The Complete Intermittent Fasting Guide for Beginners
By: Alison Moodie
December 5, 2019
- Intermittent fasting is an eating style where you eat within a specific time period, and fast the rest of the time.
- Intermittent fasting can be an effective way to manage your weight. But research shows it has tons of other benefits, too — like more energy, brain power and cellular protection.
- There are different intermittent fasting methods. With Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting, you get the benefits of fasting without feeling hungry.
- Learn all about the benefits of intermittent fasting, plus a sample Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting schedule you can start right now.
Intermittent fasting, also called IF, is pretty simple. You eat within a shortened period of time, and you fast the rest of the time. If you’re not eating right now, you’re fasting. And if you extend your fast a bit longer, you can benefit from it. Potential benefits include more energy, brain power and weight management. (Bye, sugar cravings.)
Intermittent fasting is a great tool, and it’s really easy to do. Keep reading to learn the facts, plus tips so you can get started today.
What is intermittent fasting?
When you fast intermittently, you eat within a shortened time window — usually 8-10 hours. Here’s what that might look like:
- Skip breakfast.
- Around noon, break your fast and have your first meal.
- Eat dinner. Maybe treat yourself to dessert.
- Stop eating by 8 p.m.
- Repeat this schedule the next day.
If you’re a fasting purist, you might only drink water during your fast. But it’s totally fine if you want to drink coffee or tea, too (just hold the milk and sugar). If you’re following Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting, you’ll have creamy Bulletproof Coffee in the morning to hold you over until lunch. We’ll talk about Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting below.
So, why do people fast? Although weight management is definitely one of the benefits of intermittent fasting, it’s not really a diet. It’s an eating schedule that has big payoffs over time, like regulating your insulin levels, protecting against disease and — yup, helping you manage your weight.
This might go against what you’ve heard about eating frequency in the past. Skipping a meal won’t send your body into “starvation mode.” And although there’s nothing wrong with eating breakfast, there are major benefits to giving your body an extended break between meals.
The bottom line: Normally, you eat might breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the day. Intermittent fasting means you eat within a shortened period of time. This style of eating may help you manage your weight and promote other benefits.
Benefits of intermittent fasting
- Weight: Your body preferentially uses glucose (carbs) for energy. When you fast, your body uses up available glucose, and then transitions to burning fat for fuel. This puts you in a fat-burning state called ketosis. In animal and human studies, intermittent fasting has been shown to help prevent insulin resistance and leptin resistance, which may assist with weight management.  
- Helps remove cellular waste: Over time, your cells naturally accumulate damaged cells and waste — junk that can interfere with cellular function. In rodent studies, intermittent fasting has been shown to promote a process called autophagy, which is what happens when your body clears out the junk so your body can work even better. 
- Supports healthy aging: Studies show that intermittent fasting can help protect your cardiovascular system and how you manage blood sugar to support healthy aging. It even helps promote feelings of tranquility and alertness.   In rodent studies, intermittent fasting has been shown to increase lifespan and protect against disease. 
The science of intermittent fasting
We’re going to talk about biology for a second, then explain what it means.
When you eat, a lot happens in your body:
- Depending on what you’ve eaten, your blood glucose (sugar) levels will rise.
- Your pancreas produces a hormone called insulin.
- Insulin tells your cells to fuel up on glucose as your gut breaks down your food.
- Your body releases hormones like cholecystokinin (CCK) and leptin, which signal when you’re full.
However, when you eat a lot of carbs and sugar, ignore your body’s “I’m full!” signals and eat frequently without burning off all that energy, your body struggles to keep up. Your pancreas has to work overtime, and any extra glucose gets stored as fat.
Over time, those factors can increase your risk of weight gain, insulin resistance and diseases like diabetes and cancer. Yikes.
The bottom line: Intermittent fasting gives your body time to reset. When you take a break between meals, your glucose levels remain stable, your insulin levels drop and your body has a chance to clean up shop — all of which can support major benefits like weight management and longevity.
How to start intermittent fasting
Ready to get started? Great! One of the best parts of intermittent fasting is that it’s really easy to adapt to your daily schedule.
You can do it every day, or you can do it just a few times a week. You can even customize the amount of time you spend between meals — which is good news if you have a variable schedule. What matters is that it works for YOU.
Common styles of intermittent fasting
- 5:2: You eat normally five days a week. On the other two days, you “fast” by eating between 500 and 600 calories.
- One meal a day (OMAD): Also known as eating once a day. You eat all of your daily calories in just one meal each day, and fast the rest of the day.
- 16:8: You eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period (typically 6-8 hours) and fast the rest of the time.
- Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting: Similar to 16:8, but with one crucial difference so you don’t get hangry: You drink a cup of Bulletproof Coffee in the morning. The quality fats keep you full until lunch, and you continue autophagy and fat-burning so you real all the benefits of intermittent fasting.
As with any diet or exercise plan, consult your healthcare provider to determine what’s best for you.
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What is Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting?
There’s one big downside about plain intermittent fasting: It can leave you feeling hungry, tired and distracted because, well, you’re skipping meals. It’s hard to crush your to-do list when you’re just thinking about lunch. To get the benefits of intermittent fasting, you need to stick with it and power through the initial feelings of fatigue.
Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting solves a lot of the problems associated with plain intermittent fasting. That’s why we recommend it, especially if you’ve never fasted before. When you start your morning with a satisfying cup of Bulletproof Coffee, the quality fats push you into a mild state of ketosis — which curbs cravings and fuels your body all morning long.
Does Bulletproof Coffee break my intermittent fast? Nope. Bulletproof Coffee is full of quality fats from Brain Octane oil and grass-fed butter, which keep you full and focused without switching on digestion. By keeping carbs and proteins out of the picture, you continue to reap the benefits of a fasted state — but you’ll feel energized, not like a hungry zombie.
Sample Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting schedule
- Finish dinner by 7-8 p.m.
- Drink a cup of Bulletproof Coffee in the morning.
- Eat a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb lunch at 1-2 p.m.
- Finish eating the next day by 7-8 p.m.
- Repeat this schedule every day, or just a few times per week.
The biggest takeaway here is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to intermittent fasting. Take time to find the perfect fit, pay attention to how you feel and don’t be afraid to experiment with different schedules.
The bottom line: Intermittent fasting has tons of benefits. Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting makes it easier. Start your day with a creamy cup of Bulletproof Coffee in the morning and you’ll feel satisfied and fueled for hours.
Why Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting works
Here’s the science behind Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting’s benefits. Keep scrolling if you’d rather see our list of essential intermittent fasting products.
Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting helps you dip into a fat-burning state called ketosis. You can get into ketosis by following the ketogenic diet, where you eat minimal carbs, moderate protein and lots of quality fat. Once your body switches to burning fat for fuel instead of carbs, you start producing an alternative form of energy called ketones. When that happens, a blood test for ketones will generally read 0.8 mmol/L or higher.
On Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting, starting your day with Bulletproof Coffee gives you three big benefits:
- You feel full and satisfied. When you blend your coffee with grass-fed butter or ghee and Brain Octane MCT oil, you have a delicious drink filled with quality fats. Those quality fats keep you energized and full — and help you continue the benefits of the fasted state.
- You boost ketone production. Brain Octane oil helps your body produce MORE ketones. Ketones can help curb cravings, possibly by suppressing your hunger hormones. According to a 2013 study, that happens when your ketone levels are around 0.48 mmol/L.
- You still get your morning coffee. Hello, caffeine.
Brain Octane MCT oil and intermittent fasting
Brain Octane oil is C8 MCT oil, aka the most ketogenic MCT. That means it helps your body produce more ketones than plain coconut oil, which means more ketone benefits like amplified brain power and energy — and fewer cravings.
Within minutes (seriously) of consuming Brain Octane oil, your body turns the MCTs into ketone energy. This raises your ketone levels, without having to adhere to a strict ketogenic diet. That’s why Bulletproof Coffee is such a key part of the Bulletproof Diet.
If you want to make sure you’re hitting that magic ketone number of 0.48 mmol/L, you can easily test your ketone levels at home. Ketone testing strips are sold online, as well as in most pharmacies. They change color according to the number of ketones in your urine.
Here’s what you do: Test your ketones after having a cup of Bulletproof Coffee made with Brain Octane MCT oil. We always recommend starting with a teaspoon, especially if you’re new to MCT oil. Gradually increase the Brain Octane oil over the next few weeks, using Ketostix to check your ketone levels. When your ketone levels are above 0.48 mmol/L, see how you feel: Are you less hungry? Are you able to power through your morning without thinking about lunch? Is fasting just plain easy?
The bottom line: Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting boosts your fat-burning, brain-boosting benefits with Brain Octane oil. Bulletproof Coffee keeps you fueled and focused so you can extend your fast longer.
Essential products for intermittent fasting
1. Brain Octane oil
When it comes to MCT oils, Brain Octane oil is the best of the best. It’s C8 (caprylic acid) MCT oil, which produces four times more ketones than plain old coconut oil. That means it’ll help curb cravings and burn fat — which is why it’s an essential part of Bulletproof Coffee when you’re following Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting.
Even if you aren’t starting your morning with the Bulletproof Coffee recipe, blend Brain Octane oil into your coffee or tea — it’ll help hold you over until you break your fast, and the extra ketone energy will keep you fueled and focused.
2. Grass-Fed Ghee
It’s butter, but better. If you’re sensitive to dairy, use Grass-Fed Ghee instead of butter in your Bulletproof Coffee. Ghee is prepared in a way that removes nearly all lactose, so it’s kinder to dairy-intolerant people. Get it in a starter kit with all the ingredients for Bulletproof Coffee.
3. Bulletproof Coffee Cold Brew
Because it doesn’t have any protein or carbs, Bulletproof Coffee Cold Brew is perfect for on-the-go fuel without breaking your fast. It’s made with the same quality fats as Bulletproof Coffee — Brain Octane oil and grass-fed butter — but it’s conveniently pre-made and ready to go.
4. Bulletproof Coffee Beans
Even if you’re on a plain fast, you can have water, plain tea and black coffee — and if you’re a daily coffee drinker, you deserve the best cup possible. Bulletproof Coffee beans are premium, single-origin beans that are tested for toxins before they meet your mug. Learn more about what makes Bulletproof Coffee Beans different.