From this article, you can download our Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan PDF.

Intermittent fasting is an eating strategy that doesn’t define what you eat but instead when you eat it. It’s grown in popularity in recent years for weight loss, reducing insulin resistance, lowering inflammation, and even anti-aging.

What’s amazing is that intermittent fasting studies show you don’t have to change your diet whatsoever to lose weight.

But, we’re here to tell you that it is much, much better if you do to receive all of the health benefits. Here is our typical intermittent fasting meal plan.

Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life

intermittent fasting meal plan (pdf included)

 Think about it, let’s say you’re on the popular 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule (16hours of fasting with 8 hours of eating).

If you’re chowing down on a burger and a milkshake up until the last minute of your eating window, your body only has 16 hours to process all of those carbohydrates.

If — depending on what else you ate that day — your body doesn’t burn through all of those carbohydrates for energy, your insulin levels won’t reset and your body can’t move onto burning fat.

Whatever your goal, there are ways to reach your goals faster — and get better health — by being selective of what you eat during your eating windows.

In this article, we’ll break down the different intermittent fasting schedules and which ones are best for your goals.

We’ll also share a downloadable intermittent fasting meal plan to make sure you’re fasting safely, effectively, and healthily.

Experiment With Your Intermittent Fasting Schedule

Intermittent fasting isn’t just one hard-and-fast thing. Instead, everyone does it differently.

We encourage you to experiment for at least 3 weeks before changing it up to gauge the full benefits. Generally, if you’re fasting between 12 hours or more a day, it’s considered intermittent fasting. And yes, that includes the time you sleep!

To help you determine the best fasting window based on your age and gender, we wrote a separate article titled, ‘Intermittent Fasting by Age and Gender (Chart Based on Science).’

Disclaimer: Intermittent fasting controls when you eat, not what you eat. The healthier your diet, the better your results. If you’re taking any medications or have diabetes, low blood pressure, are pregnant, or have a history of an eating disorder, consult your doctor before starting intermittent fasting.

Which Intermittent Fasting Plan Should I Begin With?

How do you know which schedule to start with and if that’s the best one for you?

In our article, ‘Intermittent Fasting How To Guide,’ we dive into this step-by-step, including how to define your goals, calculate your daily caloric needs, and build intermittent fasting into your routine. Don’t miss it!

Below are two popular fasting schedules, including example times and meal plans:

  • Daily Intermittent Fasting 16/8 Schedule
  • Alternate Day Fasting (24 hours on, 24 hours off)

If you’re looking for an hour-by-hour meal plan for breaking extended fasts, see our article, ‘How (and Why) to Do a 3-Day Fast.’

Don’t forget that while fasting, it’s incredibly important to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. Intermittent fasting puts your body under some healthy stress, but don’t add to the stress by allowing yourself to become dehydrated.

Generally while fasting, you can consume beverages under 50 calories, which includes black coffee, unsweetened tea, and lemon water.

To download the printable PDF meal plans, you can do so through the form below. Then, read on to learn how to implement and succeed with these meal plans.

Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Form

Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan (Printable PDF)

Download and instantly access the intermittent fasting meal plans, including a printable meal planner to create daily menus.

Plus, we're just an email away for support.

Daily Intermittent Fasting 16/8 Meal Plan

Most people follow a daily intermittent fasting plan of 16/8: 16 hours of fasting with 8 hours of eating. For us, this was the most simple and sustainable to get started with. We’ve followed the schedule since March 2018.

Pros

+ Allows for better flexibility around social and work schedules
+ Is similar to most people’s daily eating habits already
+ Sustainable and easy to get started with

Cons

Full health benefits are only seen with a very healthy diet

Here’s an example of a popular eating window according to a 16/8 intermittent fasting eating schedule:

Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Intermittent Fasting 16-8 Schedule

Below is one week of daily meal plans to follow while 16/8 intermittent fasting. The Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan PDF is also available to download if you prefer to print the meal plan. 

Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Intermittent Fasting 16-8 Meal Plan Monday
Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Intermittent Fasting 16-8 Meal Plan Tuesday
Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Intermittent Fasting 16-8 Meal Plan Wednesday
Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Intermittent Fasting 16-8 Meal Plan Thursday
Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Intermittent Fasting 16-8 Meal Plan Friday
Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Intermittent Fasting 16-8 Meal Plan Saturday
Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Intermittent Fasting 16-8 Meal Plan Sunday

What’s great about the 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule is that you’re likely nearly there today. If you’re getting in 8-hours of sleep a night, and not eating before bed, you’re nearly there.

For us, we opt to eat later in the day, skipping breakfast as opposed to skipping dinner. This seems like the most popular route, but do what makes the most sense for you and your body.

The big fault we find with this 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule is that it only works best if you already have a good diet.

Most people intermittent fast to lose weight, reset insulin levels, and start burning fat. Therefore, a poor diet never gives you a chance to reset or get near to ketosis.

Ketosis is the state when your body has run out of carbohydrates to burn for energy and therefore moves on to fat. This is the basis of the popular keto diet, which, we do not recommend, as explained in our article on why fad diets are problematic.

Alternate-Day Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan

Alternate-day intermittent fasting is when you eat one day, but not the next. Repeat.

Pros

+ Most similar to how our ancestors naturally ate
+ More fasting time for your body and hormones to rebalance
+ Cheaper grocery bill (don’t pretend you didn’t think of this, too!)
+ Not as necessary to optimize your healthy diet

Cons

Less flexible schedule around work and social events
Not as necessary to optimize your healthy diet

This style of feasting and fasting is the most studied, as it mimics how our ancestors likely ate. Talk about a paleo diet.

