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5 Tricks to Make Intermittent Fasting Work Faster

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 11/04/2023

Today, I will be discussing intermittent fasting tips you can follow to achieve results faster in your weight loss journey. 

RELATED: Fast Weight Loss

In this article:

  1. Intermittent Fasting with Keto Diet Is Great for Weight Loss

  2. What Is Intermittent Fasting?

  3. Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

  4. Top 5 Fasting Tips to Make Intermittent Fasting Work Faster

  5. Making the Most of Fasting: A Review

Intermittent Fasting Tips for Quicker Results


Intermittent Fasting with Keto Diet Is Great for Weight Loss 

Midsection of mid adult Asian woman adjusting balance weight scale | 5 Tricks to Make Intermittent Fasting Work Faster

Along with the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting is an excellent way to promote weight loss, get healthy, and avoid common health issues. Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating. When you do this technique, you don't snack, graze, or eat several smaller meals spaced throughout the day. Instead, you only eat at designated meals during the day, during a shortened eating window. You can even skip breakfast if you choose to. It is a powerful technique that can have powerful results.

If you are looking to try it, then there are several things you can do to make your experience easier, healthier, and more beneficial for your body. These fasting tips and tricks will help make intermittent fasting work even faster, so you can enjoy the wonderful effects of fasting even sooner.

My top five fasting tips involve:

  1. Boosting your potassium intake

  2. Not overeating at meals

  3. Building up your fasting time gradually

  4. Getting plenty of extra sleep

  5. Doing high-intensity interval training workouts

Doing these fasting tips will support you in getting better results when it comes to weight loss, avoiding common health issues, and helping your body stay as healthy as possible while fasting. But first, let's do a quick review on what intermittent fasting is and why it can be so beneficial for the body.


What Is Intermittent Fasting?

As I mentioned earlier, intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating. While the foods we choose to eat are very important to health, when we choose to eat is also important. This is a part of healthy eating that is often overlooked.

With intermittent fasting, you alternate between periods of eating and periods of fasting – meaning no eating during that time. Compared to what you are probably used to, when you do this kind of fasting diet, you eat less frequently in a period of time, and you only eat at designated meals. Skipping breakfast is a common scenario when following this weight loss plan. That is opposed to snacking, eating several smaller meals throughout the day, or grazing frequently.

This pattern of eating can take several forms. It can look different depending on how adapted your body has become to this technique and what stage you are at.

Here are some different fasting schedules, from beginner to more experienced:

  • Eating three meals a day, with zero snacking in between

  • Eating two meals a day, one at 10:00 am and one at 6:00 pm (8-hour eating window, 16 hours of fasting)

  • Eating two meals per day, one at 11:00 am and one at 5:00 pm (6-hour eating window, 18 hours of fasting)

  • Eating two meals per day, one at 12:00 pm and one at 4:00 pm (4-hour eating window, 20 hours of fasting)

Learn more about fasting in my Intermittent Fasting Quick Start Guide for Beginners.

This pattern of eating is one of the cornerstones of my Healthy Keto approach.


Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Smart businessman thinking about something in office | 5 Tricks to Make Intermittent Fasting Work Faster

So, why do intermittent fasting? Why limit when you eat?

One of the biggest reasons to do this is because fasting lowers Fat Storing Hormone in the body. Fat Storing Hormone is a hormone that is produced every time we eat. When we go longer between meals and eat less frequently, less Fat Storing Hormone is produced.

Modern diets are packed with high-carb foods and often involve constant eating. Both constant eating and carbs trigger a lot of Fat Storing Hormone production by the pancreas. When we trigger it too often, however, the pancreas gets overloaded, and this leads to something called Fat Storing Hormone resistance.

Fat Storing Hormone resistance is related to:

  • Belly fat

  • Weight problems

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Cravings

  • Lack of focus

  • Memory problems

  • Fatigue

Both the keto diet and intermittent fasting work by helping lower Fat Storing Hormone levels in the body. As a result, this helps us avoid many of those common health issues listed above. When you limit carb intake with keto and then also incorporate periods of fasting during the day, you allow your body to calm down Fat Storing Hormone production and have lower levels overall.

This principle is one of the reasons why your body can benefit so much when you do intermittent fasting. There is a long list of ways intermittent fasting can help you become healthier overall. For one, lower Fat Storing Hormone levels mean greater weight loss (because this hormone blocks weight loss). Fasting regularly can help you lose weight (and lose fat, specifically).

Here are some of the other major intermittent fasting benefits:

  • Increases human growth hormone (HGH)

  • Promotes autophagy (a state in which cells are recycling damaged parts and getting rid of bad microbes)

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Reverses cognitive problems (like those associated with dementia)

  • Balances estrogen levels in women

In order to reap all the benefits of fasting, you need to do intermittent fasting right. There are many common pitfalls beginners make when starting this pattern of eating. Follow these top five fasting tips, so you can really see the benefits and soon.


Top 5 Fasting Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Work Faster

Here are my top fasting tips and recommendations for making this technique faster, easier, more productive, and even better for your body.

1. Get Plenty of Potassium

Smoothies | 5 Tricks to Make Intermittent Fasting Work Faster

Potassium is the most important mineral when it comes to fixing problems with Fat Storing Hormone in the body. As mentioned before, Fat Storing Hormone is a hormone behind many common weight, cardiovascular, and memory problems, to name a few. We do intermittent fasting to fix these kinds of issues by improving Fat Storing Hormone function in the body. To support that, potassium is key. 

Unfortunately, not many of us get enough potassium in our daily diets. You need 4,700 mg of potassium per day as a minimum. That is quite a lot. So unless you are already eating lots of large salads or enhancing your diet with potassium, you will probably have a hard time hitting the minimum daily potassium requirement.

How do you fix this issue? Try to include as many potassium-rich foods in your diet as possible. Luckily, there are many great food choices packed with potassium.

Green vegetables are always a good choice for sources of potassium and other important nutrients. Other great options include:

Add these to your smoothies or steam or sauté them.

  • Avocado 

Avocado is great on salads, smashed into guacamole, or used as a condiment for almost any dish.

  • Lima beans 

These are great high-potassium food, but watch out for their carb content – there are 26 grams of net carbs per cup.

  • Spinach 

Eaten in salads, mixed into smoothies, or cooked into omelets, spinach is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

  • Squash 

Unlike what many people think, squash is actually a great keto-friendly option. It has a great texture that can help mix things up on this diet.

  • Salmon 

Wild salmon is a special food with amazing health benefits. Try this Salmon Cabbage Bowl Recipe for a tasty treat.

  • Brussels sprouts 

I consider these to be one of the Top 9 Superfoods on the Planet. Roasted Brussels sprouts are the perfect side dish.

If you eat more of these foods and eat lots of greens, you'll be well on your way to getting the potassium you need to support your health.

Bottom line:

  • You need sufficient potassium intake to support healthy Fat Storing Hormone function.

  • Most of us don't get enough potassium in our daily diets.

  • Eat more foods high in potassium, such as those listed above.

2. Don't Overeat

Beginners of intermittent fasting often make a common mistake; they gorge themselves at mealtimes and eat too much. It's easy to understand why. If you know it will be a long time before your next meal, it is tempting to want to go into survival mode and stock up on calories in hopes of preventing hunger during your fasting period.

However, this kind of overeating is counterproductive and can get in the way of your results. Stuffing too many daily calories into your meals won't do you any good. You may actually be overeating because of taste and flavor, there is no flavor in nutrient-deficient food. First off, this is important to remember: it is okay to feel hunger. As long as you aren't severely hungry with other symptoms, then feelings of hunger can be a healthy sign you are in ketosis and burning fat.

To avoid the need to overeat, the key is to pack plenty of nutrient-dense foods into your meals. You want your meals to be very robust, dense, and full of all the nutrients your body needs. Choosing nutrient-dense calories will help you stay satiated when you are fasting. Watch my video, Getting Enough Calories on Intermittent Fasting, to learn more about this topic.

If you are down to a short eating window (say four to six hours), are eating nutrient-dense meals, and still find yourself hungry and often overeating, try this simple trick:

  • In between your two meals, eat a salad and greens.

  • These foods won't spike your Fat Storing Hormone too much, but they will help you pack in a few more calories during your eating window in a healthy way.

  • Make sure to eat that salad with plenty of time before your final meal so you have time to digest beforehand.

  • Drink plenty of water.

That is something I like to do if I feel like I need a little more food intake during my eating window. The most important thing here is to not overcompensate by overeating, especially when it comes to fat calories. You don't need to overeat fats.

In the short term, when you first start out and your body is transitioning, you may need a little more fat than usual. Once your body has become keto-adapted, it should be using its own fat as fuel. You will begin to use your body's fat stores to sustain yourself between meals, rather than needing outside fat consumption to tide you over. Again, nutrient-dense foods are the key here to tiding yourself over between meals.

Note: If you are experiencing a severe feeling of hunger and low blood sugar symptoms while fasting, then this is a red flag to pay attention to (watch me explain more about hunger and intermittent fasting in this video). If this is the case, you will likely have to back off and slow down the process a bit so your body can adapt properly. A gradual approach to fasting is important and is something that I cover in tip 3 below.

Bottom line:

  • It is tempting to overeat during meals when doing intermittent fasting.

  • It is okay - and healthy - to be hungry between meals.

  • Nutrient-dense calories and robust meals are key to avoiding the urge to overeat.

  • If you are having a hard time getting enough food into your eating window, try eating a green salad between your two meals.

  • Ultimately, avoid overeating.

RELATED: Acceptable Snacks Inside Your Eating Window with Intermittent Fasting

3. Do It Gradually

Young woman eating salad and holding a mixed salad | 5 Tricks to Make Intermittent Fasting Work Faster

It is very important to work up to longer periods of fasting. Many people make the mistake of going straight from their normal eating patterns to a strict 20-hour fast with only a 4-hour eating window. Your body will not respond to this well, and you will experience setbacks. It will be too hard on your body, as it won't have time to adjust. As a result, you will experience blood sugar issues, added stress on the body, more cortisol production, and then more Fat Storing Hormone production. If you try to force it, you will likely give up because it will quickly not work.

Instead, make sure you do this process gradually. Start with three meals a day without snacks in between. Stay at this stage until you are fully comfortable and your body feels ready to push to the next level. Next, do two meals per day. Slowly but surely, shift those two meals bit by bit until they are closer and closer together.

Before shifting, give your body time to adapt, and to become fully comfortable with that pattern before moving to the next. Eventually, you can reach a four-hour eating window but only when your body is ready for it.

Bottom line:

  • Going too far and too fast with fasting is hard on your body and won't be sustainable.

  • Make sure your body has time to adapt at each stage. Let yourself become fully comfortable with each stage before moving on to the next.

  • Increase your fasting time slowly, and do this at your own pace.

4. Get Extra Sleep

Have you ever noticed when you are stressed and tired, you are hungrier? When you are drained and have low energy, you want to eat more to make up for it? This is because our bodies need plenty of sleep to stay healthy and function properly.

When we don't get enough sleep, our bodies become very stressed. In fact, the stress hormone cortisol increases by 50% if you aren't sleeping enough. Cortisol will raise Fat Storing Hormone levels and knock you straight out of fat burning.

So when you are lacking sleep, you won't see great results when it comes to any healthy dietary or lifestyle changes you've been trying to make. That is why focusing on your sleep is so important.

Here are some important tips to consider:

  • Get extra sleep while you are getting used to intermittent fasting. Your body might need some extra energy while it adapts to the new demands.

  • I recommend 7-8 hours of sleep per day.

  • Add in some naps if you are unable to sleep 7-8 hours all at once at night.

  • Do things that make you feel calm and relaxed to help promote good sleep. Proper self-care is key.

  • Keep your stress levels as low as possible. Try taking long walks regularly, which are a great way to lower stress levels and help you sleep better at the same time.

Bottom line:

  • If you are low on sleep, you'll experience setbacks when it comes to intermittent fasting and weight loss.

  • Get extra sleep, at least 7-8 hours per day.

  • Nap, do stress-reducing activities like walking, and make sleep a priority to ensure you are getting plenty of rest.

5. Do High-Intensity Interval Training

Woman doing push up | 5 Tricks to Make Intermittent Fasting Work Faster

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of exercise that involves high-intensity full-body workouts in short intervals. It is the kind of exercise that raises your heart rate and gets you sweating fast. It also involves lots of rest time in between workouts.

This kind of exercise is a great compliment to intermittent fasting. It increases growth hormone, burns calories, promotes anti-aging benefits, encourages fat burning and weight loss, and more. HIIT is helpful for weight loss and fat loss because it helps you burn fat calories, specifically, helping you lose fat.

With this kind of exercise regimen, rest and recovery are key because this helps your body go into fat-burning mode rather than stress mode. When you don't allow enough time for recovery, you just add more stress to your body (which only triggers stress hormones and more fat).

Here are my top tips for using this kind of exercise alongside intermittent fasting:

  • Choose high-intensity, short-duration workouts.

  • Do these only a few times per week or even only once per week.

  • Make sure you build in lots of recovery time between workouts.

  • Do your workout either just before or just after your last meal of the day (or at least during your eating window). You won't want to work out on an empty stomach, such as early in the morning.

Bottom line:

  • HIIT  complements intermittent fasting.

  • This kind of exercise boosts the benefits of fasting such as weight loss and anti-aging.

  • Do these workouts a few times per week, with lots of rest in between.

  • Don’t work out while fasting and before you have eaten.


Making the Most of Fasting: A Review

Whether you are a beginner to intermittent fasting or you've been trying for a while without seeing the results you hoped, the fasting tips listed above can be crucial to your success. Whenever you start a new habit, it takes some time to hone your approach. These fasting tips will help you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls when it comes to fasting. They can help you see greater results and faster while trying this pattern of eating.

To review, here are my top 5 fasting tips for making intermittent fasting work even better and faster:

  1. Eat lots of potassium.

  2. Avoid overeating.

  3. Take it slow and gradually.

  4. Get extra sleep.

  5. Incorporate high-intensity, short duration exercise.

These fasting tips will help you make the most of it. They'll help you maximize the benefits of this new pattern of eating, supporting your body in becoming even healthier than ever. Apply these tricks now and see better results yourself! 

Have you tried intermittent fasting? Do you use any of the fasting tips above? What works best for you to see the greatest results? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.

Up Next:

If you've still got questions regarding the ketogenic diet and this important pattern of eating, check out my Q & A here.

Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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