How To Do Intermittent Fasting: Step
So you finally realized that breakfast is just a regular option, not healthiest, the best, a must meal in your life. Well, glad you did. The fasting trend started just a few years ago and it is proven to have many health benefits. This intermittent fasting step by step beginners guide will make fasting easier for you because it’s not really easy.
Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier
Here are 5 things that will make it easier for you to get started with intermittent fasting:
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!
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Does Intermittent Fasting Have Different Effects On Men And Women
The quick answer is: yes, Intermittent Fasting can affect men and women differently.
Anecdotally, we have many women in our online coaching program that swear by Intermittent Fasting, while others have had adverse effects.
Lets dig into the science and studies.
A recent PubMed summary concluded thatfasting can be prescribed as a safe medical intervention as well as a lifestyle regimen which can improve womens health in many folds .
Now, in that extract, many of the studies cited are focused on specifically calorie restriction , and they also say that future studies should address this gap by designing medically supervised fasting techniques to extract better evidence.
Digging into the PubMed Archives brought me to the following conclusions :
One small study resulted in the following: Glucose response to a meal was slightly impaired in women after 3 weeks of treatment, but insulin response was unchanged. Men had no change in glucose response and a significant reduction in insulin response.
Another small study studied the effects on their menstrual cycles after a 72 hour fast which is significantly longer than any fast recommended in this article: in spite of profound metabolic changes, a 72-hour fast during the follicular phase does not affect the menstrual cycle of normal cycling women..
Precision Nutrition a great resource recommends not attempting Intermittent Fasting as a woman if:
- youre pregnant
- you dont sleep well
- youre new to diet and exercise
When Did Intermittent Fasting Actually Start
Oh, roughly when humans started.
You dont have to be an anthropologist to realize that people have been fasting throughout history.
Think about it:
Only in the past several decades have we had things like grocery stores and refrigerators, which make food constantly available. Thats less than 1% of all human history.
For thousands of years before that, food was not so easy to get.
Obviously, if you were a hunter-gatherer, you wouldnt always eat three meals a day . Sometimes you would find food, and sometimes you wouldnt.
People have been doing intermittent fasting throughout history. Its a normal human activity, and your body knows how to handle it.
Pretty Easy From The Start
From the very beginning, I found IF / TRE reasonably easy to do, probably because I made a point of eating plenty of high-fat and high-protein foods during my eating windows. .
I also didnt hold back. When I eat, I eat a lot!
Id been doing keto for a while beforehand, so my body was pretty fat-adapted . That probably made things easier as well.
I dont follow the same schedule every day. Instead, I use an app to track what time I start eating and stop eating each day, so I can easily see how long I fasted. Its kind of second nature now to keep track.
I started off with the Vora app, and more recently Ive been using the Zero app, which is pretty good.
Here are a couple screenshots from Zero:
Not everyone finds IF so easy at the beginning.
But I suspect most people that struggle are not eating enough high fat and high protein foods, so they get hungry more often. Or they may not be eating enough food in general.
So How Many Hours Should You Fast
When you explore the beginners guide to intermittent fasting, you may find these schedules very restrictive and difficult to follow. Its a good idea to start slow and fast for 12 hours and eat for 12, or fast for 14 hours and eat for 10.
For women, the 14:10 schedule is easier to follow. For men, this can vary as some men find alternate-day fasting easier to follow.
Working your way slowly will make it easier for you to adjust to a certain intermittent fasting type. You can eventually increase the fasting periods and decrease the eating windows.
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A Brief History Of Fasting: Its Not All About Weight Loss
Most of us eat breakfast without taking much consideration to the meaning behind the word itself. Breakfast is the first meal of the day: you break an overnight fast.
Technically, you could argue that, no matter what time you eat your first meal of the day, its breakfast! Language often illuminates historical context. Indeed, fasting has a rich history, and has been practiced across cultures for a multitude of reasons.
