Intermittent Fasting
for Beginners


Intermittent fasting is the ancient secret of health. It is ancient because it has been practiced throughout all of human history. It’s a secret because this powerful habit has been virtually forgotten. But now many people are re-discovering this dietary intervention. It can carry huge benefits if it is done right: weight loss, reversal of type 2 diabetes, increased energy and many other things.

We asked the great guru on intermittent fasting, Dr. Jason Fung, to assemble this simple beginner’s guide, where you can learn everything you want to know about it.

 

 
 


 

Introduction – A Natural Part of Life

Intermittent fasting – isn’t that starvation?

No. Fasting differs from starvation in one crucial way. Control. Starvation is the involuntary absence of food. It is neither deliberate nor controlled. Fasting, on the other hand, is the voluntary withholding of food for spiritual, health, or other reasons.

Food is easily available, but you choose not to eat it. This can be for any period of time, from a few hours up to days or even weeks on end. You may begin a fast at any time of your choosing, and you may end a fast at will, too. You can start or stop a fast for any reason or no reason at all.

Fasting has no standard duration, as it is merely the absence of eating. Anytime that you are not eating, you are fasting. For example, you may fast between dinner and breakfast the next day, a period of approximately 12-14 hours. In that sense, fasting should be considered a part of everyday life.

It is perhaps the oldest and most powerful dietary intervention imaginable.
Consider the term “break fast”. This refers to the meal that breaks your fast – which is done daily. Rather than being some sort of cruel and unusual punishment, the English language implicitly acknowledges that fasting should be performed daily, even if only for a short duration.

Fasting is not something queer and curious, but a part of everyday, normal life. It is perhaps the oldest and most powerful dietary intervention imaginable. Yet somehow we have forgotten its awesome power and ignored its therapeutic potential.

Learning how to fast properly gives us the option of using it or not.

 

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Balancing eating and fasting

At its very core, fasting simply allows the body to burn off excess body fat. It is important to realize that this is normal and humans have evolved to fast without detrimental health consequences. Body fat is merely food energy that has been stored away. If you don’t eat, your body will simply “eat” its own fat for energy.

Life is about balance. The good and the bad. The yin and the yang. The same applies to eating and fasting. Fasting, after all, is simply the flip side of eating. If you are not eating, you are fasting. Here’s how it works:

When we eat, more food energy is ingested than can immediately be used. Some of this energy must be stored away for later use. Insulin is the key hormone involved in the storage of food energy.

Insulin rises when we eat, helping to store the excess energy in two separate ways. Sugars can be linked into long chains, called glycogen and then stored in the liver. There is, however, limited storage space; and once that is reached, the liver starts to turn the excess glucose into fat. This process is called De-Novo Lipogenesis (meaning literally Making Fat from New).

Some of this newly created fat is stored in the liver, but most of it is exported to other fat deposits in the body. While this is a more complicated process, there is no limit to the amount of fat that can be created. So, two complementary food energy storage systems exist in our bodies. One is easily accessible but with limited storage space (glycogen), and the other is more difficult to access but has unlimited storage space (body fat).

The process goes in reverse when we do not eat (fasting). Insulin levels fall, signaling the body to start burning stored energy as no more is coming through food. Blood glucose falls, so the body must now pull glucose out of storage to burn for energy.

Glycogen is the most easily accessible energy source. It is broken down into glucose molecules to provide energy for the other cells. This can provide enough energy to power the body for 24-36 hours. After that, the body will start breaking down fat for energy.

So, that the body only really exists in two states – the fed (insulin high) state and the fasted (insulin low) state. Either we are storing food energy, or we are burning it. It’s one or the other. If eating and fasting are balanced, then there is no net weight gain.

If we start eating the minute we roll out of bed, and do not stop until we go to sleep, we spend almost all our time in the fed state. Over time, we will gain weight. We have not allowed our body any time to burn food energy.

To restore balance or to lose weight, we simply need to increase the amount of time we burn food energy (fasting). In essence, fasting allows the body to use its stored energy. After all, that’s what it is there for. The important thing to understand is that there is nothing wrong with that. That is how our bodies are designed. That’s what dogs, cat, lions and bears do. That’s what humans do.

If you are constantly eating, as is often recommended, then your body will simply use the incoming food energy and never burn the body fat. You’ll only store it. Your body will save it for a time when there is nothing to eat. You lack balance. You lack fasting.

