Archive for the Category Fasting


Eat Stop Eat Fasting Tea With High Polyphenols is on Sale Now!

Let’s cut right to the chase… I’ve developed a unique tea to support your intermittent fasting, and it’s amazing.

Fasting tea is a collection of high “polyphenol” ingredients designed to help accelerate all the positive benefits of intermittent fasting…

From curbing hunger to blocking the synthesis of new fat, and even possibly killing existing fat cells, polyphenols are pretty awesome.

They really do everything — from improving the health of your mitochondria, to helping with inflammation and insulin sensitivity — polyphenols have a wide array or really great health benefits, and that’s why I chose them as the core of my fasting tea.

And I sought out all the best, highest quality, natural sources of polyphenols. You can see the full list of polyphenol sources on this page. The result is a blend of high potency, great tasting, not too sweet polyphenols in a delicious drink.

Now, if you’re looking for a “magic bullet,” or a 5,000% boost in your metabolism, then fasting tea isn’t for you, but if you’re happy to enjoy the gradual benefits that can improve your health and your body composition, as well as reducing inflammation, neutralizing free radicals and free radical formation, then fasting tea is for you.

And if you’re wondering “But Brad, couldn’t I just make this myself?” the answer is yes, yes you could. You’ll see all the ingredients at the link below. However, I’ve done all the work to make this easy, tasty and well… easy.

[[ To be 100% honest with you, I made this tea for me. It’s the formula I wanted for me, so you can rest assured that it’s really, really good stuff. ]]

Also, I know I called it “fasting tea,” but it’s something I take every day, fasting or not.

Finally, I know you are probably skeptical, you probably see supplements all the time, but I really want you to give this one a try. And today you can get over 35% OFF on your first bottle…

You special discount page here ==> Fasting Tea Special Deal

I really think you’re going to love Fasting Tea!

Should Women Fast?

It IS TRUE that many women have had problems when they added fasting into their diet and nutrition plan. But, the question becomes, was the problem the fasting?

It should come as no surprise that there are obvious gender differences in how the human body works. From the way genders look to their unique metabolisms, men and women do have very different physiologies.

In fact, there are entire books dedicated to the topic (my favorite being “Gender Differences in Metabolism” by Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky).

In short, aside from the obvious physical differences in muscle mass and body fat levels, women also differ from men due to women having their own set of unique metabolic and physiologic needs that relate to their child-bearing physiology, and this fact simply can not be ignored when discussing diet and weight loss.

A woman’s ovarian function is particularly sensitive to energy balance and energy flux, which can be explained easily by saying a woman’s body is constantly monitoring the energy available since the energy needs for pregnancy are high.

If the energy needed to support pregnancy is not available, or is perceived to be at risk of becoming unavailable, then the body takes steps to lessen the chance of pregnancy.

In fact, “available energy” is monitored in three distinct ways:

1)    Energy Status – The amount of stored energy within a woman’s body. This is most often thought of as body fat or body fat percentage.
2)    Energy Balance – The balance between calories in and calories out. Basically whether or not a woman is actively losing weight.
3)    Energy Flux – The RATE of calories in and the RATE of calories out. A woman may not be losing weight, but her calorie intake and output are extremely low, or both extremely high.

As an example, a woman with very low levels of body fat (15-20%) may be at higher risk for metabolic changes due to her low amount of available energy, since the amount of energy stored in her body fat may not be enough to support a full pregnancy.

A woman undergoing prolonged severe dieting may be at higher risk for metabolic changes because of the large discrepancy between calories in and calories out, despite still having higher than average levels of body fat.

And finally, a woman who is not losing weight — or is calorie balanced — but the flux is extremely high (athletes who eat and burn 3,000+ calories in a given day) could be at risk of metabolic changes because of the high flux of calories, even though she is in calorie balance and has normal levels of body fat.

So a woman who wants to lose weight must be aware that her unique situation will affect how her body responds to any particular weight loss or exercise program. And this includes fasting.

A woman’s current body fat level, her exercise program, and her degree of dieting are all risk factors.

Sadly, this is well-known physiology.  Physiologic and metabolic disturbances like the female athlete triad have been studied for years.

So people who are saying that fasting CAUSES issues with women’s hormones, without looking at the other possible factors either don’t understand this physiology, or are ignoring it. Both are equally concerning.

Either way, fasting itself I don’t see as the issue, but something that exasperates any one of these three issues.

Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Diabetes?

Intermittent Fasting has become VERY popular in the main stream media over the last 6 months.

These things happen in cycles, the last time being around 2013.

In 2013, when Intermittent Fasting was a big topic in the news, we had all sorts of crazy stories about the ‘miracles’ of IF.

Then, as a result, we had the backlash, with clickbait articles about the dangers of IF, including IF not being good for women.

So now, Fasting is Big Again, so please be aware, the negative information will be coming again…

As an example, lets talk about the recent reports that fasting now causes Diabetes.

This comes from absolutely reckless and irresponsible reporting, using information gleaned from a poster presentation at a conference, not a published or reviewed study.

The study in question was also performed on Wistar Rats and they didn’t actually measure whether or not the rats had become diabetic. Importantly there as also no mention of a control group.

[[ As a note, please keep in mind my conflicts of interest are obvious, so I’m trying to report the facts as best I can, but keep in mind, I can’t help but have biases in this regard ]]

As we’ve discussed earlier, longer fasts (48 plus hours) can cause temporary and transient insulin resistance in humans, as it takes some time to switch from ‘fat burning’ to ‘glucose burning’ when your blood is high in free fatty acids.

The important point from these findings is that the insulin resistance induced by 48 hours of fasting is not associated with changes in three diabetes linked genes – Calpain 3, calpaan 10 and DARP, suggesting that it is mediated by increased blood FFA and NOT a change in insulin signalling / handling.

Finally, please do not let a single presentation on rats alter your reality.  We should always be diligent, questioning what we think we know, but we should be just as cautious with bad news as we are with overly good news.

But at the same time, it is our duty to point out fake truths, otherwise they become reality .

Stay even keel on this – Fasting is a tool we use. It’s not magic, you don’t get to gorge on pizza and burgers just because you fast. However, from the human research, at this time it seems very unlikely that fasting will cause diabetes.


Read also – Should men treat diabetes differently than women?




Can You Drink Alcohol During a Fast?

I assure you I’d love the answer to be yes. As a person who practices intermittent fasting once or twice a week, I can tell you that there have been days were I’ve considered breaking a fast solely for a nice pint of Guinness.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I will think of every excuse in the book outlining why I should be able to have a drink.

Usually I go with the ‘”because it’s good for you” argument. Then my brain hits me with the counterargument of, “Better than fasting?”

Darn brain always trumps me.

But what actually happens when you do consume alcohol in the fasted state? Is it detrimental to the fat loss we expect from intermittent fasting?

Let’s explore.

To start a review of alcohol and fasting we need to know two basic things: what happens when we ingest alcohol, and where does it go after we ingest it?

