For many years, people have counted their calories in order to focus more on portion control when it comes to weight loss and fat burning.
With intermittent fasting, you are shortening your eating window, but it is not actually a diet.
Should you combine them?
Here are some things to know about calories and intermittent fasting.
Naturally Reducing Your Calories
The reason people get confused about calories with intermittent fasting is because they think of fasting as a diet. Intermittent fasting might help you lose weight, but it is not a diet meant to control your food intake or give you restrictions on what you can or can’t eat.
It is only a way to change WHEN you eat and when you don’t. The rest is up to you.
However, you may notice you naturally eat less overall with fasting since your eating window is shorter than it used to be.
Equally important to how much you eat is what you eat.
Since you are not eating as often with intermittent fasting, you really want to make it count. You need to get as many nutrients in those meals as possible, enough for an entire day’s worth.
This means the quality of your food is going to be important.
Depending on your diet, this might look like lots of high protein, low carb foods, fruits and veggies, whole grains, or just a nice balance of different macronutrients.
Choose the Plainest Drinks
People who are fasting all say that water is the key to their success.
Water has no calories usually, but it can have some important trace minerals that your body needs to repair and reorder processes.
Tea is always a good choice as well. The average cup of tea only contains 2 calories.
Just be sure that you don’t add anything to it, and you’ll be likely to stay below the calories for your day.
More water is going to keep you hydrated during fasting periods, and plain drinks won’t increase your calories during your eating windows.
What are Your Goals?
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when it comes to calories is what your purpose for intermittent fasting is.
If you are trying to get the health benefits like less brain fog and more energy, then the amount you eat is probably not as important.
However, if you want to lose weight with intermittent fasting, that is when counting your calories is going to be crucial.
You want to be eating enough to sustain your normal energy levels and for overall health, but still stay within a caloric deficit in order to lose weight.