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Quick Introduction to Intermittent Fasting, Leangains and the Benefits

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting (I.F.) is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting and non-fasting. There are a few different popular types (you may have heard of The Warrior Diet, Eat.Stop.Eat or Leangains), but for now please think of I.F. as purposefully skipping breakfast. Of course, there is a little more to it than that, but for now, please think of it in those terms.

Intermittent Fasting (IF) reached a peak of popularity around one year ago. Unfortunately with this popularity came the typical fitness industry nonsense articles selling people on exaggerated expectations of what it can help do for dieters and physique focussed individuals. If you’re coming to this page through google, you’ve may well have heard an exaggerated story. Fortunately I’m here to tell you what the real deal is with Intermittent Fasting and how it may help you, without the hyperbole.

What are the benefits of IF?

  1. Reduced of hunger while dieting
    For a person looking to lose weight, this is one of the biggest benefits offered by I.F. as opposed to other dieting systems. Skipping breakfast allows for bigger, more satisfying meals. After a few days of starting the diet, the body’s hormones, notably the hunger hormone, ghrelin, get used to the new eating pattern and adjust accordingly so you no longer feel hungry in the mornings.

    “For the dieter, I.F. offers something very unique, in terms of enjoying physically and psychologically satisfying meals while losing weight. The absence of hunger and cravings are also a welcome feature when using I.F. for weight loss. Contrary to popular belief, the fasting phase has a suppressive effect on hunger. Hunger pangs may come, but they disappear quickly, to be replaced by a sense of well being and total absence of hunger.” -Martin Berkhan


  2. Increase in mental focus and concentration
    During the fast, your body releases more of the stimulant hormones, catecholamines. Mental focus is increased, productivity goes up, and you’ll feel more involved in whatever you’re doing. Most people find this particularly pronounced during the last 4 hours of the fast. – Your morning time at work.
  3. More stable energy levels and improved mood
    With fewer meals, your blood sugar levels will be kept more stable, leading to more stable energy levels and less mood swings. Also, not having to worry about meal timing is a welcome relief from the irritable feeling that is often found by those used to dieting by eating many meals throughout the day.
  4. More stubborn fat burned
    Fasting can help shift stubborn fat and explains why people can get exceptionally lean without cardio work. I would like to point out that this is only relevant to individuals that are already exceptionally lean in the first place, and this won’t help you unless you have the more important pieces of your diet in place – calorie intake and macronutrient intake.

For more, see Dr. Bojan Kostevski’s full review of the research into The Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Human and Animal Health.

What is ‘Leangains’?

Leangains is a type of I.F. pioneered by Swedish nutritionist Martin Berkhan. It was put together based on scientific research on fat-loss, muscle building, his own experimentation and the actual experience of working with clients over the last 9 years.

I personally have used this system with myself and to coach hundreds of clients helping them in their physique journeys in the last three years.

While some nutritionists or trainers get stuck in their dogma, or are quick to jump on the latest fad to make sales or exploit our ignorance for profit, when enough solid new research comes along that suggests an improvement can be made with the method, Martin incorporates it and make the amendments necessary. It is this lack of ego and objectivity that has made the Leangains method so spectacularly effective for thousands of people. I would highly recommend you check out his blog, leangains.com.

andy-7-week-ab-comparison-bwWhy not give it a try?

Drawing on my experiences working with clients I’ve written guides on this site to show you how to do it. A lot of love has been poured into the articles and I really hope you can have success on your own like thousands of others already.

Questions welcomed in the comments on any page. Thanks for reading and good luck!

See my Step by Step Guide →

312 Comments on “Quick Introduction to Intermittent Fasting, Leangains and the Benefits”

  1. harrison

    thank you for the answer, i weighed my self today and have gone back down so im happy. my body type is basically you in the before state on the 7 week progress and looking at myfitnesspal i am still on the right track to meet my goals in 6 weeks.
    i started at 210 and currently down to 195 and in 6 weeks should be down to where i want to be at 182-183.

    After getting medically discharged from the Army i really let myself go. now thanks to your website+hardwork and dedication i will be happy and back to my original fitness+more. Honestly wish i found this site sooner

  2. harrison

    hi, i have been dieting for some time and lost 10 pounds using calorie deficit diet. I then heard great reviews of intermittent fasting and decided to switch and eat all my macros between 1 and 6pm. i have only been on this for 3 days but i have put back on 5 pounds, is there any reasoning behind this or is it just my water weight fluctuating? i feel a little worried about this as i have been wanting to do a cut/bulk program as soon as i reached around 12% body fat and with this added weight it might set me back a few weeks etc.

  3. Chris

    Hey andy, i used to do IF a couple of years ago. and loved it, now I’m really a gymrat and love lifting weights in the am.

    I’m in the gym 5 days a week, is IF possible when training 5 days a week?

    How should i incorporate the calories when doing restday -20%, lifting+10% or would it be wiser to do -20% and maintenance on lifting days.

    I’m about 13-14 % bodyfat and wanna get to 10% or below (keeping muscle mass and getting rid of lower ab& lower back fat is priority)

    Thank you for your time

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Chris, thanks for the questions.
      “I’m in the gym 5 days a week, is IF possible when training 5 days a week?”
      That is not what I generally recommend (see the training section) however yes, you could.
      “How should i incorporate the calories when doing restday -20%, lifting+10% or would it be wiser to do -20% and maintenance on lifting days.”
      Here is my detailed set-up guide:
      How To Set Up Your Diet: The Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance for Fat Loss & Muscle Growth

  4. wasim

    First of all tx for all the information that you had provided through this site. Since i am planning for IF, 8pm – 1 pm afternoon will be my fasting rest will be eating, my concern is I usually do weight training at late evening from 10pm-11pm 4 times a week and 2-3 times i go for morning jog.. so is working out and jog fine in fasted state?

  5. wasim

    First of all tx for all the information that you had provided from this site.Since i am planning for IF, 8pm – 1pm afternoon will be my fasting rest will be eating, my concern is I usually do weight training at late evening from 10pm-11pm 4 times a week and 2-3 times i go for morning jog.. so is working out and jog fine in fasted state?

  6. Robert C.

    Hey there Andy, I had a question on what types of losses one would see each week as they progressed through the LeanGains IF schedule? 1-2 lbs a week of fat torched? Or perhaps higher depending on how much one has to lose?

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Robert. Very doable, yes. You’re best to set your target rate of fat loss according to your current body fat level though. The leaner you are, the less you want to lose in order to maintain muscle mass. Guide to that here:
      #1 Calorie Setting

      1. Robert C.

        Excellent, I will review that guide. It would be ridiculous to target weekly fat loss beyond the theoretical limit, yes? I’ve done a diet known as the Rapid Fat Loss diet and would see ridiculous fat loss at 3 to 5 lbs a week (although after weeks of dieting, that rate did slow down). Unfortunately on the RFL you had such a limitation on what to eat, no alcohol, and lifting activity was VERY limited…so it was something that could drive you INSANE!

        I’m already trying out how the intermittent fasting feels this week, and so far it’s not bad!

        1. Andy Morgan

          Hi Robert. 5lbs is not theoretically impossible if you are fat enough and starve yourself enough, but it is certainly at the top end of things, as well as being unsustainable. Anyway, what you’re likely talking about is the initial water weight drops due to a decrease in carbohydrate intake.

          1. Robert C.

            Yeah right now I’m 260lbs and read 27% bodyfat from using calipers. I am going to aim for 2 to 2.5 lbs of fat to torch each week and just make adjustments as I drop. My goal is to hit the square of my shoe size 225 :)

            I haven’t lifted weights in about a year so I am definitely deconditioned. I do have the knowledge to perform the “big 3″ in proper form, so I would imagine that’s a good spot to start?

  7. ofir

    Hello Andy,im thinking of giving IF a try. I will be fasting from 12 to 8 pm, now if i were to train fasted at say 10, and because i dont have bcaa atm, should i be drinking a whey protein shake beforehand? would that constitute as breaking the fast too early? Im currently cutting and im looking to maintain as much muscle as possible so wouldn’t training (i usually do 20 minutes of cardio then weights for 45 min) cause muscle loss? if so what’s the solution? alot of questions but hopefully someone can help :)

  8. david

    Hi,im gonna try this, i was thinking to eat on a window of 8hours my 4000cal and 16h fasted. Then before workout eat also carbs. It this correct?

