The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting

“…But Tony the Tiger tells us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”

This rule has become so commonplace throughout the health and fitness community that it’s readily accepted as fact:

“Want to lose weight? Make sure you start off with a healthy breakfast, so you can get that metabolism firing first thing in the morning!  Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”

“Want to lose more weight? Make sure you eat six small meals throughout the day so your metabolism stays operating at maximum capacity all day long”.

There are even studies that show those that eat earlier in the day lose more weight than those who ate later in the day or skipped a meal.

So, eat breakfast to lose weight and obtain optimal health.  Case closed…right?

Maybe you’re not getting the whole story. As skeptics, what we need to ask: what if there’s science and research that promotes SKIPPING BREAKFAST (the horror! blasphemy!) for optimum efficiency, maximum muscle retention, and body fat loss?

After firmly being on “Team Breakfast” for 28 years of my life, I’ve skipped breakfast for the past three months and might never go back to eating it.

I want to share with you a concept about skipping breakfast (and other meals), and how your health will benefit as a result.

Tony ain’t gonna be happy, but today we’re talking about intermittent fasting.

This is a topic that is very controversial, as it turns a LOT of conventional wisdom on its head. This is why this article is filled with more sources and citations than Jim Carrey’s glove compartment.

What is intermittent fasting?

Seal

Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but rather a dieting pattern.  

In simpler terms: it’s making a conscious decision to skip certain meals.

By fasting and then feasting on purpose, intermittent fasting means eating your calories during a specific window of the day, and choosing not to eat food during the rest.

Now, there are a few different ways to take advantage of intermittent fasting:

  • Regularly eat during a specific time period.  For example, only eating from noon-8 PM, essentially skipping breakfast.  Some people only eat in a 6-hour window, or  even a 4-hour window.  
  • Skip two meals one day, taking a full 24-hours off from eating.  For example, eating on a normal schedule (finishing dinner at 8PM) and then not eating again until 8PM the following day.

Now, you might be thinking: “okay, so by skipping a meal, I just eat less than normally overall, and thus I will lose weight, right?”  

Well, that’s partly true.  

Yes, by cutting out an entire meal, you are able to eat MORE food during your other meals and still consume a caloric deficit (which is an important for losing weight).  

However, as we already know that not all calories all created equal, the timing of meals can also influence how your body reacts.  

How does intermittent fasting work?

Cog

With intermittent fasting, your body operates differently when “feasting” compared to when “fasting”:

When you eat a meal, your body spends a few hours processing that food, burning what it can from what you just consumed.   Because it has all of this readily available, easy to burn energy in its blood stream (thanks to the food you ate), your body will choose to use that as energy rather than the fat you have stored.  This is especially true if you just consumed carbohydrates/sugar, as your body prefers to burn sugar as energy before any other source.

During the “fasted state,” your body doesn’t have a recently consumed meal to use as energy, so it is more likely to pull from the fat stored in your body, rather than the glucose in your blood stream or glycogen in your muscles/liver.

Burning fat = win.

The same goes for working out in a “fasted” state.  Without a ready supply of glucose and glycogen to pull from (which has been depleted over the course of your fasted state, and hasn’t yet been replenished with a pre-workout meal), your body is forced to adapt and pull from the only source of energy available to it: the fat stored in your cells!

Why does this work?  Our bodies react to energy consumption (eating food) with insulin production.  Essentially, the more sensitive your body is to insulin, the more likely you’ll be to use the food you consume efficiently, which can help lead to weight loss and muscle creation.

Along with that, your body is most sensitive to insulin following a period of fasting. 

Your glycogen (a starch stored in your muscles and liver that your body can burn as fuel when necessary) is depleted during sleep (fasting), and will be depleted even further during training, which can further increase insulin sensitivity. This means that a meal immediately following your workout will be stored most efficiently: mostly as glycogen for muscle stores, burned as energy immediately to help with the recovery process, with minimal amounts stored as fat.

Compare this to a regular day (no intermittent fasting).  With insulin sensitivity at normal levels, the carbs and foods consumed will see full glycogen stores, enough glucose in the blood stream, and thus be more likely to get stored as fat.

Not only that, but growth hormone is increased during fasted states (both during sleep and after a period of fasting).  Combine this  increased growth hormone secretion, the decrease in insulin production (and thus increase in insulin sensitivity), and you’re essentially priming your body for muscle growth and fat loss with intermittent fasting.

The less science-y version: Intermittent fasting can help teach your body to use the food it consumes more efficiently.  For many different physiological reasons, fasting can help promote weight loss and muscle building when done properly.  

But why does every health book say “6 small meals?”

small plate

There are a few main reasons why diet books recommend six small meals:

1) When you eat a meal, your body does have to burn extra calories just to process that meal.  So, the theory is that if you eat all day long with small meals, your body is constantly burning extra calories and your metabolism is firing at optimal capacity, right? Well, that’s not true.  Whether you eat 2000 calories spread out throughout the day, or 2000 calories in a small window, your body will burn the same number of calories processing the food.  So, the whole “keep your metabolism firing at optimum capacity by always eating” sounds good in principle, but reality tells a different story.

2) When you eat smaller meals, you’re less likely to overeat during your regular meals.  I can definitely see some truth here, especially for people who struggle with portion control or don’t know how much food they should be eating.  However, once you educate yourself and take control of your eating, I would argue most people find that eating six times a day is very prohibitive and requires a lot of effort.  Along with that, because you’re eating six small meals, I’d argue that you probably never feel “full,” and you might be MORE likely to eat extra calories during each snack.

Although grounded in seemingly logical principles, the “six meals a day” doesn’t work for the reason you think it would (#1), and really only works for people who struggle with portion control (#2).

If we want to think back to the caveman days, we’d have been in serious trouble as a species if we had to eat every three hours.  Do you think Joe caveman pulled out his pocket sundial six times a day to consume his equally portioned meals?  Hell no!  He ate when he could, and his body adapted to still function optimally during the rest of the day.

A recent study (highlighted by the New York Times) has done a great job of challenging the “six-meals-a-day” technique for weight loss.  

Martin from LeanGains points out two important quotes from the study:

“…The premise underlying the present study was that increasing meal frequency would lead to better short-term appetite regulation and increased dietary compliance; furthermore, it was hypothesised that these predicted beneficial effects of increased meal frequency could have resulted from more favourable gut peptide profiles, potentially leading to greater weight loss. Under the conditions described in the present study, all three hypotheses were rejected.”

“…We had postulated that increasing meal frequency would enhance the compliance to the energy restricted diet thus leading to greater weight loss, an effect possibly mediated by increased fullness. The present results do not support this hypothesis.”

Remember, the type of food you eat matters. Meal frequency is not nearly as important as the quantity and quality of food consumed.  This study reached similar conclusions.

Why intermittent fasting?

IF fast plate

Because it works.  Although we know that not all calories are created equal, caloric restriction plays a central role in weight loss.  When you fast (either for 16 hours per day, or 24 hours every few days), you are also making it easier to restrict your caloric intake over the course of the week.  This will give your body a chance to lose weight as you’re simply just eating less calories than you were consuming before.

Because it simplifies your day. Rather than having to prepare, pack, eat, and time your meals every 2-3 hours, you simply skip a meal or two and only worry about eating food in your eating window.

It requires less time (and potentially money). Rather than having to prepare or purchase three to six meals a day, you only need to prepare two meals.  Instead of stopping what you’re doing six times a day to eat, you simply only have to stop to eat twice.  Rather than having to do the dishes six times, you only have to do them twice. Rather than having to purchase six meals a day, you only need to purchase two.

It promotes stronger insulin sensitivity and increased growth hormone secretion, two keys for weight loss and muscle gain.  This was already explained in the previous section with relevant sources, but intermittent fasting helps you create a double whammy for weight loss.

Plus, Wolverine does it.

What are the drawbacks with intermittent fasting?

refrigerator

In my own experimentation, I have found very few negative side effects with Intermittent fasting.  

The BIGGEST issue I’ve found, and the biggest concern most people have, is that intermittent fasting will lead to lower energy, focus, and the “holy crap I am hungry” feeling during the fasting period.  People are concerned that they will spend all morning being miserable because they haven’t consumed any food, and thus will be miserable at work and ineffective at whatever task it is they are working on.

Yes, the initial transition from EATING ALL THE TIME, to intermittent fasting can be a bit of a jolt to the system. However, once you get through the transition, your body can quickly adapt and learn to function just as well only eating a few times a day:

This study explains that in participants after 48-hours of fasting, “cognitive performance, activity, sleep, and mood are not adversely affected in healthy humans by two days of calorie-deprivation.”

“So why do I feel grouchy when I’m not eating breakfast?” In this nerd’s humble opinion, a good portion of the grumpiness is a result of your eating habits. If you eat every three hours, your body will start to get hungry every three hours as it learns and becomes used to expecting (and receiving) food every three hours. If you eat breakfast every morning, your body is expecting to wake up and eat food.

