Tag Archives: intermittent fasting
Posted on 25. Jul, 2010 by admin.
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.
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.
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.
Posted on 07. Aug, 2009 by admin.
The other day as I got done with my first fast of the week, I realized that Eat Stop Eat, by Brad Pilon, has become more than just a way for me to lose weight. If this is your first time reading about ESE, please read this post first so that you can have more background information and read about my previous results from the program. Besides all the amazing and obvious results that I have experienced from this program such as:
- 12% reduction in body fat
- About 10 inches lost in my overall body circumference and
- Continued weight loss,
I have noticed several additional benefits when I do my fasts. I never would have thought that this program would work so well for me but I continue to do so because the longer I practice it, the more benefits I get from it. Here are some of them:
I don’t know what it is but when I do fast and go to ben with an empty stomach, I sleep much better at night. One of my friends have asked me if my stomach growls before bed time. To be truthful, it does but only for several minutes. After that, my body just feels so restful. From a scientific stand point, I figured that my body is calmer because my organs don’t have the interference from food digestion which I would normally have if I had dinner.
Determining Food Allergies that cause Gas and Bloating
Ok, I have to say that this can be a very embarassing topic to talk about but it is a very important subject to talk about nonetheless. Before I practiced ESE, I never really noticed any of my gas and/or bloating issues. I figured that these are both a part of everyday life and I’ll just have to deal with it because that’s just the way it is. However, with the combination of eating healthier and practicing intermittent fasting, I’ve noticed that certain foods trigger these symptoms. So, after identifying those foods, I simply stopped eating those foods and I have greatly reduced this symptoms by about 90% without taking any medication! Some of the foods that I have stopped eating are:
- Cottage Cheese (bloating) – this can be due to the protein found in milk, Casein. Some people can be allergic to it without suffering from any serious symptoms. But, if bloating is bothersome enough then, it might be a good idea for anyone to take it out of their diet for a little bit to see if the bloating stops.
- Wheat/Gluten (Gas) – this is actually a common allergen for most people and probably the cause of the popularity of many wheat and gluten free foods in health food stores. I noticed that I’m not too sensitive to it but I just can’t have too much of it.
One of the most basic principles of practicing Eat Stop Eat was to simply “eat less.” This means that when you fast twice a week, you’re creating a calorie deficit and also reducing your intake of sugar and salt. My reduction in salt intake is probably one of my biggest causes of water retention. At the same time, I am more mindful of drinking water and green tea during a fast. As a result, I get rid of even more unneccessary water from my body. If you don’t already know, the more water you drink, the more water you actually get rid of and not the other way around.
I always say that I feel like I just clicked on the “Restart button” for my whole body after a fast. After having spent most of my adult life constantly eating (and used to eating bad stuff too), I really do feel cleansed after each and every fast. I feel that I’m giving myself and my organs a break from the constant work load that I put my body through after I eat my usual meals.
I was inspired to write this article because I really do feel that the additional benefits, not mentioned in the book, that I have discovered through intermittent fasting are very important to our overall health. If you have not read the book and have always wondered why fasting is so effective for fat loss, Brad Pilon does a great job of explaining the hormonal effects and the fat burning responses from those effects during a fast in a way that everyone can understand.
I couldn’t recommend this book enough. In fact, I encourage my adult clients, the ones who do not have any serious medical issues, to practice intermittent fasting. To me, it is by far the easiest and most efficient way to burn fat without the hassle of counting calories or what Brad calls “obsessive compulsive eating.”