If You've Always Wanted to Try Intermittent Fasting, Eat Stop Eat Is Perfect For Newbies

Intermittent fasting (IF) is everywhere these days, and with so many different variations, there's bound to be one that works with your lifestyle, your schedule, and your needs. One method is called Eat Stop Eat.

POPSUGAR Photography | Kathryna Hancock

What is Eat Stop Eat?

Eat Stop Eat was created by Brad Pilon and is the result of graduate research he did on short-term fasting at the University of Guelph, in Guelph Ontario, Canada. He discovered a simple way people can lose body fat and build muscle. All you do is fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. This form of IF can help you lose body fat and inches because it ensures a calorie deficit over the course of the week. If you normally eat 1,600 calories a day, you're now essentially cutting out 1,600 to 3,200 total calories, as long as you eat normally during the time you're not fasting.


You only restrict your calorie intake once or twice a week, then eat however you want the rest of the time — no foods are off limits. The time frame is flexible — you can stop eating at 6 p.m. and can start eating at 6 p.m. the following day, so you don't have to go for an entire day without food. Since you only have to think about fasting once or twice a week, it easily fits into your lifestyle based on when you work out, whether you have a party to go to, or what your work or family schedule is like.

This might be a great plan if you've always wanted to try intermittent fasting, because you can just focus on it once a week. If you choose a day where you're superbusy, you'll be less likely to focus on your hunger. Or maybe try a weekend day when you can rest and distract yourself with fun things you like to do, so the time will just fly by.


Not eating for a full 24 hours is tough for most people and may increase the likelihood of bingeing once the fast is over. Also, only restricting your calories once or twice a week may not result in the weight loss you're after if you overeat the rest of the week.

Eat Stop Eat is similar to the 5:2 method of intermittent fasting, where you eat normally five days a week, and the other two days you can eat 500 calories. Even though Eat Stop Eat is more rigorous, since you're not eating at all, it may actually be easier than 5:2. That's because consuming a small number of calories can actually make you feel more hungry. When you don't eat, your hunger diminishes, so you might prefer Eat Stop Eat over 5:2 for this reason. If you want to try the Eat Stop Eat method of intermittent fasting, talk with your doctor first, then try one day a week and see how it goes.