I bet you will agree: Intermittent Fasting sounds amazing, offers great benefits and you’d love to try it. But… it all just feels too overwhelming and you are not sure how to start.
If only someone could guide you through exactly what you should do each day..! How about an Intermittent Fasting plan to learn all the basics and kick-start your Intermittent Fasting?
I hear you. And in fact, this is the reason I am writing this post.
I want to share with you information about Intermittent Fasting basics and a simple 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Plan which you can follow when starting your Intermittent Fasting journey.
In this blogpost, I will answer questions that are on every Intermittent Fasting beginners mind like:
- How to do Intermittent Fasting?
- How to Intermittent Fast if you are a complete beginner, and what are the most common Intermittent Fasting Schedules
- What to eat during Intermittent Fasting
- What to drink during Intermittent Fasting
Moreover, 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Plan will give you information on what to do every day and tips on how to fit Intermittent Fasting into your busy schedule.
So scroll down and let’s get started!
What is Intermittent Fasting
To start with, Intermittent Fasting is an action of fasting intermittently. It is eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and periods of fasting.
By doing Intermittent Fasting you restrict your eating time to a certain eating window and make your fasting period anywhere from 14 to 36 hours, or even longer in some extreme cases.
Intermittent fasting RUles
While in some Intermittent Fasting methods certain lighter foods are allowed, the most common types of Intermittent Fasting defines fasting as completely restricting from eating and drinking any caloric beverages.
*Scroll down to find out what to eat and drink during Intermittent Fasting.
How to do intermittent fasting
To successfully begin with Intermittent Fasting it is important to understand the various types of Intermittent Fasting. That’s how you will find the one that works the best for you and fits your unique lifestyle.
Here are the most popular Intermittent Fasting Schedules.
Intermittent fasting 16/8
How: Fast for 16 h and Eat 8 h
By following this 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Schedule, you fast for 16 hours and restrict your eating to an 8-hour eating window.
You can adapt the schedule according to your lifestyle, however, most practitioners choose to fast from dinner to lunchtime – which means simply skipping breakfast. Important is to maintain a consistent eating time. Being consistent with your schedule has proven to produce better results, see our interview with IF expert and clinical researcher Megan J. Ramos.
Exercising should be done in a fasted state just before you eat your first (and preferably biggest) meal of the day.
Intermittent Fasting 16/8 is the most sustainable and easiest to start with, hence we suggest it for our 21-day Intermittent Fasting Challenge.
INTERMITTENT FASTING 5:2 a.k.a The Fast Diet
How: 2 days per week restrict calories to 500-600, 5 days per week eat normally
5:2 Intermittent Fasting lets you eat normally 5 days per week and restricts your calorie intake to 500-600 per day during the other 2 days. When choosing your fasting days, keep in mind that there should be at least one regular eating day in between.
If your goal is to lose weight, it is important to stick to healthy eating on the 5 days during which you are not fasting.
Intermittent fasting 20/4 A.K.A. WARRIOR DIET
How: Fast for 20 h and Eat for 4h
In contrast to other methods, while following 20/4 Intermittent Fasting Schedule, you are allowed to eat some raw fruits and vegetables, and some lean protein during the 20 hr fast period.
The 4-hour eating window shall be in the evening and you should follow a special order of eating specific food groups: starting with vegetables, proteins and fat, and eating carbs only if you are still hungry.
Exercising shall be done in a fasted state.
24 HR FAST A.K.A. EAT STOP EAT
How: Fast for 24 h 1-2 times a week
While following 24 hour fast (popularized by Eat Stop Eat method, you should fast for 24 hours 1-2 days a week and eat normally on other days. That way you should reduce overall calorie intake by ca 10%, and hence lose weight.
Recommended Intermittent Fasting Schedule
Besides the above mentioned, there are a number of other Intermittent Fasting types like One Meal a Day (OMAD) and multiple types of prolonged fasting.
For our challenge, we recommend the most popular method – Intermittent Fasting 16/8.
16/8 also happens to be the most popular method among celebrities. If you are curious to know how they practice fasting and what are the main benefits (Coldplay soloist Chris Martin even believes Intermittent Fasting helps him to sing better!), check out our blog post on How to do Intermittent Fasting According to 40 Famous People.
As there is only an 8-hour eating window, you should choose between either skipping dinner or breakfast. For our 21-day Intermittent Fasting Challenge, we recommend easing into Intermittent Fasting by starting with 12h of fasting and 12h of eating and adding one fasting hour each day until you reach the desired 16/8 schedule.
See the image below with two examples of how your first week of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting and your Intermittent Fasting hours could look like.
what to eat during intermittent fasting
A popular misconception is that you can allow yourself to eat anything while doing Intermittent Fasting, including fast food, sugary and highly processed dishes. If your goal is to lose weight, improve productivity and simply get healthier, it is important to stick to healthy meals.
This means eating whole foods and avoiding the usual suspects such as sugar, processed foods, empty carbs etc.
The type of diet you choose is up to you, as long it is balanced and fits your lifestyle. For many, Keto Diet has proven to be a great supplement to Intermittent Fasting as it may help you burn more fat.
Still not sure how to implement a new healthier diet to support your Intermittent Fasting goals and make your Intermittent Fasting journey easier?
Great news – together with a professional dietitian we have prepared a balanced 21-Day Intermittent Fasting meal plan (pdf). You can choose meal plans based on your gender and diet (Keto, vegan and regular balanced diet options available).
what to drink during intermittent fasting
To get all the health benefits of Intermittent Fasting such as fat loss, increased metabolic rate, lower blood sugar levels, boost in the immune system and others, you have to restrict from consuming any caloric food. But you can still consume non-caloric beverages because they do not break your fast and allow you to get all the benefits of fasting.
This is because non-caloric beverages do not cause the release of insulin and as a consequence, do not interfere with fat burning and/or autophagy (cellular cleanup).
This would include:
- Sparkling water
- Mineral water
- Plain black coffee
- Plain tea
Got more questions about Intermittent Fasting Drinks? We’ve got more information in our blog post What Can You Drink During Intermittent Fasting.
Need help to track your intermittent fasting?
Sometimes technology can really be our best friend and help us stick to our commitments.
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 plan: 21 day Daily Guide
To help you kick-off your Intermittent Fasting journey in an easy, fun and sustainable (!) way, we prepared a 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Plan that gives you an action for each day, with a detailed description and more learnings.
Scroll down and see a preview of the first 7 Intermittent Fasting days. If you feel like it’s time to take matters in your own hands and make Intermittent Fasting a sustainable lifestyle, join our 21-day Intermittent Fasting Challenge which gives you access to the full 21-day Intermittent Fasting plan, daily emails and further tips and tricks for Intermittent Fasting Beginners (and more experienced!).
Join the 21-DAY INTERMITTENT FASTING CHALLENGE
⬇ Be like Josh. ⬇
GEt FASTING DRINK LIST CHEATSHEET
LOOKING FOR INTERMITTENT FASTING FRIENDLY MEAL DELIVERY?
Diet-to-Go offers delicious, Intermittent Fasting friendly meals, that you can get delivered straight to your home or office, to make your Intermittent Fasting journey super easy and convenient!
To ensure a healthy weight loss with Intermittent Fasting, we recommend choosing their 2 meals a day option , which you can complement with a snack of your choice (up to 200-300 kcal). All food should be consumed within your 8-hour eating window. Regular, Keto & Vegetarian options available.