It seems like everywhere we turn, there is a new weight loss fad popping up. Enter intermittent fasting. Fasting is an ancient tradition used by almost every culture and religion and is thought to aid in weight loss, improve concentration and heal the body, as well as being included in spiritual practices. But is fasting really good for us? If you decide to try out intermittent fasting, there are few things you should know before jumping in.

Choose the right plan

Your fasting plan has to coordinate with your daily activities and schedule. If you are an early riser, consider breaking your fast in the morning. Late to go to bed? Maybe eating later in the day is right for you. Just keep in mind it’s important to make sure your main meal of the day is when your body needs it most.

Start slow

The “ideal” plan is 16/8 which means 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of food, but that can be a drastic change for your body when you are used to eating most waking hours of the day. Start off slowly and build up to that 16 hours. Try fasting for 12 hours (8:00 pm – 8:00 am) and when that gets comfortable, gradually add an hour either at the end of the day or in the morning to build up to that 16 hour fast.

Watch what you are eating

Intermittent fasting gives your body time to repair and clean out all that junk hanging around in there. This leads to better function for all your systems, but it’s important to replenish with healthy foods when it comes time to eat. Choose fibrous and nutrient dense foods like whole grains, lean proteins and leafy greens to fill you up when it’s time to chow down.

Listen to your body

Intermittent fasting helps fine tune your body and with that, can send better signals when you’ve had enough. You may find that you eat less than you did before naturally, without having to be so restrictive and regimented with your food.

Drink water

Hydration should be a top priority of any healthy lifestyle, but with this one, may be even more important. Because you are trying to clear your body at a cellular level, water helps flush all those toxins out. Even when you are fasting from food, water should always be close at hand. Sip between and during meals to avoid dehydration.

As always, check with your doctor before you start this or any other plan that helps aid in weight loss. The health of your body should be the number one priority.

Have you tried intermittent fasting and if so, what changes have you noticed?