Intermittent Fasting: The Exhaustive, Enormously Comprehensive Ultimate Guide

Since the launch of NoGym two weeks ago, with this post, not only has the reception for the site been wonderful & social sharing been unbelievable (which makes me so happy, you have no idea), but the amount of insightful, positive, and inquisitive emails has pleasantly surprised me as well.

You guys have some great questions.

My goal over the course of this coming year is to fully answer every question, and some… to give you every resource you can possibly use to quench your inquisitive thirst – your knowledge-hungry minds.

The most questions, however, over the last couple weeks, have revolved around one topic: intermittent fasting.

So, in an effort to deliver on my promise of publishing nothing but super-helpful, resource-packed content on, I decided my efforts were best spent on putting together this fasting resource: the ultimate guide.

The goal here is not to reinvent the wheel; I’m not trying to present any novel new breakthrough information or research. I’m merely aggregating the “best of the web” on intermittent fasting…everything you need to know, and only the good stuff. The aim is to save you all the time of digging through the mountains of information out there.

Let me do the work for you. I’ll separate the wheat from the chaff, then serve you a nice hot loaf of proverbial, 100% resource-rich bread, with all the necessary vitamins & minerals.

OK, so let’s move away from the food analogies and get into the meat & potatoes of this post… oops, did it again.

What Is Intermittent Fasting Anyway?

Intermittent Fasting 101 | How To Intermittent Fast:

“After the great discussion last week following the 1 Meal vs. 3 Meals news post, we thought it was a great opportunity to follow up and delve into the nitty gritty of IF. Practically speaking, what does IF look like? Today we’d like to focus on the “window of eating,” a dimension of IF that got people talking last week.

Fasting Q&A:

“By now, you should be caught up on all the benefits that fasting offers. By now, you’re likely either intrigued by the practice, strongly considering taking it up, or basking in the smug satisfaction that your longtime breakfast-skipping ways weren’t destroying your metabolism after all

Intermittent Fasting 101 | How To Get Started Burning Fat:

“The biggest question I have gotten since starting this blog in 2008, is how to effectively use Intermittent Fasting (also known simply as “IF”) to achieve their goals and maximum results

Intermittent Fasting 101 | Roman Fitness Systems:

“Like many other “breakout” diets, intermittent fasting (IF) is growing by leaps and bounds; however, unlike most of the other diets, IF is gaining ground despite that the practice challenges many long-help assumptions about nutrition

Fasting To Lose Weight:

“It’s sad, but anytime you tell someone that you’re fasting, the only acceptable reasons for doing so are for medical or religious reasons. If you even mention the words “weight loss” and “fasting” in the sentence, then you’re in for a world of hurt. But in my opinion, fasting for the sake of weight loss isn’t crazy. Not at all

Dr. Eades and Tim Ferriss On Intermittent Fasting:

  • Part I
  • Part II

Wikipedia On Intermittent Fasting:

“There is evidence suggesting that intermittent fasting may have beneficial effects on the health and longevity of animals—including humans—that are similar to the effects of caloric restriction (CR). There is currently no consensus as to the degree to which this is simply due to fasting or an (often) concomitant overall decrease in calories, but recent studies have shown support of the former

Ready, Set, Fast: How Strategic Meal-Skipping Can Help You Lose Fat, Gain Muscle, And Get Healthier | Art Of Manliness:
“Lately, some really fit guys–men with muscles, visible veins, and abs so sharp you can grate carrots on them–are doing something a whole lot different. They’re not eating breakfast.  Healthy or otherwise. In fact, they’re not eating at all for extended stretches. And they’re getting leaner, more muscular, even healthier

Intermittent Fasting | AskMen:

“The controversial diet everyone’s talking about

Quick Introduction To 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’), but for our purposes, please think of I.F. as purposefully skipping breakfast

The Basics Of Intermittent Fasting:

“To break it down simple stupid, intermittent fasting is nothing more than fasting in a structured time format each day. This means you will be fasting – not eating – for a period ranging from 16-36 hours pending on which format you choose all having various benefits

IF For Fat Loss, Muscle Gain, And Easy Maintenance:

“Intermittent fasting is a dirty set of words, often scoffed at in many fitness, health, and bodybuilding circles.  However, it’s gained some popularity over the last few years, albeit slowly as a means to better health, improved performance and most importantly a healthier, more laid-back lifestyle”

Is Fasting For Me?

Why Fast Series:

“When a person has nothing to eat, fasting is the smartest thing he could do.” – Herman Hesse, Siddhartha.

  • Why Fast? Part 1 – Weight Loss
  • Why Fast? Part 2 – Cancer
  • Why Fast? Part 3 – Longevity
  • Why Fast? Part 4 – Brain Health
  • Why Fast? Part 5 – Exercise
  • Why Fast? Part 6 – Choosing A Method
  • Why Fast? Part 7 – Q&A

Dear Mark: Women and Intermittent Fasting:

“Many differences exist between the two sexes. We look different. We sound different. We dress differently from each other. We like different things. Different genres of movies cause men and women to cry (differently). And although society, media, and culture drive and/or inform many of our differences, some are inherent and physiologically-driven”

The Intermittent Fasting Dilemma:

“When I introduced The Warrior Diet concept about 12 years ago, it was highly criticized by mainstream fitness authorities as an “extreme and dangerous” approach to dieting. Telling people to skip breakfast and lunch was like committing dietary heresy”

What Kind Of Benefits & Results Can I Expect?

Leangains Summer Motivation | Amazing Results:

“I wanted to show myself and others that you can get lean, and stay lean, without the need of following what the fitness and health mainstream consider ‘healthy diets’. You know, the need to leave out certain foods, the need to eat birdmeals every third hour and never eating until you’re full, and so forth”

The Myriad Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting:

“Calorie restriction is all the rage in anti-aging circles. A few mice and worm studies seem to show that drastic reductions in food intake over a long period of time have the effect of prolonging life – although I’m not sure I’d call it living”

Outstanding IF Testimonials Part I:

“Testimonials from people who have done personal consultations and/or are using my ideas with great results”

Outstanding IF Testimonials Part II

Calorie Restriction Does Not Promote Longevity??:

“This quickly became a hotly talked about topic online and many questions arose…so I dropped everything, started reading up on the multiple articles and now attempt to logically lay out what I found”

The Power Of Intermittent Fasting | BBC:

“Scientists are uncovering evidence that short periods of fasting, if properly controlled, could achieve a number of health benefits, as well as potentially helping the overweight, as Michael Mosley discovered”

Intermittent Fasting: A Healthy Choice | The Huffington Post:

“The advice to have five or six small meals daily has become common in recent years. I am 69 years old and don’t recall ever hearing this as a child and seldom as a young adult, but by the 1980s it seemed to be everywhere. Today, it is close to nutritional dogma”

Intermittent Fasting Benefits And The Results Of Various Studies Revealed:

“Intermittent fasting or IF is simply defined as the alternation of intervals (intermittent) of not eating (fasting) with times where people are allowed to eat. A new post at presents intermittent fasting benefits and what various studies show about alternating a fasting period with a feeding window or time frame”

Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss:

“In short, Intermittent Fasting is going an extended period of time without eating.  At first glance that sounds like an eating disorder in the making – but as it turns out, Intermittent Fasting is simply a different style of eating that is safe, effective and comes with a slew of health benefits (including fat loss) when done the right way. [Read More]“

10 Awesome Reasons Why I Fast Every Day:

“As I write this article it has been at-least four months since I’ve had a morning breakfast meal. In fact I go until 2 pm everyday before my first meal. To be honest skipping breakfast and fasting is one of the best things I’ve ever done!”

Shredded Transformations:

“Screw building mass! Nothing trumps a well muscled physique with chiseled abs, pecs and an angular face”

Fasting Every Other Day, While Cutting Few Calories, May Reduce Cancer Risk:

“A new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, raises such a possibility. It shows that healthy mice given only 5 percent fewer calories than mice allowed to eat freely experienced a significant reduction in cell proliferation in several tissues, considered an indicator for cancer risk. The key was that the mice eating 5 percent fewer calories were fed intermittently, or three days a week.”

How Will This Effect My Training Schedule?

The Power Of Exercise And Intermittent Fasting:

“If you’re already off to a good start on a healthy fitness plan, and you’re looking for ways to take it to the next level, then you might want to consider intermittent fasting. In essence this fitness-enhancing strategy looks at the timing of meals, as opposed to those fad plans where you eat just one or two things for several days in a row”

Intermittent Fasting For Athletes: The Why And How:

“It seems like the only athletes who are practicing fasting are the ones doing it for religious reasons. Now is the time for change. I’m telling you so: all athletes can practice some sort of intermittent fasting and reap the benefits from it”

Training Effectively – The Guide:

“The following advice is same whether you’re a man or a woman… [Read More]”

Build A Superhero Physique – Dual Pyramid Training:

“In this post I am going to discuss muscle building for the man wanting to build the superhereo physique. This in itself requires a much greater emphasis on resistance training to boost muscle growth to superhero status. In addition, the superhero physique will allow for a more liberal intake of carbohydrates compared to the warrior physique”

Intermittent Fasting For Maximum Muscle And Minimum Fat:

“In this article I am going to share with you how I use a special approach to intermittent fasting and nutrition to maximize muscle and minimize fat. My approach is highly influenced by Martin Berkhan of Leangains with a few tweaks of my own to improve results”


“I have been trying to cure people of fuckarounditis since the late 90′s, starting from the day I was first cleansed from it myself. Ever since I recognized the disease, I have acknowledged it as a serious threat to physique development and mental well-being. It is therefore with shock and horror I have watched an increasing number of people fall victim to the disease and the dubious training practices it inspires.”

Dear Mark: Post-Workout Fasting:

“For this week’s Dear Mark I thought I’d follow up on the issue of post-workout nutrition from a couple of weeks ago. I mentioned in Dear Mark: Muscle Building and Carbs that I fast once in awhile after a workout. I’ve gotten a lot of comments and messages about this point since that post. So, here’s my take on PWO fasting as promised! [Read More]”

Intermittent Fasting For Athletes:

“What if your life isn’t optimized solely for weight-training workouts? And what about life beyond the barbell? Fasting for weight-training is all well and good, but we’re talking about performance here. Can fasters still perform at a high level? [Read More]”

Wait, Is This Even Based On Any Research?

Intermittent Fasting Dissociates Beneficial Effects Of Dietary Restriction On Glucose Metabolism And Neuronal Injury From Calories Intake:

“Intermittent fasting resulted in beneficial effects that met or exceeded those of caloric restriction including reduced serum glucose and insulin levels and increased resistance of neurons in the brain to excitotoxic stress. Intermittent fasting therefore has beneficial effects on glucose regulation and neuronal resistance to injury in these mice that are independent of caloric intake.”

A Controlled Trial Of Reduced Meal Frequency With Caloric Restriction In Healthy Adults:

“Although consumption of 3 meals/d is the most common pattern of eating in industrialized countries, a scientific rationale for this meal frequency with respect to optimal health is lacking. A diet with less meal frequency can improve the health and extend
the lifespan of laboratory animals, but its effect on humans has never been tested.”

The Effect On Health Of Alternate Day Calorie Restriction: Eating Less And More Than Needed On Alternate Days Prolongs Life:

“Restricting caloric intake to 60–70% of normal adult weight maintenance requirement prolongs lifespan 30–50% and confers near perfect health across a broad range of species. Every other day feeding produces similar effects in rodents, and profound beneficial physiologic changes have been demonstrated in the absence of weight loss in ob/ob mice. Since May 2003 we have experimented with alternate day calorie restriction, one day consuming 20–50% of estimated daily caloric requirement and the next day ad lib eating, and have observed”

Intermittent Food Deprivation Improves Cardiovascular and Neuroendocrine Responses To Stress In Rats:

“The IF rats exhibited robust hypothalamic/pituitary and sympathetic neuroendocrine responses to a different stress (swim). The IF treatment improved glucose metabolism, as indicated by lower basal levels of circulating glucose and insulin, but with maintenance of glucose and insulin responses to stress. We concluded that improvements in cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular and neuroendocrine stress adaptation occur in response to IF.”

Beneficial Effects Of Intermittent Fasting On The Cardiovascular And Cerebrovascular Systems:

“Recent findings suggest that some of the beneficial effects of IF on both the cardiovascular system and the brain are mediated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling in the brain. Interestingly, cellular and molecular effects of IF and CR on the cardiovascular system and the brain are similar to those of regular physical exercise, suggesting shared mechanisms. A better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which IF and CR affect the blood vessels and heart and brain cells will likely lead to novel preventative and therapeutic strategies for extending health span.”

Alternate Day Fasting And Chronic Disease Prevention: A Review Of Human And Animal Trials:

“We review here animal and human evidence concerning ADF and the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. We also compare the magnitude of risk reduction resulting from ADF with that resulting from CR. In terms of diabetes risk, animal studies of ADF find lower diabetes incidence and lower fasting glucose and insulin concentrations, effects that are comparable to those of CR.”

Apparent Prolongation of the Life Span of Rats by Intermittent Fasting:

“When a sufficient amount of choice food is available, laboratory rats, like many humans, eat enough to become more or less obese. As a consequence, the life span of rats feeding ad libitum, like the life span of their human counterparts, is presumably shortened.”

Intermittent Fasting: A “New” Historical Strategy For Controlling Seizures?:

“In antiquity, fasting was a treatment for epilepsy and a rationale for the ketogenic diet (KD). Preclinical data indicate the KD and intermittent fastingdo not share identical anticonvulsant mechanisms. We implemented an intermittent fasting regimen in six children with an incomplete response to a KD. Three patients adhered to the combined intermittent fasting/KD regimen for 2 months and four had transient improvement in seizure control, albeit with some hunger-related adverse reactions.”

Intermittent Fasting Combined With CR Is Effective For Weight Loss And Cardio Protection In Obese Women:

“These findings suggest that IF combined with CR and liquid meals is an effective strategy to help obese women lose weight and lower CHD risk.”

Anabolic Signaling And Protein Deposition Are Enhanced By Intermittent Compared With Continuous Feeding In Skeletal Muscle Of Neonates:

“These results suggest that muscle protein accretion in neonates is enhanced with intermittent bolus to a greater extent than continuous feeding, mainly by increased protein synthesis.”

Any Good Videos I Can Check Out?

Intermittent Fasting 101 | YouTube:

John Romaniello of gives a brief introduction to intermittent fasting.

The Hodge Twins on A 24 Hour Fast:

*Warning: This might be too funny for you.

The Fasting Twins | How Long Do We Intermittent Fast After Weightlifting Or Cardio:

*Warning: Explicit.

How To Begin Intermittent Fasting:

By Michael Lara MD

The Hodge Twins | Bulking And Intermittent Fasting:

*Warning: Explicit.

Intermittent Fasting With Campbell Fitness:

Nice basic overview of IF for the beginner.

Intermittent Fasting Training:

With Martin Berkhan & Clients. Andreaz Engström is using intermittent fasting to prepare for the Swedish national championship in Athletic Fitness 2010.

Are There Some Popular Programs I Can Follow?

*Note: None of these are affiliate links. To be honest, I don’t even know how to set up an affiliate program yet.

Kinobody Fat Loss Diet:

“I have been experimenting with a fat loss diet that has been so effective, pleasureful and simple that it would be a crime not to share it with you right away! This is a diet that has allowed me to consistently eat low calories without feeling deprived and thus get lean rather quickly. It has also freed up massive amounts of time cooking and cleaning in the kitchen”

Eat Stop Eat:

“If you’ve found this site then you are probably looking for a great weight loss and body fat burning program and may have already heard about the Eat Stop Eat style of Intermittent Fasting. Most likely, you’ve read about Eat Stop Eat somewhere on the internet and are curious about what this book is all about and who wrote it.”


“Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health. Articles, research, diet advice, and free guides from IF-expert, Martin Berkhan.”

  • For an extensive FAQ on Leangains from

Kinobody Shredded Manual:

“I will be the first to say that getting ripped can be very difficult. It took me over 2 years of researching and implementing before I got to a condition I was satisfied with. That is right! I failed over and over again. Whenever I was struggling to lose fat or struggling to stick to a diet I researched, tweaked and evaluated. This continual process allowed me to create a systematic program that would allow me to get extremely lean, maintain strength and muscle and enjoy the whole process.”

The Warrior Diet:

“The Warrior Diet is based on a daily feeding cycle of “undereating” during the day and “overeating” at night. The “Undereating Phase” during the day maximizes the Sympathetic Nervous System’s (SNS) fight or flight reaction to stress, thereby promoting alertness, generation of energy, fat burning and the capacity to endure stress.”

The 2 Meal Solution:

2 meals per day based on the popular blog IF Life by @2mealMike

Alternate Day Fasting (ADF):

“When it comes to diets, the idea of being able to eat absolutely anything you want one day, then have a reduced calorie intake the next day, but still lose weight and be healthy, is a pretty attractive one isn’t it? [Check it out]”

What Kind Of Problems Might I Run Into With IF?

Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy? |

“One thing is certain in the field of health: what is common wisdom today can easily become “misapplied science” tomorrow. What’s “in” this year may be “out” next year. Often it’s hard to arrive at the right answer”

How Intermittent Fasting Saved Me While Slowly Killing Me:

“I was not in shape, I was starving myself via calorie restriction, I was eating whatever my “points” allowed for, which was over-processed junk, I had insomnia and no energy… [Read More]”

9 Things You Should Know Before Intermittent Fasting:

“These days, everyone is all about intermittent fasting. The talk centralizes around the physiological and psychological benefits of skipping meals, like not having to carry around twelve Tupperware containers filled with six meals to last an eight hour shift. And how it increases insulin sensitivity, which, when combined with matterful training, creates an ideal environment for partitioning”

A Warning About Intermittent Fasting:

“There’s a lot of talk about intermittent fasting (IF) these days in the Paleo community, and we have a few posts on it coming up by our favorite fitness guru, Max Shippee, pretty soon. However, I think before you go jumping on the intermittent fasting express train, there are some things you should know”

Is It Healthy To Skip Breakfast?:

“If you’re already off to a good start on a healthy fitness plan, and you’re looking for ways to take it to the next level, then you might want to consider a form of fasting called Scheduled Eating, or intermittent fasting

How To Offset A Weekend Of Binge Eating In One Day:

“Allowing yourself to eat much more than you require is not a bad thing at all. The only bad thing about overfeeding is the guilt and disappointment that comes with it. However this can be easily overcome by adhering to a few rules

Behavioral Aspects And The Effects Of Different Diets:

“Behavior and diet. It’s a funny thing – even the most rational and controlled of people can be blown over by our basic desires. What is the best diet for gaining muscle? What is the best diet for losing fat? [Read More]”

Fasting: Is It Healthy?:

“Even though fasting (and more specifically, intermittent fasting) has been on a meteoric rise for a few years now, the virtue of it is not as common as I thought. So here is a short post to answer the question, “Is it healthy to go without food?” In short, the studies say yes, my own experience and energy say yes, and the current science and the evolutionary perspective say yes as well.


Whew!! Okay, so now that you know more about intermittent fasting than you ever wanted to, go and do it! I promise you: it’s safe and will change your life. Educate yourself first though so you strip away any apprehension or anxiety around fasting.

IF I missed anything let me know in the comments (see what I did there). And if you enjoyed this and it was valuable to you, please share it with your friends. Every share helps get the word out and I greatly appreciate it!

To Your Long Life And Ripped Abs,