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How To Intermittent Fasting For Beginners

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Can I Lose Weight From Intermittent Fasting

Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting | Jason Fung

I do not practice intermittent fasting to lose weight, but to maintain a healthy weight. As Ive aged, Ive found that my caloric demand has decreased and that when I do eat it is best to consume nutrient-dense food like bone broth, healthy fats, vegetables, and high-quality meat. People who are overweight often find that intermittent fasting, along with a low-carb high-fat diet helps with weight loss.

But What If I Get Hangry

Hunger is normal during a fast, especially when you first start fasting. However, if you keep a set fasting schedule daily, youll probably find that you begin to not even feel hungry until near the end of your typical fasting window. You might also begin to relate to your hunger differently, recognizing true hunger from cravings.

But dont worry even on fasting days you get to eat some calories! Clinical trials of intermittent fasting typically involve having people eat up to 500 calories on fasting days of 24 hours. There are still scientifically validated benefits of having regular 500-calorie fasting days.

If you ever feel very hungry, hangry, irritable or light-headed during a fast, try the following:

  • Drink some water with added electrolytes! SmartWater or water with lemon and a dash of pink salt are some great choices. You may also need to supplement potassium and magnesium while fasting.
  • Just end your fast early, especially if you feel dizzy or weak. Theres always another day to fast! This is a lifestyle, so its best to be kind to yourself and make it sustainable for you.
  • What Is An Intermittent Fasting Diet

    In general, intermittent fasting refers to any eating schedule that alternates periods of going without food with meals. There are many different types of plans, including those that restrict calories for only certain hours of each day or certain days of the week. The main difference between IF and traditional calorie-restriction diets is that IF doesnt limit portions or foods, only when you eat them.

    The review, which included more than 25 studies that looked at intermittent fasting in humans, found that IF consistently resulted in people consuming fewer total calories between 10 and 30 percent fewer than they had been eating at the onset of the studies which led to weight loss.

    The review also included safety considerations and practical advice for how these diets should be implemented in everyday life.

    Also Check: Drinking Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting

    Is Intermittent Fasting Keto

    This way of eating can align with keto, and some research shows that it can help you achieve better fasting results .

    Rather than thinking of these approaches as intermittent fasting vs keto, they can work together to ensure you dont feel hungry since youll enjoy healthy and satisfying fats during your eating widow.

    My Typical Intermittent Fasting Day

    The Ultimate Intermittent Fasting Guide For Beginners ...

    Ill explain more with an example of my typical day which has me fasting at 11:00pm, or on days when I need more calories 12:00am, which is approximately the time I go to sleep.

    Ive actually been working to cut that back to an earlier bed time for added REM sleep benefits which Ive touched on in my previous article. Now back to a typical fasted day, which upon waking between 7am-9am still has me in a fasted state as I hadnt been consuming food during sleep time.

    Now you may be thinking duh, you dont eat in your sleep!.. However there have been times when I wake up in the middle of the night and consume easily digestible proteins, such as cottage cheese, which digests very easily while sleeping and offers up many benefits in terms of protein synthesis.

    For the purposes of this article, we need not get into this particular regimen, so lets get back to the typical day!

    I continue in the morning fasting by either consuming only water, or if I do have morning coffee, it will be black if I want to be 100% sure I remain in a fasted state.

    Before moving on, I would like to address the fact that this is a HOT topic in the intermittent fasting/time restricted eating and biohacking community. The debate is whether or not having something such as MCT oil in coffee would bring one out of a fasted state, and it goes beyond that to whether or not even black coffee would kick someone out of their fasted state.

    Recommended Reading: Does Pickle Juice Break Autophagy

    Intermittent Fasting Rules: Methods

    Because intermittent fasting is a broad and flexible term, a variety of methods exist. However, this is not necessarily a disadvantage.

    Because of these possibilities, you can and should adapt your eating habits to your individual everyday life. Only in this way can you achieve long-term success with intermittent fasting.

    Nevertheless, different methods have individual advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, lets find out which intermittent fasting plan suits your everyday life.

    16/8 Intermittent Fasting

    The 16/8-method is also known as the peak fasting or lean gains method, as it allows you to gain muscle while losing body fat.

    In this method, you eat between 12 and 8 pm. For this reason, your digestive tract can rest for the remaining 16 hours. After you sleep 8 of the 16 fasting hours, 16/8 intermittent fasting is easier than you might think.

    • Fasting window: 16 hours

    Crescendo Method

    The Crescendo Method is a softer form of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting.

    Instead of fasting every day, you fast on several days throughout the week, for example, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

    It is especially suitable for starting intermittent fasting. You can try out how your body and its hormonal balance react to the change. If you feel comfortable, you can then move on to the 16/8 Intermittent Fasting plan.

    • Fasting window: 12-16 hours

    Alternate Day Fasting

    This method is just as simple as it sounds eat one day, fast one day.

    For this reason, I would not advise this method.

