Ease Into It: How to Start Intermittent Fasting - BodyRock

Your Cart is Empty

Ease Into It: How to Start Intermittent Fasting

April 04, 2019 5 min read

Ease Into It: How to Start Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is one of the most powerful ways you can lose fat, gain muscle and live a generally healthier, more productive life.  Sounds too good to be true, huh? Well, it's not. By simply restricting the times you eat and eating a mostly healthy foods when you do eat, you can get into the best shape of your life.

But you already know this. That's why you're reading this article. (If you don't know about IF and want to learn more, read this.) You're here because you want to learn about how to IF. The best way is to embrace it as a lifestyle change, as opposed to a diet. We know, we know: everyone flogging any type of dietary change says this and the phrase has lost all meaning.

Here's what we mean when we say IF is a lifestyle. It means you're not going to IF all the time; there are days you're going to eat outside your feeding window, because you have to or are just too damned tired, stressed, and human to be perfect all the time. And that's cool. You don't have to IF every day to lose weight. In fact, people see results intermittent fasting as little as two days a week.

What embracing IF as a lifestyle also means is that you don't have to restrict the foods you eat unless you want or have to. You can eat meat. You can eat carbs. You can eat chips and cookies and cake. As long as you eat mostly healthy foods (80%+ whole, healthy), you'll see results. A flawlessly clean diet isn't necessary. A balanced diet is.

So, you're going to make a lifestyle change and you're going to do it gradually. The most common (and our preferred) kind of IF is 16:8. This means you fast 16 hours a day, and eat for 8. During the periods of fasting, you can drink water, black coffee or tea, but you cannot eat or drink anything with caloric value or anything that can affect your blood sugar levels. It's easier than you may think, especially because most of us sleep for at least half of the 16 hours of fasting.

How to Start Intermittent Fasting

Step 1: Find Your Windows

First thing you have to do is find your feeding and fasting windows. They can be whenever you want. That’s right: whenever. There’s no proof eating late at night causes weight gain unless you are eating too many calories in general, so, as long as you are limiting your feeding window to 8 consecutive hours a day, it doesn’t matter when the window is open.

Our best advice for finding the right windows for you is to take a good, long look at your life and decide what would work realistically for you. For example, if you are a night owl and rarely go to sleep before midnight (or later), your fast could start around 10pm and go until 2pm the next day. If you are getting a decent sleep, this only gives you approximately 6 hours when you’re awake the next day and not eating. That’s it.

Another example: you go to bed each night around 9pm. In this case, you could stop eating at 6pm and eat the next day at 10am. Again, you get to pick your fasting and eating slots to suit your life.

Step 2: Stagger Your Start

While a good many people do IF every single day (or close to it), you don’t have to IF every day to see results. In fact, if you have never fasted before (beyond the usual overnight fast when you sleep), it’s a good idea not to throw yourself into IF. Instead, try IF for one or two nights, then take a night off. See how you feel. Adjust times if necessary. Some studies suggest that because of hormones, women may have a harder time fasting for 16 hours. Try for 14 hours if you’re feeling really hungry and agitated or lightheaded. Or 12. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with working your way up to 16. Or sticking to 14. Or sticking to 14 most of the time and pushing to 16 once or twice a week.

If you are having no trouble fasting for 16 hours off the hop, go for it! But keep reading: the next step is crucial.

Step 3: EAT During Your Eating Window

You only have 8 hours to eat, and while this may seem like a lot of time, it isn’t. You’re going to have to make sure you eat frequently during your feeding window. Because you want to get in all your macronutrients and micronutrients during this time, it’s important to eat predominately whole, clean foods. These are the foods full of the fibre, whole grain carbs, proteins and healthy fats that will keep you fuller, longer. Yes, like in any balanced diet there is room for treats, but again, these should constitute a small percentage of your overall diet.

There is no prescribed number of times you should eat during your feeding window. Two snacks and one big meal. Five little meals. Three medium sized meals. The choice is yours.

Step 4: Get Your Mind Right

One of the most challenging aspects of IF is learning the difference between real hunger and psychological hunger. Psychological hunger is aconditioned or external response rather than a real, physiological need. You want to eat because you've been conditioned to eat at a certain time or because you're sad or tired or angry or happy or just because there's delicious food in front of you. But what you are not is truly hungry.

