Intro to Intermittent Fasting (IF)


In a world filled with diet fads and weight loss trends, one approach has been steadily gaining popularity for its potential health benefits and simplicity: intermittent fasting. This nutritional strategy has garnered attention from researchers and health enthusiasts alike. In this blog post, we'll delve into what intermittent fasting is, how to implement it, and who might benefit from incorporating it into their lifestyle.


What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is not a diet in the traditional sense; it's a pattern of eating that focuses on when you eat rather than what you eat. The concept revolves around alternating periods of eating and fasting. During the fasting periods, you abstain from or significantly reduce calorie intake, giving your body a break from constant digestion.

There are several popular methods of intermittent fasting, including:

The 16/8 Method: This involves fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window. For example, you might skip breakfast and eat your first meal at noon, then finish eating by 8 PM.

The 5:2 Diet: In this approach, you eat normally for five days of the week and restrict calorie intake (typically around 500-600 calories) on the remaining two non-consecutive days.

Alternate-Day Fasting: This method involves alternating between days of normal eating and days of fasting or consuming very few calories.

The Eat-Stop-Eat Method: You fast for a full 24 hours once or twice a week, with no calorie intake during the fasting period.

The Warrior Diet: This approach involves fasting for 20 hours and eating all your daily calories within a 4-hour eating window, often in the evening.


How to Incorporate Intermittent Fasting into Your Life

Starting intermittent fasting can be relatively simple, but it's crucial to approach it gradually and find a method that suits your lifestyle and preferences. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Choose the Right Method: Select an intermittent fasting method that aligns with your daily routine and preferences.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water during fasting periods to stay hydrated and help control hunger.

Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods: Focus on nourishing, whole foods during your eating windows to ensure you meet your nutritional needs.

Monitor Your Body: Pay attention to your body's signals. If you feel dizzy, overly fatigued, or unwell while fasting, consider adjusting your approach or consulting a healthcare professional.


Who Might Benefit from Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, but it can be beneficial for several groups of people:

Weight Management: IF can help with weight loss by reducing calorie intake and promoting fat burning.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Some studies suggest that IF may improve insulin sensitivity, making it potentially useful for those at risk of type 2 diabetes.

Brain Health: IF may support brain health and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

Heart Health: Research indicates that IF may lead to improved heart health by lowering risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Longevity: While more research is needed, some animal studies suggest that IF may increase lifespan.


A Word of Caution: Intermittent Fasting May Sabotage Weight Loss Goals

Intermittent fasting (IF) is used for many reasons, with weight loss as the main interest. Because IF heavily focuses on eating within a specific window of time, it can be easy to eat more than your daily calorie budget. The reality is that weight loss relies on being in a calorie deficit and so the calories in food consumed still matter. Eating over or under your calorie budget may impact your weight loss and stall your progress.

Tracking your daily calorie consumption in an app like Lose It! is a simple and effective way to know if you’re eating within your recommended calorie budget so you can adjust accordingly.


Intermittent fasting is a versatile and straightforward approach to nutrition that can potentially offer a range of health benefits. However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions. Whether you're looking to shed some extra pounds, boost your metabolic health, or simply explore a new way of eating, intermittent fasting might be worth considering as part of your wellness journey.




Patterson, R. E., & Sears, D. D. (2017). Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting. Annual Review of Nutrition, 37, 371–393. Link

Tinsley, G. M., & La Bounty, P. M. (2015). Effects of intermittent fasting on body composition and clinical health markers in humans. Nutrition and Metabolic Insights, 8, 1–13. Link