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Beginner’s guide to Intermittent Fasting: The 7 Simple Rules for Starting “IF” for fat loss

Intermittent fasting, “IF”, is a powerful tool for fat loss.  There are a plethora of health benefits to intermittent fasting, including improved insulin sensitivity and neurological benefits (it brings you into mild ketosis regularly).

You can intermittent fast on any diet. Many people eating a keto diet or carnivore diet try intermittent fasting, or vice versa.

“IF” is becoming a highly popular method for weight loss – here are the 7 Simple Rules for Starting IF.

Watch the video about our 7 Simple Rules for Starting IF for Fat Loss

1. It takes time to adapt to and enjoy Intermittent Fasting

At first you will likely feel quite hungry during the fast, as you move forward you adapt and become accustomed to it – many people feel far better both mentally and physically during the fasting period than they do once they start eating. Stick with it.

2.  Start with a longer eating window

Start with a shorter fast – 14hours, or even 12 hours, and gradually tighten it up as you become accustomed to it. 16-18 hours is a good sweet spot for many, this will allow decent digestion and spacing of meals. Don’t just jump into a 20/4 routine with a 20 hour fast and 4 hour feeding window.

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3.  NO food during the fast

BPC, MCT, a bit of fruit, etc will all break the fast…a bit of black coffee, tea with no sweetener etc is fine

4.  Don’t push your fasted workouts too hard

Don’t go too intense with your workouts if you are exercising fasted, especially as you’re becoming accustomed to the diet. Don’t expect to make maximum muscle gains using IF – yes, you can gain muscle on IF but you will likely not max out your gains.  If you are looking to gain weight, Intermittent Fasting is likely not the best route to take.

5.  Don’t gorge so much in your feeding window that you can’t properly digest your food

It’s better to have an 8 hour feeding window with smaller meals if you can’t properly digest the nutrients you are giving yourself due to overfeeding and gastrointestinal distress. People say ” you are what you eat”, don’t eat so much in your meals that you can’t digest 90% of what you’re putting in your gut. This is a common mistake and can lead to gastrointestinal distress and wasting of good food!

6.  Intermittent Fasting won’t negate poor nutrition and lifestyle choices

Sure, some people can get lean on “junk food” but if you are aiming for long term health, sustainability in diet, and maximum results, stick with nutrient dense whole foods and drop the pop tarts. Use your allotted macronutrients on nutritious foods, don’t waste it on processed micronutrient deficient junk.

7.  Drink lots of water

Hydration is crucial, your pee should be clear.  Proper hydration will help with hunger as you are adapting to the shorter eating window of Intermittent Fasting as well.  Often when we believe we are hungry we are actually just thirsty.

Take back your health! Assert self-responsibility and learn more about health and nutrition in the modern age with Primal Edge Health recommended reading list.

Tristan Haggard

Meet Tristan Haggard

Tristan Haggard is the creator of Primal Edge Health, where he explores the cutting edge of diet and nutrition and teaches about animal-based nutrition, with a focus on ketogenic and carnivore diets.

He is passionate about ancestral foods, regenerative agriculture, homesteading, and a holistic lifestyle approach for health, vitality, and optimal performance. Learn more about Tristan…

5 Responses

  1. BoFreeman
    | Reply

    Why do you push water? Lots of water? I dig your vlog and videos with an without your amazing family, but I find that since I have began my new paleo, keto and 60% raw organic lifestyle, Im not thirsty much. Im a retired military guy and have spent a decade in mid-east combat, at times water and the lack of it at times was one of my top 5 concerns. I have had 3 stone cold wariors, all in their 20s and what most anyone would say, where in incredible shape. One of these heros was running with me on a day off and as we hit about 4th mile, he colapsed, checking his vitals, finding his pulse weak, I picked him up and ran. I was about 220 lbs and 6′-5″he was just over half my size so getting him a couple hundred yards to the battle aid station, ( a full blown trama ER in a tent) was not more than 2 minutes tops, but with all the crazy good trauma surgens and nurses getting their hands on him that fast, still couldnt save him, he parished anyway, they said his brain was cooked beyond return. Now, back to the good side of the world, learning how to eat n live better, I am totaly clear on all the ins n outs of dehydration. Electrolite balace and the rest, but… Though I still never allow myself to get caught without a plentiful, clean water suply at hand, I dont find any reason to stuff water in my pie hole. So, my question to you is, Where, what and why, do you push drinking lots of water? I feel it makes me feel less vital and even bloated. Thanks for all you share and your sweet wifes amazing cook book. Peace!

    • Jessica
      | Reply

      I’m glad you know the amount that makes you optimal. People generally err on less water than more so we remind people that it can be a tool to vitality. Thank you for your supportive words about the cookbook!

  2. Tom Lorenc
    | Reply

    Tristan and Jessica,

    This is one of the things I like about your content. It’s helpful to watch the youtube videos as a primer, but then being able to read the article really “locks” things in for me. Thanks again, guys!

  3. Danny
    | Reply

    Hey Jessica and Tristan

    love your work, you 2 are my go-to people for info on Keto, however, I’ve noticed some conflicting info regarding “IF”. in one of your videos it describes how good IF is, while in another it says that we shouldn’t skip breakfast for XYZ reasons, I started Keto 5 weeks ago purely for fat loss, which has melted from me by the way, but I love how I feel on it so I shall carry on with it for the foreseeable future, anyway the question I have is…… IF a good thing to do on Keto or bad ??

    thanks, guys


    • Jessica Haggard
      | Reply

      IF being good or bad is going to depend on the context. What you’re seeing about “good” but not to skip breakfast, isn’t necessarily conflicting. When Tristan works with clients interested in IF he advises them to eat breakfast but skip dinner. You’ll have to be the one to decide if IF is good/bad for you. Sometimes it works for a while but then circumstances change… It all depends on the individual person. If you’re interested in a personalized consult or one-time skype call, please contact us through the coaching page. All the best to you!

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