intermittent fasting for beginners guide

Interested in Intermittent Fasting (IF) but don’t know where to begin? Here is my Intermittent Fasting for Beginner’s Guide.

IF is one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends today. Studies have even shown that it has powerful effects on your body and brain that may help you live longer (wow, a diet that can make you lose weight and make you live longer…now we are talking).

For the past two years, I have been on off intermittent fasting. I have read many many articles, listened to hours of podcasts and YouTubes, and now I am sharing my tips to help you start your IF journey.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Before we begin, let’s first talk about what Intermittent fasting is. IF is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. Most people are already fasting while they sleep. In IF, you are essentially just extending the fasting period.

There are many different intermittent fasting methods. One of the most common is 16:8 fasting. In the 16:8 method, you are fasting for 16-hours with an 8-hour eating window. For example, you may fast until noon, eat from noon to 8 pm, and then fast from 8 pm till noon the next day. Most people in this method will essentially just be skipping breakfast.

During the fasting period, no food is allowed but you are able to drink water, coffee, tea, and other non-caloric beverages. Taking supplements is generally allowed while fasting, as long as there are no calories in them.

In the beginning, you might feel hungry during the fasting windows. Although you will find that with time, this feeling does subside. Many people report that IF helps them feel better and gives them more energy during fasting.

Intermittent Fasting for Beginner’s Guide

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Breakfast is usually the first meal of the day. It gets it’s name because it is breaking the fast that you has while you were sleeping. If you are anything like me, I would wake up and already be dreaming of poached eggs, avocado toast, and fresh fruit.

As first, not having breakfast might be a big change for you both mentally and physically. Your morning routine can be totally thrown off.

Therefore, start off slow and steady. Instead of eating a 7 am, try eating at 8 am for a few days and stopping at 8 pm. Then try eating at 9 am and stopping at 8 pm and so on until you have the right eating window.

It is better to take it slow and be successful then trying IF for 3 days and giving up.

The Methods

There are many different ways that you can do Intermittent Fasting. All of the methods are similar in that you are breaking up the day or week into fasting and eating windows. During the fasting you are eating very little or nothing at all.

Here are some of the most common Intermittent Fasting Methods:

  • The 16:8 Method: This method involves fasting for 16-hours and restricting your eating window to 8 hours. This method is also known as the Leangains protocol and was popularized by fitness expert Martin Berkhan.
  • Alternating Day Fasting: Here you will fast every other day. Eating every other day can be extreme and therefore this is not a great choice for beginners.
  • Warrior Diet: This method involves eating small amounts of raw fruits and veggies during the day and one huge meal at night.

To learn about more methods, Healthline has a great article which showcases the most popular methods in IF.

Continue Living Your Life

What I love most about IF is that it doesn’t prohibit you from your daily life. You can still go our to brunch on the weekends or dinner during the week. Just make sure that you plan ahead.

A diet should not stop you from enjoying food and the world around you! If anything, you should take joy in the foods and beverages that you can consume while in your eating window.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

You started IF, now you can eat whatever you want and not workout right? NO!

Even though you have decided to begin Intermittent Fasting it doesn’t mean that you should stop eating healthy foods and working out. It’s actually proven that if you eat healthier within your eating window you will see better and faster results.

Don’t let the hours that you eat change the types of food that are going into your body. You can still indulge but choose healthy choices like Chickpea Cookie Dough or Flourless Black Bean Brownies.

Additionally, you should still be continuing with a workout routine. If you are stuck on what to do, try my Body Burner 6-week Workout Plan. Keep in mind, that while fasting you will want to listen to your body. Decide whether a morning or night workout is best for you and if you begin to feel dizzy or light-headed, always take a break.

Stay Hydrated and Drink Water

During the fasting period you are allowed to drink any zero-calorie beverage. For example, you can drink:

  • Water
  • Black Coffee
  • Seltzer Water
  • Iced Tea
  • Tea or Coffee with Stevia

Remember: Fasting doesn’t mean to remove water. Water plays an important role in our everyday lives beyond just quenching your thirst. If anything, while you are fasting you should be drinking more water. There are many benefits to water, one of which is to curb appetite.

Consult a Doctor Before Starting

Intermittent Fasting is shown to help many people both mentally and physically. Although before starting any new diet plan, you should always consult your doctor to make sure that it is good for you and your health.