Archive for the Category Fasting


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.


Fasted weight training – My personal approach

I’m going to try something a little different today. Instead of diet advice or reviewing research, today I’d like to share with you what I’m currently trying on myself, and give you some of the rational behind my personal approach.

As usual, I’m experimenting. It’s still Eat Stop Eat, but I’m also going to tell you what I’m doing on the days I’m not fasting.

Firstly, I do two fasts per week. My fasts are usually 20-24 hours long, depending on how I feel and time commitments.

At the end of each fast I do my main weight training sessions. So twice a week I weight train for about 1 hour, consisting of about 50-70 reps divided between 2 to 4 exercises per muscle group.

During my first workout I train my legs and my shoulders, then during my second workout I train my chest back and arms.

Once I’m done my workout I view the next 2-3 days as ‘muscle growth support’ so I eat to support the muscle repairing process.

This means eating 20-30 grams of protein every 4-6 hours, while keeping my calorie intake at roughly 14 times my current body weight (roughly 2,500 calories). Since about 500 of those calories come from my protein intake, the other 2,000 come from carbs fat and alcohol. I really don’t track any of these number as I only really care about ‘protein in’ and ‘calories in’.

I continue this process until it’s time to fast again. I view my fasts as a reset, my workout as the ‘start’, the next 2-3 days as the eating to support that workout, then I repeat.

I also rock climb twice a week, and do some gymnastics training whenever I feel the urge, but my weight training workouts are currently limited to these two times.

The other thing you need to know is how I tweak calories. I’m normally able to maintain my weight by eating about 2,500 calories on the days I’m not fasting, but if I want to bring my weight down a bit, here’s what I do:

I start with my ideal waist (Height x 0.447 = my ideal waist) <— that number only applies to men, women should use 0.382

I measure my waist at my belly button (women would be above belly button at narrowest point of your ’true waist’). For every 1 inch I am over my ideal, I subtract 1 from 14

So if my ideal waist is roughly 31.5 and I have a 33 inch waist then my daily calories are roughly my current weight multiplied by (14 – 1.5) or current weight x 12.5

**Since I never let my waist circumference reach over half my height (35 inches) this is never more than a 300 or 400 calorie reduction per day.

No matter what happens with calories, protein stays the same, roughly 4-5 protein meals per day, 4-6 hours apart, 20-30 grams with each meal.

And that’s it, that’s my entire approach. Simple, uncomplicated, and hopefully effective. Yes I eat breakfast most days, and no I don’t know how many grams of carbs or fats I eat, but I can tell you I eat them both 😉

Really, other than the eating, this approach takes up two 24 hour periods of my life, not a big deal to me, and fits perfectly with my schedule.

The only real differences between this and what I normally do is the lowered frequency of workouts and their timing.

This new low training frequency is new to me, I’ve trained as much as two times per day, and usually train around 5 times a week, but I want to experiment with doing less…

The timing is based off my work with inflammation and muscle growth, and a guess that in the long run training at or near the end of a fast may help.

Over the next couple months I’ll let you know how it is going, so if you’re interested in following along, you can save this post as a reference.

Who created fasting?

Intermittent Fasting isn’t new. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

I recently read an on-line forum thread that was discussing the invention Intermittent Fasting – People were suggesting it was either me, Martin Berkhan or Ori Hofmekler – and while we all did our parts to help popularize Intermittent Fasting (as did many others) none of us would ever dream of claiming to have ‘invented’ it.

Why? Because it’s been around for a long, long time.

I found a reference leading back to the early 200’s AD, where the philosopher Plotinus (born in 205 AD) advised one of his students Rogatianus, (a member of the Roman senate) to only eat every second day. As a result it is said that Rogatianus regained his health and was cured of his gout.

Now, we also know that Rogatianus also stopped eating meat, and knowing what we know now about Gout, that probably played a big role  (fasting certainly doesn’t get all the credit), however the important part of this story its that this is the earliest recording I have found of intermittent fasting being used for curative health purposes, but I’m sure there are earlier examples.

The point is that A) nobody alive today invented intermittent fasting and B) that intermittent fasting should not be viewed as some new way of eating, instead it should be viewed as a rediscovered way of eating.

Truth be told, Intermittent fasting may be popular, but it’s not a fad diet – we’ve known about the health benefits of fasting for close to 2,000 years.

Your fasting may be odd to some people, because to them its new and different, but remember you’re really not doing anything new, you’re simply adopting a style of eating that was favored by some of the world’s greatest philosophers.

How fasting works

Let me clarify — fasting is a LITTLE BIT bad for you — which is sooo good for you…

Get this… Your body responds to stress.

Fasting is a bit of a stress.

Not a big ‘I’m gonna die’ kinda stress.

[…It probably rates somewhere between a hard math test and a paper cut…]

the point is… It’s stressful, and your body has to respond to that stress, which is why it is good for you. Here’s how fasting works…

Fact: The occasional stressful ‘challenge’ is imperative to the proper functioning of your biological systems.

Or, in more standard talk – You were not meant to live life in a bubble.

Did you know that right after you are done fasting, your insulin sensitivity is actually decreased?…

It’s true. But do you know what happens after a couple weeks of occasional fasting?… Your insulin sensitivity improves. Better than it was before. […a good thing BTW…]

Stress. Stress response. Improved biological function.

Exercise works in the same manner.

I can remember the first time I saw an SEM micrograph picture of a calf muscle that was taken before, then immediately after a workout.

The before pic was a beautiful picture of these perfect muscle fibers. Thin cords of color all running parallel in a display of amazing organization. It looked perfect.  The second image was of the same muscle fibers, only now they looked like they had been hit by a grenade. The fibres were all frayed and damaged. It was horrible.

Then sure enough another picture was shown that was taken a week later. Not only were the fibers back to being perfectly organized, they were now a little bit thicker in some spots.

My point is, had you only looked at the first two pictures, you’d think that working out was the worst thing you could possibly do for your muscles.

But, if you look at all THREE pictures, you see that the little bit of stress caused by the workout created beneficial effects inside the body.

Stress leads to… Stress response leads to… Improved biological function…

This is exactly how fasting works.

Which means that the occasional ‘fasting stress’ helps you get leaner and healthier!

So keep this in mind the next time someone says ‘fasting is bad for you’…

You can simply reply ‘of course it is, that’s why it is so good for me’

[…And chuckle up your sleeve as you watch them try to puzzle that out… 🙂 ]

Who Owns the rights to Fasting?

I’ll cut right to the chase with this one – I find it amusing watching today’s health and fitness personalities argue over who owns which idea.

Amusing because you really can’t OWN an idea in health and fitness because it’s all been done before.

Fasting? ANCIENT.

Not eating carbs? Your great grandmother already went through that trend.

Not eating at night, only eating at night, high protein, milk only, you name it, it has been done before.

So here is my take – It’s a courtesy to give a ‘shout out’ to the person or place where you first read about the idea, and it’s definitely NOT OK to take someone else’s words or writing and use them as your own, but the idea? people don’t really own them.

There are probably going to be dozens of intermittent fasting books coming out over the next year or two, and I’m all for anything that increases the exposure of the benefits of Intermittent Fasting. I like it when I’m quoted, and I also like the fact that more and more people are realizing it’s a viable and effective way to help others lose weight… and in the end it’s a win for me and for Eat Stop Eat.

Even my most recent work – Compound Training, has most likely been done in some form or version before.

It is important to realize that our obsession with health and fitness and muscles and fat loss is easily over a hundred years old, and more than likely dates all the way back to the invention of the mirror.

In fact, if you want a great read on some of the early history of Health and Fitness you should check out the Book ‘Mr. America’ about the life of Bernarr MacFadden. Believer it or not, in this book you’ll find that fasting, weight training, vegetarianism, whole milk diets etc. were all popular trends more than a century ago.

Everything old is new, and everything new is old.

Why Intermittent Fasting Works Well for Women

Diet fads are usually controversial and ineffective weight loss strategies, however dieters give them a try every time they appear on the market.

And one of the latest diet craze that everyone is talking about is intermittent fasting.

