’m a big fan of fasting. There are reasons for that. Intermittent Fasting has helped me tremendously on my journey to the best I can be. I feel stronger, healthier, and more in control of what I’m eating. It’s a long term fat burning lifestyle I intend to maintain!
That’s a great thing about fasting – you’re on a schedule, and with the eating and fasting window, it doesn’t leave room for the temptation of unwanted snacking, typically on foods that aren’t the best.
But sometimes, the whole fasting routine gets thrown off kilter.
You know, when things change. Life is full of changes, right?
Babies are born, job opportunities arise, and a much-awaited holiday arrives – these are all life happenings that can cause you to veer off schedule when it comes to eating, and fasting in particular.
But these life interruptions (good or bad!) really aren’t a reason to panic at all. You see, you don’t have to give up your fasting regimen when things change in your life.
Read on and I’ll explain exactly how to make it all work without sacrificing the amazing efforts you’ve been putting in!
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is what I like to call an eating pattern. It’s not a diet and it’s not something that should cause you to stress or feel guilty when you fall off track. IF is just thinking about when you are eating and aiming for a healthy lifestyle.
New to IF or want more information on how to make your attempt at Intermittent Fasting the best it can be? I’ve written quite a few posts on fasting and I’ll list a few here. You can watch some of my videos as well, like this one on how to determine your fasting window or this one, on what breaks a fast.
- Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Weight Loss? Beginner’s Guide To Intermittent Fasting
- 9 Intermittent Fasting Mistakes Beginners Make (And How To Avoid Them!)
- Intermittent Fasting For Women: A Complete Guide
Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting
First off, studies have proven that Intermittent Fasting has health benefits, like improving cardiovascular health and blood sugar levels. So why not think about it? Just in case you are new to Intermittent Fasting or use one method and would like to know more about the other methods, let’s take a quick look.
- 16/8 Method: This is a pretty popular way to fast. You have an 8 hour eating window and don’t eat for the other 16.
- 5/2 Method: Eat as you would normally (keep it healthy) for 5 days, and for the other 2, limit your calories to 500-600 a day.
- Stop-Eat-Stop Method: This is simple, you fast for 24 hours, once or twice weekly.
- Alternate Day Method: Just as it sounds, you alternate days. On the “non-eating” day, consume about 500 calories. On the other days you eat as you like.
Lastly, there is the Spontaneous Meal Skipping Method where you skip meals here and there, as suits you.
Is It Okay To Move Your Fasting Window?
Simple answer? Yes, it is okay to move your fasting window. Being as busy as we are, moving around the hours of time-restricted eating isn’t difficult, nor does it cause problems. A variation in your fasting schedule is fine as long as you are eating well, consuming healthy foods like healthy fats, eggs, veggies, nuts, avocados, and more as described in my post on clean eating.
Remember, your food intake, meaning what you eat in your eating window is just as important as when and how long your fasting window is. Sure, ketosis (your body switches from using glycogen to ketones) is essential to autophagy, when the body cleans out old cells and replaces them with new ones, but what you eat in your “fed state” is crucial to intermittent fasting success too.
If you need to move your fasting window for work scheduling or because the kids’ soccer game time changed, that’s okay. And if you want to move your fasting window because you are struggling with the one you chose (hunger hormones can be a bummer), whether it be alternate-day fasting, the 5/2 Method or something else, if you are suffering from side effects, definitely change it up!
How To Move Your Fasting Window
As you’ll see in my video on how to move your fasting window, making those changes isn’t something you should stress over. Let’s look at 3 scenarios I’ve come up with.
Scenario 1: Keep It Simple!
This scenario really works with the knowledge that our bodies are adaptable. And they are – and they’re amazing too, aren’t they? Think of what our bodies do for us each and every day!
To do this simple Intermittent Fasting move, simply make a shift. If you are used to fasting from 7 pm to 11 am but have had say, a change in your work schedule and now need to eat earlier, just make a simple change.
Change the start of your fasting window at night to 5 pm (if it used to be 7 pm for example) and end it at 9 am rather than the later 11 am. What you are doing is just making a small change that won’t affect you too much.
If you were extending your fasting window to a longer one, perhaps from 12 hours to 14 hours, then yes, I would say make the change gradually by adding a chunk of minutes to your fasting window every day to extend it from 12 to 14 hours slowly.
