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How to Start Intermittent Fasting?

March 27, 2017 / Weight Loss
How to Start Intermittent Fasting?

I want to share my experiences with Intermittent fasting today.

Intermittent fasting can be a great approach for maintaining a caloric deficit, and because of this a lot of guys find it to be a very useful tool for fat loss.

However, when you first transition from a standard meal pattern to intermittent fasting, there’s an adaptation period.

I remember when I first started the 16/8 Intermittent Fasting approach the first few weeks were quite tough.

And here are some of the things I experienced for the first two weeks when I skipped breakfast:

– Stomach rumblings 1 hour after waking up.
– Hunger cravings start 2 hours after waking up and progressively getting worse until the first meal.
– Reduced mental focus
– Feeling very sluggish
– General moodiness

Most of these symptoms get worse if you’re in a caloric deficit.

The hunger wasn’t a big deal for me because of water and green tea (coffee helps). However, the mood and lack of focus were a big problem.

It can have a significant impact on creative work or how you interact with those closest to you. Sometimes it felt like I had a countdown timer in my mind, and it’s all about waiting for that meal.

Which form of intermittent fasting should you do?

There are a lot of other methods out there such as 20-hour fasting, 4-hour eating window, Alternate Day Fasting, one day a week fasting etc.

A lot of these can be great, and it’s important to find the one that works best for you.

Unfortunately, we currently don’t have a lot of research to help you pick which one is best, so it doesn’t require a period of trial and error.

Two ways to start with Intermittent Fasting (IF):

Method 1: Go Cold Turkey And Just Start

Usually takes about 2-3 weeks to adapt

Green tea, coffee, and lemon water help with a hunger for those first 4 hours. It also helps to avoid snacking throughout the day and stick to bigger meals.
Method 2: Progressively Shortening the Eating Window

Assuming you sleep from Midnight to 8 AM:

  • Week 1 & 2 you transition into a 12-12 IF. First meal is at 10 AM and last meal no later than 10 PM.
  • Then for Week 3 & 4 you go with the 14-10 approach. For this period the first meal is at 11 AM and last meal no later than 9 PM.
  • Lastly for week 5 & 6, you go with the 16-8 fasting. In this case, you fast for 3-4 hours after waking up. i.e. you have the first meal at noon and last meal before 8 PM.

 

You can also mix things up and on some days go for the 16-8 and on the other days go for the 12-12 approach. Being flexible is important. Think about what might be best for you.

If you’re very busy, stressed and already on a caloric deficit, it might be a better idea to go with Method 2.

However, if you think you can plow through those two weeks of hunger go with method 1. It’s going to be a nice challenge.

End of the day, these are just 2 of the many methods to fast effectively and lose weight. No one method is set in stone as correct.

Both methods lead to the same outcome. Pick the best options for you based on your dietary needs and lifestyle requirements.

This has been my experience with IF. Let me know your thoughts below on any fasting methods you have employed and how successful it has been?

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About the author:
Wilfred Paul is an Exercise Physiologist, PT & Weight Loss Consultant with a passion for helping people actualize their health & fitness goals. He is also a content writer for Forbes, Medical Daily & The Independent UK. 
Posted by
Wilfred Paul
Wilfred Paul is an exercise physiologist, pt & weight loss consultant with a passion for helping people actualize their health & fitness goals. he is also a content writer for forbes, medical daily & the independent uk.

3 Comments

  1. cbraungardt Author March 28, 2017 (6:52 am)

    I’ve participated in a walk-and-fast holiday with medical supervision and never felt more energetic than during that week, hiking in the Black Forest. We started with emptying our bowels be means similar to those employed before a colonoscopy. This, and physical activity meant I never felt hungry for a moment, nor thought​ about food. I tried to do the same during exam revision a couple of years later and it didn’t work so well. It is definitely better to work out while fasting.

    Reply to cbraungardt
  2. mikimaree Author May 11, 2017 (7:05 pm)

    Thank you for sharing your IF results. I’m glad to know that you had similar feelings as I have. I very recently started IF and I’ve been feeling the same sluggishness you describe. I’m glad o know it goes away after a while.

    Reply to mikimaree

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