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How To Start Fasting For Beginners

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What Is Intermittent Fasting

How to Start Intermittent Fasting for Beginners

Intermittent fasting involves eating for a set period and fasting for the rest of the day .

During the fasting period, only water, mineral water, tea, and coffee are allowed. However, you must consume these drinks without additives and sweeteners .

There are various forms of intermittent fasting, but the most popular is fasting within 16 hours.

Nevertheless, it is also possible to fast for 12, 14, or 18 hours a day.

How To Do Intermittent Fasting For Beginners

All beginnings are hard. Thus, fasting is no exception. For this reason, here are the five most essential tips to help you get started with intermittent fasting.

A large number of different fasting methods can already seem overwhelming, so you should start by choosing a fasting plan that fits into your daily routine.

Is Intermittent Fasting A Fad

Intermittent fasting isn’t a new concept, in fact, people have been intermittent fasting for thousands of years, but it’s a topic that has been picking up a lot of popularity throughout the course of the last few years.

The benefits of fasting have been recorded and studied for decades, yet fasting has gained popularity so rapidly in recent years that many websites, authors and bloggers have jumped on the fasting bandwagon, so it appears to be a fad to the untrained eye.

The problem with it now being called a fad is that the medical profession is hesitant to prescribe it for their patients because they have a habit of dismissing fads on principal.

But studies have continued to show that intermittent fasting when done correctly, can have varying effects on your body, weight, your metabolic health and reduction of metabolic biomarkers associated with some chronic diseases.

Recommended Reading: How Is Intermittent Fasting Good For You

Before You Get Started

  • Talk to your doctor before you start. Especially if you have any medical condition or if youre on any medication. Stop if you feel sick.
  • Keep it simple. Fasting is defined as consuming only plain water , or black coffee, or unsweetened tea.
  • Keep it easy. Eat your usual meals during your eating window. In my personal experience, intermittent fasting works best when combined with a low carb-high fat diet of real, whole foods. But launching the perfect combination to get the best results is not your goal right nowits to finish a fast.
  • Time is mentioned for simplicity. You dont have to follow them. You may adjust the times according to your schedule.
  • Which days of the week? In my experience, fasting on weekdays are more convenient because theyre more structured and have less variables. But that may not be true for you. What youre looking for are those days where youre more likely to say, Whered the time go? I forgot to eat!
  • Slip ups are okay. First, forgive yourself. You may pick up where you left off or start from Day 1. Do whats easiest to get you back on track. Next
  • If you’re looking for a simple, doable way to practice fasting, I get it. It shouldn’t have to be hard. Get my FREE email course below that shows you the easier way.

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    A Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting

    What makes fasting extremely difficult in our culture is that everything revolves around food. We are a food-worshipping, food-obsessed culture, even in the church, and somehow were proud of it. As much as you live food, God is not your stomach. When youre inevitably invited to lunch or dinner with someone, or have unwanted food placed in front of you, simply use these words with a polite smile: No thanks, Im not hungry. By using that simple phrase, you excuse yourself from the social obligation to eat and also keep your fast a secret.

    Don’t Miss: Is Fasting For 5 Days Healthy

    How Does Intermittent Fasting Work

    Now, you might be thinking: okay, so by skipping a meal, I will eat less than I normally eat on average , and thus I will lose weight, right?


    In this example, youre eating LARGER lunches and dinners than you normally do, but by skipping breakfast youll consume 500 less calories per day.

    And thus, weight loss!

    This is highlighted in a recent JAMA study in which both calorie restricted dieters and intermittent fasters lost similar amounts of weight over a year period.

    That doesnt tell the FULL story, as the timing of meals can also influence how your body reacts.

    Intermittent Fasting can help because your body operates differently when feasting compared to when fasting:

    When you eat a meal, your body spends a few hours processing that food, burning what it can from what you just consumed.

    Because it has all of this readily-available, easy to burn energy , your body will choose to use that as energy rather than the fat you have stored.

    During the fasted state your body doesnt have a recently consumed meal to use as energy.

    Thus, it is more likely to pull from the fat stored in your body as its the only energy source readily available.

    Burning fat = win.

    The same goes for working out in a fasted state.

    Without a ready supply of glucose and glycogen to pull from , your body is forced to adapt and pull from a source of energy that it does have available: the fat stored in your cells.