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Will Intermittent Fasting Slow Down My Metabolism
We are commonly told that eating little and often is the best method for weight loss. The logic goes something like, “consuming food increases metabolism so eating more food will increase my metabolism more”. Whilst true, it is also true that the metabolic increase is proportional to the number of calories consumed so whether you consume your food in large meals or lots or little ones, the metabolic effect will be the same.
The positive side effects of Intermittent Fasting are phenomenal for a lot of people, but as with all advice involving health you should contact your medical practitioner before starting.
Going Way Overboard At First
We get it. This is exciting! But starting on the wrong foot with intermittent fasting can set you up for disaster. If going from eating 3 normal-sized meals or 6 small meals per day to only a four-hour window, you might crash and burn.Instead of jumping into 16:8 without easing yourself into it first, gradually extend the times and start by trying 12-hour fasts, then 14-hour ones once you’re comfortable, you can extend this.
Should You Do Intermittent Fast Every Day
If you can follow a daily intermittent fasting schedule, your body gets used to the cycle, and you may not feel as hungry as you do when you start. Your body adapts to the change in eating patterns.
Lets face it we are used to eating several times a day. And if you gradually ease into intermittent fasting, you will find it gets easier.
However, suppose you feel that you simply cannot do this. In that case, you can try expanding your eating window to 12 or 14 hours and eating a lot of vegetables and fruits, which are filling and yet not very calorific.
Do you find this very restricting? Then opt for skipping meals occasionally. Whatever method you adopt, know that eating fewer calories and eating healthier will enable you to lose weight and improve your health.
Why You Shouldnt Do A Prolonged Fast
Doing intermittent fasting, not eating for a day, changing eating habits to low-carb, paleo, or any other diets, doing all this shouldnt be a risk for you.
Usually, the topics I tackle are here for your information and most of the time, they dont pose great risks for your health.
But dont do a prolonged fast unless youre healthy.
This means no condition you would take daily medication for, and if you have any doubt, read about it and talk to your doctor about it.
People who definetly shouldnt try fasting for extended periods are :
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- People suffering, or who suffered, from eating disorders
- If youre already underweight and having troubles gaining weight
If youre suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, at high risk of cardiovascular disease, suffering from metabolic syndrome, etc. you could get great benefits from fasting, of course, but that doesnt mean you should fast for several days.
There are other ways to ease or reverse your conditions before attempting longer fasts.
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What To Eat Or Drink When You First Start Intermittent Fasting
As I mentioned above, its best to eat plenty of high-fat and high-protein food when you first start IF / TRE.
Dont hold back eat until youre full.
Here are some combinations Ive tried that are really satisfying and delicious:
- steak, avocado, broccoli with cheese
- A huge salad with avocado & pecans
- salami, pepperoni, cashews, cheese, olives
- Eggs, bacon, avocado, and more
Those are just a few examples to help get your wheels turning. With a little creativity, Im sure you can come up with many more hearty meal options.
And if you eat meals like that, youll stay full for along time!
Will I Lose Weight
Most likely.64 If you have weight to lose, it is extremely likely that you will lose weight if you do not eat.
In theory, its possible to eat more after fasting, of course, cancelling out the weight lost. But studies generally show that most people tend to eat significantly less overall.65
I call intermittent fasting the ancient secret of weight loss because it might be one of the most powerful dietary interventions for weight loss, yet it has been mostly ignored by doctors and dietitians for a long time.66
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Should I Eat 6 Small Meals A Day
There are a few main reasons why diet books recommend six small meals:
1) When you eat a meal, your body does have to burn extra calories just to process that meal. So, the theory is that if you eat all day long with small meals, your body is constantly burning extra calories and your metabolism is firing at optimal capacity, right? Well, thats not true.
Whether you eat 2000 calories spread out throughout the day, or 2000 calories in a small window, your body will burn the same number of calories processing the food .
So, the whole keep your metabolism firing at optimum capacity by always eating sounds good in principle, but reality tells a different story.
