I bet most of you will agree:
Intermittent Fasting does sound amazing, it offers all great benefits and you would love to try it (in fact, you’ve probably even decided to join 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge). But it just feels too overwhelming with all the information available and oh boy, if only someone could guide you through exactly what you should do each day..!
I hear you. And in fact, this is the reason I am writing this post.
I want to share with you a simple 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Guide, which you can follow while starting off your Intermittent Fasting (IF) journey.
The 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Daily Plan will give you information on what to do every day and tips on how to fit Intermittent Fasting into the busy schedule.
So scroll down and let’s get started!
INTERMITTENT FASTING Guidelines
There are several types of Intermittent Fasting – we provide more detailed information on each of the method in our 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Guide pdf (download for free by signing up below).
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For the purpose of this Intermittent Fasting Guide and Daily Plan, we recommend the most popular and common 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Leangains method. By following it, you fast for 16 hours and restrict your eating to an 8-hour eating window.
16/8 Intermittent Fasting method is the one we recommend in our 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge as well.
- 8 hours of Eating: consume all your food within the 8-hour eating window
- 16 hours of Fasting: restrict from any food for 16 hours, i.e., you should not consume any calories within this period
- Staying consistent with your schedule: pick a fasting window that suits your personal schedule best and always stick to it. Being consistent has proven to produce better results, see our interview with IF expert and clinical researcher Megan J. Ramos.
16/8 Intermittent Fasting: How to set Intermittent Fasting Time Schedule?
To set Intermittent Fasting time schedule, pick the time when you are most likely to have least temptations or simply count minus 8 hours from the time you usually finish eating dinner.
Few potential scenarios:
- If you start eating at 8 am, start fasting at 4 pm
- If you start eating at 12 noon, start fasting at 8 pm
- If you start eating at 2 pm, stop eating and start fasting at 10 pm.
You should follow the same eating/fasting routine for the time of the entire 21-day challenge period, whenever possible.
How to track? Best Intermittent Fasting apps
The best advice is to set one time for Intermittent Fasting and stick to it. For example, stop eating at 8 pm and start 12 noon next day.
However, if you need extra support or simply want to make your life easier, there are a number of Intermittent Fasting Apps available on the market to help you out.
We have reviewed a number of apps and made our list of the top 6 Intermittent Fasting Apps:
You can find a comprehensive review of Intermittent Fasting apps here, to get more information on the pros and cons of each fasting app, costs, and other features.
Intermittent Fasting Guide: 21 day Daily Plan
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Day 1: MAKE A PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
What to eat during Intermittent Fasting?
For your first day make yourself a protein smoothie to break your fast or have later in the day to recharge your body after a workout.
A smoothie doesn’t require much effort to mix and is easy to take with you on the go if needed.
You can also make a meal out of your smoothie by adding more healthy fats like nuts, seeds and/or avocado, see our favorite recipes here.
Day 2: HIGH PROTEIN LUNCH
Make yourself a high protein lunch, such as a simple salad or steamed/grilled veggies with a protein of your choice (meat, poultry, fish, tofu).
Want some Intermittent Fasting meal ideas? What about this summer grapefruit salad with wild salmon.
When following 16/8 Intermittent Fasting method (a.k.a. Leangains), a high protein diet is recommended on all days.
Day 3: JOIN 21 DAY HERO FACEBOOK GROUP
Being part of a community helps you to succeed and feel more accountable.
There is something magical about being able to share your ups and downs with a group of like-minded people!
Join our 21 Day Hero Facebook group (link here, for closed members only), share your story, interact with others, post your meal ideas, ask questions and simply get inspired!
Day 4: GO FOR A WALK
Go for a walk just before you break your fast. Even a quick 20 min walk will do the trick!
Walking is a great way to improve your overall fitness, your mood and/or simply get some fresh air (read more about the benefits of walking here).
And, most importantly, going for a walk will switch your focus from hunger and help you pass those last hours of fasting easier!
Day 5: DRINK BLACK COFFEE WHEN HUNGRY
Coffee is full of antioxidants and many Intermittent Fasting followers swear coffee helps them to curb hunger when fasting (do not overdo it though!).
Keep in mind: Intermittent Fasting Coffee is black coffee. Meaning you should not add any sugar, milk or creamers to it.
So no cappuccino, latte or flat white – enjoy the real taste of black coffee! If you must have something sweet, add natural sweetener stevia, but be careful as it might instigate hunger.
Day 6: HAVE TWO BIG MEALS
For today, stick to 2 big meals and 1 snack during your 8 hour fasting period.
For example, have your 1st meal at 12 noon, get a snack at 4 pm and eat your 2nd big meal at 7.00 -7.30 pm, just before starting fasting at 8 pm.
For some people restricting their eating to 2-3 big meals and not snacking in between have proven to be an effective method to consume less calories and lose weight.
Day 7: MAKE A NICE DINNER
You’ve been following Intermittent Fasting for 7 days already, great job!
Make yourself a nice dinner or even better, invite some friends over for a celebratory dinner. Treat yourself with something healthy and delicious you like.
Some Intermittent Fasting meal ideas:
Day 8: REFLECT ON YOUR PROGRESS
It’s important to reflect on your results as time goes by. Take a full body photo, record your weight and compare them with your starting weight/photo.
In addition, answer below questions as a way to reflect on your progress:
- How do you feel? Have you noticed any changes in your energy, mood, skin?