    If you want, you can sign-up for a free trial right here:

    Is Intermittent Fasting Right For You

    Fasting, like eating a low carb-high fat diet, is another tool for weight loss and improving your health. But the effectiveness of these tools rely on whether you can do them consistently over the long run.

    Here are some pros and cons to help you decide:

    • Its simple and easier to stick to because you simply skip a meal when youre not hungry or too busy to eat.
    • You can fit it into your lifestyle, i.e. schedule around special occasions, Holidays.
    • However, theres the hunger . You need to develop the skill to ride the ebb and flow of hunger by being more mindful about why you eat. But because its a skill, you can learn it.

    What if you achieved the health benefits you want from intermittent fasting?

    How will that change you?

    “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

    – Martin Luther King Jr.

    If you’re looking for a simple, doable way to practice fasting, I get it. It shouldn’t have to be hard. Get my FREE email course below that shows you the easier way.

    Also Check: Which Intermittent Fasting Schedule Is Best For Weight Loss

    Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Constipation

    Im living with three autoimmune diseases Celiac Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Hashimotos Thyroiditis. Constipation is something Ive battled on and off during adulthood.

    Ive found that fasting greatly reduces my digestive distress and constipation, and improves my gut motility. If you are dealing with constipation from intermittent fasting or a Keto Diet, you may want to try electrolytes. You can also check out my post, How I Healed My Gut.

    Wont Intermittent Fasting Burn Muscle

    Fasting For Beginners Weight Loss / How To Start Fasting

    That depends on the person and the duration of the fast. During fasting, the body first breaks down glycogen into glucose for energy. After that, the body increases body fat breakdown to provide energy.

    Excess amino acids are also used for energy, but the body does not burn its own muscle for fuel unless it has to.49

    Some studies, however, suggest that leaner individuals are at higher risk of lean body mass loss, and even reduced metabolic rate. Yet it appears this is less of a concern with overweight subjects.50

    In my experience with over 1,000 patients on various intermittent fasting regimens, I have not yet seen a single case of significant muscle loss.51Learn more

    Don’t Miss: What Are The Benefits Of 16 8 Intermittent Fasting

    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.

    Fast From Something Else

    Dont just jump into not eating or drinking for a long period of time. Try fasting from technology or something that you spend a lot of your time doing. Media, reading non-religious books, watching secular movies, or a sports game are a few examples of what you can fast on.

    Try to figure out what you love to do all of the time instead of reading the Bible and pray. Also, if you ask the Lord what you should fast from, He will give you an answer.

    Read Also: What Can You Eat Intermittent Fasting

    Types Of Intermittent Fasting

    • 16:8. You eat all of your daily calories within an 8-hour window and fast the rest of the time.
    • 20:4. Just like 16:8 fasting, but you eat all your meals in a 4-hour window and fast for 20 hours each day.
    • One meal a day . You eat all of your daily calories in just one meal each day, and fast the rest of the day.
    • Alternate day fasting. You eat nothing every other day and eat normally on non-fasting days .

    The biggest takeaway here is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to intermittent fasting. Experiment with a few different routines to the perfect fit, pay attention to how you feel and dont be afraid to experiment with different schedules.

    You can also choose the hours for your eating window. If you love breakfast and dont want to give it up, you can just switch your fasting period. Eat a full meal around 8 a.m., and stop eating around 4 p.m. Youre still fasting for 16 hours daily .

    Play around with different types of fasting and see what works for you.

    Should I Try Intermittent Fasting

    how to start intermittent fasting

    Now that were through a lot of the science stuff, lets get into the reality of the situation: why should you consider Intermittent Fasting?

    #1) Because it can work for your goals. Although we know that not all calories are created equal, caloric restriction plays a central role in weight loss.

    When you fast, you are also making it easier to restrict your total caloric intake over the course of the week, which can lead to consistent weight loss and maintenance.

    #2) Because it simplifies your day. Rather than having to prepare, pack, eat, and time your meals every 2-3 hours, you simply skip a meal or two and only worry about eating food in your eating window.

    Its one less decision you have to make every day.

    It could allow you to enjoy bigger portioned meals and STILL eat fewer calories on average.

    #3) It requires less time . Rather than having to prepare or purchase three to six meals a day, you only need to prepare two meals.

    Instead of stopping what youre doing six times a day to eat, you simply only have to stop to eat twice. Rather than having to do the dishes six times, you only have to do them twice.

    Rather than having to purchase six meals a day, you only need to purchase two.

    #4) It promotes stronger insulin sensitivity and increased growth hormone secretion, two keys for weight loss and muscle gain. Intermittent fasting helps you create a double whammy for weight loss and building a solid physique.

    #6) Plus, Wolverine does it:

    #7) Boy George is a fasting fan :

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    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.

    What Is Calorie Restriction

    According to the National Institute of Aging, calorie restriction means reducing average daily calorie intake below what is typical or habitual, without malnutrition or deprivation of essential nutrients.5

    Some people prefer to eat a small amount of food during a fast which makes the practice more calorie restriction than intermittent fasting. Both practices give the body a chance to rest and heal by reducing stress in the gut. And both can provide great health benefits.

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    Why Intermittent Fasting Works: The Metabolic Cost Of Digestion

    But why does fasting work and do so many amazing things? First and foremost, fasting frees up the energy in the body that would typically be used for digesting food. Although it is not often recognized, digestion taxes our systems quite heavily on a physiologic level.

    Breaking food down has a metabolic cost as it diverts energy from processes like cellular destruction, regeneration, and repair. Fasting frees up biological resources for the aforementioned functions. This leads us to the second reason that makes fasting fantastic, and that is healing.

    The Blessings Of Fasting

    How To Start Intermittent Fasting – Beginners Guide, Watch This!

    I highly recommend determining a purpose for your fast. Be intentional about this, and do it beforehand. That way, your activity during your fast can be in alignment with the purpose. In other words, the more intention you have before the fast, the more fruitful your fast will be.

    Without intention, one can fall into the temptation of sitting around feeling bad for oneself. One might think, If I am fasting, I am supposed to feel bad. But no feeling bad is not the purpose of fasting thats just a side effect that happens as your body gets used to it. The main purpose of fasting involves the question: What I am desiring to be filled with?

    In my experience, fasting has led to some wonderful surprises. I am often surprised that, when fasting, I am filled with energy. Or at the very least, filled with enough energy to maintain my usual activities. In addition, I have been surprised by a feeling of serenity while fasting. I invite you to try fasting for yourself, and find surprises of your own.

    This article was based on Matthew Kozlowskis interview with Jacques Hadler in 2016.

    Also Check: How To Curb Hunger When Fasting

    Keto And Intermittent Fasting For Beginners

    For most beginners, getting started with intermittent fasting can help with fat loss, disease prevention and thereby increase longevity. And all that comes with minimal side effects.

    If youve ever eaten dinner, slept in, and not eaten until lunch the next day, then youve fasted using the 16/8 schedule before.

    You may even know people who are simply not hungry in the morning and instinctively do 16/8 intermittent fasting resulting in excellent fitness. After unlearning to be hungry in the morning, most beginners achieve the best results in intermittent fasting with 16/8.

    In addition, the method is flexible and saves time. Nonetheless, you need to keep in mind that intermittent fasting is just an eating pattern and not a complete solution to your diet.

    Hence, regardless of which intermittent fasting method you choose, you will get better results with a low-carb diet.

    Therefore, more and more people report that a ketogenic diet works wonders for intermittent fasting for a good reason.

    Because both fasting and the keto diet are based on reducing insulin, emptying carbohydrate stores, and burning fat through ketosis, they are ideal matches.

    since you dont have to spend hours burning your stored carbs first.

    Used correctly, intermittent fasting and ketogenic diets can have a massive impact on health and weight loss.

    Can I Exercise During Fasting

    Yes. You can continue all your usual activities, including exercise, while fasting.37 You do not need to eat before exercising to provide energy.38 Instead, your body can burn stored energy for fuel.

    However, for long-duration aerobic exercise, eating before exercise may increase performance.39 Its also important to drink fluids and replenish sodium around exercise when fasting. This is good to know if youre competing. Learn more

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    Variations Of Intermittent Fasting

    Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of fasting is that it is completely customizable. Whether youre doing time restricted eating or a once-per week fast, YOU get to choose how to fit fasting into your life. And, since we dont have data as to what the best fasting protocol is, the only thing that matters is how your fasting regimen uniquely benefits you and fits within your lifestyle.

    While we mentioned that keto and intermittent fasting are often practiced together, they dont have to be. For some people, thats another attractive benefit of IF. Instead of focusing on exactly what to eat, with IF, youre only worried about when you eat.

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