It turns out, quite a bit of it is mental.

Once you retrain your body to NOT expect food all day every day (or first thing in the morning), these side-effects become less of an issue (thanks to a substance our bodies produce called Ghrelin).

Think about it in caveman terms again.  We certainly found ways to survive during periods of feast and famine, and that remains true today.  It actually takes our bodies about 84 hours of fasting before our glucose levels are adversely affected.  As we’re talking about small fasts (16-24 hour periods), this doesn’t concern us.

AN IMPORTANT CAVEAT: Intermittent Fasting can be complex for people who have issues with blood sugar regulation, suffer from hypoglycemia, have diabetes, etc.  If you fit into this category, I highly recommend you check with your doctor or dietitian before adjusting your eating schedule.

I believe more research needs to be done for these particular cases and thus would recommend you do what works best for YOU.

Can I build muscle and gain weight while intermittent fasting?

muscle hypertrophy

Absolutely!

In fact, I have been intermittent fasting for the past three months or so while building muscle, with minimal increase to my body fat percentage.  I still eat the same number of calories I was consuming before, but instead of eating all damn day long, I condense all of my calorie consumption into an eight hour window.

  • 11 AM Work out with heavy strength training in a fasted state.
  • 12 PM Immediately consume 1/2 of my calories for the day (a regular whole-food meal, followed by a massive Calorie Bomb Shake.)
  • 7 PM Consume the second portion of my calories for the day in a big dinner.
  • 8 PM – 12 PM the next day: Fast for 16 hours.

This method has been borrowed from one of the best resources on intermittent fasting and muscle building on the internet: Lean Gains.

In a different method, my friend Nate Green packed on a crazy amount of muscle while fasting for a full 24 hours on Sundays.  

I’m not kidding when I say this has revolutionized how I look at muscle building and fat loss.  Ultimately, this method flies in the face of the typical “bulk and cut” techniques of overeating to build muscle (along with adding a lot of fat) before cutting calories to lose fat (along with some muscle) and settling down at a higher weight.

I prefer this method to the bulk-and-cut technique for a few reasons:

  • There’s far less of a crazy swing. If you are putting on 30 pounds and then cutting 25 to gain 5 lbs of muscle, your body is going through drastic swings of body mass. Your clothes will fit differently, you’ll have different levels of definition, and your body will wonder what the hell is going on.
  • You’re consuming less food and thus spending less money.  Rather than overeating to put on 1 pound of muscle and 4 pounds of fat in a week or two, you’re aiming to eat exactly enough to put on 1 pound of muscle without adding much fat on top of it.  Yeah, it’s a delicate balance, but there’s far less swing involved. You are just slowly, steadily, and consistently building muscle and strength over many months.
  • There’s never a need to get “vacation-ready”: we all want to look good naked, right?  When you are just adding muscle, you don’t need to worry about getting your body ready before by drastically altering your diet (going on a miserable crash diet for a month). I like Anthony Mychal’s technique of never being more than two weeks away.  Keep your body fat percentage low, build strength and muscle, and if you happen to notice your body fat creeping up, cut back on the carbs. Within two weeks you should be back at your preferred body fat percentage and can continue the muscle building process.

Does intermittent fasting have different effects on men and women?

boy girl

Yes, intermittent fasting does affect men and women differently.

This article over on Paleo For Women goes extensively into the negative effects of intermittent fasting for women.

This article on Mark’s Daily Apple does a fantastic job of breaking down the differences between men and women and how they are affected by intermittent fasting, ultimately explaining:

  • “One study, which I’ve cited before as evidence of a benefit to fasting, found that while IF improved insulin sensitivity in male subjects, female subjects saw no such improvement. In fact, the glucose tolerance of fasting women actually worsened. Ouch.
  • Another study examined the effect of alternate day fasting on blood lipids. Women’s HDL improved and their triglycerides remained stable; men’s HDL remained stable and their triglycerides decreased. Favorable, albeit sex-specific results.
  • Later, both obese men and women dropped body fat, body weight, blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyercides on a fasting regimen. These people were obese, however, and perimenopausal women were excluded from the study, so the results may not apply to leaner people or women of reproductive age.”

Long story short: Yes, men and women will have different experiences with intermittent fasting; we’re all unique snowflakes (yep, even you), and your body will be affected by intermittent fasting differently than the person next to you.

My best advice?  Give it a shot, track your results, and see how things go!

Questions about intermittent fasting

kiwi

“Won’t I get really hungry?”  

As explained above, this is generally a result of the habits you have built for your body.  If you are constantly eating or always eat the same time of day, your body can actually learn to prepare itself for food by beginning the process of insulin production and preparation for food.  After a brief adjustment period, your body can adapt to the fact that it’s only eating a few times a day.

Remember, your body’s physical and cognitive abilities aren’t diminished as a result of fasting.

“Where will I get my energy for my workouts?  Won’t I be exhausted and not be able to complete my workouts if fasting?” 

This was a major concern of mine as well.  And for my first workout or two, it was very weird to not eat a heavy carb meal before training.  However, after a few sessions, I learned that my body could certainly function (and even thrive) during my training sessions despite not eating a pre-workout meal.

As Mark’s Daily Apple states:

Fasted training can actually result in better metabolic adaptations (which mean better performance down the line), improved muscle protein synthesis, and a higher anabolic response to post-workout feeding (you’ll earn your meal and make more muscle out of it if you train on an empty stomach).

That being said, I’m currently experimenting with a pre-workout BCAA supplement to see the effect it has on muscle creation.  So far, so good, though I’m not sold on the necessity of the supplement yet.  I’ll keep you posted 🙂

“I like the idea of fasted training, but I work a regular 9-5 and can’t train at 11AM. What am I supposed to do?”

Martin from LeanGains lays out a few different options for you, depending on your training schedule.  The best advice is to not freak out and overanalyze unless you are an elite athlete concerned with the absolute optimal performance at all time.

If you’re just a normal guy or gal looking to drop a few pounds and get stronger, do the best you can.

“Won’t fasting cause muscle loss?”  

Another big concern of mine, but it turns out…it was unfounded.  We’ve been told by the supplement industry that we need to consume 30 g of protein every few hours, as that’s the most amount of protein our body can process at a time.  Along with that, we’ve been told that if we don’t eat protein every few hours, our body’s muscle will start to break down to be burned as energy.

Again, NOT TRUE!  This study shows that our bodies are quite adept at preserving muscle even when fasting, and it turns out that protein absorption by our body can take place over many many many hours. Protein consumed in a shorter period of time has no difference on the body compared to protein spread throughout the day.    

“What about my body going into starvation mode from not eating?” 

Now, the thought process here is that when we don’t feed ourselves, our bodies assume calories aren’t available and thus choose to store more calories than burning them, eliminating the benefits of weight loss with fasting. Fortunately, this is NOT true.

As Martin from LeanGains so eloquently explains (as you can tell, he’s good at this stuff):

“The earliest evidence for lowered metabolic rate in response to fasting occurred after 60 hours (-8% in resting metabolic rate). Other studies show metabolic rate is not impacted until 72-96 hours have passed.

Seemingly paradoxical, metabolic rate is actually increased in short-term fasting. For some concrete numbers, studies have shown an increase of 3.6% – 10% after 36-48 hours (Mansell PI, et al, and Zauner C, et al).  Epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline/noradrenaline) sharpens the mind and makes us want to move around. Desirable traits that encouraged us to seek for food, or for the hunter to kill his prey, increasing survival. At some point, after several days of no eating, this benefit would confer no benefit to survival and probably would have done more harm than good; instead, an adaptation that favored conservation of energy turned out to be advantageous.”

“This sounds crazy, I’m not gonna do it.”

That’s cool.  Are you losing body fat, building muscle, and getting a clean bill of health from your doctor?  If you can say yes to those things, AWESOME. Keep doing what you’re doing, because it’s working.   

However, if what you’re doing ISN’T working, or you’re not getting the results you were hoping for, why not give it a chance?  Hopefully the dozens of studies at least peak your curiosity.  Self-experimentation is the best way to determine WHAT methods work for you.

Tips and tricks about Fasting 

hungry ant

Don’t freak out.  Stop wondering: “can I fast 15 hours instead of 16?” or “what if I eat an apple during my fasted period, will that ruin everything?”  Relax.  Your body is a finely tuned piece of machinery and learns to adapt.  Everything is not as cut and dry as you think.

If you want to eat breakfast one day but not another, that’s okay.  If you are going for optimal aesthetic or athletic performance, I can see the need to be more rigid in your discipline, but otherwise…freaking chill out and don’t stress over minutiae.

