How to start Intermittent fasting
Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Intermittent fasting is time restricted feeding where you focus on "when" to eat rather than "what" to eat. Intermittent Fasting is where your journey to a better diet should begin because it is easy to do and it corrects one of the worst habits we have today : Frequent eating.
I am sure you think that you are not one of those people who eat frequent meals. But consider this : We have a big misconception of what actually counts as a meal. When we think of the word meal, we picture substantial amount of food on our plate but actually a meal is anything which will spike your Blood glucose and Insulin. So your morning and evening Tea or coffee is a meal, that glass of milk is a meal, if you have the habit of constantly stuffing tiny amounts of food while roaming around the house, those are meals. So when you closely observe, it turns out that if you are not sleeping, you are eating :D. Don't believe me? Go ahead and take a note each time you eat or drink and observe this yourself.
We have exploited our body with these unhealthy eating practices and we are paying the price with weight gain, poor metabolic health, lowered immunity, diabetes, cardiac issues, hormonal imbalances, the list just goes on. Intermittent fasting is damage control. It is the way you can reduce some damage of your unhealthy diet without changing the amount or type of food you eat.
The first step in Intermittent fasting is to limit your eating window, decide a time frame and fit all your meals into that time window. A 10 hour eating window which means a 14 hour fast is pretty much the bare minimum one should do. But an 8 hour eating window which is 16 hour fast is a pretty good start. So if you have your first meal at say 12 pm you need to finish your last meal by 8 pm. It may mean that you have to skip breakfast which is anyways the most unnecessary meal of your day, I already have an article describing this in more detail HERE. Start by following Intermittent fasting 1 day a week, sounds doable doesn't it? I am sure anyone can do that.
Once you are settled comfortably in this 8 hour eating window, gradually work your way up by doing it 5 or 7 days a week and incorporate more variations of it. Gradually add a 24 hr fast once a week and try to fast longer on certain days. Personally I found that sticking to a daily routine made it easier so I started with 5 days of intermittent fasting a week with 6 hours of eating window. I gradually incorporated 24 hour fast each Monday and did no tracking over weekends :D. Once you get accustomed to this, you will find that you are easily able to go longer without food. I have done up to 50 hour fasts including workouts without any discomfort.
Timing of your eating window is important too. Ideally you should not eat or drink anything except water 4 hours before going to sleep and 4 hours after getting up. This gives our organs much needed rest and they work efficiently, you sleep better, you digest food well, it does a lot of damage control. If you cant remember all these time windows, this is also the simplest rule you can follow.
It may sound daunting but you are not weak, do not underestimate your capabilities.
I was never able to skip a meal before and never thought that intermittent fasting is for me so if I can go from eating 7 meals a day to 2 meals a day in a matter of weeks, I know anybody can.
Like Nike says, Just do it!