Are you thinking about getting started with intermittent fasting, but have no idea on how to approach it? Then this article is for you!
In this blog post, you’ll learn more about what it takes to get started and how the BodyFast app can help you on your journey. It’s easier than you might think – we promise 😉
Your Guide to Successful Fasting
In the following sections, you’ll find our step-by-step guide to your intermittent fasting journey with BodyFast. You’ll learn how to get the most out of the app and make it your effective companion.
If you don’t have the BodyFast app on your phone yet, you can download it here.
1. Tell us about yourself
After downloading the app, go through the sign-up process and answer the questions about yourself (e.g. gender, age, current and goal weight, etc.). The information you provide will help us better understand you, your current situation and your goals, and will allow us to guide you more individually and effectively along your journey.
We also recommend to set up an account with an email address and password. This way you can use the app to its full extent, e.g. precisely track your progress, calculate your water requirements or log in and out (without data loss!).
If you plan to use the app’s Coach features, make sure to enter your personal info, as it’s important to personalize your fasting experience.
2. Start with a gentle plan
If you want to start on your own (without the Coach), there are twelve different fasting plans to choose from in the app. You can find them in the fasting tab by scrolling down a bit and opening the green category folders.
Wondering what the Coach programs at the top of the screen are all about? These are multi-week fasting programs for Coach users, designed for very specific fasting goals, such as losing weight faster, boosting immunity or health, etc.
Important for your start (be it with Coach or without): Don’t overstrain yourself and your body right away by starting with a demanding plan like the Power Week. Start with shorter fasting periods, e.g. 14, 15, or 16 hours.
This will give your body the opportunity to get used to the new style of eating and will quickly provide you with positive experiences! You’ll see how motivating and empowering it feels when you manage to complete your fasting periods.
Keep in mind that longer periods of fasting are not automatically more effective. In fact, our years of experience show that it’s more effective to vary your fasting periods. This way your metabolism works at maximum efficiency.
Especially for women, we recommend not to exceed fasting periods of 18 hours in order to keep their hormones balanced.
3. Set the time for the last meal of your day
Especially in the beginning, many find it easier to fast overnight. Sure, if you spend a large part of your fasting period asleep, feelings of hunger will have much less time to make your life harder.
Therefore, think about when you want to eat your last meal in the evening.
Assuming you usually eat dinner at 7:00 pm, start your fasting period at 8:00 pm.
With 16-8, for example, this means that you fast from 08:00 pm to 12:00 noon and eat from 12:00 noon to 08:00 pm.
All gentle fasting plans like 14-10 or 16-8 can be found in the app in the “Standard plans” folder, by the way. Our “Easy fasting” plan is also ideal for getting started. You can find it in the “Autophagy plans” folder.
If your fasting times don’t match your meal times after the start of your week, you can simply move them by tapping the “Edit times” button, which can be found below your fasting times.
Important: Not everyone likes to skip breakfast when fasting. Some people find it easier to skip dinner. That’s why in the app, some of the plans come in an early and a late version.
Feel free to experiment. If you have the impression that your current plan doesn’t suit you – be it because of the length or timing of your fasting periods – swap or adjust it. You can do that at any time, even during running weeks.
Fast the way it feels right for you!
4. The most important things to remember when fasting
During your fasting period please only have water, tea and coffee without sugar, milk, sweeteners or other additives. That means chewing gum, zero drinks or supplements are not allowed either. Otherwise, your fasting period will be interrupted.
If you have to take any medication, please always do so as prescribed by your doctor.
In general: Drinking a lot of water is very important during fasting and supports your success (more about this here). So it’s best to use the reminder in the app. You can find our top tea recommendations for fasting in our blog post.
Drinking reminders can be activated in the settings or in the Me tab in the “Progress” section. To do so, tap the gear icon in the top right and tap “Notifications.” Here you can also set the time intervals at which you want to be reminded.
You can use the water tracker by tapping on the “+” and “-” icons, which are also located in the progress tab. By tapping the circle icon with the three dots you can set your daily goal, portion size and liquid unit.
Another important note: In the first few days, you may feel unwell during fasting, e.g. you may experience headaches, digestive problems, dizziness or freezing. However, whether and to what extent side effects occur is very individual and, unfortunately, cannot be predicted.
Usually the symptoms don’t persist for very long. If you are affected by undesired side effects, you can find strategies on how to best deal with them in the help section of the app. If that doesn’t help, abort your fasting plan and get a medical checkup.
5. The most important things to remember in your eating period
Basically, there are no forbidden foods when doing intermittent fasting. However, if you want to support your success, it’s a good idea to start with small portions when breaking your fast and eat nutrient-dense foods.
Specifically, this means:
- Eat protein-rich foods: e.g., legumes, eggs, milk products, tempeh
- Add healthy fats: e.g. avocado, olives, nuts, seeds
- Include vitamins and minerals: lots of vegetables and some fruit
This will help you refill your nutrient stores quickly after fasting, without risking your blood sugar levels to spike too quickly. Otherwise, you may soon find yourself tired and hungry again.
If you want to get an idea of what dishes look like that boost your success: Open the recipe tab in the app. Our collection of recipes is perfectly adapted to the intermittent fasting lifestyle. In each category you will find a free sample recipe. As a Coach user, you have access to more than 100 recipes.
To learn how to break your fast in the best possible way, click here. Important: Even if you do intermittent fasting to lose weight, you should eat your fill during your eating periods. This is the only way to prevent nutrient deficiencies and associated cravings in your eating windows.
Are carbs a no-go during meal periods? No, this is a myth!
Sure: If you eat large amounts of highly sugary and white flour foods on a regular basis, it’s going to negatively impact your progress sooner or later.
But: not all carbs are the same. Especially long-chain carbs, e.g. whole grain products, can (in moderation) complement your diet, as they are great sources of energy and provide long-lasting satiety.
Our tip: Enjoy carbs – but do so consciously! Treat yourself now and then, it’s part of life and won’t ruin your success.
6. Measure your progress – but correctly
Your body weight alone is usually an inadequate reflection of your success. Our weight is influenced by many factors that we simply cannot control.
Therefore, weigh yourself maximally once a week and also take your body measurements. This way you can see if and where you are losing fat.
You can find instructions on how to take your measurements in the app (in the Me tab / “Progress” section, when you tap on the respective boxes) or in more detailed form when you tap on the question mark icon in the upper left corner. There you will also find a tape measure recommendation if you don’t have one yet.
You can enter your weight either at the end of each fasting week when you evaluate your week, or you can tap the “+ Weight” button in the Me tab. Here you can also view, edit or delete all your weight entries.
Important to know: For some people, it takes a little longer for the first physical changes to become visible. Every person is different. So if you don’t notice any weight-related changes in the first few weeks, don’t lose your motivation and try to be patient – even if it’s hard.
Also pay attention to all the other great effects of intermittent fasting, e.g. the benefits for your skin, your sleep, your energy levels etc.
You can find more background info on how to measure your success here.
7. Become part of our Facebook community
No matter if it’s nutrition, sports or intermittent fasting: Together it’s easier and more fun. In our Facebook group you can find many like-minded people, exchange ideas, get inspired by success stories or get motivational tips.
8. Follow us on social media and ask for help when you need it
Knowledge, tips, and help for tricky fasting situations are available to you either in the Help tab of the app or on our social media channels. Here is the link to our Instagram profile. You can find us on Twitter here.
If you have any doubts, questions or feedback, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always at your side 🙂
How the BodyFast Coach can support you on your journey
As you can see, there are many ways to fast. Therefore, it’s not easy to figure out which fasting style suits your life and your goals.
That’s what the Coach is for: He puts together your optimal and personalized fasting program.
You will receive a fasting plan every week, which is tailored to your progress and needs. With appropriate challenges and daily coachings, the Coach will help you get the most out of intermittent fasting!
You’ll also get access to more than 100 delicious recipes designed specifically for your fasting success! This makes meal planning so much easier. Plus, fasting will be much more effective if you keep yourself perfectly nourished during your eating windows.
And look at it this way: Your Coach investment pays off twice in the end. For example, if you skip one meal and cut out unnecessary snacks every day, you’ll quickly save more than 150 USD per month – which means you’ll quickly recoup your subscription costs.
If you’ve already decided to try intermittent fasting, do it right. With the BodyFast app and the Coach you are on the safe side.