The research is incredibly compelling, showing that putting our bodies under stress in a natural feast-or-famine state builds resiliency, better ensures that our blood sugar levels reset, and alleviates our bodies of oxidative stress.

For most, alternate-day fasting is a challenge because of work and social schedules and norms. However, for the ones who can be more flexible (anyone else working from home?) the health benefits are immense.

Here is an hourly schedule of how alternate-day fasting is typically done:

Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Alternate-Day Fasting Schedule

Here is an example of a meal plan for alternate-day fasting:

Below is one week of daily meal plans to follow for alternate-day fasting. The Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan PDF is also available to download if you prefer to print the meal plan. 

Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Alternate-Day Fasting Tuesday
Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Alternate-Day Fasting Thursday
Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Alternate-Day Fasting Saturday
Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Alternate-Day Fasting Sunday
Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Ryan and Alex Duo Life Form

Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan (Printable PDF)

Download and instantly access the intermittent fasting meal plans, including a printable meal planner to create daily menus.

Plus, we're just an email away for support.

Closing THoughts On Intermittent Fasting and Meal planning

No matter the style of intermittent fasting you choose, always be thoughtful about how to break your fast.

When breaking your intermittent fast, ease into it. The best practice is to avoid high-sugar, high-carb foods that undo all of the hard work you’ve just done.

Instead, focus on nutritious foods like vegetables and foods high in healthy fats like avocados.

About half an hour before your meal, start with our favorite digestive infusion to perk up your digestive system.

Digestive Enzyme Distraction Drink:

  • One cup of hot water
  • One half a lemon squeezed (excites digestive enzymes)
  • Two caps full of apple cider vinegar (balances pH levels in the gut for healthy bacteria growth)
  • A pinch of cinnamon (to stabilize blood sugar levels)

For a step-by-step plan, check out our article titled, ‘How to Break a Fast Properly & The Best Foods to Eat.’

No matter the style of intermittent fasting you choose, always be thoughtful about how to break your fast.

When breaking your intermittent fast, ease into it. The best practice is to avoid high-sugar, high-carb foods that undo all of the hard work you’ve just done.

Instead, focus on nutritious foods like vegetables and foods high in healthy fats like avocados.

About half an hour before your meal, start with our favorite digestive infusion to perk up your digestive system.

Digestive Enzyme Distraction Drink:

  • One cup of hot water
  • One half a lemon squeezed (excites digestive enzymes)
  • Two caps full of apple cider vinegar (balances pH levels in the gut for healthy bacteria growth)
  • A pinch of cinnamon (to stabilize blood sugar levels)

For a step-by-step plan, check out our article titled, ‘How to Break a Fast Properly & The Best Foods to Eat.’

Long Term Success with IF and Food

We’ve shared the most effective meals to kickstart your weight loss and maximize your intermittent fasting results. Keep a good journal and know that what may have worked for you in the past won’t necessarily work for you again in the future.

Speaking of the future, since you’re committed to IF and looking for the best nutrition, we’d like to share a recent discovery.

You can take the guesswork out of everything and buy a device that will tell you when you’re burning fat and when you’re burning carbs in real time. For years, the only way to get this metabolic data was in a lab. This was far too expensive and inconvenient for anyone who wasn’t a professional athlete.

But now, you can get this information immediately and at home with a little device called Lumen.

It works like a breathalyzer and measures the carbon dioxide in your breath. Not only will it tell you that you’re burning 25% fat and 75% carbs at that exact moment, it will make recommendations on what to eat today to optimize your metabolic flexibility.

We’ve used it for months now, and it’s mind-blowing. We discovered that our bodies use fuel completely differently, despite eating all of the same meals. I discovered that my fasting window is much shorter than Ryan’s — something the device helps you figure out.

So if you’re ready to zero in on your weight loss, the Lumen is the most helpful thing you can get while intermittent fasting if you have $250 to spare and our $50 $100 off code RYANANDALEX.

Focusing on metabolic flexibility is the best way to lose weight consistently because it is influenced by four pillars—movement, food, sleep, and stress. As you optimize these, weight loss comes more easily.

Lastly, please feel free to download our Proven Fasting Bundle (below) to help you plan, track, and succeed with both intermittent and prolonged fasting.

Leave any specific questions about meal planning in the comments below. We prefer that to email because the discussion helps all future readers. Thanks!

For more resources and guides about fasting, such as how to succeed with both intermittent fasting and sleep, head over to our Fasting Page.

Intermittent and extended fasting bundle - printable pdf guide

The Proven Fasting Bundle (Printable PDF Guide)

Read by 143,364 fasters in 2022 alone, the Fasting Bundle is the structure and tools you need to succeed.

  • Intermittent and alternate-day fasting meal plans
  • Checklist for before, during, and after a prolonged fast
  • Benefits, challenges, and a beginners how-to guide

Plus, we're just an email away for support.

30-Day Weight Loss Challenge Tracker Form V2 Ryan and Alex Duo Life

30-Day Weight Loss Challenge

As engineers with a combined twelve years of health coaching experience, we needed to create a data-driven way for our clients to sustain weight loss.

Too many weight loss challenges involve a long list of what you can, cannot, and need to do every day. We’ve reduced the overwhelm and only require you to track five numbers a day — calories, steps, fiber, sleep, and waistline.

You’ll track five numbers daily to give you the highest return for sustainable weight loss. As a bonus, we’ll share our Weight Loss Bundle, which includes strategies, progress tracking tools, and additional weight loss plans.

Learn more about the program.

As Seen In Feature Bar Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.

The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.

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