Last updated on November 21st, 2022 at 03:32 pm
I’m sure that so many of you want to know whether you can take a break from intermittent fasting on weekend.
Let’s face facts, intermittent fasting is fine during the week.
I mean, you’re busy with work, the hours seem to fly by, and you’re typically acting “sensible” until Friday night hits.
However, as the weekend approaches, you know you’ve got a fair few social engagements.
And the last thing you want to do is be the killjoy who “can’t eat this, and can’t drink that”.
So, in this article, I’d like to discuss whether you can take a break from intermittent fasting on weekends, and a few tips to keep you going.
Can You Take a Break From Intermittent Fasting on Weekends?
You certainly can take a break from intermittent fasting on weekends. However, you certainly don’t want to overdo it every single weekend by drinking excessively and gorging on junk food. If you do take a break from intermittent fasting then ensure that you aim to eat healthy foods, while being wary of your overall calorie intake.
Can I Do Intermittent Fasting 5 Days a Week?
Firstly, I think it’s important to say that you shouldn’t really treat intermittent fasting as a diet, but more a lifestyle change.
What I mean by this is that many of us typically look at restrictive diets as some type of punishment.
And if I’m being honest, this is why a lot of people fail as diets, simply because they view it as a form of torture, whereby they have to forfeit the things they like.
Why this type of mindset you’re typically doomed to failure, as you’re already in a battle with your own thoughts.
This is where intermittent fasting differs, as it allows for much more flexibility.
The main aim of intermittent fasting is to literally reset your body, while hopefully learning better eating habits.
It generally takes a few days to kick in, but intermittent fasting can provide a huge number of benefits.
Plus, I’ll also say that intermittent fasting becomes a habit fairly soon, so often you won’t want to “muck things up” with a weekend off.
However, in truth, intermittent fasting during the week, and then having the weekends off, is actually a very popular method.
In fact, there are huge numbers of people doing this.
So YES, you can definitely do intermittent fasting 5 days a week.
Therefore, if you want to do intermittent fasting during the week, and then enjoy eating “normally” at the weekend, that’s absolutely fine.
That being said, there are a few caveats, and I’ll cover those in more detail now.
What Are You Going to Do on the Weekend?
Losing, maintaining, or gaining weight is typically about calories in vs. calories out.
That being said, there are various factors that can affect this.
We generally view our activity levels and the food we consume as the best way to gauge this.
However, there are also certain bodily functions that can make a huge difference.
And once more, these bodily functions can typically be impacted by our activity and food.
What I mean by this is that certain forms of exercise and intermittent fasting are known to boost your metabolism.
This means that your body is capable of burning more calories while at rest due to your raised metabolic rate.
So, in effect, you should be able to consume more calories without actually putting on weight.
But, what you choose to do with your weekends can also make or break you.
Basically, if you’re going to take your weekends off from intermittent fasting to consume 20 alcoholic drinks each night and then gorge yourself on junk food, things aren’t going to work out well.
In fact, this type of behaviour will probably see you gain weight and body fat.
Essentially, your 5 days of intermittent fasting during the week was a complete waste of time.
Granted, you may notice some positive changes, but it won’t be long before all the “good” work is wiped out by the bad.
I mentioned earlier that it takes the body a few days to kick in to start burning fat stores rather than glycogen for energy.
So, by the same token, if you’ve broken your fast quite horrifically with an entire weekend of drinking and eating, you’ll probably have to start all over again.
Therefore, it could take until Wednesday (after a heavy weekend) until your body starts performing how it should with intermittent fasting.
But, you’ll then have two decent days before you’re going to ruin everything again with your weekend frivolities.
Okay yes, intermittent fasting does allow a great deal of flexibility, but this also means that you should still remain sensible.
I think many people view their eating window as a free-for-all, and it’s a case of anything goes.
That being said, not only will this lead to consuming excessive calories, which is likely to lead to weight gain, you’ll also affect important factors like your metabolism, blood sugar and insulin levels.
In effect, your body is no longer working at optimum levels to keep you healthy and in great shape.
How Do You Take a Break From Intermittent Fasting at the Weekends?
You can obviously continue to do intermittent fasting at the weekend.
Plus, this should also allow you an eating window to enjoy a few drinks and even have a slap-up meal of your choice.
However, I totally understand the thought process behind wanting a complete break from intermittent fasting on weekends.
The best piece of advice I can offer is to simply be sensible.
Furthermore, do you really require two complete days off from fasting?
Personally, I like to view the things I do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis as habits.
And of course, I like to ensure that I mainly follow good habits.
That being said, I also realise that intermittent fasting is potentially easier during the week, as most of us are busy with work, exercise, and family lives.
Plus, let’s not forget, all the “good stuff” typically happens on weekends.
Whether this is a night out with friends, a wedding or party, or simply a nice, enjoyable weekend break away in the country.
So, when you’re faced with these pleasurable experiences, often the last thing you want to do is be restrictive in your eating.
For me, if I was to take a break from intermittent fasting over the weekend, I would look to still try to fit everything in within my normal calorie allowance.
So, in effect, I may fast all day, and go a little wild in the evening.
Then again, I may stick to a few small but healthy meals during the day, and then enjoy a few drinks in the evening.
Maybe, I just stick to a more normal diet, enjoy 3 meals throughout the day, but I would still want to make healthy choices with these meals.
Basically, the only real rule is to enjoy yourself, but to be sensible, and make healthy food choices where possible.
Is it OK Not to do Intermittent Fasting Every Day?
So, I hope you understand that it’s perfectly feasible to take a break from intermittent fasting on weekends.
However, you must also remember, it only takes a few days of gorging yourself on food and drinks for you to have to start the process all over again.
What I mean by this is that intermittent fasting typically takes a few days to “kick in”.
Basically, the aim is for your body to start burning fat stores for energy, as opposed to glycogen.
So, once you’re in this fat-burning mode, you’ll generally want to remain there.
So, while it’s possible to break your fast on the weekends, you’ll still need to be wary of what you’re eating and drinking.
In other words, if you keep it healthy and fairly sensible, this shouldn’t be a problem.
However, if you literally spend every single weekend gorging yourself on junk food for 48 hours, while drinking your body weight in alcohol, it will eventually catch up with you.
As the saying goes, “Everything in moderation”.
Next, I’ve recently reviewed one of the most well-known intermittent fasting diets, so discover what I have to say about whether the Eat Stop Eat intermittent fasting diet is healthy.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.