After drinking alcohol, it is readily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. About 20% of the absorption of alcohol takes place by passive diffusion through the stomach wall with the rest absorbed through the duodenum and the walls of the small intestine [Norberg A, 2003].

Once the alcohol has been absorbed it is slowly eliminated. This occurs primarily through metabolism, basically it is burned as a fuel. A super small amount of alcohol gets excreted unchanged in the breath (0.7%), sweat (0.1%), and urine (0.3%) [Holford NH, 1997].

Here’s another fun fact: according to Wikipedia (who’s never wrong), the average human digestive system produces approximately 3 grams of ethanol per day (a little less than a third of a beer)… completely irrelevant to an article on intermittent fasting and alcohol, but interesting nonetheless.

However as I said, the point of this isn’t a complete review of the health benefits and metabolism alcohol.

Truthfully, this article came about because of a study titled “Effect of Moderate White Wine Consumption on Serum IgA and Plasma Insulin under fasting conditions”.

In this trial, 5 non-alcoholic men were asked to fast for 6 hours then consume 40 grams of alcohol in the form of medium dry white wine over a 3-hour period.

(To give you an idea, that’s just a little under three “super-sized” (9 oz.) glasses of wine.)

It turns out that this amount of alcohol intake did not raise insulin levels above the fasting levels (stayed below 10 uU/ml)[Kokavec A, 2006]. Pretty cool. Even cooler is that this finding is in line with several other studies. Turns out, alcohol even at these levels doesn’t have much influence on insulin levels [Hawkins R, 1972].

Now, since most people relate insulin levels to fat loss or fat storage, I understand why you might be thinking “HOLY CRAP, PILON JUST SAID I CAN HAVE 3 GLASSES OF WINE DURING MY FAST!!!”

Not so fast.

If you’ve read Eat Stop Eat (and I hope you have) then you know there’s more to fat burning than just insulin. We also have to look at growth hormone (GH).

Luckily, research on acute intake of alcohol and its impact on growth hormone has been conducted. Unfortunately the results are… well… equivocal.

In a trial completed in 1971, 11 healthy men were fed roughly 80 grams of alcohol after an overnight fast. This is the equivalent of drinking a little more than a bottle of wine or about 8 beers.

Following the ingestion of the alcohol, growth hormone levels rose well above normal levels. Within 3 hours after consuming the alcohol their blood free fatty acids (FFA) levels began to fall below normal fasting levels. Interestingly, blood glucose levels remained constant during the 3 hours of measurement [Bellet S, 1971].

This study is a little tricky, since that is a fairly high dose of alcohol. In all honesty, I’d hope that nobody is wondering if they can drink an entire bottle of wine during their fast.

In fact, it could be suggested that the increase in GH was a stress response from the fact that these gentlemen were more than likely intoxicated from this amount of wine, which was consumed fairly quickly, and in the morning.

Regardless, it would seem that with an increase in GH and a decrease in insulin we just might be able to get away with having a couple drinks during our fasts (YES!). Remember from Eat Stop Eat, the key markers of a fasted state are elevated GH and decreased Insulin.

However, it is also well known that both the acute and chronic intake of alcohol alters normal sleep patterns. Typically suppressing rapid eye movement and increasing slow wave sleep, with the magnitude of these changes being directly related to blood alcohol levels [Yules RB, 1966]. I find this to be interesting because it is also well known that nighttime growth hormone secretion is related to the appearance of slow wave sleep.

So we look to another study that examined the effects of a pre-bed drink in 5 adult males. In this trial fasted men consumed 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight of alcohol prior to sleep (For a 170 pound guy this is about 60ish grams of alcohol, that is about 6 beers or 4 nine-ounce glasses of wine (these are BIG glasses).

As expected blood alcohol levels rose and then returned to baseline levels between 4-6 hours later. But the interesting thing is what happened to their sleep patterns.

REM sleep was decreased, slow wave increased. Not only was sleep perturbed (science talk for messed-up) but the alcohol intake significantly decreased the GH peak associated with slow wave sleep by an almost 70% reduction.

This is a pretty significant alteration in GH levels. It’s also more consistent with other studies finding even moderate acute doses of alcohol can block or blunt various GH responses in the body [Prinz PN, 1980].

So insulin stays low, but GH seems to be blunted unless the intake of alcohol is on the extreme side.

Interesting, but both insulin and GH are what we call “surrogate endpoints” we’re really concerned with what is happening to them as much as we are our true endpoint: fat burning.

Luckily, there’s a study to address this issue.

In study published in 1999, eight healthy men were asked to drink 24 grams of alcohol after a 12-hour fast. Right away I can say this study is a bit more applicable to our situation since this amount of alcohol is what is found in roughly 2 beers, 2 normal glasses of wine, or two 1.5 ounce shots of hard liquor… a much more realistic intake for a casual drinker than trying to drink 6-8 beers during a fast.

In this study, after ingestion of alcohol lipolysis (fat being released from your body fat stores) and fat oxidation (fat being burned as a fuel) plummeted, representing a ~70% decrease in fat burning. Carbohydrate oxidation did not change, but total energy expenditure increased (their metabolic rate went up)[Siler SQ, 1999].

To summarize: a rather normal dose of alcohol caused a decrease in fat burning, no change in carbohydrate burning, and a slight increase in overall calorie burning in men who were in the fasted state.

So the question remains. If metabolic rate increases, glucose oxidation stayed the same, and fat burning decreased… what the heck were they burning?

Turns out the answer is the alcohol… sort of.

The alcohol we consume gets converted into something called acetaldehyde and then into acetate. We can handle acetate, but if we drink too much too quickly, the enzymes responsible for this conversion can’t keep up and the acetaldehyde begins to spill over and can lead to damage and toxic effects. So it makes sense that as much as 77% of the alcohol you ingest becomes blood acetate and that we are well equipped to dispose of this acetate [Manzo-Avalos S, 2010].

The primary fate of circulating acetate is oxidation. In other words it gets burned as a fuel, eventually being metabolized to CO2 in heart, skeletal muscle, and even brain cells. Yes, even your brain is able to switch over and use acetate as a fuel if it’s present in your blood stream.

The rough translation of this is: if acetate it present in your blood it will get used in priority over fat or carbohydrate and protein.

In fact, blood acetate is such a priority that it’s mere presence can decrease lipolysis by ~50%, even when you are in the fasted state [Crouse JR, 1968]

And this is what happens when you drink during your fast. It’s not that you will gain more fat (unless you are drinking excessively), but you will stop releasing body fat, stop burning body fat, and burn acetate instead. This occurs without any change in insulin levels.

So sadly, it seems the answer is that you cannot drink during your fasts without diminishing your fat burning abilities. Luckily, with Eat Stop Eat-style fasts you only fast once or twice a week. Leaving 5 or 6 days were you can have a drink you choose. Heck, I even recommend easy diet hacks that use alcohol as a way to lose weight.


NOTE: I find it odd that ALL of this research was conducted on men. We know that amount of ethanol metabolized by the stomach differs by sex [Frezza M, 1990], but I see no reason why this would exclude women from the “no drinking during a fast” rule.

