The eat-stop-eat diet is a form of intermittent fasting. Another term for intermittent fasting is time-restricted eating. In this post, I will explain everything you need to know about the eat-stop-eat diet and how you can implement it for maximum results.
What Is Time-Restricted Eating?
Time-restricted eating limits how many meals you get or the period you allow yourself to eat. You are compressing your eating window, usually for 8 to 12 hours.
How to Practice the Eat-Stop-Eat Diet
However, many time-restricted eating (or intermittent fasting) methods involve longer fasting windows or different constraints regarding food intake. For example, the eat-stop-eat diet is characterized by two 24-hour fasting windows each week.
Brad Pilon pioneered the concept in this 2007 book called Eat Stop Eat: Intermittent Fasting for Health and Weight Loss.
Again, it’s simple: pick two days a week and don’t eat during these two full 24-hour periods. For example, you might fast from 9 am on Tuesday to 9 am on Wednesday.
According to Mr. Pilon, the Eat Stop Eat diet is not a weight-loss fad. It is a lifestyle change that will improve your health long term.
If you are curious about the benefits of fasting and how long you need to fast to reap these benefits, read my How Long You Should Fast for Maximum Benefits.
What Am I Allowed to Consume During My 24-Hour Fasts?
If you try the Eat-Stop-Eat diet, you may wonder what beverages you can have during your fasting window. You can have water, herbal teas, black tea, and black coffee. Moreover, you can put apple cider vinegar or lemon in your water if you want to try that. I do the Warrior Diet and have coconut milk in my coffee during my fasting window. I have confirmed that it doesn’t affect my glucose level with a tester. The benefits of fasting come from the fact that your glucose level doesn’t change, and your body doesn’t need to produce insulin.
In a fasted state, your insulin goes down, and your cells release their stored glucose for energy. When not enough glucose is left to provide for your body’s energy needs, your body starts using fat cells to produce ketones. This state of fat burning is called “ketosis.” Many people find that ketosis helps them feel less hungry, more focused, and more energetic.
The main takeaway is this: when you decide what to consume during your fast, it’s important to ensure that whatever you drink doesn’t impact your blood glucose level.
What is the Best Way to Fast for Weight Loss
Intermittent Fasting for Beginners ...
Intermittent Fasting for Beginners ...
Even though intermittent fasting has many benefits like improved blood sugar level, lower inflammation, lower cholesterol, and improved brain function, many people who practice it mostly want to lose weight. For this reason, I want to spend some time looking at the best way to fast for weight loss.
Fasting for Women
Women often find it more difficult to lose weight than men. There are many reasons for this:
- Women tend to crave food during the week leading up to their period. These cravings may be due to increased progesterone levels, which leads to increased appetite.
- Women are more sensitive to the hunger hormone ghrelin. The two most well-studied hunger hormones are leptin and ghrelin. To simplify, leptin makes you feel full, and ghrelin makes you want to eat. Ghrelin may also be linked with reproductive functions in women. Women tend to have significantly more ghrelin than men.
- Men usually have a greater muscle mass, and muscles burn fat.
- Men tend to have a faster metabolism, usually between 3 and 10 percent higher than women.
- The smell and taste of food affect women differently. A 2009 study published in the PNSA showed that the taste and smell of food caused more activity in regions of the brain that lead to eating.
We suspect that the necessity for women to preserve fertility is to blame for all this. You are in good company if you are a woman and struggle with food cravings. Know that intermittent fasting will help reset your hormones and calm your cravings by improving your blood sugar levels. Not only that, but intermittent fasting can help decrease ghrelin. To learn more about how fasting affects women, read my post How Intermittent Fasting Affects Women’s Hormones.
Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting helps you lose weight for two main reasons:
- Most people who practice intermittent fasting will notice a decreased appetite and consume fewer calories.
- Intermittent fasting may boost your metabolism.
Let’s look at the most common intermittent fasting methods and how they help with weight loss.
The 5:2 fasting method is one of my favorites. I love how you do it only twice a week, so you don’t have to worry about your eating window the rest of the time. Moreover, it can work well for women since you are phasing your fasting. Women benefit from alternating fasting and feasting days.
For more info about the 5:2 fasting method and meal plans and recipes, read The 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Diet for Women.
The 16:8 diet, also known as the Leangains method, is probably the most popular intermittent fasting method. It means fasting for 16 hours and eating all your calories during an 8-hour window.
The cycle can be repeated every day or every second day, in which case you are practicing the crescendo fasting method.
Many people who implement the 16:8 diet eat from 12 pm to 8 pm, but it’s up to you to choose the timeframe that works for your lifestyle.
The Warrior Diet
The Warrior Diet is even stricter, with an eating window of 4 hours. I am using the Warrior diet right now to lose weight. The 16:8 diet wasn’t enough for me, but the Warrior Diet has enabled me to lose between 1 and 2 lbs a week. To learn more about how I implement the Warrior Diet, read Why You Should Consider the Warrior Diet for Weight Loss.
Alternate Day Fasting
Alternate-day fasting is a 36-hour fast every second day. The way it works is this: You eat until, say, 8 pm one day. You fast overnight, the following day, and the next night, which should add up to 36 hours. Then, you normally eat the next day and repeat as desired.
Read my post Alternate-Day Fasting for Weight Loss: Is It Safe for Women? for more information.
If you are wondering about the best way to fast for weight loss, you need to realize that this is not a black-and-white question. Your answer will change over time and be very individual from one person to the next. It will help if you keep experimenting until you get the desired results. Furthermore, keep in mind that intermittent fasting is a lifestyle. Don’t expect to keep the weight off if you go back to eating three meals and three snacks a day!
Want to use intermittent fasting to conquer your food cravings and biohack weight loss? Check out myWeight Loss Transformation Program. It is a multimedia program designed to walk you through the process of using intermittent fasting to reach your health and weight loss goals.
Eat-Stop-Eat Vs. OMAD
People often wonder how the OMAD (One Meal a Day) Method compares to other intermittent fasting methods. One Meal a Day is the equivalent of doing a 23:1 fasting window. It would be best if you ate all your calories within an hour.
OMAD can be a useful way to get over a weight loss plateau. It naturally reduces calorie intake and helps improve metabolic health.
Concerns About OMAD
If you choose to practice the OMAD method, you need to take a few precautions:
- Don’t practice it if you have a history of eating disorders.
- Make sure you are getting enough calories and nutrients. It’s easy to become chronically depleted on one meal a day. Particularly for women, I would advise you not to sustain the OMAD method on a long-term basis.
- Stop if you are feeling unwell, extremely fatigued, dizzy, nauseated.
Concerns about the Eat Stop Eat Method
The eat-stop-eat can also be effective for weight loss because if you consume 1,500 calories daily, you will naturally start consuming 3,000 fewer calories each week. One pound of fat loss requires a deficit of 3,500 calories, which means you would lose about 3 pounds a month. However, some people will find it extremely difficult to go 24 hours without food. Similarly to the OMAD method, they might experience dizziness, fatigue, and irritability.
In the end, if you are trying to pick between Eat Stop Eat and OMAD, think about which method you can sustain the best without feeling completely miserable. Give it a try and see what happens. Do both and see which one you make feel better.
Eat-Stop-Eat Diet Plan Video
The main benefit of the Eat-Stop-Eat diet is that it naturally creates a calorie deficit without requiring constant deprivation. Having the ability to eat normally, without counting calories, most days can be a huge boost for your mood. Moreover, fasting 24 hours twice a week will give you many health and longevity benefits linked with autophagy.
