The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting: The Beginner’s Guide

Written by Cristina Powell

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is all the craze right now among fitness and health enthusiasts young and older. Yet, it’s nothing new. In fact, it’s been used—though likely unintentionally—for longer than you and I have been alive.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors fasted as part of their daily life simply because food could be scarce. They didn’t always have a choice because before they could eat, they had to find their food. Makes you grateful for the grocery store around the corner, right? Of course, that convenience can also be a bit of a drawback with the overabundance of often unhealthy foods.

Intermittent fasting has been gaining popularity in today’s day and age as an effective way to control food intake in the face of that food abundance. Because, as you likely already are very well aware, we have a lot of food available to us, and many of us are eating too much of it. Ironic, right?

Before I get ahead of myself, let me explain what fasting is and the benefits of intermittent fasting strategy.

The History of Intermittent Fasting

Fasting is simple: it’s the voluntary abstinence from eating food and/or drinking calorie-containing liquids for a specified period of time. I highlight the word “voluntary” because there’s another extreme form of involuntary abstinence from food, and it’s called starvation. That’s a completely different story.

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As I mentioned earlier, fasting is not new, nor was it originally implemented as a weight-loss tool. In fact, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and other religions have been incorporating fasting into their lifestyles for centuries. For Islam, it’s most common during Ramadan.

For Christians, fasting dates back to the Old Testament in The Bible. Many Christians observe a 40-day fast during Lent as well as during the period before Christmas known as Advent. Roman Catholics have modified their fasting ritual to include only Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

In Hinduism, fasting is traditionally observed on certain days of the week or the month, such as Purnima and Ekadasi.

The Science of Intermittent Fasting

While people have been fasting for hundreds of years, intermittent fasting now being used as a tool to improve health and body composition.

You see, strategically including intermittent fasting into your lifestyle has a potential multitude of health benefits. Even a single fasting interval (e.g., overnight) appears to reduce insulin and glucose as well as other markers for certain diseases.1 This explains why patients are required to fast for 8 – 12 hours before blood draws: to achieve steady-state fasting levels for many metabolic substrates.

Several studies suggest that intermittent fasting may have some benefits that directly affect metabolism and potentially longevity.2 When you combine calorie restriction with intermittent fasting, research indicates it may prolong the health-span of the nervous system by affecting fundamental metabolic and cellular signaling pathways that regulate life-span.3

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Intermittent Fasting Perspective

Many of us eat out of habit (the clock says it’s time to eat), out of convenience (it’s there), or because our hunger hormones tell us to do so (I’m hungry). In the case of the latter, the body gets used to cyclical feeding patterns. As a result, many of us experience hormonal hunger, which isn’t true, deep hunger. Rather, it’s just because the body is expecting food. I personally think intermittent fasting gives us the opportunity to realize what REAL hunger feels like.

With intermittent fasting, when we experience this hormonal hunger—which is sometimes purely psychological, we are forced to “sit through it” and let it pass. This gives us insight that hunger is not an emergency at all, and it will pass even if we have to go more than three hours (gasp) without food.

What’s even more interesting is that hunger hormones are “trainable.” In other words, you may have noticed that you always get hungry in the afternoon or evening at a certain time—regardless of what or you eat for lunch. Intermittent fasting can help re-train your hunger hormones, putting you in the driver’s seat of your appetite.

Further, the fasting reminds us that eating is a privilege. Not everyone has the opportunity to eat every 2 – 3 hours, or even every day. Further, eating is a responsibility in the sense that what we put into our bodies is our fuel, and we’re reminded of this during periods of intermittent fasting.

Essentially, our bodies are our vehicles. Do you want to opt for low-grade, low-octane fuel because it’s cheap and convenient? Or, do you want to opt for high-octane rocket fuel that will fuel you and your goals properly?

In addition, intermittent fasting reminds us of ever-present food marketing. It’s everywhere! No wonder we think we need to eat all of the time! All of our sensory characteristics are heightened each time we see an ad on TV or in a magazine, drive by a fast food joint, etc.

