Do you want the best intermittent fasting plan for beginners? It depends on your goal. But every goal must have a plan, right? When I started intermittent fasting, my goal was just to lose weight. No plan.
But it was a mistake. I did not achieve my goal. When I started to have a plan, I slowly noticed the intermittent fasting results that everyone is talking about.
What is the Right Intermittent Fasting Plan for Beginners?
The 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Plan.
You can try the 16:8 method. This is the most popular Intermittent Fasting plan.
Here, you will fast for 16 hours per day and you will have an eight-hour eating window. It means that within that window, you can eat while you fast for the remaining 16 hours.
For instance, you can eat from 8 am to 4 pm and fast after that. You may also want to skip breakfast and eat your first meal at lunch.
Planning for your eating and fasting times is vital to help you achieve your 16-hour fast. It still depends on your lifestyle. If you cannot skip breakfast, then you might want to start your fast after lunchtime and skip dinner.
What is the 20:4 Intermittent Fasting Plan?
It may not be ideal for beginners, though. However, some people have managed to fast for 20 hours even though they just started their fasting journey.
This can be difficult for some beginners, though, because it requires eating for four hours and fasting for 20 hours. Here, you might need to eat one meal or two smaller meals.
Intermittent Fasting Plan Not Great for Beginners
There are other intermittent fasting plans you can try but they are not ideal for beginners.
These would include 5:2 fast. This version involves two fasting days and five eating days. During the fasting days, you can eat up to 500 calories. You can consume them at any time during the fasting day.
If you are beginning to do intermittent fasting and you use this plan, then it is likely that you will fail. Keep in mind that your body must still adjust to the fasting state. It is one of the reasons some people who are in this plan are quite grumpy.
Every other day fasting is also quite difficult to achieve for beginners. But you are free to try.
In here, you will have fast every other day. For instance, on Monday, you will only eat 500 calories, then on Tuesday, you will have a regular eating schedule. And on Wednesday, you will fast again and so on and so forth.
The 36-Hour Intermittent Fasting Plan
This is reserved for advanced “users.” I have not tried it and I do not think I will ever try it.
This type of intermittent fasting requires that you fast for two days. That is, you will not be eating anything for 36 hours. I think it can be a nightmare for many. That’s why it is only advisable for some people. And it must be done under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
However, this type of fasting is ideal if you wish to lose weight fast. It can help you avoid overeating on day 2. Then again, it can be a difficult journey.
48 Hours Fasting
It is not advisable if you have a medical condition. You will have to check with your physician to ensure that this kind of plan is ideal and safe for you.
If you wish to try it though, make sure that you do it during your relaxed days. You must not be busy during your fasting days. Running around when you are hungry will not help.
After hours of fasting, you will get hungry. But you can drink water. However, after 16 hours of fasting, you will feel hungrier. You may meditate but it may not help. To help you forget about your hunger, you can just go to sleep.
Those who have tried 48 hours fasting said that it was hard. But they all recommend that you start with shorter fasts, like 16 hours or 12 hours to help you get started. When you do 48 hours of fasting, you must stay at home. Some people have fainted because of this extended fast.
But this type of intermittent fasting plan will help you feel lighter. And yes, you will lose weight.
How to Plan Intermittent Fasting if You are a Beginner?
Intermittent fasting is challenging. However, it can offer you huge benefits. When you do this eating plan, make sure that you follow these tips:
1.) Stay Hydrated
Drink a lot of water. Some people managed to fast for 16, 18, 24 hours without water. But it is not recommended for beginners.
If you need to drink, choose a calorie-free beverage, like herbal teas. Or, just to stick to water.
2.) Get a Lot of Distractions
You must stop thinking about food if you wish to succeed in this eating plan. Do not open your social media accounts because they are likely to contain food porn.
Instead, you must keep yourself busy. It might be time for you to finish your paperwork or just see a movie (that does not involve a lot of eating).
On your fasting window, make sure that avoid strenuous activities. However, you may perform a light exercise, like yoga.
When your fasting period is almost over, like an hour is left, you may do some jumping rope exercises.
4.) Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods
They are rich in protein fiber and fats. Choosing these options will make each calorie count during your eating period. These options would include lentils, fish, nuts, and avocado.
You should also be eating low-calorie foods that are filling, like raw vegetables and fruits, like grapes and melon.
5.) Improve the Taste of Food
You may season your food with vinegar, spices, and herbs. They can keep the calories low but they can also help in reducing your hunger.
6.) After the Fast
When you break your fast, opt for nutrient-dense food. Do not eat junk food. To keep your blood sugar levels, make sure that you consume foods with a high amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
For your intermittent fasting plan, you may use a mobile app to track your progress. I mentioned in my previous posts that I’m using Zero. However, there are other intermittent fasting apps available that you might want to try.