Expect funny looks.  A few weeks back I had a number of friends staying with me, and they were all completely dumbfounded when I told them I didn’t eat breakfast anymore.  I tried to explain it to them but received a bunch of blank stares.  Breakfast has become so engrained in our culture that NOT eating it sounds crazy.  You will get weird looks from those around you…embrace it.

Stay busy.  If you are just sitting around thinking about how hungry you are, you’ll be more likely to struggle with this.  For that reason, I time my fasting periods for maximum efficiency and minimal discomfort:

  • My first few hours of fasting come after consuming a MONSTER meal, where the last thing I want to think about is eating.
  • When I’m sleeping: 8 of my 16 hours are occupied by sleeping.  Tough to feel hungry when I’m dreaming about becoming a Jedi.
  • When I’m busy: After waking up, 12 hours of my fasting is already done.  I spend three hours doing my best work (drinking green tea and listening to PM, which is exactly what I’m doing while writing this article!), and then comes my final hour of fasting: training.

I don’t have time to think about how hungry I am, because I keep my brain constantly occupied!

Zero-calorie beverages are okay.  As previously stated, I drink green tea in the morning for my caffeine kick while writing.  If you want to drink water, black coffee, or tea during your fasted period, that’s okay.  Remember, don’t overthink it – keep things simple!

Track your results, listen to your body:  

  • Concerned about losing muscle mass?  Keep track of your strength training routines and see if you are getting stronger.
  • Buy a cheap set of body fat calipers and keep track of your body fat composition.
  • Track your calories, and see how your body changes when eating the same amount of food, but condensed into a certain window.

Everybody will react to intermittent fasting differently; I can’t tell you how your body will react.  It’s up to you to listen to your body and see how making these adjustments change your body.

Don’t expect miracles.  Yes, intermittent fasting can potentially help you lose weight, increase insulin sensitivity and growth hormone secretion (all good things), but it is only ONE factor in hundreds that will determine your body composition and overall health.  Don’t expect to drop to 8% body fat and get ripped just by skipping breakfast. You need to focus on building healthy habits, eating better foods, and getting stronger.

This is just one tool that can contribute to your success…

To sum it all up

Grass

Intermittent fasting can potentially have some very positive benefits for somebody trying to lose weight or gain lean body mass.

Men and women will tend to have different results, just like each individual person will have different results.  The ONLY way to find out is with self-experimentation.

There are multiple ways to “do” intermittent fasting:

  • Fast and feast regularly: Fast for a certain number of hours, then consume all calories within a certain number of hours.
  • Eat normally, then fast 1-2x a week: Consume your normal meals every day, then pick one or two days a week where you fast for 24 hours.  Eat your last meal Sunday night, and then don’t eat again until dinner the following day.
  • Fast occasionally: probably the easiest method for the person who wants to do the least amount of work.  Simply skip a meal whenever it’s convenient. On the road? Skip breakfast.  Busy day at work? Skip lunch.  Eat poorly all day Saturday?  Make your first meal of the day dinner on Sunday.

Remember: One of the Rules of the Rebellion is to QUESTION EVERYTHING.  If this seems like something you’d like to try, give it a shot. If it sounds crazy to you, ask yourself why you think it sounds crazy, and do your own research and experimentation before condoning/condemning it.

I’d love to hear from you:

  • What are your questions with intermittent fasting?  
  • What are your concerns?
  • Have you tried intermittent fasting?
  • Have you had success with it, either with muscle gain or weight loss?

Thanks for leaving your comment, I’m excited to get the conversation started.

-Steve

PS: We’re fans of Intermittent Fasting, which is why its part of the Nerd Fitness Academy, our online training course that is helping over 4000 superheroes-in-training get fit, healthy, and happy.  Come on and join us!

PPS: Added an important caveat:  If you are somebody who has blood sugar regulation issues (diabetes, hypoglycemia, etc.), I strongly recommend you discuss with your doctor or medical professional before making changes to your diet.  Remember, question everything!

###

Photo Source: seal mouth, tony the tiger, anatomy, cog, small plates, apples, fridge, ant, boy girl, kiwi

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  • Diana

    I have been doing this for 6 months. I skip breakfast, eat lunch around 2, dinner at 7, done. No snacks because honestly I’m not hungry. I have dropped 40 pounds! My knees no longer hurt, my skin looks amazing, I feel so much better! The simplicity of this life style is a no brainer. Every now and then I do have fatigue, and I listen to my body and eat. IF makes sense to me and works for me. I highly recommend it!