This way of fasting became a popular after the doctor Michael Mosley made a BBC documentary called ‘Eat, Fast Live Longer’.

In a nutshell, this plan involves two days of very low calorie dieting (fasting) each week and allows eating well on the other days of the week.

Many dieters in UK have reported about decent decrease of body fat levels as result of following intermittent fasting routine.

But the most likes the plan are getting from women’s side, who found that they are able to eat the same serving sizes as their male partners in a restraint or at home and still be on a calorie deficit.

How is it possible?

Well, as you probably know, absolute metabolic rates for men and women are very different.

If you take a man with a specific height and age, his resting metabolic rate will be significantly higher than it is for women of the same height and age.

A 5’10 tall man could easily burn around 1900cals/day with RMR alone. While a 5’10 woman is able to expenditure only approximately 1450 calories or 450 calories less.

Consider also that men are commonly higher than women, meaning that in real life the difference is even more notable.

This fact is very easily to observe when people are married or just eat together.

In eating places, plates are identical and a woman usually eats the same portion size as a man.

At home she also seldom leaves a part of chicken breast or omelet on her plate.

This is a concern of women.

Women are facing with too many food ‘attacks’ in their lives that force them to eat more calories than their BMR allows.

When a woman follows intermittent fasting, she skips around two-four daily meals that lead to a great calorie deficit.

So, intermittent fasting helps to create a large negative reserve of calories that permits women to eat a big meal in a restaurant without worries about how much calorie it contains.

Of course, there is a chance to overeat even with intermittent fasting, but on the other hand, you will get an opportunity to enjoy your favorite meals five days a week and stop missing social events just because you’re on a diet.

More over, your colleagues or friends will hardly guess that you are trying to lose weight because you will be able to eat even junk food.

While in reality you will consume fewer calories over the course of the week, keeping your little weight loss “secret” from others.


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Forum topic: Does Intermittent Fasting Work for Women?

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The funny thing about starvation mode (not really funny)

The funny thing about starvation mode is this – the definition keeps on changing.

It used to be that ‘if you didn’t eat every three hours your metabolism would crash and you’d start to lose muscle.’

This was proven to be a big fat lie.

Then it became ‘If you are on a low calorie diet for too long you can actually start gaining weight, even while in a calorie deficit’

Again, big fat lie.

Then, starvation mode grew up a bit. It became ‘if you are on a low calorie diet for an extended period of time and have very low body fat you can start to see metabolic complications including muscle loss and an altered metabolism, especially if you are undertaking constant strenuous exercise’

This definition is kind of hard to argue with, but I’d also hope that this should be somewhat obvious to most people, since this isn’t ‘starvation mode’ as much as it is the classic definition of ‘wasting’.

Now here is something less obvious – my own definition of a true starvation mode.

The classic symptoms of ‘starvation mode’ – muscle loss and an altered metabolic rate can absolutely occur when you starve your muscles… from exercise.

‘Disuse atrophy’ is when a muscle shrinks in size as a result of not being used or stressed. It can occur quickly (just think of an arm in a cast) or slowly (someone stops working out, but isn’t bed ridden).

And, if your entire body isn’t being used at all, you will burn less calories per day then someone who is moving.

Interestingly, it’s even more complicated then just losing muscle because you’re not using it.

When you don’t use your muscles they become “anabolic resistant”. Meaning, the physiology of your muscles changes and they become resistant to the anabolic affects of protein and amino acids.

When people are subjected to prolonged bed rest, feeding them amino acids or protein doesn’t help prevent the muscle loss that occurs.

The only thing that does is resistance training, especially when combined with protein or amino acids.

So in my eyes true starvation mode is what happens when you starve your muscles of meaningful contractions – movement, lifting, pulling these types of things.

In this regard a very large percentage of the population is in ‘starvation mode’

This is why Eat Stop Eat is the combination of fasting for weight loss AND resistance training. It’s a two part system.

You are never in a prolonged calorie deficit, in any given week you spend more time eating then you do fasting, and you are resistance training.

No starvation mode, no muscle loss, no messed up metabolism.

In my opinion the resistance training is just as important as the fasting.