January 8th marks 1 month since I began Intermittent Fasting, and I thought it would be interesting to write a post about my top 10 tips for starting intermittent fasting from my past month experience!
I know when I was searching up intermittent fasting, in some cases I wanted some quick tips and then wanted to move on. If this is you, please find below a list of the 10 tips. If you feel like reading more into the comments, then remain reading!
[Please let me note that I am not trained in any way to provide health advice to anyone, and I began this only through information I had on my own health and own experiences. If there is anything you disagree with, that I have written, please feel free to get in touch with me via social media and we can discuss – it may be helpful for my own fasting!]
a beginner’s top 10 tips to start intermittent fasting:
1: before starting, make sure you know your reason for making this lifestyle change. (this may come in handy – especially the first few days!)
2: choose your split, so it fits within your lifestyle.
3: to actually start: the night before don’t eat after your new ‘eating period’ ends, and hold off on breakfast the next morning till your fast is due to end.
4: for the first few days your body is going to send every hunger signal – ignore them, drink some water and trust me they go away!
5: make your daily dose of fruit the first thing you consume, after breaking your fast, and leave it 20-30 minutes until eating again.
6: it doesn’t mean you can fill your eating period with junk food, make sure you are consuming a balanced diet!
7: not everyone will understand your new lifestyle change, and you shouldn’t feel the need to have to explain yourself.
8: changing the time of your split, and even breaking fast early sometimes, is okay!
9: your toilet schedule may alter, however you should not experience any issues passing stools.
10: drink water, drink water, drink TONS of water!
Now, for those of you that want some more details on those tips!
number one: having a reason!
I am a HUGE breakfast person, eating was basically the first thing I thought about when I woke up. To think I am 1 month into intermittent fasting, and leaving breakfast until around 5-6 hours after waking must seem insane to old me! This proves the power of having a reason can do! My reason was that due to some health issues, my body was having a slow and troublesome time digesting my meals. I was bloated, at times constipated and felt sluggish – all the time. By starting IF, I gave my body (the poor thing) time to actually digest the day’s food before I start filling it with a new day’s worth!
number two: choosing your split!
Whilst I am doing the typical split of 16 hours fasted, 8 hours eating (16:8), you can choose to do any split that suits your lifestyle! I choose to typically end my fast at 11am, and begin it at 7pm. This works best for me and my commitments, but something else might suit you!
number three: starting off!
Starting off may seem a daunting task (it was for me, no food for 16 hours!?), however once in the full swing of things it will become a second nature I can assure you! The night before, after you have chosen your split, stop eating at the end of your new ‘eating period’. The next morning, hold off breakfast until your new ‘eating period’ begins!
number four: the hunger signals!
Starting was the hardest part of IF, in my case anyway. My stomach felt so weird, and was sending every hunger signal it could to my brain. My body was so used to being fed at soon as it showed any sign of hunger, so this was a shock! Basically, you just need to ignore them the first couple days. Make sure to drink water through it, and I promise they go away! After the first week my body seemed to adapt to its new lifestyle and I no longer get those hunger pains.
number five: make your daily dose of fruit the first thing!
Whilst this isn’t a ‘must’ tip for doing intermittent fasting, this is a tip that I personally recommend. A couple of weeks ago I was listening to a podcast ( Hotter Than Health by Eliza G Fitness) and it mentioned food combining. Fruit can be digested fast by your body, in about 20-30 minutes. However it needs a particular environment in order to be digested, and if you consume after eating say porridge (which takes a long time to digest) it will become stuck and your body will start to freak out! (causing bloating etc..) Therefore, I suggest making your daily dose of fruit the food you break your fast with!
number six: no-no to excessive junk food!
Whilst this may seem obvious, starting IF doesn’t mean you have a free pass to eat rubbish for 8 hours every day. You still need to make sure you are consuming a balanced and nutritious diet!
number seven: not everyone will understand!
Not soon after starting IF, I attempted to explain my new lifestyle change and it didn’t go so well. They didn’t understand why I was doing it, and I have come to understand that you shouldn’t feel the need to explain yourself to another person. Don’t feel like you need to listen to any pressures from anyone, remind yourself of the reason why you are doing this and ignore them!
number eight: changing the timing of your split, and even breaking your fast early, is okay!
This is something I was constantly googling at the beginning, especially when I found myself with a meeting booked at 11am. Therefore, I just made sure I finished my eating period half an hour earlier the night before, and broke it at 10:30am the next day! Intermittent fasting is supposed to be flexible, and it isn’t a diet – you aren’t set against a set of rules. You make your own rules!
number nine: changing toilet schedule!
As you start IF, you may realise your toilet schedule may change. For the most part, this is fine and your body will settle into a new cycle as it adapts to your new lifestyle change. However, you shouldn’t be constantly experiencing issues with passing stools etc.. If you do, and it continues, I would advice checking the foods you are consuming and/or visiting your doctor.
and last but not least – number ten: drink water!
It cannot be emphasised enough, drink TONS of water! Water will become your best friend through your fasting period, especially when fizzy drinks/juice (i.e. anything with calories) will break your fast! Make friends with tap water, drink a ton and don’t look back!
And there we have it, top 10 tips for starting intermittent fasting – by a beginner! I hope this can be of use to those thinking of starting, or those who have and are sat there confused!
I am honestly so glad I chose to start IF, I had suffered years with bloating and now it is barely a thought! Along with so many other benefits, the concept has interested me and I hope I can continue to write about my journey!
If you have any comments or feedback, please get in touch via my social media links (in the sidebar/contact page).
Till next time my friends,