Learn more

Time-Restricted Eating – a Detailed Intermittent Fasting Guide

How Fasting Affects Your Physiology and Hormones

Video:
Is Obesity Caused by Too Much Insulin? – Interview with Dr. Ted Naiman4.8 out of 5 stars5 stars85%4 stars9%3 stars3%2 stars0%1 star1%192 ratings19225:27



 

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

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Fasting’s most obvious benefit is weight loss. However, there are a myriad of benefits beyond this, many of which were widely known in ancient times.

The fasting periods were often called ‘cleanses’, ‘detoxifications’, or ‘purifications’, but the idea is the same – to abstain from eating food for a certain period of time for health reasons. People imagined that this period of abstinence from food would clear their bodies’ systems of toxins and rejuvenate them. They were more correct than they knew.

Some of the purported physical benefits of fasting include:

 

Advantages

Fasting offers many important unique advantages that are not available in typical diets. Where diets complicate life, fasting simplifies. Where diets are expensive, fasting is free. Where diets can take time, fasting saves time. Where diets are limited, fasting is available anywhere. Where diets have variable efficacy, fasting has unquestioned efficacy. There is no more powerful method for lowering insulin and decreasing body weight.

Here are even more reasons to try it, along with more details: The 7 Practical Benefits of Fasting

Learn more

Obesity – Solving the Two-Compartment Problem

How Fasting Reverses Type 2 Diabetes
 

Different Ways to Fast

Shorter fasts (<24hrs)

Fasting offers infinite flexibility. You can fast for as long or short as you like, but here are some popular regimens. Generally, shorter fasts are done more frequently.

16:8

This involves daily fasting for 16 hours. Sometimes this is also referred to as an 8-hour eating ‘window’. You eat all your meals within an 8-hour time period and fast for the remaining 16 hours. Generally, this is done daily or almost daily.

For example, you may eat all your meals within the time period of 11:00 am and 7:00 pm. Generally, this means skipping breakfast. You generally eat two or three meals within this 8-hour period.

20:4

This involves a 4-hour eating window and a 20-hour fast. For example, you might eat between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm every day and fast for the other 20 hours. Generally, this would involve eating either one meal or two smaller meals within this period.

Learn more about shorter fasts

 

Longer fasts (>24 hours)

24-hour fasts

This involves fasting from dinner to dinner (or lunch to lunch). If you eat dinner on day 1, you would skip the next day’s breakfast and lunch and eat dinner again on day 2. This means that you are still eating daily, but only once during that day. This would generally be done two to three times per week.

5:2 fast

Dr. Michael Mosley popularized this variation in his book ‘The Fast Diet’. This involves 5 regular eating days and 2 fasting days. However, on these two fasting days, it is permitted to eat 500 calories on each day. These calories can be consumed at any time during the day – either spread throughout the day, or as a single meal.

36-hour fasts

This involves fasting for the entire day. For example, if you eat dinner on day 1, you would fast for all of day 2 and not eat again until breakfast on day 3. This is generally 36 hours of fasting. This provides more powerful weight loss benefit. The other great benefit is that it avoids the temptation to overeat dinner on day 2.

Extended fasting

You can fast almost indefinitely. Generally for fasts greater than 48 hours, I recommend a general multivitamin to avoid micronutrient deficiency. The world record for fasting is 382 days, so going 7-14 days is certainly possible.

I discourage people from fasting for more than 14 days due to high risk of re-feeding syndrome.

Learn more about longer fasts

 


 

Common Questions and Answers About Fasting

Questions and Answers About Fasting

 

Who should NOT fast?

You should not fast if you are:

  • Underweight (BMI < 18.5)
  • Pregnant – you need extra nutrients for your child.
  • Breastfeeding – you need extra nutrients for your child.
  • A child under 18 – you need extra nutrients to grow.

You can fast, but may need supervision, under these conditions:

  • If you have diabetes mellitus – type 1 or type 2.
  • If you take take prescription medication.
  • If you have gout or high uric acid.

Won’t fasting put me into starvation mode?

No. This is the most common myth about fasting. In fact, the truth is just the opposite. Studies conclusively show that fasting increases basal metabolic rate.

Learn more

Can I exercise during fasting?

