Intermittent fasting is all the rage these days, with celebs singing its praises—most notably the Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman. The diet, which consists of crushing all your food intake into a mere eight-hour window, is said to have loads of benefits, including better sleep and weight loss. But just because it’s effective doesn’t mean it’s easy.
“We’re not meant to eat around the clock, biologically,” says Lauren Slayton, MS, RD, and founder of NYC-based nutrition practice Foodtrainers. “It’s been proven that in your fasted state, you burn fat instead of calories. Because of factors like longer days and unbalanced nutrition, people often have a difficult time sticking to their fast, but we both know those late-night Oreos aren’t doing your bod any favors.
“If eating at scheduled times during the day is a habit that our body has inherently become used to, it’s going to be hard to remove food during those scheduled times,” explains Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, MS, RD, CLC. “In the midst of the transition of adopting intermittent fasting into your lifestyle, you may experience unpleasant side effects such as fatigue, lightheadedness, and low blood sugar, which makes it especially hard to adhere to—causing people to tap out.”
Don’t worry, though: With a little skillful planning and these nutritionist-approved tips below, you’ll be on your way to Wolverine status in no time.