In recent years, the trend towards intermittent fasting has continued to increase. Intermittent fasting is a popular way to lose weight and get rid of excess pounds from your hips and stomach. Intermittent fasting impresses with a meal time and a fasting time that is repeated daily. This form of fasting is very popular due to the ease with which it can be combined with everyday life.
The following article gives you a good insight into intermittent fasting for beginners. We will answer your questions, introduce you to the different forms of intermittent fasting and give you a recommendation as to which method is best for you.
the essentials in brief
- Intermittent fasting is an easy diet for beginners to lose those annoying pounds. It is divided into an eating and a fasting phase, which is divided into different time windows depending on the method.
- There are hardly any restrictions on intermittent fasting. Basically, you just have to make sure that you don't eat anything during the fasting period. During this time, only water, unsweetened tea and black coffee are allowed. In the eating phase, however, everything can be eaten and drunk.
- Intermittent fasting is popular because of its simplicity. Intermittent fasting is the right choice for those who find it easy to skip breakfast altogether, for example. Just eat the three meals in a shorter window of time and the weight will drop.
Definition: What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is easy to explain. This form of fasting is mainly about the length of time during which you fast. Intermittent fasting is divided into a time when you fast, i.e. no food is eaten and only water, unsweetened tea or black coffee is drunk, and a time when you can eat. During this time you can eat as much and as often as you want. However, in order to achieve the best possible result from fasting, it is advisable to eat a balanced diet and cover meals with healthy foods.
Intermittent fasting boosts fat burning and should make it easier for the body to burn excess fat. However, intermittent fasting still includes a healthy and balanced diet.
Intermittent fasting has become a bigger topic, especially in recent years, as it can be easily integrated into everyday life. It doesn't matter whether you work in the bank or on the construction site. Simply eat within a certain time window and the tiresome counting of calories is over.
Background: What you should know about intermittent fasting for beginners
Before you start intermittent fasting, you should carefully read through the most important information that we present to you here. After that, nothing stands in the way of you starting intermittent fasting.
We have answered some interesting questions for you below. So you can decide immediately whether intermittent fasting is an easy and comfortable diet for you too.
Which variants of intermittent fasting are there for beginners?
There are different variants of intermittent fasting, but the most well-known is the 16:8 method, in which an 8-hour eating phase is followed by a 16-hour fasting phase. The 12:12 method and the 14:10 method are among the most popular intermittent fasting methods for beginners.
|method||fasting period||eating phase||difficulty level|
|16:8 method||16 hours||8 hours||Difficult|
|14:10 method||14 hours||10 hours||Middle|
|12:12 method||12 hours||12 hours||Lighter|
At first, you should think about which method you choose and which one can best be linked to your everyday work. For example, if you start with the 12:12 method, you could switch to the 14:10 method after some time to achieve an even better result.
What can I eat during intermittent fasting?
In principle, everything can be eaten during the eating phase, so you have no restrictions here. This means that there are no limits in the eating phase. We recommend three meals, which of course consist of as balanced a diet as possible.
However, in order to actually want to recognize success, we advise you to eat a balanced diet and that you also make sure not to stuff yourself unnecessarily much during the eating phases.
Maybe intermittent fasting is something for you too? With the right attitude and perseverance, the excess pounds on your hips and stomach will disappear. (Image source: unsplash / i yunmai)
The far-reaching nutrition is a big plus point of intermittent fasting for beginners as well as advanced users of intermittent fasting. You don't have to worry about what you eat, just when you eat it. This puts your body in a starvation phase for a longer period of time and this boosts your metabolism and fat burning.
What are the advantages of intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting with the methods mentioned for beginners impresses with the simplicity of the diet. There is no annoying calorie counting and no foods are strictly prohibited. Studies show that intermittent fasting can also help people lose weight without narrow-minded calorie counting.(1,2,3)
Short daily fasting periods can help you achieve your desired weight. You should only pay attention to the most important clues, which are explained in the next point.