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Here is a list of all of 10 potential health benefits of intermittent fasting:

  • Reduced Blood Lipids
  • Increased Cellular Turnover
  • Reduced Blood Pressure
  • Reduced Inflammation
  • Increased Fat Burning and Metabolic Rate
  • Improved Appetite and Blood Sugar Control
  • Improved Cardiovascular Function
  • Increased Growth Hormone Release
  • Reduced Oxidative Stress
  • Increased Cellular Turnover and Repair

3 Different Intermittent Fasting Strategies

Time-Restricted Feeding
There are several different ways that you can incorporate intermittent fasting. One of the most popular is called Time-Restricted Feeding (TRF). As the name implies, TRF involves extending the amount of time you fast each day while restricting your “window” of eating time. Generally speaking, most TRF programs involve a feeding window of 4 – 8 hours with a fasting period of 16 – 20 hours. Two popular examples are the One Day Diet and LeanGains.

The One Day Diet is particularly unique because it also incorporates meal replacement shakes. This benefits of this intermittent fasting strategy is that people who use it have experienced it to be highly effective for boosting weight loss and health.

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Alternate Day Fasting
The most-studied form of intermittent fasting is Alternate Day Fasting (ADF). ADF consists of a “fast day” (which involves either a complete fast or up to about 500 calories) alternated with a “feed day” (where you can eat according to your hunger). The rationale behind ADF is that many people have a difficult time with daily caloric restriction, and with ADF, you only have to restrict calories every other day. ADF has been shown to be a safe and effective approach for weight loss, and it is at least as effective as daily caloric restriction in that regard. Even more, ADF has been shown to improve markers of heart health and insulin sensitivity.

The most popular ADF diet is The Every Other Day Diet based on research by Dr. Krista Varady. In addition, there are other popular intermittent fasting diets that are based on ADF, such as Eat Stop Eat and the 5:2 Diet. Instead of alternating fast and feast days, these diets simply involve scheduling two fast days each week. They’re a bit more practical and easier to follow than the standard ADF protocol.

Fast Mimicking Diet
Finally, one additional form of intermittent fasting that’s gaining traction is something called the Fast Mimicking Diet (FMD). FMD, which is based on research conducted by Dr. Valter Longo and colleagues, involves “fasting” for a single 5-day period during a monthly cycle. The rest of the time, you eat normally.

During the 5-day FMD period, you don’t actually have to fast. You simply follow a low-calorie diet (about 33 – 50% of your normal intake) that’s also low in protein (about 9 – 10% of your normal protein intake) with the rest of your calories split between carbs and fats. The benefits of this intermittent fasting strategy are a decreased body weight, improve glycemic control, reduced markers of inflammation, increased ketone bodies (which reflect fat burning and also improve appetite control), and supporting healthy aging.

My Personal Experience with Intermittent Fasting

While this article is meant to be used for information purposes, and not meant to express an opinion of BioTRUST Nutrition or our affiliates, allow me to offer my personal take on fasting.

While it is the responsibility of each of us to determine what will ultimately provide us with optimal health, and fasting is not for everyone, I have personally found all of the benefits of intermittent fasting (ie health, productivity, performance, and weight management) fit my life perfectly.

Yet I did not incorporate intermittent fasting into my routine on purpose, but rather by discovery. You see, my morning ritual is more fluid when I don’t consume breakfast first thing in the morning. I am able to get my two children ready for school and out the door. I am able to hit the gym and shower. I also get my work day started by addressing all the emails and plan my schedule based on my workload. I am able to check a few things off my to-do list before my body signals to me that I need energy. Ultimately, I don’t have my first meal until around noon typically.

It wasn’t always this way, and in the past, I found when I attempted to schedule my intermittent fasting, time would appear to stand still. I was extremely unproductive as I spent most of the fasting period staring at the clock. I actually found it easier to mentally prepare if I was fasting for a full day. You wake up and know this is a “fast day.” Your mind is aware of this as you go about your day.

Did I experience hunger throughout the day? Sure. But we all know our bodies can function for several days, weeks even, without food, provided we are consuming adequate amounts of water. I mean, Gandhi was in his mid 70’s and of declining health and able to sustain his life for 21 days with no food on just water. I’m not saying we should test that out, of course! We can’t all be like Gandhi.

If you are interested in the benefits of intermittent fasting or including it into your nutrition plan, or would like some additional information on the subject, please feel free to comment below, and I will gladly help!

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  • 1 Patterson RE, Laughlin GA, Sears DD, et al. Intermittent fasting and human metabolic health. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2015;115(8):1203-1212. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.02.018.
  • 2 Wegman MP, Guo MH, Bennion DM, et al. Practicality of intermittent fasting in humans and its effect on oxidative stress and genes related to aging and metabolism. Rejuvenation Research. 2015;18(2):162-172. doi:10.1089/rej.2014.1624.
  • 3 Martin B, Mattson MP, Maudsley S. Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting: Two potential diets for successful brain aging. Ageing research reviews. 2006;5(3):332-353. doi:10.1016/j.arr.2006.04.002.
  • Coach Stefanie

    Yes, I agree with Coach Cristina, intermittent fasting is an easy lifestyle. I also fast until about noon or later out of convenience. My morning routine tends to be a bit rushed, and I’m one of those folks who is not hungry upon waking. A good strong cup of coffee and I’m not hungry for hours. I’ve noticed an amazing side effect of intermittent fasting as well, and that is being able to easily keep my weight in check, even with a few “cheat meals” here and there. It really does make life much more simple and you certainly can’t argue with the health benefits!

    • Henrik

      Very helpful article. Thanks. I have been experiementing with IF for a few years now and personally I find the daily time restricted feed approach the easiest to follow. Going through a whole day on <500 calories is really tough and I just cant go to sleep if I am very hungry. So a daily feeding window of 12 to 8pm (ie 16 hours fast) works really well. My question is this: I usually need 1-2 cups of espresso to get through the morning. I use BCAAs if I am doing a workout during the fasting window which stops me feeling sick (as recommended by Leangains). BUT am I ruining many of the benefits by consuming espresso on an empty stomach? I know it doesnt contain any calories, but I believe it may have negative impact on Cortisol and Insulin sensitivity? Any views on the "coffee coping strategy" appreciated!

      • Coach Stefanie

        Hi Henrik,
        I hear you loud and clear on the coffee dilemma! I do go for coffee in the morning, even when fasting until my usual 3:00 pm. I just make sure not to add sugary creamers, etc. to it because then, yes, that would negate what you’re trying to achieve through intermittent fasting. As long as your espresso is back, and it makes you happy :), I don’t see why it’s not a viable option for you. Try it for a few weeks and see if you find your weight loss is at all hindered. If so, then we can revisit!

      • Great question about coffee, Henrik! Jeff Rothschild touched on this in a a recent podcast, which I highly recommend listening to:

        Intermittent Fasting, Time-Restricted Feeding, and Circadian Biology

        According to Jeff, drinking coffee does technically break the fast. But this is actually a good thing as it gets the body’s circadian clocks, which are in every tissue, set in the right “time zone” so to speak.

        In other words, the body’s circadian clocks are intricately tied to feeding, and when we ignore this (e.g., shift work), trouble can potentially ensue. If you’re opting for time-restricted feeding (which somewhat ignores circadian biology when food is delayed later into the day), then having some coffee first thing in the morning (when one would normally eat) could be beneficial in keeping the body in its normal rhythm.

        Just a thought. Hope it’s helpful!

  • Jay Franks

    I stumbled upon TRF on my own and for me, it has proven quite effective. I lost 116 pounds and got my body fat to 8.5% utilizing it. Now that I am in Maintenance mode, I still confine my calorie intake to a four hour window daily. It can be difficult at first, but once your body adjusts, its actually quite easy. About once a week I’ll skip an entire day. I do not plan this, but if I’m not hungry one day, I just don’t eat. If Humans required three meals a day, there wouldn’t be any humans.

    • Coach Stefanie

      Jay – congrats on your superb weight loss! That is incredible and a testament to the power of fasting, in whatever form works for you. Yes, “required” feedings are, for the most part, all in our heads. I tell people all the time, it’s really just mind over matter and once you get onboard with the schedule, it actually makes like a lot easier in many ways. Again, Jay, kudos to you for your obvious diligence and please stay in touch!

  • Dale Netherton

    No mention of diabetics and the need to keep blood sugar from tanking. This issue has to be taken into consideration when fasting.

    • Cristina

      Hi Dale. I can appreciate you bringing up this very important topic, and I must mention that the information and references on this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional.

      With that being said, I would be more than happy to offer some information with the understanding that this discussion is related to generally healthy individuals (i.e., not taking blood sugar medications or medications that affect blood sugar.

