How To Get Started With Fasting
You may not have realized yet, but very often, weve already come across Intermittent Fasting in our life. We may have the habit of skipping breakfast, or sometimes we skip lunch: both these two things are qualified as Intermittent Fasting patterns, no matter if done casually once in a while or always.
To give a structure to your fasting habit, you have to start with one of the methods above, which works best for you and your lifestyle and give it a go. Do not start hard. Take things slowly with the 16:8 method otherwise, you may end up wanting to quit after a few days.
Intermittent Fasting Risks And Drawbacks
Restricting your food intake to eight hours per day isn’t right for everyone. Pregnant or breastfeeding women and those who struggle with hypoglycemia , have a history of an eating disorder, are taking certain medications or have a chronic condition like heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease should consult with a doctor before starting 16:8 fasting or any type of fasting diet.
Also, some studies have shown that limiting food throughout the day can cause increased eating outside of the fasting window. For some people, this can lead to stalled weight loss or even weight gain in the long-term due to the increased number of calories consumed during a session of overeating.
Symptoms such as hunger, weakness, fatigue, dizziness and headaches have all been reported by those just starting out with intermittent fasting. While these symptoms resolve within a week or two for most people, some may have continued side effects, and should stop IF or consult with an expert to make sure their approach is healthy and sustainable.
Fasting For 2 Days A Week
People following the 5:2 diet eat standard amounts of healthful food for 5 days and reduce calorie intake on the other 2 days.
During the 2 fasting days, men generally consume 600 calories and women 500 calories.
Typically, people separate their fasting days in the week. For example, they may fast on a Monday and Thursday and eat normally on the other days. There should be at least 1 non-fasting day between fasting days.
There is limited research on the 5:2 diet, which is also known as the Fast diet. A involving 107 overweight or obese women found that restricting calories twice weekly and continuous calorie restriction both led to similar weight loss.
The study also found that this diet reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity among participants.
A small-scale study looked at the effects of this fasting style in 23 overweight women. Over the course of one menstrual cycle, the women lost 4.8 percent of their body weight and 8.0 percent of their total body fat. However, these measurements returned to normal for most of the women after 5 days of normal eating.
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/8 Intermittent Fasting Method: What Is It How To Start Fasting For 16 Hours A Day And Is It Good For Weight Loss
The 16/8 intermittent fasting method or also called the 16:8 diet is one of the most popular fasting styles today. People who practice this type of fasting claim that this is an easy and sustainable way to improve overall health and lose weight.
If youre a beginner with fasting and want to learn more about this eating pattern, you are at the right place.
In this article, you will find out what is 16/8 intermittent fasting, how to start fasting for 16 hours a day, benefits, and potential risks.
Also, if your goal is to lose weight by practicing this fasting method you can read how this eating pattern helps with weight loss and how much weight you can lose with a 16/8 diet.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. For more information, please see our disclosure.
Is Fasting Good For Weight Loss
Is fasting good for weight loss? Some people fast for religious reasons, weight loss goals, medical benefits or personal preference. If you want to lose weight through fasting or have concerns about health and nutrition, talk with a doctor or dietitian. However, making the decision to fast can be difficult because you will need to make changes to your lifestyle and food intake.
Recommended Reading: Losing Weight With 16 8 Intermittent Fasting
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe
Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis. But intermittent fasting isnt for everyone.
Williams stresses that before you try intermittent fasting , you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
- Children and teens under age 18.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
- Those with a history of eating disorders.
But, Williams says, people not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. It can be a lifestyle change, she says, and one with benefits.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.
Ive Never Fasted Before How Should I Start
If youve never water fasted before, we recommend that you start with overnight fasting. This form of fasting has added benefits of reinforcing healthy circadian rhythms if you start fasting a few hours before bedtime even your gut microbes and brain will love it! You can practice this fasting schedule most nights of the week, if youd like.
Even 12 hours of overnight fasting can require a few weeks of adjustment for many people. But it should get easier within a month! If you normally eat a snack or enjoy a drink late in the evening, try to move that up to at least 1-2 hours before you go to bed. Then try waking up and just drinking some hot tea or coffee with no cream or sugar.