Yes. You should continue all your usual activities, including exercise, while fasting. You do not need food to provide energy for exercise. During this time, your system will burn body fat for energy. Excellent!

Learn more

What are the possible side effects?

There can be a number of possible nuisance side effects. Here’s what to do if you encounter them:

  • Constipation is common. Less going in means less going out. You don’t need medications unless you experience discomfort. Standard laxatives can be used to help.
  • Headaches are common and tend to disappear after the first few times on fasts. Taking some extra salt often helps mitigate such headaches.
  • Mineral water may help if your stomach tends to gurgle.
  • Other possible side effects include dizziness, heartburn and muscle cramps. Learn more

A more serious side effect is the refeeding syndrome. Fortunately, this is rare and generally only happens with extended fasts (5-10 days or more) when one is undernourished. Learn more

Why does my blood sugar go up during fasting?

This is due to hormonal changes that occur during fasting. Your body is producing sugar in order to provide energy for your system. This is a variation of the Dawn Phenomenon.

Learn more

How do I manage hunger?

The most important thing to realize is that hunger passes like a wave. Most people worry that hunger will continue to build until it is intolerable, but this does not happen. Instead, hunger comes in a wave. If you simply ignore it and drink a cup of tea or coffee, it will often pass.

During extended fasts, hunger will often increase into the second day. After that, it gradually recedes; and many people report a complete loss of hunger sensation by day 3-4. Your body is now being powered by fat. In essence, your body is ‘eating’ its own fat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and therefore is no longer hungry.

Learn more

Won’t fasting burn muscle?

No. During fasting, the body first breaks down glycogen into glucose for energy. After that, the body increases fat breakdown to provide energy. Excess amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) are also used for energy, but the body does not burn its own muscle for fuel.

It would be a long stretch of the imagination to think that our bodies store energy so carefully in the form of glycogen and fat only to burn muscle when it is needed.

Fasting has been practiced for thousands of years without difficulty. In my experience with over 1,000 patients on various fasting regimens, exactly zero have complained that they have noticed significant muscle loss.

Learn more

What are your top tips for intermittent fasting?

Here are the nine top tips, briefly:

  • Drink water
  • Stay busy
  • Drink coffee or tea
  • Ride out the hunger waves
  • Don’t tell anybody who is not supportive that you are fasting
  • Give yourself one month
  • Follow an LCHF diet between fasting periods. This reduces hunger and makes fasting much easier. It may also increase the effect on weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal, etc.
  • Don’t binge after fasting

Learn more practical fasting tips

How do I break a fast?

Gently. The longer the fast, the more gentle you must be. For short duration fasts, eating too large a meal after fasting (a mistake that we have ALL done, myself included) will usually give you a stomach ache. While this is not serious, people learn quickly to eat as normally as possible after a fast.

Isn’t it important to have breakfast every morning?

No, it’s not. This is an old misconception based on speculation and statistics, and it does not hold up when it’s tested. Skipping your morning meal just gives your body more time to burn fat for energy. Since hunger is lowest in the morning, it is often easiest to skip it and break your fast later in the day. Learn more:

Can women fast?

Absolutely. The only exception is women who are underweight, pregnant or breastfeeding. Other than that, there is no reason not to fast. Women have problems during fasting, but so do men. Sometimes women do not get the results they want, but that happens to men, too.

Women have fasted for thousands of years without incident. Studies show that the average weight loss for women and men who fast is similar.

Learn more about women and fasting

Isn’t fasting the same as reducing calories?

No. Not at all. Fasting reduces the time you spend eating and addresses the question of ‘when to eat’. Calorie reduction addresses the question of ‘what to eat’. They are separate issues and should not be confused with each other.

Fasting does reduce calories but it’s benefits extend far beyond that. Learn more

Will I lose weight?

Absolutely. It is almost inconceivable that you will not lose weight if you do not eat.

I call fasting ‘The Ancient Secret of Weight Loss’ because it is one of the most powerful dietary interventions for weight loss, yet it has been almost completely ignored it in recent years.

Learn more

More Q&A

Many more questions and answers about intermittent fasting
 

How to Get Started


Now that you know all the essentials of fasting, how do you get started? You just follow these steps:

  • Decide what type of fast you want to do
  • Decide upon the length of time you want to fast
  • Start fasting. If you do not feel well, or if you have any concerns, then stop and seek help
  • Continue all your usual activities outside of eating. Stay busy and live normally. Imagine you’re “eating” a full meal of your own fat
  • Break the fast gently
  • Repeat

Yes. It really is THAT simple.

Extra video preparation

If you feel that you want more preparation first, then watch our intermittent fasting video course.

If you want to, you can jump straight to the get-started sections of the course:

  • The left one below is about how to do a 24-hour fast (it’s surprisingly simple).
  • The right one is a real challenge, a 7-day fast (are you up for it?).

How to Get Started with Fasting – Dr. Jason Fung4.5 out of 5 stars5 stars71%4 stars13%3 stars8%2 stars2%1 star2%182 ratings18202:30The Power of a 7–Day Fast – Dr. Jason Fung4.6 out of 5 stars5 stars78%4 stars11%3 stars6%2 stars1%1 star1%173 ratings17303:34


 

More

Low Carb for Beginners

How to Lose Weight

How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Comments

What are your experiences with fasting? Do you have questions that are not answered above? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

46 Comments

  1. Marco
    good morning ,
    for high intensity workouts and short volumes as needed to behave ?
    Finally , for large volumes , but no intensity endurance how to behave ?
    thank you
    Marco
  2. Marty
    Is it ok to have a fatty coffee whilst fasting?
    Reply: #3
  3. Hi Marty!

    Technically, drinking fatty coffee is not fasting, but in practice it should not be a problem if we are talking about reasonable amounts of fat?!

    Is it ok to have a fatty coffee whilst fasting?

  4. Cathy
    Thankyou so much Dr. Fung!!!! Your explanations are so clear and practical! I had an a1c of 12.7 last fall. Through lchf and some if it quickly came down to 5.3. However, my bs still does not go below 105 very often. I am encouraged to do more serious fasting. (I have gone off of all my meds & insulin about 4 months ago.) I get discourged that my results seem slow compared to others. I have dropped 80 lbs, but haven't lost a thing for 6 wks now. Thanks for your blog....I will keep reading & pressing on!
    Reply: #6
  5. Sandra Bold
    I am interested in more energy levels but DO NOT want to lose weight. Should I fast or only follow a low carb diet? Or both. How do I avoid losing weight on this program
    Reply: #7
  6. Dawn
    Wow! Congrats Cathy! I did stop losing too but I decided to take Dr. Fung advise that I saw in one of his videos to eat regulary one day per week (usually on a Saturday). There are other diets as well that promote diet "confusion" where you break up the monotony of your diet by doing something completely different. I socialize and eat 3 or 4 times (instead of 1 or 2) and probably eat 40-60 carb grams instead of 20 or less. Also - some of the 60 grams is resistant starch (you can google the benefits of RS) This worked for me - 8 lbs fell off in first 2 weeks I tried it. You could also make sure your protien intake is maybe not too high since you've lost so much weight - as he's suggested this as well - Good luck!
  7. Hi Sandra!

    Try to do a few things the opposite way around that we recommend for weight-loss, like avoid fasting and/or do semi frequent LCHF snacking.

    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/snacks
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-to-lose-weight

    I am interested in more energy levels but DO NOT want to lose weight. Should I fast or only follow a low carb diet? Or both. How do I avoid losing weight on this program

  8. Anastasia
    How do fasting and cholesterol relate? Heard yesterday that mine is off the charts and I'm very concerned. Does LCHF and fasting help with that too?
  9. Cynthia
    Hello,
    I am currently intermittent fasting using Leangains.
    I am just a little confused by the skipping breakfast statement. Does this mean not to eat breakfast at all and go straight to your lunch meal option (for me this is dinner the night before)?
    Thank you. ?
    Reply: #11
  10. Lyn
    Thank you Drs , I have lost over fifty kilos, by following the 5/2 lchf way of life, my daughter as lost 47 kilos. , thank you for all your info. Lyn
  11. Hi Cynthia!

    If you are a member then you can direct questions to our experts (try with Fung):
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/member/ask-the-experts

    Hello,
    I am currently intermittent fasting using Leangains.
    I am just a little confused by the skipping breakfast statement. Does this mean not to eat breakfast at all and go straight to your lunch meal option (for me this is dinner the night before)?
    Thank you. ?

