Intermittent fasting is a wonderful lifestyle choice that can help you finally lose weight while still enjoying the foods you love.
That said, intermittent fasting still takes some getting used to, and it’s not for everyone.
If you’re afraid to dive into fasting straight away, or have tried a time or two but couldn’t make it work for you, the following five tips will help you ease into intermittent fasting at a slower pace.
6 Tips To Gently Ease Into Intermittent Fasting
This post contains references to products from one or more advertising partners. Should you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. For an explanation of how this site generates income, visit this page.
1- Do Your Research
First and foremost, gathering the right information will set you up for success.
Blogs and websites such as this one are great places to start, but the problem is you can often find conflicting information, which could confuse or overwhelm you.
I recommend reading blogs and articles for inspiration and motivation (who doesn’t love a good before and after intermittent fasting weight loss photo, after all?).
But I encourage you to also prioritize reviewing science-backed, evidence-based information as part of educating yourself.
If I could choose just one book to meet that requirement, it’s The Complete Guide To Intermittent Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung.
When I first heard of fasting I was scared to try it for myself, but after reading this book I gained so much more confidence that it is both safe and effective.
I credit this book to much of my success to this date and think everyone who wants to lose weight once and for all should give it a shot!
As a little tip, the book is pretty dense and can take much time to read.
I bought the Kindle version but quickly realized that I could get started with my fasting weight loss journey so much more quickly with the audio version because I could listen while cleaning house, cooking, driving, etc…
And the best part? The audio version is FREE!
Who doesn’t want to shed extra pounds safely, effectively and for FREE? I know I did! You do too, don’t you not?
2- Be Clear About What You Expect and Why
Next, if you want to have success losing weight with intermittent fasting, you need to be crystal clear about what you expect and why.
When you see success stories about people who get amazing results from their endeavors, it’s important to keep in mind that every person is different.
Your journey is not their journey.
Each person starts from a different place, and chances are pretty high that people who are doing eighteen to twenty-hour fasts didn’t start there.
It’s not a race or competition.
It is always good to consider why you are fasting, why you chose the protocol you did, and understand what you personally expect from it.
Remember that fasting in any form is still going to be good for your body, and while longer fasts do tend to reap bigger benefits, the best fasting routine is the one you can actually follow.
No sense in forcing yourself to start with 16 hours a day from your very first week if you can’t sustain it.
Better to start with something more manageable like 14 hours or even down to 12, and work your way up from there.
3- Have Reasonable Expectations About Fasting
Third, it’s critical that you have reasonable expectations for yourself.
Sure, we all want to eat whatever we want, never work out and lose 20 pounds in a month with the intermittent fasting miracle diet but no – it doesn’t work that way.
So many times I see and receive comments and messages from people who are totally bummed out that it’s been a few days or a week and they haven’t seen any weight loss or difference in their appearance.
But then come to find out they “only” lost 2-3 pounds!
2-3 pounds of weight loss in a week while still enjoying some of your favorite foods is GOOD!
It’s a reasonable amount of weight to lose.
And you have to think of it like this; if you continue to lose 2-3 pounds in a week for a few months, that could easily add up to 20-30 pounds of weight lost!
So set a reasonable, achievable intermittent fasting weight loss goal before you even start.
5 to 7 pounds in a month is an incredible goal for just about anyone, and it shouldn’t be too disruptive to your life to get there.
4- Do Something Easy To Start
The best way to prepare for success is to set yourself up for it!
Choose some easy goals that will help you to move in a positive direction, and screw what anybody else says or thinks your fasting schedule is “supposed” to look like.
If you aren’t ready to completely skip breakfast, don’t!
Another way you can start with something easy is to have 3 meals a day, without snacks.
Continue to eat the number of calories and nutrients you need, but condense them into those 3 meals, instead of also having snacks.
This gets you more used to eating more of your food in meals, as opposed to 5-6 times a day with snacks and desserts.
5- Be Flexible With Time While Intermittent Fasting
Something that can be hard for people to grasp is that there should only be one specific time frame when you can fast.
When actually, your eating window can be at any time during the day or night, depending on your schedule.
You hear so often that the 16:8 protocol is “skipping breakfast” and you just don’t eat until noon.
But this isn’t true for everyone.
While it is often easy to skip breakfast, others find that they are hungry in the morning, but prefer instead to either skip dinner or eat a much earlier dinner.
Consider what makes the most sense for you and would be the easiest to manage.
I even choose to fast longer during the week (up to 18 hours), and fast just 12 hours on weekends, so that I can enjoy breakfast with my family Saturday and Sunday mornings.
The point of fasting is to make your weight loss journey easier, not harder.
Find the path of least resistance as you ease into fasting and you’ll see success.
6- Pick a Few Days To Experiment With Fasting
Finally, fasting can be fun in some ways, but only when you’re finding success.
Choose days that leave you room to make more choices.
Try not to start out fasting when there’s something important coming up like a birthday, or when you know you’ll be tempted to eat more.
Just be sure to make small amounts of progress and stay patient.
Start with one week of fasting where your commitments will be low, track your progress, and at the end of that week, evaluate how you feel, what worked, what didn’t, and tweak to get even better results as you go forward.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Hopefully if you’re new to fasting or renewing your resolve to try intermittent fasting for weight loss again, these tips will help you make the shifts you need to see success.
Best of luck to you, and happy fasting!
Intermittent Fasting Tracker
Though you don’t have to count calories, you WILL want to track your fasting hours, workouts, and take notes on how you’re feeling, what’s working and what’s not.
I personally found many fitness planners that would track one thing but not the other, as they weren’t geared specifically toward intermittent fasting.
Frustrated, I chose to create the perfect intermittent fasting planner to suit my needs, and it’s available on Amazon Prime if you’d like to grab a copy of your own!
It has everything you need to get started losing weight with intermittent fasting, including a place to track your measurements, 12 weeks of sheets to log your daily fasting hours, pages to track your strength training and cardio workouts each day, space for notes, and a slot for before and after pictures.
Plus, it’s even small enough to fit in your purse!
It really has been the perfect solution for me, and I use it every day to stay on top of my goals. It’s helped me stay focused and organized – which is so important on this weight loss journey.
Related Intermittent Fasting Ideas:
- 12 Intermittent Fasting Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)
- 6 Top Myths About Intermittent Fasting – Busted!
- How To Handle Social Pressure While Intermittent Fasting