Intermittent fasting

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, increased energy, reversal of type 2 diabetes and many other things. Plus, you’ll save time and money.

In this beginner’s guide you can learn everything you need to know about intermittent fasting.

 

  1. Learn more
 
 
 

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.

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.

To get started, either watch our brief video course on fasting, or keep reading below.


325,735 viewsDo you want to keep watching? Part 2: How to maximize fat burning

 

 

 

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 Naiman

 
 

Benefits of intermittent fasting

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

Success stories

  • Keto and intermittent fasting: "I am completely blown away by the changes"
  • Intermittent fasting: down 42 pounds in 14 months
  • How Gino reversed his type 2 diabetes by doing the opposite

 

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 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 a low-carb 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 Fung
The Power of a 7–Day Fast – Dr. Jason Fung

 
 
 

Resources to learn more

 

The fasting video course

 

Interviews

 

Presentations

 
 

Q & A

Ask Dr. Jason Fung

Books

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Check out Dr. Fung’s books The Obesity Code and The Complete Guide to Fasting on Amazon.

Website

Dr. Fung’s website: IDMprogram.com

About Dr. Fung

Who Is Dr. Jason Fung?
 
 
 

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.

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181 Comments

  1. Makarios
    I have fasted years ago, usually 7 continuous days on plain water or herbal tea. At that time I was told that a daily colonic of large intestine would be essential. Having read all that was written in this article I didn't find any mention of it.
  2. 1 comment removed
  3. Fatima
    Hi,

    I have been on LCHF for over 3 months now. In the first month I lost approx. 5kg. I have been very strict and have max 20grams of carbs a day (lettuce, tomato, cucumber). But I have stopped losing weight. I have now joined swimming lessons. I walk 30 minutes a day but don't do any other physical activity.

    I don't understand why I have stopped losing weight.

    If anyone has any suggestions, please share.

    Thank you

  4. Sally Bickford
    Hi Dr. Fung! I'm loving getting going with fasting. I've been working with Dave Asprey and Bulletproof for well over a year now though have had little luck losing weight on that plan. I'm 55 and believe that my hormones are a big culprit. My knees are arthritic and are preventing a lot of my favorite sports hence some of my gain. I'm not too off but perhaps 20 - 30 lbs would help the weight baring soreness of my knees. Anyway, I've done 2 (two) 24 hour fasts and love them and can hardly wait for my next which I think will be 36 hrs starting tomorrow morning! My question; I'm getting a rash on the side of my mouth following both 24's. Is this some kind of ketone 'burn'? It does feel like a burn; itchy, oozy, red, scaley. I've been listening to Jimmy Moore, you and Meghan for several weeks and know ACV has come up as a solution. But is the rash related to fasting? I think I need some new strategies. Thank you so much for your considerations! Sally
  5. S
    I need to take medication with food @ 7 am, 3 pm & 9 pm. How can I make fasting possible?
  6. Toby Blake
    I believe Dr. Fung is on the right track - Fasting is a purely natural condition participated in by virtually all mammals at one time or another. The Verge of Hunger theory seems to work in lock step with the Fasting Diet. Both indicate similar positive results for those participating in it and come to the same conclusion despite originating from totally different originating arguments.
  7. Spoorthy
    Can women with PCOS or PCOD do intermittent fasting?
    Reply: #58
  8. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Spoorthy!

    You can find some reading here:
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/benefits/pcos

    Can women with PCOS or PCOD do intermittent fasting?

  9. Lionel
    16:8 "Generally, this is done daily or almost daily."
    -----
    Suppose that i do 16:8 or 20:4 only 2 times a week, and slight calorie deficit for the rest of the week.
    Will that be already effective for fat loss in the long term, in order to shed stubborn fat (those few extra pounds ) ?
  10. MARGARET
    Hello I am concerned about the lack of vitamins and nutrients during fasting. Should I take a multivitamin during fasting. I got so weak last time I tried fasting.
    Reply: #62
  11. 1 comment removed
  12. Lionel
    @Margaret

    Hello I am concerned about the lack of vitamins and nutrients during fasting. Should I take a multivitamin during fasting. I got so weak last time I tried fasting.

    If i'm not wrong, in the article they wrote that it's allowed to get a vitamin supplement, or alternatively you do the shortest types of fasting ( 16:8 or 20:4 ) , so when you refeed you get all the vitamin-rich food you need to keep going until the next day.

