What Is Intermittent Fasting and How Does It Work?

 

This website is designed to deliver the keys to intermittent fasting success with an intimate peek into the life of someone who practices IF as a lifestyle. You’ll see me refer to intermittent fasting as IF regularly, so get used to that. Before you get into the details of intermittent fasting schedules and tricks to get the most out of this lifestyle, there’s one question you must ask:

What is intermittent fasting and how does it work?

This page will answer those questions, giving you just the basics of intermittent fasting. From there, you can explore the site to learn all the tips and tricks you need to lose weight, improve your health, and feel more energetic through the IF lifestyle.

 

What Is Intermittent Fasting About?

 

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

 

Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle that requires you to restrict your eating to a specified window of time. Instead of restricting what or how much you eat, IF is focused on when you eat. Your eating hours are referred to as your “window.” All hours outside of your window are fasting hours.

In general, intermittent fasting requires a strict water fast between eating windows. There are some drinks that some followers believe will not break a fast, including black coffee or some types of plain tea. Some IF followers also believe that consuming up to 50 calories during the fasting hours is acceptable.

There are many variations of intermittent fasting, and I’ll go over them all at some point on this website. Right now, we’re covering just the basics to intermittent fasting, so we’ll just say that intermittent fasting is most effective when you consume nothing but water and perhaps black coffee during the fasting hours.

The simplest definition of intermittent fasting: Eat during your window. Don’t consume anything that has calories outside of your window.

 

What Should You Eat During Your Window?

 

 

Intermittent fasting works well with any diet or eating system. Your food preferences don’t matter, so you can do IF even if you’re a vegan or have other dietary restrictions. The most basic definition of the lifestyle is eating within a designated window. What you eat is technically up to you.

There are some intermittent fasting books that detail specific fasting diets, and they may restrict your eating if you choose to follow one of those plans. I don’t follow a specific intermittent fasting diet plan, and I have been quite successful. I have learned a lot of what I know through select low-cost resources and a lot of time spent researching IF. I will pass along everything I know here, so you can learn for free if you choose to go the DIY route.

I’ve also noticed some websites and apps popping up that will deliver an IF plan for a fee. I don’t believe anyone should pay for an intermittent fasting plan. There is so much information available online for free, including right here at Intermittent Fasting Journal. If you understand the basic concepts of fasting and time-restricted eating, you can fast successfully without paying for more than maybe educational resources.

So, what do you eat when your window opens up? The simple answer: whatever you want.

If your goal is to lose weight, you will obviously have more dramatic and potentially faster results if you stick to healthy weight loss foods. That doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight while eating your favorite foods, even if they are very far from healthy or weight-loss friendly. It all depends on how your body responds to fasting and the weight loss process in general.

What I love about intermittent fasting is the flexibility. I have eaten whatever I wanted during my window and experienced easy weight loss, but I have to keep my eating window to four hours or fewer for that to happen consistently. I have also eaten very healthy foods and watched my weight loss slow down, mostly because I wasn’t eating enough to sustain my weight loss.

There is no guaranteed intermittent fasting weight loss plan that will work for everyone. There are so many personalized factors, which is another reason I love this lifestyle. You can literally cater to your personality, lifestyle, budget, and personal preferences and succeed.

IF works with you, not against you. It just requires some trial and error until you find the winning plan for your body. That plan can also change over time as you lose weight and heal internally.

 

Does Intermittent Fasting Work for Everyone?

 

 

Whether intermittent fasting works or not depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Intermittent fasting goals
  • Intermittent fasting schedule
  • Fasting consistency
  • Individual health factors
  • Food choices
  • Activity levels

From personal experience, I can say that intermittent fasting works right away for some people while others have to wait weeks or even months to start seeing results. Weight loss is one of the most common reasons to intermittent fast, and there are numerous factors that can determine when you start burning fat and dropping inches.

We’ll talk more about this on other pages on this website as well as in my daily intermittent fasting journal, but for now, I’ll say that you shouldn’t give up on IF too fast. Your body will start healing on the inside first, and it may just take some time before you start seeing signs of progress on the outside.

I know that’s frustrating, but intermittent fasting is not a rapid weight loss diet.

If your goal is to drop a lot of weight in little time, there are better ways to do it than IF. Intermittent fasting does work for healing, enhancing the immune system, and improving health in so many ways. It also works for weight loss, but those results aren’t fast for everyone.

 

Is Intermittent Fasting a Good Idea?