When you IF, and if you are doing it properly and eating enough good, clean food during your feeding window (and yes, an indulgence now and then), you will never go hungry. However, you may feelhungry  — especially during the first few days of IF while your body adjusts. But it will adjust. Thank increased willpower due to clearer cognitive function and a change in your body’s secretion of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. The more you can avoid answering the urge to eat, the more your ghrelin timing and production will adjust. As a result, you’ll condition your body and brain to embrace the new fasting schedule.

Step 5: Stick to HIIT

HIIT and IF are a match made in fat loss heaven. Any healthy lifestyle necessitates activity. IF is no exception. What is different about IF is the intensity and type of activity that best compliments the practice  — and this difference is refreshing. Unlike other programs that call for rigorous, prolonged activity almost every day of the week, the exercise that best suits an IF lifestyle is wonderfully minimal and rewardingly effective.

3-4 days a week

That’s all you need to do. Three or four days a  week of short, intense periods of training. No cardio sessions necessary. We’re talking HIIT.HIIT workouts and intermittent fasting work beautifully together to help you lose fat, gain muscle, increase aerobic and anaerobic capacity, and keep your hormones in check.

Ready to start? Of course you are  — and we’re here to help. Soon we are launching our NEW Fasting Guide, where you'll be able to find all this information. It’ll be everything you need to help transition into a long-term IF lifestyle, offering recipes, guidance, tips and the science behind IF.  

Also in Insider News

What’s Your Fitness Age: Are You Ready to Find Out?
What’s Your Fitness Age: Are You Ready to Find Out?

April 17, 2021 3 min read

There’s your age, and then there’s your fitness age. Find out how to calculate yours to figure out how old your body is compared to your chronological age. 

Read More
Exercising for Your Genes: What You Need to Know
Exercising for Your Genes: What You Need to Know

April 09, 2021 4 min read

Are you exercising for your genes? Tap into your natural athlete by finding out how to hack your genetics for better results from your workouts. 
Read More
Try the FREE Spring Fitness Challenge Workout
Try the FREE Spring Fitness Challenge Workout

April 06, 2021 1 min read

Ready to warm up to the warmer weather and feel great in your spring duds? Try our FREE Spring Fitness Challenge Workout with BodyRock BFFs Tammy and Jessie!
Read More
Shipping & Delivery
We want you to start your fitness journey with us as quickly as possible, that’s why we send every package to the USA & Canada via expedited or standard shipping (whichever is faster) with our partners at UPS. Once your order has been processed successfully we try to have your shipment prepared within 1-2 business days, and it typically takes 2-4 days to get to you once it leaves our warehouse.

Free Shipping: We are thrilled to now offer free shipping at checkout! If you choose this option at checkout, your order will be delivered ground within 5-7 business days.

We currently DO NOT SHIP to locations outside of the US and Canada. We DO NOT ship to a P.O. Box number.

We ship all of our physical products with UPS, from our warehouse location in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Sometimes delivery can be delayed by circumstances out of our control, like postal & custom delays, back-ordered products or incorrectly entered shipping addresses. If there is a delay at Customs, a representative of UPS may contact you to provide your identification in order to receive your package. Please do this ASAP: Customers will be responsible for any additional shipping fees for failure to provide the required information to release a shipment.

Make sure when checking out and paying for your order that all of your information entered is correct! If you notice a mistake in your address, please try to contact us before your order is processed for shipping to avoid any missed shipments or delays. As soon as we process your order for shipping, you will receive a shipping confirmation email that contains your UPS tracking number. You can head on over to the UPS Website to see where your products are. Note: tracking information may take 1-2 business days to be updated in the UPS system

If you are not home when your package is delivered, BodyRock is NOT responsible if it is stolen. Please contact us if this happens to you and we will provide you with all the information needed to take the next steps.
Returns & Exchanges

BodyRock Equipment

We offer a 30-day return policy, as long as: it is not more than 30 days past the date of delivery; and your item is in its original condition and packaging with the original order number. Refunds will be issued when the equipment is received back to the BodyRock warehouse, minus the original cost of shipping, and the customer is responsible for the costs of return shipping. To request a refund on physical product purchases, please contact us.

Digital Products

We cannot issue refunds on digital goods such as e-books or videos, as these are non-tangible goods that are irrevocable once the order is placed.


All of the BodyRock clothing is made to order and so is final sale. If you have any questions about sizing prior to placing your order, please contact us.