What is intermittent fasting and does it work?

What if you found out that “breakfast being the most important meal of the day” was wrong!

What if you found out that it’s more important WHEN to eat than to what you eat?

Most of us follow this outdated ritual to eating 3 meals and many snacks a day. Or should I say we have been brought up with the concept to eat all day long.

I am going to share a transformational strategy and concept that I have been using myself for a while with amazing physical and mental benefits. This concept tremendously shifts your health, wellbeing, weight control and healthy aging.

In the recent years there has been a massive rise in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and we know that many of these diseases are preventable.

Calories in and calories out is not enough to maintain a healthy weight, as some of us tend to follow this idea of eating less and exercising more and this has been the common practice for many years’ especially in females which obviously hasn’t solved the issue of the above mentioned diseases.

We need to be asking this “why” question. Something different needs to be done to get the different results.

We don’t have to accept this limiting belief about our health that weight gain and age related illnesses are the normal function of ageing.

Many studies have looked at the data of children and women of escalating weight gain, diseases and poor nutrition and compared it to the 1970s and found that; in the 70s where most of us were consuming 3 meals a day without any snacks. Now we are still eating 3 meals a day but snacking all day long.

The advice we get from the health professionals we get nowadays is to eat almost all day long, which overloads our digestive system and pancreas. Our system is not designed to take this much load and hence cannot work properly to digest food and absorb the nutrients from our diet.

Another important distinction when it comes to meal frequency is the debate over the sugar burner versus fat burner:

Sugar Burner

Sugar burner is someone who consumes lots of carbohydrates and glucose as their primary fuel source, which is incredibly insufficient for their healthy body, and the sign of these individuals are frequent hunger and significant dips in their energy levels and they struggle with fat loss because the insulin being the fat burning hormone is so high.

So if the insulin levels remain high, we have more oxidative stress and have more inflammation and hence struggle with weight loss.

Let’s contrast this to the fat burners:

Fat Burner

  • Fat burners access the fat stored for energy
  • They gain more sustained energy
  • More cognitive clarity
  • Don’t get hungry super frequently
  • Easier for them to lose weight because they tap into the fat stores
  • They sleep better
  • They age more slowly

So, meal timing and how frequently we eat is absolutely crucial. Statistics show that on average two third for 50 and 60 year old females are overweight and more than half are obese.

How do we proactively address these statistics?

Attitude, as most of the people want quick and easy fix, which may include prescription and over the counter drugs over changing their lifestyle, diet and exercise.

Women of over 50 and 60s gain 1.5lbs of weight a year on average. Some of it is also linked to the hormonal fluctuation, less muscle mass than men, sleep disturbances and sleep disorders.

However, there are strategies that can help offset this without spending any money on fancy diet plans, portions, powders and supplements, which we all know is not the long term solution.

But if I told you that I’ve got a better idea amongst all of them I tried so far.

To me, nothing is more effective than the intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting can help fuel fat loss as well as many other life changing benefits including:

  • self-control
  • high self-esteem compared to other diets
  • it’s free, flexible and simple
  • it doesn’t take anything away from you

What is intermittent fasting?

It’s the absence of foods during the prescribed times. In other words you exist either on a feed or fasting state. For example when you eat, insulin is sacred by the pancreas.

To move sugar into the cells we store a large amount of sugar into our liver and skeletal muscles. When we exceed those storage sites, we store it as a fat. But when we fast our insulin levels are low and we can access those fat stored for energy.

How’s the intermittent fasting done?

Skip breakfast which reduces calorie intake by 20%-40%, which fuels the fat loss automatically. Typical time is 16 hours of fasting to 8 hours of eating window. It might seem a bit overwhelming to begin with, so let me break it down for you:

  • eat from 12:00pm – 8:00pm and
  • fast from 08:00PM to 12:00pm the next day

What are other benefits?

  • Fat loss around the abdomen and major organs
  • More mental clarity because insulin levels are low
  • Spikes human growth hormone, which helps us with more lean muscle mass
  • Improves blood pressure and lowers cholesterol levels
  • Spring cleaning for the cells
  • Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Is intermittent fasting for you?

