Explore The Differences Between Intermittent Fasting Vs Calorie Deficit



Published on: 23-Jul-2022


10 min read


Updated on : 18-Dec-2023






Explore The Differences Between Intermittent Fasting Vs Calorie Deficit

Explore The Differences Between Intermittent Fasting Vs Calorie Deficit

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When we talk of weight loss, believe it or not, it is more than just shedding a few pounds on the scale. It is about trimming your unwanted body fat while preserving your muscle mass. But how can you achieve this delicate balance between slimming your waistline and safeguarding your strength? Well, that is where intermittent fasting offers a promising solution. 

But what is intermittent fasting, and why is it making waves in the weight loss world? In a research study, people who embraced intermittent fasting witnessed a remarkable transformation. Over 24 weeks, they managed to trim an impressive 4-7% from their waistlines, significantly reducing visceral fat enveloping our vital organs.

So, if you are searching for sustainable, science-backed intermittent fasting to lose weight while maintaining active fitness, read on. This blog explores the ins and outs of intermittent fasting, backed by research for a healthier, more vibrant you.

Table Of Contents

  1. What Is Intermittent Fasting?

  2. Intermittent Fasting VS Calorie Deficit

  3. Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan For Weight Loss

  4. 7 Tips To Maintain Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss 

  5. The Final Say

  6. FAQs

  7. References 

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

To understand intermittent fasting, let us first grasp the core principle behind weight loss: maintaining a caloric deficit. Simply put, this means burning more calories than you consume, resulting in weight loss. Intermittent fasting seamlessly aligns with this principle, making it a popular and effective approach for managing your weight.

Intermittent fasting is no different from other weight loss diets in this regard. It automates reducing your overall calorie intake by strategically timing your meals.

For instance, let us consider the case of skipping breakfast, which can save you around 500 calories. Research shows that 57% of women aiming to lose weight while following a sedentary lifestyle target a daily calorie intake ranging from 1600 to 1800 calories.

You have already achieved a substantial 30% reduction in your daily calorie goal by omitting just the morning meal. Even if you later indulge in two 750-calorie meals and a 300-calorie dessert, totalling 1800 calories, you remain on track for your weight loss journey.

Intermittent fasting streamlines the calorie management process, simplifying your path to a caloric deficit and helping you work effectively toward your weight loss objectives.

Intermittent Fasting Vs Calorie Deficit

Knowing the factors listed for the difference between intermittent fasting and calorie deficit for weight loss will help you make an informed choice. Take a look:


Intermittent Fasting

Calorie Deficit


It is the cycling between eating and fasting periods with no strict calorie counting

It is the reduction in daily calorie intake to create a consistent deficit

Weight Loss Mechanism

It promotes weight loss through caloric deficit created by fasting periods

It promotes weight loss through continuous restriction of calorie intake


It offers flexibility when eating but requires discipline during fasting.

It allows for regular meal patterns but demands strict portion control.

Appetite Control

It may help regulate appetite by training your body to eat within a limited time frame

It requires self-control to stick to portion sizes and meal frequency

Health Benefits

It may offer additional health benefits like improved insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control

It focuses primarily on calorie intake, potentially missing some health benefits of fasting

Percentage of Weight Loss

Typically, it may result in around 1-3% weight loss per week, depending on the fasting method

Generally aims for a calorie deficit of 500 to 1000 calories daily, leading to 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week

Also Read: Indian Snacks Recipes For Diabetes

Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan For Weight Loss

While following intermittent fasting meal plans for specific intermittent fasting methods, you structure your day or week into eating and fasting intervals to assist in your weight loss journey. During fasting, you eat very little or nothing at all. Recent research shows that a 24-hour fast, even with severe calorie restriction (25% of your daily needs), will not make your appetite hormones go crazy. 

Let us explore these three popular methods with sample meal plans for each:

1. The 16/8 Method

This method, also known as the Leangains protocol, is relatively straightforward. You skip breakfast and limit your daily eating to an 8-hour window from 1 to 9 p.m. After that, you fast for 16 hours.


Indian Food Source

Portion Size

12:00 PM

Jeera water + salad +roti sabji + dal

2 Rotis, 1 bowl Sabzi + 1 bowl dal, 1 quarter plate salad, jeera water

3:00 PM

Yoghourt with Fruits

1 small bowl Yoghourt, 1 small bowl Mixed Fruits

6:30 PM

Lentil dal and Brown rice with grilled paneer

1 medium bowl lentil dal, 1 small bowl rice + grilled paneer(25 gm)

8:00 PM

End of Eating Window

Fasting Period

8:00 PM - 12:00 PM 

(next day)

Fasting Period

Also Read: Keto Cereals And Its Benefits

2. Eat-Stop-Eat Method

This method allows you to fast for 24 hours, once or twice weekly. For instance, you might have dinner one day and only eat dinner the next day.


