I Want to Try Intermittent Fasting. Where Do I Start?

I’m new to fasting. I want to start tomorrow. How do I do that?

Asked by: Mara R.

First, a warm welcome to Mara! We are so excited for you to kick off your fasting journey with us. 

Fasting is a practice that can improve with time, and it’s a good idea to start slow. If you have never engaged in any form of fasting, we recommend starting with the most liberal variation of intermittent fasting: circadian rhythm time-restricted feeding (TRF). This type of fasting is a form of TRF that emulates the body’s natural clock by fasting roughly after sunset until morning. The ultimate goal with circadian rhythm fasting and other versions of TRF is to maintain a regular eating schedule that syncs with the cycles of the sun so that eating takes place during the light hours of the day, and fasting, the dark. As humans, our metabolism functions on a circadian rhythm, and research suggests syncing external cues that regulate our circadian rhythms, such as light and food, are critical for our health. Circadian biologists recommend avoiding meals 2-3 hours before regular bedtime and waiting up to an after waking to consume your first meal. Once you feel comfortable with a daily 13-hour fast, begin slowly shaving hours off of your eating window, working your way up to a daily 14-16-hour fast.

The key to getting started is to stick to the basics. Keep in mind that anything with calories technically breaks a fast, but zero-calorie beverages such as black coffees and tea are often ok. Check out some of our videos in the app to learn more about what breaks a fast. Finally, for anyone beginning their fasting journey, it’s important to remember to be patient and to show yourself compassion. It’s ok to slip up as you’re learning the ropes; we all start somewhere!

Thanks to Fae S., Dirk C., Amy G., Brandy M., and Cyrus B. for submitting similar questions!

About the Author: Kristi Storoschuk

Kristi Storoschuk is a science communicator who focuses her research on ketogenic diets, metabolic therapies, and fasting for health optimization. She currently works alongside the world’s leading ketogenic researchers providing scientific education for the mainstream audience. She completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Outside of her research, she spends her time doing CrossFit and optimizing her health with an ancestral approach.

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Posted in Health & Science, Q+A's

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