Fasting tips for beginners

Consider these weekly health advice emails a thank-you for your interest in Steve’s.

Fasting can be intimidating for the inexperienced, but it’s not so hard with the right guidance. If you’ve never fasted before, these easy tips are for you!

Tip #1: Ease in with a beginner-friendly fasting schedule

Popular fasting styles like “16/8” often involve daily fasting, but that’s not necessarily the best schedule for beginners (or for all goals).

Most beginners should consider fasting several days each week for several hours each fast period.

In other words, you could start off by skipping breakfast or dinner Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Once you’re comfortable with that approach, you can increase the length of fasts or fast more often.

Photo of Steve below…doing his best to walk the walk and talk the talk…it certainly doesn’t get any easier as you get older…the key is to stay disciplined and be consistent in your lifelong pursue of fitness and health. 

Consider these weekly health advice emails a thank-you for your interest in Steve’s.

Fasting can be intimidating for the inexperienced, but it’s not so hard with the right guidance. If you’ve never fasted before, these easy tips are for you!

Tip #1: Ease in with a beginner-friendly fasting schedule

Popular fasting styles like “16/8” often involve daily fasting, but that’s not necessarily the best schedule for beginners (or for all goals).

Most beginners should consider fasting several days each week for several hours each fast period.

In other words, you could start off by skipping breakfast or dinner Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Once you’re comfortable with that approach, you can increase the length of fasts or fast more often.

Tip #2: Stay hydrated

Healthy whole foods are an important source of water, so when you first start fasting, you may need to replace the water you’re not getting from food — especially if you’re active or it’s hot outside.

You can enjoy any calorie-free beverage when fasting (including unsweetened tea or black coffee), but water is the best overall choice for hydration.

Some evidence also suggests drinking ice-cold water can significantly boost your metabolism and aid weight loss[1].

Fun fact: your body can produce about 1.1 ml of water for every 1 g of stored fat you burn, so your water needs may decrease slightly as your fasting experience increases and your ability to burn fat goes up[2].

Tip #3: Hold the supplements until after the fast

Fasting is healthy, and antioxidants in your diet are healthy, so the two must be a match made in heaven…right?

Not exactly. New research suggests that antioxidant supplements (including many vitamins) may decrease benefits of exercise and fasting, especially autophagy (cellular recycling)[3][4].

If you take antioxidants or other dietary supplements, wait until after you break your fast. That way you can achieve maximum autophagy and other health benefits of fasting.

Okay, that’s it for this week…

Have I persuaded you to try fasting? Do you have any favorite fasting tips I should know about?

P.S. Please talk to your doctor before fasting if you have a medical condition or take prescription medication. Nearly everyone can safely fast, but some people may need to use extra caution or make medication adjustments.

The Science

[1]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3809630/

[2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6315424/

[3]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25841784/

[4]https://www.nature.com/articles/cdd2014150



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