T Nation

IF in Cycles/Seasons?


I’m familiar with intermittent fasting as in maybe fasting 24 hours a week, but has anyone thought about taking a cyclical or seasonal approach to it?

For instance, you’re coming off a hard winter, at least here on the East Coast. Maintenance levels for everything, you’re eating well, maybe you put away a few pounds during winter. But come spring you’re looking to get lean, dynamic and in action as quick as possible so you begin fasting, working out (emphasis on moving more) as well as dropping unnecessary calories. My thought is that having alternating periods of good eating and then simulated famine are more similar to how our ancestors would have eaten anyway.

Eager to hear some thoughts


IMO the efficacy of IF compared to evenly spacing out your meals is negligible, I don’t think there’s any advantage to it whatsoever. Personally there’s no way I could get through those long periods without eating. In a prep I eat 5 meals a day 3.5-4 hours apart, off season is 6 meals a day, 3 hours apart. If you want to get leaner, whether IF or not, your total daily cals and energy expenditure are the ultimate bottom line. If IF works better for your schedule or something it might be advantageous, but it’s not like you’ll get leaner on IF vs evenly spaced meals assuming cals and energy expenditure are the same.


I fast when I’m cutting, purely because if I restrict my calories harder during the earlier part of the day I get to eat at least one large, satisfying meal at night.

I do quite well on fasting diets, and the feasting thing at the end of the day keeps me sane.

Whether or not it’d realistically be all that superior to my eating 5 small meals or whatever, I couldn’t really say, but it suits my lifestyle and psychology