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi David. Hugh Jackman is kinda responsible for putting out the myth that calories don’t really matter as long as everything is eaten within an 8 hour window – this is probably due to an interesting soundbite being needed for interviews for his X-men films. That would be wonderful if it were true, but sadly not. The Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance for fat loss and muscle growth is as follows:

      The Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance

      There is absolutely no getting around this. Here‘s my guide to setting up all pieces optimally for your. Hope you find it helpful.

  9. Dustin Dunbar

    For my training, I do early morning routines due to my work schedule. Should I avoid the post-workout protein shake as part of my fast from breakfast? If I should, what do you suggest I should take to help with my recovery post-workout?


  10. David

    I just started reading about intermittent fasting and had a question. I like to workout in the morning around 8:30am and am generally done in about an hour or so. If I were to follow the plan of only eating between the hours of 1:00-9:00pm and fast for the other 16 hours, how would it work with my first meal. Everything you read is that your post workout meal should be consumed within the hour or so of finishing a work out. If I do that I would be breaking my fast much earlier. I would like your opinion please.

  11. James

    Hi Andy,
    Just wondering whether or not squeezing a little lemon juice into black tea during the fasting period is enough to spike blood sugar and break the fasted state. I know lemon juice is pretty high in sugar. If we’re being strict, is this a no-go?

    1. Andy Morgan

      If you’re being strict, it’s a no-go. But you don’t need to be strict to such a degree to be successful.
      The Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance for Fat Loss and Muscle Growth:

      The Nutritional Pyramid of Importance for Fat Loss and Muscle Growth

  12. Jurgen Eisinga

    Hi Andy,

    Its still not clear for me how IF work diet wise, so om training days you dont eat for a period of 16 hours and after that you have 2 big meals ..and what should someone eat then?
    And on none training days 3 meals.

    I must admit that these questions sound probably very stupid but the information on this site is overwelming there is some much info here

  13. Matt

    I’ve just about finished reading through all the diet articles and their links, it’s taken a long time to go over everything but has been well worth it. (BTW, no need to reply to these messages, if they help then great but if I’ve misread something then please ignore them!). So, the last one for today:
    …little more to it that… (…to it than that…)

    1. Andy Morgan

      Most sincerely appreciated you pointing these out Matt. I’d read that it becomes impossible to proofread your own work, but I didn’t believe it until you pointed out all these things.

  14. Lewis

    Like I said two years of doing it an I train much better in a fasted state, more mental focus and much more strength. My friend also started doing it and felt Te same effects. We are designed to have to train (hunt) in a fasted state as that is what would’ve happened when we evolved. Training whilst in a fasted state will also promote more fat loss which is a bonus!

    1. Andy Morgan

      If you love it, continue it. I find myself performing best first thing in the mornings, or the late afternoon, so I try to train at either of those times. My advice to others is:
      1. To not be afraid of trying out training fasted training.
      2. To not feel pushed into it because of the proposed fat loss benefits*.

      Fundamentally, the best results will come from training at a time that suits you best and that will depend on the individual. Examples of different diet set ups to allow for different training times in that article linked to above.

      *Allow me to be a little geeky here: We’re talking about an increase in lipolysis (the release of fat from the fat cell into the blood stream) and transport through the blood stream, not necessarily fat oxidation (the use of that fuel) – which will depend on the calorie balance for the day. Whether any of that is relevant comes down to whether you are lean enough for it to be relevant, which, to put it bluntly, is very, very lean. More on this in my article, ‘When is Cardio a Valid Tool for Fat Loss with Intermittent Fasting?‘ – picture examples included.

  15. Lewis

    Just like to say I’ve been doing the 5:2 diet for 2 years and I haven’t reduced in weight much at all, my muscle mass has increased significantly and my fat levels are very low! Everyone should train on their fasting days as HGH can peak up to 2000% whilst training in a fasted state. Therefore you will gain muscle. Funnily enough I lift a lot more weight and press more reps when fasting. Something to do with using stored energy (fat reserves), which is more efficient than using energy than has been consumed on the same day. Once you’re used to fasting you will look forward to it!