  12. Geraldine Denise
    Hi, Latest news on FASTING ! Good news for everyone, even the elderly! Sharing the link......it makes good reading and should quell any fears that people have about fasting being bad for one. I've managed to get up to 48hrs. without suffering at all, must say I cheated a bit and had fat coffee!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/12/fasting-for-three-days-...

  13. Daisy
    Have now been intermittent fasting by eating only once per day for one year, andnot only didn't die or get sick but have lost the last 10 pounds that needed to go (a total of 70 over now-8 years) but my body has slimmed and tightened on its own, no special exercise, and my mind is clearer than it's ever been, in the 3rd year of my 7th decade.

    Because I don't want to wake up hungry at night, I choose to eat dinner, which is always a very large green-leaf salad (usually romaine) with my own salad dressing " f.f. sour cream, f.f. heavy cream, sometimes a teaspoon of vinegar, and a little salt) and protein (pork, chicken, beef, or eggs) and if desired, 1 or 2 squares of low-sugar very dark chocolate.

    My memory capacity is improved, along with my health, proven by annual blood tests and the comments of my wonderful holistic M.D., "I wish all my patients did what you do!".

    Last year when I was reading articles at this site about intermittent fasting's benefits, I felt reluctant to start lest, at my age, this would harm me.

    NO WORRIES ABOUT THAT ANYMORE! I'm healthier than I ever have been or ever expected to be. The benefits of intermittent fasting are real and lasting as long as we stick to it. If we don't stick to it we have only ourselves to blame for returns of symptoms of quitting I.F.

    I'm a real person living in the U.S. Midwest; do not think this review is a fake, it's not. All my thanks and good results are due to the doctors who blog here, for me especially Dr. Fung's articles, but at this place one finds stellar science and stellar advice. Don't be afraid to try.

  14. Jennifer
    That's awesome Daisy!!! Congrats!!! Thanks for being an inspiration to the rest of us!!
  15. Jennifer
    On the 5:2 fasting do the two days of fasting have to be together or can you space them out and get the same benefit?
  16. John W
    I have the same question as Jennifer above.
    Reply: #19
  17. Dee
    I have an unusual situation. I am 60 years old, was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes about 18 years ago, controlled somewhat by a lower carb diet and exercise, but stalled after losing about 40 lbs.
    A very stressful job and long hours plunged me back into a fast food/sleep deprived lifestyle. I gained weight back and had stage 4 pancreatic cancer before I had any symptoms. A Whipple Procedure has left me cancer-free for 4 years now, but I have no pancreas, part of a liver, a shorter small intestine, no gall bladder, and fewer lymph nodes.
    I still have the weight, mostly visceral fat, and I am taking 40 units of Levemir in the evening while on a ketogenic diet for the last month. I have lost 8 pounds, but have trouble staying in ketosis. My blood glucose can jump up during the day. This morning I started at 84 and was up to 141 by dinner.
    I would like to take care of the insulin resistance as soon as possible. I had a physical at the end of August and told my doctor that I wanted to do a ketogenic diet. He had no problem with it (not that it would have stopped me), but he said that any diet would help me lose weight. He does not really understand the process. I had been taking the 40 units of Levemir in the evening and 16 units of Novalog at each meal before I started my diet.
    My goals are to 1) break the insulin resistance, 2) de-fat my liver (what is left of it is working well), 3) take as little insulin as possible, 4) lose 60 pounds.
    I try to exercise as much as my arthritic knees and back will allow. The inflammation is gone, shortly after starting my diet, but the knees are bone on bone and my L3 is collapsed, with more discs degenerating. I mostly do the rehab exercises from 5 weeks of immobility after post-surgical infections and other complications (total of 3 months in the hospital). So, I am still working on building back the muscle that I lost.
    Should I try the intermittent fasting? Should I do anything differently?
  18. Hi Dee!

