You’ve heard the weight loss success stories associated with intermittent fasting. But you cannot imagine going 16 or more hours without food. You are not alone in your fears, but you do not have to give up on this powerful weight loss and health tool. I explained how to get started with fasting the easy way, in this video.
How to Start Fasting
- It is normal to experience some uneasiness when you change your eating habits
- By starting with an overnight fast of 12 hours, you build confidence and ease into fasting
- When you are comfortable with 12:12 fasting, you can lengthen your fasting window to gain more benefits.
How to Start Fasting [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- The benefits of a 12 hour fast.
- How to build confidence and start fasting for longer periods of time!
- A practical strategy for weight loss success.
Feel Some Fear? You’re Not Alone
To begin, I want to start by sharing this comment I received from Lorna:
“I started with the 12:12 schedule because initially going without food for that long was a challenge. I was a night time nibbler. I began with not eating 3 hours before bed as part of the 0,1,2,3, plan. Just that was an accomplishment. As I continued with the 0,1.2,3 plan, I can now do 16:8 very easily which I never thought I could.”
The 0,1,2,3 plan that she mentioned is based on the strategy that you can learn here for free. As you can see, Lorna had a lot of trepidation and fears about starting fasting.
She thought of going without food as challenging and had concerns about disrupting her late-night snacking habit. Like many of you, she was also intrigued by fasting and wondered if it could really work and help her to accelerate her results. So she did the smart thing. She started with a 12-hour fast.
Start Fasting with a 12-Hour Fast
A 12-hour fast was not only a good path for Lorna; it is also the path that you can take to start benefiting from intermittent fasting.
Is 12 Hours Really Fasting?
Many people will say that 12 hours of fasting is not fasting at all and is just how people usually eat. However, we know from research that that is not true. In fact, the reality is that more than 50% of us are all-day grazers eating for more than 15 hours a day, with the majority of our calories coming after 6 o’clock at night (1).
Is 12 Hours Long Enough?
Others will say that 12 hours of fasting has no benefit at all. However, when you allow your body to rest from the demands of digesting food, it helps to stabilize your blood sugar level.
If you start your fast after dinner, allowing at least 3 hours before you go to bed, you give your body time to complete digestion, which brings down your core temperature, allowing you to sleep more soundly. This break before bed will also lower the level of insulin in your blood, which supports better fat burning as you sleep.
Beyond those benefits, one of the biggest advantages of starting with 12 hours of fasting is that it builds your confidence, and removes any fears that you might have about going without food. When you’ve reached that level of comfort, you’re going to be able to increase your fasting window to 13 hours.
When you’re comfortable with that, move to 14 hours, 15 hours, and then 16 hours, which is when we start to see the full array of intermittent fasting benefits begin, from better weight loss to better health.
Takeaway: How to Start Fasting
The takeaway is this, it is normal to feel some fears when you think about changing your established eating pattern and starting to use intermittent fasting. But, you can bypass those fears by starting with a 12 hour fast.
It’s easiest to do when you use the hours that you sleep. So, if you’re up for it, here’s how you can start today. Let the last bite of your dinner tonight mark the start of your fasting window. Feel free to drink water or tea in the hours before you go to bed, but don’t consume any food.
When you wake up in the morning, simply delay breakfast until 12 hours have past and you’ve completed a 12:12 fast. That is all there is to it. Do that for one week, and you will find that your comfort level with fasting grows with each day that passes. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!
(1) Gill, Shubhroz, and Satchidananda Panda. “A smartphone app reveals erratic diurnal eating patterns in humans that can be modulated for health benefits.” Cell metabolism 22.5 (2015): 789-798.
About the Author
Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.