Beginners Guide to Fasting – Where to Start?

The fasting community is a popular and growing community with many experts in the field. Due to the increase of popularity there have been an influx in intermittent and long term fasting studies done. Studies range from weight loss to the not so obvious of things like “autophagy” and “mitochondrial biogenesis”. There is also a dark side of the fasting community. A side in which studies are stating that it isn’t good for you.

Like any trend, idea, new business – you name it. There will be someone playing devil’s advocate. This is a large world with many diet ideas out there. Some work for others and some don’t. When I was a kid is vastly different from what you hear nowadays. And 30 years from now will be something yet again very different.

fasting for beginner
virtruvian man

The way I see this “my diet is better than yours” is very simple. The rate at which humans are living is exponentially increasing as time moves on. The food we eat is a direct reflection of our existence, of our longevity. Of course there are other factors that go into place. But diet and exercise rank up there in my opinion. Fasting is a great way to explore your potential mentally and physically. The fasting place has put together a little article about the beginners guide to fasting…enjoy.

The Right Reasons

Not one idea or “fad” is going to work for everyone. Some people really enjoy food; like really…to the point of deleting you as a fiend on Facebook. And that is fine, completely fine – that is a joy of being a human. Some people are looking for a change and will try anything to tackle that goal. And for me it was believing in the binary principles of it. Knowing I will benefit from fasting, intermittently and long term fasts.

Whatever diet and plan a person has decided on should be an important decision. I don’t believe in a “fad” idea because like fads, they all seem to die out. Creating a lifestyle change is more of the way I like to see it. I admit that it is a struggle to commit 100% to something like a fasted regimen (I am proof that is a work in progress).

But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. I have ultimately found benefits in fasting and certain diets with high fat in them – that is me – my personal experience. I have found it much more beneficial than not.

I am going to focus on the reasons started me down a fasting road. The couple that stood out to me were obviously

Mindset
Mindset

weight loss, at a rapid rate and mental clarity. Although I wasn’t too sure about the mental clarity I knew I wanted to lose some weight and do it fast. The mental clarity was a bonus. Along with those two benefits came an array of others

that I found beneficial. That is why we have the beginners guide to fasting.

But when starting out it is hard to focus on what is important to remember. With an enormous amount of information out there on fasting, I found out the hard way by not having a clear mission or plan. I ended up benefiting from the trial runs, but I have outlined what I wish I knew about fasting before I started.

The Fasting Place has come up with a simple and easy way to understand what you need to know before fasting. The creation of the Fasting Beginners Guide is about to begin.

Fasting – When Starting Out

When I first heard of fasting for health benefits, it intrigued me. I was wanting to know more and that is what I did. I researched and watched videos, understood the lingo, the dangers and most importantly I was empowering myself with a new way of dieting and losing weight. The key take-aways through all of the research were the simple ones.

You aren’t Starving – You’re Hungry

Starving is to suffer severely or starve from food. Take the first part of this definition “suffer severely”. You could be 65 pounds overweight, that is suffering severely in my mind. Suffering severely can be taken to any context that any person sees fit. If you are doing something for a reason…a good reason, there may be some suffering involved.

Hunger
Hungry not starving

There will be “signs” that will tell you to quite your fast whether it be intermittent or a 72 hours fast. Signs is in quotes because this is just your body telling your mind “hey we aren’t used to this, please shove some food down the throat”. There will be a bit of a “flu feeling”. See some examples of some signs –

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Hunger

Seems pretty obvious right? Knowing this going in will help in a few different ways. You will prepare you mind knowing this will occur and won’t bail at the first sign of weakness. You body will adapt knowing that you have in fact prepared for this. Don’t take my word for it…it’s science. The above really does go hand in hand for both intermittent and a longer term fast. But in case you were wanting to decipher a few key components between the two – let’s get down to it.

Intermittent

To get started – What is intermittent fasting.

Well it is where you have predetermined window of fasting (non eating) and eating. There are various diet plans and regimens associated with intermittent fasting. This is more of an umbrella term for different variations.

Fasting plate
Fasting intermittent 5:2

The Fasting Place Definition of Intermittent Fasting: Not eating any calories until 2:00 pm. We suggest 8-12 oz of black coffee in the morning.

So if you are gong to start intermittent fasting (which is what we suggest, before jumping into something longer fast), there a couple different things to keep in mind that vary from a longer fast. These are The Fasting Place grade “A” opinions, you can change them up any way you please. These have just been our proven model.

You will be eating on a set schedule and will likely be hungry for your feeding window. For obvious reasons it is important to set a schedule and stick with it! Whatever schedule you set for yourself – stay with it, no matter what. We have some examples of our top choice for starting an intermittent fasting routine.Check it out here.

Along with a schedule you should place a calorie deficit on yourself. This doesn’t need to be extreme by any means. But if you want results you will need to tackle this like any other diet. If you are doing this for other reasons other than weight loss, by all means keep your calorie intake right where it is. You will still lose weight.

Last but not least the last recommendation for you to get rolling…have a diet in mind to start with. This can be any diet you have in mind. We like the keto diet going high in fats and low in carbs, check out our take on the Keto diet and fasting.

Water Fasting or Long-Term Fasting

When water fasting the same applies for most of the principles from above. There are differences in intermittent and water fasting. Water fasting gets the name because you really only drink water…that’s it – WATER ONLY. However we have a spin on water fasting…with good reason.

If you truly want to “water fast” then yes…you can drink only water for a set time. In experience and through research, I find it much more beneficial to have again 8-12 ounces of coffee in the morning, then water and sparkling water. The coffee boosts the autophagy cycle which is one of the reasons I use long term fasting in the first place.

When doing a long term fast you need to be committed and versed in your research. Knowing what your body is capable of and not “over doing” certain aspects. I have several 2 day fasts, several 5 days fasts and recently a 10 day fast. Every fast has challenged my mind and my urge to break the fast. A couple hacks to get you through your initial beginning can be seen here.

It really is a Simple Idea – Summary of Beginners Guide to Fasting

Fasting really is simple. It is “not eating” for a set period of time. The hard part is training your mind to understand that “everything is going to be OK”.

Have a Plan and Schedule

You should have a plan in place. Whether it be a well thought out plan with “by the minute” eating schedules or if you

ponder
ponder

have a looser schedule. Either way have a start and end date. Make sure to set some parameters such as:

  • Length of fast
  • Type of diet you will be on when done
  • Journal your experience
  • Commit to yourself

Having a plan will make it all much easier.

These are just a few simple keys to remember before starting a fast whether it be an intermittent fast or a 5 day water fast. Intermittent fasting is really a great way to lose some unwanted pounds but also start a new unique diet that will help you shed pounds faster. Water fast’s can be great for resetting your entire immune system – helping regenerate some dead cells, and improve your gut health.

These keys seem to be simple – they are. Understanding the above mentioned is paramount. It truly is hard to understand if you have never done this before. Once you have started, you will notice within a few hours your mental state has changed from “I am not that hungry” to “Holy efff, I am not going to get to eat for 3 days!” – or however long or if you are intermittently fasting. You have to learn to conquer you mind, not an easy thing to do.

Conquering your own mind is the first key to success with fasting. I find it best to do this through research on the topic. We have jammed this article full of what is necessary to get rolling. If you have any questions or something to add, please leave a comment below or shoot an email over!

Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day

Cheers

Nic Chiri

Nic
nic@thefastingplace.com

 

 

 

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24 comments

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  1. Rutz

    This is a very interesting article on fasting.  I used to do it some time back when I could go into prayer and I agree that it comes with a lot of mental clarity.  The water fasting is especially good if one is planning to go on many days.  Is there an age limit that you would recommend beginners to start fasting?

    • Nic

      Thanks for the read,

      Fasting is great for all sorts of reason, religion is one of course – holding you accountable to a bigger purpose. In essence that is the same reason you do for anything else also.

      There is plenty of skepticism of what age to start a fast, and with good reasoning behind it. 

      I would say wait at least until 18, that’s just me. I have seen where 12 and 13 years old have gone on a longer fast however. 

      Just do some research and find out if it fits your paradigm. Thanks!

      Nic

  2. Margarette

    I have tried fasting.  The longest I went was 13 days.  I drank only water and unsweetened coffee and tea.  It was hardest in the first 3 days.  I suffered headaches but later learned that it was my body detoxing.  Afterwards, I experienced a feeling of euphoria and well being.  I slowly eased out of with broths and soups for 3 days before I went back to solid foods.  It’s not for everyone and it may be dangerous as with everything else, it all depends on how and why you’re doing it.  I started meditating while I was fasting, it was a way to get over the hunger pangs.  Now I meditate daily.  Fasting can be a great way to detox as well.

    • Nic

      Margarette – Awesome!

      You have truly experienced the glory of a long term fast. Great for you! You should be proud, very proud.

      You have done it all right also, weeing yourself back into solids by breaking your fast with liquids. You would be a great candidate for a possible interview? Seriously we would love to tackle how you did your fast, and would love to post your experience to our community!

      The meditation is something I have adopted also. It is a must in my opinion if you are wanting to fast for extended periods of time. 

      If you are interested at all please shoot me an email or comment back! We would love to get to know you.

      Cheers,

      Nic

  3. Matthew

    Can fasting really be beneficial to your health? I thought it was just a religious thing. I like the idea of water fasting as I really need a good detox but I don’t think I can drink coffee as I suffer with anxiety so having caffeine would be a problem I think.

    Could you recommend something else other than coffee to boost my autophagy cycle?

    • Nic

      Matthew,

      Thanks for reading, much appreciated. 

      Fasting is very beneficial in an array of ways. I will leave a link at the bottom for you to check out some of the benefits. A few of them that I enjoy are mental clarity, weight loss and autophagy (regeneration of cells). There are many other reasons that can equate to success among fasting. 

      You could try de-caff coffee if the caffeine is what you are worried about, that will start the autophagy the same way. Or if you find a zero calorie tea, this may help also.

      https://thefastingplace.com/th

      Cheers,

      Nic

  4. Sondra M

    Nic, just yesterday I stumbled across an article on intermittent fasting when a friend asked me to look at their website.   Prior to that person’s article, my only familiarity with fasting was fasting before some sort of medical test or fasting for religious purposes.     After reading that article, I found myself wishing that I could find more information about fasting that was geared towards beginners to the topic.     So, I must say that your article was extremely timely.     You did a great job of answering a number of my questions.     

    I am not 100 percent certain that fasting is going to be me, but I appreciate the opportunity to consider the pros and cons plus understanding what it entails exactly.    

    • Nic

      Sondra,

      Your interest in fasting is just the tip.

      Dive in a little deeper and you will see an entire new “you” awaken. This really is a lifestyle changer. If nothing else what do you have to lose?

      a few pounds? haha

      You will save a little money by not buying food either. 🙂

      Cheers, 

      Nic

  5. Remy

    hello nic,

    I like your page and I like your site.  I spent about 9 months intermittent fasting a few years back.  At the time it was only because my wife (now ex wife) was doing it and I had kind of  high cholesterol so thought I would give it a shot for a few weeks.  It was surprisingly easy to stick to and surprisingly uplifting.  I lost quite a bit of weight (I was only several kilos overweight so didn’t have a lot to lose).  

    it seems like a lifetime ago now, I have fallen back into all the old habits again, time to start up again.  Thanks for the motivational kick in the rear.

    • Nic

      Remy,

      Thanks for the read,

      I am glad we could give you the “boost” to get back in the game!

      Cheers,

      Nic

  6. julienne murekatete

    Thank you for sharing with us this great post on fasting for purpose to lose weight.Hunger is a very terrifying word. By saying it,the mind get shocked however the whole body.I agree with you that fasting can help us lose weight and get the size we always dream to have.

    I have tried to fast 10 hours but I failed due to my stomach ache.I s there any advice for people who want to fast but due to a stomach ache can’t do so?

    • Nic

      Julienne,

      Thank you for stopping by,

      Great comment with a great question. 

      Hunger hits everyone – whether it be from fasting or just typical “forgetting  to eat”. Stomach pains can lead to headaches, which lead to a “flu like” feeling. This is all head games.

