Interval fasting: reviews, features, benefits and effects

Nowadays, there are a large number of ways to lose weight. Each technique has its own rules and differences, but they are mainly based on compliance with a specific regimen and the use of certain products. Recently, the list of diets has replenished with new practice called interval fasting. The reviews and results of the technique are surprising. It became popular among Hollywood stars, and then it began to be used in our country.

Description of the method of losing weight

Interval fasting (intermittent fasting, IF) is a new technique for losing weight, which consists in abstaining from food for a certain time. A week of hungry days can be from one to three. Nutritionists are advised to adhere to such terms:

  • for beginners - 8-16 hours;
  • for experienced - 16-24 hours.

In general, the time of abstinence is more dependent on the willpower of the losing weight and on his health.

Reviews of periodic fasting for weight loss are only positive. The technique helps to burn fat. As you know, daily voluntary starvation leads to a loss of body fat (about 0.5 kg).

The mechanism of cyclic starvation is very simple. During abstinence from food, the body has a calorie deficit that needs to be replenished, which is what happens, but only internal reserves are consumed. First of all, this applies to adipose tissue.

The plate on which lies the alarm

The essence of interval fasting

With a 16-hour fast, insulin secretion is optimized. Thanks to this, the body becomes not so sensitive to carbohydrates, which have a high glycemic index, and the feeling of hunger decreases. Refusal of food contributes to the burning of body fat reserves, which now no longer needs to be distracted by food processing.

In addition, the stomach has the opportunity to relax, which favorably affects the hormonal background and immunity. Adhering to the technique, you can improve brain activity, lower the inflammatory processes that occur in the body, and also regulate blood sugar levels.

If you combine fasting with physical activity, you can gain muscle mass. This is due to the burning of fat. Soon it will become noticeable that the body tightened and became more prominent. However, you should not practice this without proper preparation.

For a better introduction to this topic, you can read the book Eat Stop Eat ("Eat-Starve-Eat"), authored by Brad Pilon. In it, the author shares his discoveries regarding interval fasting. It’s easy to find reviews of real book buyers. If you want to know more about this technique, be sure to read it.

Healthy breakfast.

Compliance with IG without harm to health

Having decided to use interval fasting for weight loss, you need to familiarize yourself with the recommendations of nutritionists:

  1. The food window (the time period when it is allowed) is best transferred to the first half of the day. Eating is recommended to be arranged after 2 hours after waking up. Food is best absorbed in the morning and afternoon, because digestion at this time is very active.
  2. Watch your diet even during the food window. Try to include in your diet all the necessary nutrients and vitamins. It is recommended to eat fiber, light protein foods and dairy products. Refuse should be from fast carbohydrates.
  3. Give preference to gentle schemes of cyclic fasting, especially if you are a beginner.
  4. Do not forget about physical activity. For hungry days, aerobic exercise is recommended. For example, stretching, yoga or just a walk in the fresh air. Strength exercises should not be carried out during refusal of food. During strength training, muscle tissue is destroyed. It must be restored with protein, and during fasting there is nowhere to take it from.

Diet rules

The rules of interval fasting for beginners are very simple, but they must be familiar with:

  1. Drink plenty of water. Especially during hungry days.
  2. Drinking about two liters of fluid daily is recommended. These include mineral still water and a purified dining room.
  3. After a fasting day, it is best to start breakfast with fresh berries and fruits.
  4. During the food window, you should eat food every half hour, but in small portions. If the portions are impressive, then the gap should be two hours.
  5. Try hiking daily. If this is not possible, then just be in the fresh air for several hours.
Cool drink

According to reviews, interval fasting according to such principles is more effective. Still there are interesting recommendations from the American nutritionist Bragg:

  1. For every three months, arrange for yourself 7 hungry days.
  2. Do not eat food every six days for 24 hours.
  3. For a year, the total number of hungry days should be one month.

For those who are actively involved in sports, there are rules for holding periodic fasting.

If the training is carried out in the morning, then a hungry window (the period of time when eating is prohibited) is better to be postponed for the night. You need to start breakfast after a workout. Keep your diet high in protein.

If sports are held in the evening, then you need:

  1. There are a few hours before the workout.
  2. Do not start abstinence from food earlier than an hour after class.

Types of starvation

There are various methods of interval fasting. Reviews and results are different for everyone. It all depends on the individual qualities and abilities of a person. To choose the most optimal for yourself, you need to familiarize yourself with the features of each of them.

Empty plate on the table

Short post

This refers to fasting for less than 24 hours. Due to the flexibility of the food system, hunger strikes of various durations can be arranged. Most often, short posts are held. They are divided into the following:

  1. 16: 8 - indicates a daily refusal of food lasting 16 hours. The food window takes 8 hours. You can spend them both daily and every few days. For example, you eat from 11:00 to 19:00. You get two or three meals a day, but without breakfast.
  2. 20: 4 - the food window lasts for four hours, and 20 - starvation. In fact, it looks like this: from 14:00 to 18:00 you eat, and fast for 20 hours. Throughout the food window, either one large meal or two small ones is obtained.
The girl holds an unusual watch in her hands

Long post

Possible food options:

  1. 24 hours of fasting - you can from lunch to dinner, and from dinner to dinner. If you dined on the first day, then the next skip two meals (breakfast and lunch), and eat dinner. It turns out that you eat only once a day. Such posts are held several times a week.
  2. 5: 2 - implies five days of eating food and two days of fasting. During fasting, it is allowed to consume up to 500 calories daily. They can be stretched for the whole day, but can be left for one meal.
  3. 36 hours of fasting - on the first day you had dinner, and then do not eat anything before breakfast on the third day. This scheme is very effective in terms of weight loss.
  4. Extended post - no restrictions on days of fasting. If you decide to refrain from eating for more than 48 hours, then it is better to take multivitamins so that the body does not need micronutrients.

There is a world fasting record of 382 days. Hunger strikes can be carried out for 7-14 days. But it’s best not to experiment or starve for more than two weeks.

The man who keeps track of time

Is the opposite effect possible?

This method of nutrition can also achieve a negative result, but only because the daily norm of calories was exceeded during the food window. You need to know the measure in food. Do not overeat fish, vegetables and fruits. It is also worth abandoning flour and sweet products.

From losing weight will be a good result for those who have problems with satiety or insulin. In other words, after eating, the feeling of satisfying hunger does not come. Due to the effect of interval fasting on leptin, saturation hormone can be normalized.


Let's try to deal with the benefits or harms of interval fasting. Among the benefits in the first place should be highlighted weight loss.

Girl measuring her waist

During fasting, the process of cleansing the body. This improves overall health, as well as rejuvenates and cleanses internal organs of toxins.

Among the other positive effects of starvation on the body are the following:

  • fat loss
  • concentration of mind is getting better;
  • the level of cholesterol, insulin and blood sugar decreases, and growth hormone rises;
  • more energy is added;
  • prolongs life;
  • prevention of Alzheimer's disease;
  • beneficial effect on type 2 diabetes.

The disadvantages of periodic fasting

A lot of reviews have been written about interval starvation, among which there are negative ones. Among the disadvantages of this method of losing weight are the following:

  1. Attacks of gluttony - many say that they eat much more food than ever before during the food window. At the same time, their choice falls on fatty and sweet. When fasting, the hormone of hunger is released, due to which they lose weight and are drawn to high-calorie food.
  2. In the body, protein breakdown is observed. In some cases, its destruction exceeds construction. This can be dangerous when doing exercise.
  3. Some systems and organs fail. When fasting, the usual mechanism of the functioning of the body is violated. Most often this happens with the work of the liver and gall bladder. The digestion process may also be disturbed.

Harm and contraindications

Like every diet, cyclic fasting also has a number of contraindications. Refuse to apply the methodology to those categories of people who have:

  • lack of weight (BMI less than 18.5);
  • there is a dependence on junk food (first you need to get rid of it);
  • replenishment is expected in the family or during breastfeeding;
  • have not reached the age of majority.

Feedback and Results

Reviews of interval fasting are mostly positive. Many people managed to lose weight while sitting on this diet. They note that with the right approach, weight does not return. Initially, it is unusual to starve, but there is nothing difficult. People are feeling better and more energized.

Some users have practiced the method in order to improve their physical fitness. As a result, most of them did it. But there are those who physically could not cope with training on an empty stomach.

There are no special complaints about the complexity of the diet, because everyone can choose the option that suits him best. Some users note that after a hungry window their appetite increased. Not everyone could cope with the temptation, so they began to overeat. But this already depends on the person himself, therefore, the effectiveness of the methodology for each is different.

In most cases, losing weight begin with short posts and gradually switch to longer ones. But there are those who constantly spend hungry days on the same principle that they have chosen.

The technique was especially fond of those who monitor their health and try to constantly improve it. They practice periodic fasting so that their bodies are cleansed. Basically, they stick to stricter and longer posts.

Another technique is popular among those people who urgently need to get rid of a couple of kilograms for a celebration, etc. They note that they managed to do this quite easily. They did not feel a strong feeling of hunger or discomfort, so they quietly adhered to the rules of the diet.

We described what reviews on interval fasting leave people who have tried this method of losing weight on their own experience. Therefore, if you want to cleanse your body, improve well-being and get rid of excess weight, you can safely begin interval fasting. It is important to follow all the rules and recommendations so that the result is effective and lasting.


All Articles