Intermittent Fasting – How to Get Started and What to Expect

Intermittent Fasting

You have made the decision to lose weight, and the method that you want to try is Intermittent Fasting. You have read articles from many sources; you know that you have to drink lots of water and not eat for periods of time, but beyond that, you are a little lost.

Maybe you did try it, but you didn’t feel very good when fasting and are not sure why.

This article will explain how to properly get started on Intermittent Fasting, what you can expect to feel and why.

The first thing you need to do is pick the method of IF that you think will best fit with your lifestyle; 24 on/24 off, two 24 hour fasts per week or daily 16 hour fasts (i.e. do not eat between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. daily.)

Thing to do before fasting

Next, enlist the support of those closest to you so they understand what it is that you are doing, and can be there for you when you need them.

  • Do not gorge yourself on the last meal before the fast. This will have the effect of making you feel hungrier during the fast. Eat a sensible and healthy meal instead.
  • Drink plenty of water while fasting. Some suggest up to two liters per 24-hour period. Others suggest that one or two glasses of vegetable juice are beneficial as vegetable juice provides the needed electrolytes for the body. Avoid alcohol, caffeine drinks, carbonated drinks, and fruit juices while fasting.
  • Expect to feel hungry! Some of this feeling can be because you are actually hungry, but mostly it is mental. The best thing for you to do is to accept the feeling and move on. Do not obsess on it. This feeling of hunger will dissipate as your body becomes used to the routine of Intermittent Fasting.
  • Expect to have ‘detox symptoms’. Your system is in detoxification mode and as toxins are released you can expect to have some reactions. These symptoms can include headaches, feeling jittery or feeling overly tired. Don’t panic! As with the feeling of hunger, the symptoms of detox will subside the longer that you practice Intermittent Fasting. Detox symptoms seem to be more pronounced in people that have a high intake of caffeine, sugar, and fats in their normal diet.
  • Break the fast gently. Eat a piece of fruit along with a cup of herb tea. After 30 minutes or so have your usual breakfast. Give your body a little time to adjust to being given food again.
  • Be prepared to really enjoy the way food tastes! After a short fast your senses are heightened – including your taste buds.
  • Expect to begin feeling energized and upbeat on a daily basis.

Realizing that you may feel some short-term ill effects at first will help you maintain your goal. I look forward to the time that you will have positive physical, mental and emotional rewards, while at the same time the unwanted feelings will evaporate.

Intermittent Fasting for Women

Intermittent Fasting is widely used by bodybuilders and has the perception of being a ‘mans diet’. The fact is that this is simply not true. Intermittent Fasting is a healthy and beneficial weight loss method for either sex. The fact that this method of weight loss preserves muscle mass is a benefit.

This does not mean that the fair sex will develop biceps and triceps of enviable proportions, it simply means that you keep the muscle mass that you already have – it is not lost or degenerated due to the weight loss method.

It has been written that ‘women have a hard time with this diet’. Do not believe this! Personally, I believe that Intermittent Fasting is perfect for women.

Women typically lead to hectic fast-paced lives. They work, have children to care for, a husband to look after, laundry, housekeeping; the list goes on and on. There is no time left to count calories or fix separate meals for themselves. Let’s look at the effect that 16-hour daily fasting will affect the typical woman – no food between 6:00 pm and 10:00 am.

Typical schedule of a women

  • 7:00 a.m. Wake up, get the kids ready for school, and get one’s self ready for work. (Drink water.)
  • 10:00 a.m. Usually, break time at work. Eat a piece of fruit and have a cup of tea.
  • 12:00 p.m. Lunchtime. Go out to lunch or eat a sack lunch, whichever you desire.
  • 3:00 p.m. Have a snack, fruit or something good that was leftover from lunch!
  • 5:00 pm. Cook dinner. Sit down and eat with the kids.

You will find that the hardest time of the day (at first), is when you are watching TV in the evening. It is hard because you are used to having ‘snacks’ while you are idle. It will take your body and mind a few days to get used to the idea that you are not going to eat in the evenings.

Read ‘Pros and cons of Intermittent fasting‘ for more information on how this method will affect you.

The good news is that you will be asleep for at least six to eight hours of your fast! While you do not have to ‘body build’ strength training and doing exercise to tone-up will be very beneficial to you. The release of endorphins will greatly improve your overall outlook and make you feel energized and happy.

You should check with your doctor before beginning Intermittent Fasting if you are taking any type of medication, have a serious illness or are pregnant. In the event that you feel really sick while Intermittent Fasting, stop and see a physician

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