Many of my clients struggle with how to start a 16:8 Intermittent Fasting approach. Meaning, you fast for 16 hours and eat for eight. My approach is always gradual. I suggest starting with a 12:12 approach (fast for 12 hours and eat for 12) and evolving over time to a 16:8 once your body adapts.
Always start the morning with several glasses of water to rehydrate the body. If you rely on caffeine for energy or appetite correction, I recommend unsweetened tea or coffee that is diluted with extra water.
Exercise in the fasted state is the most effective. This is a great way to deplete glycogen stores, allowing the body to free up fatty acids for energy. This way you train the body to utilize your own body fat as energy and experience less hunger.
Most of my clients who do the 16:8 approach open their eating window at 12pm and close it by 8pm. But, I encourage you to listen to your body. If you experience strong hunger in the morning, you should consider opening your window for breakfast and closing it with an early dinner, such as 10am to 6pm.
Think of opening your window as refueling your body. It’s important to eat a nutrient-dense meal like eggs, fish, greens, avocado, and a variety of vegetables. Your body actually does a better job and utilizing nutrients after a substantial fast.
I advise my client to eat filling portions to prevent hunger and snacking between meals. The last meal of the day should be your most complete. I find when you eliminate food groups or eat a light dinner, it makes it harder to fast the following morning.
Lastly, when you close your window, keep it closed. Keep in mind, even a flavored beverage would reopen your fast.