Indian Food Source

Portion Size

7:00 PM

Paneer Tikka

6-8 pieces of Paneer


Fast Begins


7:00 PM (next day)

Vegetable Biryani + lentil soup

1 medium bowl biryani + 1 bowl lentil soup

Fasting Period



7:00 PM (Day 2) - 7:00 PM (Day 1)

Fasting Period


3. The 5:2 Diet

This approach involves consuming only 500-600 calories on two specific days during the week. On the other five days, you can eat normally.


Indian Food Source

Portion Size

7:30 AM

Poha (Flattened Rice) with curd

1 small bowl poha,1 small bowl curd

12:30 PM

Mixed fruits topped with flaxseed powder

1 medium bowl mixed fruits + 1 tbsp flax seeds powder

5:30 PM

Millet roti + palak sabzi + dal + salad

2 millet roti + 1 small bowl + 1 small bowl dal + 1 quarter plate salad

Fasting Day

7:30 AM (next day)

Peanut Upma + coconut chutney 

1 small bowl upma, 2 Tbsp coconut chutney

12:30 PM

Vegetable Khichdi + cucumber raita

1 medium bowl khichadi +1 medium bowl raita

5:30 PM

Tandoori Chicken + salad

100 gm chicken, 1 quarter plate salad

Please note that these portion sizes and food choices are just examples and can vary based on your dietary preferences and nutritional needs.

Adjust them as needed, and consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist for a personalised meal plan that aligns with your health and weight loss goals.

Also Read: Best Weight Loss Diet For Men

7 Tips To Maintain Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss

If you aim to lose weight through intermittent fasting, these tips can help you stay on course, making your journey smoother. Take a look:

1. Start Gradually

Begin with a fasting routine that suits your lifestyle, like a 12-hour fast. Gradually extend it to 14-16 hours as your body adjusts. Research suggests a fasting window of 14-16 hours may lead to a 5-10% reduction in body weight over several months.

2. Stay Hydrated

During fasting periods, drink water, herbal tea, or black coffee. Adequate hydration can help control hunger. Research shows that sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger, and staying hydrated can reduce calorie intake.

3. Choose Nutrient-Rich Foods

Opt for balanced meals with lean protein, veggies, and whole grains when eating. According to scientific studies, this approach is linked to a 5-10% reduction in body weight over time.

4. Plan Your Meals

Preparing your meals and snacks in advance can prevent impulsive, unhealthy choices. Research indicates that meal planning can lead to a 5-10% improvement in dietary quality.

Also Read: What Is Balanced Nutrition: Tips, Tricks And More

5. Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to hunger cues. If you feel starving during fasting, it might be a sign to adjust your schedule or meal choices. Trusting your body's signals can help you maintain a sustainable calorie deficit.

6. Be Patient

Weight loss is a gradual process. Stay consistent; even a 5% reduction in body weight has been associated with significant health benefits, including improved blood pressure and blood sugar control.

7. Consider Exercise

Incorporating light physical activity during fasting hours can enhance your weight loss efforts. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Studies suggest it can lead to a 3-5% reduction in body weight over time.

The Final Say

As we wrap up this guide, ask yourself, is intermittent fasting the best diet to lose weight and achieve your fat loss diet plan goals? Remember, the answer lies within the delicate balance of calorie deficit diet and fasting for weight loss.

The period from mid-November to mid-January is responsible for around 50% of weight gain in 12 months. So, it is essential to approach fat loss with a well-rounded and sustainable fat-loss diet plan like intermittent fasting.

While intermittent fasting can be a valuable tool for some, it is crucial to remember that there is no one-size solution to weight loss for all. The best diet to lose weight fits your lifestyle, preferences, and goals while considering the importance of maintaining a healthy calorie deficit.


1. How can intermittent fasting help you achieve a calorie deficit for weight loss?

Intermittent fasting offers a practical way to create a calorie deficit by limiting the hours of eating, potentially reducing overall calorie consumption.

2. How does loss of energy link to intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting can temporarily decrease energy, especially during fasting periods, impacting mood, focus, and daily activities. Understanding this connection is crucial for effectively managing your well-being while practising intermittent fasting.

3. Is intermittent fasting suitable for everyone?

Intermittent fasting is not done in the same way for all. Customising your fasting schedule based on your unique preferences, lifestyle, and health goals is important. Consulting with a dietitian is essential to determine the most suitable method for you.

4. What can I eat during intermittent fasting, and how does it impact my calorie intake?

During fasting periods, avoiding consuming foods or beverages containing calories is essential. Water, herbal teas, and black coffee are generally acceptable. The type and quantity of food you eat during the designated eating windows can significantly influence your overall calorie intake.

5. Are there potential health risks of intermittent fasting, and how can I mitigate them?

If not approached correctly, intermittent fasting can sometimes lead to hunger, irritability, and potential nutritional deficiencies. To minimise these risks, seek guidance from a dietitian, ensure proper hydration, and maintain a balanced diet during your eating windows.


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