It is as wonderful strategy as it is but it’s not recommended for everyone. You should avoid intermittent fasting if you:

  • Have hard to control diabetes
  • If you are a child
  • An adult of over 70 years old
  • You are pregnant
  • You have chronic heart disease
  • Kidney issues
  • Had eating troubles such as anorexia, bulimia
  • Binge eating as it can evoke these issues
  • You have a low body mass index and you are frail
  • You’ve recently been admitted to hospital

One more last but important question:

Can you not eat or drink anything at all during your fasting window?

You can absolutely drink plain tea, coffee, filtered water and this will not break your fast.

What to eat when you are ready to eat?

There are definitely foods that are more beneficial for you when you break your fast, such as:

  • whole foods
  • best quality protein, ideally organic/grass fed
  • wild caught fish
  • organic fruit and vegetables
  • healthy fat including organic coconut oil, clarified butter (ghee), avocado, nuts
  • unprocessed carbohydrates
  • low glycemic berries
  • green leafy vegetables
  • quinoa, sweet potatoes and squash as opposed to bread and pasta

Quality and quantity is crucial. These foods are crucial for building our hormones and also tasty that light up our taste buds and the foods that make us happy. Make sure it’s not boring fat burning battle.

Limit sugar and alcohol level as they outweigh the goodness you are consuming. Most importantly keep yourself hydrated.

How practical is it?

You can start with 12-13 hours and gradually increase the time by an hour or so every day until you have reached the 16-hour mark.

How long can you do before seeing the benefits?

Give a solid 30 days to see any benefits and to see if it’s the right strategy for you. If you have any health condition, make sure you discuss with your General Practitioner (GP) or health care provider first.

It may take 6 to 8 weeks to really see the full benefits. It’s a simple, free, and flexible approach you can try at home.

I feel it’s highly effective strategy and should be discussed more in the mainstream area. I wish you all the best and hope you see some amazing results. Take care

Rani

40 thoughts on “What is intermittent fasting and does it work?”

  1. Good information!
    I think it is shocking that so many people are obese these days, with many more overweight to the point that it affects their health and wellbeing.
    I have been eating twice a day for many years now, and sometimes only once a day. It is normally within an eight hour window, although I just eat when my body feels like it. I eat small portions also as I no longer enjoy the feeling of being overly full.
    Quality of food is important, and I would like to add that the way we feel when we are eating is vitaly important. If we are grateful and happy, our bodies and minds will benefit more than if we are upset or angry.
    Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Hi Andrew,

      You have shared a great insight into the intermittent fasting and how easily it can be achieved if we are a little bit more conscious about what we eat and when.
      It can be actually a practical thing to do intermittent fasting than having to think about what to cook and eat.
      Like you said as well, if we focus more on the quality than the quantity of the food we consume, we would gain equal amount of benefits.
      If people want a happy mind and healthy body then intermittent fasting is the way to go.
      You are absolutely right about how we feel whilst eating and how it impacts on our mind and body.

      Many Thanks for sharing your views with us.

      Best wishes

      Rani

      Reply
  2. I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for about ten years now. I’m not very strict with my schedule anymore and do eat breakfast occasionally. But 90% of the time I will eat two or three meals between 11 am and 8 pm. To be honest I don’t think it really matters that much. I think intermittent fasting was hyped as something groundbreaking and a game changer, especially in the fitness world. But I think the best thing it did was to bust a lot of myths about meal timing. It really doesn’t matter if you eat one meal a day or six meals a day if you keep the energy and macronutrients the same. It’s a matter of preference.

    Reply
    • Hey Chuck,

      Thank you for stopping by and and for the feedback.

      I think the intermittent fasting also discipline my eating times. Which you have also mentioned in your reply and it makes sense that as long as we eat the right food and the portion sizes, we should be okay. But I also think giving your body a break from food for 16 hours is actually a game changer which I have personally experienced and also seen it transformed some people’s health and well being. It’s give your body a chance to repair itself.
      I definitely helped me with weight loss, increase dopamine level in body, helps clear up acne, helps with concentration and endurance level. Then again, the main question is, if it’s done right and right foods are consumed.
      I highly recommend it to those who don’t have any underlying health issue. You can check with your doctor if you still want to do it.

      Wishing you all the best

      Reply
  3. Hi Habib,

    That was a very interesting and informative article. Our eating habits have surely changed over the last few decades and the biggest problem can be described into two words. Processed food.

    Fasting can help, but if someone doesn’t remove processed food from his/her diet, it’s pointless.

    Regards,

    Anestis

    Reply
    • Hi Anestis,

      You are absolutely right, no matter what diet plan we follow, if we don’t get rid of the bad eating habits, nothing is going to work. We need to start eating clean to benefit our mind and body. Intermittent fasting is an amazing method for not only to cleanse your body, lose weight but to regulate your blood sugar level and much more.

      Thank you for stopping by and giving us feedback.

      Best wishes

      Rani

      Reply
  4. I have seen a lot of information as of late on intermittent fasting. I’m not really an advocate for it. I am more the “Anything in moderation” type. But that doesn’t mean people can’t benefit by doing this. I work with a Physician who has lost 30 lbs. doing IF. If you set your mind to do it, you can. Which is true with any diet plan.
    Really good detailed article.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your detailed feedback and comment, it’s really appreciated. Yes we can achieve anything we put our mind to, but the consistency is a must. Intermittent fasting is proven to help you lose weight effortlessly. It’s worked for me so well.

      Wishing yo all the best

      Rani

      Reply
  5. Hi Rani,

    I have started using this technique and it has worked wonderful. I have lost all the weight I gained during my pregnancies. I have been able to maintain my weight and not go up and down. I appreciate you spreading the word of such effective technique.

    Reply
  6. Hello Rani
    I have (unknowingly ) done intermittent fasting for years. I never liked eating breakfast for starters. I always used to say ” my stomach is not awake yet “. And even the smell of food in the morning would make my stomach turn. Great article. Very interesting read.

    Reply
    • Great to hear from you and thank you for your feedback!

      I think some of us do the intermittent fasting without knowing anyway. Our body is amazing mechanism and it tells us when and what its needed if we really tun in.

      All the best

      Rani

      Reply
  7. Love your article!
    I started intermittent fasting last year. Not to lose weight, but to feel better. And because everything that mentions it’s good against Alzheimer’s immediately catches my attention. 🙂
    I do it a bit different though than you do. If I eat late I can’t sleep, so instead of skipping breakfast I skip dinner. I eat between 8 and 4, or 9 and 5.

    Reply
    • You are right! Apparently Intermittent fasting improves your memory and slows down the degenerative diseases! Hope it helped you. I think I as long as you do 16/8, it doesn’t matter what you actually fast.

      Best wishes for your good health.

      Rani

      Reply
  8. Hi,
    It is a type of weight loss diet that I have not tried or knew much about.After reading your article I’m intrigued by all the benefits and definitely will give it a try.

    Thank you for sharing this information!

    Reply
    • You’re welcome.

      It’s the most effective and cheapest way to lose weight in my opinion. I highly recommend it since I personally tried and tested it. But obviously you gotta make sure you haven’t got any other underlying health condition, so please speak to your doctor first.

      All the best
      Rani

      Reply
  9. Thank you for this piece of advice. I will definitely give it a try. Before I got pregnant, I was able to go without food for 14 hours and had no problems. I never gained weight fast, and was able to stay in shape.
    I wanted to ask, would it be safe to fast while breastfeeding or should I wait to start after stopping breastfeeding?

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Thank you. I think you get used to it and can stay longer without food once you start fasting.

      My answer to your question would be to wait until you stop breastfeeding your child, just to be on the safe side. But I don’t think it affects much. You could always speak to your doctor about this and get their medical advice first.

