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 (16 hours 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 and sugars.

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 become healthier 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 based on your goals and metabolism. We’ll also share a printable intermittent fasting meal plan to make sure you’re fasting safely, effectively, and healthily.

If you’re short on time, you can download the printable PDF meal plans through the form below and revisit this article later. Otherwise, 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.

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!

Intermittent fasting controls when you eat, not what you eat. The healthier your diet, the better your results. That’s why this intermittent fasting meal plan is so useful.

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?

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!

In this article, we’ll share meal plans for the two most popular fasting schedules:

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

If you’re brand new to intermittent fasting, the 16/8 plan is recommended. If you have some experience and want to optimize your food and schedule, the next section is for you!

Don’t forget that while fasting, it’s incredibly important to 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.

Figuring out the “Best” IF Schedule For You

As we said, intermittent fasting isn’t one-size-fits-all. In terms of finding the most effective intermittent fasting plan for you, whether it’s 16 hours of fasting (or more, or less), we’ve researched this extensively.

And the short answer is… there is no answer. It is entirely dependent upon your lifestyle and even body composition. Things that affect your body’s metabolism include your diet, stress levels, sleep quality, and how much exercise or movement you get in daily.

Therefore, the general consensus from these studies is this:

The best IF schedule is the easiest one that you can commit to.

Well, for some of us with big goals, that isn’t good enough. But we’re here to share two options.

1. The DIY Option

Pick a schedule that makes sense for you, download the Meal Plan PDF in this article, take great notes with “before” stats, and do your best. There will still be some guesswork involved here, but as long as you’re feeling good and progressing towards your goals, then you’re on the right track.

Or, for data lovers like us who want to take the guesswork out of fasting and reach your health goals faster, you can track your metabolism.

2. The Metabolism Tracking Option

You can buy an at-home, real-time metabolism tracker called Lumen. New to the market just in the past few years, it’s been groundbreaking for us.

No matter if you want to build muscle, lose weight, or just get healthier with intermittent fasting, Lumen will tell you with precise measurements how your body is responding to a meal, workout, fast, etc. and make specific food and meal recommendations for the day.

For more information on metabolism trackers, continue onto the next section and consider reading our full experience and Lumen review, complete with $50 $100 off with code RYANANDALEX.

Demystifying Your IF Schedule and Meal Plan with a Metabolism Tracker

Here’s how precise Lumen can be with an example from today:

Based on my morning measurement, showing that I woke up burning 75% fat and 25% carbs, Lumen recommended a low-carb day with the following breakdown:

  • Breakfast – 35g of carbs
  • Lunch – 35g of carbs
  • Snacks – 10g of carbs
  • Dinner – 10g of carbs

See the below nutrition plan and meal recommendations from the Lumen app. 

An Example Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Recommendation According to Lumen Metabolism Tracker

By the time I finished tracking my snack, I saw that I was perfectly on target with my carbs and needed a heavy protein/heavy fat dinner. Quickly looking at Lumen’s recommended dinner options, I went with their ‘Low-Carb Tempeh Bowl’ and simply threw in more tempeh to meet my protein goals.

Done and done. Simple.

But the real test came in the morning when my body thanked me and I woke up in 95% fat-burn mode after a 12-hour fast at 7 am. When my stomach started growling 2 hours later at 9 am, my metabolism read at higher carb-burn rates, indicating that it was time to break my fast at 14 hours.

The Best Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan Schedule Based on Metabolism

Without the Lumen, I probably would have guessed and continued fasting for several more hours — and it would have been unnecessary or potentially detrimental to my metabolism. My body was telling me loud and clear that it was time to end my fast.

So, that’s the difference between Option 1 and Option 2.

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.

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
– Our metabolism trackers show that some days we need less or more time fasting

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, having breakfast around 11 AM. 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.

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 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

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.’

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.

That’s why we recommend taking the guesswork out of everything and using 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 tracking 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 them since May 2023, 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, then your metabolism is the most important metric to track. Why?

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.

The Lumen is going to be your new best friend.  There’s no better investment for your health that we’ve found, plus, here’s our $50 $100 off code RYANANDALEX for more savings. 

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

A husband-wife duo, two engineers, and the creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. 

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our to tackle our true passion:

Helping highly motivated couples optimize their relationship and health by cutting through the muck and sharing what the research says works.

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