2) When you eat smaller meals, you might be less likely to overeat during your regular meals. I can definitely see some truth here, especially for people who struggle with portion control or dont know how much food they should be eating.
However, once you educate yourself and take control of your eating, some might find that eating six times a day is very prohibitive and requires a lot of effort. I know I do.
Also, because youre eating six small meals, Id argue that you probably never feel full, and you might be MORE likely to eat extra calories during each snack.
Although grounded in seemingly logical principles, the six meals a day doesnt work for the reason you think it would , and generally only works for people who struggle with portion control .
Thats why we made this:
What Is Intermittent Fasting
One definition of fast is voluntary abstinence from food and drink or from certain kinds of food. Intermittent fasting is occasional abstinence from food or drink. Its a pattern of eating that oscillates between spells of eating and fasting.
These patterns typically vary theres no one way to follow intermittent fasting, and its more complex than not eating at all. Some styles of intermittent fasting include restricted calories or windows of eating.
There are three main categories of intermittent fasting:
- Alternate-day fasting
- Periodic fasting
- Time-restricted feeding
The first involves, unsurprisingly, alternate days of fasting, with calories restricted one day followed by a standard day of eating the next. Periodic fasting involves entire days of fasting, with the 5:2 diet being the most popular. Time-restricted feeding consists of eating windows, such as not eating before or after certain times.
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Preparing For The Fast
If you decide you want to do a prolonged fast today, I wouldnt advise you starting tomorrow or a week from now.
Id suggest you start in a month.
Im not saying a healthy human body cannot get through a week of fasting with no preparation whatsoever. Because Im pretty sure it can, or else human beings wouldnt have survived all this time.
But youre certainly not doing a prolonged fast because you hate yourself and want to punish you I gather?
In any case it wont be easy and it shouldnt, but it doesnt have to be awful.
Thats why there are many ways to make things easier. After doing several fasts and having friends telling me about their own experiences, here are my best tips to prepare yourself.
Youll see that preparation is not only important for your body. For me, thats only 30% of the work.
Most of the preparation will be in your head: preparing your mind, planning, and being confident.
Do You Still Eat 3 Meals When Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting can still average to 3 meals a day when you do it mindfully. My first meal of the day is a combo of what Id call breakfast and lunch. Ive been making a breakfast burrito for this meal lately, and its so good.
And in the afternoon, Ill have a large snack. If you follow me on , you already know its pretty much the same meal every single day because I love it so much!
But dont worry, I appreciate variety, too! Check out this post on My Fave High Protein Snacks For Weight Loss.
And last but not least, Ill have a small dinner. Most likely another wrap because theyre so easy to put together and filling, too!
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What To Do If You Feel Unwell Or Uncontrollably Hungry
During the first few fast days, you can expect to have episodes of overwhelming hunger. It is also normal to feel a little weaker or slower than usual.
However, youll be surprised at how quickly the hunger fades, especially if you try to keep busy with work or other errands.
Additionally, most people find that the fast days become easier after the first few fasts.
If you are not used to fasting, it may be a good idea to keep a small snack handy during your first few fasts, just in case you feel faint or ill.
But if you repeatedly find yourself feeling ill or faint during fast days, have something to eat and talk with your doctor about whether you should continue.
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone, and some people are unable to tolerate it.
It is normal to be hungry or feel a little weaker during the first few fasts. If you repeatedly feel faint or ill, you should probably stop the diet.
Intermittent Fasting: A Simple Guide
Like most women that I know, weight and body image is often on my mind, and has been for years. I lost weight in college doing a low carb diet. I tried again after the birth of our second son and it was simply impossible. My husband lost weight but I was cranky, shaky, and miserable. I could not enjoy our two sons because of how horrible I felt. I lost 20 pounds after our third son was born with the PiYo diet and exercise, which worked well for me simply because I have to have specific guidelines and portion sizes. What has worked for so many people is intermittent fasting. It encourages me to get to bed to get the sleep I need and avoid late night snacking, and also to think about meals and eating rather than just eating because its mealtime.
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