Thoughts on Intermittent Fasting (a reader question)

empty plate

Thoughts on Intermittent Fasting.

This was a question I received recently.

My response was.

“Thoughts in general” or for something specific?

They were nice enough to reply back and say.

“In general. But a little fat loss would be nice.”

 Cool, I gotchu.

The TL;DR version of this is that there’s nothing magical about Intermittent Fasting for fat loss.

Fat loss occurs because you’re in a consistent calorie deficit over time. Regardless of what diet approach you’re using or not using.

When calories are controlled for. Fasting diets don’t have a weight-loss advantage over continuous calorie restriction. A recent study adds to research supporting this.

If you currently eat breakfast, stop, and don’t replace the calories. You may lose weight provided you create a consistent calorie deficit over time.

How Intermittent Fasting (IF) creates a calorie deficit

Let’s say you eat on average 2,000 calories per day and you’re maintaining your weight. Your first meal of the day includes the following

  • Protein: 3 eggs (210 calories)
  • Carbs: 1 apple (80 calories)
  • Fat: Avocado (200 calories)
  • Total calories: 490

By skipping this meal you’ve reduced your total calorie intake by 490 calories. You are now eating 1,610 calories per day. You’re in a calorie deficit and you may start losing weight.

What about Intermittent Fasting for Autophagy?

Many Intermittent Fasting Zealots will talk about the benefits of autophagy.

Autophagy is the body’s way of “cleaning out damaged cells.” To regenerate and replace them with newer, healthier cells.

This occurs when your body’s cells are deprived of nutrients or oxygen. Or if they’re damaged in some way.

This means, you can get the benefits of autophagy by being in a calorie deficit. Intermittent Fasting is not needed for this.

I’ve heard it’s good for some other health stuff

Intermittent Fasting might alleviate or prevent a number of health conditions, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

However, many of these same issues are alleviated or prevented when fat loss happens (maintaining a healthier weight).

To sum it up

Intermittent Fasting is another tool that you can use. Or not use, it to help you move closer to your health and fitness goals.

Sometimes I pull it out (there’s a that’s what she said layup for you) of my toolkit when I travel, forgot a meal, or am in a situation where I just don’t like the food options.

But it’s not something I use regularly anymore for various reasons.

If skipping a meal makes your life easier because it’s one less meal you have to think about and prepare. Awesome, go for it.

If you have disordered eating or don’t know how to manage hunger it may not be the best fit.

There’s nothing magical about the approach and it’s not superior to anything else. Some people will find it makes their life easier and others will hate it

If you want to dive deeper into Intermittent Fasting, the pros, cons, and all that jazz. I have an article on the blog dedicated to it.

Thank you for reading. You are appreciated.



Research for today’s newsletter if you geek out on this shit like me

Study 1 – Study 2 – Study 3 – Study 4 – PN deep dive