      Maintaining appropriate levels of blood sugar is of the utmost importance to the body, as glucose is the primary fuel for the brain and central nervous system. As a result, our bodies have developed extensive and efficient systems to tightly regulate blood glucose levels.

      Studies have shown that it may take up to 84 hours of fasting to drop blood sugar levels low enough to negatively affect mental capacity. During
      48 hours of severe caloric deprivation, blood sugar is tightly maintained and mental state is not negatively affected.

      Thus, it seems like we’re otherwise okay with maintaining blood sugar when fasted-this is reflected with research, it’s been my experience, and it’s the feedback garnered from others. The issues that arise, then, stem from at least two other potential areas:

      1. Hunger-expectancy hormones; and
      2. When we commence the feeding window.

      In the case of the former, our bodies adapt to our feeding schedules. Hormones like ghrelin start to act up in response to our normal feeding times. Are we hungry? Maybe. Is our blood sugar low? Unlikely if we’re still in the fasted state (again, in otherwise healthy individuals). However, we interpret these signals as true hunger. In response, we eat, which leads us to the latter
      portion of the equation…

      Once we enter the “fed” state, hormones are affected and metabolism changes. The body may become reliant on glucose oxdiation (i.e., carbohydrate metabolism) in response to a meal. Depending on our glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, etc., we likely will experience additional physiological feelings of “needing” food within a few short hours. Physiologically, this may actually be due to low blood sugar. It may also be due to a rise in catecholamines and other lipolytic hormones, which likely signal a shift into fat oxidation (i.e., fat burning). Again, it could be hunger expectancy hormones or a combination of all of the above.

      The take-home point regarding blood sugar is that you’ll most likely be just fine during the fasting window. You may experience some hunger pains early on, but those will subside in a few days as your body transitions.

  • Aubree Carter

    Great article! I have been reading about intermittent fasting and actually went for 13.5 hrs today, which was my first intentional time. I hit a little period of fogginess and thinking I was in need of food but then I did a couple of tasks and bam! It passed.

    I’ve been told the fogginess is related to the body detoxing. What are your thoughts on this? Also do you recommend drinking green tea as one of the fluids when fasting?


    • Cristina

      Greetings, Aubree. Congratulations on your first successful attempt at intermittent fasting. I don’t want to discount your concerns with feeling foggy. Would you say this was a feeling of lethargy or lack of energy, or something more along the lines of dizziness or inability to focus?

      On the most basic level, intermittent fasting is used to monitor and/or restrict the consumption of calories. The short- and long-term effects from intermittent fasting (e.g., increased phagocytosis, or cellular repair/turnover) may be helpful from a general health standpoint, but it’s not necessarily worth the risk if you are experiencing discomfort, or the ability to perform everyday functions.

      It may take a few days for your body to adjust to the calorie restriction (or feeding time restriction), however be mindful of how you feel both internally and externally to determine if intermittent fasting is right for you, as an individual.

      With regards to consuming beverages such as green tea during the fasting periods, it is completely acceptable to enjoy a cup of plain coffee or tea. Generally speaking it is ideal to stay well hydrated with water, not only during a fasting period, but all throughout the day.

      Despite a “true fast” being nothing consumed outside of water, if you find that you are unable to sustain your hunger or energy levels during your fast, you are welcome to add a non-calorie, all-natural sweetener like stevia as well, or a small amount of real cream (e.g., one tablespoon or so).

      I would go as far as to say calorie-free and naturally-sweetened beverages, like Zevia or LaCroix are also acceptable. However, I would recommend limiting one’s consumption of artificial sweeteners (e.g., Splenda). Josh and Joel have written about Splenda before, here:

      Why You Should NEVER Use Splenda (Dangerous Health Warning

      Overall, I would recommend consuming no more than 50 calories during the fasting phase, however, it somewhat of an arbitrary number. The
      overarching goal should be to reduce consumption of food (i.e., calories) during a period of fasting.

  • Jdk

    I exercise first thing in the morning. I’ve heard that after exercise we need to have protein and maybe a little carb. Am I not a candidate for intermittent fasting? I don’t want to skip dinner in order to eat breakfast because I fix and eat dinner with my family, and it is too hard not to eat then. Thanks.

    • Cristina

      Hi Jdk. Excellent question!

      In my opinion, it is crucial to consume some type of meal or snack post work-out. Personally, I have a protein shake as my post-work out meal, and this is typically when I am breaking my fast, as I work out in a fasted state. While there are numerous ways one might be able to incorporate intermittent fasting, some of the more “popular” methods are 5:2, 16/8, 20/4, but folks can experiment with other options as well:

      —>Eating less frequently (e.g., eating 3 – 4 meals per day instead of “grazing”)
      —>Using a smaller “feeding window” (e.g., 12 – 14 hours)

      Evidence suggests that even brief, occasional periods of fasting can help with cellular tidying and reducing inflammation. Just remember that intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone, and it should be applied only when appropriate.

      To address your specific question about working out in the morning, and not wanting to forfeit eating dinner with your family, you could always extend your feeding window. For example, if this means that your “feeding window” ends up being longer than let’s say 8 hours, I can’t say that that will make a huge difference in the overall scheme of things. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to sit around and watch the clock and let a timeframe control your eating habits, as long as you’re focusing on making good choices and eating mindfully and appropriately for your personal preferences, body type, activity levels, and goals.

      There are various health benefits associated with periods of fasting (i.e., intermittent fasting) and multiple ways to incorporate fasting to meet one’s personal needs and schedule. While 6- and 8-hour feeding windows are quite popular with daily intermittent fasting protocols, however we don’t necessarily know if these are the only ways to reap the benefits.

    • Henrik

      Hi Jdk, as hinted at above in my question re coffee, I skip breakfast and eat between noon and 8pm (so I can have dinner with family and also not go to sleep hungry). I also tend to work out in the mornings ie in a fasted state (on an empty stomach). In addition to my cup of espresso to wake me up I take 10g of BCAAs before the workout and another 10g straight after. This gives enough protein to ge through the workout without undoing the benefits of IF and gets me through to the eating window quite easily. Overall this approach does work well for me, and I feel I am really benefitting from IF both in terms of calorie control, better digestion and more effective work outs.

  • Anonymous

    I only eat from 8AM until 5PM everyday and only drink lemon water at night if hungry. It has really helped me with my overall health and weight loss

    • Cristina

      Hi Anonymous. We appreciate you sharing your current protocol as well as what has allowed you to see positive and favorable results. I would be interested to hear more about your current meal plan, and what constitutes good nutrition for you during your feeding window of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

      I am certain our readers would also enjoy hearing what has allowed you to achieve success in your personal journey, as well.

    • That’s awesome, Anonymous. Thanks for sharing and congrats on finding a formula that works so well for you.

      I think that you’re on to something. This type of strategy—eating during daylight hours—may have additional benefits than what you might see on the scale, and perhaps that’s why you’ve noticed such a boost in overall health.

      When most people think of time-restricted feeding (TRF), a form of intermittent fasting (IF), they tend to think of skipping breakfast and eating later in the afternoon and into the evening. While that’s quite convenient, we still have to consider circadian biology.

      When we think of circadian rhythms, we often think of the sleep-wake (light-dark) cycles. However, every organ in the body is governed by a clock. Most would argue that our clocks are “set” to eat during daylight hours when insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism are optimized. An extreme example of this would be shift work.

      Nonetheless, I’m really glad that you’ve found what works for you, Anonymous. Keep up the great work!

  • Kat Hammerman

    Would love to know more. How can I figure out which style is best for me?

    • Coach Stefanie

      Hi Kat,
      Thanks for reading up on intermittent fasting. As to which style is best for you, it’s probably going to boil down to a number of factors. First, you’ll have to see what will work best with your lifestyle. For example, if you’re very busy at work all day, it may be easier for you to fast on work days so you’re not caught up trying to meal prep or take time out to eat. Or, if you’re busy, maybe it’s easier to simply delay that first meal as long as possible.

      I find it easiest to fast for a few extra hours every day versus full day fasting. However, I have friends who would rather fast completely for a full day once a week. The rest of the time, they eat normally. It is something you may need to experiment with until you find what’s comfortable and workable for you.

  • Sophia

    I have heard that IF can slow your metabolism & not to do it if you have thyroid problems. Is that true?

