Intermittent Fasting – Latest Fad or Legit?

Yeah! It’s guest blogger time! My guest blogger for this week is a good friend of mine JC Warren. Since all my guest bloggers have nicknames, he will from here forward be known as “Healthy Harley”. Healthy Harley is one of the smartest humans I have met. Like, scary smart. I have known Harley for many years. Other than driving a beautiful Harley, his knowledge and ability to think outside the box regarding nutrition and health are what makes him super-cool! He is here today to tell us a little about “Intermittent Fasting”  a subject about which I am just starting to learn.  I have wondered if “intermittent fasting” was more a fad than a concept steeped in science. As usual, like when I read anything from Harley, I got schooled. I did not know there were so many options for IF and several that did not feel extreme!

I hope that you enjoy! Take it away.

Fasting-Diet (1)

Thank you, Mark Sisson, for this photo. 

Will You Live Longer If You Eat Less?

You’ve probably heard about calorie restriction (CR) as a way to lose weight and increase longevity. There are studies involving mice indicating that drastic reduction in food intake over extended periods reduces body weight and prolongs life, sometimes significantly, but typically resulted in depression and irritability. Studies involving primates add hostility and violent behavior to that list of detriments. One scary effect of CR is the fact that some of that weight loss apparently comes in the form of reduced bone density. Doesn’t sound like a fun way to live, does it?

What if there was a way to obtain the benefits of calorie restriction without the detriments and enjoy the same amounts of healthy foods that you’re currently eating? (You are eating healthy foods, aren’t you?) What if eating this way significantly improved your health? Fortunately, there is.

Welcome to intermittent fasting (IF)!

Intermittent Fasting is not a diet it’s a lifestyle and is simply the concept of reducing calories entirely or in part on a periodic basis. This concept is totally at odds with the typical dietician dogma of always eating breakfast and small meals every couple of hours throughout the day. Tony the Tiger will not be happy to learn that you’re considering IF.

The Journal of Cell Metabolism recently published research that concluded that IF (they call it time-restricted feeding) can prevent and even reverse obesity as well as reduces the incidence and severity of related metabolic diseases.

Intermittent Fasting has been shown to:

  • Help shift your body from burning sugar/carbs to burning fat as its primary fuel
  • Improve insulin sensitivity
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce LDL cholesterol levels
  • Help eliminate sugar cravings
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Promote human growth hormone (HGH) production
  • Normalize ghrelin, which is your “hunger hormone.”
  • Protect against cancer and even reduce the effects of chemotherapy. There are several options when choosing an IF protocol, and some more common ones are outlined below. There are pros and cons to each, and the best plan is the one you with which you will comply. You really should try different protocols to find the one that works the best for you. Remember, IF is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle, just like Paleo/Primal.Before you begin:

Be aware it is best to attempt Intermittent Fasting when you are already eating a healthy diet and are fat adapted. 

  • Your diet should be filled with lots of vegetables (preferably organic), healthy protein and healthy fats such as butter, eggs, coconut oil, olive oil and avocado
  • Your diet should not include processed foods, sugars, and refined grains
  • Calories consumed on fast days, < 600 for men and < 500 for women
  • Start slowly and let your body adjust to the change in schedule
  • Remember to stay hydrated. Thirst sometimes poses as hunger
  • ALWAYS listen to your body and review your energy levels  

IF Protocol Options
5:2 –  Dr. Michael Mosley promotes this plan in his book, The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting. He poses you eat normally five days a week and fast on two non-consecutive days on which you reduce calorie-intake to about one-fourth of your normal intake. It apparently doesn’t matter which days you choose as fasting days.

Alternate Day – Just like it sounds, this protocol is one day of eating and one day of fasting. Rinse, repeat. This type of IF requires that you go to bed hungry every other day. That can be pretty taxing, but if you can tough it out it supposedly gets easier. Calories should be restricted to about 500 on fast days, and best results are obtained when they are all consumed in a single meal instead of spread throughout the day.

