There’s no magic behind intermittent fasting, despite what the “gurus” claim.

Intermittent Fasting Is Not Sorcery

Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 1 day ago.

3 min read

Intermittent fasting is a fantastic tool for weight loss, but there’s one thing about it which really grinds my gears.

It’s the false belief that calories do not matter.

They really, really do, and the sooner you realize it, the better.

This was a real conversation I had with a relative not so long ago, and as I raised an eyebrow of scepticism I realized I was already too late to help, for he had been sold on a bogus diet plan which promised him fantastic results for zero effort.

People have a habit of falling for quick-fix nonsense like this and it pisses me off.

The last time I checked, the same guy was now doing a 30-day no-sugar diet, which sounds about as appealing as an intimate lunch date with a jar of halitosis.

Perhaps the biggest reason these “calories don’t matter” claims irk me so much is because intermittent fasting is legitimately awesome for fat loss, and we don’t need to come up with bullshit myths to make it sound better than it already is.

Hundreds of my PT clients have used IF to successfully drop weight over the years (perhaps even thousands when we factor in those who use my plans on this website now), so it pains me to see charlatans ruining a perfectly good weight loss technique by turning it into the latest fad diet gimmick.

does calories matter on intermittent fasting

Make no mistake, the reason I.F. works is because it makes it easier to stay within your calorie target.

It does this by blocking off long periods throughout the day where you are not allowed to eat, which reduces the chance that you’ll over-eat.

However, if you were to throw your calories into overload just because some silly fucknuckle told you they don’t matter, your body would still respond to a calorie surplus in the exact same way it always has – e.g. you would gain weight.

Most people do not feel tempted to over-eat when they cram all of their daily calories into such a small space of time, and once they adapt to not eating outside of those times (which takes a few days), they find that they are hitting their daily calorie target on a much more consistent basis than they used to.

Some of my clients prefer to do a 16/8 (fast for 16-hours then eat their daily calories in an 8-hour window), some prefer a 12/12, some prefer a 20/4. They all work the same way; by giving you greater calorie control. If you’d like to get started with intermittent fasting, refer to my comprehensive guide on the topic right here.


  1. Howell, S., et al. “Calories in, calories out” and macronutrient intake: the hope, hype, and science of calories. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab (2017).

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I’m Russ. I’ve been a personal trainer since 2002, and I own

My job is to simplify fitness for my readers.

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