    1. Andy Morgan

      Unfortunately, acute spikes like that don’t make much difference. Agreed on your last comment though, if you choose to train fasted, the vast majority of people will get used to it very quickly and isn’t an issue.
      As for whether I think it’s necessary to train in a fasted state to get good results? Definitely not. More on the nitty gritty of that in part four (Meal Timing & Frequency, Calorie & Macro Cycling) of my ‘Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance for Fat Loss and Muscle Growth’ series.

  16. JOSE

    It would me more convenient to me to break fast around 6-7pm and have my eating window until 11pm. In terms of body recomposition would this frame (19-20 hour fastin) workout as well as the classic 16 hours fast?

  17. Alex

    Hi Andy, brilliant site, excellent source of accurate and tested info. I’ve been following the Leangains slow bulk with excellent results. Big increases in strength with minimal fat gain. However, I currently train every other day as opposed to 3 times a week as my capacity allows it, and I feel I benefit from the extra volume. This has implications on diet, as I’m eating above maintance 4X a week , as opposed to 3, but still with defifcit days in between. My questions:

    1. Will the fact that I skip a rest day, and consequently eat above maintenance a day earlier , hinder the expected Leangains results (will it impact my level of body fat)? I”ve been slow bulking for around 4 months, gaining on average 0.5lb a week and would consider myself, in your words , “one month out”

    2. How to clients typically approach diet on the 4th rest day on leangains? I ask because I would expect two deficit days in a row to severely impact the training day that follows.

    Thanks in advance .

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Alex.
      1. Whether you train on alternate days or three days a week is largely a question of scheduling and recovery capacity rather then efficacy. Thus, if you have been having good results so far you will be fine to continue in that way.
      2. As a rest day.

  18. ben.flowers@gmail.com

    Hi Andy,

    Great article, I am really interested in IF.

    I have been on a diet/exercise regime on and off since November last year. I have lost 28lbs (mostly through dieting) and have reached my goal weight (168lbs @ 6ft) however now my body composition seems to be off and am trying to lose body fat whilst increasing my weight slightly.

    Currently I 5km (3-5 times per week) and 10km at the weekend every other weekend. I weight train for an hour a day 5 times per week (Monday to Friday) and have been strength training for around 4-5 months. I currently eat around 300 calories for breakfast 3-500 for lunch and 5-800 for dinner during the week, and more at the weekends (i don’t limit myself, but i don’t go crazy either)

    Since weight training i have noticed my waist getting smaller and some improvement in tone, but not great amounts. Could IF help me with my body fat % goals ?



  19. fred

    I’ve been doing fasted low intensity steady state cardio on rest days at 60% of max (3mph on a 12 degree incline) for 60 mins. This seems to burn about 400-600 calories. I take 10g of BCAA during cardio. I’m worried I’m overdoing the cardio. Should I compensate by eating extra calories?

      1. Fred

        Thanks, yes I’m doing fat loss and trying to get from 12% to 10%. I’ll cut out the cardio and just stick to the program.

  20. Noel

    Hey Andy, brilliant blog , quick question does this intermittent fasting works for overweight people as well, am 6 feet weighing 220 pounds!!

      1. noel

        That article you refered to was brilliant, thanks a lot Andy, one more thing , what kind of food is preferred during

  21. Katherine

    Hello Andy,

    I am going to try this fasting approach after finding the 5:2 diet worked for my figure, but was too hard / restrictive to stick to. However, I have read here and in other places that it is best that the training is done in the fasting state. I struggle to train in the morning and tend to go after work at 6pm. Will this have a negative impact on the effectiveness?


    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Katherine. In short, no. What certainly will have an impact is putting your training at a time that doesn’t suit you, as you won’t have the energy for the workouts and you can’t sustain it. – Best to set things up as you mean to go on eh?
      If you’re interested in an explanation on where I’d put IF in the list of importance of overall nutrition/training set up, have a read of the Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance Series, particularly #4 Meal Timing & Frequency, Calorie & Macro Cycling.
      That should help a great deal, it’s a very popular series and pretty much the foundation of any science-based nutrition strategy.