How Many Calories on Your Fasting Day

A question I often get asked is how much should you eat on your fasting days, and my answer is  always, you should act as if the fast never happened.

In an absolute Ideal world, if your target calorie intake is 2,400 calories, and you are doing a 24 hour  fast between Sunday and Monday, then your calorie total for Sunday and Monday should combine to be 2,400 calories.

However, I’m a realist and I know that this often does not happen. So as a general rule of thumb,  the calorie intake for the two days that bookend your fast will roughly fall somewhere around your normal daily calorie intake times 1.3 to 1.5.

As an example, if your daily goal calorie intake is 2,400 then your two fast days (in this example, Sunday and Monday) should add up to somewhere between 3,000 and 3,600 calories – or roughly 1,500 – 1,800 calories per day.

Do your best to keep this as simple as possible, and remember that completing a fast is not an excuse to overeat.

The Leangains Method of Intermittent Fasting: Basics, Research & Comparison


The Leangains style of intermittent fasting (aka 16/8 fasting method) was created by Martin Berkhan as a way for bodybuilders to build lean muscle mass without unnecessary weight gain from fat. Traditionally, bodybuilders “bulk” during their training period; they build muscle underneath fat. In the weeks leading up to a competition, bodybuilders then “cut” to get rid of excess fat.

Berkhan mapped out the Leangains as a way of showing bodybuilders how to consistently build lean muscle mass—without fat—so that cutting before a competition could be avoided altogether. The Leangains diet has since been used by a variety of fitness enthusiasts looking to trim down and tone up at the same time.


The Science Behind Intermittent Fasting

While Berkhan pioneered the specifics of the Leangains style of intermittent fasting, periodic fasting for health is not a new concept. Fasting forces the body to use fat as fuel instead of glucose. This shift converts fat into ketones; ketones burn more efficiently than glucose which results in more consistent energy levels and fat burn.

A study at Harvard University found that alternate-day fasting among mice, “protected mice from strokes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and consistently extended their life spans by 30 percent.” So not only are there weight loss benefits to intermittent fasting; there are long term health benefits as well.


The Leangains Research

Contrary to other fat loss methods, the Leangains method is not based on hypothetical or personal opinions, but it is based in scientific research. A number of studies conducted in order to investigate the effects of intermittent fasting and some of them included the Leangains protocol of 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of feeding.

One of the most recent published studies and easily to access for free, was conducted by Moro and her colleagues and investigated the effects of eight weeks of time-restricted feeding on metabolic factors, body composition, strength and other markers in resistance-trained males.

The study of Moro and her colleagues compared two groups of resistance trained athletes, the one group used the time-restricted feeding while the other group was on a normal diet. The first group (time-restricted feeding) consumed their calories in an 8-h period of time every day, divided into 3 meals: 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The remaining time of the day was the fasting period. The second group (normal diet) consumed their energy needs divided into 3 meals: 8 a.m., 1 p.m., and 8 p.m. Both groups consumed the same amount of calories and % of macronutrients. In addition, they used a standardized resistance training program. Subjects were tested, before and after the 8 weeks of the program, to compare the results between the 2 groups.

According to the results of the study, the fat mass of the time-restricted feeding group decreased significantly (−16.4 versus a reduction of  −2.8 % in the normal diet group). An increase, similar between the 2 groups was observed on Leg press maximal strength. Insulin and blood glucose levels decreased significantly only in the group of males on the time-restricted feeding.

In addition, triglycerides levels decreased only in the time-restricted feeding group. The hormone adiponectine which is related to increased energy expenditure also was higher only in the time-restricted group. However, anabolic hormone levels, such as testosterone were lower after the time-restricted feeding, while in the normal diet group no change was observed.

So the scientific research shows that time-restricted feeding maintains muscle mass, reduces body fat levels and inflammation markers. The mechanism of greater fat loss in time-restricted feeding group compared to the normal diet group seems to be due to the different time of meal distribution. Despite the fact that this study was conducted in resistance trained males, the observation that insulin and blood glucose levels decreased significantly indicates that time-restricted feeding like leangains method could also improve health markers related to patients such as diabetics and obese patients.

Although there is a great number of studies conducted in order to battle obesity and diabetes, very few managed to provide a really effective and useful tool. The leangains method seems to be a promising natural alternative and future studies are expected to strengthen current scientific findings.


The Leangains Method Explained

Berkhan’s Leangains style of intermittent fasting was designed for people who want the benefits of intermittent fasting without compromising their fitness and/or strength training. Whereas other methods of intermittent fasting focus more on the fasting cycle and less on the specifics of what an individual is eating, Leangains emphasises proper pre and post workout nutrition. Berkan also goes in depth to explain calorie cycling, macronutrients and meal times.

Here is a basic breakdown of the Leangains protocol:

There is a 16 hour window for fasting each day. The majority of this time is taken up during sleep. For women this is a 14 hour window as women’s bodies and metabolisms differ from men’s.

There is an 8 hour window for feeding each day. During this time three meals are usually eaten. For women this is a 10 hour window.

Protein intake remains high on all days. On workout days, it is more important to get carbs before fat. On rest days, fat intake tends to be higher. These variables change depending on the gender, age, body fat, activity levels and the goals of an individual.

Workout days start with a medium-sized meal of meat, veggies and fruit. Training is meant to happen within three hours of this first meal. A larger meal can be had post workout.

Rest days involve a lower calorie intake. Carb consumption should be restricted whereas meat and fibrous veggies make up the bulk of the calories eaten on rest days. The first meal of the day is the largest consisting of roughly 40% of the daily calorie intake.

The last meal of the day should involve a slow digesting protein. This maintains a feeling of fullness and ensures that your body has enough amino acids until the next meal to prevent muscle atrophy.

Whole and unprocessed food should be eaten whenever possible. Avoid processed or liquid foods.


Pros and Cons of the Leangains Diet

Like any diet protocol, there are pros and cons to the Leangains plan. As Berkhan designed the Leangains for bodybuilders, it is meant to be used in conjunction with very specific macronutrients and meal times.


The Leangains is an effective way to build lean muscle without having to put on fat. It is also an effective way to lose weight and keep it off.

Unlike other intermittent fasting protocols, Leangains involves eating every day; there are no 24 hour fasting periods. This supports a rigorous training schedule.

Leangains has slightly different protocols for men and women which allows it to be sustained and deliver results for both genders.


As Leangains was designed for bodybuilders, the best results will be seen if the full protocol is followed. This involves taking the right supplements at the right time in relation to workouts as well as very specific meal times and macronutrients.

All the variables involved in executing the Leangains diet mean that it can take time to figure out the specifics of what works for each individual.


Leangains vs. Eat Stop Eat

The Eat Stop Eat style of intermittent fasting is much more simple than Leangains. In the Eat Stop Eat protocol, there are one or two 24 hour fasting periods within a week. These fasts can be done at any point during the week to suit the needs and the schedule of the individual. Just like the Leangains plan, these 24 hour fasting periods force the body to start burning fat at a higher rate.

The Eat Stop Eat plan does not specify the types of foods that need to be consumed. However, there is an emphasis on whole and unprocessed foods along with plenty of lean protein and leafy green vegetables.

Unlike Leangains, Eat Stop Eat requires no special macronutrients or a strict meal schedule. Meals can be eaten at regular times on non-fasting days and no special supplements need to be taken. In this way, it is much easier to start the Eat Stop Eat method. While Leangains was designed specifically to support bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts during training, Eat Stop Eat was designed to be used by everyone.

It is an easy lifestyle change that can be started right away without any planning or a complete diet overhaul. Leangains is a good option when trying to maintain a rigorous workout schedule while Eat Stop Eat is well suited for sedentary to moderately active people looking to reduce their body fat percentage.

If you want to learn more on how Eat Stop Eat style of intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and improve your health, please CLICK HERE.






1) Berkhan, Martin. “Sure-Fire Fat Loss.” Intermittent Fasting Diet for Fat Loss, Muscle Gain and Health. June 27, 2008. Accessed October 10, 2016.

2) O’Connor, Anahad. “Fasting Diets Are Gaining Acceptance.” The New York Times. March 7, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2016.

3) J Transl Med. 2016 Oct 13;14(1):290. Effects of eight weeks of time-restricted feeding (16/8) on basal metabolism, maximal strength, body composition, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk factors in resistance-trained males. Moro T, Tinsley G, Bianco A, Marcolin G, Pacelli QF, Battaglia G, Palma A, Gentil P, Neri M, Paoli A.

4) Nutr Res. 2016 Jun;36(6):603-11. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2016.02.005. Epub 2016 Feb 20. Time-restricted feeding reduces adiposity in mice fed a high-fat diet.
Sundaram S, Yan L.

5) Adipocyte. 2015 Apr 20;4(4):319-24. doi: 10.1080/21623945.2015.1025184. The effects of time-restricted feeding on lipid metabolism and adiposity. Chaix A, Zarrinpar A.


Intermediate Fasting For Weight Loss and Health: Top 8 Benefits

Intermediate fasting is a popular dietary concept that can provide important benefits for your long-term weight loss and health. Here are the top eight science-based benefits of intermediate fasting:


Benefit One

Intermediate Fasting is the Easiest Way to Restrict Calories

Do you want to incinerate your fat blubber and lose a ton of weight? No matter what it always comes down to how many calories you are taking into your body.

Intermediate fasting is the easiest nutrition tool that allows you to stay within your target calories (without endless hunger pangs) and even gives you some elbowroom to make mistakes.

Did you eat a little bit too much at the company party? It’s okay. Just pull back a little on your calories in your next meal. Did you have a full on birthday party with cakes, alcohol, chips and all sorts of tasty treats? IT’S also OKAY. Just take a 24-hour fast the following day.

In fact, some people use a strategic fast day to take advantage of the fat burning goodness cheating on your diet does for your body. They have caloric “wiggle room” within thier day to make up for any “extra” calories they may have taken in.

Benefit Two

Intermediate Fasting helps to control your appetite

It’s well known that hunger isn’t only driven by physical needs but cognitive factors and social factors as weel. Oftentimes you’ll find yourself eating when you think you’re hungry, but it’s not when your body really needs food. In fact, your body has a tremendous capacity to store food and energy and work efficiently, and we can negatively affect that process by stuffing ourselves with food when it’s not needed or wanted.

You see, the way you eat has been and always will be controlled by you and your environment.

An example:

Most people have been told that eating breakfast first thing in the morning will “help burn fat” so what do we end up doing?

We eat first thing in the morning. What you may start noticing after a couple weeks of doing this is that you start to get hungry in the morning. You’ve trained your body to be hungry at that time.

Another example:

We are also told by everyone from coaches to doctors to eat frequent meals a day to “stoke our metabolic fire.”

Seeking to comply, we end up eating every 2 to 3 hours each day; however, this is definitely not beneficial. There is no “metabolic fire.” There is no additional benefit to frequent eating.

And, while you can lose weight eating that way, there’s a pretty big downside to that kind of nutrition style: you are training your body to be hungry.

You see, if you eat every 2-3 hours, then—within just a few weeks—you’ll start to get hungry every 2-3 hours.

It has everything to do with a hormone called Ghrelin—also known as, “the Hunger Hormone.” Ghrelin is a hormone that precedes, predicts your mealtimes, induces hunger and is also secreted just by looking at your food before you eat it.

Ghrelin is produced in the hypothalamus, kidney and pituitary gland, but most of it is synthesized in and released by the stomach.

Your ghrelin secretion schedule largely follows your eating schedule, and it’s a fast responder, so even after a few days of going a new meal schedule your body will start to adapt to the eating changes.

Every time Ghrelin is secreted in your body it creates a hunger response.

The more times you delay your hunger response the more you train your body to handle the hunger inducing effects of Ghrelin.

This is nutritional freedom: You have the ability to re-train your body on exactly when to become hungry and when to be fully satisfied by consciously delaying your hunger response.

Nearly everyone who experiences Intermediate Fasting discovers the same thing: That when you fast you actually have more appetite control than in any other eating or diet style.

Benefit Three

Intermediate Fasting Makes You More Productive

A lot of the trepidation that comes with approaching Intermediate Fasting is the myth that Intermediate Fasting will decrease your energy leaving you without enough brain power to go through the day.

Research shows that the exact opposite happens. As stated before, we train our bodies and minds in certain ways to adapt to our current eating styles. It really has nothing to do with what is happening to your brain but more about your natural response to what you think is happening to your brain.

One study found that healthy young adults who ate as little as 300 calories over a two day period experienced no decrease in brain tests and cognitive performance (including vigilance, choice reaction time, learning, memory and reasoning), activity, sleep and mood.

Other research has found that long term calorie restriction may improve memory in older populations.

The research is great and the foundation of any reason to make a change. But scientists can’t always quantify behavioral tendencies, and eating is a behavior that controls and influences how you spend your time during the day.

What most people don’t realize is that their lives are tied around food. There is no way to avoid it. With the old guard of “eating 5 meals a day” we have people who are frightened if they miss a meal or skip breakfast because “their metabolisms would slow down.”

This kind of thinking, along with a constant food advertisements, are what’s keeping us in a hungry state day in and day out. When you follow an Intermediate Fasting diet, you’ll find that you are no longer tied to the idea of having to eat all the time.

What you’ll find is that your best and most productive days are when you are in a fasted state because you don’t have to think about what to eat or how to cook it.

Benefit Four

Intermediate Fasting Reduces Your Glucose/Sugar Levels

When trying to lose weight and burn fat, lowering your blood sugar is important to avoid pre-diabetes, diabetes, insulin resistance and most importantly becoming overweight.

The norm in the fitness community is that by eating 5 to 6 frequent meals a day you would regulate your blood sugar levels. This has proven to do the exact opposite.

