Scientific Nutrition Update 6: How to get Started Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting Book

Okay first things first, I said I was going to include a link for you to get this chapter of my book for free so here you go:

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And below the fold here I will embed the script and episode for you guys:

First things first, I need to make a correction.  In previous episodes I said that the app I used was Weighbot, I did use this in the past but now I use Happy Scales, which is a fantastic app I highly recommend.  For today’s episode we are going directly into my wheelhouse again.  This is part 2 of my three part beginner series on Intermittent fasting.  Yesterday’s episode was an introduction and today is my guide to getting started and progressing in intermittent fasting, and tomorrow we will cover frequently asked questions surrounding intermittent fasting.


Okay so for this I am going to take you through the steps to progress in intermittent fasting that I described in my book The Optimized Guide to Intermittent Fasting: If you want to read this chapter for free go to and select this episode, I’ll put a link up for you to get the chapter for free.


Okay so how to get started in intermittent fasting:


Step 1: Track your weight

If your goal is to lose weight, the only way you can be sure you are losing weight is if you are tracking it.  I recommend using a tracking mechanism that uses a trend line, like I explained yesterday.  I used libra for this on Android and I use Happy Scales for this on iPhone.  


Step 2: 24-hour fast

Fasting can seem a little bit overwhelming to people at times.  Besides that, many people worry that they will struggle to do it, that they cannot go that long without food.  That’s why I recommend starting with a 24-hour fast.  An entire day without food.  This concept scares a lot of people.  There are many people who have never gone a whole day without food in their entire life.  Starting this way shows you that you can handle fasting.  It’s an easy confidence booster right off the bat and puts you in the right mindset for the rest of your time fasting.  Trust me; you can do it.  Also, the first time I did it it gave me a new found self-confidence, made me feel like I could do anything


Step 3: Don’t eat before breakfast or after dinner everyday


This is potentially the simplest and easiest form of intermittent fasting.  You just eat normally, except with no snacking before breakfast or after you eat dinner.  This is a very gentle introduction into intermittent fasting, where the eating window is whatever you choose. Once you have done this for a week and feel confident you can move on to step 4.


Step 4: Only eat for 8 hours a day


This is just like the LeanGains protocol ( in which for 16 hours out of the day, you do not eat, and for 8 hours, you do eat.  You’ll be shocked at how this doesn’t seem very restrictive.  If you break your fast at 8 a.m., you can eat all the way until 4 p.m.  If you, instead, decided to skip breakfast and break your fast at 11 a.m. for lunch, you are free to eat all the way until 7 p.m.  Do this for at least a week while continuing to track your weight every day.  If your weight stops dropping or if you want a new challenge, move on to step 5.


Step 5: Only eat for four hours a day


This is a much bigger jump.  This is much more challenging.  This is when intermittent fasting seems much more difficult, but also it is possible that some of the health benefits of intermittent fasting really start with longer fasts.  Plus, remember, you already did a 24-hour fast in step 2, so handling a 20-hour fast seems reasonable after that.  Stay at this for at least two whole weeks before you advance to the next step.  However, if—after those two weeks—you find your weight is still not moving, or you want a new challenge, then move on to step 6.


Step 6: Do what I call OMAD+


Now, OMAD or One Meal A Day is an intermittent fasting protocol in which you are only allowed to have one meal per day.  This is an aggressive intermittent fasting protocol that many people find difficult to stick to.  What I do that has helped me is 60−90 minutes before I eat my one meal, I eat a small snack.  This psychologically makes me feel better about the diet because I feel like I am eating more, and it helps keep me from eating way too much for my one meal of the day.  I call my personal variation on OMAD OMAD+ because you are allowed the extra small snack.  Do this for at least three weeks before you decide to move on to the next step.  If, however, you find your weight is still not moving, or you want more detail about your diet, you can move on after those three weeks.


Step 7: Track your calories


In general, I do not like tracking calories.  I find that it makes eating feel like a chore, and I love eating.  I want eating to be pleasurable.  However, when you are at a stubborn plateau, and you feel like your weight just will not move, you need to do something.  The easiest thing I’ve found is to track your calories.  Make sure that you are eating an amount that will let you lose weight.  Often you only need to do this for a little while until you reacquaint yourself with the portion sizes that let you lose weight.  After that, you can go back to eating normally.


Step 8: Take a day off


This is arguably the most important step. I still believe this diet will inevitably fail if you ignore this step.  Almost every diet can be effective.  The reason many of them are not is that, eventually, people stop following it.  This is especially true for any restrictive diet.  This step helps you stay dedicated to the diet.  At least once a month, ignore all the advice in this book.  Eat when you want.  Relax.  Enjoy it.  If you do not leave room in your diet for the enjoyment of food and all the things that come with it, you will fail.  Our goal is to have a healthy life yes, but most of all our goal is to have a happy life


That’s all you need to know to start fasting now.  There will be tips and tricks and science for the rest of this book, but you now have enough knowledge to get started.  You know everything you need to know, so to quote a famous shoe company: “Just do it.”


If you want to learn more about intermittent fasting consider checking out my book The Optimized Guide to Intermittent Fasting and if you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a review, it helps more than you know.  Thank you for tuning in, and remember live long, live healthy, but most of all live happy


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