Through my own experience, and from watching intermittent fasting channels on YouTube, I found out there is a hard and an easy way to getting started with intermittent fasting.
You could jump right in and deal with the sugar withdrawals and cravings on top of adjusting to eating one to two times a day.
Or, you could prepare your body and experience a much easier transition to the intermittent fasting lifestyle.
Jumping right into intermittent fasting makes it harder to stick to and incorporate as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Being prepared for intermittent fasting makes it easier for the body to transition without having to suffer through sugar withdrawals while fasting.
Here are the 5 simple (but not easy for everyone) steps I noticed I took that made intermittent fasting really easy to do.
These steps might not be for everyone, but for what they’ve done for me, I had to share.
Start by removing sugar, flour, and other highly processed foods from your diet
Some people advocate for eating anything you want while intermittent fasting. As long as it fits in your macros, the meal is all good.
What I’ve noticed is still eating whatever foods can make those hours when no food is eaten much harder than they have to be.
For myself there were more cravings, I thought about food more often, found it harder to sleep at night, I felt irritable without food, experienced foggy brain at times, and intermittent fasting wasn’t something I could enjoy.
When I removed sugar, flour, and all highly processed foods, I felt liberated from food. I could easily do my fasting without thinking about food all day. Sleep got really good. My physical cravings weakened big time. And going without eating didn’t turn me into an ass hole.
Start preparing for intermittent fasting by first removing all highly processed foods including sugars, white flour, and wheat flour. Remove soda and juice as well.
It’s highly likely you’ll experience withdrawals, but it’s much easier to get those sugar withdrawals out of the way before you start intermittent fasting.
Focus on removing highly processed foods from your diet for two weeks to a month. Removing those foods alone will cause weight loss without starting intermittent fasting.
Start eating three meals a day and load up on real foods
Cut out snacking and stick to three meals of real foods a day.
I’ve found it’s just easier on the body and less stressful in life to ease into intermittent fasting by going back to the basics. Three meals a day.
It’s a good way to get into the habit of timing and scheduling meals, sticking to an eating window, and preparing the body for less frequent feedings.
And sticking to real foods allows the body to detox from sugar, regulates blood sugar (which helps A LOT with intermittent fasting), and helps control appetite.
What I’ve experienced is that eventually my body will naturally want to eat less frequently than three meals a day. Making a transition to intermittent fasting super easy.
Work on eating three meals of real foods a day for two weeks and see how you feel. You might also find your appetite more in check.
Remove root vegetables and sugary fruits from your diet … if you’ve got a problem with sugar
I’m someone that spent a good chunk of my childhood borderline diabetic. Sugar and starches, even from sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and fruits, cause me problems.
I get cravings, my weight loss stalls, I can be triggered to binge, and my results with intermittent fasting aren’t as impressive.
Some people can deal just fine on fruits and root vegetables. However, if you find yourself still suffering with cravings and stalled weight loss, remove sugary fruits and root vegetables.
Berries, tomatoes, and avocados are cool, but avoid all potatoes, bananas, strawberries, melons, apples, oranges, plums, grapes… basically all really sweet fruits and starchy vegetables including carrots.
Instead, load up on dark vegetables, dark leafy greens, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus. Fit in 6 to 8 cups of vegetables when possible. If you’re find on blueberries, keep ’em. If not, toss ’em.
Start eating more fat to increase fat burning and control appetite
Eating more fats in my diet has definitely made intermittent fasting easier to maintain when I first started.
Even when I fell off, eating high fat meals made it easier for me to go longer without eating thus easier and sooner back to intermittent fasting.
People do it, but intermittent fasting without a high-fat diet made not eating hella hard. And I would get hungry shortly after my meals.
If you’ve also experienced getting hungry soon after eating or feeling too hungry to complete your intermittent fasting schedule, try eating more fats.
Try following a Ketogenic Paleo diet that includes butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, avocado oil mayonnaise, avocados, organic lard, egg yolks, and beef tallow. Load up.
There are lots of recipes and resources online for more details.
You might also need to eat more protein, and less fat, at a certain point if your goal with intermittent fasting is to lose body fat.
I write about this on How Much Fat Should You Really Eat on a Ketogenic Diet.
Keep meals hella simple
I know I just mentioned recipes, but avoiding elaborate recipes is how I’ve seen the most success getting started with intermittent fasting.
I stuck to meat, veggies, and fats. Still really tasty but super simple. And sticking to simple meals has made weight loss easier for me.
Keeping it simple, for me, makes eating healthy and incorporating intermittent fasting easier because it removes the stress of figuring out if the recipe fits in the macros, if there was there enough fat, and if there’ll be enough to keep me full.
It’s also easier to find out how to eat healthy consistently and on a busy schedule and which foods work and which foods don’t.
After reaching goal weight, it’ll likely be easier to eat healthy consistently so trying out recipes regularly likely won’t be an issue.
But to simplify things, and build healthy habits easier, it’s been better to keep meals simple.
Learn how to write your own keto diet meal plan: How to Create Your Own Keto Diet Meal Plan in 3 Simple Steps.
Through trial and error, I’ve found it was these five things that made getting started with intermittent fasting easier to do:
- Remove sugar, flour, and other highly processed foods
- Do this as soon as you make the decision to start intermittent fasting
- Start eating three meals a day and load up on real foods
- Cut out snacking and eat three meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) a day
- Stick to three meals a day for at least 2 weeks or until comfortably eating three meals a day
- Remove root vegetables and sugary fruits from your diet… if you’ve got a problem with sugar
- If you’re still experiencing lots of cravings even though you’ve cut out sugars and highly processed foods, eliminate root vegetables (carrots, all types of potatoes, beets) and fruit (except avocados, berries, and tomatoes) from your diet
- Start eating more fat to increase fat burning and control appetite
- Healthy fats include grass-fed butter, beef tallow, lard, avocado oil, olive oil, avocado oil mayo, and avocados
- Keep meals simple
- If you’re using intermittent fasting to lose weight, it’s easier to skip the complexity of recipes and stick to simple meals.
- Meat, veggies, fat. Simple.
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