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Intermittent Fasting has become an exceptionally popular way of losing weight over the last couple of years, which is probably both good and bad.

Good in that it raises awareness of a style of eating that could help a LOT of people. Intermittent fasting works amazingly well for many people, and it does so in a sustainable way. So in my opinion, the more people willing to try out intermittent fasting the better. Unfortunately, the bad part of this popularity is that people are already trying to make fasting more complex than it needs to be.

There are hundreds of different ways to fast (after all, we’re really just talking about taking a break from eating) many of them are great.

The truth is, short periods of fasting are an incredibly effective way to burn body fat. They don’t need to be complicated, improved or fiddled with. They already work, really, really well.

So I thought I would share with you exactly what Eat Stop Eat style intermittent fasting means to me, and what sets it apart from all other diet and intermittent fasting programs.

Eat Stop Eat means being comfortable with the idea of taking an occasional break from eating

That’s it. That’s all fasting really is – a break from eating. How long you take a break for is completely up to you. I recommend 24 hours because it’s simple, effective and easy to remember, but there’s no magic to it. Pick the time that works best for you, then just take a break from eating for a while. When you feel you are done, start eating again. No pre-fast meals or post-fast meals. You go back to eating as you normally would.

It’s just a short break…

A large part of this comfort comes from knowing that you are doing something good for your body. You are not losing muscle or killing your metabolism or any of that fitness-nutrition nonsense. You are simply taking a break from eating. When you do this you are taking a short break from burning ‘food calories’ and instead burn the calories from your body fat stores.

It’s learning to go without…

I’m not a fan of trying to cheat your way through a fast. I don’t like the idea of chicken broth or beef broth or other ‘zero calorie’ foods. An important and often overlooked benefit of fasting is the lessons you learn from fasting that carry though to when you are eating. Learning to go without is a big part of that. It’s a form of patience that translates to better self-control when you are eating.

My rule of thumb with fasting and the things you can eat or drink during a fast is as follows: If I can go without I go without, if I absolutely can’t then I don’t.

So those people who want to know if they can have beef broth or greens drinks or ‘a little milk in their coffee’ during their fasts, I say if the difference between them fasting or not fasting at all (eating as usual) is the need for some beef broth then go ahead and have the beef broth, but if you are just trying to find ways to cheat your way though a fast then don’t use the beef broth.

Probably the most important part of Eat Stop Eat is the flexibility of the fasts…

Staying flexible is probably the most important part of the overall Eat Stop Eat philosophy. Granted, every one of your fasts is not going to be easy, but they shouldn’t feel like punishment. If you are constantly dreading your fasts you are doing it wrong. Stay flexible. Find times that work for you.

If you want to eat dinner every single day, fine, it’s completely doable.

If you want to have breakfast every day? Fine, you can do that too with Eat Stop Eat.

With Eat Stop Eat you have the power to tailor your schedule to your life, and too the way you like to eat. Which is probably why the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle is so flexible.

You do need to workout, but when you workout is up to you…

This is another part of the flexibility of Eat Stop Eat. If you want to workout when you are fasting, that’s OK. If you don’t want to workout during your fasts – that’s OK too. Truthfully, it’s just great that you are working out. And, if you want to know the very best time to workout the answer is simple: The best time to workout is when you feel like working out – when you enjoy working out the most, and when you can put in the best effort.

Don’t over think these things and don’t let other people over think them for you. The ability to do what feels best and is most comfortable for you is the best part of Eat Stop Eat (well, that and the weight loss).

Here’s the thing – I’ve made a living out of researching intermittent fasting. From my review of the research the style I like best is the style I wrote about in Eat Stop Eat.

It’s a lifestyle, and it’s YOUR lifestyle. Eat Stop Eat is about flexibility, ease and effectiveness. So please don’t fall victim to the idea that fasting has to somehow be complicated to be effective.

Do what works for you…

Make sure you are tracking metrics so you know whether or not something is actually working.

If things aren’t working the way you had hoped then try changing them, but if things ARE working for you, don’t change them just because some on-line person told you to.

There are no incorrect ways to eat…

In fact, the one thing that Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, low carb, high carb, high protein, low protein, high fat and low fat diets all have in common is that Eat Stop Eat can be used with each and every one of them.

I think sometimes people get a little too caught up in arguments over right or wrong ways to eat, when it’s much better to focus on what is possible when you keep it flexible and adjust it to your own life.

A critical part of the Eat Stop Eat philosophy that sets it apart from all other fasting programs is the fact that there is no wrong way to eat.

As hypocritical as it is (and it is very hypocritical, I know) this is one of my all time favorite quotes on nutrition:

“Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you, and be silent.”

Tens of thousands of people have successfully used Eat Stop Eat to lose weight, and over the years the simple message of Eat Stop Eat has not changed – We want the simplest way to lose weight, with the least amount of complication. And, since Eat Stop Eat has worked so well there has never been a reason to complicate it.

If you like the idea of an uncomplicated yet highly effective way to lose weight and keep it off , then Eat Stop Eat style intermittent fasting may be right for you.


Brad Pilon