      Best Regards
      Rani

      Reply
  10. I’ve actually heard about intermittent fasting before! After reading through your article, I’m tempted to give it a try. Personally, I don’t need to lose weight, but I’m very interested in the other benefits that will come out of going through with this!

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Thank you for your feedback. Yes it’s one of the simplest and best method (in my opinion) to not only lose weight but gain lots of other health benefits too!

      Give it a go and let us know how you got on.

      All the Best
      Rani

      Reply
  11. Hey Rani

    I absolutely agree with you om this one. Intermitting fasting is truly an outstanding way to become and feel healthy. It heals your internal organs as well as you give your digestive system a chance to heal. By eating constantly you never give your digestive system a chance to heal as it needs to work the whole time processing the foods you eat and that leads to feeling bloated and gassy and constipated. By fasting you help the inside function better. Hormones function better too. I have been doing this a while now and i dont think i wil stop soon. Great article. Thank you

    Chantelle

    Reply
    • You are absolutely right there. The benefits of intermittent are endless. Some research even shows that intermittent fasting cures many long term illnesses too. But obviously you do you own research.

      I found the intermittent fasting so helpful for my physical and mental health, I am going back to it.

      Many thanks for your amazing feedback.

      Rani

      Reply
  12. Good old Intermittent fasting. I know it works, and I love it, everything you said on here is spot on. I think its the most effective way to eat and lose weight BY FAR. 12 to 8 is my schedule or sometimes 11 to 7, and it works extremely well. Great article man!

    Reply
    • Hi Alex,

      Its great to hear from individuals with first hand experience. It only reconfirms that intermittent fasting works and it works every times! Many thanks for your feedback.
      I tend to have my eating window between 12pm to 8pm.

      All the best
      Rani

      Reply
  13. Great article, Rani, and I couldn’t agree more with you. I started a year ago with intermittent fasting. Not to lose weight, because until that point I had already lost 26 kg. but I was intrigued by the claim that it might prevent Alzheimer’s. Don’t know if that’s true of course, I’ll have to find out later, but I feel great.
    I do it a bit differently from your advice. I must not eat too late, because I won’t sleep then. So I fast from 5pm until 9am. It’s the end result that counts, isn’t it 🙂

    Reply
    • That’s great to know. I’m really pleased for you for losing this much weight! Also feeling great too! Well done!
      I know it helps with memory but not 100% sure about the Alzeimer’s, I would do my own research and speak to the professionals if I were you. But personally, I felt amazing with alot of energy and mental clarity/memory when I did my intermittent fasting last year. I am going back to it again very soon.

      Best Wishes
      Rani

      Reply
  14. Hi Rania,
    What a marvelous article, I really enjoyed reading it a lot. It is the first time I heard of intermittent fasting. A few years ago, I started eating only two meals a day and some snacks in between. I don’t eat after 8 o’clock but I have my breakfast at 9 in the morning. I felt myself slimmer and healthier. I will try to add 3 hours and start eating at 12. I will do this because I am very convinced by what you’ve mentioned in your article. Besides, I can do it easily because I always fast for 16 hours during Ramadan. Let me try and see the result. Expect from me another comment after one-month insha Allah
    Have a great day
    Rania

    Reply
    • Aww that’s great! What lovely views you’ve just shared here. As we know the fasting (during Ramadan) is proven to have alot of health and spiritual benefits.
      The intermittent fasting is probably the same thing. I personally make it as a similar ritual as possible but not even drinking any water in between. I feel so energetic and light this way. Because if I drink water whilst the intermittent fasting I tend to get too hungry and don’t feel its benefits as much.

      Try it and let us know your feedback.

      All my love and best wishes
      Rani

      Reply
  15. I have never been a big breakfast eater, and I feel a lot better when I just have a glass of pomegranate juice and a granola bar in the morning

    Reply
    • In my opinion, if you cannot fast, then eating light is always better than heavy meals. I definitely recommend having a go if you don’t have any underlying health issue. But obviously speak to your doctor first with any concerns you may have.