  • Kellee Goetz

    How long can you IF for? Life time?

  • Jesse

    Thanks great article. I started doing intermittent fasting after I saw some guy who dropped a ton of weight, although he posts tags he is eating normal stuff, just skipping breakfast and working out. I thought it was a farce, but his progress was crazy, so I kept looking at tags on IG and figured I’d give it a shot.

    Well, two months later I’m down about 12lbs, down from a 40 waist to being back to 36! The fasting is great I can eat whatever I want, I just try and keep the calories down, and try to stick in a 24 hour fast once or twice a week.

    My first 24 fast, I amazed myself, I couldn’t believe I made it.

    Tips to stay strong during fast, or at least what I did was: Drink lots of water, keep your mind busy, train your mind to fight the hunger, I mean in the end you aren’t going to die if you don’t eat for five hours after you wake up.

  • AshBenson

    That’s awesome Samantha. The reason why I love intermittent fasting is because it’s so easy to maintain. I love that you can still have at least one big meal every day and still lose weight. I recommend people check out Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat Method. It makes intermittent fasting even easier to maintain long term.

    I can’t believe I used to eat 6 small meals a day.. it’s so pointless!

  • http://inspiremyweb.tumblr.com/ Marlon Marcello

    Honestly, it’s all a matter of choice.
    Like you said in the text yourself, the body will burn the same amount of calories, so eating 6 or 2 times a day, won’t matter, as long as you feel good. 😁
    Great text btw, thanks for all the great input.

  • AshBenson

    That’s awesome Samantha. The reason why I love intermittent fasting is because it’s so easy to maintain. I love that you can still have at least one big meal every day and still lose weight. I recommend combining Intermittent Fasting with Bodyweight Burn. Short, effective workouts on an empty stomach are the best for burning fat.

    I can’t believe I used to eat 6 small meals a day.. it’s so pointless!

  • Pingback: How a 330 lb High School Dropout Lost 140 and Turned His Life Around | Nerd Fitness()

  • Melissa Pemberton

    I’m sure this has already been discussed before, but where can I figure out how many calories to aim for in a day, assuming I’m doing intermittent fasting and doing CrossFit for an hour during the day?

  • http://best10for.com/beauty/hair-care/10-best-electric-shavers-for-men-in-2016-2017/ Neil Patrick

    enjoyed reading this article thanks for posting it

  • Sherry Smiley

    Will i remain in ketosis when i in IF ?

  • Pj

    My question is what if I eat two or three hours after my workout will intermittent fasting still be effective. and what if I don’t work out that day will intermittent fasting still be affected.

  • Pingback: Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight Faster By Not Eating? | Nerd Fitness()

  • Breezi Eads

    Just wondering if during the 8 hours of eating, you still separated it into 2 meals or if you ate whenever you felt like eating during that time?
    AKA eat meal 1 wait a few hours eat meal 2. OR
    Eat and snack until 8 hours is over?
    (Obviously all clean, whole food)

  • http://www.youtube.com/DelusionDispeller LauraBeth Culbert

    Hello. I am actually writing a booklet about Intermittent Fasting from my perspective. I tried all kinds of weight loss and diet plans, food planning, exercise, etc. I can honestly say that IF has been the EASIEST and most successful thing I’ve done not only to LOSE weight but to KEEP IT OFF! I started in March at 214 sickly lbs (and I mean blood pressure in the 180/ 90’s, trouble breathing, seizures, etc). After Intermittent Fasting since then pretty much daily, I am now at 194 lbs, seizure-free, able to breathe without problems, normal blood pressure on a doctor’s monitor! It’s WORTH A TRY! If you want an IF friend, look me up at DelusionDispeller@gmail.com

  • http://www.youtube.com/DelusionDispeller LauraBeth Culbert

    just for an FYI. It is not healthy to drop more than 1-2 lbs per week. I agree. I have been following the BIggest Loser gang over the years and there are documentaries online that will tell you what they did was dangerous and in most cases DID NOT KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF but resulted in them gaining back even more than they lost.

  • http://www.youtube.com/DelusionDispeller LauraBeth Culbert

    I can’t WAIT to see where I”m at when it’s been a year of this. I started in March and it’s now November…I lost 20 lbs, improved my health and YES IT WORKS AND IS NOT HARD! Start out gradually, step by step. You can DO THIS ONE and succeed!

  • http://www.youtube.com/DelusionDispeller LauraBeth Culbert

    nope. No negative effects here. Just positive ones! I’m ALIVE and HEALTHY!

