You may want to invest in some Useful Stuff to help you get started with fasting.
We are all different, so there is no single ‘starter kit’ that makes sense for people starting out with fasting. We recommend that you consider four investments to help you succeed:
Books, especially recipe books if they are your thing
Smart weighing scales to help you keep track of your progress
An exercise tracker, like a FitBit, to track how active you are, and help you understand the calories you burn
Blood tests to check to some key aspects of your health, and to act as the ‘before’ measure. You can test again after 3–6 months of fasting as the ‘after’ measure – and compare the differences.
Many people start out by buying The Fast Diet, and who are we to argue? The book is an excellent introduction to intermittent fasting.
If you want more depth on ways of fasting, and, especially in the areas of science and nutrition, we recommend FastDay’s own Fasting section written by the excellent Caroline Rees. It’s incredibly useful (and free).
Many of us love cookery books, and there are now lots or recipe books available to help you cook for your fast days. Check out our definitive list of the best fast day recipe books.
You will want to have a set of weighing scales. Even if you already have a basic set, its worth exploring the ‘smart-scales’ out there, which can sync automatically with your phone or computer, and record body metrics such as body fat percentage. Our favourite is the Withings Smart Body Analyzer, although it is pricey. A cheaper option is the EatSmart Precision GetFit Scale. Find out more about smart scales.
P.S. You should have a tape measure too to measure your waist, as your waist size is even more important for your health than your weight.
Exercise trackers are great, even for people who don’t exercise!
If you run, cycle, or work out you probably already use an exercise tracker, such as a FitBit, Nike Fuelband or Jawbone UP.
If you are not a keen exerciser, you should still consider getting one of these great little devices. Why? They allow you to track your heart rate, activity levels (are you doing your 10,000 steps of activity every day?) and monitor your sleep patterns.
The best of these devices can also help you understand the calories you burn, and hence to plan your eating. Find out more about exercise trackers.
Once you have been doing fasting for a few months, you may well wish you had done a blood test before you started! It is great to be able to look at a ‘before’ and ‘after’ blood test – and see how much difference fasting has made to some important health markers in your blood.
You might also find it valuable as a health check – testing blood glucose levels, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and other health markers.
Different companies provide home blood tests in different countries. Learn more about the home blood tests we have reviewed.