Intermittent fasting schedule, how to start?

Intermittent fasting schedule, how to start?

Have you ever wondered what the best way is to start fasting? Fasting is simple, but it does require a bit of preparation to successfully fulfill your fasting journey and get the most out of it! 
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Intermittent fasting schedule, how to start?

Have you ever wondered what the best way is to start fasting and follow an intermittent fasting schedule? We are well familiar with people who dive into their fasting journey, running into difficulties after a few days, only to find out that they should have better prepared themselves. Fasting is simple, but it does require a bit of preparation to successfully fulfill your fasting journey and get the most out of it!

This article is a glimpse guide, however, if you want to learn everything there is to know we highly recommend reading Dr. Ludidi’s book “The Dr. Ludidi Method of Intermittent Fasting”! It goes into the intricacies of intermittent fasting, provides you with more personalized tips, and includes tasty recipes to achieve the best results!

1. The Dr. Ludidi Fasting Method

It's time to get started with the Dr. Ludidi Method of Fasting. The interesting thing about doc’s method is that he doesn’t let you start fasting straight away. In his method he primes your metabolism first, to create optimal conditions for the fast. As such the method consists of a pre-phase (3 steps) and a phase in which you actually start fasting.

By following these steps, you increase the chance of achieving a successful lifestyle change with intermittent fasting.

Step 1: Determine your fasting goal

Step 2: Learn to eat well and choose an eating style

Step 3: Choose the protocol that suits you and get started!

Step 1: Determine your fasting goal

As you probably know by now, you can use intermittent fasting to achieve a large number of lifestyle-related goals. It is advisable to have your personal goal clear before you start by choosing evaluation measures that match your objective. This helps you make your health gain more concrete and choose the right fasting protocol for you!

I recommend you to keep a health measure by which you can measure your progress, like weight for example. This not only has a motivating effect but can also help you to identify potential bottlenecks.

When the weight stagnates (not one week to the next, but over a period of 2 or 3 weeks), it is a sign to re-examine the lifestyle and filter out the limiting factors. Questions you can ask yourself in such a case are for example: Are you still eating enough?; Is there still enough regularity in your eating moments and lifestyle?; Are there stressful life events? Have your movement patterns changed (shape, amount, intensity)?

By determining goals and targets in advance and measuring them every week, you can more easily identify any stagnation. Incidentally, I believe that a single digit can be misleading and obsessive. In my view, striving for a standalone number (weight, size, etc.) often only frustrates and is usually based on nothing, at most on a wish.

Therefore, always try to see the bigger picture: how do you feel? How do you sleep? How do you make choices about food and health? Be aware that a measure such as weight, waist size or fat percentage indicates a direction of the desired effect, but sooner or later your body will achieve a balance.

So learn to value emotional values ​​more than hard numbers. The feeling that you are "doing well" is enough to continue the chosen path. Make it clear to yourself what you notice and make it concrete. For example, I only snack 3 nights a week instead of every night.

Step 2: Learn to eat well and choose an eating style

After determining what your goal is with fasting, it is time to take a global look at how to eat well. To give you a better grip on your health and to be able to make conscious choices. It is very difficult to say exactly what good food is. Because it is not so black and white - what one likes, the other does not like. What is good for one can harm the other.

You can use the fasting method as support and help you consciously take more freedom when making choices. Incidentally, there will always be times when you have no "grip" on the situation. When you go out for dinner, for example, with friends or at a restaurant things get more challenging. In any case, try to consider the guidelines below when making your food choices!

1. Recognize your preference

Above all, eat what you like, which is for many the engine of their food choice. If you have intolerances or allergies, you must first take this into account. That is not to say that you should look for hypersensitivity; most people can tolerate most food well.

2. Go for less processed food

In particular, try to use unprocessed or minimally processed products in your food preparation. So mainly eat products that are not from a factory. As much as possible, make sure you know the ingredients of what you eat. Look at the ingredients of the foods you eat  - take real butter vs. plant-based liquid butter, for instance - if you have any doubts of the ingredients or if you don’t recognise them, ask yourself whether our early ancestors, the hunter-gatherers and farmers, would eat this, and if so, in what quantity.

3. Eat less bread

Because the Netherlands has a bread culture, we easily eat more bread than we need. It is not uncommon for clients to indicate that they eat as many as six to ten slices of bread a day. Bread is not necessarily bad, but it can contain gut irritants and a lot of fast energy especially in combination with sweet fillings. Therefore, limit your bread intake to a maximum of two firm slices per day. For the other eating moments, look for an alternative.

4. Eat more protein

Protein has the highest “thermic effect of food” of any macronutrient (20-30%) compared to carbohydrates (5-10%) and fat (0-3%)(1). Therefore, eating more protein will lead to more fat being burned as a result of eating. That is why eating more protein can help you with losing weight and getting leaner. I would recommend focusing on eating more animal protein like red meat, poultry, dairy, fish and eggs, as these food products have the highest DIAAS-score (Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score). This score indicates how much of that protein is actually digested and used by your body (2).

5. Allow yourself some ‘unhealthy’ foods every now and then.

Eating is a celebration and above all it has to be tasty. Although tasty and healthy go hand in hand very well, every now and then you can certainly give yourself some 'unhealthy' food and deviate from food that we call healthy. Make sure you always have a good feeling about that "nice only" moment. If necessary, compensate the day after by taking the first five guidelines a little stricter. How often, how much? You decide that yourself. I think it is important to feel free to make your food choices which helps maintain it in the long term.

I usually recommend the following guideline: to have some error margin at a maximum of two eating moments (not all day) per week. Treat the "goodies" as if it is extremely valuable and you have few of them. You determine the amount yourself. It is wise to determine in advance how often you want something for yourself.

Step 3: Choose the protocol that suits you and get started!

The minimum time to experience a positive effect of fasting is 6-8 weeks. You can choose to go through a number of 8-week cycles during the year for instance, but intermittent fasting could also be done for longer consecutive periods up to 3 months. It is recommended however, to take a break of at least 3 months, in between fasting blocks. So how do we choose the right approach?

A. The most popular schedules for intermittent fasting

  1. The 16/8 approach calls for eating just within an 8-hour window and fasting for the following 16 hours. You might, for instance, start eating at noon and finish by eight, then go without eating until noon the next day. You can eat as you want for eight hours and then fast for 16 hours. Whatever you do, make sure you eat enough! There are two variations we propose:

The Early variant

Your eating window starts as soon as you get up and ends eight hours later. Try to be consistent with the timing!

The Late variant

Your eating window starts later in the afternoon and ends eight hours later.

  1. 5:2 method - This involves eating normally for 5 days of the week and restricting calories to 500-600 or less on the remaining 2 days. These two days should not be consecutive. It includes eating as you want for 5 days. Then on the two fasting days we propose to follow 1 of the 3 variations:

Early variant

A small meal; for example, one of the snacks or half to two-thirds of one of the breakfast options.

Late variant

A small meal; for example, one of the snacks or half to two-thirds of one of the main meals.

All the way variant

Don’t eat at all for two days, stick to drinking water, water with some salt added to it, tea and coffee (no milk or sugar).

B. Benefits of different intermittent fasting schedules

Every schedule has certain advantages of its own. The 16/8 approach, for instance, is simple to use and works with most lifestyles. It is also less constraining than other schedules, which makes it simpler to follow over time.

For people who don't want to restrict their food every day, the 5:2 strategy is a great option. While still delivering the advantages of intermittent fasting, it permits flexibility and possibly other health advantages such as more autophagy 2. Learn more about the benefits in this article of intermittent fasting.

C. How to choose the right intermittent fasting schedule for you

It's crucial to take your lifestyle and objectives into account when selecting an intermittent fasting program. The 16/8 technique may work best for you if you have a busy schedule or like to eat dinner with your family.

D. How to adapt your intermittent fasting schedule to fit your lifestyle

A flexible eating strategy that may be modified to meet your lifestyle is intermittent fasting. For instance, you can modify your fasting window if you prefer to have breakfast. You can also change your calendar to accommodate social gatherings or business meals.

It's critical to keep in mind that intermittent fasting is a manner of eating rather than a diet. It's a lifestyle adjustment that provides the best results with consistency. You may take advantage of the many benefits of intermittent fasting by selecting the perfect schedule for you and customizing it to meet your lifestyle.

2. Intermittent Fasting Tips

Intermittent fasting may sound simple - just alternate periods of fasting and eating, right? While it's true that the concept is straightforward, there are some important guidelines to follow in order to do it correctly and safely.

  1. Eating enough is important!

Intermittent fasting has hardly anything to do with reducing your calorie intake. A shortage of food intake puts your body in a saving mode, which means that it will store fat. In addition, a shortage can lead to nutrient shortages in the long term.

  1. Stay hydrated

Keep yourself hydrated throughout your fasting intervals to avoid dehydration and preserve your energy. Keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of water, herbal tea, or black coffee to stave off hunger sensations. You can also add a bit of salt to reduce hunger and balance your electrolytes.

  1. Try not to binge on junk food

Intermittent fasting does not give you permission to overindulge in junk food when you are eating. Instead, concentrate on nutrient-rich, whole foods that will sate your body's needs and aid in your weight loss endeavors. Put plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, and protein on your plate to help you feel full and satisfied.

  1. Use your "motivational high"

It is important to make use of that “motivational high” momentum. Many people see Monday as the start of a new week and are then more motivated to start changing their lifestyle. It is useful to hitch a ride on this so-called motivational high. Most people go back to work on Monday, which puts them in a sort of rhythm. That rhythm can help in making the first necessary changes, of which regularity is an important part.

  1. Listen to your body!

Not everyone is a candidate for intermittent fasting, therefore it's critical to pay attention to your body and change your strategy as necessary. During your fasting times, if you experience any of the following symptoms: lightheadedness, weakness, or extreme hunger, you may need to change your schedule or add additional nutrient-dense foods to your meals.

You can safely and successfully implement intermittent fasting into your lifestyle and benefit from its numerous health advantages by adhering to these guidelines.

Your takeaway

In conclusion, the Dr. Ludidi fasting method is a potent weight-loss and health-improvement technique. You can use it to improve blood sugar management, increase brain function, and much more. Finding a schedule that suits your needs and lifestyle is essential for success with intermittent fasting.

There are a variety of well-liked protocols available, such as the 16/8 method and the 5:2 strategy. Every schedule has advantages and disadvantages, so it's crucial to do your homework and pick the one that best suits your objectives and tastes.

Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for intermittent fasting. What works for one person may not work for another. It's essential to experiment with different schedules and find what works best for you. Additionally, if you're new to intermittent fasting and give your body some time to adjust.

Last but not least, remember to emphasize living an active lifestyle and having a nutritious diet! Although it's not a miracle cure, intermittent fasting can be a potent addition to your fitness and health regimen. You can enhance the positive effects of intermittent fasting on your health and fitness by combining it with a nutrient-dense diet and frequent exercise.


  1. Vasim, I., Majeed, C. N. & DeBoer, M. D. Intermittent Fasting and Metabolic Health. Nutrients 14, 631 (2022).
    2. Razavi, R. et al. The alternate-day fasting diet is a more effective approach than a calorie restriction diet on weight loss and hs-CRP levels. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 91, 242–250 (2021).

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