    If you are a member then you can direct your question to our experts, here:
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/member/ask-the-experts/dr-jason-fung-new

  19. Hi John and Jennifer!

    If you are members then you can direct questions like this to our experts here:
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/member/ask-the-experts/dr-jason-fung-new

  20. Jack
  21. Iphie
    Please can I start fasting as my baby has turned 6months?
  22. Patrick
    Could you comments on the central role of IGF1 and the work of Valter Longo, especially the increased therapeutic index of chemotherapy while fasting? Also, could you comment on stem cell rejuvenation while fasting? Thanks in advance.
  23. Daniel O'Sullivan
    Dear Doctor Fung,

    I am a Junior doctor in the UK and I am very interested in the use of nutrition as a tool to treat the endemic problems of Diabetes and Obesity that we face in the western world. I like the information that you have on your site and I'm sure it is useful and helpful to many people around the world.

    There is just one line that concerns me in your 'top tips for fasting' though and that is 'don't tell anyone that isn't supportive'. It slightly worries me that patients suffering with eating disorders who will inevitably seek a site such as this out, will use that kind of language to confirm some of their behavioural decisions.

    I'm generally supportive of this as a concept though and it fills me with intrigue.

    Regards

  24. Daniel
    Good afternoon, I don't like bone broth, What could you do to supplement sodium levels in a fasting period?
  25. Anjill
    I am very interested in fasting as a way to lose weight and increase energy. I also recently found that I am very low in ketones (trace at any time of day) and am gluten sensitive. Is there anything I need to keep in mind to do fasting while on a ketodiet AND avoiding gluten?
  26. Christine
    Answer to Daniel # 23
    LCHF and intermittent fasting is a journey that must start from the commitment and understanding to a change in lifestyle, not a desire to lose a dress size before the next school reunion or after Xmas excess eating. Lots of people have asked me what I am doing to be losing weight, feel great and have so much energy. I tell them briefly and always give them the website address, but I don't know of one person who has actively started the lifestyle change - they just keep whinging about being fat and being tired etc. Unfortunately, it will take many years for the information to trickle down but it has started with sugar and how bad it is for you.
  27. Nader Dogan
    Hey we have here mayo clinic but unfortunately they doesn't believe what you think. I wish if you can to tell them about your diet , intermittent fasting , etc
    Reply: #28
  28. Nader Dogan
    Mayo clinic they believe bariatric surgery but I declined that. Because some people they die bypass surgery, others they got side-effect like colon cancer, others they got weight gain after the surgery.
  29. Mervin
    Going for fasting atleast once in a month helps in improving immune system and toxin removal from body.
  30. Christine
    Is chewing gum (Extra peppermint is my favorite) OK during fasting? I am going to guess that the answer is No due to the artificial sweetener in this gum, however I would like to verify.
  31. Swan
    I made a decision to start intermittent-fasting tomorrow! I can't go along with my parents overeating only which seems to make them feel well-off. Now it's exciting to be sure of my losing weight.
    (Mom, have you ever had such feeling on a diet? Did you try to get information about diet from websites in another language? Nothing, I know you are always watching TV. Never remember what I told you this site would bring us good news. I'm looking forward to seeing you change soon by yourself in a mysterious way. We're on same condition in the respect "beginner " ,aren't we? )
    Fortunately, I'm going away on a business trip two weeks. A chance like this comes but once in a lifetime.
  32. Kris_from_Canada
    Hello! I'm just curious as to weight loss numbers. I started a LCHF diet and IF one week ago. I also workout, 3 days of resistance training and 5 days of cardio a week. I've been losing nearly 1kg/day since starting. I'm 14lbs lighter than when I started 1 week ago! I feel great, other than a bit of a sour stomach in the morning. I've never experienced weight loss like this before so I don't know if those numbers are normal and/or safe.
    Down to 107kg and well on the way to my goal of 90kg!!

    Thank you so much for all the amazing information on your site Dietdoctor!!

