Intermittent Fasting Part 2: How to get Started

So you say you want to try Intermittent Fasting. You have a good basic diet (we covered the main macros in Part 1) What’s next? Where do you start?

Big Changes

Well first things first, I am not a doctor. I’m a health Coach. You should really get checked out by your doctor before you do any drastic changes in diet, especially if you’re on medications.

Get a baseline blood test to know where your starting from. Check cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and other key indicators. This sets up a feedback loop; your doctor will be able to tell you if your efforts are helping!

Small Changes

Maybe you’re not making any drastic changes, you’re not on medication, and you feel comfortable jumping in. It’s still a good idea to get some benchmarks; how do you know if you’re getting healthier if you don’t know where you started?

Find out your starting weight, take measurements of your neck, chest, waist, hips, calves and both biceps (my left is smaller). Take a picture, it will be your before picture and you will often SEE the change before the scale does.

Great now we have our starting stats. Let’s get started!

Tools to Succeed in Intermittent Fasting

  • Water bottle – you’re going to drink a lot of water. Half your body weight in oz everyday is the goal.
  • A journal – write down and track your progress and your moods as you get into fasting. You’ll see your progress and start to recognize what triggers a great day.
  • Electrolytes – your body will be holding less water which can often result in muscle cramps. Find a powder with no sugar added – not sports drinks as they have more sugar than anything else. (I use Vega Hydrolyte.)
  • Pick a fasting ratio to start with – I would recommend starting with a 12 and 12, wait until 8am to have breakfast, and make sure you’ve had enough by 8pm. Then increase the amount of fasting every couple of days until you find the balance for your body. Everybody is different, so make sure you listen to yours!

You can start fasting without changing much else in your diet or lifestyle. Take it slow, be kind to yourself when you miss, and work on fueling yourself well with a good balance of Macros.

Once your body gets used to longer times of fasting, take a look through your journal and reflect on how you feel. Next week, I’ll be writing about honouring hunger and fullness and how to make sense of those journal entries.

What are the benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

I have been fasting 12/8 for over 2 years now, and every couple of months my wife and I do a longer fasts of 60 hours with nothing but water, bone broth and herbal tea. Sometimes, our bodies tell us to full up and we go back to 12/12 for a few days. Some of the benefits that I have personally found with fasting are: 

  • Reduced brain fog – I wake up with a clear mind. I feel full of happiness and have a great new outlook on life
  • Consistent energy throughout the day – before fasting it would take me half the day just to get going. Half way through the afternoon I was reaching for more food, or worse, sugar and caffeine to prevent the crash.
  • Weight loss – once my body was fat adapted, I was losing a pound a day! I passed my goal weight a year later. Now I have dialed in my diet and fasting. I listen to my body and give it what it needs. 
  • Great for the gut – Longer fasts have the ability to reset the bodies immune system and the gut biome
  • Better sleep – syncing your body with your food intake helps the body use the food you eat more effectively.

If you feel that fasting is something you would like to try but you’d like a little more guidance for your particular lifestyle, sign up for a free 45 min Kick Off Coaching call. For more tips and suggestions, follow me at bigmtncoach on Instagram.

Together, we can set you up for success when you may have stumbled before. I have the right SYSTEM,  SUPPORT and ACCOUNTABILITY to help you become the person you want to be. You got this!