How to Complete an Intermittent Fast

16/8 Method Protocol

Here are step-by-step instructions for completing an intermittent fast using the 16:8 method.

Determine your eating and fasting windows

The 16/8 method involves fasting for 16 hours each day and eating during an 8-hour window. Some people find it easiest to fast through the night and into the morning, as sleeping hours are included in the fasting window. For example, you might choose to eat between 12pm and 8pm each day, which would mean fasting from 8pm until 12pm the next day.

Write out the timeframe that you think will work best with your schedule. You might have to adjust it a couple times till you find out the best option for you and your goals.


  • 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM (Eating Window), 2:00 PM – 6:00 AM (Fasting Window)
  • 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM (Eating Window), 3:00 PM – 7:00 AM (Fasting Window)
  • 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Eating Window), 4:00 PM – 8:00 AM (Fasting Window)
  • 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Eating Window), 7:00 PM – 11:00 AM (Fasting Window)
  • 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Eating Window), 8:00 PM – 12:00 PM (Fasting Window)
  • 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM (Eating Window), 9:00 PM – 1:00 PM (Fasting Window)

Certain individuals might find an early eating window (e.g., 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM) advantageous, such as morning people who are active early and prefer an early breakfast, or those with early work or family commitments. On the other hand, a later eating window (e.g., 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM) might better suit night owls who don’t feel hungry first thing in the morning, people with evening social or work engagements, and individuals who follow late workout schedules.. Ultimately, the choice between early or late eating windows should align with one’s lifestyle, habits, and health considerations.

Plan your meals

During your eating window, plan to eat two to three meals/snacks that are nutrient-dense and contain lean protein, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. We will discuss nutrient considerations and which foods to eat in the next 2 lessons. It’s important to stay within your calorie needs and not overeat during your eating window.

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated during intermittent fasting is critical to maintaining health and energy levels. Here are some ways to do so, along with the best sources of hydration:

  • Water: This should be your primary source of hydration. It’s calorie-free, helps maintain body temperature, and aids in digestion and nutrient absorption. Drink water throughout your fasting and eating windows.
  • Infused Water: If you find plain water too bland, try adding slices of lemon, cucumber, or a handful of berries to your water. This adds flavor without adding significant calories, helping you stick to your fast.
  • Unsweetened Tea: Herbal, green, black, and other types of tea can be consumed during your fasting window, provided they’re unsweetened. They not only help to hydrate but also provide antioxidants.
  • Bone Broth: While this is slightly controversial as it has a small number of calories, some people find sipping on bone broth helps them get through longer fasting periods. Bone broth also provides electrolytes that can assist with hydration.
  • Electrolyte Water: Electrolyte-infused water can help if you’re feeling fatigued or dizzy during your fast, as these can be signs of electrolyte imbalance. However, ensure the product you choose doesn’t contain sugars or artificial sweeteners.

Adjust as needed

Everyone’s body is different, and some people may find the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting more challenging than others. If you’re experiencing discomfort or difficulty, consider adjusting your eating and fasting windows or trying a different method of intermittent fasting.

Stay consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to intermittent fasting. Aim to follow the 16/8 method every day as this will help your body adjust and maximize the benefits of intermittent fasting.

Daily Schedule

Here is an example 16/8 intermittent fasting day schedule.

11:00 am

Begin eating window. Have a nutrient-dense lunch that includes protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. For example, you could have a salad with grilled chicken, avocado, mixed greens, and quinoa. This is also when to take all the supplements if your completing the 5-day IF protocol.

2:00 pm

Have a snack that is rich in protein and healthy fats, such as Greek yogurt with mixed berries, almonds, and chia seeds.

6:00 pm

Have a balanced dinner that includes protein, healthy fats, and vegetables. For example, you could have grilled salmon with roasted vegetables and a side salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing.

7:00 pm

End eating window. Stop consuming all calories and begin your fasting period

10:30 pm

Bed. Eat your last meal at minimum two hours prior to bedtime as this will help to optimize digestion and promote better sleep quality.

How to Break an Intermittent Fast

When breaking an intermittent fast, it is important to start with meals that are high in protein and healthy fats. Protein-rich foods such as eggs, nuts, and legumes are great options for breaking a fast. Additionally, healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil can help to provide the body with essential nutrients.

It is important to listen to the body’s cues. Eating too much too quickly can lead to digestive discomfort and can disrupt the body’s natural digestive process. Additionally, it is important to avoid processed and sugary foods, as these can cause a spike in blood sugar levels and can lead to fatigue for a major portion of your day.