What are the rules for intermittent fasting for beginners?
Basically, the only rule is observing the meal times and fasting times. However, many experts point out a few more aspects. Three meals should be eaten at meal time, the first being the largest and the last being the smallest. The reason for this is that the body then has time over the night to fully concentrate on burning fat.
Movement also plays an important role. Everyone should reconsider their habits in terms of everyday movement. Better to take the stairs to the office than the elevator. Or the bike to the supermarket instead of the train. Such little things get your body moving and it thanks you with additional calories burned.
Gives your body enough fluids and sleep. You should drink as much as possible, especially when you are not allowed to eat anything. Preferably water, unsweetened tea or coffee. This also fills you up a bit and gives you enough energy to go about your everyday life.
In order to achieve the best possible goal of intermittent fasting, you should not forget about sleep. 7-8 hours is a good guideline for adults.
Can you change the times of intermittent fasting?
With intermittent fasting, it is no problem at all to change the times of the eating and fasting phase. So you can adapt the times to your everyday life. But: If you have adjusted the meal and fasting times perfectly for you, please stick to them in order to achieve the best possible goal.
So try to coordinate the phases with your everyday life as best as possible. Then the fasting phase will be much easier for you and there is hardly anything standing in the way of losing weight and your health.
Is intermittent fasting healthy?
Basically, it can be said that fasting is not unhealthy. Our body is used to starvation, since in the hunter-gatherer days it was normal not to eat for a long time. There are some studies that show that fasting can have a positive impact on health, as well as being very helpful for weight loss.(4.5"> Studies also show that intermittent fasting increases stress resistance and inhibits inflammation in the body could.(6)
In surveys of people who practice intermittent fasting, it emerges again and again that these people feel more active and comfortable and get along well with the eating and fasting phases.
Why is intermittent fasting so good for losing weight?
Since food and therefore calorie intake is only allowed for a shorter period of time during intermittent fasting, fewer calories are usually consumed during this time than with a lifestyle in which, for example, 16 hours a day is eaten. During the longer fasting period, which extends over the night, the body can attack the fat stores and thus break down fat.
Intermittent fasting for beginners: The best tips & tricks to shed the pounds
Here we want to give you the best tips and tricks so that you too can quickly reach your desired weight and your best health. With this simple diet, many have managed to lose a few pounds through daily and short-term fasting, as well as improve their health. (7)
In the following paragraphs we will therefore give you a small overview of what you should pay attention to and what you will be facing in the near future.
Find the best intermittent fasting method for you
The 12:12 method
The 12:12 method is the perfect intermittent fasting method for beginners. As the name suggests, a 12-hour eating phase is followed by a 12-hour fasting phase. So if you have breakfast at 8 a.m., you can eat here until 8 p.m. in the evening. Of course, the times can be individually adapted to your everyday life.
The 3 meals should then be accommodated in the 12-hour eating phase. This is a good way for beginners to get started with intermittent fasting. If you then find this method easy, you could also move on to the next method, which provides for a longer fasting phase.
The 14:10 method
A slightly more intense fasting variant is the 14:10 method, in which you fast for 14 hours and eat for 10 hours. For example, if you start your eating phase at 10 a.m., you can eat until 8 p.m. During the night until 10 a.m. the next day, you would have your 14-hour fasting period and your body can concentrate on burning fat as best it can.
The 16:8 method
The most well-known form of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 method, in which you can eat 8 hours a day and fast for 16 hours. That means you could start your eating phase at 12 p.m., which then ends at 8 p.m. and lead directly into the 16-hour fasting phase. However, this method should not be underestimated as especially for beginners the 16 hour fast could be quite hard and stressful for the body.
Watch your diet
Of course, even the strictest intermittent fasting is useless if you stuff yourself with heaps of fast food and only heavily processed foods within a few hours. Eat as much unprocessed food as possible and cook fresh.
Pay attention to the distribution of your macronutrients. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are the macronutrients that should be ingested in the right proportions.