If you can begin to fast for 10, 12 or even 14 hours overnight, youll be well on your way to an intermittent fasting lifestyle! You can work up from there. Let us know how it goes share your story with us on or !
Also Check: How Does Fasting For Weight Loss Work
What Can You Eat Or Drink While On Intermittent Fasting
Fasting works best if you follow a balanced, high-quality diet. You can achieve it by following a simple proportion. Half of your daily food intake should include non-starchy vegetables, a quarter of it lean protein, and the final bit should consist of whole grains or starchy vegetables. You can easily follow it if you visualize this proportion on your plate.
Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting: Next Steps
Intermittent fasting can potentially have some very positive benefits for somebody trying to lose weight or gain lean body mass.
Men and women will tend to have different results, just like each individual person will have different results. The ONLY way to find out is through a conversation with your doctor and self-experimentation.
There are multiple ways to do an Intermittent Fasting Plan:
- Fast and feast regularly: Fast for a certain number of hours, then consume all calories within a certain number of hours.
- Eat normally, then fast 1-2x a week: Consume your normal meals every day, then pick one or two days a week where you fast for 24 hours. Eat your last meal Sunday night, and then dont eat again until dinner the following day.
- Fast occasionally: probably the easiest method for the person who wants to do the least amount of work. Simply skip a meal whenever its convenient. On the road? Skip breakfast. Busy day at work? Skip lunch. Eat poorly all day Saturday? Make your first meal of the day dinner on Sunday.
After that, get started! Take photos, step on the scale, and track your progress for the next month.
See how your body responds.
See how your physique changes. See how your workouts change.
And then decide if its something you want to keep doing!
4 years later, I have no plans on going back to eating breakfast. Sorry General Mills and Dr. Kellogg!
If youre worried about all of this stuff, or arent sure when to eat and stop eating, try out our new app!
You Cant Count Calories Forever
Many diet plans require you to count calories at meals, which is another unsustainable diet method. Its impractical to look up the number of calories in everything you eat, weigh your proteins, and measure your vegetables. And if youre going to count calories, youll have to measure your food. Studies show most of us underestimate how much we eat, to the tune of 1,000 calories daily. As a newcomer, its best to keep things simple. Reduce your overall caloric intake by restricting your eating window instead of calorie counting. Start with a 12:12 intermittent fast. Eat all your meals and snacks between 8 am and 8 pm, and dont eat anything outside that window but water, coffee, or tea.
What Can I Drink While Fasting
You can drink anything that doesnt have calories! Ideally, also avoid beverages sweetened with artificial sweeteners, as these can impact your metabolism through your gut microbes. Some artificial sweeteners raise your insulin levels more than others , but theres a connection between many artificial sweeteners and negative gut microbe changes, insulin resistance and metabolic disease. While a recent meta-analysis suggests we need further research, it may be best to avoid sucralose, aspartame and saccharin in general.
While fasting, you can drink things like black coffee, unsweetened hot and cold teas, water with added electrolytes, carbonated water, water with lemon, etc. Learn more about what you can drink while fasting here.
If you are feeling like you need a little pick-me-up during a longer fast, you can enjoy some bone broth, some kombucha tea or other beverages with very small amounts of natural flavorings or healthy fats added. For example, you might enjoy some coffee with a little bit of butter or coconut oil added.
Also Check: How To Do Intermittent Fasting On Keto
Prepare For Your Body To Feel Different
Many people feel tired, get a headache, and generally feel out of sorts on days two and three of any fast. Thats normal. The negative side effects of fasting typically go away by the end of day three or four. If youre going shorter than two days, youll likely start to feel better just as the fast comes to a close. Once you turn the corner on day three, most people feel great after the negative symptoms have passed, and a sense of calm, well-being, and heightened concentration takes over. But if you feel like something is wrong during a fastmore than just feeling a bit tireddefinitely eat. You can always try again another time.
How Can I Suppress Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
- Eat high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables and high-protein foods, including meat, fish, tofu or nuts, during your eating window, Varady advised. Chewing high-fiber gummies can also help.
- Drink lots of water. People tend to think they’re hungry, when they are really just thirsty, she said.
- Go for black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or licorice herbal teas. These beverages may have appetite-suppressing effects, Varady noted.
- Watch less TV. I know this sounds strange, but while you are watching TV, you are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. This can make you feel hungry, when in actuality, you are not hungry at all, she said.
Remember, being “a little hungry” is the best thing that can happen to you, wrote Madelyn Fernstrom, health and nutrition editor at NBC News, calling it a “true mind-body connection” that helps you recognize fullness.
Also Check: How To Start The Fasting Diet
Goal Setting For Weight Loss
Your weight loss journey begins with setting reasonable, achievable goals. Understandably, you want to shed pounds as quickly as possible, but it may not be the healthiest choice. If you lose more than 2 pounds per week, it can lead to nutritional deficiencies, muscle loss, and other health problems. That said, you will lose weight at a quicker rate when you first reduce your food intake. This initial weight loss is mostly water. Your weight loss will tend to slow down after the first 1-3 weeks of your new lifestyle. Then, your average weight loss should settle at 1-2 pounds per week. You may not think thats enough, but 1-2 pounds per week equates to 50-100 pounds over one year. But how can you maintain a diet for an entire year? You cant, and you dont need to. When you consider your inspiration and understand your motivation, youll realize that its not a diet youre looking for, but a new way of living.
Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.
2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon
The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since its good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge, as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.
3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks
One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite like a drink that contains sugar and causes you to overeat.
4. Dont Gorge at Your First Meal
The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.
To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.
5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars
You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.
Recommended Reading: Intermitent Fasting To Lose Weight
How Does It Work
The key to intermittent fasting is that it changes when your body is in a fed state and a fasted state.
Your body acts differently depending on which state it is in.
Fed State – After you eat a big meal, your body is in the fed state for 3 to 5 hours while it digests and absorbs all the nutrients it can get from your food.
This means it won’t be turning to its fat stores for energy, especially if you’ve eaten lots of carbohydrates and starches that raise your insulin level.
It takes our bodies almost 12 hours to enter the fat-burning fasted state.
Fasted state – After your food is digested, your body goes into a post-absorptive state that lasts between 8 and 12 hours after eating. When food is absent, the body’s levels of blood glucose go down significantly. This lowers the amount of insulin that is available, which causes your body to burn through its fat reserves for fuel instead.
Working out in a fasting state is especially beneficial for your body. When you exercise at a time when your body can’t draw from its glucose stores, it is forced to adapt and use the other source of energy that’s available – your body fat.
What Are The Different Types Of Intermittent Fasting
Now that you know all the health benefits, youre probably starting to wonder what ways you can do Intermittent Fasting. There are many ways to do IF.
But here are some of the most common ones:
1. The 12-hour fast: The 12-hour fast is one of the easiest types of IF. All you have to do is eat ALL of your meals within a 12-hour timeframe. So, if you eat breakfast at 8:00AM? You would have your last meal at 8:00 PM. 2.The 16/8 Method: The 16/8 method is similar to a 12-hour fast. But, instead, you take all your meals within an 8-hour timeframe. This can easily be achieved by skipping breakfast. So, for example, if you eat your first meal at 12, you would eat your last meal at 8:00 PM.
3. Eat-Stop-Eat: Do one or two 24-hour fasts each week. For example, not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.4. Alternate-day fasting: Alternate-day fasting is where you have a fast day where you consume only 25 % of your normal caloric intake. On this day, you avoid sugars or starches and eat only protein, vegetables and healthy foods. You then have a feed day in which you can eat whatever you want.
5.The 5:2 Diet: On 5:2 diet you eat how you would normally do, but only consume around 500 600 calories on two days of the week.
Recommended Reading: What To Eat For Lunch When Intermittent Fasting
Additional Benefits Of Fasting
Along with the aforementioned benefits of a high chance of weight reduction, body fat reduction, and prevention of chronic disease, there are additional positives of fasting .
Many people directly link not eating and losing weight, but while not eating enough calories to sustain energy could be potentially dangerous, intermittent fasting for beginners is a great way to eat cautiously while maintaining a healthy relationship with food.