  • http://www.youtube.com/DelusionDispeller LauraBeth Culbert

    This is LITERALLY my personal plan of how I lost the 20 lbs so far since March and KEPT IT OFF: I started out in March weighing 214 lbs
    Today I weigh 194 lbs
    My end-goal is around 115 lbs

    WRITE YOURSELF A GOAL CHART with REWARDS (not all food ones of course…a new purse, a movie, a trinket, a doggie toy to play with your puppy with, whatever)

    Set ACHIEVABLE GOALS

    MAKE CHARTS OF LBS, INCHES, REWARDS

    SCALING:
    Only aim to lose 1 lb per week (yes LITERALLY 1 lb. If you lose 2 or more, great, but your goal is only 1). After you lose those 4 or 5 lbs that month, WHAT DID YOU WIN??? a new purse? a bracelet? a trinket? a movie? Maybe a new shirt? What did your REWARD YOURSELF WITH?)

    What if you don’t lose what you planned? Oh well. It happens. Move on and know that you will lose it next time. Don’t start over-fuelling to punish your body or self. Just keep going. It’s not the end of the world!

    SHRINKING:
    Get out the tape measure. Decide if you want to measure the bust cause you don’t have to unless you want to but
    Measure your waist, hips and get this…your “underflap”…this means, you lift up your belly and measure the flat part under your “apron” region. So, at least those 3 measurements.

    Decide when to weigh and measure. I do it weekly but some people prefer to do it monthly so it feels like a bigger achievement. Whichever you decide, WRITE IT DOWN, CHART IT or call me and have me chart it for you if you don’t feel like doing it yourself or don’t have time.

    EATING:

    Follow your plan and realize it’s OK TO ALTER IT AS NEEDED. If a dinner comes up and it’s not during your eating hours, it’s ok. Eat anyway and get back to your plan the next day. It’s good to trick your body by changing your patterns once in a while too…so it’s ok to have your eating window go from 10-6 for a week and then have a day in between where you wake up later and eat at noon till 8, etc. PERFECTLY OK!!!

    SO READ BELOW TO SEE WHAT THIS ALL ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE

    Intermittent Fasting Plan (drink water/stay hydrated)
    THERE IS NO FORBIDDEN FOOD BUT EAT REASONABLE PORTIONS, even if you have to put them into a baggie or small container to avoid over-fuelling.

    You should NEVER feel like you are STARVING while doing this. It’s the normal way your body was designed to handle food. The only thing you should feel is PRIDE in reaching your health goals. If you feel shaky, starving or deprived then you aren’t ready for as small of an eating window so tack on a half hour as needed and gradually shorten the eating window to 8 hours if you need to.

    Whatever you do MOOOOOOOOOVE. Walk, bend, stretch, keep active. It’s good for weight loss and for keeping blood flowing and being healthy.

    THE PLAN- pick whatever 8 hour window you like. If you aren’t ready for 8, do 9 or 10 to start and then eaaaaaaaaase into 8 but the point is, to let your body have the time to actually “work on” what you just ate. If you feed feed feed, the food doesn’t move through and get utilized to run your organs and it turns into more fat.

    Wake up/Go to work

    10 AM Eat whatever you want (I try to eat my candy, cake cookies, graham crackers, treats as close to morning or early afternoon as possible so I BURN OFF THOSE CALORIES throughout the day.

    Remember, FAT DOES NOT NOR WILL IT EVER MAKE YOU FAT. SUGAR is what makes us fat, based on it messing with your insulin levels. So, eat the fat, eat the sugar, but find alternatives where possible (fruit, wafer cookies with lower sugar, raisins, nuts, etc)

    Noon: Eat whatever (protein, veggies, salads, etc are a good plan to eat at any/all meals)

    2 PM: Eat whatever

    4 PM: Eat whatever

    5 PM: Eat whatever

    6 PM: Eat whatever and then

    FAST. This means you are done eating for your 8 hour eating window.
    The key is to EAT ENOUGH TO BE FULL BY THIS TIME. If you find that this is not working, try STARTING your eating window at 11 AM or Noon so you can eat for later toward evening as needed.

    The point is, you LIMIT your eating time to a “window” and then you allow your body to absorb, assimilate, excrete during the “fasting” hours. It just MAKES SENSE to let the body actually USE the fuel you give it and if you constantly eat you have no time to do that.

