Intermittent Fasting for People:
- When it comes to dieting, different methods work for different people.
- If you’re thinking about trying Intermittent Fasting (IF), you’ll find that it can be pretty good at helping you lose weight and become healthier in general, but it does come with some downsides as well.
- In this guide, we’ll give you the basics of what IF is, as well as some practical tips to help make IF work better for you if you decide to try it out.
How Does It Work?
Intermittent fasting is a dieting method in which people cycle between periods of eating and abstaining from food. Unlike many other diets, it doesn’t focus on limiting caloric intake or even macros (protein, fat, carbs).
Instead, intermittent fasting advocates choosing an eating window (8-12 hours) during which you consume all your daily calories.
Then there’s another period of fasting where nothing goes in except water. Intermittent fasting dieters typically don’t count calories on these days since they are not putting any food into their bodies.
And while calories aren’t technically being counted, I did want to talk about how many meals you should be consuming during your daily eating period.
What Can I Eat?
Intermittent fasting is a weight-loss tactic that restricts your intake of food based on your activity level. Essentially, it involves short periods of abstinence from food—say, 12 hours in every 24.
Those who practice intermittent fasting eat no calories during their fasts, so they can skip breakfast or lunch or both, depending on how many days per week they plan to fast.
And intermittent fasters don’t need to count calories for their eating days—they know that as long as they don’t overindulge during them, those extra meals won’t kick them out of their calorie deficit. In other words, you can enjoy full meals on eating days.
The Best Time to Start
There’s no right time or wrong time to start intermittent fasting. It really just depends on what works best for you. Some people prefer doing it first thing in the morning (i.e., skipping breakfast) because it gives them a feeling of control over their day.
In reality, there’s nothing that says you can’t work out in between meals at any time of day as long as your schedule allows—and we do recommend setting aside exercise time each day before eating during an eating window.
If you want to try IF but aren’t sure where to begin, consider talking with a registered dietitian who can help you create an eating plan that fits your lifestyle and goals.
And remember: Intermittent fasting isn’t meant to be used as a weight-loss tool; rather, it’s for those who are looking for healthier ways of eating that bring about other health benefits.
What Should I Expect?
Intermittent fasting is actually a form of fasting that alternates between eating (consuming food, nutrients, calories) and not eating.
During your intermittent fast periods you can eat anything you want, but it’s important to keep in mind that you won’t be getting any benefit from your meals since you’re not consuming any calories.
That said, if you do decide to go on an intermittent fast it’s best to follow these rules as much as possible. First, try not to go longer than 16 hours without eating anything.
Third, avoid exercise during your fasting period—the lack of energy will make it difficult to complete workouts with proper form.
And finally, don’t drink too many liquids during your fast—this can cause water intoxication which could result in organ failure or even death! Remember, just because you’re not eating doesn’t mean there aren’t risks involved with intermittent fasting!
Common Questions Answered
What is intermittent fasting? How do I know if I’m doing it right? Is it safe? Will I lose weight quickly by eating less frequently? Here are some answers to common questions about intermittent fasting.
It’s a growing trend, with more than 100,000 people searching Google every month for information on how to fast intermittently.
It involves restricting your food intake over a specific period of time—usually 16 hours—and skipping meals during that time so you can consume all of your calories within an 8-hour window each day.
It’s become popular because it helps with both weight loss and muscle gain (when done properly). It can also be used as a simple way to help control blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and help manage your stress levels in general.
Use the Right Apps
There are apps that can help you track your calories, carbs, sugar intake, etc. There are also food-delivery services like Munchery or even Blue Apron that deliver meals so all you have to do is grab them from your doorstep.
If cooking isn’t really your thing but you want a healthier diet and lose weight, there are plenty of delivery options out there that will make it easy for you.
(These delivery meal services may be especially useful if you have a hard time making decisions about what to eat.)
And I don’t mean ordering in—I mean getting someone else to cook dinner so they do all of it while you relax on the couch with a glass of wine!
List of Resources For Personal Help
Here are some excellent resources for further reading. Below, you’ll find an overview of all my favorite books about fasting, as well as links to other bloggers, forums, apps and YouTube channels that I highly recommend. Let me know in the comments if there are any other resources that I should add!
The Ultimate Guide To Intermittent Fasting For Beginners by Matt from LeanGains Intermittent Fasting Primer from Mark’s Daily Apple Intermittency Fast Track is a five-day course run by Dr. Jason Fung with daily lessons about intermittent fasting by Pr.
Additional Reading Recommendations
Many intermittent fasting protocols have been developed over time and there are several ways you can go about implementing them depending on your needs.
As with any new diet, however, it’s always important to consult with your doctor before embarking on one. Below are my top 3 tips that I’ve learned from practicing intermittent fasting regularly over many years.