Curious about intermittent fasting but now sure where to start?
This intermittent fasting guide is for you.
We’re breaking down all the info you need to decide if intermittent fasting is right for you, and how to get started if it is.
You can check out this Intermittent Fasting Beginner’s Guide, or read below to learn everything you want to know about intermittent fasting in a question and answer format.
Skip around to get the information you need, and get those pesky questions answered.
Have something else you’re wondering? Drop us a comment below so we can update the intermittent fasting guide with even more great info!
Intermittent Fasting Guide Questions & Answers
This intermittent fasting guide explains everything you need to know about intermittent fasting in a simple question and answer format. Skip around, or read the entire thing!
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a new diet approach that uses specific scheduling to guide food consumption. Essentially you are purposefully taking breaks from eating, or skipping meals.
In fact, the intermittent fasting diet throws out the idea that constant eating or snacking throughout the day is food for weight loss.
With intermittent fasting, dieters break their day or week into fasting and feasting periods. Fasting periods involve little to no eating, and feasting periods are when all the food consumption happens.
Is Intermittent Fasting Starving Yourself?
Although it may look like it at first glance, intermittent fasting is NOT starving yourself.
This diet is a controlled approach to food consumption that basically gives your body a break from eating. You are still eating while on an intermittent fasting diet, you’re just eating at particular times.
Is Intermittent Fasting a New Concept?
While the term intermittent fasting and some of the specific fasting schedules (we’ll get into these later) are relatively new, fasting is not.
Fasting has been around for centuries. It’s historically been used for both spiritual and health reasons.
What Happens Inside Your Body While You Fast?
Your body needs fuel for energy. WHen you are constantly eating new food, your body takes the new food and uses it for energy.
When you fast, your body is forced to head into existing energy stores. This can be extremely beneficial for weight loss, because you are using up the stored fasts you’re often trying to get rid of.
Does Intermittent Fasting Help With Weight Loss?
One of the most commonly recognized intermittent fasting benefits is weight loss.
Not only are intermittent fasters typically consuming less calories, their bodies are using up stored fats for energy. Dipping into existing fat stores can help get rid of excess weight.
What Are Common Intermittent Fasting Benefits?
This intermittent fasting guide has a few benefits highlighted below. To learn more about these dieting upsides, check out 5 Intermittent Fasting Benefits You Can’t Ignore.
- Weight and body fat loss
- Improved mental clarity and concentration
- Increased energy
- Cellular cleansing
- Reduced inflammation
- Lower blood cholesterol, insulin and sugar levels
- Type 2 diabetes reversal
Is There Any Data to Support Intermittent Fasting Benefits?
There are some early studies that show a positive correlation between several benefits from intermittent fasting in animals, specifically rats. Studies with humans have shown intermittent fasting to be safe and effective, but not necessarily more effective than other types of diets.
More studies are needed to get conclusive answers on whether any or all of these benefits are specific to intermittent fasting in humans.
How Do You Decide When to Fast?
Deciding when to fast is a personal decision. Most people select one of the existing structured intermittent fasting schedules and then figure out the best way to incorporate it into their daily or weekly schedule. In fact, there are six commonly recognized intermittent fasting schedules.
While intermittent fasting may look a little bit different for everyone, the main concept remains the same.
What Are Common Intermittent Fasting Schedules?
The most common intermittent fasting schedules are:
- 16/8: 16 hour fasting period, 8 hour eating period
- 5:2: 2 full days of fasting per week, 5 full days of eating per week
- Eat-Stop-Eat: 24 hour fasting periods once or twice a week
- Alternate-Day: Fasting every other day
- Warrior Diet: Fasting during the day with one large meal at night within a 4 hour eating period
- Spontaneous: Skipping meals when it’s convenient
Learn more about each of these intermittent fasting schedules before choosing one that’s right for you.
Can You Eat During Fasting Periods?
Some intermittent fasting schedules allow for a small amount of calories to be consumed during fasting periods or days.
Typically that amount is somewhere around 500 calories for women, and 600 calories for men. If dieters are using an all day fasting approach, they may choose to consume to small meals/snacks of 250-300 calories each to ward off hunger throughout the day.
Can You Drink During Fasting Periods?
You can drink water, coffee, tea, and other non caloric drinks during fasting periods. A general rule of thumb is that if your drink is less than 50 calories, your body will remain in the “fasting” period.
How Do Feasting Periods Work?
Don’t be confused by the label feasting. While your feasting periods are the parts of the day or week when you can eat, that doesn’t mean you are literally sitting down to a feast.
As with all diets, you’ll want to focus on eating healthy options during your feasting windows.
Most dieters eat the same meals they would usually eat that fit within the timeframe. For example if you were using the 16/8 rule and fasting from 7pm to 11am, you would simply eat a regular lunch and dinner.
What Should You Eat During Feasting Periods?
Like any other diet, the healthier you eat, the better results you will see. If you are following an intermittent fasting schedule and binge on super unhealthy and sugary food during your feasting periods, you aren’t likely to see the results you want.
Instead, focus on healthy, whole food options that will keep you satisfied. You can throw in some healthy weight loss snacks if you want too.
Is Intermittent Fasting for Everyone?
Intermittent fasting can be a really valuable weight loss and health tool, but it’s not for everyone.
These categories of people may want to avoid intermittent fasting altogether, or consult with a healthcare provider before starting:
- Pregnant or nursing
- Chronically stressed or depressed
- History of eating disorders
Do You Need to Buy Any Intermittent Fasting Gear?
Some diets require a lot of extra tools or equipment to get started. One neat thing about intermittent fasting is that it really don’t require anything.
If you’d like to learn even more than what you’ve found in this intermittent fasting guide, we’d recommend grabbing a book.
These are a few of the top recommended intermittent fasting books:
You might also want to invest in a large desk calendar to map out your intermittent fasting schedule, and keep track of how you did.
Are There Any Intermittent Fasting Apps?
Of course, like anything these days, there are some cool apps to help you along the way.
These intermittent fasting apps can help you schedule a plan, map out goals, and keep track of progress:
We hope this intermittent fasting guide helped answer some of your hard hitting questions about fasting.
For an even more comprehensive intermittent fasting guide, check out this Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting.