More Ways to Perform Intermittent Fasting

More Ways to Perform Intermittent Fasting

Posted on 25. Jul, 2010 by in Uncategorized

Since I have read the e-book, Eat Stop Eat (ESE) by Brad Pilon, a couple of years ago, fasting has become a majorly accepted way to lose stubborn fat in the fitness industry. This can be due to the fact that a lot of people have seen how effective it is in terms of losing weight even though your diet is less than perfect. If you haven’t heard of Eat Stop Eat, here is a little background for you in this article: Fasting for Weight Loss: Unravelling the Controversy. The article talks about how I first came about fasting and my experience and results from applying it.

fasting

Since I wrote that article, fasting has become a way of life for me. It has given me freedom from obsessive-compulsive eating and counting each calorie that goes through my mouth. But, do not get me wrong. I still pay attention to what I eat and I eat fairly healthily but I find comfort in the fact that I can still occasionally enjoy not-so-healthy foods every now and then and not put my health and fitness progress to a screeching halt.

I originally started with two 24-hour fasts as outlined in Eat Stop Eat. But, I find that during the winter months, I get really cold and my body can not tolerate this long of a fast. The longer fasts works well for me during the summer as I stay nice and cool even though it’s 100 degrees outside. So, in my quest to keep up with my fasting during the winter months or have an alternative choice when I do not want to do 24-hour fasts, I searched other fitness blogs for an answer. I was fortunate to find two very well-researched and applied blogs that talk about different ways to perform intermittent fasting.

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Other Fasting Protocols

The first one is the IF Life by Mike O’Donnell. Mike has been an experienced fitness blogger who has been advocating fasting for as long as Eat Stop Eat was released (just getting this from memory but he has been blogging for quite sometime and has quite a following). Just like Brad, Mike tells you about the benefits of fasting and outlines a few ways that you can do a fast. You can get his free-report here: IF Life Free Report and read it for more information. Mike is also known for calling this strategy intermittent feeding as fasting may turn off some people when they hear it for the first time.

The second one that I found was from fellow fitness blogger, Martin Berkhan, at Leangains.com. I like Martin’s site because he specifically outlines the ways that you can fast based on what time of day you workout. For instance, I am currently following his early morning, fasted training protocol where I take Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) 3 times in the morning before a workout, several minutes post-workout, and 2 hours after that. I then eat my biggest meal at noon and eat during my 6-hour feeding window. Please note that Martin recommended an 8-hour feeding window but since I only eat about 1500 calories, I can eat during these 6 hours, feel satisfied, and have a longer fasting window. I also sleep fairly early so eating my last meal at 6 p.m. helps me sleep better at night without the disturbance of digestion during my sleep.

If you’re interested in other ways to fast besides the Eat Stop Eat way, you can read Martin’s post here: Lean Gains Guide. In this page, he talks about how you can include fasting if you workout in the morning, at noon, and in the afternoon. He also talks about how you should distribute your macronutrients between meals and during workout days.

I have been doing a 6-hour feeding window for 3 weeks now and I have to say that it has been working very well for me. I do not see a decrease in strength at the gym and the shorter fasting window is a bit more manageable especially with my busy schedule. My husband asked me the other day what I’ve been doing differently because he’s noticed the changes in my body already and I said – just the way I fast.

To me, if you can do something consistently over time with fewer rules, the more likely I’ll be able to stick to it for the long run. This is definitely the key to programs like Eat Stop Eat and other ways of fasting. They have helped me get the benefits of fasting such as increase insulin sensitivity (less prone to diabetes), increase fat burning in stubborn areas, increase in growth hormone (favors fat burning and preserves muscle mass) and much more. At the same time, I am able to stick to a long-term nutrition plan instead of a fad diet that is difficult to follow and not recommended to be used for long periods of time.

If you haven’t ventured into the intermittent fasting world, I suggest you start looking at it and find out how you can incorporate it into your lifestyle. But, be aware that this is not one of those “diets” that promise to help you lose weight fast (which is a too good to be true claim anyway). Intermittent fasting will give you a way to continually better your health and constantly reduce stubborn areas of fat when you follow it consistently.

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  • http://leanmeanvirilemachine.com Darrin

    For me, the biggest advantage of intermittent fasting vs caloric restriction is that it is MUCH easier to do. Skipping breakfast (and sometimes lunch) takes a lot less out of me than trying to cut myself off before I'm satiated. I eat every meal until I'm full now and am in the best shape of my life!

  • AnnaDornier

    That's really the beauty of fasting, Darrin, it makes our lives much easier
    without sacrificing results.

  • http://www.zenmyfitness.com Raymond-ZenMyFitness

    I have tried fasting for awhile and hated every minute of it.
    But firstly let me say it DOES WORK. I can drop my bodyfat really quickly when I fast for 2 days over 3 days. I usually would do it at the beginning of the month.
    But when I reach my body fat target I stop it .. I hate the feeling of being hungry, I'm sure most people would too ( cavemen didn't choose to go hungry they had no choice) but again it is a good strategy when you are in a fat loss plateau ..
    I noticed in the afternoons I get really tired and hard to focus on my job ..so I recommend only do it if you need to stimulate fatloss .

    Raymond

  • Bev Budig

    For years I would eat a minimal breakfast–maybe just a piece of toast or English muffin. I was frequently tired by 10am–I had no energy at all. Then I read about the importance of a good breakfast and always eat in the morning before I go to work.

    I also have to add that I have tried fasting–overnight in preparation to have blood drawn for tests. And I tell you, I tend to be cranky without eating in the morning so I am usually one of the first people at the lab when the doors open so I can get in and out to have something to eat.

    Maybe there are ways of doing it that I am not aware of but I do agree with the comment by Raymond-ZenMyFitness–I hate the feeling of being hungry. It can be quite distracting at work.

  • AnnaDornier

    Raymond, it can have that effect in some people where they get tired towards
    the end of the fast. This is why I gave the choice of 14-18 hours because
    you are sleeping most of the time. But, if other nutrition plans work for
    you then I do not see the need to do fasting.

    Anna

  • Sarah_brookes

    Hey Anna

    Are you doing the new style fasts everyday? at what time do you now have your first meal is 6pm is your last?
    Sarah (PTSA)

  • AnnaDornier

    Hi Sarah, I take a break from the fasting schedule on Friday and Saturday
    but still watch what I eat which means I do not go crazy overboard…haha.
    My first meal is at noon and my last meal is right before 6 p.m. since I
    teach a 6:15 class. Let me know if you're going to try it and what kind of
    results you get.

    Anna

  • http://twitter.com/gailnott Gail Nott

    I like the idea of the 6 hour feeding window. Where do you get the Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)? Also, within the 6 hours do you snack every 2 hours?

  • AnnaDornier

    Bev, I used to be one of those people who would get cranky when she's hungry
    :) If you don't believe me, just ask my husband…LOL. The feeling of being
    hungry only lasts for several minutes. Once I get busy, I don't even notice
    it. Most people don't even know what hunger really feels anymore. Most the
    “hunger” that we think we feel is just due to our bodies being used to
    eating at a certain times of the day. Fasting has become a way of life for
    me and has given me the benefits of better health that I can't imagine not
    doing it :)

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Anna

  • AnnaDornier

    Gail, as a ATD Fitness client, you are entitled to an initial 30-minute
    initial lifestyle and nutrition consultation. If you're interested in how
    you can apply the 6-hour feeding window and have a specific plan for doing
    it, please schedule the consultation with me so we can get you started.

    You can get BCAAs at GNC or other supplement stores. Just make sure you get
    the powdered form so you're not swallowing too many pills :) I don't snack,
    I eat 3 big meals during that time.

    Anna

  • http://www.notyouraveragefitnesstips.com Dave – Fitness Training Tips

    Anna,
    I've had a lot of success with Eat Stop Eat. I experience the same cold sensation as you so it will be interesting to see what happens in the winter (I started ESE in spring). I'm a big fan of Martin's website and enjoyed the research he posted that showed a 14-18 hour fast is really all you need to eliminate “stubborn” body fat.
    Dave

  • http://www.thefittestvegan.com/ Alejandro "TheFittestVegan"

    What I enjoyed the most about fasting was realizing that I did not need to eat. I had never not eaten, I always eat so to stop and realize that I wasnt hungry but in fact I had more than enough energy stored was a big eye opener. that was the first day that I started to lose weight as I realized that I was eating way more than I needed.

  • Sarah_brookes

    Hey Anna

    I tried it briefly a few weeks ago and found not eating until lunchtime easy unlike the 24 hour fasts that i find quite hard! I am going to try the bcaa supplement and do it properly so i'll keep you posted on the results!
    sx

  • Thomas – Waist, Hips & Thighs

    Great post and I like that you give other options other than Eat Stop Eat. I use ESE myself and it works wonders. If I know I have a party or event coming up i use ESE to give me that extra calorie room so I maintain my body levels (weight & fat). For some people they do tend to feel hunger but i think that like working out is a mind thing something I too had to overcome.

  • FitXcel

    This is exactly why people shouldn't buy in to the 8 meals per day hype. It's obviously not necessary. I'm like you, in that I have a fairly short feeding window. It absolutely works.

    -Drew

  • Annadornier

    Great! I'm sure it will work and you'll love it even more :)

  • AnnaDornier

    Yep, it's good to know that I don't always have to do it for 24 hours but
    sometimes, I do need the longer fast time just to kinda restart my system.

    Anna

  • http://pathtofatloss.com annadornier

    Alejandro, when we fast, we definitely become more aware that we do not have
    to eat as much as we think. Most people can lose weight just by eating less.
    What a surprise…LOL. I love it!

    Anna

  • http://pathtofatloss.com annadornier

    Thomas, hunger is definitely a mind thing. Most people haven't really
    experienced real hunger unless they have fasted for a blood test or
    something. Just like anything else, we train our mind that it's ok to get
    hungry when we fast.

    Anna

  • http://pathtofatloss.com annadornier

    Drew, it does work perfectly well and I'm glad you can vouch for it.

    Anna

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  • Rayca

    Thank you so much for your post. I’ve been looking for another female who has tried IF. The Leangains’ window recommendation for women is not much more than what we sleep anyway. A couple hours outside the sleep window? That’s not a fast, in my view. That’s just skipping a meal. I’m glad to hear you’ve had success in stretching it out a bit. I was thinking a 4-6 hour window or perhaps throwing in a 24-hr. fast once every ten or twelve days. I would rather stick to a schedule though. I’m that type of person.

  • http://pathtofatloss.com annadornier

    Hi Rayca, glad you liked that window. Sticking to a schedule definitely helps especially when it comes to developing habits. Add the 24 hour fast every now and then but don’t use it as a plan B too much. It’s better to stick to this or 24 hr fast or switch completely. Otherwise, it would be too confusing :)

  • Pingback: Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat Review – The Truth on Eat Stop Eat Eat Stop Eat Diet Review – Does Brad Pilon’s Diet Program Really Work? Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat Review: Not Your Typical Diet Program Eat Stop Eat Diet Program Sav

  • Leslie

    I love reading up on those of you who have moved to IF living. It’s so inspiring. However, while I read so many success stories, I have yet to see someone who has a similar lifestyle to mine, and I worry I won’t be able to join you all as practitioners of IF.

    I’m posting because I’m seeking any input/advice on helping me to create a IF regimen to fit my unusual schedule.

    I’m a 24-year old female, an endurance athlete, and a high school teacher.

    I’m at up at 5am, at work by 6:45am, get to my workout around 3pm, and eat dinner at 6pm. I either ride my bike for 30+ miles or go 6-7k run.

    I don’t have an opportunity to workout in the mornings like Martin from Lean Gains does/suggests, and I have tried fasting until after my 3pm workouts and then consuming my meals then. However, going without food for 20+ hours and then doing 1.5+ hours of intense cardio completely debilitates my performance.

    (I should note that during my workouts, I spent at least 90% of my
    workout out at 95% of my theoretical max HR. My primary focus is to be
    lean and have a solid power to weight ratio for cycling, my primary
    sport.)

    My question: are there any other people who participate in a high cardio sport/exercise so late in the day that follow an IF regimen, and if so, what’s your feeding schedule look like?

    Or even for those who don’t meet the aforementioned description, do you have a suggestion for how I might be able to structure my feeding regimen so that I’m not bonking 45 minutes into my workouts from a lack of fuel?

    If my focus was weight and resistance training, I think I wouldn’t be as hard-pressed to find a feeding schedule to coincide with my work(out) schedule. However, I’m at a loss. I’m willing to try anything to lose that last bit of body fat for my health and my sport, and I’d be most appreciative for any and all suggestions.

    Thank you!
    -Leslie

  • http://pathtofatloss.com annadornier

     Leslie, thank you for your detailed question.  I can definitely help you out as far as the schedule.  But, I would need to know which days you are training and how often.  Once I get this reply, I can give you a full response.