As I seem to talk about or at least mention in most of my posts, I am a huge fan of intermittent fasting. It has been the best way that I know of to control my calories and reduce my weight. I learned about it from Rusty over at Fitness Black Book around January of 2010 or a little before that. Through Rusty, I learned of a program called Eat Stop Eat.
Since I first learned of intermittent fasting and for the last year and a half, I have been very interested in learning as much as I can about fasting for weight loss. I have read numerous articles, studies, as well as comments and testimonials on intermittent fasting. I have yet to find anything better than Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat program.
Intermittent Fasting Case Study
A few posts ago, I mentioned a case study that I made about my experience with intermittent fasting. I made it available to anyone that wants it and also told everyone to let me know of any questions that they have. The response has been pretty overwhelming to say the least!
If you haven’t read it yet, you can get it here:
I am so excited to see that so many people are learning about intermittent fasting and deciding to give it a try. Once people go through and discover the effectiveness of fasting, they have an effective tool in their weight loss arsenal. In fact, they will never have to worry about how to lose weight or what diet to go on ever again.
Of all of the questions and comments that I have been getting, I had a few that totally surprised me. I have had a few people email to tell me that intermittent fasting does not work! This kind of blindsided me because in my experience, it not only works, it works really well.
I set out to see what was happening with these people and discovered what they were doing differently. I found what it was and I want to make sure that you don’t do this.
What were they doing? It is simple, they were overeating in between fasts.
If you overeat on the days that you are not fasting or if you pig out the first meal after a fast, you will ruin any chance of losing weight and burning fat.
As effective as intermittent fasting is, it isn’t magic.
Just because you fast for 16-24 hours doesn’t give you a free pass to eat like a maniac in between. There are other benefits to fasting and if you eat the same amount of calories each week, but fast, you will get benefits. I’m not talking about this though. For the purpose of this post, I am strictly talking weight loss.
For weight loss, as it always has been and always will be, it is calories in versus calories out. If you want to lose weight, you need to reduce your caloric intake on a consistent basis.
Intermittent fasting does this.
The thing that you need to remember though is that if you eat more calories than you use, (fasting or no fasting) you will gain weight.
So use intermittent fasting to reduce calories, but try and eat your normal diet in between. If you do this, you will lose weight. I actually use fasting more as a tool to maintain my weight now, rather than lose weight. I do eat like a maniac at times and use intermittent fasting to clean up the mess. When I was using it to lose weight though, I still watched my diet more in between fasts. The difference is that now, I am not trying to lose weight, I am not looking for a caloric deficit. If I ever need to lose weight again or for some reason feel the need to get “super ripped”, I will watch my diet in between fasts again.
[On a side note: I have no desire to get "super ripped". I am a 42 year old, married, father of three holding on for dear life to the remaining hair that I have on my head! Gettin ripped with six pack abs and buns of steel just doesn't really fit in to my main goals right now. Give me some brats cooked over a campfire with a cold margarita and I'll be more than happy. It's just nice to know though that with intermittent fasting, I can stay lean and could get super ripped if I really wanted to.]
So the point is with intermittent fasting, you can use it to lose weight or just maintain your weight. If you want to lose, you still need to make sure that you have a caloric deficit. If you don’t, you are not going to lose weight on a consistent basis.
I wish I could tell you that you can fast a few times a week, eat 4,000 calories worth of twinkies each day and still look like Raymond from Zenmyfitness.com, but it won’t happen! As great as intermittent fasting is, it still has it’s limitations. In the real world, even fasting only goes so far.
[On another side note: Did you check out my friend Raymond from Zenmyfitness? That dude is "super ripped"! He's older than me, which just proves that he is waaaay more dedicated than me! He is also a big fan of intermittent fasting. Go figure.]
The great thing though is that once you reach your target weight, you can have a hell of a lot more fun in between fasts and never worry about your weight. You can go out and have a great time, enjoy the holidays, and just adjust your calories in between fats according to how much you weigh.
Intermittent Fasting Encyclopedia
Good luck and let me know how things are going. If you haven’t got a copy of Eat Stop Eat, check it out here:
It is the best program out there that I have found on intermittent fasting. In fact it is the encyclopedia of intermittent fasting!