Also make sure that every meal includes vegetables. It's very healthy and filling. You should also pay attention to your protein intake. On the one hand, proteins keep you full for a long time, on the other hand they also help to maintain your muscles despite weight loss, so that you only lose body fat and not body muscles.(8)
Regular exercise boosts metabolism
In principle, no sport is prescribed for intermittent fasting. However, in order to eat healthily and achieve your weight loss goal, additional sports units are a good tip. In order to burn as many calories as possible, we advise you to do sports such as HIIT training, strength training, but also jogging or swimming.
However, not too strenuous sport is recommended during intermittent fasting, since the body is already in a state of stress from fasting. Cardio sessions such as cycling or jogging are ideal, as is strength training. However, keep strenuous exercise brief during the fasting period so your body can focus on "fasting...".
You should incorporate smaller sports units into your everyday life, even if you do intermittent fasting. Light jogging is a real fat burner. (Image source: unsplash / Jenny Hill)
We therefore advise you not to do without sport completely, even during intermittent fasting. Short training sessions of up to one hour are the best way to achieve the dream body as quickly as possible. Also, try to incorporate extra exercise into your everyday life.
The crucial calorie deficit
Ultimately, the key factor in weight loss success is the calorie deficit. You need to give your body fewer calories than it burns. Therefore, you must first determine your calorie consumption per day. This can be determined using calculators on the Internet. The movement-variable part is then added to the basal metabolic rate that your body needs to survive without movement. This gives you your total sales per day. If you consume fewer calories from food than your total metabolic rate, sooner or later you will see that on the scale.(9,10)
So if you burn more calories than you take in over a long period of time, you will lose weight. For example, if your body burns 2,500 calories a day and you only get 2,200 calories from food, you will lose weight in the long run.
Intermittent fasting is also suitable for beginners and beginners. However, you should initially choose a method that you trust yourself to use. It is better not to start with the classic 16:8 method and choosing the 12:12 variant instead is probably the better choice. This interval fasting for beginners is easier to carry out and can be linked to everyday life, and if it is implemented ambitiously, you will quickly see success.
Finally, one can say that intermittent fasting is suitable for everyone, including beginners and newcomers. After a short adjustment period, your body will slowly get used to the longer fasting period and after some time it will not be a problem to go without eating for 10 or even 16 hours.
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- JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports. 16(2):507-547
- Varady KA. Intermittent versus daily calorie restriction: which diet regimen is more effective for weight loss?. Above Rev. 2011;12(7):e593-e601.
- Johnson JB, Summer W, Cutler RG, et al. Alternate day calorie restriction improves clinical findings and reduces markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in overweight adults with moderate asthma [published correction appears in Free Radic Biol Med. 2007 Nov 1;43(9):1348. Tellejohan, Richard [corrected to Telljohann, Richard]]. Free Radic Biol Med. 2007;42(5):665-674.
- Varady KA, Bhutani S, Church EC, Klempel MC. Short-term modified alternate-day fasting: a novel dietary strategy for weight loss and cardioprotection in obese adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90(5):1138-1143.
- Paoli A, Tinsley G, Bianco A, Moro T. The Influence of Meal Frequency and Timing on Health in Humans: The Role of Fasting. nutrients. 2019;11(4):719.
- Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D., and Mark P. Mattson, Ph.D., Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease, N Engl J Med 2019; 381:2541-2551
- Helms ER, Zinn C, Rowlands DS, Brown SR. A systematic review of dietary protein during caloric restriction in resistance trained lean athletes: a case for higher intakes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2014;24(2):127-138.
- Strasser B, Spreitzer A, Haber P. Fat loss depends on energy deficit only, independently of the method for weight loss. Ann Nutr Metab. 2007;51(5):428-432.
- Kirkwood L, Aldujaili E, Drummond S. Effects of advice on dietary intake and/or physical activity on body composition, blood lipids and insulin resistance following a low-fat, sucrose-containing, high-carbohydrate, energy-restricted diet. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2007;58(5):383-397.