Intermittent Fasting Most frequently Asked Questions

I am sure that you have heard the old saying “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing”. So, that ice cream that you were thinking about finishing or that 2nd Hot Pocket that you wanted. Either one of these could give you heartburn or have you running to the bathroom. If you have questions about intermittent fasting, then please check out the list of my most frequently asked questions.

What is this Intermittent Fasting (IF)?

Intermittent Fasting is also known by IF. Intermittent fasting is when a person refrains from eating for a time period of 10 plus hours a day. This could be simply skipping one meal a day or skipping 3 days a week. The idea is not to harm your body, but to heal it.

Is Fasting a new concept?

No, Fasting is not a new concept but rather one that has been around for centuries. Many religions practice fasting on a daily and weekly basis. With the idea of reconnecting with one spirituality. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Intermittent fasting, check out Best Time To Exercise With Intermittent Fasting.

Dr Oz Investigates Intermittent Fasting

What happens to the body when fasting?

The Body goes through many changes when fasting. To best answer this question, take a look at the five stages Dr. Jason Fung, MD mentioned in his article in Diet Doctor How fasting affects your physiology and hormones.

What are the side effects of intermittent fasting?

Some side effects that I have experienced:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Hunger (of course)
  • Mood swings
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation

Although, not everyone will experience these side effects. I believe that this has to do more with me not being able to cut out sugar completely from my diet. This article has more information about Intermittent fasting side effects.

What is allowed during intermittent fasting?

When you are fasting there are few items that you are allowed to have that will not break the fast or elevate your blood glucose. These consist of plain black coffee, water, and other zero-calorie drinks. Absolutely no solids whatsoever.

Are we allowed to chew gum while fasting?

According to Jason Fung, an MD, nephrologist, and author of a book called The Complete Guide to Fasting. Dr. Jason Fung states that “Yes, sweeteners can certainly produce an insulin response, but generally for gum, the effect is so small that there is likely no problem from it. So yes, technically it does break the fast, but no, it usually doesn’t matter.”

Does sleeping count as fasting?

Yes, sleep does count as fasting because you are not taking in any food.

Can fasting damage your stomach?

This is something that has been debated over the years, but for the most part, the answer is, no. Although, sometimes you could have the undesired sensation of heartburn. From my experience, this only happened to me when I first started my intermittent fasting journey. Now fasting is not for everyone, those who have certain health conditions should not fast. Always consult with your primary care physician.

Is it better to fast in the morning or night?

I believe this is based on the individual preference. For me, I fast from 9 pm the night before until 3 or 6 pm the next day. Some days I will go a full 24 hours based on how I am feeling that day.

Others may find that starting their fast in the evening around 5 or 6 pm. Then after waking up the next morning having breakfast at 7 or 8 am. To read more on this checkout, “Many intermittent fasters skip breakfast. Here’s why that’s not a good idea.

I have been thinking of trying this myself. I know that it would be a bit of an adjustment for me because I am so used to my fasting schedule.

What is the best food to break an intermittent fast?

This is a brilliant question! Most people would run to the nearest fast food restaurant. This is counterintuitive to what you should be doing. One of the first things that you should do is pause and take a deep breath. Grab your water bottle and take a sip of it while you are making your meal. This will be enough to hold you from overeating.

Can you lose belly fat by intermittent fasting?

Yes, as long as the person is doing intermittent fasting and does not overindulge. Foods that are high in carbohydrates, sugars, and calories will only set that person up for failure. This will not only inhibit the person from losing weight but could actually make the individual gain weight.

Does fasting burn fat?

Yes, any time that you are not taking in what you are putting out in calories of carbohydrates you are going to burn fat. Unfortunately, we can not choose what fat burns off our bodies, this would be nice if we could.

Should you intermittent fast everyday?

Sure, you can fast every day. I fast almost every single day for at least 10 to 15 plus hours. There are those that when they have been fasting every day for a few months’ they will plateau in their weight loss. A few things that you could try if this happens to you are:

  • Change your fasting schedule
  • Take a break for a day or two from fasting
  • If you could try a 24 hour fast

Why am I not losing weight on intermittent fasting?

To answer this question you can refer to the previous question “Should You Intermittent Fast every day?” Also, after breaking your fast, you should keep a close eye on what you are consuming and limit your carb intake.

How do I prepare for intermittent fasting?

For me preparing to fast is not something that is easy. A few things to stay clearer of when preparing to fast are

  • Sustain from sugar for a least 4 to 6 hours
    • If I try to intermittent fast right after eating I have eaten something that has sugar it makes me sick.
  • Drink a lot of water
    • Even before I start my Intermitting fasting session. I try to take in at least 2 bottles of water that are 16oz each.
  • Get in the mindset that “I can do this!”
    • I know, I know, this may sound cheesy but trust me when you have that mindset and you are focused on your goal nothing else matters.

Now I will say that personally, I have to feel out the day. sometimes I break my fast a little early. Especially if I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed. When I break my fast I do not go back to fasting necessarily but I do not eat more then I need. This is where most people would be in trouble because this is considered emotional eating. They will not have the will powered to stop. Intermitting fasting will definitely teach you willpower and self-discipline if you allow it too.

What is the best intermittent fasting app

As far as the best app I do not really know, but the one that I have really enjoyed using is the BodyFast Intermittent Fasting Tracker – Diet Coach for Android and for IOS Apple BodyFast Intermittent Fasting. This one was the first one that I started with. I have been trying others but I seem to always go back to this one. The app has a paid version which in my opinion is not worth your money. Take into consideration that I have not used the paid version in a long time so they could have made improvements to the app.

Final thoughts

Intermitting fasting has been one of those free tools that I have been using for over a year now. That is one of the best parts about it. Once you have learned that you can live without having 3 meals a day and you have trained your body. Intermitting fasting could be a breeze! If you are a beginner then reading this guide may be just what you need Intermittent fasting for beginners.