    One Meal A Day

    Whole Foods And The Brain

    The brain is a really hungry organ, and it uses 25% of the total energy you consume from your food. Everything it needs to function at its best isyou guessed ita whole, unprocessed food.

    In fact, the best diet recommended for brain health is the MIND Diet. In one study, it was shown that people who follow the MIND diet closely had a 53% reduced rate of developing Alzheimers.

    Some of the best whole foods for the brain are:

    • Oily fish
    • Whole grains

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    How Long Do You Have To Fast To Get These Benefits

    All the benefits Ive listed above start on day one. But it may take you a while to really notice the difference.

    For example, even though youll burn more fat from the beginning, it may take a few days before you actually notice a difference in your weight or appearance.

    And even though your blood sugar will start going down right away, if youve had diabetes for years it may take more than just a few days to get things under control.

    And dont forget, everyone is different. Depending on your current state of health, you may see the benefits of fasting more quickly, or more slowly.

    So be patient, and pay attention to your body. The benefits will come in time.

    What Are The Negative Effects Of Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent Fasting How To Guide For Complete Beginners

    In my own experimentation with Intermittent Fasting since 2014, I have found very few negative side effects with Intermittent Fasting.

    The biggest concern most people have is that Intermittent Fasting will lead to lower energy, focus, and the holy crap I am hungry feeling during the fasting period and ruin them.

    People are concerned that they will spend all morning being miserable because they havent consumed any food, and thus will be miserable at work and ineffective at whatever task it is they are working on.

    The following are my thoughts and experiences, and your results may vary:

    Yes, the initial transition from EATING ALL THE TIME, to intermittent fasting MIGHT be a bit of a jolt to your system it was for me.

    However, once I got through the transition after a few days, my body quickly adapted and learned to function just as well only eating a few times a day.

    Although I fast for 16 hours per day with no issues, the following might help assuage your fears that skipping breakfast will cause your body to eat itself and your brain to implode:

    After 48-hours of fasting in a recent study , cognitive performance, activity, sleep, and mood are not adversely affected in healthy humans by two days of calorie-deprivation. Youll be fasting for far less time than that.

    So why do I feel grouchy and lethargic when I skip breakfast?

    If you eat breakfast every morning, your body expects to wake up and eat food.

    Read Also: Is Fasting Necessary For A1c Test

    How To Maximize Your Intermittent Fasting Results

    Are you ready to try intermittent fasting? Whether youre doing it for weight loss or for the other benefits, you will probably want to maximize your results.

    Luckily, there are a few things you can do to get as much benefit as possible from your eating regime. Here, we take a look at some things you can try to speed your weight loss.

    What Is The Keto Diet

    The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, very low-carb way of eating.

    Carbs are typically reduced to 20 to 50 grams per day, which forces your body to rely on fats instead of glucose for its main energy source .

    In the metabolic process known as ketosis, your body breaks down fats to form substances called ketones that serve as an alternate fuel source .

    This diet is an effective way to shed pounds, but it has several other benefits as well.

    The keto diet has been used for nearly a century to treat epilepsy and also demonstrates promise for other neurological disorders (

    8 ).

    Whats more, it may reduce blood sugar, improve insulin resistance and lower heart disease risk factors like triglyceride levels .


    The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet linked to potential health benefits, such as weight loss and improved blood sugar control.

    If you commit to the ketogenic diet while doing intermittent fasting as well, it could offer the following benefits.

    Also Check: Is 119 High For Fasting Blood Sugar

    How Long And How Often Should I Fast For

    Great question! How long and how often you should fast for on a regular basis depends on your health goals and current health status. For example, if you are overweight or have a high BMI, you might be able to fast more often that someone who is already lean. However, you still need to ensure that your daily eating window gives you enough time to consume a healthy variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and plant oils, whole grains and protein.

    Its best to begin your intermittent fasting journey by progressively working up from overnight fasting . And yes, sleeping counts as fasting! If you are looking for significant weight loss, you might consider working up to 18-20 hours of daily fasting , alternate day fasting or a 5:2 schedule . Learn more about fasting for weight loss and other benefits here.

    Intermittent Fasting Side Effects

    Intermittent Fasting for Beginners eBook by Jason Brad ...

    It goes without saying that practicing intermittent fasting can also have side effects, and thats why you need to listen to your body and customize your eating habit according to it.

    The most annoying side effect is hunger: at the beginning, you may feel weak, and you may think your brain is not functioning well because of the lack of food. Its a normal reaction that our body has when we change our habits, but this will automatically disappear after a few days of doing it.

    Even if IF seems to be recommendable to anyone, you need to be aware of the potential problems it may cause if you have the following problems:

    • Have diabetes
    • Have problems with blood sugar regulation
    • Have low blood pressure
    • Have a history of eating disorders
    • Are pregnant

    So make sure you consult your doctor if you want to try Intermittent Fasting and have underlying conditions.

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    May Lead To More Fat Loss

    Combining the diet and the fast may help you burn more fat than the diet alone.

    Because intermittent fasting boosts metabolism by promoting thermogenesis, or heat production, your body may start utilizing stubborn fat stores .

