Two fasting methods for weight lose and health benefits.


History of fasting

Fasting has withstood the test of time over many centuries.  To say a date when it first emerged would be impossible, to say the least.  What we do know is that fasting played a role in almost all the major religions and still does in many.  Philosopher Pythagoras extolled its virtues and renaissance doctor, Paracelsus called it the “physician within.”

The current fasting methods that are flooding the internet are intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating.

What is intermittent fasting?

The following is what I have been able to glean from all the information I have seen on intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is based on the following rules.  It basically demands a fast for a period of no less than 12 hours a day.  For instance, if the last meal is at 10 p.m. the next meal cannot be consumed until 10 a.m. the next day.   Dr. Berg has a list of what liquids can be consumed during the fasting period on his website   This method recommends no snacking in between meals.  Only one or two meals are to be eaten.  Users of this fast and promoters of the fast say 8 to 9 hours of eating time is optimum to enhance physical endurance.  The rest of the 24 hr day is fasting.

There is a need to change what you eat for extra weight loss on this diet and this means cutting out sugars and hidden sugars plus increasing green leafy vegetable intake along with other dietary modifications.  Also, having an exercise regime is recommended.

Time restricted eating

What is time restricted eating?

This diet (promoted by Dr. Satchin Panda) is similar to intermittent fasting in the time allowed to eat and the time allotted to fasting.  The difference is when food is eaten and when the fast commences.  Designed to follow the circadian rhythms of the body.  In other words, we follow the timing when we would normally eat, that being during the day and when evening comes, that is when we commence the fast and not eat.

Research carried out

Scientist conducted a study with two groups of mice.  One group of mice were fed a high fat and high sugar diet. This group was allowed to eat the food whenever they chose (free feeding.)  The exact same diet was fed to the other group with the requirement to eat between 8 to 12 hours during the day.  The only difference between the group was that time was restricted not calories.  The experiment was carried out at night as mice are nocturnal and night time is their day.  The time restricted group in the experiment had no presence of obesity or insulin resistance occurring, unlike the free feeding group.   The time restricted eating group had 28% less body mass and that is because they had 70% less fat as observed at the end of the experiment.  The liver was able to process and oxidize food within the 12-hour time frame.

Dr. Satchin Panda who headed the research believes that our modern lifestyle has disrupted our circadian rhythms.  Time restricted eating brings us back in line with our primordial rhythms.   Dr. Satchin Panda also stated that most people eat within the time frame of 15 hours.  This does not give enough time between eating times for the body to repair itself.  He has also tested this theory on people for a 16-week stretch via an app.  People who allowed 10 to 11 hours a day to eat and did not change their diet, lost weight and slept better.  During fasting, they withheld all supplements, herb teas, coffee, etc. except water.


Both time-restricted eating and intermittent fasting depend on fasting for a period of time.  Time restricted eating does not depend on low calories or low fat to show positive results.

Both time-restricted eating and intermittent fasting will stimulate autophagy.  This will help get rid of damaged cells and pathogenic microbes like fungus, bacteria, candida, and mold.   Derived from the Greek meaning “eating of self,  autophagy was first coined by Christian De Duve over 40 years ago and was based on observations of rat livers under specific conditions.  The scientific world is “rediscovering” autophagy with an increased interest in its role in disease.   Autophagy has emerged as a new and potent modulator of disease that is both scientifically and clinically relevant.

The above is a basic explanation of the two fasts but neither fast appears overly complicated and both offer substantial health benefits.

I hope the above has helped distinguish between these two most popular fasts.

We advise that your health provider is consulted whenever starting any new diet or exercise program.

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Dr. Satchin Panda on Time-Restricted Feeding and Its Effects on Obesity, Muscle Mass & Heart Health:

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Dr. Eric Berg: