Are you looking for an effective and healthy way to lose weight? Fasting might be the answer you've been searching for!

While many people view fasting as extreme or even dangerous, the truth is that it can be a safe and effective weight-loss tool when done correctly. Let's set the record straight on fasting for weight loss.

All Fasting is NOT the Same

First, it's important to understand the different types of fasting. The most common type is intermittent fasting, which involves restricting your eating window to a certain number of hours per day or week. Another option is alternate-day fasting, in which you eat normally on one day and then severely restrict your calories the next day. Finally, there is extended fasting, which involves going without food for several days at a time.

Let's throw down some loose definitions so we can stay on the same page during this discussion. "Fasting" or "Fasting for weight loss" is a very BROAD description of a style of "not eating." So, there are a couple of ways of clarifying these styles.

Here are some definitions I've read about that have served me extremely well over the years…

  • Long-term fasting: Abstinence from food or calorie intake for a period over 72 hours.
  • Short-term fasting: Abstinence from food or calorie intake for a period of 72 hours or under.

OK, so now that we’ve divided up fasting based on length, let’s look at a much more confusing issue – Intermittent Fasting.

  • Intermittent – Occurring occasionally or at regular or irregular intervals… so really “Occasionally;”
  • Fasting – Taking a break from eating (zero calorie intake) for a predetermined period of time without a necessary interval from one fast to the next.

Thus, Intermittent fasting becomes "Occasionally taking a break from eating." (Pretty simple, eh?) 👇

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Let's be more clear...

This is where many people get confused… Or at least where I get confused. If you are spending MORE time NOT eating than you are actually eating in any given period of time (let’s say a week), why are you calling that Intermittent Fasting?

In my eyes, this cannot be defined as taking an "occasional break from eating." In fact, I think it should be defined as the opposite, and that would be “Intermittent Feeding.”

  • Intermittent Feeding = Taking the occasional break from fasting to eating during a predetermined window. 😁

There are similar approaches but also very different approaches to fasting for weight loss. This is not an attempt to disparage this type of approach. Diets that are Intermittent Feeding can be fantastic, helpful, and effective, but they can also be, in some ways, completely different. 👇

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Bringing some clarity

It may not be accurate to lump them together, as the experience of doing a form of intermittent fasting is much different than intermittent feeding.

In my opinion, the sub-categories of Intermittent Fasting ("IF") need to make it into our way of thinking. LeanGains, The Renegade Diet, and even some of the more extreme protocols along these lines (like fasting for 20 hours and eating for four every day) – can all be incredibly effective fat-loss programs. However, the way I look at it (and I know you guys are going to hate this) they are NOT intermittent Fasting. To me, they are more accurately described as Intermittent Feeding.

Now granted, the benefits are very similar – simple, easy fat loss, no loss of muscle mass, etc. The technique is similar; don’t eat for a period of time. And they, along with most other kinds of IF probably share about 80% of the supporting research.

But there are also some major differences that merit this new definition – specifically the amount of time you are "allowed" to eat, and because the "eating windows" are different, you also have to approach your eating differently. The more "extreme" the Intermittent Feeding, the shorter the eating window, and the more you must eat with a "purpose" during that window.

Each style shares some pros and cons but also has other unique pros and cons. Sometimes there is research that applies to ALL types of fasting, and sometimes, it’s specific to one style or the other.

The same goes for personal experience. If someone tells you they had a *great* or *horrible* experience with IF, it would be best to clarify exactly WHAT they were doing – was it IF – Intermittent fasting or IF – Intermittent feeding?

Different, but similar, right? For many people, you can use both depending on your current lifestyle or even the season of the year. Other people may simply find one style specifically works for them, and they have no reason to change it. 👇

Image of check boxes encouraging a choice of Fasting or not.
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Decide, Where Do You Stand?

Challenge your current thoughts on what the definition of IF and “Intermittent Fasting” means. Starting today, add “Intermittent Feeding” to your definitions of what it means to take a break from eating and realize that “Intermittent Fasting” really is a different experience than “Intermittent Feeding.” At the very least, recognize that there are multiple forms of Intermittent Fasting and that these forms, while similar, cannot always be lumped together.

May we say in conclusion...

Thanks for your interest in this intermittent fasting topic. We want to credit one of our mentors on the subject, Brad Pilon, for his significant input. For more information on IF, visit For some interesting reading, check out Brad's book, Eat Stop Eat. 👇

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