      Best Regards
      Rani

      Reply
  16. Thanks for an excellent article. I have colleagues who have recently been fasting and I found it really interesting as it requires great will power (in my opinion) it’s great to see there is this alternative that maybe is not quite as ‘heavy’ as the previously mentioned fasting. A good friend of mind is looking to become healthier an lose weight naturally. i will forward your post on to him. Thank you

    Reply
    • That’s great. Thank you for your feedback. Hopefully it will be useful for your friend as it has been for many people who have tried it.

      In terms of will power, I think you build it slowly like a muscle. Maybe trying it for 8 hours and slowly building it up.

      Let us know how your friend gets on.

      Best wises
      Rani

      Reply
  17. I know a couple people, actually several people who have been very successful doing intermittent fasting. I tried it myself, I lasted a day. But, I don’t need to lose weight, I need to exercise and get more physically fit. And I should eat better. But that aside, one of the individuals continues to be very successful with it and continues to lose weight.

    Really good read! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Thank you Teresa for your lovely feedback. I have personally did intermittent fasting last year for about 6 months!

      And as a result not only I lost belly fat in particular, but also felt amazing! I felt more content and happier. My skin was glowing and spots free. I was more focused and energetic. I was sleeping better. Therefore, I highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about health and well-being and also want to lose weight – all this by fasting where you don’t have to pay nothing!

      You could start it off gradually and build it up to 16 hours – maybe an increase of one hour a day?

      I am thinking of going back to it again.

      Wishing you all the best
      Rani

      Reply
  18. Hi, Rani.

    Thanks for sharing this. I can totally relate as a person who’s constantly trying to lose weight. I had heard about intermittent fasting before but have never tried it. If I’m not mistaken, this is one of IIFYM’s bases, right? I bought myself a book to get started but haven’t found the time to read it. Who said weight loss was easy? lol

    I will definitely look into intermittent fasting. I have tried numerous diets with mixed results. I need to find something sustainable.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • Dear Enrique, you are welcome. Thank you for the lovely feedback. I think the intermittent fasting has always been around. Nowadays it seems to be popular amongst the Hollywood celebrities I believe. I do the intermittent fasting on a regular basis and don’t tend to worry too much about my calorie count as long as I’m eating clean and healthy. I did do my research before starting it. So my humble advise would be; as long you are generally healthy, don’t dig too much into it, just start and see how you feel. Bear in mind it does take about 4-6 weeks to adjust and see clear benefit of it. Keep sharing your progress with us here at http://www.lifestyletipsandhacks.come Many thanks.

      Rani

      Reply
  19. This is something new to me to be honest. And I really like the concept. I will give it a try. Although I am highly addictive of food, I think it is possible for me to achieve discipline and eat and fast at certain times. I think this type of diet will help my with my weight loss.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Strahinja, this concept was also new to me until I tried it 6 months ago and instantly it became part of my life. Intermittent fasting has helped me with self discipline and enabled me to appreciate food more. In other words I enjoy my food more rather than eating all the time without realising. It definitely helped me lose weight at a gradual level as well as given me mental clarity and focus. I don’t tend to get the sugar cravings anymore. I would definitely recommend you give it a try and see it for yourself. Best of luck.

      Rani

      Reply
  20. This article is very interesting. I have heard of this kind of fasting before where people fast 16 hours from 12 AM to 4 PM. But I think the hours of fasting which you mentioned from 8 PM to 12 PM might be better and a little bit more easier to do and doesn’t make you feel like your starving for the whole day.

    This is definitely something that I will be trying soon. Thank you so much for this information.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your feedback and compliments. I genuinely believe that this is one of the safest and most practical way to not only lose weight but also gain lots of health benefits. By not eating all the time, you are giving your body a chance to repair itself as well as help absorb more nutrients. Imagine our stomach being a washing machine drum. If you overfill it, it won’t wash the clothes properly. Same goes for the food, if its excessive, it will pass through the digestive system without benefitting us in anyway, instead I will cause us quite a few digestive issues.
      Let us know how you get on once you’ve tried it. Would love to hear from you. Kind Regards

      Rani

      Reply

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