How do you get started?
You are here reading about fasting.
The question many ask at first is “How do I get started?”
This is what I recommend:
First, allow 8-12 weeks minimum if you want to embark on this journey. Your body needs time to adjust to the new habits so that you can experience full benefits. This adaption can take 3-5 weeks, so the next month or two is where you see the results.
Pick a window that you will eat. I believe that 6 hours is a perfect starting place. If you start out with 6 hour eating window, then you will have 18 hours of fasting time. During this time, you should not consume calories. This is where you will find some disagreement among fasting types and variations. Some will stay under 50 calories, others will consume nothing but water. I fall somewhere in the middle of these. I am a fan of water, black coffee, and unsweetened teas during a fast, nothing else.
A good rule to keep in mind:
If it makes your fast easier, then it probably broke your fast.
There will be a separate post to get specific on what breaks a fast and what doesn’t. But let’s not delve in too deep here. Ideally, you want to avoid anything other than WCT (water, coffee, tea). However, if you need to use something as training wheels there is no shame in that. Your goal is to get to WCT, but as you adapt, some people may find they need creamer in their coffee. Try reducing the amount a little more each day until you can handle just black coffee. Some people will jump straight into black coffee and not taper with cream. The goal is to allow your digestive system time to rest, and to allow your hormones time to balance. This means nothing in that may jeopardize that.
So, pick your 6-hour window that fits your schedule.
I found that a late lunch and early dinner was ideal for me to start. This meant that I would eat around 1pm, then try to finish dinner by 7pm. You find what works for you and try to stay consistent. Do your best to get full during these 6 hours. Your ideal place is full, not stuffed.
This will occasionally mean that you eat too much and feel miserable after.
This will also occasionally mean that you don’t eat enough and you are hungry before bedtime.
With both of these scenarios just ride it out. Eat in your next scheduled window and be strong until it’s time to eat. If you underate one day, you will be hungrier the next day. On days you binged, you may feel like you need to scale back. Try to be as consistent as possible while your body adapts, remember this can take 3-5 weeks.
Finally, some people will choose to count calories. I do not recommend this. Let your body adapt and your appetite correct using the techniques we discuss here and in the future. Yes, calories matter. BUT…. Your body doesn’t track calories the way you do. Your body is running on energy. Calories is our flawed way of trying to track this energy consumption/expenditure. Let your body do what it was designed to do!Leave a message below about the window you plan to use. Ask any question that come to mind as well. Best of luck and may your fast be pleasant