  13. Brian
    The people asking if you should take a multi vitamins, ..if you would of read above, you would know that answer. Fasting is not as difficult as people try to make it. Don't create your own problems from it. If you have a medical condition, get your doctors "opinion", your doctor isn't God, he also doesn't have your body. Listen to your own body, read and get opinions, and you yourself will make the best possible observation and choices. There is no yes no answer to fasting. Most of us fast everyday, and don't realize it. I eat once a day for the last 25 years, I am fasting the rest of the time. My weight never changes. On Sunday I eat nothing, water only. Find your own path and way of fasting, learn from your mistakes, write logs, learn from yourself. It's really the best way. Trying to find every possible answer from another person who is not you, and does not live inside your body, is just silly and a bit ridiculous. You are your own best advice, if you just listen to your own body. If you have a doctor that doesn't agree with fasting, find a new doctor. Not everyone is on the same page as you, or what you want to do or believe is best for you and your health. Have diligence, be persistent, and most of all have "self control". You can do anything!
  14. Marco
    Hello. In your article there is written: "During fasting, the body first breaks down glycogen into glucose for energy. After that, the body increases fat breakdown to provide energy." I have learned that the body does use fat for energy, but only during low intensity work/work outs. Because the conversion of fat to energy is a slow process. During high intensity work outs, the body uses glycogen as a energy source, but when the liver is depleted and you keep working out, the body will break down the protein in your muscles and convert it to glucose simply because this is a quicker source of energy. During high intensity training and weightlifting, I've experienced dizziness and headaches. Even when I'm supplementing with BCAA before and during training. Is this because I just started IF (18 - 4) and my body is going to a transition or am I burning protein?
  15. 1 comment removed
  16. Joshua Carter
    Roll out.
  17. Jo
    I am currently on a training schedule to run my first marathon. When would you advise I fast, on my training days and refuel on my rest days, or vice versa?
    Reply: #97
  18. Adrian
    I am going to be starting lchf and IF.. I am going to so the 5:2 fasting. On the 2 fasting days, it says no more than 500 calories.. is that 500 calories from low carb or just in general? Thanks!
  19. Dawn
    How is this different from anorexia?
    Replies: #70, #71
  20. Lauren

    How is this different from anorexia?

    Are you being serious right now? How is this not different from anorexia?

  21. The big difference is that people are encouraged to eat real food to satiety at meals. No caloric restriction at all, for most IF versions. The exception is the 5:2 diet that has a restriction two days a week (I'm not a huge fan of it for that reason).
  22. Firas
    Hello there!
    Don't you think that fasting for a long time would increase the ketons in the blood and in turn cause ketoacidosis?
    Reply: #73
  23. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Firas!

    Normally that is nothing to worry about.

    But as stated Above:
    -----------------------------
    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 prescription medication.
    If you have gout or high uric acid.

    -----------------------------

    Hello there!
    Don't you think that fasting for a long time would increase the ketons in the blood and in turn cause ketoacidosis?

  24. Brad
    If it takes 24-36 hours of fasting for the body to start breaking down fat, how would you go into a fat burning state doing 16:8, 20:4, or even 5:2 (up to 500 calories on the 2 fasting days)? Are 16 and 20 hour fasts long enough?
  25. Omar Martinez
    Hi, this was all very informative but for the past two weeks ive been fasting from 8pm to 8pm and only eating from 8-9pm. Is this so bad that I'm eating late? Also when I go out clubbing I usually have a bit of alcohol with orange juice or cranberry from 12-2am. What are your thoughts on this?
    Thank you
  26. Joey
    If you are on this diet and not losing weight, you're refeeding incorrectly. This is NOT a "low-carb" or "ketogenic" diet. The idea is to restrict calories when you're FASTING, not refeeding. Moreover, the article specifies to focus on high fats (meaning poly- and mono-unsaturates and vegetables) on your day 'on.' It makes no reference to simple sugars, starches, high saturated fat foods, or high fructure corn syrup products. That omission should leave a broad hint about what foods to avoid when refeeding. When your weight plateaus, it will be well within the BMI's "healthy" range index, and in some cases will continue beyond that (if desired).

    Moderate to light exercise (30-60 mins) is indicated, NOT heavy training with resistance machines or weights, or arduous aerobic exercise. If that's what you want, you need a diet high in complex carbohydrates and good fats as well.

    Finally, remember to use a fiber supplement for regularity, as you'll be taking in less fiber (also mentioned in the article).

    Stop making a simple system complicated and learn to do it correctly or not at all!

  27. Jackie
    I am so angry at every "diet coach" and weight loss program I have ever tried that saturated me with the notion that I had to eat breakfast and small meals all day long. What a crock! I have been IF for a little over one week and feel great. I've lost 5 lbs. and it's the easiest "diet" I've ever done.
  28. Barbara
    How do you keep from being cranky when you are hungry during fasting?
    Reply: #102
  29. Jackie
    Stay away from people! LOL! Seriously though I don't really get hungry until about 1 or 2 pm. If I just can't stand it I'll have a little something like a protein shake or piece of fruit. That usually tides me over until it's time to eat. Seltzer water staves off hunger for me a lot too. Looking forward to a good guilt-free dinner makes it a lot easier for me.
  30. Ashish Jha
    Not many decades have passed since India was ravaged by a number of natural calamities, like famine and floods. And when these calamities would occur, one aftermath that would follow invariably was the acute scarcity of food.
    Intermittent fasting benefits
  31. JS
    Which would be a best result to reduce weight?
    Condition: Fasting 20:4 from 10.00am - 1.00pm.

    1) Jogging 8.00am - 10.00am
    2) Jogging 5.00pm - 7.00pm
    3) Any other suggestion

  32. Anthony
    HI. i was wondering. if i loose too much weight too fast.will i get saggy skin or loose skin while in the proccess?. please tell me. im in my 3rd day. and i think i`m loosing weight. i weight 242 pounds before i start. and now im kind at 230 or so i think. but what i really want to know if i`ll get any saggy or loose skin.. please tell me..

    please message me
    yin48yang@gmail.com

  33. Jet
    I'm 23 years old. I'm anaemic and due to it I have a littlte pblm of hyperthyroidism as well. I've gained a lot of weight from past 4 years. Can I do this?
  34. Leonel
    So... I have a question... I actually lost weight, I started with the slow fasting and it has been almost a week since I've been doing the 24hrs fasting... But I didn't realize that it said that I should do the 24hrs Fasting for like 3 times a week.
    My question is.... If I do it every day, does it have bad consequences? Like, will I stop losing weight? Is it bad for my health?

    Please advise.

  35. Keziah Reed
    Can i fast on eltroxin ? I had a full thyroidectomy in 2011
  36. Dan
    Hi
    Is it alright to skip breakfast even if i go to gym in the morning and doing moderate amount of weights.
    I am still having my protein shakes after my workout.
    I am following 16:8 .

    Thanx

    Reply: #87
  37. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Dan!

    Yes it should be OK! :)

    Hi
    Is it alright to skip breakfast even if i go to gym in the morning and doing moderate amount of weights.
    I am still having my protein shakes after my workout.
    I am following 16:8 .Thanx

  38. Jake Sanpri
    Excellent read, very informative about the fasting. Except a "doctor" saying, "Intermittent fasting is the ancient secret of health. It is ancient because it has been practiced throughout all of human history," kind of concerns me since since humans are 200,000 years old and recorded history is only 5,000 years old and it is almost common sense that NO human ever practiced "not eating" when hungry until modern civilization of the last couple thousand years. Should stick to the medical knowledge and leave history to the doctorates of history. :)
  39. Lindsay
    So it's a myth that eating small healthy portions throughout the day increases metabolism? And if you can't eat junk food when not fasting, isn't this just another version of diet and exercise with an extra bonus?
  40. Shay
    Hi
    I have been trying 2 and 5 fast but after the third time I found that I had severe shaking and a light head and weakness. Should I continue with the fasting.
  41. Chuck
    I was on a 16:8 diet - (sometimes more than 16) for 6 months. I also counted calories. Weight loss was good. But my cholesterol shot up - to over 140+ for LDL. Is this common and should it be a concern?
  42. Debbie
    I have been doing the 16/8. Do I completely skip the calories I would normally eat for breakfast, or do I add the into lunch and dinner?
  43. Jean-François
    I'm amazed, I've been struggling with my blood pressure for 10 years, after 2 months intermittent fasting (16/8 one month than 20/4) it droped from 132/82 to 119/76 (those numbers are means on about 10 BP measures). Happy but a bit angry that no physician had shown me this way! And I have so much more energy and feel much more open to others, total drop of anxiety, changes in my guts brought change in my mental state, with such a simple practice et tremendous effect!
  44. Vance
    Two questions:

    1. if I have 100 cal. of nuts at hour 14, is the fast broken (so eat) or still some benefit to waiting until hour 16?

    2. while IF itself won't put me into "starvation mode", I do find it hard to get enough calories in my "window" and most days end up eating only around 1200-1400 calories a day (51 years old, 6'1", 193 lbs). Will this calorie reduction mess up my BMR?

  45. Hani
    We as muslims have to fast about 17hours daily for a month
    But without drinking or eating any thing during the 17 hours.
  46. RivkA
    I am addicted to sugar and carbs, I haven't been able to follow through with diets this year due to stress, boredom and lots more. (not trying to make excuses, just stating facts). I feel like fasting may be a good idea.. would 2 24 hour fasts suffice per week? I need to lose 35 lbs minimum.. Can I just remove sugar and flour for the non fasting days or would bananas, apples and yams really mess up the process ?
  47. Steve
    Having run 26 marathons I would tell you not to fast as your daily mileage will get your weight to where it needs to be.
  48. Angelina
    I'm into my 5th week of fasting and am very happy! I fast every other day and it has been so easy. I've lost 15 lbs total, about 3 lbs a week, and I wish I had known about this earlier in life. I've shared the info with my sons and have made a personal commitment to continue this way of eating for the rest of my life, God willing.
  49. Fee
    During the fasting period can we have water
    Replies: #100, #101
  50. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Fee!

    Yes! :)

    During the fasting period can we have water

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