Not gonna lie, kids. I’m not really in the mood for this. Well, I’m not really in the mood for anything but sitting here and watching “Rome”. But, I’m hoping as I get writing it will help cheer me up a little. So, shall we get started?
Intermittent Fasting: What is it?
Intermittent fasting is nothing more than the practice of NOT eating for a set period of time, either daily or once weekly. Now, if you’re that anal about reading every post I have ever written, not only do I want to send you a free t-shirt, but you will see that I used to be in the “you MUST eat 6 meals a day, and it MUST be all ‘clean’ ” camp. Well, here’s the thing: more questions led to more research which led to more personal experiences. So, I changed my mind….drastically. More on that in a bit.
2 Methods of Intermittent Fasting
Both methods really ARE as easy as they sound. In fact, so easy a caveman could do it. Oh wait, that’s ‘kind of’ what they’re both based off of. Any-Hways, for both methods, during the hours you can’t eat, you can’t have any calories at all, including liquids. That means you can drink water, coffe, or tea. I’ve been asked about zero calorie “sports drinks”, and I don’t think they’re a good idea. They could trick your body into thinking that it’s getting carbs, but when you really aren’t getting them, it sends a signal to your brain to keep craving carbs. I don’t know; it’s a theory, and if you gamble and lose, you could end up sabotaging a day’s worth of effort.
As stated, for Eat Stop Eat, you can’t ingest any calories for 24 consecutive hours. Most people see results doing it just once per week as long as they stick with it. If you are metabolicly inflexible, you can either increase your physical activity or try doing two 24-hour fasts in one week. Easy peasy, simple pimple.
As stated, for Martin Berkhan’s daily fasts, you simply pick 16 consecutive hours in which you don’t ingest any calories. Or, if you want to look at it a different way, you only have an 8 hour window to eat all of your calories for the entire day. This window is also known as “the feeding window”. Well, I think it is. I might have just made it up. Maybe not though. I might have called it “feeding time” or something that sounds a little more juvenile.
Berkhan’s method is also very closely related to the popular “Warrior Diet“. (Or maybe the Warrior Diet is closely related to Berkhan. I don’t know which one came first, nor do I care.)
Irregardless, whichever you choose to follow, the underlying biological/physiological responses are very similar.
Which Method is Right for You?
That can only be answered by you. Do you have a lifestyle that allows you to eat 6 times a day? Do you enjoy preparing meals and eating 6 times per day? Do you actually like eating clean most of the time? Certainly you don’t *have* to eat like that in order to pick Eat Stop Eat, but if you’re already eating that way, it might be the easiest transition for you.
On the flip side, maybe you’re a construction worker and can’t bring 5 meals with you or just don’t have time to eat 5 meals. Maybe you just naturally dislike eating breakfast. Maybe you like high calorie (absolutely delicious) comfort food. In that case, the daily 16 hour fasts would be PERFECT for you.
Remember, no matter which method you choose, if you want to lose weight, you must eat FEWER calories than you burn. If you want to gain weight, you must eat MORE calories than you burn.
My Experiences with Intermittent Fasting
I’m happy to say that I’ve had great experiences with both forms of intermittent fasting. When I started Eat Stop Eat, I dropped 10 pounds almost immediately without any loss of strength. Progress then slowed a little, but weekends filled with consecutive days of binge drinking probably didn’t help. I also got a little careless with my calories. But in all actuality, that should be even MORE of a reason to try it. I was able to maintain weightloss WHILE drinking like a sailor and eating like a pig. Pretty good, eh?
I’ve just recently started daily 16 hour fasts. Over the 4th of July weekend, I managed to gain 5 pounds. True story. Again, drinking like a sailor and TONS of sweet, delicious deliciousness. But in just a week, I’ve managed to lose 4 of those pounds. The great thing about it is that I have been eating just MASSIVE f*cking meals every night. Tonight I made tacos with 1.16 lb. of beef, FLOUR tortillas, PROCESSED cheese, and sour cream (as well as onions, olives, and lettuce). Not exactly what most fanatics would call “clean”. But you know what? I probably still didn’t hit my maintenance level of calories today. That means I’ll lose weight. Wicked!
So, as I like to torment my clean eating fanatical friends, if you could eat “unhealthy” meals, still lose weight, and still be healthy, wouldn’t you want to?
Don’t Miss Your Chance
I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.
Then I took control.
You can too, and it starts right here.