  22. krishal

    I am currently 8% body fat 5ft 10in and weigh 64kg look to build muscle but also lean up a bit more do you recommend this as a suitable diet

  23. John


    John here (again, sorry to drop so many questions!)

    What’s your genuine opinion on IF, do you personally think it’s a sustainable, long term way of approaching eating, or more a ‘vehicle’ for getting to a leaner destination? I’m probably jumping the gun here, but I have to admit I’m starting to doubt it’s ability to build muscle as quickly as eating in excess (see something like GOMAD with it’s insane calorie/casein intake). I realise patience is key, but for people who’re lacking in mass already, I just don’t see the eat-a-lot-on-training-days as being enough to build muscle, at best it seems to sustain the muscle.

    What do you think? I know it’s not something you do 24/7-365 days a year as you mentioned breakfast in one of your other replies!


    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi John. Covered it in the latter half of my article on timing, in the Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance series.
      Anything with “insane excess” will put on more muscle than a controlled approach, but even so there are still limits to how much muscle one can gain and the rest will just be put on as fat. (Refer to the same series, #1 Calories) so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me unless the idea is to simply not to have to worry about counting things, which I can understand.

  24. Pingback: Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance – #4 Meal Timing | RippedBody.jp

  25. Kelvin

    Hi andy,
    Do sports like football soccer,etc reduce our body ability to recover from weight training exercise and will they reduce muscle mass?

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Kelvin. Yes and no, definitely isn’t black and white:

      The ideal situation is where you will strength train only and all your recovery will be used for growth.

      For non-athletes focused on physique goals the risk of injury threatening long term goals may outweigh the benefits. (More detail in this article.)
      For athletes there is no choice – improvement of their ability to play the sport is the primary goal, the training is used to support that. In such a case a theoretical increase in calorie intake to cover the sport’s energy expenditure is the strategy to use.

      There will be a crossover effect for hypertrophy from the sport itself (sprint cyclists having huge legs is an example). But endurance training does affect strength.

  26. Diana

    Hi Andy,

    I’m a female, 5’3″, 170lbs and I really want to get fit and lose weight. I have started IF for a week now and I don’t feel hungry at all sometimes. Sometimes after 18 hours of fasting, one apple gets me full and I am not in the mood to eat anything else. I am very scared that I am starving my body this way because sometimes my calories are less than 900 by the time my eating window is closed. Also, what kind of exercise should I do to maximize the weight loss, it’s mostly on my belly? Thank you so much Andy!

  27. Marius Fermi

    This is something I’ve been thinking about trying however I’m starting a this Ryan Reynolds workout, curious as to what your thoughts are on that workout plan and following a fasting diet? Could/would it work?

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Marius. Time is limited. Analysis of celebrity diets is not something I’m willing to spend that valuable currency on as I could spend all day long doing so. My thoughts on training are here on the site. Feel free to try them if you wish and ask questions pertaining to anything here. That’s what the comments function is used for here.

  28. Kris

    Hi Andy-I plan on having an eating window of 12P-8P. Would it be counterproductive to add a tablespoon of coconut oil to my morning coffee at about 6a or should I just stick to black coffee. I have quite a bit of fat to lose due to yrs of alcohol abuse but am ready to give this a go. I have always lifted weights and did some aerobic conditioning and plan to continue this at about 4P each day.

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Kris.
      “Would it be counterproductive to add a tablespoon of coconut oil to my morning coffee at about 6am?”
      In terms of points 1,2, and 3 it will not be helpful. In terms of 4, it will have a neutral effect, depending on how it fits in with the rest of your calorie intake for the day. In terms of those potential benefits listed in the wikipedia article (many of which still need further study) it’s likely you’ll wipe those out, as it is no longer fasting.

      My recommendation: Don’t bother. Put your focus in the things that matter. Check out the article series on, The Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance.

      1. Kris

        Thanks for the response. I will research your suggested article. Very cool to put this info out. Take care.

  29. al

    Andy, I was wondering my training days are M W F I usually have class on monday and cant train til 5 and wednesday and friday I usually train at 10am so can I still train fastened on wednesday and friday but not fasten monday due to class? Or would there be a better protocol to follow?

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Al. Training fasted isn’t a requirement, so don’t worry about that. Approximately half of the clients you see on the results wall trained fasted, the rest had other schedules. Your training can be at different times, so to days fasted training and one not is fine.

      1. al

        Thank you andy, also one last question I recently bought bcaa purple wrathh am I suppose just take 10g before fasten training or is iy 30g? I break my fast at 12 til 8pm and train? I train around 10 or 11am so not sure if I wasted $80 on the bcaa thank you in advance.

        1. Andy Morgan

          Hi Al. How much BCAA you take depends on when you train and how long after you eat. See Martin’s recommendations on that here.
          Purple Wraath is a product with a mix of ingredients. If it had BCAAs in there then you can consider them counting towards your need. If you fall short then you’ll need to supplement.

  30. Tim

    Andy, I play tennis and frankly, enjoy it more than lifting weights. I usually play in the mornings and find myself sluggish on the court if I don’t eat anything. Can I pursue both? Can I eat something before rigorous exercise? I think the 8pm to noon fast works best with the other parts of my life. I am having trouble finding a balance, believe the program can work but have scrapped the program when I just got too tired. Any suggestions? Tim

    1. Andy Morgan

      Tim, thanks for the comment. Sure, yes please enjoy your sport. You say that you feel sluggish on the court in the mornings without eating anything, have you given yourself the full week to ten days that I suggest to adapt to the new meal timing though?

      1. Tim

        Yes, but didn’t pay much attention to the macro balance. I was just trying to adjust to the feeding window/fasting window first. I think I could benefit from building/maintaining muscle mass for my sport and as I age. (I am an older guy 53). It feels a bit like I have conflicting goals, so I am wondering if I can make a small modification to get me through my mornings match. Thanks, Tim

        1. Andy Morgan

          Ah, I see Tim. The matches will require energy. There isn’t physiologically a need to have that energy immediately before or during a tennis match, your glycogen stored will be fine to fuel you (the exception being endurance events >2 hours).
          Psychologically there may be some kind of placebo effect going on, as you always have eaten before, and thus you feel that you can’t perform, so therefore you don’t. This also could be because you haven’t given it a good week as suggested to adjust to the new meal timing.

          Three solutions then:
          1. Eat something before or during your morning match. (This will address the energy balance, may help psychologically, won’t help physiologically.
          2. Eat something a few hours before the morning match so that it’s digested at least partially and you can use the energy. (If you have time to wake up early enough.)
          3. Eat something extra the night before the morning matches, eat nothing on the actual morning of. (This strikes me as possibly the most practical.)

          Take the extra energy from carbs. Be aware of the tendency for all to overestimate the calorie burn from exercise. Choose the most simple and sustainable method.

  31. Chris

    Hi Andy,
    love your site, but could you please take my money and write the damn book finally!
    I would love to have the whole advice of this site laid out in a book to follow through

      1. Michael

        Andy, can you recommend the best “executive version” book for IF? I don’t have time to read a War and Peace IF book but need the basics w/o all the fluff and extensive explanations. I’m already have a general, novice knowledge of health, fitness and nutrition as I’ve been in training for decades. Thanks!

  32. Petra

    Hello Andy, may I have a question please? I am a bit confused with all this articles on web. So, I am 32yo woman, looking for loosing a fat. Which protocol , do you think, is the best one for me?
    A) 7-8am work out
    10-am-3pm feeding window
    B) 8am-1pm feeding window
    7-8pm workout (post workout protein)
    C) 7-8am workout
    12-6pm feeding window

    Thanks a lot for your reply.

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Petra. Assuming the calorie/macro intake is the same in all situations there will not be any significant difference between results. So whichever fits your schedule and social/family life best will work best.

  33. Arjun Agarwal

    Hey Andy,

    A really well written article about IF. This is one area in which I got interested recently as a couple of friends lost a lot of weight using IF approaches, so I also decided to research more and get some questions answered before I begin IF.

    There are 2-3 questions that I wanted to know actually which I hope will help some other people as well:

    1) I am 23 year old, male and I got this huge belly. I do not drink but this belly is due to sitting and eating at home. I used to be obese until last year but I bought myself down to a normal state by doing interval running but I have not been able to get rid of my belly. My weight also has been the same and I want the weight to go down but it wouldn’t go down, so using IF, can I get rid of the belly and also reduce the last few pounds to reach where I want to?

