Crescendo Method Intermittent Fasting

Last Updated on: 6th January 2023, 10:12 pm

Intermittent fasting

It’s easy and it works

Intermittent fasting (IF) has been around for a long time and is one of the easiest ways of managing how much you eat.

You don’t need a recipe book.

You don’t need any special ingredients.

It’s time-restricted, which means all you need is a clock to tell you when you can (and more importantly when you can’t) eat each day.

But for many people there’s a problem

But even though many people have successfully lost weight by using a program that restricts the amount they eat each day, there’s a problem.

It’s hard to stick with it doing it day after day, which is why it’s no surprise when even researchers say:

Traditional daily calorie restriction therapy has poor short and long-term compliance 

Health Effects of Alternate-Day Fasting in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

So what’s the answer?

Crescendo method intermittent fasting

Many people are now turning to crescendo method of intermittent fasting.

The crescendo fasting diet works like normal intermittent fasting, only you don’t do it on consecutive days.

This means it’s much easier to get the benefits of a fast and carry on with everyday life.

Basically, sticking to the same diet every day is hard. And if it’s hard, you’re less likely to do it.

Even better, studies comparing normal intermittent fasting with the “easier” crescendo version have found that there was no statistically significant difference in the time taken to lose 5 % of their weight or in the amount they improved body composition.1

Even better, studies comparing normal intermittent fasting with the “easier” crescendo version have found that there was no statistically significant difference in the time taken to lose 5 % of their weight or in the amount they improved body composition1

Types of fasting compared

FastingIntermittent FastingCrescendo Method Intermittent Fasting
  • a period of time without eating
  • a period of time without eating
  • done on a regular basis
  • repeated each day
  • a period of time without eating
  • done on a regular basis
  • repeated on non-consequitive days

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is on the tip of every nutritionist’s tongue, and fasters are reaping the benefits of putting their bodies on fasting cycles that work best for their lifestyles.

((Alternate-day fasting and chronic disease prevention: a review of human and animal trials)) There are various types of intermittent fasting, but the science points to a mutual end goal.

Intermittent fasting aims to condition our bodies to burn fat effectively, becoming “fat adapted”.

Traditionally it has been shown that having a modern-day diet will result in our body using sugar as the primary source of fuel, and leaving fat to be secondary

With sugar so readily available in most processed goods, our metabolism becomes used to having a regular store of sugars and never needing to burn fat.

The crescendo method intermittent fasting is a softer alternative to 'hard' IF.
An example of an intermittent fasting eating schedule

Primitive humans would very rarely have had access to an all-you-can-eat buffet or a Sunday brunch.

They would have instead eaten quite opportunistically, gorging when food was available and conserving energy when it wasn’t. The human body catered to this unpredictable cycle of feeding by more readily converting fats into ketones, a far more efficient energy source.

By converting fats into ketones and slowing the consumption of sugar, the body enters into ketosis, a metabolic state characterized by lower blood sugar and insulin levels. Ketosis has been shown to have dramatic effects on maintaining and healing the body.

Intermittent Fasting (IF) has not been touted by professionals as a one size fits all program.

In practice, all intermittent fasting looks at extended periods of “starvation” or depriving yourself of food, and instead, indulging only during eating windows.

A common example of this is the 16:8 model, where you fast for 16 hours of the day (every day), and allow yourself to eat during the other 8 hours.

For many, this 16:8 model might prove too eager of a start or doesn’t necessarily fit easily into their schedule or routine. There has also been a small amount of research that points to daily IF as having disruptive effects on hormone balance, especially in females.

The Crescendo Method Intermittent Fasting

Crescendo method intermittent fasting (CF) is a milder form of IF. It can be especially effective for:

  • people who are brand new to intermittent fasting
  • people with a lifestyle that needs more flexibility while dieting.
  • women with sensitive hormone levels

What is the Crescendo Fasting Diet?

The crescendo fasting diet is a type of intermittent fasting that suggests non-consecutive fasting days rather than daily fasting.

Fasting – success is all in the timing

crescendo fasting benefits

With many other types of intermittent fasting, people struggle with the initial shock to the system, get frustrated and quit. The idea of cutting “cold turkey” often results in the desired effects not being validated.

