Intermittent fasting is incredibly popular but there are so many different forms of it. This can make knowing what and when to eat confusing, especially for those who are just starting this dietary pattern.

Having an intermittent fasting meal plan example can really help provide some clarity as to what you should eat and at what time, so we’ve created some for you!

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern that incorporates different periods of fasting into our routine. 

This type of eating schedule is very popular because of its ability to help individuals lose body fat, reduce inflammation, decrease their blood pressure, all while decreasing their risk for metabolic diseases like type II diabetes, cancer, and more.

There are many different types of intermittent fasting and they all have different lengths of the fasting and feeding periods.

This is great because this means that there is a type of intermittent fasting that can work with anyone’s busy schedule. What’s important is that you are consistent with your eating window.

This also can mean that understanding what and when to eat during the feeding window can be a little confusing, especially if you’re new to fasting. 

In this article, we discuss the different types of intermittent fasting and provide an intermittent fasting meal plan for each type.

The 16/8 Diet

The 16/8 diet is one of the most popular forms of intermittent fasting. This is likely because it’s one of the simpler forms of intermittent fasting and because it is something that is practiced daily, which makes it easier to instill as a habit.

This is a great intermittent fasting routine if you are new to fasting. You can try this form out and stick with it or dabble with some of the more “extreme” versions if you feel up for it.

The 16/8 diet is also nice because there is some flexibility with the schedule because you can pick your eating window to accommodate your schedule. For example, some people may pick an eating window of 12pm-8pm, while others pick 9am-5pm. 

Below, we’ve laid out a 16/8 intermittent fasting meal plan example.

  • 5-7am: Coffee/tea with no cream or sweetener
  • 12pm (breakfast): Egg and veggie wrap with a side of fruit
  • 2pm (lunch): Chicken and mixed veggie stir-fry over brown rice
  • 4pm (snack): Yogurt and/or mixed nuts 
  • 6pm (dinner): Meatballs with whole-wheat pasta and a side salad
  • 8pm (snack): Dark chocolate-covered almonds or a few squares of a dark chocolate bar

16/8 and Keto

Many people who do the 16/8 diet also adhere to a ketogenic diet, “keto diet” for short. Incorporating both a keto diet and intermittent fasting can really accelerate your weight loss goals. Keto diets have also been shown to help individuals regain control of their blood sugar levels.  

A ketogenic diet is when people drastically restrict their carbohydrate intake and increase their fat intake to about 70% of their daily caloric needs. 

But eating keto can be a little tricky, especially in the beginning. That’s because eating a diet so high in fat and low in carbs can be tricky but it gets easier once you’ve made it a habit. A good way to make keto easier is to meal prep.

Keto can also be hard because there is a transition period. Most people eat a significant amount of carbohydrates, so our bodies are “used to” using carbs (glucose) for energy. Significantly restricting carbs forces the body to use fat for energy by creating ketone bodies (hence the term “ketogenic diet”). However, your body has to “learn” how to increase the production of those pathways that create those ketone bodies.

This transition period is often referred to as the “keto flu” and it usually goes away after about 2 weeks. Doing keto with intermittent fasting can help with the transition into keto because fasting also forces the body to use stored fat for energy. Doing both at the same time can be a good strategy for those trying new to the ketogenic diet. 

Here’s an idea of what a 16/8 intermittent fasting keto meal plan would look like.

5-7am: Coffee/tea with no cream or sweetener

12pm (breakfast): Bulletproof coffee, scrambled eggs with veggies, bacon, and avocado

2pm (lunch): Lemon-butter salmon with side salad

4pm (snack): String cheese

6pm (dinner): Grass-fed cheeseburger (no buns) with grilled broccoli

7pm (snack): Mixed nuts

One Meal A Day

One meal a day, or commonly referred to as OMAD, is another form of intermittent fasting. This is when individuals consume one very high-calorie meal each day.

What is important to remember with OMAD is that you do want to ensure that you are getting enough calories. You also want to make sure that you are consuming enough fiber and nutrient-dense foods. 

Many people find eating such a big meal difficult at first, but over time, they say their bodies adapt and they have no trouble eating such a large, calorie-dense meal.

With OMAD, you can eat your one meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner-it’s completely up to you!

Below are examples of an OMAD intermittent fasting meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Breakfast

  • Coffee (cream and sweetener optional)
  • Eggs sautéed in butter with some spinach, red onion, and bell pepper
  • Avocado toast with wheat bread
  • Bacon
  • Fruit

Lunch:

  • Chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat toast
  • Apple with peanut butter
  • Kale chips

Dinner: 

  • 10oz grilled steak
  • Baked potato with butter, sour cream, and cheese
  • Sautéed asparagus and mushrooms

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