Beginner's Guide to Intermittent Fasting: Where to Start

Beginner's Guide to Intermittent Fasting: Where to Start

Are you looking for a simple and effective way to boost your health and lose weight? Intermittent fasting might be just what you need! This popular eating pattern has been shown to have numerous benefits, including improved insulin sensitivity, enhanced brain function, and faster fat burning. This is the plan I've done numerous times over the last 15yrs and it's always been a positive to my health. But where do you start if you're new to intermittent fasting? In this beginner's guide, we'll take a closer look at the basics of IF and offer practical tips for getting started on your own journey towards better health. So grab a cup of coffee (or tea!) and let's dive in!

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a type of diet that involves consuming food only during certain hours of the day or week. There are a number of different ways to do intermittent fasting, but the most common approach is to fast for 16 hours and eat only during an 8-hour window. This means that you would not eat anything from 8 pm until 12 noon the next day.

There are many benefits of intermittent fasting, including weight loss, improved mental clarity and decreased inflammation. Intermittent fasting has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which can help to control blood sugar levels.

If you're interested in trying intermittent fasting, it's important to talk to your doctor first to make sure it's safe for you. Once you start, be sure to listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel. If you experience any negative side effects, such as fatigue or headaches, stop immediately and talk to your doctor.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

There are many benefits of intermittent fasting, including weight loss, increased energy levels, and improved brain function.

Weight Loss: Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism and reducing your calorie intake. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help you lose 3-8% of your body weight in a matter of weeks.

Increased Energy Levels: Intermittent fasting can also help increase your energy levels. When you fast, your body is able to burn stored fat for energy, which can lead to increased energy levels.

Improved Brain Function: Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve brain function. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help improve memory and cognitive function.

Different Types of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term for various eating patterns that involve not eating for periods of time. There are several different types of intermittent fasting, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. The most popular types of intermittent fasting are the 16/8 method, the 5:2 diet, and alternate day fasting.

The 16/8 method involves fasting for 16 hours and eating only during an 8-hour window. This can be done every day or on certain days of the week. The 5:2 diet involves eating normally for five days out of the week and restricting calories to 500-600 on two days. Alternate day fasting involves alternating between days of fasting and days of eating normally.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to intermittent fasting, so it’s important to experiment to see what works best for you. Some people find that they can stick to a strict intermittent fasting schedule, while others prefer a more flexible approach. Ultimately, the best way to find out what works for you is to give it a try!

Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a dietary approach that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It has gained popularity in recent years as a way to lose weight, improve health, and increase longevity.

There are many different types of intermittent fasting, but the most common is 16:8, which involves fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours. Other popular variations include 5:2 (fasting for 2 days per week), Warrior Diet (eating one large meal per day), and Alternate Day Fasting (fasting every other day).

The pros of intermittent fasting include weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, decreased inflammation, increased brain function, and reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. The cons of intermittent fasting include hunger, decreased energy levels, and difficulty sticking to the diet long-term.

If you're thinking about starting intermittent fasting, it's important to consult with your doctor first to make sure it's right for you.

How to Start with Intermittent Fasting

If you're new to intermittent fasting, it can be tough to know where to start. There are a lot of different ways to approach this type of fasting, and it's important to find the method that works best for you. In this article, we'll give you a few tips on how to get started with intermittent fasting.

First, it's important to understand the basics of intermittent fasting. This type of fasting involves going without food for periods of time, usually anywhere from 12 hours to a full day. During this time, you're not allowed to eat anything except for water or other non-caloric beverages. After the fasting period is over, you can then eat normally again.

There are a few different ways to do intermittent fasting. The most popular method is the 16/8 method, which involves fasting for 16 hours and eating during an 8-hour window. For example, you might fast from 8pm until noon the next day. Another popular method is the 5:2 method, which involves eating normally five days per week and restricting your calories to 500-600 on two days.

Once you've decided which method you want to try, it's time to start planning your meals. If you're doing the 16/8 method, you'll need to make sure that your last meal of the day is finished at least 8 hours before you plan to start fasting again. For the 5:2 method, you'll need to plan two low-cal

Tips for Successful Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool that can help you lose weight, improve your health, and live a longer life. However, like any other weight loss strategy, there are some things you need to do to make sure it works for you. Here are some tips for successful intermittent fasting:

1. Choose the right plan. There are many different ways to do intermittent fasting, so it's important that you find a plan that fits your lifestyle and your goals. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to make sure it's safe for you before you start.

2. Don't go too long without eating. When you're intermittent fasting, you're still consuming calories, just not as frequently as you normally would. Make sure that you're eating enough food to fuel your body and keep your energy levels up.

3. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is important for overall health, but it's especially important when you're intermittent fasting. When you're not eating regularly, your body can become dehydrated more easily. Drink water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated.

4. Avoid unhealthy foods. Just because you're intermittent fasting doesn't mean you can eat whatever you want. Eating unhealthy foods will sabotage your weight loss efforts and negate the health benefits of intermittent fasting. Stick to healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains during your eating window.

5 . Don't overdo it. Intermittent fasting can be a great tool for achieving your health and weight loss goals, but it can backfire if you try to do too much. Pay attention to your body and give yourself time to adjust.


When it comes to trying intermittent fasting for the first time, there are a few different approaches you can take. You can start by fasting for 12 hours at a time, gradually increasing the length of your fasts as you become more comfortable with the practice. Or, you can start with shorter fasts of 16 or 20 hours and work your way up from there.

Whichever approach you choose, it's important to have a plan in place so that you don't end up feeling hungry and frustrated. That's why we've put together this collection of recipes specifically designed for those on an intermittent fasting diet.


- Avocado toast with egg: Start your day with this protein-rich breakfast that will keep you full until lunchtime.

- Overnight oats: This make-ahead breakfast is perfect for busy mornings when you don't have time to cook. Simply mix together oats, milk, and your favorite toppings the night before and enjoy cold or heated up the next day.


- Chicken salad: This light but satisfying salad can be made ahead of time and packed for lunch on the go.

- Veggie wrap: A veggie wrap is a great option when you're looking for something quick and easy. Simply fill a whole wheat tortilla with your favorite vegetables and enjoy!


- Roasted salmon with quinoa and veggies: This healthy and flavorful meal is perfect for

Alternatives to Intermittent Fasting

If you're not sure that intermittent fasting is for you, or if you're looking for something different, there are plenty of other options available. Here are some popular alternatives to intermittent fasting:

The 5:2 Diet: Also known as the Fast Diet, this involves eating normally for 5 days of the week, and restricting your calorie intake to 500-600 calories on the other 2 days.

The 16/8 Method: This involves fasting for 16 hours each day, and eating all your meals within an 8-hour window. For example, you could stop eating at 8pm in the evening, and then fast until noon the next day.

Eat-Stop-Eat: This method involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice per week. For example, you could stop eating at 8pm on a Monday evening, and then eat again at 8pm on Tuesday night.

The Warrior Diet: This approach involves eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables during the day, and then consuming one large meal at night.

Final Thoughts

Intermittent fasting can be an incredibly effective tool for weight loss and improved overall health. We hope this beginner’s guide has given you a good starting point to begin your own intermittent fasting journey. With the right approach, it can be easy to stick with and eventually become part of your daily routine. Remember that everyone is different, so make sure to find a plan that works best for you and start building healthy habits today!

 Need to learn more about intermittent fasting? Check out these three books!

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