Crescendo fasting recommends that instead of fasting every day, we limit ourselves to 2-3 non-consecutive days a week. This allows the body to start conditioning the fat burning, but does not shock the system to the point where we start to feel strong negative side effects.

What does a crescendo fasting plan look like?

There are two names that constantly come up with crescendo fasting, Dr Jockers and Dr Axe. They prescribe broadly similar regimens, a comparison is in the table below.

Dr JockersDr Axe
  • Fast on 2–3 nonconsecutive days per week (starting with two days)
  • On fasting days, use the 16:8 rule (fast for 16 hours)
  • After two weeks, feel free to add one more day of fasting (to a total of three days)
  • Practise alternate day fasting by eating every other day
  • Alternatively, choose 2 days out of the week to fast
  • On fasting days, do not eat anything

As you can see, Dr Jockers has the easier option, but both have proved very effective. As in any diet, the key is to choose one system and stick with it long enough to have an effect.

There have also been clinical trials done on simlar lines. A typical one found that alternate day fasting with a “normal” day alternated with a day of 25% energy intake for 12 weeks is “effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese individuals”.2

The fasting lifestyle

  1. you can do moderate physical exercise such as yoga or light cardio.
  2. eat normally on your strength training/intense exercise days.
  3. drink plenty of water. (Tea and coffee are okay, too, just remember to avoid milk or any added sweetners)
  4. don’t “rewasrd” yourself with junk food just because you’re fasting
  5. to stop your metabolism slowing down, you still need to eat enough healthy food

Fasting doesn’t mean starving yourself

What many fail to realize when fasting is that it’s not about starving yourself so that your body has nothing at all to burn. It is about gently slowing your metabolism so that it prioritises burning fat over burning sugar. Slow and steady wins the race, and we can’t expect the body to adapt overnight. For most results aren’t felt for weeks, so patience is key.

These diets are lifestyle changes, not miracle solutions. Once you condition the body to burn fat first, you will begin to see incredible results that extend far beyond just losing weight.

Men vs. Women

There are many articles and studies out there that make dramatic claims about IF being detrimental to women, and CF being the obvious solution.

It is essential to understand that the research on IF and CF is still young and that each study should be fully dissected before being used to state strong claims.

Research has shown that heavy dieting and extreme fasting can affect the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and the luteinizing hormone (LH), two reproductive hormones in women that can be linked to irregular periods and reduction in ovary size.

As women are thought to be more sensitive to dramatic changes in hormone levels, crescendo fasting has been recommended as a way of easing into a new diet routine.

The body will adapt if given enough time, but those with a history of hormone imbalance, eating disorders or an unhealthy relationship with cravings are recommended to start slowly and seek the guidance of a professional.

This does not mean CF is reserved only for women. For anyone who understands the importance of slow adaptation and consistency, starting off with crescendo fasting instead of jumping headfirst into a more aggressive form of IF could be a safer start.

Crescendo Fasting Benefits

While the mainstream goal of intermittent fasting is weight loss, there are numerous other health benefits that come from the body going into ketosis.

  • Increased Energy Levels
  • Improves Insulin Sensitivity
  • Digestive Health
  • Improves Mental Health
  • Reduces Inflammation
  • Promotes Cellular Healing


There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet about dieting plans, fat burning pills and miracle solutions to help you lose weight fast, including keto, the fast mimicking diet, the beef and butter fast to name but a few.

While searching for a program that fits your needs, it’s important to take everything with a grain of salt and make sure you do your research.

After all, science is still catching up to many of our modern-day trends, and as consumers, we sometimes have to accept that we don’t have the long-term studies necessary to make adamant conclusions.

If you are thinking of incorporating intermittent fasting into your lifestyle, but are hesitant about making dramatic changes that could stall progression, crescendo fasting is a good option to allow your metabolism to adapt.

As your body begins to favor fat over sugar as a form of energy, you will start to feel a dramatic change in energy and lifestyle. Like anything else, start slow and learn to enjoy the process rather than focusing on the result.

  1. Intermittent v. continuous energy restriction: differential effects on postprandial glucose and lipid metabolism following matched weight loss in overweight/obese participants [] []
  2. Alternate day fasting for weight loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized controlled trial []

Leave a Comment