Here are answers to the most common questions about intermittent fasting. 1. Can I drink liquids during the fast? Yes. Water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages are fine. Do not add sugar to your coffee. Small amounts of milk or cream may be okay. Coffee can be particularly beneficial during a fast, because it can blunt hunger. 2. Isn’t it unhealthy to skip breakfast? No. The problem is that most stereotypical breakfast skippers have unhealthy lifestyles. If you make sure to eat healthy food for the rest of the day then it is fine. 3. Can I take supplements while fasting? Yes. However, keep in mind that some supplements (like fat-soluble vitamins) may work better when taken with meals. 4. Can I work out while fasted? Yes, fasted workouts are fine. Some people recommend taking branched-chain amino acids(BCAAs) before a fasted workout. 5. Will fasting cause muscle loss? All weight loss methods can cause muscle loss, that is why it is important to lift weights and keep protein intake high. One study shows that intermittent fasting causes less muscle loss than regular calorie restriction. 6. Will fasting slow down my metabolism? No. Studies show that short-term fasts actually boost metabolism. However, longer fasts (3 days or more) can suppress metabolism. 7. Should kids fast? That’s probably a bad idea. How to Start Chances are that you’ve already done many “intermittent fasts” in your life. If you’ve ever eaten dinner, then slept late and not eaten until lunch the next day, then you’ve probably already done a 16+ hour fast. Many people actually instinctively eat this way. They simply don’t feel hungry in the morning. If you find that it is easy and you feel good during the fast, then you can try moving on to more advanced fasts like 24-hour fasts 1-2 times per week (Eat-Stop-Eat) or only eating 500-600 calories 1-2 days per week (the 5:2 diet). Another approach is to simply fast whenever it is convenient. As in, skip meals from time to time when you’re not hungry or don’t have time to cook. There is no need to follow a structured intermittent fasting plan to derive at least some of the benefits. It’s recommend that you experiment with the different approaches and find something that you enjoy and fits your schedule. Should You Try Intermittent Fasting? Intermittent fasting is not something that anyone needs to do. It is just one of many lifestyle strategies that can improve your health. Eating real food, exercising and taking care of your sleep are still the most important factors to focus on. If you don’t like the idea of fasting, then you can safely ignore all of this. Just continue to do what works for you. At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all solution in nutrition. The best diet for you is the one you can stick to in the long run. Intermittent fasting is great for some people, not others. The only way to find out which group you belong to is to try it out. If you feel good when fasting and find it to be a sustainable way of eating, then it can be a very powerful tool to lose weight and improve health.