  • Andres Lopez

    Great article. I was wondering if the 16hr fasted period has to be during the morning (10pm-2pm) or can it be done 4pm to 8am and have a 8 hours window from 8am-4pm to consume your carlories?

  • Journii

    I’ve been wanting to try IF but what’s always holding me back was if I should or shouldn’t eat after my workouts! This is what I wanted to do but I wasn’t sure if it was the right method:
    6am: wake up and have coffee (or tea)
    9am: train fasted (weights and cardio)
    Noon: first meal
    7pm: second meal
    8pm: start my fast until the next day

    Depending on the day, after my workout, I have a 1 to 2 hour window before I would consume my first meal, and I was wondering if that was ok. I was always told that I should consume some type of protein after my workouts to not lose muscle mass, but I’m worried that if I do that, I would be kicked out of my fasted state before my first meal. Apart of me wonders if I should just adjust my eating window too when I finish working out, but like the idea of eating at noon-7pm. Any advice would be appreciated!

  • adam

    I typically never eat after a work out….maybe a glass of chocolate milk….or a protein shake, but that’s about it….due to my newborn, and work schedule, I work out at night, and so after my workout, I basically go right to bed 😛 Research says this is _bad_ but I’ve never had ANY problems sleeping, in fact, my wife knows when I’ve worked out, and when I have not…lol…I sleep like a rock on my workout days 😉

  • Regina Ochoa

    can I use garcinia cambogia w/ it?

  • http://www.harmononiousoutcomes.com detoxexpert

    If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you? I’m wondering because of the info in the article about it not working so well for some women.

  • http://www.youtube.com/DelusionDispeller LauraBeth Culbert

    Hi. Thanks for asking. I’m 50 years old but not feeling a day over 30 something 🙂 You can write to me at DelusionDispeller@gmail.com and I also have my own ebook I’ve just finished publishing on Amazon Kindle on this same topic from my own personal experience. Thanks for your inquiry and I’m happy to help.

  • http://www.youtube.com/DelusionDispeller LauraBeth Culbert

    what else do you eat after your breakfast, please?

  • Marcelo

    Hello i want to try the 16/8 fasting but my i have to do it everyday or can i take a day of
    16 hrs it’s the perfect amount but what it’s the minimun amount of hours?
    thank in advance

  • Sharon Turner

    Hi. I am a 53 yr old lady, in Australia, that is in the middle (I think) of Menopause (or maybe the moods were from eating really bad food). On November 7th 2016 (already had been Intermittent Fasting 16hrs per day approx.) I went VEGAN. And honestly, within 3 days, all my “dark” thoughts, suicidal dreams, depression, was all but gone. Sounds crazy right? I don’t know if it is psychological, physical, or both, but I started feeling much better. I started at 97.2 kgs (214 pounds), and as I am typing this comment, on the 26th November, 2016, I have lost 4.3kgs (9.4 pounds) so in 19 days I have lost 0.22kgs or a half pound a day (averaged out to the 19 days but not always the same each day). I have not been a fan of working out* everyday, but I am doing it now, for approx. 30mins.
    I work 3-4 nights a week as a Karaoke Host (my business) which involves carrying PA equipment & out of the venues, standing and jigging around to the songs/music etc, coupled with the workouts, has attributed to this weight loss. Now being Vegan I have changed my diet which caused some bloating and gas problems, but other than that, and feeling a little tired here & there (taking time to work all this out), I feel pretty damn good. I eat healthy food, and that’s around 900-1100 calories a day (occasionally has been up to 1300, but then I try to workout a little more intensely to offset that. I also try to consume Estrogen mimicking foods to balance my hormones, being that I am sure I am in Menopause stages. I do keep track of what I am doing, using http://www.chron-o-meter. Am I on the right track?

  • Sharon Turner

    Hi Sweetbiscuit. I have posted just today. I am impressed with your comments. I am also in Australia. I am wondering where in Coles etc do you find this Miso Paste? I am due to “shop” again in the next few days?

  • Sharon Turner

    YEP he is 😉 So am I 😉

  • Eckardt Stander

    Hi Steve
    I have been doing intermittent for 4 weeks now, and i did lose wieght, my question is will a low carb diet in my opening window of 2pm to 10pm make the fat losing process faster? I have been doing it for a week, and most of the time i am more tired than i have been and feel light headed most of the times, but is it efficient? Or is it bad?

  • James Leighton

    This happens because healthy habits have not been entrenched into the brain if you carry on eating right and excising you wont yo-yo.

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