    2) Since I don’t have access to gym and I can only exercise in the evening, do you think its better to do interval running for 3-4 days in a week on fasted state? I am planning to be feeding myself from 11 am to 7 pm and then fast for the remaining 16 hours. I can only go for running around 8:30 or 9 pm. So do you think its fine to do this?

    3) Apart from loosing weight and getting rid of my belly fat, will I be able to improve my digestion system by doing IF i.e getting rid of acidity problems, gastric problems and so forth, which are related to digestion of the food? [ I know I am too young and facing these problems but I need to get rid of these problems :(]

    I am waiting for your reply as soon as possible.


    1. Andy Morgan

      Arjun, thanks for the questions.
      1. Yes. That’s the whole point of the site. Just keep reading bud. Or click the results tab, I’ve put over one hundred photo testimonials on there so you’ll definitely find someone you can relate to.
      2. Interval running is not a substitute for, or equivalent full body effect as heavy resistance training in any way. Invest in your long-term health, get access to a gym.
      3. That sounds like a personal issue and is likely something to do with the foods you are eating rather than meal timing.

      Keep reading and good luck.

      1. Arjun Agarwal

        Hey Andy,

        Thanks for your reply. I just wanted to know that since I don’t have any good gyms in my area, is there any form of resistance training that I can do at home?

        The thing is I am not looking to build muscles or abs, I just want to become skinny.

        Yea I agree with the last point but actually what I meant was that once I get a flat belly, does the digestion system tend to improve as from what I know is that belly fat is increased due to digestion system not being able to properly digest the food and thus leading to other problems..

        I also wanted to know that if I am fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours, what should I be basically eating during those 8 hours? Can I eat anything home made?


        1. Andy Morgan

          The thing is I am not looking to build muscles or abs, I just want to become skinny.
          A sustained energy deficit, any way you do it will achieve that. There is no point in complicating things with the information on this site. I think you’re going down the wrong path though. Muscle mass is important not just for looks but health.
          Will post a bodyweight workout guide to the FAQ soon.

          1. Arjun Agarwal

            Thanks for the reply. I will be waiting for the workout guide in the FAQ section.

            I actually looking to build a body like yours in the picture above. So can you share a workout that can help me to get something like that?.

            Its not too much muscles and looks ripped at the same time.


  34. HUS

    Hi. Firstly great write up. My only dilemma is. I IF and my feeding window is 1pm-6pm. But I can only work out – lift weights- at 9pm-10.30pm. Do I still consume a protein shake outside the feeding window? Is it essential that I have my post work out shake!!?

    I am looking to tone up and don’t want to loose muscle

    Many thanks in advance

  35. Declan Harkin

    Hi Andy. Are there any days which you break the eight hour protocol? I find it hard on weekends. I’m also doing stronglifts 5×5 program. Do you think this is a good training routine to follow. Thanks.

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Decian.
      Timing is the least important thing here. Consistency with meal times is merely a way controlling and limiting hunger. Have a look at note on the Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance in the FAQ.
      To answer your question:
      Every day I go out to drink.
      Sundays when I am at home with family (because mum likes the roast to be served at 3pm) rather than 1pm when I usually have lunch.
      When my schedule doesn’t allow it.

      Basically, don’t stress it if you can’t be on point sometimes, it isn’t going to affect your results if the other things are in place.

  36. Brodie

    Hey Andy, Great article. i’ve been using Intermittent Fasting for a year now and I love it. I feel like I’ve kind of been freed as a slave of food. Thanks for the good info.

  37. Seth

    Hey Andy,
    I have a question, wanting to know your thoughts on this.

    After coming off my fast and having done my workout.
    I go get something to eat…
    So today, it was 1 and 1/2 cup of egg whites, with tomatoes, onions, green peppers, spinach, a little cheese, and some pesto….made into an omelet.
    I also had about 1 and 1/2 cup to 2 cups of white steam rice (asian style, my wife is filipino)…

    But I finish that, and within 30 min, I feel like I could eat more……it is like nothing was dropped in my stomach.