The Eat-Stop-Eat Diet may be particularly effective for women as it is not an intermittent fasting method that must be practiced daily. Remember that you will probably not be practicing whatever method you choose forever. You will go back and forth between different methods as needed. That’s what it’s all about, listening to your body and experimenting.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day. The 5:2 diet: With this method, you consume only 500–600 calories on two nonconsecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.What are the rules for eat Stop eat? ›
According to Brad's website, Eat Stop Eat consists of fasting for 24 hours, twice a week, then eating "responsibly" for the remaining five days, but not necessarily "dieting." He writes, "You can have three meals per day or 20.How much weight can I lose on eat Stop eat? ›
Eat Stop Eat works like any other intermittent fasting method. By applying the broad brush rule of “no food for X period of time” (in this case 24 hours, twice a week), Eat Stop Eat naturally reduces the amount of calories you eat overall. According to Pilon, just one 24 hour fast could create a 10% calorie deficit.How much weight can you lose in a month with intermittent fasting and diet? ›
Traditional Nutrition knowledge will give you a very mathematical answer. It will go along the lines of this: "If you are in a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day with Intermittent Fasting, then you will achieve one pound weight loss per week. At this rate, you will achieve 4-5 pounds of weight loss in one month."Which meal is best to skip for weight loss in intermittent fasting? ›
In the case of Intermittent fasting, skipping your dinner is better and easier. You can have your dinner either early or have a heavy snack and can begin your fasting. Research suggests that fasting in the evening and overnight, then eating early in the morning is the better way to follow this diet to lose weight.What is the most popular intermittent fasting method? ›
Many people find the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. It's also the most popular. There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting. All of them split the day or week into eating and fasting periods.How long does it take for 16 8 intermittent fasting to work? ›
If you're using intermittent fasting to improve your gut health and symptoms, you may notice benefits after just a few days. For weight loss and improved metabolic health, it could take a month.What are the best hours for intermittent fasting? ›
Consider a simple form of intermittent fasting.
Limit the hours of the day when you eat, and for best effect, make it earlier in the day (between 7 am to 3 pm, or even 10 am to 6 pm, but definitely not in the evening before bed). Avoid snacking or eating at nighttime, all the time.
As a guideline, you should stop eating two to three hours before bed. This will give your body enough time to digest your food, lowering your chances of acid reflux and digestive issues keeping you up.Does fasting twice a week help you lose weight? ›
Fasting 2 days a week can help obese people keep off the weight with modest results, study finds. The 5:2 diet, a type of intermittent fasting, is no more effective than traditional approaches to weight loss, according to what researchers said was the first study of the regimen in a “real-life setting.”
However, water doesn't affect blood sugar or insulin levels. Therefore, you can safely drink it while intermittent fasting. In fact, it's recommended to drink water to help you stay hydrated during an intermittent fast.How fast do you start losing weight when you stop eating? ›
To prevent excessive muscle loss, the body begins to rely on fat stores to create ketones for energy, a process known as ketosis. During the first 5 days without food, a person may lose 1 to 2 kilograms (2.2 to 4.4 pounds) of body weight each day.Can I lose 20 pounds in 2 months with intermittent fasting? ›
5:2 Intermittent Fasting. Weight loss studies surrounding intermittent fasting have typically investigated the 5:2 diet or alternate-day fasting interventions lasting three to six months. The research revealed that it takes four to six months to lose 20 pounds with no change in diet.Can you lose 2 pounds a week with intermittent fasting? ›
“Depending on the calorie amount you consume while intermittent fasting, you could experience an approximate one- to two- pound weight loss per week, which would mean it could take upwards of eight to 10 weeks to notice significant weight loss,” says Kristen Smith, MS, RD, spokesperson for Academy of Nutrition and ...Can I lose 20 pounds in 3 months with intermittent fasting? ›
People who do alternate-day fasting usually lose about 10 to 30 pounds over a three-to-six-month period, says Varady.Can intermittent fasting reduces belly fat? ›
Intermittent fasting is a convenient way to lose weight without counting calories. Many studies show that it can help you lose weight and belly fat.Does coffee break intermittent fasting? ›
Can You Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting? The short answer is yes, you can drink coffee while intermittent fasting. But, this answer comes with a big caveat: You can drink black coffee while intermittent fasting, but coffee drinks with cream, sugar, or other forms of calories technically break your fast.What should I eat for breakfast when fasting? ›
Carbohydrates and protein
Upma, quinoa or oats with lots of nuts, seeds and Greek yoghurt is great for this. “[Eating] complex carbs and nuts together provides both instant and long lasting energy, while the protein helps to build muscle,” explains the nutritionist.
After the first week of intermittent fasting, you'll probably notice less bloating and a tighter, slimmer look and feel to your midsection. Some people will enjoy some weight loss by week two, but don't be discouraged if your weight scale hasn't budged. Continue for another 4-6 weeks, and you should see changes.How many days a week should you do intermittent fasting? ›
The three popular approaches to intermittent fasting are:
Usually, the small meal is fewer than 500 calories. Eat a normal diet five days a week and fast two days per week.
No food is allowed during the fasting period, but you can drink water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages. Some forms of intermittent fasting allow small amounts of low-calorie foods during the fasting period.Can I have a cheat day on 16 8 intermittent fasting? ›
So, can you have a cheat day while intermittent fasting? Yes, absolutely. An occasional cheat day will not hinder your weight-loss progress if you do it right. In fact, it's scientifically proven that intentional cheat days can even enhance your metabolism .How many times a week should you do 16 8 intermittent fasting? ›
You can repeat this cycle as frequently as you'd like — from just once or twice per week to every day, depending on your preference. The popularity of this fasting method has grown widely among those looking to lose weight and burn fat.How many days does intermittent fasting take to show results? ›
How Long Does Intermittent Fasting Take To Show Results? You might begin to first notice a difference in your body about 10 days after you begin intermittent fasting. It could take between 2-10 weeks for you to lose significant weight. You might lose up to a pound each week.What food can I eat when fasting? ›
- Water. Plain or carbonated water contains no calories and will keep you hydrated during a fast.
- Coffee and tea. These should mostly be consumed without added sugar, milk, or cream. ...
- Diluted apple cider vinegar. ...
- Healthy fats. ...
- Bone broth.
The truth about lemon water and intermittent fasting
Lemon water contains almost no calories and zero sugars, it doesn't raise insulin levels, which means it will not break your fast (1). So we can conclude that it is absolutely safe for fasting to drink lemon water.
What is 'fasting' and how does it work? A good rule of thumb for those wanting to fast to improve their metabolic and overall health is to leave at least 12 hours between meals – ideally more – on a regular basis, according to Dr Adam Collins, Principal Teaching Fellow in Nutrition at the University of Surrey.Why is it good to stop eating at 7pm? ›
Experts say that having a late-night meal keeps the body on 'high alert' at a time where it should be winding down, which can have dangerous implications for our health. Researchers have now said that we should never eat within two hours of our bedtime, and ideally, nothing after 7pm.Should you go to bed hungry? ›
Going to bed hungry can be safe as long as you're eating a well-balanced diet throughout the day. Avoiding late-night snacks or meals can actually help avoid weight gain and an increased BMI. If you're so hungry that you can't go to bed, you can eat foods that are easy to digest and promote sleep.Why should you stop eating after 8pm? ›
Besides the extra calories, eating too close to bedtime can have other health implications such as digestive issues. When sleeping, our digestion naturally slows down as our metabolism enters a resting state. Lying down in bed immediately after eating can lead to symptoms such as indigestion, acid reflux and heartburn.
Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting: Children and teens under age 18. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. People with type 1 diabetes who take insulin.Will I lose belly fat if I fast for a week? ›
Unfortunately, no. While you do lose weight when you consume fewer calories than you burn, losing fat, especially visceral fat, requires a combination of diet and exercise, particularly muscle-strengthening exercises.What is the 5 2 rule? ›
The 5:2 diet is actually very simple to explain. For five days per week, you eat normally and don't have to think about restricting calories. Then, on the other two days, you reduce your calorie intake to a quarter of your daily needs. This is about 500 calories per day for women, and 600 for men.How much water should I drink a day while intermittent fasting? ›
Especially when doing intermittent fasting, a well hydrated body (meaning drinking more than the minimum amount!) is an important key to success! That is why you should pay attention to drink at least 85 fl. oz (2.5 liters) a day.Can I chew gum while intermittent fasting? ›
Is chewing gum or drinking coffee acceptable at any time of the day while on an intermittent fasting diet? Because both gum and coffee have minimal (if any) calories it is often considered acceptable to consume either of these in conjunction with water during your fast.Why is it good to put lemon in your water? ›
Like all produce, lemons contain phytonutrients, which protect your body against disease. These phytonutrients have powerful antioxidant properties, which prevent cell damage from oxidation, the same mechanism that causes rust. Juice half a lemon into your water and you'll add a mere 6 calories to your diet.What should you not eat to lose weight? ›
- French fries and potato chips. French fries and potato chips are often very high in calories and fat. ...
- Sugary drinks. ...
- White bread. ...
- Candy bars. ...
- Some fruit juices. ...
- Pastries, cookies, and cakes. ...
- Some types of alcohol (especially beer) ...
- Ice cream.
