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Intermittent Fasting For The Beginner – You Be The Boss

Intermittent fasting seems to be gaining traction as a means to lose weight and shift your body into a much healthy state, but does it actually work?

Intermittent fasting, for the beginner, can be a daunting prospect that could instil fear of “death by starvation!!” but fasting is nothing to be feared. The human body has evolved to be able to handle going without food for extended periods of time, it’s just that we live in a time when we don’t really need to.

Most of us in the Western world can access food in minutes just by picking up the phone, which is why many have begun to adapt to high-carb, high-fat lifestyles which has caused somewhat of an obesity epidemic. Intermittent fasting has been very successful in helping people regain control of their weight and get their lives back on track.

Please view my medical disclaimer before reading on.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?Time Clocks

Intermittent fasting is where you choose a time period that you do not eat any food and there are many variations to how you can go about this, depending on your lifestyle and schedule.

There are not really any restrictions on what you should or shouldn’t eat, it’s more about when you should eat. Choosing an eating “window” will help you to have more control of the calories you eat in a day and you should see some good results on the scales, which in turn will boost your overall health.

(For efficiency, I will now refer to intermittent fasting as “IF” from this point…)

How To Follow IF

Jump Off Bridge

There are no set rules to follow with IF other than your own. If you want to do 7 hrs eat, 17hr fast that is entirely up to you. Actually, there is just one rule… Stick to your OWN rules!! You will not benefit from bending your own rules, so that you can fit in some extra eating. Be controlled about what you do.

People have varying success with IF and a lot of it depends on what is going on in your life. If it is going to be hard for you do manage IF around your life, then you will likely fail at it. Think about your schedule and your goals and plan ahead.

Popular Types Of IF

  • The 16/8 Method: Eating for an 8 hr window IE 8am-4pm or 12:00pm-8pm and sticking to that routine daily.
  • The 5/2 Method: Eat normally for 5 days and have a calorie restriction of 500-600 calories on fast days. You can choose any day that you want to fast on.
  • 24 hr fast: Exactly as it sounds. Fasting for a full day.
  • 12/12: 12 hr eat, 12 hr fast. This is a good one to do overnight and can help if you are prone to eating at night. 7pm-7am, is quite manageable.

As I said above, there are no set rules and you can work it to how you want to, the end goal is to restrict you calories in order to help you to lose weight. If you have a set a time frame of when to eat and not, this gives you something to stick to and a short-term goal to accomplish.

If you get hungry and you still have an hr or 2 before your eating window is to begin, your more likely to stop yourself if you have set these rules in place for yourself. Be disciplined.

Hungry Dog

Will IF Make Me Healthier??

Losing excess weight is almost always going to be beneficial for your own health and there are many studies that have shown that IF can assist with this as well as the following.

  • Reduce blood sugar and insulin level
  • Increase insulin sensitivity
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Improved digestion
  • Enhanced brain function

All of these benefits can help reduce your risks against diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and various other cardiovascular diseases to extend your life expectancy.

People

It’s All About Taking Control

If you are unsure about IF, start off small and work up to bigger fasts to see how it feels and what works for you. A 12/12 fast would be a good one to start with. Try that for a couple of weeks and monitor your results. If you are feeling comfortable with that, then try for a longer period.

Much of my experience with fasting has been with extended fasting and I have only recently decided to try IF to see if the hype fits the bill, which you can read about here, but the benefits of IF have been well documented by medical professionals.

Only one person can make you change your ways and that is the person reading these words right now.

Please leave any questions or comments about your fasting experiences below or message me directly here.
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Stevie Fortune

 

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10 Replies to “Intermittent Fasting For The Beginner – You Be The Boss”

  1. Being disciplined and maintaining the discipline for a long time has been the main reason I ha e not been successful with my intermittent fasting. I just don’t seem to get it right or sometimes, my cravings get the better of me. But I think the major problem I have is the fact that I have never bothered to read about the benefits attached to it and also learning about the need to stay committed to it. Thanks for sharing this

    1. No problem, I’m glad you could get something from it.

      I understand about maintaining the discipline. Things have been different for me lately and I am doing very well with it.

      Please have more of a look around the site at some of the other information on fasting and the Keto diet, that I have written about.

      Thanks for the message and good luck with it!

      Stevie

  2. Hi Stevie

    great article on IF I have been fasting for a few years now (5/2) and still sometimes give into cravings some of it depends on the days leading up to your fast we all have busy lifestyles and not many of us have professional measuring tools to calculate how many calories we’ve burned how hydrated we are our nutrient levels etc and if we do happen to get a good full night sleep it may be because um… when anyone has one let me know, you can learn the difference in time between just being hungry and being weak and needing energy (or you’re mind playing hunger tricks on you),

    I’ve found coffee and teas can help with energy and hunger, preferred with no milk (def no sugar) but a splash of milk won’t hurt, and a little side effect of fasting is the bad breath from the detox process (Stevie does this effect disappear after a while?), generally a swish of mouth wash is great for that there’s no calories and it might take your mind off food for a while,

    also I’ve found if you start you’re fast at night after dinner and get through the 1st 24hrs it’s not that hard to extend until, breakfast the next day as you’ll mostly be sleeping, you will probably find you’re mind is very clear at that point and you may not feel tired reading can help you get to sleep I find its a good time to read fasting material and remind yourself of the many benefits of fasting,

    another obstacle I find with fasting is what I call wolf nose I think when I’m fasting I can smell a burger from 1000yards away I believe this is a primitive reaction and it would make sense from a survival point of view to have heightened senses if you are looking for food and I think many people will find all there senses a little more heightened I feel if I embrace it and realise what it is I can enjoy the moment and let it pass knowing I have a little more disipline till I’m ready to break the fast by my own choice,

    I also find breaking the fast with a ganola bowl is a nice way to start eating again or some cheese and crackers it may be obvious but you can feel sick if you over eat straight after, I hope this info is helpful for someone, thanks for reading my post can’t wait to see what you put up next Stevie 👍🏽

    1. Thanks Darren, so true about what you say about “wolf nose” and heightened sense of smell when fasting.
      When it kicks in, a trip down to the shops is certainly an experience!

      For my calorie counting I use the MyFitnessPal app. It’s a great app to use, and I recommend it if you find that you are not losing weight and feel as though you are doing the right things.
      Quite often there may be some things in your diet that are more calories then you think or you are overeating.

      When you begin to record your food, it will help with knowing how much you can actually eat. I think its pretty essential, particularly at the beginning of a new diet.

      I’ll admit, it can get a bit tedious recording every bit of food you eat but after you get into a routine and have a better understanding of your foods and how much you can eat, it won’t be as necessary to count calories, because you gain that knowledge from recording it on the app.

      In regards to the bad breath from ketosis, it can be different for every body, some people get it worse than others. Some not at all. It can depend on a few things like, diet, hydration and metabolism.
      Sugarfree mouthwash is fine, drink plenty of water too. Eating too much protein can cause the body to create ammonia which can affect your breath too.

      You mentioned about cravings too. The Keto diet has helped me with that quite a lot, due to always being in ketosis. Be sure to check out my articles on the Keto diet, when you can.

      Hopefully, I’ve answered your questions. Thanks for the comment

      Stevie

  3. Hi, I love the acronym Did I Eat That? for Diet. I hadn’t heard of that before. I have been following IF for a few years now, and find it’s not too difficult. It’s more about getting your head around the idea of getting used to the not eating part and push through times when you feel a hunger pang. It’s true that they actually pass. Getting a drink helps to push through this part. I only do shorter fasts, mostly 16/8. I swear by IF for health benefits. I once read we are either eating or fasting, there is no inbetween. This is so true. Thanks for creating a well written explanation of IF and spreading the word. 

    1. Haha, thanks. I hadn’t heard that before either. I stumbled on that pic when I was searching. Made me giggle.

      It’s great that you are doing so well with IF.  If you’ve read some of my other posts, I have focused a lot on extended fasting, because I have more experience with it. I’m actually having a bit more of a dip at IF at the moment. 

      It’s very much a mind over matter thing really, and yes, drinking plenty of water or tea, will help with hunger pangs.

      Thanks for the comment and keep at it. I’m sure you must be feeling much better physically.

      Stevie

  4. I always see intermittent fasting as a really hard thing to try out mostly because I usually have cravings. I have trued it out a couple of times but my urge just doesn’t do me well. Having read your article, I know what steps to make and what to do to. I now know the benefits kr the fasting and what I think I will try the12/12 fasting for now and see how j go from there. Thanks for the help.

    1. That’s probably a good idea Henderson,

      I think that you will find benefit from 12/12. At least you can sleep through most of it, if you do overnight. 

      It will help you in dealing with self-control in not eating at night. If you can master that, then you can try for a bit longer, if you feel the need.

      It’s very easy to consume 500-600 calories (or more) at night between 8-12. If you can cut that out, you will cut your weekly intake by 3500-4200 calories per week. You will see results, if you can stick to it.

      Good luck!

      Stevie

  5. This article provides at good base for a deeper look at fasting as a whole. Intermittent Fasting, as mentioned in the article, has great benefits. I, personally, has come up with a unique time of 10 am to 6 pm of no or little carbs foods. I don’t really have a weight issue but like keeping a more trimmed size just out of preference. 

    One pit fall I would like to mention is that when one breaks the fast they should be mind full of the type and amount of food the eat. If one takes in too much it may defeat the purpose especially if the aim is to loose weight. I would advise to maintain the same amount of food before undertaking the program.

    I would also recommend seeking medical advise on the type if you know that you have particular medical conditions such as diabetes. 

    Intermittent fasting, and just fasting, is a great tool in your tool box of maintaining good health.

    1. Thanks Patrick, 

      I agree with you. You are right about breaking a fast. It’s better to eat something light as your first meal or snack to avoid upsetting your empty stomach. I will be going into detail on this in the near future.

      I like the idea of your 10am-6pm fast. This would be the 16/8 method. I am thinking about doing something like this soon. 

      I think that it would be one of the easier ones to manage as it’s not too long to go without food.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Stevie

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