    Have you ever noticed this, or ever happened to you or your clients?


    1. Andy Morgan

      You ate, and you still feel hungry afterwards. Yes, sure this happens hen dieting and is likely your mind playing tricks on you. If this is a constant thing though then you’re likely off with things.

  38. Alec

    Andy hows it going quick question for you. I recently finished a cut after a two week stall scale weight and measurements I chose to take a diet break for two weeks since ive been dieting since april. Yesterday was day four on the break and this morning i noticed i was looking leaner, so i decied to take measurements and hop on the scale and both were down. My question is, Is this common and should i continue the break. Or is it possible i was just on a long stall that broke and should i go back to the diet.

  39. mwinston

    How does early morning training work with IF? I typically get to gym around 6 am and want the feeding window to be the normal 1-9 pm. Is this possibly or will I have to workout in the evening?

  40. Cristhian

    Andy, how about BCAA’s can u replace them with whey protein? it’s hard for me to find BCAA’s where I live.

    1. Andy Morgan

      Yes and no. Martin’s got the details covered in this article bud. Though he does go on to say somewhere that the compromise is 25g whey ~40-50 minutes before a workout.

  41. nickprowse1

    Hi Andy, not sure if my post stuck last time so will post it again here –

    I’m just getting over a chest infection and haven’t been exercising which is killing me, can you suggest anything that I could do as I feel I’m putting weight on and losing any muscle mass I have.



  42. carlaa

    Hi Andy

    This is my first time commenting on the web, but this time I could not help myself. I love your site!!!

    Thank you for all the information and teaching me a different approach to fitness that I did not know is possible.
    Since school up until University I have been sporty, did athletics, karate and dragonboating at national level. After University I got a job and did not have the same amount of time I had while at University, where I would train on the track instead of going to class :)After Uni I stopped all my sports and started going to the gym the first time. Over the years my weight has crept up on me and eventually I was 17 kg over weight. I put my running shoes on and literally ran my butt off and left the gym. I have not seen any results in my body since the 17 kg weight loss. I use to run 10km (3-4x) a week. Since running, I have been trying to get ripped again like I was back in University but to no avail. Curently I am 1, 67m and weigh 66 kg.

    Now I am on week two of IF and taking your advise to get into shape before the end of this year. once I have success with your advice I shall send you pics.
    Keep up the great work!!!

    Regards from Cape Town South Africa


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  44. Adam

    Thanks for the reply Andy much appreciated I take it then as long as we are depleting glycogen stores it will work as partitioning will be improved!?? Or am I missing something?

  45. Adam

    Dillema- can only train heavy big 3 once a week when I can get to a gym, any recommendation what I could do at home for other 2 workouts? Have set of weights 50kg non olympic set and pull up bar any suggestions? Cheers Adam

  46. Nicholas Pokoluk

    I am a 64 year old male and am 5’9″ tall and weigh 155 lbs. I am a vegan and in pretty good shape and good health. Body fat tested at 12%. I don’t want to loose weight and am happy with all markers for health (cholesterol, BP, HbA1c etc). Will a 10-11 hour daily fast be of any benefit to me.(what I do now). ? Or where is the threshold in fasting time. Can’t seem to find any literature on that.

    1. Andy Morgan

      Possibly for 1,2 and 3. 4 will depend on macro composition. Blood markers we don’t know, but you could try. Life extension? (See wiki article link) – Still unknown. Seems like you’re in a very good position at the moment anyway Nicholas.

  47. Rickey

    Hey Andy, im not sure if someone has asked this or not but here goes. I work 11 pm to 7am, workout at 730 and go to bed at 9 am. My eating window right now is 6pm to 2am. Unfortunately, the only time i can workout is in the morning after work. I don’t want to break the fast, but i don’t want to workout and eat nothing after. would a scoop of whey protein ruin the fast?

  48. Cristian

    Hi Andy, nice work with this blog, very very clear and useful!
    Just a question about a doubt it’s growing in me: when to start counting hours of fasting? to the last bite of last meal or to the feeling of empty stomach? Sometimes when i had a big dinner, I wake up with half full stomach.. how about that? Have I had 8 hours of fasting or not?

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