Another reason why Intermediate Fasting works extremely well is because during a fast your blood sugar levels slowly lowers itself.

By fasting you could decrease your sugar input by anywhere from 15 to 30%. Thus this improves your ability to burn fat and improve your insulin sensitivity.

Benefit Five

Intermediate Fasting Improves Fat Oxidation

Fat oxidization is a term used mostly in sports medicine. It refers to your body’s ability to use stored fats to produce energy—a process that normally happens during exercise.

When using Intermediate Fasting you are increasing your body’s ability to use your stored fat as energy. This means that when you are burning calories more of those calories will come directly from fat.

This phenomenon was first identified in research conducted on women who fast for Ramadan. The researchers found that all the women who participated in the study increased their fat oxidation levels after periods of religious fasting.

When you fast you give your body no other choice but to use your excess fat as energy.

Benefit Six

Intermediate Fasting Eliminates Waste From The Body and Lower Inflammation

Perhaps the most important yet most overlooked benefit of Intermediate Fasting is its effect on reducing inflammation and waste from the body.

Short term fasting actually helps you eliminate waste in your body and can speed up the healing process by lowering your inflammation levels.

Metabolic inflammation is the inappropriate activation of your immune system, which can disrupt many of your body’s systems and can have severe effects on weight retention and weight gain. And this is important because nearly half of Americans have metabolic inflammation…without even knowing it.

An up-regulated inflammation system causes the release of even more cytokines, which activate a hormone-like compound called c-Jun Terminal Kinase (JNK) that can cause the cells to take in less blood sugar for energy. So more glucose remains in the blood and the cycle spirals onward: inefficient insulin function, inefficient carbohydrate conversion, increased glucose levels in the blood, increased fat production.

The April 2007 issue of Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism includes an article on the positive changes in inflammatory markers brought about by the Intermediate Fasting Muslims undergo during Ramadan.

As the authors put it in the introduction:

Intermediate Fasting over a certain period of time is a feature of great religions all over the world and it is well known that nutritional habits, sleeping patterns and meal frequency have profound effects on maintaining human health.

It’s proven that Intermediate Fasting drastically improves your immune system and reduces your inflammation in the total body. This has a direct effect on keeping your body in an efficient fat burning environment.

Benefit Seven

Intermediate Fasting Helps Unleash the Power of Growth Hormone

While we preach that in order for you to lose weight you must take in fewer calories than you are burning, that’s only half the story.

In order to burn off your fat and keep it that way is to manage your hormones in a way that can benefit you best.

The biggest benefit you give to yourself when adopting an Intermediate Fasting lifestyle is the ability to stimulate your fat burning hormones in an optimal environment.

There are a couple hormones your body relies on to burn fat, increase metabolism and build muscle.

Let’s start with the most important one:

Growth Hormone

Growth hormone (GH) is a protein-based peptide hormone that is produced by your pituitary gland. It stimulates growth cell reproduction and regeneration in humans and other animals.

GH is research-proven to be the main fat-burning, anti-aging and muscle building-hormone your body produces—and therefore, it’s pretty obvious that the more growth hormone you can have, the better off you’ll be.

It’s proven that when you fast you increase growth hormone, which leads to increased fat loss and also slows down the aging process. In fact, research indicates that you can boost Growth Hormone production by up to 6 times more than average with short term fasting.

But if that’s not enough incentive, here are three more reasons why you (guys and gals alike) want more GH in your system.

Growth Hormone incinerates your fat and denies fat cells from ever forming human growth.

Hormone binds to cells that have receptors for it. It just so happens that fat cells have human growth hormone receptors, and growth hormone stimulates them to break down triglycerides and suppresses their ability to take up and accumulate circulating lipids.

What this means is that growth hormone denies the production of fat cells to occur in your body.

And as an added bonus you also experience a metabolic jolt as a result of the fewer fat cells being produced. Consider it a 1-2 punch that makes you leaner—and keeps you that way.

Growth hormone helps build muscle .

This is done through Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This is a hormone that is secreted from the liver and other tissues in response to growth hormone. IFG-1 is a very powerful anabolic.

The more IGF-1 you have circulating in your body, the better your chances of building some fat burning muscle; by increasing your human growth hormone, GH research says you will also up your IGF-1 and the muscles start to build.

Growth Hormone makes you look younger.

As if increasing fat burning and muscle building wasn’t enough, GH also improves your aging.

In 1990, ground breaking evidence and research on Human Growth Hormone by Daniel Rudman, M.D. shook the medical world (Published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine) with the announcement that 12 men, aged 61 to 81 had received human growth hormone treatment and had reversed up to the equivalent of 20 years of aging in only six months with human growth hormone injections.

Benefit Eight

Intermediate Fasting Helps You Never Feel Hungry Again

Another important hormone in the fat loss/muscle gain equation is something called Ghrelin As you’ve probably experienced before, the hardest part about “dieting” is the associated hunger, mood swings, and general irritability. Whether directly or indirectly, all of these undesirable traits are impacts by ghrelin.

We mentioned ghrelin earlier on and if you forgot here’s a reminder: Every time Ghrelin is secreted in your body it creates a hunger response. The more times you delay your hunger response you train your body to handle the hunger inducing effects of Ghrelin.

What you didn’t know is that increased production of Ghrelin means you increase more growth hormone in your body as well. Higher levels of circulating ghrelin have corresponded with increased release of growth hormone by the pituitary gland.

The more you are able to delay your hunger response and incorporate periods of Intermediate Fasting into your lifestyle the more growth hormone and ghrelin we’ll have pumping in our bodies.


Intermittent Fasting during Addiction Recovery

The buzz in the health and fitness world, is undoubtedly intermittent fasting. Those seeking a lean, powerful physique may feel demotivated after trying time and time again at losing unwanted weight, only to fall short of their goals, or to embark upon a cycle of yoyo weight loss and gain.

Intermittent fasting puts an end to pointless dieting, by kickstarting your body into obtaining energy from its fat reserves during the fasting period. One of the most attractive aspects of the Eat Stop Eat method is that you don’t need to deprive yourselves of the foods you love, or feel hungry while you count calories obsessively.

Intermittent fasting allows you to enjoy a wide variety of foods intermittently. Magazines, television, social media networks are all touting the benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss, yet little has been said about the many benefits it can confer upon those who are in the process of recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. This diet can be the ideal choice for those who are facing one of the toughest challenges in their lives, for the following reasons:

Intermittent fasting is easy: Patients in drug or alcohol recovery (inpatients and outpatients alike) often find that all of a sudden, there are too many rules to follow. Most obtain some sort of cognitive-behavioral therapy, which focuses on understanding the relationship between how people think, feel and behave, and finding alternative outlets for emotions such as stress and fear.

In addition to trying out new behavioral strategies, addicts are also encouraged to stick to a busy schedule of activities – yoga, meditation and other alternative therapies are highly recommended because of their proven stress-busting qualities. Within this busy line-up of activities, it is vital that those in recovery follow a diet that is not too restrictive; one that does not place so much stress upon them that it acts as a trigger for relapse or anxiety.

