the essential intermittent fasting meal plan
Kimberly Tytyk - Proofreader and Content Consultant / INHC&CIHC
Kimberly Tytyk is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach (INHC) and a Certified International Health Coach (CIHC). Following decades of personal experience transforming her personal health and achieving remission of autoimmune thyroiditis and PCOS, Kimberly completed her formal coaching training in 2021 at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Her passions include deep nutrition, holistic and balanced living practices, regeneration, community-building, and finding bliss — usually in a cuddle with her husband and dog.
08.04.22

The Essential Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan

If you’re considering how to schedule intermittent fasting, you’re either sold on the benefits of fasting or at least willing to give it a shot. Whatever it is, it’s fantastic, because anything worth doing is worth doing well.

Yes, intermittent fasting is about when you eat, but to attain your weight objectives, you must eat nutritional and healthful foods. You must eat consciously as well, and this article will teach you how to create an intermittent fasting meal plan. 

Table Of Contents

How intermittent fasting works

The concept of intermittent fasting is straightforward. You eat within certain hours of the day and fast the rest of the time. The goal is to cut down on the number of meals you eat and, as a result, your calorie consumption.

Let’s look at the typical adult’s eating habits. He/she takes breakfast at 8 am, lunch at 12 pm, and one or more snacks before dinner at 7 pm or 8 pm. Then there’s the late-night snack or perhaps another meal around 11 p.m. This equates to 4 to 5 meals spread out over 15 hours, and the person will consume more calories than required, maybe gaining weight. This is possible if the person eats a lot of junk food or unhealthy food. 

You eat your meals in a shorter time frame with intermittent fasting, which minimizes the frequency of your meals. Your body can effectively digest your food and reach the fat-burning stage required to lose weight or reap the other benefits of intermittent fasting by fasting the remainder of the time. Having an intermittent fasting meal plan will help you eat healthily and avoid extra calorie intake.

How to schedule meals

Time-restricted fasting, eat-stop-eat, alternate day fasting, warrior fasting, and the 5:2 approach are all examples of intermittent fasting. Fasting meal plans will fluctuate depending on the type of fasting. Intermittent fasting meal ideas, on the other hand, all have the same concept: consume healthy and nutritious food.

What to eat during intermittent fasting

As mentioned earlier, you should be mindful of what you eat when fasting. Stay away from junk, fast foods, sugary, and highly processed dishes. This is even more important for people that intend to lose weight as part of their wellness goals. Even if you are fasting just to get healthier or adopt a healthy lifestyle, you need to eat healthy meals. After all, you are what you eat. 

If you are new to intermittent fasting, take this quiz to get started. 

Your intermittent fasting menus should include the following:

  • Fruits: Tomatoes, avocados, berries, peaches, apples, oranges, blueberries, etc.
  • Vegetables: Leafy greens, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, etc.
  • Whole grains: Oats, barley,  rice, buckwheat, quinoa, etc.
  • Protein sources: Fish, meat, nuts, seeds, legumes, poultry, and so on. 

What to drink during intermittent fasting

You should be aware of what you drink if you want to get the most out of intermittent fasting and reach your wellness goals. During both your fasting and eating hours, you must stay hydrated.

While water is the obvious choice for staying hydrated, additional non-caloric beverages that don’t interfere with the fat-burning state obtained by fasting are permitted. Sparkling water, mineral water, plain tea, and plain black coffee are examples of such fluids. 

Intermittent fasting meal plan examples

Since there are different methods of intermittent fasting, your meal plan should be tailored to your method of fasting and food preferences, provided they are healthy. Be careful not to include any food you are allergic to in your meal plan. Below are different intermittent fasting samples:

Beginner Time-restricted fasting plan

As a beginner, starting with the time-restricted fasting plan is a good way to get started with intermittent fasting. The 16:8 method, in which you eat inside an 8-hour window and fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day, is the most popular type of time-restricted fasting. You can have three meals during the 8-hour eating window, while the 16-hour fasting time permits you to reach the fat-burning state.

Your 16:8 fast meal plan can look like this: 

Breakfast: Green smoothie. Your breakfast can be at 7 am, 8 am, or 9 am, depending on your schedule. If you aren’t a breakfast person, your eating period can start at 12 pm or 2 pm. 

Green smoothies are a great way to start your day, and avocados, spinach, chia seeds, blueberries, and coconut milk make a fine green smoothie. Enjoy!

Lunch: One great option for lunch is taco salad or grass-fed burgers. Your snack can be any fruit of your choice or boiled eggs. 

Dinner: Salmon and vegetables. Salmon is delicious and high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have several health benefits. Antioxidants are abundant in vegetables, making them beneficial to your health. Begin your fast by eating salmon with any roasted vegetables of your choosing.

The next day, you eat more nutritious food, and so on. You’ll be able to create a 7-day meal plan for intermittent fasting this way. The goal is to consume a diverse range of healthy and nutritious foods so that your body receives all the nutrients it requires to safely attain your wellness goals.

Intermediate Time Restricted Fasting

One of the benefits of intermittent fasting is that you can adapt it to your schedule. If you are doing the 16:8 method and want your eating period to start from 12 pm or 2 pm, then your meal plan will be different from that of a person that eats in the morning. 

Remember to stay hydrated even though you’ll be eating your first meal at or after noon. Your meal plan could look like this:

  • First meal: Grass-fed burger with avocado
  • Snacks: Any fruit of your choice
  • Second meal: Salmon and vegetables

The 5:2 meal plan

The modified two-day meal involves eating normally for five days a week and cutting your calorie intake to about a quarter of your daily needs. For most people, this is about 500 calories. The days you cut down your calorie intake are your fasting days, and you should fast for two days non-consecutively in the week. Your fasting plan could look like this:

Monday: Fast.

Tuesday: Eat normally. Your food should include fruits, vegetables, clean meat sources, and healthy fats. 

Wednesday: Eat normally. Your food should include fruits, vegetables, clean meat sources, and healthy fats. 

Thursday: Fast.

Friday: Eat normally. Your food should include fruits, vegetables, clean meat sources, and healthy fats. 

Saturday: Eat normally. Your food should include fruits, vegetables, clean meat sources, and healthy fats. 

Sunday: Eat normally. Your food should include fruits, vegetables, clean meat sources, and healthy fats. 

Remember to stay hydrated on fasting days.

Intermittent fasting meal plan examples

The 5-2 meal plan

This type of fasting method involves eating normally for five days and then not eating anything for two non-consecutive days. This method is not for beginners as it requires a lot of discipline and willpower to not eat anything for 24 hours. It’s common to see people choosing Monday and Thursdays as fasting days. However, you have the flexibility to choose any two non-consecutive fasting days. 

Alternate Day Fasting Meal Plan

This fasting method involves fasting every other day. You eat normally for a day, you fast the next day, and continue the trend. You are allowed to consume water, herbal tea, and moderate amounts of black coffee or tea on fasting days. 

There’s a modified version of the alternate-day fasting plan that involves eating only about 500 calories on fasting days. And this version may be more convenient for most people. Your alternate day fasting meal plan will look like this:

Monday: Eat normally. Your food should include fruits, vegetables, clean meat sources, and healthy fats. 

Tuesday: Fast.

Wednesday: Eat normally. Your food should include fruits, vegetables, clean meat sources, and healthy fats. 

Thursday: Fast.

Friday: Eat normally. Your food should include fruits, vegetables, clean meat sources, and healthy fats. 

Saturday: Fast. 

Sunday: Eat normally. Your food should include fruits, vegetables, clean meat sources, and healthy fats. 

Intermittent Fasting for Women Diet Plan

Men and women may react differently to intermittent fasting. The reason for this is that women are more sensitive to calorie restriction than men. Women, on the other hand, should take a gentler approach to intermittent fasting, fasting for fewer hours and days.

Who can create a customized meal plan

Anyone can create a customized meal plan to achieve their wellness goals. The goal of any meal plan is to come up with convenient and delicious menus that provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to build muscle and maintain energy. 

Our Lasta app is meant to make meal planning and intermittent fasting simple for you. Take a look at it. In no time, you’ll be able to create your own free fasting diet plan. 

How to break a fast

After a fast, break it ‘gently’ and avoid eating large meals. Also, try to chew your food thoroughly and slowly. This will assist you in avoiding overeating and recognizing when you are full. It’s easier to break a fast if you stay hydrated during the fasting hours. As a result, you should try to drink fluids during your fasting hours.

Final Thoughts

Intermittent fasting requires a thoughtful eating plan for best results. You won’t benefit from your fasting plan if you are eating unhealthy food or too much food during your eating window. 

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest posts and information about effective ways to improve your health and lifestyle. 

How do you feel about this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Proofreader and Content Consultant / INHC&CIHC

Kimberly Tytyk is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach (INHC) and a Certified International Health Coach (CIHC). Following decades of personal experience transforming her personal health and achieving remission of autoimmune thyroiditis and PCOS, Kimberly completed her formal coaching training in 2021 at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Her passions include deep nutrition, holistic and balanced living practices, regeneration, community-building, and finding bliss — usually in a cuddle with her husband and dog.