IF Dictionary


Curious about all the Intermittent Fasting "IF" lingo? We've got you covered! (Note: These are terms and concepts which often come up on The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. They are not all "required" in an IF lifestyle.)

16:8: A popular form of intermittent fasting in which you fast for 16 hours each day, and eat in an 8 hour window. (For example, eating from 10am-6pm each day.)

5:2: A form of intermittent fasting developed by Dr. Michael Mosley, also known as the "Fast Diet." It mandates 5 days of normal calorie intake, with two "fasting" days of 500 calories.

ADF - "Alternate Day Fasting": A form of intermittent fasting in which days of normal eating are cycled with days of complete fasting, or severe calorie restriction.

Autophagy: A "clean-up" process which occurs in the body during fasting, in which the body begins using old broken proteins in the body for growth an repair.

Bulletprood Coffee: Bulletproof coffee typically refers to a concept, developed by Dave Asprey, of adding fat (like grass-fed butter, coconut oil, or MCT oil) to one's coffee during a fast. Melanie and Gin believe this does break the fast. Bulletproof coffee also refers to the brand of coffee developed by Dave Asprey, which are made from beans certified to be low in mold toxins. (Melanie loves this brand!)

"Breaking The Fast": The concept of ingesting calories which take the body out of the fasted state.

Extended Fast: Gin and Melanie categorize extended fasts as those lasting more than a day. For extended fasting of 72 + hours, typically used in the treatment of health issues, we recommend medical supervision. 

FMD - "Fasting Mimicking Diet": A 5 day cycle diet developed by Dr. Valter Longo, intended to mimic the effects of fasting, while still eating specifically determined nutrient-rich, plant-based low protein meals. Please see Dr. Longo's book, The Longevity Diet, our Intermittent Fasting Podcast Episode 57 interview with Dr. Longo, or Melanie's blog post (The Fasting-Mimicking Diet: Eat Your Way Through A Long Fast?) for more information.

FODMAPs -  FODMAPs refer to types carbohydrates naturally found in many types of grains, fruits, and vegetables, which are difficult to absorb in the small intestine, and may exacerbate gut dysbiosis in certain individuals, leading to symptoms of gassiness, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc. If you struggle with IBS, you may benefit from trying a low-FODMAP approach. For all the details on low-FODMAPs, including a guide to which foods they're contained in, check out Melanie's free IBS Food Comparison Guide. For even more information, and many low-FODMAP recipes to boot, check out Melanie's book, What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine.

IF - "Intermittent Fasting": A pattern of eating in which you restrict the hours you eat each day, rather than the amount of food you eat. IF takes many common forms, including the popular 16:8 (fast for 16 hours, eat for 8 hours), alternate day fasting (forgoing food for an entire day), and OMAD - eating all your food in one "meal" each day.

Insulin: A hormone released by the pancreas in response to food intake, to take sugar out of the bloodstream and put it into the body's cells. The release of insulin stops fat burning in cells.

Insulin Resistance: A state in which the body's cells become resistant to insulin, requiring the pancreas to produce more and more insulin to lower blood sugar and shuttle fat into cells. This can create a state of constant hunger and weight gain, as well as fluctuating energy levels and blood sugar swings. Insulin resistance is often involved in diabetes and obesity.

Keto: Typically, a reference to the "Keto" diet, in which one severely limits carb intakes (typically to 20 grams of net carbs per day), in order to enter the metabolic state of ketosis. Please see Melanie's blog post (Keto: Methods, Myths, Magic, And Madness) for all the details! 

Ketones: Ketone bodies are an alternate fuel source naturally generated by the body in its fat burning, ketogenic state, and include acetoacetate, β-hydroxybutyrate, as well as acetone. Ketones can directly enter the cell mitochondria for fuel, unlike glucose from carbohydrates, which require an intermediate conversion step. Ketones also generate more energy than glucose, with fewer toxic by-products like reactive oxygen species and free radicals. Please see Melanie's blog post (Keto: Methods, Myths, Magic, And Madness) for all the details! 

Ketosis: A metabolic state in which the body - lacking dietary fuel (primarily from carbohydrates) - begins running primarily on fats (dietary and/or body fat), as well as a supplemental substrate known as ketones. Please see Melanie's blog post (Keto: Methods, Myths, Magic, And Madness) for all the details!

"Low Carb": Definitions of "low carb" vary widely. However, those following a "low carb" approach make a conscious effort to reduce carbohydrates in one's diet, often because carbohydrates can interfere with fat metabolism and blood sugar levels. Low carb diets are not mandated by IF, nor are they necessarily ketogenic in nature. (Ketogenic diets are low carb, but not all low carb diets are ketogenic.) Many people define low carb as around 100 grams of carbs per day, while others advocate much lower levels. A typical low carb diet focuses on meat, green vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, and lower sugar fruits like berries.

MCTs: A type of fatty acid found in coconut oil, as well as commercial refined forms. (Melanie loves the Clean MCT brand!) These medium chain fatty acids are more "ketogenic" in nature, in that they are quickly shuttled to the liver and processed into ketones.

Net Carbs: The amount of "active" carbs in a food, determined by subtracting the grams of fiber from the total carb content of a food.

OMAD - "One Meal A Day": A form of intermittent fasting in which you consume all of your calories for the day within one "meal." This may literally be one meal (like breakfast, lunch, or dinner), or it may be a longer eating window extending over a meal period, which may or may not include "snacks" and periods of eating. (For example, from 4pm - 8pm for "dinner.")

Paleo: This concept refers to a dietary paradigm of choosing to consume foods which were available to humans as hunter-gatherers, before we became an agriculture-based society. While the specifics are often debated, a "Paleo" diet typically embraces meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and unprocessed oils like olive and coconut oil, and excludes grains and processed foods. Legumes and dairy fall in the "maybe" spectrum. Supporters of the Paleo diet advocate that the majority of degenerative diseases we have today, arose in response to our dietary shift as we began consuming inflammatory grains and processed foods. For ALL the details on Paleo, and finding the perfect approach for YOU, check out Melanie's book, What When Wine: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine!

Serrapeptase: A proteolytic enzyme made by the Japanese silkworm. Taken in the fasted state, it can support health and downregulate inflammation by breaking down old proteins in the body. Both Gin and Melanie take the Doctor's Best brand every day!

What When Wine: Melanie's book on finding your personal Paleo and IF protocol, the health benefits of wine, a social guide to IF, 50 AMAZING gluten-free recipes, and much more!

"Whole Foods" : When we talk about "whole foods," we're typically not talking about the store, but rather the concept of eating unprocessed, natural foods. This includes things like meat, fish, nuts. vegetables, and fruit. We're not talking about these foods necessarily being in a "raw" version (feel free to peel, slice, and cook away!), but rather eating these foods "naturally" without additives and artificial processing. 

Window (Ie: The Eating Window, The Fasting Window): The blocks of time each day in which one chooses to eat and fast.