- What has been the toughest moment so far? Has it gone any better?
- If not, how can you improve it?
E.g., maybe your eating/fasting schedule needs to be adjusted to better fit your lifestyle? What about sharing your struggles and/or tips with the Facebook community to see if anyone else is going through the same?
Don’t worry if the results are not that big yet. Don’t give up yet and simply keep going for the remaining 13 days!
Day 9: EXERCISE FASTED
If you haven’t started exercising yet, there could not be a better day to do that then TODAY!
When to workout while doing Intermittent Fasting?
Exercising fasted has shown to provide better results (read more about it) since your body is forced to pull energy from the fat stored in your cells instead of glucose and glycogen it would normally do.
Ideally, you should exercise in a fasted phase just before you eat your first (and biggest!) meal.
TIP: Block your workout sessions in your calendar in advance – this will help you to actually FIND TIME and not allow anyone else to “steal” your precious “improve me” time.
” Intermittent Fasting combined with regular exercise has made me the leanest I have ever been! “
Day 10: ADD GREENS TO PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
Get creative and add a handful of spinach, kale, swiss chard or other greens of choice to your protein smoothie. It’s a great way to get your daily dose of greens (and fiber!).
If you are new to green smoothies and are worried about its taste, add some banana, pineapple or other fruits. See more protein smoothie recipes here.
Day 11: EXTEND YOUR FAST BY 2 HOURS
Why not trying to fast for a bit longer and see how your body reacts to it? Extend that “fat burning period” by additional 2 hours.
Not sure you can do it? Schedule a meeting during these hours or make yourself busy with some work that would allow you to “forget” the hunger.
Say you normally break the fast at 12:00 (noon) – this means for today you should break your fast at 2 pm and consume all your food within the 6 hours (instead of 8 hours). Your last bite should be at 8 pm, like usual.
Day 12: TRY Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting
Do you still find it difficult to get through those fasted mornings?
Make yourself a bulletproof coffee by adding 1-2 tablespoon grass-fed butter and/or coconut or Brain Octane oil to your coffee.
Consuming pure fats doesn’t raise your insulin levels and hence do not break the fat burning phase of Intermittent Fasting (read more here).
However, bulletproof coffee is high in calories (1 tbsp of butter has ca 100 kcal) hence if your goal is to lose weight, make sure to control your daily calorie intake.
Day 13: SKIP SUGAR
Bring your healthy lifestyle to a new level and skip all added sugar from your diet for one day. Say no to any desserts or other usual sugar suspects AND also, carefully inspect the Nutritional Facts label of other foods you consume today.
You will be surprised how many foods might include added sugar or its substitutes (syrups, sucrose, honey etc.) – yogurt, bread, granola, protein bars, dried fruits, hummus, tinned baked beans, and even bacon!
Day 14: MAKE A NICE DINNER
Day 15: HIGH FIBER LUNCH
Fiber is magic and you should add as much of it as you can to your diet! It’s low in calories, helps you to feel full quicker, lowers your cholesterol and helps to regulate your blood sugar!
It is recommended to consume 25-30g of fiber every day.
Luckily, most fruits, veggies, wholegrain stuff has plenty of it. Check out a complete list of high fiber foods here.
Day 16: FULL BODY TRAINING
Break some sweat today! Join a group class or do your own routine in the gym or at home.
If you want inspiration, follow our simple high intensity 20 min Intermittent Fasting workout.
1 set consists of the following:
- 20x Jumping Jacks
- 10x Pushups
- 20x Alternate leg lunges (10x each side)
- 20x Situps
- 30s Rest
Repeat each set 4 times.
Day 17: EAT ONLY WHOLE FOODS
Cook all your meals yourself today by using whole foods only. By this, we mean all unprocessed and unrefined foods, such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables, fruits, lean meat or fish etc.
Basically, any food that is made without preservatives, flavorings or other manufactured ingredients.
Day 18: EXERCISE FASTED
As mentioned earlier, wherever possible do your workouts on an empty stomach.
Go for a run or hit the gym during your lunch break, if your schedule allows so.
Day 19: SKIP SUGAR
No sugar today!
Consume “real” foods without added sugar and say no to any sauces, sweet beverages, unhealthy snacks or processed foods. Enjoy the real taste of food today!
Day 20: REFLECT ON YOUR PROGRESS
Take a full body photo, weight yourself and reflect on how you feel and look.
Write down your Intermittent Fasting results and feelings, and compare them with your starting stage. How does it make you feel? Are you happy with what you see?
Day 21: EXTEND YOUR FAST BY 2 HOURS
You did it, CONGRATS! BUT… don’t break your fast just yet, extend you fast by 2 more hours. You CAN DO IT!
How does Intermittent Fasting make you feel (and look)? Do you like this feeling? If yes, don’t stop here and keep crushing your Intermittent Fasting routine even after the 3 weeks are over!
Learn More about Intermittent Fasting
Would you like to learn more about Intermittent Fasting?
Learn how does Intermittent Fasting work, what can you drink during Intermittent Fasting, what to eat while Intermittent Fasting and much more by joining our 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge.
By signing up you will receive a comprehensive Intermittent Fasting Guide, more motivational tips and regular e-mail encouragements for FREE!
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Your Intermittent fasting experience?
What do you enjoy the most about Intermittent Fasting? And if you haven’t tried out yet, what is it that excites you the most?
What would you change in this Intermittent Fasting daily plan?
Leave a comment below and let me know.
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