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Intermittent Fasting 101

Updated: Feb 4, 2023


Intermittent fasting, or “ IF ” for short, is a dieting method that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s simple in theory – you restrict your calorie intake to certain windows of time each day, typically eating only during the noon and night hours. There are several reasons why people may choose to be intermittent fast. Some people believe it helps them lose weight more quickly than traditional methods like dieting and exercising. Others find it helpful in managing their blood sugar levels and reversing diabetes. And still, others use it as a form of mental health therapy. Whatever your reasons for wanting to try intermittent fasting, you should know a few basics before starting. In this article, we will briefly discuss the benefits of intermittent fasting and some common pitfalls to avoid. Armed with this information, you can confidently start your journey into the world of intermittent fasting!

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a diet plan where you intermittent fast, or abstain from eating, for a period of time. There are many variations of intermittent fasting, but the basic principle is the same: You limit the amount of food you eat to help your body burn more calories.

There are several benefits to intermittent fasting, including weight loss, better mental health, and improved blood sugar control. In fact, research suggests that intermittent fasting may be even more effective than traditional calorie-counting methods for weight loss.

While intermittent fasting can be challenging at first, it’s definitely worth trying out if you want to improve your health in any way. So what’s involved in intermittent fasting? Let’s take a look!

How does intermittent fasting work?

When you fast, your body breaks down and uses its stored energy to produce glucose. When you eat, your body uses glucose to produce energy. This process is called the

gluconeogenesis pathway. Gluconeogenesis leads to the production of high levels of blood sugar, which your body can then use for fuel. The benefits of intermittent fasting come from reducing the amount of glucose your body needs to produce energy. Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve overall health and reduce the risk of many diseases.

One way that intermittent fasting works is by reducing the calories you consume each day. This means that your body will have less energy to work with each day and will need to find other ways to get energy. One way this happens is by reducing the amount of glucose your body needs. Essentially, intermittent fasting teaches your body to use alternative energy sources like ketones or fatty acids instead of relying on glucose.

The benefits of intermittent fasting go beyond having less sugar in your bloodstream. Research has shown that intermittent fasting can improve overall health by reducing the risk of many diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Studies have also found that people who fast regularly tend to have a lower BMI and are less likely to be obese or overweight than people who don’t fast at all.

  • Intermittent fasting is not for everyone, however. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid fasting because it can lead to low blood sugar levels in your children

  • If you have any medical conditions, you should also speak with your doctor before starting intermittent fasting because it can be risky for people with certain illnesses.

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

So why are so many people adopting intermittent fasting as their new diet regime? Here are five reasons:

  • weight loss: Intermittent fasting is effective for weight loss because it leads to reduced calorie consumption throughout the day. This occurs due to decreased hunger and an increased feeling of fullness which may lead you to consume fewer overall calories

  • improved blood sugar control: One study showed that people who followed an intermittent fasting diet had better blood sugar control than those who ate a regular diet. This is likely due to the fact that intermittent fasting leads to increased energy and reduced hunger, which can lead to reduced calorie consumption

  • better mental clarity: According to some people, intermittent fasting can improve mental clarity and focus. This is likely due to the fact that intermittent fasting allows your body to get used to burning glucose for energy, which leads to improved brain function

  • better physical health: Intermittent fasting has been shown to increase physical health markers such as insulin sensitivity and overall fitness. This is likely due to the fact that intermittent fasting leads to decreased inflammation and improved lipid profiles

  • increased lifespan: According to some studies, intermittent fasting can increase lifespan by up to 50%. This is likely due to the fact that intermittent fasting reduces chronic inflammation.

How to start intermittent fasting?

If you're new to intermittent fasting, here are a few basics.

  • Start by calculating your daily calorie needs: This is important because if you overshoot your target, you'll likely feel hungry and crank up the eating in an effort to make up for it. To calculate your daily calorie needs, use an online calculator like this one from The New York Times.

  • Establish a regular fasting schedule: If you're unsure how often to fast, start with one or two days per week and gradually increase the number of days over time as you get more comfortable with the practice. Most experts recommend adhering to a schedule of 24 hours without food divided into three 8-hour windows: 12 pm-8 pm, 10 pm-6 am, and 4 pm-12 am. Once you've established your regular fasting schedule, stick to it as closely as possible.

  • Adjust your meal timing based on your fasting state: While fasting, your body starts to burn stored energy (anagen). This means that blood sugar will rise during the early morning and fall throughout the day — so it's best to eat conservatively during these times. Conversely, eating more protein and carbs is recommended during the late afternoon and evening when anagen is wanting to keep blood sugar levels stable and provide lasting energy (endogenous). There's no single right answer here; experimentation is key to finding what works best.

How to make intermittent fasting easier?

When it comes to fasting, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. First, intermittent fasting is not always easy — especially the first few times you try it. But with a little preparation and perseverance, it can be easier than you think.

Here are four tips to make intermittent fasting easier:

  • Set realistic goals: Intermittent fasting isn't about starving yourself or becoming a yo-yo dieter; it's about finding a sensible way to eat that helps you feel energized and healthy. Start by setting small goals that you can easily achieve, like eating only during designated hours of the day or fasting for only six hours each day instead of 24.

  • Use an app or tracker: Tracking your food intake can help you stay on track and ensure you get the nutrients your body needs while fasting. Some popular apps include MyFitnessPal and FatSecret.

  • Drink plenty of water: Not drinking enough water can lead to headaches, dizziness, and even dehydration during intermittent fasting. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, including coffee, tea, water, unsweetened herbal tea, and fruit juice.

  • Avoid overeating: When you break the fast by eating anything other than water or fresh fruits and vegetables, be careful not to overindulge in calories from unhealthy sources like processed foods and sweets. Opt for lean protein instead of fatty meats or full-fat dairy products.

What should you avoid while intermittent fasting?

When you decide to begin intermittent fasting, there are a few things you should avoid to ensure optimal results. Here are five things to avoid while fasting:

  • Eating large amounts of food at one time: When you break your fast, it's important not to overeat and crash afterward. Eat slowly and spaced out throughout the day instead of eating a large meal all at once.

  • Drinking huge volumes of fluids: Drinking tons of water and juice when fasting is common, but make sure not to overdo it. Stick to sips instead of gulping down large amounts of liquid all at once. This will help prevent any type of dehydration or cramps.

  • Taking supplements or medications that may affect your body's response to food or hormones: Make sure to talk with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting schedule if you take any supplements, medications, or supplements that interact with prescription drugs. Intermittent fasting can be potentially dangerousfor people who take certain medications that can interact with the body's natural hormonal responses to food intake (such as thyroid medication).

  • Working out excessively during the fasting period: If you're trying intermittent fasting for weight loss or other fitness goals, make sure not to overdo it in the gym during your fasting period! Too much exercise during the fasting period can increase hunger levels and lead to cheating on your calorie count later in the day when you're allowed to eat again.


If you're anything like me, you've heard a lot about intermittent fasting (IF) and are curious about the fuss. If you're looking to jump on the IF bandwagon but unsure where to start, this article is for you! In it, we'll explore the basics of IF, including how it works, why people do it, and some potential benefits. After reading this article, I think you'll be ready to try IF — so go ahead and get started!


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