Because intermittent fasting does not involve weighing food, counting calories or forbidding foods, it fits in well with the lifestyle of someone who may sometimes feel like they are ‘trying to fit too much into just one day.

Weight loss: It is not uncommon for those who stop using drugs, to battle with their weight. If in the past, they used drugs to evade uncomfortable feelings like stress, food becomes the logical new means of escape. Intermittent fasting prevents dangerous habits like bingeing, by emphasizing the importance of fasting during specific times during the day/night.

Gherlin levels, also referred to as ‘the hunger hormone’, are increased, resulting in less overeating Recovering addicts can enjoy a big boost in their self-confidence as they begin actually losing weight instead of packing on the pounds. To promote significant weight loss, combine intermittent fasting with high intensity exercise.

Don’t worry about feeling tired; on the contrary, free of sugary cravings and the ups and downs that sugar brings, you will probably feel energized enough to tackle the most challenging workout about.

Insulin sensitivity increases: The use of specific drugs (antipsychotic drugs in particular) can predispose people to weight gain as well as raise one’s risk of developing Type II diabetes. Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, increases insulin sensitivity and boost the efficiency of mitochondrial energy, thereby slowing down the processes of ageing and disease.

Oxidative stress is diminished: Those in recovery have probably placed their body under great stress for many years before obtaining help, exposing their body to free radical damage at alarming rates. Intermittent fasting has been found to decrease oxidative stress, protecting our proteins, lipids and nucleic acids from damage. Additional health benefits include a drop in triglyceride levels and a lower chance of heart disease.

Cravings are ended: Although outpatients in recovery have already faced their most powerful cravings for their drug of choice, if they adopt a high-sugar, high-salt diet, they can find that they are now facing cravings for refined foods which are almost as powerful. Through intermittent fasting, the body’s control centers for appetite (as well as its hormones) begin functioning at an optimal level, so that it becomes much easier to make excellent dietary choices.

Intermittent fasting has many more benefits for those in recovery; the new, expanded edition of Eat Stop Eat can be the welcome start you need to start savouring  a new, healthy lifestyle that will bring you to the very top of your game.

Further reading:

This article is written by our contributor Helen Lane


Intermittent Fasting and Muscle Building

You know what happens when you try to ‘bulk up’ (AKA bulking) with intermittent fasting?

The same thing that happens when you ‘bulk up’ without intermittent fasting – you get fat.

The concept of eating as much as 10,000 calories a day to build muscle is perpetuated by a few small groups of people:

    • 20 year old guys (because it works for them as they’re still kids)
    • Supplement companies
    • Writers affiliated with supplement companies
    • People using steroids but who don’t want to tell you that they are using steroids
    • And last but not least (and likely the largest group); people who have been influenced by the opinions of the aforementioned in group

…That’s it.

The most convincing evidence for grown men building muscle while bulking comes from guys I know who were using steroids and had to explain the new muscle growth to their friends/parents/loved ones/and anyone else who asked “how did you get so big?”

The standard answers you get from guys who use steroids who don’t want to admit it goes something like this: “I’m just eating a ton of calories and getting my protein”

So where does Intermittent Fasting fit into bulking?

In my extremely biased opinion, Eat Stop Eat is one of the absolute best ways to lose fat and keep the fat off for good… but bulking? I don’t see a connection.

Intermittent fasting, carb cycling, calorie cycling, protein cycling, high fat, high carb, they’re all different ways of desperately trying to make ‘eating for size’ actually work.

But here’s the truth:

Calories are permissive to the muscle building process. The driving force behind muscle growth happens in a gym, in a syringe or the combination of the two.

Yes, Protein is also important. If you are not eating ‘enough’ you can hinder muscle growth. But once you start eating just ‘enough’, eating any more on top of that will not FORCE more muscle growth.

The point is calories are permissive, but not a driving force for muscle growth in adults. Protein is essential (that’s why I wrote a book on protein), but still can’t force muscles to grow faster.

The simple art to ‘eating for muscle growth’ is discovering exactly how many calories are ‘enough’ to allow for muscle growth, and for that the answer will always be ‘it depends’.

Depends on your age, training status, training program, training goals, and level of body fat among other things.

So ‘simple’ but not ‘easy’.

Most guys (and girls) over 40 can remember one time (long ago) when they could eat a lot and gain a significant amount of muscle. Most likely they were between 17 to 25 years of age when it happened.

I was there, and I remember it – it was awesome.

This doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again.

There’s a big difference between

A) Eating ‘enough’


B) Bulking – adding weight at all costs in hopes that it builds muscle

Eating enough can EASILY be done with intermittent fasting.

“Bulking” can be done too…there just doesn’t seem to be any benefit, unless you are young, on steroids, or your goal is to be a sumo wrestler.

Here’s the other issue I have with bulking, and it’s probably the most controversial thing I’ve said in a while.

I am not convinced that putting on 50 pounds of body fat so you can hopefully gain 15 pounds of muscle is any less dangerous than taking steroids to gain that 15 pounds of muscle.

In fact, it could even be worse (especially since chances are you won’t gain those 15 pounds of muscle with bulking).

Large amounts of excess fat are associated with many disease states, and it doesn’t matter if the fat was added out of laziness or the goal of adding muscle. Fat is fat.

Also, please remember that the metabolic consequences of bulking include a hormonal profile that PREVENTS muscle growth. From low testosterone to insulin resistance and growth hormone resistance, bulking does NOT set you up for some sort of super anabolic metabolism, in fact, it’s just the opposite – it sets up a metabolism that prevents an unneeded increase in lean body mass.

So those guys telling you to eat 10,00 calories a day to build muscle are not doing you any favors.

Here’s the other thing – I have no idea why people are continually bringing up bulking being a ‘weakness of intermittent fasting’ but there is one thing I do need to point out – Not all styles of intermittent fasting are the same.

Eat Stop Eat isn’t fasting every day. It’s not even fasting every other day. It’s fasting once or twice a week, and you still eat EVERY SINGLE DAY.

So, try not to lump ESE in with the rest.

Eat Stop Eat is a great way to lose fat and it’s a fantastic way to maintain that fat loss. You can absolutely build muscle while following Eat Stop Eat.

That being said, I should say that other forms of Intermittent fasting are also find for losing fat and building muscle. People get great results because calories are permissive, anyone who tell you otherwise are just perpetuating a myth.

Finally, remember – fat is fat, and gaining excess amounts of fat, no matter the reason, is never a good idea.

Eating enough to build muscle is an essential part of optimal muscle building (obviously), but anything above that is just excess.

Try to eat the right amount of protein, and track your measurements. If your weight is going up, but your waist measurement is staying the same you are doing something right. If your weight is going up AND your waist is going up… the weight your gaining is most likely fat.


Intermittent Fasting for Women: Results and Effect on Women’s Health

Many women try all sorts of diets but may not have considered intermittent fasting. But what is it, and how is intermittent fasting effective for women?