    Reply: #41
  33. William Brazuca
    I am from Brazil and i just eat 70% oil 25% protein and 5% CArbo and it makes me feeling like a boy. I just have 1 meal per day, I lost 10 kilograms in 11 days, I am 39 years old but know I am feeling like 18 years old. I past about 7 years in my life sick, tierd and my memory was like a brain with ebola and aunzaimer. now I study english like my second language, and i can fix new inputs , I study about 4 months and intermitent fasting makes my brain working again, i was like someone dead. Now I want to make up, to love, to find 10 or more girlfriends. I am a machine now. Look out. I am here, girls, you need to know me. Yes. let s meet at my house today, i promisse, you will be happpy like living in a paradize
  34. Catalina
    Hi, I always hear about skipping breakfast when doing the 16 hour fasting. Can I just skip dinner and have breakfast and lunch until 3:00 p.m. and don't heat until 8:30 a.m the next morning? Thank you!
  35. 1 comment removed
  36. Edward Kowalski
    Dr. Fung,
    I would like to do a daily 13.5 hour fast (last meal at 9:00pm, then brkfst at 10:30am).
    Meals & snacks will be ketogenic.
    Also twice a week, I'd like to limit my calories to under 600 for the same 10:30-9:00 period.
    I will be having hot lemon/ACV/ginger water at 6:30am and Golden Milk at 9:30pm.
    I'm type 2 diabetic, but work with a trainer twice a week and do some solo workouts as well.
    Will the above be sufficient to reap the benefits of an intermittent fast?
  37. Tommy
    Hello, is eating one meal a day considered fasting, and good practice? I read some studies that show that eating only one meal a day may increase total cholesterol?
  38. Andrew
    I have an issue with this article's statement that "If you are constantly eating, as is often recommended, ...". It is NOT recommended by any reputable source that one constantly eats, and if anyone receives such 'advice', then that source is completely off base. It IS recommended that one eats several SMALL food portions throughout a day, and particularly, the RIGHT kinds of foods, rather than gorging on one or two large meals. Even more importantly, one should NEVER eat later in the evening (assuming of course that one is not working on a night shift), as we tend to go to bed (or back to bed, if the frig is calling us at midnight), and such consumed calories would end up as more stored fat. I wanted to point out this specific distinction, because how we use language is significant to avoid confusion - i.e., "constantly eating" does not equate to "eating several small proper food portions throughout one's day".

    rgds.

  39. Vincent
    I was so worried about fasting and was scared to tell people what i was doing. i didnt want them to judge me or think i was starving myself. Im not thin by any means i currently am 253lbs and i started the fast at 276. its been almost a month and i feel fine as there seems to be no side effects. i just started this on my own for personal and health reasons without reading much i just built off the idea of you have to burn more calories than you eat to loose weight or so im told and it lead me to fasting.

    My question is, currently my schedule for a 7 day week is to eat 3 days tues,friday,sat only one small meal a day and fast 4 days monday,wed,thurs,sunday and I exercise 2 of those days is this viable and health? I would like to be able to have a valued source when explaining my situation to people who might not understand what im doing?

    thx Dr.

    Reply: #40
  40. Hi Vincent!

    If you are a member you can direct your question to dr Fung here:

    https://www.dietdoctor.com/member/ask-the-experts/dr-jason-fung-new

  41. Konstantina
    Hi, I am really excited with your results. Can you describe which type of IF you are following ? Thanks
  42. DC
    Hi guys,

    Is doing a 16/8 fast pretty much every day a bad idea? Since early on in my LCHF eating, I have been replacing breakfast with coffee and have become accustomed to not eating breakfast.

    Whilst it isn't a hunger problem for me, I want to be sure that it is ok to continue to proceed with health wise.

    Thanksssssss

  43. 1 comment removed
  44. Dominick
    Could this Intermittant diet be problematic for someone on dialisis?
  45. Reynold
    Hi there! I have 2 poach eggs in the morning. Will that stop my fasted state?
  46. Rolf
    Hi there,

    I did intermittent fasting for quite some time. I do the 16/8 method, however, I cannot resist on drinking sweetened water (1 part sugar to 20 parts water). I drink of it at about 3 liter per day. Both during fasting and eating sessions. Will that stop my fasting cycle, if I drink a glass of little sweetened water? Thanks for your reply.

    Regards,

  47. Liz Brown
    I want to try fasting but I usually drink 2 glasses of cab or merlot every evening.
  48. Jami Gilliard
    What a great article! This answered so many questions for me. I am not overweight, but I have always struggled with losing a few extra pounds of stubborn fat. I have recently discovered the LCHF diet and I love it. The LCHF is so easy to follow and it doesn't leave you feeling hungry. With that being said I feel we have been somewhat brainwashed into thinking we have to eat breakfast, and we have to eat three meals a day. However, I find myself going against how my body actually feels and eat when I'm not even really hungry. I was always under the assumption that fasting was unhealthy and dangerous. You described how to safely fast so simply! I do believe this is the answer I have been looking for to finally shed that extra fat! Thank you so much for this article.

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