Set Realistic Expectations and Goals for Fasting
In order to install a successful mindset before you begin any dietary or lifestyle change, you need to set realistic expectations for yourself to ensure both motivation and adherence. If you enter into fasting with unrealistic or downright delusional expectations, and you end up not meeting them, then you'll be discouraged and likely quit straightaway.
Taken in the other direction, if you set too low expectations, then you'll never be motivated enough to start in the first place.
Your expectations may focus on different areas, depending on what you want from a dietary and lifestyle change. Here are some ideas to help jump-start your endeavors to figuring out your expectations:
Lose fat: If you want to lose some fat from fasting, determine what amount of fat loss is reasonable. You may choose, for instance, to start with a pound a week. Through diligent efforts, an overweight person could lose up to 4 to 5 pounds every 30 days, which isn't bad at all.
You can't go into fasting and think that everything is going to change overnight. It takes a while to put on excess body fat, and it takes a while to take it off. There are no quick and easy fixes to losing that fat, but there are proven and reliable processes.
Fasting is a proven process. Fasting can get you to your ideal body weight, and it can help you get there more quickly than almost any other dietary and lifestyle change. But you must understand that it's going to take some time.
Feel healthier: Feeling healthy is hard to describe, but you'll know it when you feel it. You'll notice a lighter bounce to your step and a more elastic spring in all your joints. The fog in your mind will begin to lift, and your overall concentration will sharpen.
If you have other ailments, such as digestive issues or chronic inflammation, you can expect those to dissipate as well, even within a week.
Be more energetic: People who fast report feeling more energetic, more alert, and less irritable. You'll also have more energy to do the activities that you love with friends and family.
Many times people don't know just how bad they feel until they start feeling better. It's hard to notice that you're in poor health when it's been so long since you've ever experienced good health. Let fasting guide you back to good health!
Are these goals realistic for you? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends entirely on the individual and the fasting practice, but in most cases you can reasonably expect to start feeling better on the whole in less than one month.
To establish your own expectations and goals with fasting, consider the following pointers:
When you start, take baby steps. When you start, go with the flow for the first two to three weeks without setting any expectations at all. Doing so allows you to gather some information and to see how your body responds to fasting.
After you feel more comfortable fasting, be realistic with long-term goals and expectations. For example, if in the first two weeks you lose three pounds, then you know that you shouldn't expect to lose more than five pounds a week. If you come out of the first two weeks very disappointed, and likely quit, you never really acknowledge that losing three pounds is still a great success.
Setting realistic goals and expectations is at best a crapshoot without prior data on how your body responds to something. So, hold off for two to three weeks on setting any long-term expectations until you have a general idea of how your body responds.