Put simply, it is when you go short-term periods (typically 12 to 24 hours) with no food, only water, and then eat a meal. Numerous studies show that not only weight loss results but also some important health benefits can be achieved when using intermittent fasting.

What intermittent fasting results women can expect: the answer from studies

There are many claims regarding whether or not intermittent fasting is good for women weight loss. And the only way to find out the truth is to take a look at scientific studies.

Study #1

This study compared two forms of caloric restriction in premenopausal women: Intermittent fasting and Continuous fasting. All women experienced modest weight loss, but we will focus on the results of intermittent fasting female group.

30% of the women lost between 5 and 10% body weight while 34% lost more than 10% in 6 months.

This means that the average intermittent fasting results during 1 month for females in that research were between 1,25% and 1.66% of their initial body weight.

During the study, the women were not counseled on exercise and there were no major changes in their physical activities. So, they could achieve even better weight loss results if they followed any kind of exercise program.

  • A few participants did experience headaches, coldness, lack of energy, and constipation.
  • 8 had hunger complaints while three claimed higher energy levels.
  • 8 also voiced negative psychological effects such as difficulties with food preoccupation, hostility, and poor concentration.
  • 17 proclaimed higher levels of self-confidence and better moods.
  • More female participants in the intermittent fasting group expressed difficulty implementing the strict diet requirements into their daily regimen. These results could only rely on the honesty of the subjects when keeping their diet diaries.

While the study examined weight loss and the psychological effects, it also looked at the physiological ramifications of things such as disease prevention in the areas of diabetes, breast cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

After measuring the risk markers from the start of the study and again at the end, scientists found that there was a reduction of those same markers, thus reducing the risks of being diagnosed with any of the above-mentioned diseases.

Study #2

Another study involved participants in an 8-week program of intermittent fasting along with calorie restrictions. This study explains that intermittent fasting consists of a dramatic reduction in the body’s energy needs between 75% and 90% on 1 or 2 days of the week.

In this trial on intermittent fasting results, women were asked to follow intermittent fasting for one day per week and eat a diet consisting of an energy (calorie) reduction of 20% the remainder of the week.

Participants lost about 4% of body weight during the study. The study also found that intermittent fasting in combination with calorie reduction was an actual means to reduce weight and body fat in the women.

It also lowered the risk of Coronary Heart Disease in areas like triglycerides and cholesterol. One of the two groups of the study also showed that using liquid meal replacements instead of food actually affected more weight loss as well as a greater reduction of the risk indicators of heart disease than the intermittent fasting diet with food.

Intermittent fasting and menstrual cycle

It’s worth remember that like any other form of calorie restriction, intermittent fasting can affect women’s health, hormones and menstruation.


Scientific researches show that prolonged and big calorie deficit created through too much exercise, and quick loss of body weight all may lead to different forms of menstrual dysfunction in women.

This is usually seen in women who are dieting for long periods of time as well as in female athletes who are not purposefully dieting, but unable to meet the caloric needs of their rigorous athletic regimen.

However, it’s not just prolonged periods of time in large calorie deficits that are the problem as having too little fat may be a problem for some women in itself. In 1974, scientists found that the maintenance of normal menstrual cycle was related to a critical level of 22% body fat.

Study on elite national level female athletes has shown that the combination of low body fat levels with a large calorie deficit can result in amenorrhea (absence of their monthly period), as well as deceased leptin and estradiol levels.

In this study 39 female athletes were examined.  The  leanest  women tended to be the ones who were amenorrhic, had the lowest levels of insulin, leptin and estadiol.

These women were roughly 23 years old, had a BMI of approximately 18 with a body fat level of around 15%. As an example, a 5’6” women in this study would weigh around 112 pounds, burn almost 1,000 calories per day through exercise, while eating around 1,700 calories per day and only 55 grams of protein per day.

The women who still had normal menstrual cycles had slightly more body fat (15.5%), the  same  amount  of  lean  mass,  but  ate  almost  500  more  calories a  day, and significantly more  protein  (55  vs  78  grams  per  day).  They  also  had  higher  levels  of leptin, insulin, thyroid hormones and leptin then their amenorrhic counterparts.

Even though these women were not fasting, this study shows that minimal levels of body fat, combined with long-term calorie deficits, and possible mild protein malnutrition can result in marked hormonal disruptions.

Intermittent fasting and women’s hormones

Another unique trait of women is their monthly fluctuations in estrogen hormone levels. These fluctuations may warrant consideration when dealing with both fasting and dieting as evidence from female studies indicate that food intake fluctuates during the menstrual cycle; it is lower in the periovulatory phase and greater in the early follicular and luteal phases.

Since  estrogen  is  known  to  depress  appetite  by  decreasing  sensitivity  to  food  cues, there may be periods of a month were women find intermittent fasting and dieting harder or easier, depending on their natural hormonal fluctuations.

So while there are definite recognizable differences in how women respond to intermittent fasting and dieting, there are no evidence to suggest that women should not fast.

This is not to say that women can haphazardly use as much fasting as often as they like in an attempt to lose weight. In fact, quite the opposite. This is more evidence that if intermittent fasting is to be used on a regular basis as a method of weight control then it must be done with some common sense.

Next you can read about women’s experiences of intermittent fasting that we received from Eat Stop Eat followers. Also, if you want to learn more why intermittent fasting works for women, read this post.


Naomi: “Many suggested keeping busy during a fast…”

I’ve always sworn I had hypoglycemia or some such and would faint if I didn’t get food, yada yada. This ruled my life. I have always eaten every few hours. There was a time I got myself 6 bagels every day and nibbled them throughout the day. I became very fit and athletic in my 20s and lectured anyone who didn’t run away that we were like a lamps and needed a constant source of fuel, carbs of course because that was the thing in the 1980s. If I went on an all-day outing with friends, I was stopping to nibble and snack all the time and felt that it kept me sane. Others agreed. Boy, did I have some growing up to do!

Every once in a while, I’d get convinced that fasting would be a good idea but I never made it very far and it always felt harder than running a marathon. I’ve also always gotten head rushes under certain conditions and now I think that heat and fasting make this worse but all it takes is standing up more slowly and pausing for a second, holding onto something if I need to. I tend to be hyper and leap up and race around so this little glitch is probably good for me.

When my friend first told me she was doing ESE style fasts, I dismissed her with all the usual arguments. I could never do that because I’m so special. I get dizzy. I have blood sugar issues. I have to eat every 3 hours. She didn’t say much, but thank goodness, she continued to tell me about it and she also continued disappearing before my eyes!

One day, I hit a plateau and the time was right to fast.

Sure enough, when I first started intermittent fasting, I had to be super gentle with myself and I actually acted like I had the flu the first few times. I just laid around, drank lots of water, did absolutely nothing at all, and still got a little dizzy and the beginnings of headaches. Every time I feel a bit of head pain come on, I drink a glass of water. This tends to stave it off for at least 20 minutes. Yes, I pee a lot when I fast!

Eventually, I looked at what others were doing. So many suggested keeping busy during a fast so I eventually ventured out and tried simple errands, then even managed grocery shopping and did NOT find I bought a lot of foolish stuff. I wasn’t starving; I felt clean and it was helpful to shop like this. I bought less, realizing I was eating less on those days and that, now I thought about it, no one else really needed to be eating quite as much as they were. And heck, I could shop again if I needed to; no need to cram the fridge and have it go to waste. Since starting fasting, I rarely waste any food at all. It’s pretty amazing, actually. I do shop more often.

Then I got really bold and tried working out fasted. At first, it was kind of awful. For a few minutes. Then I got a sort of a 2nd wind and felt great! And afterward, I felt like I could do anything! After a few weeks, I worked out regularly on fast days and it was a non-thought at the gym.

I just took a month off fasting, it’s killer hot and muggy here, and I have to say my first fasts were all like that again. Headaches. Dizzy, nausea on an unplanned fast to the point where I was going out of my way to get some food. But now I know I can fast so I worked through it and I fasted a bunch of days this week, headache is less and less each time, I pound water when it starts up. I feel certain the dizziness is just a warm weather thing. All this to say give it a chance. Try shorter fasts and/or staying in cool weather and/or being super gentle with yourself and always, always, pound the water!!!


Elisa: ” I feel slim, empty, and healthy…”

When I first started intermittent fasting it was hard as hell. I did my first 24 hour fast (dinner-dinner) on a Thursday. The hunger pangs that first day were tremendous. I was somewhat OK until about early afternoon. Then the pangs set in. They would hit about every half an hour or so. I would steel myself whenever they hit and just think “this is worth it”. I really hoped that this would get better in the future (like the other experienced fasters were saying). I thought I wouldn’t be able to continue to fast if it always felt like that.

I fasted two more times in the next seven days (because I was desperate to get off a plateau I had been on, and I tend to be an all or nothing kind of person). They were hard too, but not as hard as the first day and I was progressing which made it bearable. After that, I averaged around two fasts a week, on top of staying low in calories on my off days (1000 cals/day is what I aim for). It took about 3 weeks before I noticed a difference in the way I felt on this reduced calorie regimen, meaning it took this long before it started feeling much easier and the pangs pretty much went away.

I do mainly 24 hour fasts, but have completed two 36 hour fasts also, including one I just did yesterday and broke this morning. In the past few weeks, I have only been fasting about once a week. At this point, I almost prefer the 36 hour fasts as I know I don’t have to worry about food all day long. And because my stomach has adjusted to the low cals, I can go all day now with NO hunger pangs. I still feel hungry…but the actual pangs are gone. Last night, I felt the glimmer of a pang a couple times around dinner time, but I really think that it was psychological in nature. Kind of like my body was saying, “I’m gonna getcha”, but then had to back down once it realized I wasn’t going to give in.

Now, if I go on a bender and my cals go back up every day for a period of time, I don’t know if fasting would feel so easy any more. I have my mini binges, at times, but they have not affected the fasts. I have not gone on any “benders”. Some women have, and they report that it is harder to fast after this happens. Probably because the stomach has stretched out again and has become accustomed to more cals. In a few weeks, my husband is coming back from a deployment and I will not be eating low cal for about two weeks. I will see then what a return to fasting will feel like.

What I love about the 36 hour fasts is the feeling I have in the morning when I wake up. I feel slim, empty, and healthy. I’m never hungry first thing in the morning, so I can take my time to figure out what I’m going to do to break the fast. I was up for around an hour and a half this morning before I had a cup of hot tea with honey and cream.

Anyway, my point with all this, is that IT WILL GET EASIER. Not easy all the time, but definitely easier.


Mari: ” It didn’t have any of the effects I’d feared…”

Reading through the forums and blogs, I finally decided to buy EatStopEat, which I did 2 days, read 37 pages, and woke up yesterday morning deciding I was going to try a 24-hour fast. I’d eaten at 7:00 the night before, so I made a cup of coffee, and spent the day counting the hours until I could eat.

I’ve never fasted before. Ever. So while I KNEW I’d be able to do it, I just wasn’t sure what to expect…was I going to feel faint? Was my head going to hurt? Were my legs going to give out from starvation (uh, yeah, I have 100 lbs to lose…I don’t think “starvation” is really a problem…)? I decided not to work out yesterday because I didn’t want to push my luck, plus I’d worked out the 4 days prior.

I’ve been diligent about the 12-16 hour fasts since I started a week ago. It made sense to me that if I could prolong my need to eat, I’d be able to budget my calories more easily during the remainder of the day. But the part that was more of a mind blow that made me have my first “A-ha Moment” was considering fasting as part of that same calorie budgeting plan. So rather than my 7800 weekly calorie budget being spread across 7 days (including an Eat Up day), I could spread it across 6 days.

I was struggling because my Eat Up day last week was my first day…kind of backassward, but it’s just how things ended up. So I decided I may as well try a fast. And last night I had 849 calories left so I indulged myself in a beef brisket burrito on a whole wheat wrap with guacamole, veggies and Sriracha sauce. I had enough calories left over for half of a Wholefoods caramel apple. My second “A-Ha” moment was how happy I was with that satiated feeling of eating a larger meal, still within my calories (with a few to spare), and including a “treat” I hadn’t expected to be able to have.

I don’t need to feel that kind of full all the time. I know we are trying to learn proper portion sizes and how to limit our intake so we can make this a lifelong AND lifestyle change. BUT. I really needed to feel that fullness. I can’t explain the feeling of contentment it gave me to chomp through that burrito and then a gooey dessert and feel full – not Thanksgiving full, but full nonetheless. There was a psychological trigger that pulled when I had gone through the effort of not eating, so when I finally DID eat, the reward was immense.

My take-aways & observations from my first 24-hour fasting experience?

1. use the window from dinner to dinner as my fast time; it’s much easier for me to get through the day knowing I will have dinner rather than going to sleep hungry.

2. I was ok most of the day, it didn’t have any of the effects I’d feared (headaches, depleted energy). My stomach did start to growl like the Maw of Hell resided within it at one point in the afternoon, but it eventually quieted down.

3. I had the hardest time in the last 1 1/2 hours of my fast. I started lagging and felt a little sleepy. Once I ate this went away.

4. I had an odd gassy moment right before it was time to eat. I wondered what triggered it since no food had passed my lips for 24-hours. I don’t tend to be a super-tootie person, so it was worth noting. My kids thought it was hilarious.

5. I need to finish the book, but reading Pilon’s email newsletters has given me even more insight as to how fasting may very well jump start my weight loss in a big way since I have so much weight to lose.

6. Eating to fullness is something I like the feeling of for some reason. Not every time, but it felt like a reward after a fast and I realized it made me feel weirdly happy. And because I had that emotional response, it’s something I need to pay attention to because it will probably come up again, maybe with stress eating. And this might help me manage that.


WomenLadies, click here to discover the simplest and scientifically proven style of intermittent fasing that make you forget every other unrealistic super-complicated weight loss and diet program.