Beginner's guide to intermittent fasting – 4 easy methods
We’ve written about the benefits of intermittent fasting. Our beginner's guide shares four easy methods to giving it a go so you can reap the benefits for yourself.
Everyone from elite athletes to amateurs can benefit from intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting for beginners #1: 16/8 method
This is the gentlest introduction to intermittent fasting.
All you do is omit one meal: finish dinner at 8pm, skip breakfast and cruise through to a 12pm lunch. You’ll have fasted for 16 hours. Simple!
You then have 8-hours in which to eat two or even three meals before repeating the process (if you wish). You can progress the 16/8 method a few ways:
- Fast during the day rather than overnight: have a 5am breakfast and fast until 9pm
- Complete multiple days per week on the 16/8 method
- Complete consecutive days of 16/8 fasting
Intermittent fasting for beginners #2: 5:2 diet
The 5:2 diet involves eating normally for five days and restricting calorie intake to 500 per day the other two days per week.
This is a common diet and another great one to start with. Once you’ve ridden the initial hunger pangs, you’ll enjoy stable energy levels which come from tapping into your fat stores.
Boost your fasting: Complete your two 500-calorie days back-to-back.
Your energy levels will improve with intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting for beginners #3: The Warrior Protocol
Popular among the paleo diet community, the Warrior Protocol has you eating like our ancestor cavemen. Eat little during the day - such as a handful of nuts and some fruit - before tucking into a large evening meal.
Intermittent fasting for beginners #4: 20/4
This is an advanced version of the 16/8 method which has you fasting for 20-hours straight.
This is harder not because of the longer fasted time but due to the smaller window within which to consume your daily calories. You’ll likely eat less, resulting in fewer calories consumed overall.
Eat a big lunch at 12pm and push through to an 8am breakfast the next day – job done.
Upgrade your fast: crank things up a notch by eating an early lunch at 11am and fasting fast until the following 7am.
Intermittent fasting will boost your fat burning ability
24 hours of intermittent fasting
In our article listing the benefits of intermittent fasting, we explain how to fast for 24-hours. Simply finish one meal and don’t eat again until the next day’s meal.
Play around with which works best for you: breakfast to breakfast, lunch to lunch or dinner to dinner.
Intermittent fasting for beginners – conclusion
Intermittent fasting is a great way to boost fat loss, improve concentration, stabilise energy levels and improve key health markers.
The key to making it work comes from starting slow and enjoying the process. Beginners often find it easier to have structure to their fasts so, whichever method you adopt, the accountability of a defined start and finish is helpful.
After a period of fasting, get the nutrients in. Our Elite Pre and Post Workout Shakes are the perfect post-fast feed: high in protein, healthy carbs and fats and crammed with nutrients.
33 Elite Pre and Post Workouts Shake: the perfect post-fast feed