    • Cristina

      Hi Sophia. Thank you for taking the time to review this article, and for reaching out to us with your inquiry. I am required to mention that this blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about health, fitness, and related sub­jects. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

      With that being said, a majority of the research indicates that intermittent fasting improves markers of health (e.g., fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, etc.), body composition, cellular repair, and more (and I would be more than happy to provide you with additional resources if you are interested). However, it appears most of these beneficial health effects are seen predominantly in men, and unfortunately not seen in women. In fact, women appear to see more deleterious health effects from long-term intermittent fasting protocols, especially if the fasting phase is longer (e.g., between 16 and 20 hours).

      The reason is simple: women appear to be more sensitive to energy restriction, which makes sense from a biological and survival standpoint. Women need to be ready to rear children, which means having ample energy available for immediate and long-term use. Thus, when women follow an intermittent fasting protocol, they may see more extreme consequences of energy restriction (e.g., reduced thyroid output, downregulation of leptin and estrogen, upregulation of cortisol, and so forth). Couple that with increased energy expenditure via exercise, and it could lead one to experience menopausal-like symptoms (e.g., cessation of one’s cycle) among other things (e.g., rambunctious cravings).

      We have always said that there is not a one size fits all approach to dieting or exercising, and that would hold true for intermittent fasting, too. While for most healthy adults, incorporating some degree of fasting every now and again can provide some benefit, it is not for everyone.

      The main things to keep in mind when deciding if intermittent fasting is right for you are how you feel both internally and externally while you are fasting. Some things to be mindful of (and these are extreme symptoms), would be if any of the following occur:

      •your menstrual cycle stops or becomes irregular
      •you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep
      •your hair falls out
      •you start to develop dry skin or acne
      •you’re noticing you don’t recover from workouts as easily
      •your injuries are slow to heal, or you get every bug going around
      •your tolerance to stress decreases
      •your moods start swinging
      •your heart starts going pitter-patter in a weird way
      •your interest in romance fizzles (and your lady parts stop appreciating it when it happens)
      •your digestion slows down noticeably
      •you always seem to feel cold

      I personally have had great success with the incorporating of intermittent fasting in my diet, however don’t worry if this approach to weight management is not for you- it isn’t for everyone, and not everyone experiences desired results. I have always said we are all just as unique on the inside as we are on the outside, so just do what works for you, and don’t worry if it’s not in line with what everyone else is talking about, or doing.

    • Hi Sophia,

      I hope this finds you doing great! Just to piggyback on the great info from Coach Cristina, assuming caloric restriction, I haven’t seen any evidence that various forms of IF (whether it’s time-restricted feeding, alternate day fasting, or a fast-mimicking diet) “slow” the metabolism (i.e., resting energy expenditure) to a significantly greater degree than a “regular” diet.

      In general, IF studies in humans show comparable results in weight loss as standard caloric restriction, with no significant differences in resting energy expenditure (when measured). Having said that, one recent study in healthy young men did find that 8 weeks of time-restricted feeding (TRF) led to a significant reduction in levels of T3 (active thyroid hormone). However, there were no differences in metabolic rate, and the TRF group lost more fat mass than the “normal” diet group.

      Again, this study was in healthy young men, and we can’t extrapolate that data to other populations per se. Further, we can’t extrapolate this data to other forms of IF, such as alternate-day fasting (or 5:2), which is actually the most researched form of IF. It’s been shown to be comparable to “normal” dieting in terms of adherence and effectiveness, and I have not seen any data of negative effects on metabolic rate (or thyroid) with this form of IF.

      I hope this helps, Sophia!

      Coach Tim

  • Christine Rankin

    Can I use the Complete Plant Protein Blend in the One Day Diet Plan as I cannot tolerate dairy?

    • Cristina

      Great question, Christine!

      First and foremost, we are delighted you are interested in improving your health, body composition, and performance by including one of our protein supplements in your healthy diet. The One Day Diet is also a very simple meal plan to follow which has been shown to provide many of our customers with phenomenal results.

      You are absolutely permitted to substitute our Harvest Plant Based Protein for our Low Carb while you are following the One Day Diet. For folks who may also be interested in using our new Platinum1 Whey Protein, this would also be a great alternative.

      We appreciate you being a loyal customer, Christine, and we hope you will let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.


