What is intermittent fasting 101?
I get that you are a beginner and it can be frustrating and often overwhelmed with all the information readily available on the internet, books, and magazines, or your friends recommend that you try intermittent fasting because IF helps them tremendously.
But you are still thinking is fasting for me? Can I do it and reap all the benefits? How to do a beginner’s fasting?
And you may be worried, about how your body reacts while doing IF. Can you stand the hunger? How about your energy? Will it affect your work and focus?
If you are looking for the answer to the questions above and you are interested in trying intermittent fasting, then I would like to invite you to continue reading until the end.
Having experienced and tried numerous types of diets, I can reassure you that intermittent fasting (IF) can help both men and women for overall health and well-being as I have tried and coached hundreds of clients with promising results.
Are you excited to learn Intermittent Fasting 101? Let’s delve in.
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What Is Intermittent Fasting 101?
Intermittent fasting 101 is time-restricted eating cycled with longer periods of voluntarily not consuming foods. Intermittent fasting (IF) focuses on when you eat, not what you eat.
The human body is so amazing that it can endure surviving without food for days. Since ancient times, hunter-gatherers had to hunt and scavenge food and in those times it was not easy to get food not like in modern days.
Fasting is also a common ritual or for sacred reasons, that is done in Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism.
Intermittent Fasting Schedule
Some of the terms that I may be using can be overwhelming to you. But I promise you that I will help to simplify them to help you choose the best intermittent fasting schedule or method that will help you ease into intermittent fasting weight loss for women and for general health and well-being.
I will touch on the most popular beginner intermittent fasting schedule:
This is a basic intermittent fasting suitable for beginner fasting. If you haven’t fasted before and are worried about feeling hunger and diminished energy, I would endorse you to try crescendo fasting.
Fasting 101 is simply a manipulation of time. Simply put, how long do you need to go between periods of eating and fasting to gain the health you desire?
With the crescendo method of fasting, you can start easing into fasting. Instead of jumping to fasting 16, 18, 20 to 24 hours of fasting, possibly feeling hungry, dizzy, and angry with crescendo fasting you can start from a 10-hour fasting period and gradually increase the intensity when your body is adjusted with intermittent fasting.
While doing crescendo fasting, you can start fasting on non-consecutive days for example fasting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in a week. Or you can try once a week. Whatever makes you feel comfortable.
16:8 Intermittent Fasting Guide
This is a 16-hour of intermittent fasting with an eight-hour eating window. This fasting to lose weight schedule also known as the Leangains Protocol involves skipping your breakfast and limiting your eating window to 8 hours a day.
For example, you can only eat from 1-9 pm or 9-5 pm. The remaining hours you have to fast. You can try this intermittent fasting calculator to get a general idea of when to eat and fast.
Once you are comfortable with fasting for long hours, you can try eat-stop-eat to boost up your body for ketosis.
Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose. This metabolic state has many potential benefits, including potential weight loss, increased energy, and treating chronic illness.
If you intend to lose weight, sometimes your body can hit an intermittent fasting plateau. From my experience and the clients that I help to coach, doing this intermittent fasting method helps.
Eat-Stop-Eat involves fasting for 24 hours. You can choose to do it once or twice a week. For example, not eating dinner one day until the next day dinner.
The 5:2 Diet
This 5:2 diet method is eating five days a week and fasting the remaining two days. With this method, you consume only 500 – 600 calories on two nonconsecutive days of the week but eat normally the other 5 days.
Getting Started With Fasting
If you ever heard or read about why women shouldn’t do intermittent fasting, you are not alone. Due to extreme calorie restriction while doing intermittent fasting, some women report having missed their menstrual cycle which may interfere with fertility and can cause hormone imbalance.
Hence, it is important for women to ease into intermittent fasting. I highly recommend before you try other intermittent fasting schedules, to start with crescendo fasting.
Before beginning fasting, one of the most important steps to intermittent fasting is deciding when you’re ready to fast. Some signs that you are ready to start intermittent fasting 101:
- You don’t feel overwhelmed by stress
- You have enough energy to get through the day.
- You feel rested (or at least somewhat rested) when you wake up in the morning.
- Exercise makes you feel tired but energized, instead of completely drained.
