5 Favorite Intermittent Fasting Methods Explained

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As I’ve shared in earlier posts, Intermittent Fasting (IM) is so great for your health.

Not only can it help you lose weight and belly fat (1), but it also helps with:

  • cellular repair
  • hormone regulation (2)
  • lowering your risk of Type 2 Diabetes (3)
  • preventing Alzheimer’s (4)
  • preventing cancer (5)
  • reducing cholesterol (6)
  • reducing oxidative stress and inflammation (7)
  • increased longevity (8)

For a fast review of IF you might like to refer to The Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting.

There are a few different ways to do IF. And I love this, because we’re all unique. We don’t need a “one size fits all approach”.

If you’re like me, you want a plan that fits your personality, style and life. So here they are.

The Most Popular Intermittent Fasting Methods

1. The 5:2 Diet

This one was developed by a British journalist and doctor, Michael Mosley. It involves eating normally 5 days of the week and greatly limiting caloric intake the other 2 days.

During the fasting days it’s recommended that women restrict their calories to 500 per day, and men to 600 per day.

So, for example, you might choose Tuesday and Thursday as your fasting days. You could enjoy 2 small meals of 250 to 300 calories each of those days. Or your eat all of your calories all in one meal. Then the other 5 days you would eat normally.

2. 24-Hour Fast (Eat-Stop-Eat)

Fitness expert Brad Pilon made this method popular. It’s recommended to do it only once or twice a week since you’re completely fasting for 24 hours straight.

It’s fine to have calorie-free beverages, such as black coffee, green and herbal teas and plenty of water.

If you’re not sure you can go a full 24 hours that’s fine. Start with 14 or 18, then work your way up.

Many people begin their fast after dinner one night, then break the fast the following night at the same time.

3. 16/8 Fast (LeanGains)

This is my favorite way to IM because (for me) it’s easy and fits my schedule. And this keeps me motivated. Also, I don’t feel like eating when I wake up, so the 16/8 allows me to simply grab my coffee and go.

With this method you’re fasting each day for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window. This is also known as the LeanGains method, which was started by fitness guru, Martin Berkhan.

The easiest way to do 16/8 is not to eat after dinner, then skip breakfast. For example, if you finish dinner at 7 pm, and don’t eat your next meal until 1 pm the following day, you’ve fasted for 16 hours.

Some recommend women only fast 14 to 15 hours at a time, but listen to your body. If you are able to go the full 16 and still be healthy about it, then go for it.

4. 20-Hour Fast (The Warrior Diet)

The Warrior Diet was started by Ori Hofmekler. The plan here is to fast for 20 hours, then eat one large meal in the evening.

Something that makes this plan unique is that during the 20-hour fast, you’re allowed to eat small snacks of Paleo-friendly foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables, juice and protein.

Some fasting purists say that because of this The Warrior Diet isn’t a fast at all.

Either way, many people have had great success with it.

5. Meal Skipping 

intermittent fasting methods
You may want to try some different IF methods to find the one that’s right for you.

This is a less structured way to fast that some people enjoy. If you don’t feel hungry for breakfast one morning, simply skip breakfast (or lunch, or dinner).

And don’t worry about what you may have heard about meal skipping. You will not lose muscle or go into starving mode.

This is all a myth. Our bodies are actually quite adept at going without food for long periods of time, so skipping a meal or two here and there is fine.

So if you’re not hungry, or you’re too busy to stop and eat, just skip a meal and eat later.

Special Considerations

If you have an eating disorder, IM is not recommended.

And please keep in mind that it’s not for everyone. Some people love it, but others don’t, and that’s okay.

The Takeaway

IM has some pretty great health benefits including weight loss, increased longevity, and decreased risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s. It can also simplify your life because you spend less time prepping meals and shopping for groceries.

We’ve covered 5 of the most popular Intermittent Fasting methods here today. There is no right or wrong way to do IM. You might want to try a couple of different methods before you find the one you like the best.

Have you tried any of these IF methods? Do you have a favorite? Please share in the comments below!

Finally, if you’d like to learn more about IF you might like to check out:

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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Quick Tips For Intermittent Fasting Like A Rockstar

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Continuing with my series on Intermittent Fasting (IM), I have some speedy quick tips to share with you.

I hope these help if you decide you’d like give it a try!

Tips For Intermittent Fasting Like A Rockstar

  1. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. I aim to drink 16 ounces first thing when I wake up, then throughout the day. Filling up with H2O keeps hunger pangs away. Plus, it’s just plain healthy.
  2. Drink green tea and coffee during the fast. If you want to add Stevia that’s fine, but stay away from sugar and creamers because of the added calories. And, best of all, caffeine naturally suppresses the appetite.
  3. Start your fast after dinner. This is the easiest time to start because you’ll be sleeping for the majority of the fast. There’s no reason to make it hard on yourself, right?
  4. Break your fast with healthy food. Make sure your first meal of the day includes plenty of nourishing whole foods. Try to stay away from processed junk food and sugar.
  5. Be aware of portion sizes. Chew your food slowly and savor the flavors. Don’t eat more than you would in a typical meal.

    tips for intermittent fasting
    Eat plenty of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  6. Include plenty of protein in each meal. Protein is a great appetite suppressant and it’s essential for maintaining and building muscle. You might like to try this recipe for My Favorite Peanut Butter Protein Shake.
  7. Try it for at least 3 or 4 weeks. This gives your body time to adapt. And it gives you a fair amount of time to decide what you think about IM.
  8. Be flexible and expect ups and downs. This is normal, as are ups in downs in life. Try to relax through it and “this too shall pass”. In the meantime, revel in flexing your self-discipline muscles.
  9. Stay busy and be productive. You may find your most productive time is during your fast. This has been my experience. In fact, I’m writing this post while I’m fasting.
  10. Work out a little. There’s no need to overdo it here but you might lift some weights, do a kettlebell workout or go on a walk. The important thing is to move your body and do something you enjoy!
  11. Allow time for quality sleep. Everyone is different, but aim to catch plenty of zzzzz’s. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours.
  12. Listen to your body. Pay attention to energy levels, moods and emotions, hunger and food cravings, and how you feel overall. Fasting is the perfect time to get in touch with your body’s cues.

The Takeaway

I hope these tips for IM help you if you decide to try it. Different things work for different people, but I’m really loving it for better concentration, weight loss (1), fewer sugar cravings and many more health benefits.

But, whatever you decide, I know you’re a rockstar! 😉

Are you thinking about trying IM? Can you think of more tips to add? Please leave you comments below and get the conversation started. I love hearing from you and will reply to your comments as soon as possible. Thanks guys! XO

Finally, if you would like to learn more about Intermittent Fasting you may want to to check out:

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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Intermittent Fasting: The Effortless Way To Lose Weight

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Okay, so tell me the truth. Do you think I went too far?

With the title of this article, I mean.

Now before I start getting hate mail (which would never come from you, because you guys are great!) please hear me out.

Yes, I realize using the words “fasting” and “effortless”  in the same sentence may sound like an oxymoron, if not tasteless.

But I do have an explanation for this.

Weight Loss Yo-Yo

First, let me share a little background. I’m no longer the “skinny minny” I was in high school, and I’m thankful for that. Now I’m focused on growing healthier and stronger each day.

As a teenager, and like other young, impressionable girls, I was keenly aware, observing the world around me. Though I heard, “pretty is as pretty does” and “beauty comes from the inside”, I also observed a preoccupation with appearances, diets and physical attractiveness.

This combined with societal pressures that girls act and look a certain way places a world of confusion in young minds. As a result, my relationship with food was not always healthy. (Look for a future post on this as it’s a topic of great importance to me.)

But now, thankfully, I enjoy food as much as the next girl. And I’m no stranger to weight loss programs. As a mama to four beautiful, and now grown, babies my body has morphed from thin and frail from Lyme disease to round and 9 months pregnant, and everywhere in between more times than I can count.

fasting lose weightWith each pregnancy I was extremely nauseated, throwing up, unable to keep food down, the first several months. Needless to say I always lost weight and did not gain in the first half of the pregnancies.

And each time this would alarm my doctor, to which he would prescribe that I eat more and start putting on weight. This sounded like an impossible task until the nausea let up towards the latter half of the pregnancies. Then I would proceed full speed ahead by following my doctor’s orders.

You can probably see where this is going….With Drew, our first child, I ended up gaining 43 pounds in 4 months. For someone who’s only 5’6″ I’m pretty sure that set some sort of record?

After he was born I was so busy nursing and caring for a newborn that I was able to lose all the weight before we found out we were expecting his little brother, Cooper, 15 months later.

And, on it went. The weight went up and down with each little bundle of joy. And as our family grew, at times, so did my waistline. And may I just say, that our children have been the most amazing blessings.

So, thanks for indulging my little trip down memory lane, all to say this….

I understand the frustrations and difficulties of wanting to lose weight and putting it off because… I’m too busy with my job, or my family needs me, or there aren’t enough hours in the day, or I don’t want to spend money on a gym membership, or (fill in the blank with an excuse).

If you’re at all like me, we can come up with a million excuses, can’t we?

I truly understand.

The struggle is real.

If I could go back in time, I would approach my weight loss efforts with intermittent fasting (IF).

Why? Because (for me):

  • losing weight is easier with IF
  • it makes life simpler–less meal prepping
  • doesn’t require you to record what you eat (even though I like to do this anyway)
  • I can eat the healthy foods I want and not have to cut out entire food groups
  • it helps my concentration
  • has helped reduce my body pain (symptom of Chronic Lyme disease)
  • it’s improved my short-term memory (another symptom of Lyme)
  • fewer sugar cravings

Intermittent Fasting, Lose Weight The Easy Way

When you are fasting your body has to use its stored fat for energy. This is a good thing and much more effective than just cutting calories. If you want to lose any excess fat you’re carrying around IF is a great way to do it.

So forget what you’ve heard about eating 6 meals a day and read on.

Sciencey Stuff

When you’re fasting your body releases 2 essential fat burning hormones:

  • human growth hormone (HGH)
  • Norepinephrine (noradrenaline)

HGH can aid in both fat loss and muscle gains (1).

When Norepinephrine is released it breaks down body fat into fatty acids which are burned for energy (2).

Also, during fasting periods, insulin decreases significantly (3). This leads to fat burning.

Fat burning!

And more fat burning!

Simplify Your Life

When you eat less often you have fewer meals to plan for. You have less grocery shopping to do. Not to mention, you spend less money on groceries because you’re eating less food.

Yes, you do need to make healthful choices. But, because you’re making healthy choices when you do eat, there’s no need for calorie counting or point tracking. And attending meetings with weigh-ins and complicated point systems is not necessary.

And that hour-long aerobic workout you’ve done every day for as long as you can remember? Feel free to cut back to 2 or 3 days a week for 30 minutes instead. And you might even replace the aerobics with weight training, such as kettlebells. Stay active, but do something fun.

fasting lose weightI’m not saying counting points or working out every day is bad or that you shouldn’t do it.

I still keep a food diary because it makes me aware of what I’m putting into my body.

Whatever works best for you is what you should do.

I just want to share the success I’ve had with IM and encourage you to try it for yourself and see what you think.

Simply look at this as a chance to try something new.

The Takeaway

Intermittent fasting is a great way to burn excess body fat and lose weight. It’s easy to do compared to many other weight loss plans and has several health benefits.

Have you tried intermittent fasting for weight loss? Please share your thoughts and experiences below in the comment section. I love hearing from you and will reply to your comments as soon as I possibly can.

To learn more about intermittent fasting you may want to read:

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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9 Essential Questions About Intermittent Fasting Answered

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Since I started 16/8 Intermittent Fasting last year I’ve enjoyed some pretty awesome benefits including:

  • better balanced blood sugars
  • fewer sugar cravings
  • weight loss
  • increased concentration during fasting periods
  • less time spent prepping food
  • less body pain

In the mean time I’ve received a bunch of questions about how this whole thing works. I’ve answered some of the most common ones here. I hope this helps you guys!

Intermittent Fasting Q & A

  1. What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)? It’s an eating pattern. It is not a diet. It’s eating, or not eating, in a strategic way.
  2. If I’m fasting in the morning can I still have my coffee or tea? The short answer is yes! Generally speaking, you’re free to have water, black coffee, tea, and greens powder and you should be fine. Also, if you drink one cup of coffee each morning and like to add a splash of cream you’ll most likely be okay. But, if you’re one of those people who drinks it all morning long and adds the fixins each time…then probably not. Most people can get away with consuming 50 to 100 calories during the fast, but any more than this is too much and is considered breaking the fast.
  3. How hard is it…..really?? I love this question! Ha Ha! I certainly hope that didn’t sound insensitive because I had the same question when I started. This one just tickles my funny bone. So, depending on how often you’re fasting it may take a few days to get used to. But it’s been my experience that once I adjusted I wish I’d known about IF sooner. The benefits definitely outweigh any negatives felt in the first couple of days.
  4. How much weight will I lose? This depends on several factors such as how long and often you fast, what you eat between fasts, whether you work out, age, muscle mass, metabolism and other elements.
  5. Can I work out while I’m fasting or will I pass out? Yes, you can work out while fasting. In fact many athletes (and non-athletes) plan their workouts an hour or so before they break their fast so they can eat as soon as they’re finished training. For example they might plan to work out from 12 pm to 1 pm, then eat breakfast/lunch at 1 pm.

    questions about intermittent fasting
    Intermittent fasting is a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.
  6. Do I have to do it every day? No, you can IM as much or as little as you choose. It’s totally up to you.
  7. What’s the difference between a diet and Intermittent Fasting? Dr. Michael Eades does a great job explaining the answer to this question here:
    Diets are easy in the contemplation, difficult in the execution. Intermittent fasting is just the opposite — it’s difficult in the contemplation but easy in the execution.Most of us have contemplated going on a diet. When we find a diet that appeals to us, it seems as if it will be a breeze to do. But when we get into the nitty-gritty of it, it becomes tough. For example, I stay on a low–carb diet almost all the time. But if I think about going on a low–fat diet, it looks easy. I think about bagels, whole wheat bread and jelly, mashed potatoes, corn, bananas by the dozen, etc. — all of which sound appealing. But were I to embark on such a low–fat diet I would soon tire of it and wish I could have meat and eggs. So a diet is easy in contemplation, but not so easy in the long–term execution.Intermittent fasting is hard in the contemplation, of that there is no doubt. “You go without food for 24 hours?” people would ask, incredulously when we explained what we were doing. “I could never do that.” But once started, it’s a snap. No worries about what and where to eat for one or two out of the three meals per day. It’s a great liberation. Your food expenditures plummet. And you’re not particularly hungry. … Although it’s tough to overcome the idea of going without food, once you begin the regimen, nothing could be easier.Dr. Michael Eades
  8. Won’t I have trouble concentrating and feel super tired while I’m fasting? You’d think so, but most people report having more energy and better concentration! Count me in!
  9. Can anyone try Intermittent Fasting? IM is not recommended for people who have eating disorders. Also if you’re pregnant or nursing, if you have diabetes, other blood sugar problems, heart disease or other chronic disease it is best to speak with you doctor before doing an intermittent fast. *Please note that I have been diagnosed with several chronic diseases as well as reactive hypoglycemia that was causing me a lot of problems. Intermittent fasting has helped even out my blood sugar and benefited me in several other ways.

The Takeaway

Intermittent fasting has recently gained notoriety even though it’s been around for ages. More and more studies are showing the benefits of IM on the body. As a flexible eating plan it’s a great way to lose weight and increase concentration and energy.

Have you tried Intermittent Fasting? What did you think? 

Please leave your comments and questions in the comment section below. I love hearing from you and will respond to your messages as soon as possible. Thanks!

If you’d like to learn more about IM you might want to check out:

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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9 Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

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Fasting has been around for many years.

Say you were a caveman living in the paleolithic era. Your body would go through cycles of feast and famine…out of necessity.

But, in fact our bodies are designed to live this way.

When we live in constant “feast mode” our bodies don’t benefit from the natural repair and rejuvenation they are designed for.

Have you ever been told you should eat frequent, small meals to keep your metabolism fire burning? This actually keeps you in “feast mode” and can make you feel hungrier than an intermittent fast (IM).

I lived this way for years….until I learned the truth.

I realize this may sound counterintuitive, but just try it for yourself a few times and see what you think.

Intermittent fasting can not only help you feel full longer, it also has many health benefits, that are backed by science.

Proven Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

  1. Cellular Repair

    Although our bodies are constantly working to cleanse and detox, when our diets are poor or we are eating round the clock, it doesn’t work as efficiently as needed. This wears out our cells, especially the mitochondria, and they need to be replaced. This process is called autophagy. Most of all intermittent fasting allows the body time to focus exclusively on repairing the cells. Also of note, recent research shows the benefits of fasting for Alzheimer’s patients (1).

  2. Lose Weight And Belly Fat

    IF can boost the metabolism and help you lose weight and belly fat (2). It’s especially interesting that losing weight this way causes less loss of muscle than straight up calorie restriction.

  3.  Hormone Regulation

    IF causes an increase in human growth hormone levels (3). Consequently, this facilitates fat burning and muscles gains.

  4.  Lowers Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

    IF can lower blood sugar levels and decrease insulin resistance (4).

  5.  Increased Longevity

    Studies in rats have shown intermittent fasting extends the lifespan (5).

  6. May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

    Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease. Currently, there is no cure. However, animal studies show that intermittent fasting may give protection against neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s (6).

  7. Reduces Oxidative Stress And Inflammation

    Studies show that intermittent fasting can protect the body against the harmful effects of oxidative stress and inflammation (7).

  8. Reduces Cholesterol Levelsbenefits of intermittent fasting

    IF was shown to decrease triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (8).

  9. May Prevent Cancer

    Cancer is a horrible disease characterized by an uncontrolled growth of cells. Several studies have indicated that IM may help prevent cancer (9). Evidence also suggests it may cut the side effects of chemotherapy.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, intermittent fasting is an easy way to get some pretty amazing health benefits for your body and brain.

For the basics on how to get started with IM-ing please check out:

And for a Q & A on IF you might want to read:

Have you tried intermittent fasting? Please share in the comment section below. 

Also, if you liked this, you may want to read

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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The Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern. It is not a diet.

It’s not about what you choose to eat. But it’s all about when you eat (or don’t eat).

It’s eating, or not eating, in a strategic way.

Though it has recently gained a huge following it has been around for ages. We were once hunters and gatherers who might go for days without food. Our bodies are well-oiled machines, designed to withstand feast or famine.

Modern day eating often centers around a fast-paced life. Eating frequent meals and snacks of highly processed and fast foods is the norm for many of us.

But this doesn’t give our bodies time to rejuvenate and repair the damage these chemicals can do over time.

So in many ways IF is a more natural way of eating.

Anyone can do it. It’s especially popular with weightlifters and elite athletes, likely because it allows you to retain and even gain muscle while losing fat.

The Most Popular Methods Of Intermittent Fasting

intermittent fasting
It’s all in the timing!

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work? (The Sciencey Stuff)

When you eat a meal your body spends several hours processing and digesting the food. During this time, the body takes energy from the food you’ve eaten.

When you’re eating, or in a feeding state, insulin production tends to be high; This prevents your body from burning stored fat.

But, when our body is in a fasting state the blood sugar and insulin levels are reduced dramatically. There is a sharp increase in human growth hormone.

All these physiological changes turn the body into a fat burning machine…and benefit we love!

Will I Be Hungry While Intermittent Fasting?

Some people experience hunger pangs the first few days while the body is adjusting to the new eating pattern.

Like anything else, when your body becomes accustomed to doing something for so long, it takes a little time to re-calibrate and adjust to the new schedule.

Initial hunger may be stronger in some people and not obvious to others.

If you decide to try IF I urge you to stick with it for a week or more before you make up your mind. Once the initial adjustment to the calorie restriction is over you may find yourself wishing you’d found it sooner. (This has been my experience!)

Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

There are several impressive benefits of IF:

  • weight loss (1)
  • fat loss, especially in the belly (2)
  • stronger insulin sensitivity (3)
  • increased human growth hormone (HGH) production (4)
  • increased metabolic rate (5)
  • changes in gene function related to longevity (6)
  • cellular repair (7)
  • may reduce inflammation (8)
  • better brain health (9)
  • may protect against cancer (10)

Other Benefits of IM

  • less time-consuming because you spend less time preparing food and eating meals
  • less expensive because you eat less
  • simplifies your life and gives you more time to do the things you love (or need to do)

Special Considerations

Certain people should consult their physician or avoid intermittent fasting altogether. This includes:

  • people with eating disorders or anyone who is underweight
  • people with blood sugar issues, such as hypoglycemia (personal note about this below)
  • women who are having problems with fertility – Some women who do IF experience amenorrhea. Their menstrual period stops temporarily, but typically resumes after they return to an ordinary eating schedule.

Please keep in mind that every one is different and there are exceptions.

For example, although I was diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia two years ago I’m loving IF (the 16/8 schedule). I’ve found it is beneficial for my blood sugar issues. During the fasting periods, I’m cognitively sharper, have more energy and find it easier to concentrate.

If you’re not sure if it’s right for you it’s always best to check with a medical professional.

intermittent fasting
If you’re a weightlifter make sure to eat plenty of protein.

A note to weightlifters and gym rats: Keep in mind that you’re probably eating fewer calories overall. Make sure you’re consuming plenty of protein so you don’t run the risk of losing muscle mass (which I’m sure is the last thing you’d want to happen).

Supplements such as caffeine (pre-workout), BCAAs, Glutamine and Creatine are good ones to look into.

You might like to try this Healthy Coffee Drink Recipe before your training sessions.

If you’re not sure whether IM is a good choice for you, it’s always best to consult with a medical professional who can help you figure out what’s best for your unique self.

Please keep in mind it does not take the place of eating a healthy diet of fresh, whole foods and plenty of protein to fuel your body.

Wrap-Upintermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting has some pretty impressive health benefits including increased longevity, fat loss and weight loss, blood sugar regulation and brain health.

You may want to try it yourself and see if you like it.

IM is an eating pattern which can help people health-wise.

Have you tried IM? Do you have questions about it that weren’t answered here. Please leave your comments and questions below. I love hearing from you!

To learn more about intermittent fasting you may want to read:

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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