      Tackling your mentality is a great way to get through this. Check out this article that goes a little more in depth about intermittent fasting, let me know if you have further questions after the read.

      https://thefastingplace.com/wh

      Cheers,

      Nic

  7. Dianne

    Hi Nic

    I read this article on fasting with great interest, I have heard from a few people lately whom have fasted and I never really understood what it really entailed nor the benefits behind it. Being of a slim build and although I am interesting in the health benefits I am a bit concerned about weightloss. Do you have any fasting plans that would suit me?

    • Nic

      Dianne, 

      Thanks for the interest in The Fasting Place,

      As far as being a thin and slender build  – good for you by the way! – fasting is for everyone. There are many programs for every build out there. And supplements are available also if interested in that route.

      If you are wanting a fasting program, feel free to email us and we can communicate about your desires in the realm.

      Thanks again,

      nic

      nic@thefastingplace.com

  8. Nkhosingiphile

    The beginners guide to fasting really states it clearly that i can even do it, as long as i will train my mind to adapt and tell my self that no food for this long, i will loose weight and be fine. I will go for the water fasting but before i just want to get the coffee like you have just said. My question is are you also fasting for religious purposes aside from what you have just mentioned?

    • Nic

      Thanks for stopping by,

      That is what it is all about, keeping your mind right.

      I do fast briefly for religious reasons, but nothing to extravagant. 

      Cheers,

      Nic

  9. Juliet

    Hi Nic, I really enjoyed reading your post. I go on fasts not for health reasons but I do come out healthier. Usually my type of fasting is the intermittent fasting. If I extend my intermittent fasting to eating at 6pm daily is ok I drink water at some points during the day? I don’t drink coffee, would only water do? Or can I have tea instead of coffee? 

    • Nic

      Juliet, 

      Thanks for stopping by. You have some good questions hear – good to note.

      Drinking water throughout the day is great and will keep you hydrated obviously. Not being a coffee drinker is no big deal. I drink coffee purely for digestive productivity and a little boost in the morning. Tea would be fine, you would need to find a tea with zero calories however. 

      Check out this article about intermittent fasting we posted a while ago, it goes into a little more depth. It may help answer some of you questions further. 

      https://thefastingplace.com/wh

      Cheers,

      Nic

  10. Florence

    Fasting is a very big challenge for me, I am able to fast from time to time for religious purposes but even then my body shouts a big No and it takes a real effort to finish the fast. I am realizing that i must first win the battle in my mind and recognize that i am not starving , i am just hungry.

    I want to try intermittent fasting this time for health reasons and hope that the tips i have learnt from your article will come in very handy, Do i need to see a doctor first before starting any fasting program?

    • Nic

      Florence,

      Great comments and thank you for the input. Other people’s experiences with fasting is a great way to understand the realm, thank you for that. 

      Mind tricks are a must when starting a fast, anything to get an edge on your fasting is a plus. As far as seeing a doctor before starting a fast, typically I would say don’t worry about it. However if you are diabetic, or have other blood sugar related issues it might not be a bad idea to check in with them. 

      Fasting is a natural way of detoxing and cleansing, in most cases you will be fine. 

      Cheers,

      Nic

  11. Celeste

    I found this very interesting. I love your take on the mental side of fasting. So many people only think of fasting in relation to dieting but it can be a good way to test your limits and push yourself further than you thought you could. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Nic

      Celeste,

      Thanks for the read,

      I find fasting to me 90 percent mental, maybe even more than that. I am glad to hear the same from a reader. Much appreciated.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Nic

  12. Maria

    I have tried it before but I couldn’t do it for the time I selected-24 hr. I felt very bad and didn’t have anyone near to help. My coach at Gym did it recently after a competition, he told me it was good to detoxified his body and to lower tissues inflammation. I agree with him, the main point for a success fasting is don’t eat nothing while you are fasting 😉 I will try it again. Good luck 

    • Nic

      Maria,

      Thanks for the testimony and sorry to hear you fell short, however this is how it starts. You just have to keep getting back up and progressing. Intermittent fasting is a great way to get rolling. 

      Intermittent fasting will get your body used to missing the calories it was used to. Check out this article about intermittent fasting The Fasting Place posted a while ago.

      https://thefastingplace.com/wh

      Cheers,

      Nic

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