    Would this count as an IF: Fasted for 21 hours (nothing taken by mouth): ate 250 kcals of feta cheese + 150 nuts + 90 kcals of oven baked crackers + 2 hard candies (30 kcal)? The total comes up to ~520 kcals.

    • Cristina

      Hi Natasha. Thank you so much for taking the time to review my article on intermittent fasting.

      I would love to help you better understand what is involved with IF, and how you can include this method in your current diet for the most benefit. Could you please let me know a little more about what your specific question is asking?

      For example are you inquiring if by consuming these foods, if you are still considered to be “fasting”?

      Or are you asking if 21 hours is sufficient time to be considered intermittent fasting?

      In the first instance, this would not be considered fasting still, as once you consume anything that contains calories, you are breaking your fast.

      With regards to the latter, 21 hours can absolutely be considered intermittent in terms of fasting. There are many variations of how and when to fast, and this is just one example.

      If I did not understand your question, please let me know so I can address this to your satisfaction. And we hope you will visit us again soon, Natasha.

  • Dustin Grant

    Great article I just started the On Day Diet Yesterday.

    • Cristina

      Thanks, Dustin. I appreciate your kind words. I hope you will keep us posted on your progress with the One Day Diet. Since you are a member of our VIP Group, you can always hit me up to address your questions there, or you can stop by here if you prefer.

      I am looking forward to sharing in your journey, my friend. Keep up the fantastic work!

      • allen morris

        Cristina, I just started the one day diet yesterday. Am i correct with skip breakfast, shake at 11;00 am shake at 3;00 pm and dinner at 6;00 pm. Do this for 6 days a week?

        • Cristina

          Hi Allen. Thank you for reaching out to me with your questions regarding our very popular One Day Diet.

          The benefits of intermittent fasting aren’t dependent upon specific time frames, (e.g., you must eat between 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM), rather, it’s dependent on consistency. We settled on 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM because this falls between the two times people are hungriest (i.e., morning and night). However, you could technically eat at 8:00 AM and then finish at 2:00 PM if that suits your needs.

          Something else worth mentioning is that you may extend the feeding phase to eight hours. This will not compromise the potential for you to reap the benefits of intermittent fasting, however, it does allow you to consume your meals within a larger time frame. For example, you may have your first smoothie at 10:00 AM, your second smoothie at 1:00 PM, and your last meal of the day at 6:00 PM.

          You are correct in that you will follow this schedule for 6 days, then on the 7th day you can take a day “off ” the One Day Diet plan, and eat regular meals all day.

          We typically recommend that you follow the One Day Diet for 30-days, and then take a full week off, and repeat. You can follow this program until you reach your goal.

          Generally speaking, the One Day Diet provides 1200-1600 calories per day, with the Cheat Day bringing in anywhere from two to four times that amount. Thus, your overall intake for the week might fall between 13000 and 15000 calories, or between 1850 and 2150 calories consumed per day (if you spread out the Cheat Day over the course of the week). This should be enough to elicit at least one pound of fat lost per week, if not more.

          I hope you will let me know if you have any other questions along the way, and please check back and let me know how things are working our for you.

  • MaryAnn Jz Cowan

    this was a terrific article! thank you for posting it! i have to say that i have found the same thing when i started IF! i used to be the most AVID breakfast eater, but now, i can NOT eat before noon, even if i’m hungry! it’s very odd because i’m hungry, but i just don’t feel like eating. i can’t eat until after i’d worked out. i work on a ship, and i don’t feel like eating until lunch, so i eat breakfast for lunch.

    • Cristina

      Hi MaryAnn. I can’t even begin to tell you how nice it is to hear words of encouragement, appreciation, and praise.

      I appreciate you sharing your personal experience with intermittent fasting, as well. Much like you, I used to be an avid breakfast eater, and for the last few years have not been very hungry until when most folks typically consume lunch. My journey with intermittent fasting happened by chance, not by choice, but it has become a way of life for me now.

      I have found that the biggest reservation for a lot of people is that they are such huge fans of “breakfast” foods, and they cannot even imagine skipping breakfast. What some don’t understand is that you can still include breakfast foods in your diet, just at other times of the day. In fact, breakfast for dinner is a very popular thing at my house.

      Thank you once again, MaryAnn, for giving me a pat on the back. I value your patronage and friendship, and look forward to your next visit.