But since this is changing the timing only, it’s not difficult and doesn’t change much. If you run every morning at 6 am but now have to change it to 7 am, it won’t affect how far you can run. It’s a timing move, that’s all. Moving your fasting window is like moving your run time. You can still run the same distance, it’s just at a different time of day.
Scenario 2: I Can’t Just Do It! Give Me A Plan
This is all about optimizing your eating window to your new routine. Let’s look at it this way, point by point for simplicity.
- Let’s say you are now working later into the evening and find yourself hungry at night, enough so that you are losing sleep. We all know how important sleep is to our health.
- End your fasting window and begin your eating window as you typically would.
- Add a small meal near the end of your eating window to extend it a little further, just so you don’t get those headache causing hunger pains in the evening.
- Either have a small meal at the time of your last meal and then shift your last meal further, or have your last meal as your normally would and then add a smaller meal later. It’s flexible – and that makes moving your fasting window this way doable too.
- Give yourself a few days to adjust. You may be thinking about the extra calories of that small additional meal. Each day as you make the adjustment, reduce the calories of the next day’s meals.
Studies back the fact that counting your macros is a good thing for optimum health and doing so is also a bonus when moving your fasting window. Tracking your macros helps with this so if you’re wanting to figure that all out, read my post on macros or watch my video on how to calculate your macros step by step.
Scenario 3: What About Even Larger Moves?
This scenario works well in the case of big changes, like moving across time zones or any other scenario when you need to move your fasting window 4 to 5 hours.
I recommend that you don’t stress about your eating or fasting window at this point. Eat when your body requires it. When your body says I’m hungry, feed it! Doing so will give you the energy and nutrients to get you through these big changes.
Once your circadian rhythm adjusts, you can get the eating and fasting windows back on track with your new requirements. Lengthen your non-eating period bit by bit. The goal is to keep eating healthy.
What Can I Eat With Intermittent Fasting?
With my IF lifestyle, I like to take cues from my body as to what I should eat. If I’ve had an off day – yes, I have off days, too – I don’t feel as well and I lack energy. I know that the food I ate that day maybe wasn’t ideal and I get back on track. It’s easy to maintain a healthy eating regimen when you are aware of what foods make you feel the best. It’s important to keep eating well when you move your fasting window. You want to feel well even with the alterations in your eating schedule.
I have a video on what I eat in a day and why it works for me. You’ll see a quick and easy view of some healthy foods to add to your Intermittent Fasting regimen and when to eat them also. With these foods and IF, you’ll see fat loss, improvements in lean muscle mass, and better digestion. And inflammation? No worries there! You’ll feel better with Intermittent Fasting.
Stick to foods like these:
- Healthy grains
- Good for you carbs (see my list of the best bread to buy)
- Super delicious fruits and vegetables
- Awesome day starters like overnight oats
- Full fat dairy (studies show full fat dairy is good for you)
- Proteins that fill you with nutrients, like lean beef, fish and poultry
What Is The Healthiest Way To Fast?
The healthiest way to fast is to take care of yourself first and make sure you feel good. Whether you are new to fasting or someone who has been enjoying the benefits of fasting for a while, there are things you should always remember. If you are getting ready to move your fasting window or just want to maintain this healthy eating regimen, keep these points in mind.
- Drink lots of water. Keeping hydrated is important. You may want to try drinking apple cider vinegar like I do. Or try infused water for a tasty way to meet your water requirements.
- Plan your exercise at the right time. Make sure you have the nutrition you need to fuel your body before you exercise. When is the best time to workout? I’ll tell you in my post!
- Avoid sugary drinks and foods. This includes food with hidden sugars you may not even realize are there. Think processed foods, canned sauces, and unhealthy snacks.
- Check with your doctor if you have health concerns. If you are pregnant, feed yourself and your baby and get back to fasting after the baby is born, or plan on a short fasting window. If you are underweight, eat healthy to maintain or even build more muscle and weight. Diabetics also need to speak with doctors or dietitians before trying IF. Factors like insulin resistance can play a part.
IF Is Simple And So Is Moving Your Fasting Window
Intermittent Fasting really can simplify a whole lot of things. It takes away the obsession with when to eat and if you follow an easy meal prep plan (see over 30 ideas here), even takes away the hassle of figuring out what to eat each day.
Add in a workout that you like so that you can sustain it and that’s about it, your metabolism gets a boost and you are on your way to the best you! I can give you help with my 30 Day Healthy Program if you’d like, that’s what I am here for😄.Take advantage!
And now you know that if you need to move your fasting window, it’s a totally doable thing. Keep up the great work!