After reading this ultimate intermittent fasting guide, you will know all the fundamentals. Same fundamentals that helped Doly to get to 13% body fat.
Intermittent fasting (IF) has become one of the most popular ways in the world to improve health and lose weight.
Studies one after another show its positive effects on your body. Apparently, it could even help you live longer.
This comprehensive guide will help you to decide whether IF is right for YOU to lose weight.
Mostly, I will be talking about IF in terms of weight loss. Very little about health benefits.
Why? It‘s a bit grey area – do you get health benefits because of IF itself, or the fact that you lost weight? There are too many conflicting studies on that.
P.S. If you want to start losing fat in a way that’s going to last for life, then sign up for my FREE 14-DAY FAT LOSS FOR LIFE COURSE. See at the end of the article or on your right➡️
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Intermittent Fasting (IF). What The Heck Is It?
Simply put, intermittent fasting (IF) is the way for eating that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. It sounds very simple, right?
Unlike diets like keto or paleo, IF allows you to eat any food you like. However, there is a specific time window during which you can eat.
Simply speaking, intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.
In terms of weight loss, intermittent fasting is one of the simplest weight loss strategies out there. It asks for very little changes in your daily life.
You only need to eat at a certain time frame. That‘s the main rule.
As much as people like intermittent fasting, I want you to understand this:
Intermittent fasting is not better than any other diet in terms of weight loss. It works in the same way as any other diet – by creating a caloric deficit.
Intermittent Fasting is not a diet. It‘s an eating pattern which doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat by cycling periods of eating and fasting
The Power Of Weight Loss
Image Credit: Besthealthmag
Now we know that intermittent fasting is easy to follow. That‘s the main reason why people have such great weight loss success with it.
And let’s be honest here: most people try intermittent fasting because they want to lose weight.
Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight without dropping your calories down to 1000. By making you eat fewer meals IF will result (most likely) in an automatic reduction in calorie intake.
In fact, you might find yourself not being able to eat much on IF. The time frame is pretty narrow. You eat some protein, veggies, and… a couple of hours later you still feel full.
A created caloric deficit is a by-product of intermittent fasting. That‘s why millions of people love IF so much.
Additionally, intermittent fasting lowers insulin and increases catecholamines. Noradrenaline in particular. In short, catecholamines are fat-burning hormones that are elevated when insulin levels are low.
Along with that, studies show, that intermittent fasting results in visceral fat mass, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance reductions.
Intermittent fasting makes you eat fewer meals. That results in fewer calories consumed. IF is a very effective way to lose weight and visceral fat without counting calories
Top 2 Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Aside from being a powerful weight loss tool, intermittent fasting offers more benefits.
Intermittent fasting makes your schedule simpler
Image Credit: Besthealthmag
When you follow intermittent fasting, your day gets so much simpler.
Once you wake up, you don‘t have to worry about your breakfast. You get a shower and off you go to work.
Our society is used to eating at least four meals a day. With intermittent fasting, you‘ll find yourself eating 2-3 meals. It‘s that much filling.
All that said, you save up at least an hour every day you fast because you don‘t have to cook and clean up after that many meals.
Intermittent fasting is easier than most diets
Image Credit: Besthealthmag
In order to lose weight, you need to adhere to eating habits for a long period of time.
That‘s the main problem with most diets. They make you cut out some type of foods or even the whole food group (like carbohydrates).
I already wrote about that but do you know what happens when you do that? – You crave foods you said “NO“ to.
Intermittent fasting gives you freedom from cravings. You don‘t have to say “NO“ to the foods you like. When the time comes, you can enjoy what you love without feeling like you‘re on a diet.
Image Credit: Independent
To prove my point, here is the quote from Dr. Michael Eades on the difference between conventional diet and intermittent fasting.
Diets are easy in the contemplation, difficult in the execution. Intermittent fasting is just the opposite — it’s difficult in the contemplation but easy in the execution.
Most of us have contemplated going on a diet. When we find a diet that appeals to us, it seems as if it will be a breeze to do. But when we get into the nitty gritty of it, it becomes tough. For example, I stay on a low–carb diet almost all the time. But if I think about going on a low–fat diet, it looks easy. I think about bagels, whole wheat bread and jelly, mashed potatoes, corn, bananas by the dozen, etc. — all of which sound appealing. But were I to embark on such a low–fat diet I would soon tire of it and wish I could have meat and eggs. So a diet is easy in contemplation, but not so easy in the long–term execution.
Intermittent fasting is hard in the contemplation, of that there is no doubt. “You go without food for 24 hours?” people would ask, incredulously when we explained what we were doing. “I could never do that.” But once started, it’s a snap. No worries about what and where to eat for one or two out of the three meals per day. It’s a great liberation. Your food expenditures plummet. And you’re not particularly hungry. … Although it’s tough to overcome the idea of going without food, once you begin the regimen, nothing could be easier.”
— Dr. Michael Eades
Intermittent fasting is easier to adhere to than many other diets. It makes your day simpler too
5 Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
If you‘re interested in trying intermittent fasting, check these IF methods that you could begin with.
1. Weekly intermittent fasting
If you‘re a bit intimidated by an idea that you need to fast for that many hours, this method would be a great start to ease-in intermittent fasting.
With weekly intermittent fasting method, you don‘t eat for 24 hours. One example would be like the one below. Isn‘t that simple?
Image Credit: Jamesclear
Another benefit of this method is that it‘s very simple.
Say you had a birthday. You had a bit too much food. The next day, you could do a 24-hour fast.
One drawback of weekly IF would be that it‘s not effective for weight loss. You wouldn‘t be able to create a big calorie deficit over 24-hours and lose a substantial amount of weight.
2. Daily intermittent fasting
Daily intermittent fasting is one of the most popular IF methods. It‘s also known as the Leangains protocol.
Daily intermittent fasting follows the 16/8 method. You get a 16–hour fast with 8–hour eating period during which, you would eat 2-3 meals.
The graphic shows one of many ways to schedule your eating and fasting periods.
Image Credit: Jamesclear
When should you start your 8–hour eating period, you wondering? – It doesn‘t matter. Whenever you wish.
From my own experience, I would suggest having an eating period in the evening. That‘s the time when people tend to binge anyways.
On top of that, you usually socialize with friends or family in the evenings.
16/8 method comes naturally for me, to be honest. I simply skip breakfast and lunch. I start eating at 2 pm and finish at 10 pm.
3. Alternate day fasting
Alternate-day fasting means fasting every other day.
This method isn‘t for most beginners. A full fast every other day might shock someone who is new to intermittent fasting.
Let’s look at the graphic.
Image Credit: Jamesclear
Your last meal would be dinner on Monday night. The next meal would be on Tuesday evening. Come Wednesday, and you would eat with no restrictions. Then start fasting again on Wednesday evening.
With this method, you might see substantial weight loss. However, you might need to go to bed very hungry a couple of times a week. That might be difficult to adhere to in the long-term.
Honestly, I wouldn‘t suggest going with alternate-day fasting. You might be better off with daily fasting.
4. 5:2 method
Just like the name suggests, you eat normally for 5 days during the week. You only fast for two non-consecutive days.
For example, you could fast on Monday and Friday and eat normally for the rest of the week.
During fasting days, women should aim to eat around 500 calories over 1-2 meals. Men – 600 calories spread out over the same number of meals.
5. Spontaneous meal skipping
If you don‘t like following a plan, spontaneous meal skipping might be just for you.
With this method, you simply skip meals when convenient.
Let’s say you wake up and you feel perfectly fine. Not hungry whatsoever. Skip breakfast and enjoy lunch and dinner.
Or you have heaps of work to do. Just don‘t bother with lunch.
Do that 4-5 times a week and you‘ll create about 2500 calorie deficit. That might make you lose about 0.7 pounds a week. Without any real dieting!
Pick any method you like. Daily fasting method might result in the most lost weight
Need To Know Issues With IF
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The main issue that you will face when starting intermittent fasting is hunger.
Hunger comes and goes in waves. You need to plough through the increased hunger waves.
Get a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of water. The hunger will pass!
3 tips to fight the hunger
Image Credit: Livestrong
Tip #1: Try using 5-HTP fat burner
I wrote the whole article on 7 fat burners that actually work.
In short, 5-HTP is a natural compound found in milk, meat or green vegetables.
The main 5-HTP benefit is the feeling of fullness. That would help you to fight hunger. And don‘t stress out – it‘s calorie free so it‘s allowed to use it on fasting days.
Tip #2: Eat quality foods
High fiber and protein foods during your eating windows will give the highest satiety levels. Once you had these foods, you will fight the hunger easier on the fasting window.
Tip #3: Get the intermittent starter kit
LOVIDIA offers intermittent fasting starter kit. 3 of my clients tried it and they have nothing but good words for it.
Benefits of Lovidia starter kit:
- Controls hunger
- Feel full faster
- Reduces snacking
- Clinically proven
When you start intermittent fasting, you will feel hungry. Quality foods, 5-HTP supplement and Lovidia intermittent starter kit can help to fight it
Reasons Why You Shouldn‘t Do Interminttent Fasting
Image Credit: Medicalnewstoday
If you have any of these, you should consult with your doctor first:
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding
- High risk for health problems (if you’re over 65 or have an existing medical condition)
- History of eating disorders!
- Blood sugar control issues
- Low blood pressure
- Higher caloric need (being underweight)
- History of amenorrhea (women)
If you have none of these conditions, intermittent fasting is totally safe for you.
Image Credit: Motivation
Sometimes, when people start intermittent fasting, they might get dehydrated.
You wonder why? – Because when you don’t eat, you miss out on water that is in food that you‘re used to eating.
Along with that, people simply forget to drink water when not eating.
Even though intermittent fasting is great way to lose weight, it‘s not for everyone
Image Credit: Dietdoctor
Can women do intermittent fasting?
Some studies in rats have found that intermittent fasting can make female rats to miss cycles.
However, rats have different physiological mechanisms than humans. I wouldn‘t worry about that.
We need to wait for studies to be done with humans to draw conclusions.
Image Credit: Smartfertilitychoices
One thing I found with women on intermittent fasting is that they need a wider eating window.
Women that I worked with, got better results by fasting for 14 hours and eating for 10 hours.
What can I drink during fasting period?
Image Credit: Livestrong
You can drink anything that is calorie free. Sugar-free coffee, tea, water is just fine.
You might want to use caffeine supplement too. It gives you mental awareness and focus. You might lack these when starting intermittent fasting.
Can I exercise while fasting?
Image Credit: Humanwindow
Yes, absolutely. Just be ready for strength drop during the first few weeks.
You might feel tired more than usual too. Again, use caffeine for that matter. The main benefit of caffeine is offsetting fatigue.
Some “experts“ say taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) would help. However, it seems they missed recent studies.
One gram of BCAA yields 4.65 calories… Wouldn‘t be fasting, technically.
Will I lose muscle mass while fasting?
Image Credit: Womenfitnessmag
In order not to lose muscle mass, make sure to participate in resistance training.
Another crucial point is keeping protein intake high during fasting periods.
I noticed with my clients that it‘s hard to consume required amount of protein solely from food.
You only have 2-3 meals in your eating window. That would be a huge food volume in order to get all the protein you need.
That‘s why I highly recommend protein powder. At least when starting intermittent fasting.
Read this article on best protein powders or simply check these out:
- Optimum Nutrition – #1 protein powder on Amazon. 100% whey protein. Gluten-free. No sucralose.
- Elite Protein – plant-based protein. Vegan, organic. Dairy, gluten, soy, wheat-free. No added sugar. Non-GMO
- Promix – grass-fed whey protein. 100% natural.
Where can I learn more about IF?
Some would say the only way to learn about intermittent fasting is to try it yourself. How stupid is that?
You can‘t just dive in and hope for the best!
Do the research first. Read articles like this.
Even better, read books on intermittent fasting. No one has ever written an article that covers that much as a book does.
Here are my top 3 recommendations:
- The Complete Guide to Fasting – the book by Dr. Jason Fung. It’s #1 in intermittent fasting and #9 in diet books on Amazon.
Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle – the book by Gin Stephens. It’s #3 in weight loss diets and #4 in weight maintenance diets on Amazon.
- Intermittent Fasting for Beginners: The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide incl. 5:2 Diet, 16:8 Diet and 30 Days Diet Plan – the book by Sarah Amber Patterson. It’s #6 in diet therapy and #42 in weight loss recipes on Amazon.
How To Get Started
Fasting is a natural way of living. You have already done that in the past, right?
You might have had a long trip and didn‘t have anything in your mouth. Worked for 12 hours straight without stopping to eat.
Image Credit: Dietdoctor
People find the daily fasting method being the simplest method to adhere to.
Try starting with that. For the first week, simply skip breakfast.
Next week, skip lunch too.
And…that‘s pretty much it. By skipping two meals you did the most important part.
Now, just wait for the weight to vanish!
If daily fasting seems to be difficult to adhere to, try full 24-hour fast or spontaneous meal skipping.
Try what works for you. I know, I know…The cliche that is. But it‘s true, though. Always has been
Many of us have fasted without even noticing it by eating just before bed and skipping breakfast the next day. And nothing bad ever happened, right?
If you find yourself feeling good while fasting, great! You might just have put yourself in the best possible scenario to lose weight.
If you are tired, frustrated, sad, and have little to no hope to drop fat, hire me to coach you, maybe?