You may experience some fatigue and feelings of weakness, lightheadedness, slowness or lack of motivation throughout a prolonged fast, especially in the first few days. Fatigue in particular is normal as your body adapts to this period of low calorie intake.How much weight will I lose if I do intermittent fasting for 3 months? ›
The Research So Far. A systematic review of 40 studies found that intermittent fasting was effective for weight loss, with a typical loss of 7-11 pounds over 10 weeks.How to lose 30 pounds with intermittent fasting? ›
Start with a small fasting window and work your way up from there. If you normally eat within a 12 hour window, move it up to 14 hours at first. Ultimately work yourself up to a window that works best for you. I feel my best with a 16-20 hour fasting window 4-5 days a week and a 24 hour window one day a week.
“A generally accepted rate of healthy weight loss is a half-pound to one-pound per week. So, budget five-to-six months to achieve a 20-pound weight loss,” she says. McAllistre explains that losing weight slowly helps you keep the weight off.How to lose belly fat by fasting? ›
A combination of fasting and frequent high-protein meals may help burn fat, new evidence suggests. People on that diet lost more weight than those who just counted calories, researchers found. They also burned significantly more fat, including belly fat, while maintaining lean body mass.How much weight will I lose if I do intermittent fasting for 1 month? ›
It will go along the lines of this: "If you are in a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day with Intermittent Fasting, then you will achieve one pound weight loss per week. At this rate, you will achieve 4-5 pounds of weight loss in one month."Is it possible to lose 7lbs in 2 weeks? ›
When trying to lose weight you must start exercising studies show that even walking a few times a week can help burn the extra calories that you want to burn. 30 + minutes a day is the best way to lose 7 lb in 2 weeks. If you can't find 30 minutes try splitting it up into two 15-minute periods of exercise per day.What is the best intermittent fasting window to lose belly fat? ›
As part of a 2019 study, researchers followed 19 adults with metabolic syndrome whose meals were spread over a 14-hour window and found limiting meals to a 10-hour window (followed by 14 hours of fasting) was associated with weight loss, smaller waist circumference, lower blood pressure and LDL “bad” cholesterol.Can I lose weight with intermittent fasting without exercise? ›
Put simply, when people practice intermittent fasting without exercising, they are losing weight, but much of it often comes from the muscle in the lean mass.What happens to your body when you fast for 16 hours? ›
If you don't eat for 10–16 hours, your body will go to its fat stores for energy, and fatty acids called ketones will be released into the bloodstream. This has been shown to protect memory and learning functionality, says Mattson, as well as slow disease processes in the brain.What to eat during eating hours in intermittent fasting? ›
With time-restricted intermittent eating, you don't eat any food while fasting and only consume drinks with very few calories, such as water or black, unsweetened coffee and tea. During the periods when you do eat, try to follow a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.How do you eat during 16 8 intermittent fasting? ›
On the 16:8 diet, you spend 16 hours of each day consuming nothing but unsweetened beverages like water, coffee, and tea. The remaining eight-hour window is when you eat all of your meals and snacks.Can I eat banana during intermittent fasting? ›
Try balancing each meal with a wide variety of whole foods, such as: Fruits: apples, bananas, berries, oranges, peaches, pears, tomatoes, etc. Veggies: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens, etc.
During the fasting period, you can have hard-boiled eggs, vegetables, fruits and non-calorie beverages such as water. The idea is to snack on these low-calorie foods to help you get through the day, but not to overindulge.Can I eat banana while fasting? ›
A banana eaten on its own provides essentially zero protein and fat and very little fiber. For this reason, I typically don't recommend breaking a fast with a banana when eaten by itself.Does lemon water break a fast? ›
The truth about lemon water and intermittent fasting
Long story short - the answer to the question “Does lemon water break a fast?” is no, lemon water does not break a fast. Lemon water contains almost no calories and zero sugars, it doesn't raise insulin levels, which means it will not break your fast (1).
Intermittent fasting is a convenient way to lose weight without counting calories. Many studies show that it can help you lose weight and belly fat.Does coffee break a fast? ›
The short answer is yes, you can drink coffee while intermittent fasting. But, this answer comes with a big caveat: You can drink black coffee while intermittent fasting, but coffee drinks with cream, sugar, or other forms of calories technically break your fast.