    Several studies reveal that intermittent fasting can powerfully and safely drop excess body fat.

    In an eight-week study in 34 resistance-trained men, those who practiced the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting lost nearly 14% more body fat than those following a normal eating pattern .

    Similarly, a review of 28 studies noted that people who used intermittent fasting lost an average of 7.3 pounds more fat mass than those following very low-calorie diets .

    Plus, intermittent fasting may preserve muscle mass during weight loss and improve energy levels, which may be helpful for keto dieters looking to improve athletic performance and drop body fat .

    Additionally, studies underscore that intermittent fasting can reduce hunger and promote feelings of fullness, which may aid weight loss .


    Combining intermittent fasting with a keto diet may help you reach ketosis faster and drop more body fat than a keto diet alone.

    Combining the ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting is likely safe for most people.

    However, pregnant or breastfeeding women and those with a history of disordered eating should avoid intermittent fasting.

    Though some people may find merging the practices helpful, its important to note that it may not work for everyone.

    Choose The Proper Intermittent Fasting Schedule

    A fasting plan must meet two characteristics to work:

    • It simplifies everyday life
    • You can obey its rules

    According to my experience, two intermittent fasting methods have emerged that give beginners the best results.

    One is the classic 16/8 intermittent fasting, and the other is the the 6:1 diet or eat stop eat.


    Alternate Day Fasting and the 5:2 diet involve eating small meals during the fasting period. Therefore, they interrupt fat burning, autophagy and may nullify results.

    Without snacking, these intermittent fasting patterns are again too extreme to be successfully followed by beginners.

    In addition, people often use both methods to reward themselves with high-carbohydrate junk food on eating days, which destroys the chances of success.

    OMAD is also too hard an introduction to intermittent fasting for beginners. If you only want to eat once a day, you should master 16/8 beforehand.

    What makes 16/8 a guarantee for success is its simplicity. All you have to do is eliminate one meal and snacks. Most people have the best experience skipping breakfast.

    In the end, it is the most important meal of the day only for the food industry.

    Because the body increases adrenaline, glucagon, somatropin, and cortisol levels, we wake up. Therefore, the energy level remains high until noon.

    However, those who have exceptional work schedules can equally eliminate dinner or lunch and succeed.

    Recommended Reading: What Is 14 10 Intermittent Fasting

    Processed Foods That Are Okay On A Whole Food Diet

    Many brands of cereals are fortified with B vitamins, which can be hard to come by on a plant-based diet.

    For example, vitamin B12 , is largely found in animal sources. It is something that those on a plant-based diet need to keep an eye on, as studies show that around 20% of us are deficient. And we also know that 65% of vegans and vegetarians dont take a B vitamin supplement.

    So in that case, choosing a cereal fortified with B vitamins would be a good option, if done wisely. By that I mean use your discretion and check the labels, as many brands of cereals are packed with sugar and additives. But you can strategically choose minimally processed foods using a whole foods mentality.

    As a rule of thumb, if there are any ingredients that you cant pronounce, dont understand, or sound artificial, they probably are best avoided.

    Isnt Fasting The Same As Reducing Calories

    Beginners guide to intermittent fasting- start here!

    No, not necessarily. Fasting can reduce the time you spend eating and primarily addresses the question of when to eat.62 Calorie reduction addresses the question of what and how much to eat. They are separate issues and should not be confused with each other.

    Fasting may reduce calories but its benefits extend far beyond that.63Learn more

    Read Also: 119 Fasting Blood Sugar

    Typical Intermittent Fasting Results

    Dr. Becky, a chiropractor, and over-50 fitness consultant say its tough to find any downsides to IF in the medical literature. She explained that during the fasting period, your blood sugar and insulin levels will drop to low levels. Without insulins hormonal fat-storing signal, your body will rely upon stored fat for energy.

    You can also find an overview of womens health-related intermittent fast results published by the National Library of Medicine. Some highlights of this report include studies on the use of fasting as a tool to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and other metabolic diseases, and heart disease. Youll find intermittent fasting for women over 50 makes a lot of sense.

    If you want to lose 5 lbs in 5 days we suggest trying the Prolon fast. Use coupon code PRIME for $25 off.

    Why Is Intermittent Fasting Good

    Now lets address the question, why is intermittent fasting good for you? The answer is simple. When we fast our insulin levels go down and our fat burning goes up. This gives us the opportunity to go from burning glucose and glycogen stores, to burning fat, or ketone bodies, and fat stores.

    Fat is a much cleaner burning fuel than sugar, and complex carbohydrates, which quickly turn into sugar when digested. If youre looking for more information on using fat for fuel, check out my article The History of Low-Carb Keto Diets. And please note, the Keto Diet is not a fad diet, it is a medical therapy that was created over a century ago to treat pediatric epilepsy by adjusting brain metabolism through the elimination of dietary carbohydrates. For more information, youll want to read my article, Interview With A Top Keto Diet Expert.

    Also Check: Can You Drink Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting

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