Not So Fast: The Ins, Outs, + Answers to Your Intermittent Fasting Questions

If you’re into health and fitness—or maybe even if you’re not, a big buzz word is intermittent fasting. Heard of it? 😉 Fasting has definitely come a long way from your grandma’s fast back in the day. It’s no longer about going 3-7 days without food. Instead, people are seeing amazing results after fasting for an intermittent period of time (hence, the name… see how that works?). We’ve been talking a lot lately about intermittent fasting, and I’ve gotten SO many questions about it, that I wanted to break it down even further for you and answer some of the most common ones.

I’m breaking down the how, why, and does this even work with carb cycling questions below!

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How do you know if intermittent fasting is for you?

How do you know if fasting is right for you, and how can you know if it’s something that will help you reach your transformation goals? These are questions I see all the time. So much, in fact, that I even wrote a blog post breaking down all the details about intermittent fasting. If this diet concept is new to you, here’s what you need to know:

  • While intermittent fasting is not a diet in and of itself, it is a pattern—or eating schedule—that alternates between periods of eating and periods of fasting.
  • Since it focuses on when to eat, not what to eat, intermittent fasting can be combined with pretty much any other diet or meal plan.
  • To incorporate this way of eating into your lifestyle, all you have to do is focus on the timing of your meals rather than the content.

Can you do carb cycling + intermittent fasting?

The answer is YES! And actually, here’s a pretty cool fact: If you’re following one of our Transform App carb cycling programs, you’re actually already following a form of intermittent fasting! How? Since there are 12 hours between your fifth meal of the day and your first meal the next morning, that 12-hour window is a fast. 😉

Click here for even more information on intermittent fasting →

Again, since intermittent fasting is about WHEN you eat, and not WHAT you eat, you can absolutely combine carb cycling and intermittent fasting in one plan.

Should you eat breakfast?

To eat breakfast or not to eat breakfast…the big debate! Breakfast is known for being the most important meal of the day, right? But some people say you should skip it, and it’s a common practice to skip breakfast during intermittent fasting since most people choose to have their first meal later in the day. The general rule of thumb according to the intermittent fasting pros is that you should skip breakfast because giving your body a bigger window without eating can actually help you burn more fat.

Here’s my take on the breakfast debate:

Breakfast is needed to jump start your metabolism. It’s that first meal that really gets your body revving for the day, plus, it gives you energy to sustain you through running endless errands (aka running the kids around) and through your workouts. The first thing we always tell our TRANSFORMNATION family is they should have breakfast within 60 minutes of waking. Why?

3 reasons why eating breakfast is so important:
  1. By fueling our bodies with both macronutrients and micronutrients as soon as we get up in the morning, we’re turning our metabolic furnace ON, helping it to burn fat the rest of the day! 🔥
  2. When we skip breakfast, our bodies can actually get stressed out. This causes our hormones to react in a way that works AGAINST our weight loss efforts. Eating first thing can actually help regulate our bodies and control our hormones that would otherwise trigger our bodies to hold on to fat.
  3. When we eat breakfast, we’re less likely to crave “bad” foods later in the day. And when we eat breakfast, and then eat our remaining meals about every 3 hours throughout the day, we’re more likely to stay the course and ultimately reach our goals.

Here’s another thing to think about: There’s even research that shows people who eat at the beginning of the day vs more at the end of the day have better cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and they also tend to weigh less overall than those who eat mostly at night.

So, what’s the final verdict? I’m all about trying new methods and learning all there is to know about our bodies and nutrition. The coolest thing is that we’re all different, and what works for one person may not work for another. We all move differently, we all feel differently, and believe it or not, we all digest differently. Ha!

People have had success with both methods, and it is truly about finding something that works for you in a way that makes you feel good, both mentally and physically. And if it’s something you enjoy, you’re more likely to stick to it! As long as you’re getting the nutrients you need and you feel good, that’s all that matters!

Have you tried intermittent fasting? What were your thoughts? Drop them in a comment below!


Related reading:

Immune-Boosting Tips to Stay Fit + Healthy
Protein Confusion: Your Questions Answered!
Afraid of Fat: The Good, the Bad, and a Loaded Avocado Recipe!
Carb Confusion
Consistency Is Key: How to Make Your Fitness Goals a Reality

12 Responses

  1. I?m doing a 5:2, so fasting (500 calories) for 2 days (Monday & Thursday) and eating normal for 5. I?ve started 5 weeks ago and already lost 7.5Kg 🙂
    I don?t eat breakfast on fasting days, because it makes me feel hungry during the day. I can easily not eat until 5pm, and then I have a light meal.

  2. Dr. Jason Fung?s new book. Life in the fasting lane. And DyAnn Parham- intermittent fasting for today?s aging woman. CHECK THEM BOTH OUT! Look them up on utube people.

  3. Hello Heidi
    I am 46 years old, 5.2 and 75 kgs
    I am struggling with what type of diet to take. I am taking tamoxifen for the last 7 years and 3 more to go.
    I am exercising every day 6 am and 3 days a week evenings as well.
    I started with Keto (Ideal Protein ) and lost 20 pounds but gained again when I stopped it.
    I tried intermittent fasting for last months but I am not seeing changing the scale.
    Reading your blog and understanding the hormone imbalance that I am already have … what should I do?
    What do youbrecommend?

    1. Hi Iona: We recommend following a nutrition program that will work for you now as you’re working towards your goals and for the long-term. If you have questions about your hormone imbalance and your goals, I’d discuss your concerns with your healthcare team and then follow their recommendations. With your workout schedule, you’ll want to make sure you’re eating enough calories to support your workouts and your goals without eating too few calories, which can work against you. Hope this helps! 🙂

  4. I struggle with a binge eating problem and I find intermittent fasting helps me control my binging, my cravings, and snacking. I do a 16 – 18 hour fast, but I will eat if I am extremely hungry and will start with a protein shake of some kind.

  5. I fast for 16-18 hours. I?ve had amazing luck getting rid of that final 5 – 7 pounds that stick around no matter what you do. I?ve read a couple books and the research is limited. I was surprised there?s more benefits for men than women. Regardless it has help me shed those last few pounds when Dieting and exercise wasn?t enough. I?m a fan. I actually have more stamina during my morning workouts when fasting. Easy way to just plain and simple calorie restrict.

  6. I have been fasting since Dec. 2018 and have lost 50 lbs after a lifetime of yoyo dieting. I find this eating pattern to be sustainable and therefore the weight loss is sustainable. If anyone wants to learn more about the benefits of fasting study up on Autophagy. It creates so many NSV’s (non-scale victories). I eat one meal a day and I clean fast (water, unsweetened tea only during fast). I am less tired and my mind is more clear. There is so much science around this way of eating. I will be IF for lIFe!

  7. Hi Heidi! I’m actually on an intermittent fasting schedule now! I’m doing 17:7 and this really works for me. I’ve seen both scale and non-scale victories. I love it!!

    1. I fast 16 to 18 hours a day and count calories. Ive lost 30 pounds in 4 months. I love it!

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