Do’s and don’ts of making intermittent fasting easier during the holidays

Two women hold dish containing a small turkey.

The holidays are a time of merriment, traditions, extra time with friends and family, and—for a lot of us—a reason to let those pesky health goals slide. Exercise, healthy food prep, and intermittent fasting make way for parties, shopping, and packed schedules.

With so much going on, it might seem easier to put your intermittent fasting schedule on pause until the New Year. When in reality, continuing with intermittent fasting through the holidays can help you enjoy the season to its fullest because you’re not feeling the weight of an endless supply of holiday sweets slowing you down.

Why intermittent fasting during the holidays is a good idea

Intermittent fasting is all about when you eat, not what. Fasting for 12–16 hours a day puts a pause on the steady flow of treats from Halloween and New Year’s, helps you sleep better, keeps the energy flowing, and supports digestion. A little bit of planning means you don’t have to say no to every indulgence for the sake of your health, and that you can feel better through the holiday season.

Of course, intermittent fasting shouldn’t get in the way of your holiday plans. But it is possible to keep it going—and the many benefits it provides—by following a few intermittent fasting do’s and don’ts during the holiday season.

Do’s:

Adjust your fasting schedule if needed

A schedule that works smoothly from January to September might not work as well from October to December. With parties, concerts, and school functions often taking place in the evening, you may be better off starting your fast later in the evening in order to not disrupt your holiday plans. Take a look at your upcoming schedule and plan ahead to adjust your fasting schedule to something more feasible for the holidays if you need to.

Drink Unimate for breakfast

The real breakfast of champions is Unimate, especially if you plan to fast until lunchtime. One, with no added sugars, Unimate won’t take you out of your fasting state. Two, Unimate promotes satiety, so it’ll help stave off morning hunger until it’s time to eat again. And three, Unimate supports healthy cognitive processes, supports feelings of well-being and relaxation, and helps you maintain endurance and stamina. So not only are you getting help extending your fast, you’re starting your day on the right foot with the support you need to have a great day.

Take Balance before your two biggest meals

Balance is another product that makes intermittent fasting easier, especially during the holidays. Its fiber matrix is designed to help ease some of the impact excess dietary carbs and cholesterol can have on the body, which also helps to curb appetite and helps you maintain more stable energy levels throughout the day. Let’s be honest—we all could use some extra support in this area during the holiday season. Just be sure to drink Balance 10–15 minutes before your two biggest meals of the day to maximize the benefits.

Stay hydrated

It’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, particularly during your fasting window. Staying hydrated helps to flush out toxins and keep your metabolism functioning as it should. Thirst is easy to mistake for hunger, so drinking water regularly can help keep the hunger at bay. Also, remember that if you’re enjoying a holiday cocktail or hot mug of cocoa, these should be drunk during your eating window—and you’re still going to need to keep drinking water to stay properly hydrated.

Don’ts:

Adopt an “all or nothing” attitude

We’ve all done this. Maybe you say that since you’ve already eaten two cookies, you might as well go all out and eat two more. Or that since you skipped your workout yesterday, you can skip today’s workout because your week is already ruined. As tempting as it will be to ignore your fasting window because you’ve already “broken the rules,” don’t give in. As mentioned earlier, a small infraction from time to time won’t cause much harm, but the bigger gaffes add up over time and can cause us to break habits we’ve worked so hard to establish.

Overindulge in treats

One of the most appealing aspects of intermittent fasting is that there are no food restrictions. But try not to take this mantra too far. Yes, you can enjoy your favorite holiday treats, but make sure you’re still getting most of your calories from nutritious foods. Intermittent fasting isn’t going to do you as much good if all you’re eating is milk and cookies.

Go to an event hungry

The hungrier you are before a party starts, the more likely you are to overeat. Eat a nutritious snack before you arrive (preferably something high in protein) and stick to your regular fasting schedule while at the event. This should help you keep portions under control and avoid late-night snacking.

Expect perfection

The holiday season is stressful enough without unrealistic expectations. Keep in mind that the key to intermittent fasting is consistency, not perfection. If your intermittent fasting schedule is wrecked for a few days, don’t sweat it—you’re not going to lose all your progress and momentum. Just try again the next day. If you’re sticking to your fasting schedule most of the time, count that as a win. Intermittent fasting should help you, but it doesn’t have to take over your entire life to work.

Let intermittent fasting help you feel great through the holidays

Even with the hustle and bustle of the season, the holidays should be a joyful time. Believe it or not, intermittent fasting can help you enjoy the holidays to the fullest because you’ll feel better while you’re creating more holiday memories to treasure for years to come.

Check out these tips for more ideas on staying healthy during the holidays, and visit ufeelgreat.com to learn more about how Unicity’s Feel Great program helps make intermittent fasting easier, whether it’s the holiday season or not.