 

 

I believe intermittent fasting is a good idea if you can relate to any of the following statements:

  • You’re looking for a healthy weight loss system.
  • You hope to find a weight loss program that is flexible and allows you to enjoy your daily life, including food.
  • In the past, you have failed with weight loss programs that heavily restrict your food options.
  • You aren’t just focused on weight loss. You’re more interested in improving your overall health and well-being.
  • You would like to naturally boost your immune system to protect your body from illness and disease.
  • You find it difficult if not impossible to eat three to six meals per day.
  • You have a busy lifestyle and want to free up more time for productive tasks that don’t involve food.
  • Your life currently centers on food, and you would like to focus on something else for a change.
  • You’re ready to break that diet mentality that leaves you frustrated, disappointed, and hopeless.
  • You’re tired of the weight loss yo-yo cycle. You want to lose weight and feel your best one final time.

I have seen significant changes to my health as well as my weight over the last year of fasting. I look forward to even greater intermittent fasting results in the months and years to come. You should now have a clear understanding of what intermittent fasting is and how it works. Move on to other pages of this website to discover the nitty gritty details that will help you succeed with IF.

I welcome you to follow along with the blog on this site as well. It’s my personal intermittent fasting journal, but I also share a lot of inside secrets and detailed information regarding the IF lifestyle. That includes some valuable intermittent fasting books and resources that will make fasting easier and more effective.

Let’s succeed together!

9 thoughts on “What Is Intermittent Fasting and How Does It Work?

  1. I am a big fan of intermittent fasting. Apart from the weight loss aspect, it is said that intermittent fasting can prolong one’s life. One of the reasons is because when the body is not busy digesting food, it focuses its energy on repair and detoxification. It can be said that the opposite is true – the more a person eats, the shorter the expected lifespan.

    Sonny

  2. Thank you for a wonderfully written explanation on IF. I have been doing IF for awhile not I it has been a huge life changer for me. It has helped me drop hard to get rid of body fat and regulate my inflammation that I was having issues with for years.

    IF was like a reset for my body. It’s not magic but after doing IF I felt better and better feeling. Giving my body a break from breaking food down gave my body a chance to use that energy more on recovering and also burning away excess fat that I had stored over the years. It really is the ultimate body cleansing and I couldn’t recommend it enough because it really helped me in a time where I was feeling my worse and neglecting my health. 

    Thank you again Theresa for sharing the wonders of IF and I hope to learn more about IF soon. 🙂

    Phil

  3. This is quite an interesting post. Personally I haven’t heard of the Intermittent Fasting lifestyle before but will really like to know more about it. Even though it seems like a straight forward practice, and nothing complicated from how you presented the topic. Can I ask these questions, for a better understanding? How did this lifestyle develop? Who developed it? And How long have it ben around? Is it based on a religious belief and practices, because I know that some religions, like Christianity and Muslims practice fasting?

    The idea of not taking water during the intermittent fasting sounds pretty restrictive. Who decides the eating windows? Does it mean that if I start my Intermittent fasting say by 6 a.m, I can fast till 12 noon, and then break the fast by eating whatever choice of food that my body craves for? In that case, I have given my body 6 hours eating windows right?

    As I said, it is a lifestyle I know that many weight watchers will like to practice. Because the restriction is only on the timing or spacing not on what you eat according to your explanation.

    Another attraction will be from the questions, because, almost everyone including me will check those boxes, which qualifies you to practice intermittent fasting.

    Having this as a niche is quite an excellent idea, this will have huge traffic as I see it. Because this a different approach to weight loss.

    Thanks for sharing. I have learned something new from it.

    Favorme.

    1. Hey, there! Thanks for stopping by and reading. Water fasting actually refers to only drink water, so you are encouraged to drink a lot of water even when fasting. During your eating window, you could drink whatever you wanted. I will answer all of the additional questions you have on other pages as I continue to develop my site, but you have some good ones! 

  4. Hi Theresa, I find the concept of Intermittant Fasting very interesting and have been told that you can do it for different hours. I have a friend who practises IF for sixteen hours. She has described it to me as basically missing breakfast. So from dinner the previous evening, take sixteen hours before you then eat around midday. 

    Before she started IF, she was fasting for two days per week (a Monday and Thursday) but found that IF was easier and more practical to do. 

    I look forward to following you on your journey. 

    All the best, Liné

    1. The first plan you’re describing is 16:8, and it is where many people get started. The second plan you describe is a version of alternate day fasting, which many people love. There are so many different plans, making IF incredibly flexible and easy to personalize. 

  5. A great article explaining the process of an intermittent fasting diet. I’ve toyed around wtih the idea a few times in college but with my school schedule and my work out schedule with fasting made me very irritable and so hungry. I wasn’t really consistent with it but on the days after I successfully did it I thought I looked good. So there was a payoff for me. Do doctor’s recommend this plan? I never asked one. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hey, Courtney! I have heard about many doctors recommending or approving of it, and I had one gastroenterologist recommend it for me personally. Some doctors aren’t very familiar with the medical research and are still pushing the five or six small meals throughout the day. There are also some medical issues that each person should think about personally before making that decision. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *