Keep reading about IF but how do you do it and for how long?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 13, 2012 at 8:12 PM

I keep reading about IF but can anyone tell me

a) How long (as in hours/days) you do it for

b) Is it literally eating nothing at all . . . what about drinks etc

Sorry if it seems a silly question, I did a few searches but couldn't seem to find anything to answer what I was wondering! I feel I have plateaued a bit and would like to kick my system a little.


on July 13, 2012
at 08:33 PM

Someone else already suggested Leangains; here's a good post from MDA: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-intermittent-fasting/#axzz20XLDiOJF

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2 Answers


on July 13, 2012
at 08:33 PM

Evienne, this is a good place to start: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fasting-questions-answers/#axzz20XIST3Dr. Sisson covers the basics, answers some very commonly asked questions and also gets into some good detail.

There's no single answer to your question, however, as everyone who does intermittent fasting seems to do it differently depending on the effects they're after and also on how their individual physiologies respond to intermittent fasting.

Some people eat in a 10-hour window, some people eat in a 2-hour window. Some people have coconut oil in their coffee in the morning and don't count that as breaking the fast. Some people do intermittent fasting once or twice a week, some of us do it every day. As with many aspects of the Paleo way of eating, your individual mileage is going to vary greatly and you should do what gets you the results you want, whether it's weight gain, weight loss, or even just how it makes you feel (more energy, better sleep, etc.)

This is not to discourage you from finding out what you can on the internet, of course. PaleoHacks is a great resource (search the "intermittent-fasting" tag) as is the link above.

If you're just taking a poll, I can give you my protocol: I do IF every day now. I'm low carb in the summer, very low carb in winter because I eat produce largely seasonally. My intermittent fasting schedule also changes with the length of daylight. This means I eat in much smaller windows (1-3 hours) in winter, longer windows (2-6 hours) in summer. If I'm hungrier on a given day, I eat more or I eat in a longer window. Most days I eat one meal daily.

I am one of those people who kickstarts her day with some coconut oil coffee. Otherwise I drink water, teas, bone broth in colder weather. And that's it. I like to keep things simple.

Try a basic schedule as laid out by Sisson and experiment from there. Learn to trust the signals and feedback from your body, pay close attention to changes in sleep patterns, energy levels and so forth, and then start to fine-tune things.

Also, welcome to PH and try not to stress about it all. You'll figure out what works best for you!


on July 13, 2012
at 08:25 PM

I think there's a lot of different methods of intermittent fasting.

I suggest http://www.leangains.com/2008/06/sure-fire-fat-loss.html to start with because it's just part of the day. You could easily fit a lot of meals into an 8 hour window. Plus I know of good results on this program.

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