- You are able to feel relaxed, rather than completely wound up all the time
The best way to ease it depends on what your eating habits look like now. If you are used to eating five or six small meals or three large meals with several snacks in between, it might be a challenge and will take longer to transition to a regular fasting schedule.
Starting intermittent fasting, forget to follow a specific fasting protocol, instead, make small changes that will make your final transition easier. For example, if you eat a lot of snacks, make it your first goal to stick to meals only. Next, once you have nailed that goal, move on to skipping breakfast.
When that becomes easier, you can try eating your dinner early one to two hours before. Making small goals, and hitting them, will help your body adjust to an intermittent fasting schedule
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
A lot of medical experts and studies have been done on intermittent fasting with positive results. Research has shown as little as fasting 12 hours a day can significantly help people lose weight or regain their health.
However, if you can take it further to fast for more than 16 – 18 hours regularly, then your body could get the health benefits multiple significantly.
Studies show that intermittent fasting can be a powerful weight loss tool as it can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake due to a shorter eating window period.
What happens during fasting, your insulin hormone becomes lower, and growth hormone levels increase causing to release of the fat-burning hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline). These hormone changes can increase your metabolic rate by 3.6% – 14%.
Intermittent fasting causes weight loss by helping you to eat less and burn more calories. However, if you binge and eat massive amounts during your eating periods even though you are doing IF, you may not lose any weight at all.
Brain & Heart Health
Intermittent fasting can help to reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s due to the brain hormone BDNF increases and may aid the growth of new cells. IF may reduce bad “LDL” cholesterol blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar, and insulin resistance eventually reducing risks for heart diseases.
Inflammation & Chronic Diseases
Some studies show that practicing intermittent fasting can reduce inflammatory markers, a key driver to many chronic diseases.
Circadian rhythm is the internal clock in our brain that works 24 hours which helps to tell us when to eat, sleep, and wake. Some studies showed that doing intermittent fasting could improve circadian rhythm.
Glucose, lipids, and energy metabolism are all regulated by the circadian system, which increases and decreases at certain times of the day. These findings suggest that eating more calories at breakfast and fewer calories at dinner may help regulate circadian rhythm.
Lean Body Mass Retention
Burning fat doesn’t occur until a prolonged fasting period (about the third day of fasting). The occasional full-day or alternate-day fasting may help people maintain lean body mass more than long-term fasts or calorie-restricted diets.
FAQs On Intermittent Fasting 101
How Should A Beginner Start Intermittent Fasting?
A beginner should start intermittent fasting slowly and ease into it naturally. I would highly recommend doing crescendo fasting, starting from 10 hours of fasting and escalating your fasting period once your body is adjusted to fasting. Once your body is comfortable, you can try the 14:10 schedule.
How Many Pounds Can You Lose With Intermittent Fasting?
You can lose 6-8 pounds per month with intermittent fasting if you consistently stay active while following a fasting diet. With intermittent fasting, you restrict and shorten the time you eat and this can help you to be in calorie-deficit.
Can Intermittent Fasting Be Overnight?
Yes, intermittent fasting can be overnight. Fasting in the evening and overnight then eating in early in the morning is easier to do to lose weight based on research. Skipping your dinner or get an early dinner helps in fasting diet and good for circadian rhythm.
How To Begin Intermittent Fasting?
You can begin intermittent fasting with these 8 tips:
- Start slow
- Find the reasons why you are doing intermittent fasting
- Eat breakfast late or skip breakfast
- Drink a lot of water
- Keep busy
- Dont compare yourself to others
- Drink tea
How To Start Fasting Diet?
To start fasting diet, try to skip your breakfast and having your first meal in the afternoon then eat your last meal before 8 p.m. You can ease into intermittent fasting with cutting back on food and drink gradually for several days or even weeks before your fast. Otherwise, abruptly beginning a fast may cause a shock to your body.
Recommended Resources On Intermittent Fasting 101
I hope this intermittent fasting 101 guide helps you to get all the answers you need as beginner guide to intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting trend is not a temporarily fix but rather a lifestyle that can be incorporate in everyday life. With IF, it is important to not only restrict your time eating period but also taking care what you eat.
Many experts agreed that eating a well-balanced nutritious meal with intermittent fasting doing wonders to our general health and well-being. If you find this article is beneficial to you, please share with your family and friends.