One Day a Week – Pick a day, any day, and don’t eat. For example, eat a healthy meal on Friday evening and eat again on Saturday evening. This schedule allows you to fast 24 hours while only being conscious of the fact for 16 (8 hours sleeping). This approach is the one I started with, eventually extending a fast for 37 hours as a test. I found it pretty easy stick to and only had trouble remembering to drink water.                                                                                                                                                                        

Time Window – This protocol is the most natural for me to maintain. Its structure involves restricting eating to a 6 – 8-hour block of time each day. For example 12:00 – 8:00 PM. You’ll be fasting for 16 hours each day, 8 of which you’ll be (hopefully) sleeping. You just skip breakfast and then eat a healthy lunch and dinner.

Give IF a try and let us know how you do in the comments section below.                                              


Harley, of course, is much better at referencing links his posts than I am.

Want more information? Click below! 

Benefits of IF 

How to of Intermittent Fasting 


Infographic From Mercola 

Bone loss via calorie restriction 

Minnesota Starvation Experiment

Huffington Post Human CR Studies

Is 5:2 Healthy? 

IF boosts immune system 


JC Warren is a reluctant IT professional, has experienced first-hand the healing benefits of food and was certified as a Health Coach by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York.


 Based on Healthy Harley’s amazing research and information I think Intermittent Fasting is something to include in your health regimen. I want to try that Friday night through Saturday approach to begin with – A gentle way to ease in. Let me know what you think is the easiest way to dive in! 

Processed with Rookie Cam
Processed with Rookie Cam

14 Responses

  1. “Scary smart”? Puh-leeze! Folks, if you decide to try IF and find yourself hallucinating as Heather has apparently been doing, eat something! Preferably something rich in healthy fats and protein. Sheesh!

  2. I should clarify: JC (jabdip) is in fact Healthy Harley. As the author of the post I’m obviously in favor of IF. I just find the effusive praise in the intro somewhat embarrassing, hence the “scary smart” comment.

    If rocks and so does Heather!

    Carry on…


    1. I won’t tell you the names I called you offline, thinking you were my first hate mail ?… Glad to know its all good. ?

  3. Wow, I have fasted once a month for years and knew it was beneficial but your post has educated me further in the importance of fasting. Thanks so much for sharing the info!

  4. Except for the time window one, I don’t think I could do this. I used to do the 30 hour famine for a fundraiser and it was tough! I’m a runner so the idea of trying to maintain a running schedule without putting fuel into my body sounds awful. It’s an interesting idea, but to me I just think that if your body is made to crave nutrients you shouldn’t deprive it.

    1. I love that Becky. I need to read more about the science that actually argues that point. Something about Insulin. I start panicking at the thought of fasting! I have done the 7PM to noon the next day. It does actually feel good to give the body a break but I am still of the “grazing is better” camp!

  5. This was a very interesting read. Although I’m familiar with calorie restriction, I hadn’t heard of IF before now. It’s definitely not something I would try because I know I would feel hungry and irritable. But kudos to those who can handle it! 🙂

    1. It’s not great for me either because I am an obsessive overeater. But the 8PM to noon the next seems reasonable. Thanks for commenting.

    1. I know it is kinda crazy huh? I think it works really well for SOME people. There is a ton of science behind it but you have to do what works for you!

  6. Eat, Fast and Live Longer by Michael Mosely, MD a BBC Documentary. Saw this and others by Mosely on our local PBS station. He has a documentary on interval training as well that is very compelling and interesting. Mosley also has several books out.

    We have tried his 5:2 diet and have lost weight and I, particularly, found it easy and I felt better. I am a foodie and I love to eat…food is my comfort and my reward so I eat all the time…hence my full figured body. So the idea of fasting, 600 calorie days twice a week sounded great to me because could eat my regular diet the rest of the time. It was not bad or hard. You just need to be careful and make sure that the calories you eat are high quality foods

    I am currently on the 800 calorie diet, actually I average 800-1100 a day and I am looking lots of weight fast. His theory is get to your ideal weight as fast as you can and contrary to popular thinking, fast weight loss (i.e. crash dieting)is more motivating and in the long run the weight stays off longer because you have learned to eat clean real high density food while you lost your weight. He also says that after four days your blood sugars and insulin levels should be normal and that many people who were diabetes have been able to reverse their disease. All very interesting and the theories and studies his diet is based on look prety solid.

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About Dr. Denniston

Dr. Denniston is a wellness strategist for elite leaders and their teams, bridging the connection between personal well-being and professional success. She provides custom solutions for burnout and stress and facilitates cohesive habit-training strategies that maximize vitality, productivity, and resilience.

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