Intermittent Fasting is my favorite weight loss tool. It is a fantastic way to lose weight while still keeping your lean muscle.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
It is effectively the use of fasting for periods of between 24 and 48 hours. Doing this has the following benefits:
1) Intermittent Fasting does not slow down the metabolism, infact research has shown that during the period of your fast and for upto 24 hours after your metabolism will actually be working faster than normal not slower.
Your metabolism will only start to slow down when you have been fasting for 3 days straight (which you should not be doing). This is when your body will enter starvation mode and your metabolism slows to preserve energy.
2) Intermittent fasting does not cause muscle loss. Research undertaken examining the effects of intermittent fasting and resistance training showed that when subjects combined the two there was no correlation between fasting and muscle loss.
How Long Should A Fast Last?
Generally the best results for a fast will come between 24 and 36 hours. Any less than this and you will not get the full effects. Any longer than this and the results will start to taper off.
Brad Pilon (appearing in a video later) author of the EatStopEat program recommends to fast for a 24 hour period once or twice a week.
Top 3 Reasons Why Intermittent Fasting Is So Effective
1) It Reduces Your Calorie Input
It is recommended to perform 1-2 24 hour fasts a week. Based on a 2000 calorie/day diet this means instead of eating 14,000 calories in a week you will only eat 10,000. This is without changing your diet whatsoever.
2) It Is Easy to Stick To
Fasting is effective because when performed correctly it is incredibly easy to stick to. It allows a lot more freedom than with other diets because instead of eating boring stuff you are cutting your calories by not eating. This means that every now and again you can treat yourself with some goodies and still have a calorie defecit!
3) Intermittent Fasts are Natural
From a purely evolutionary point of view it can be said that as humans we are expected to go periods of time without eating. Our ancestors had no way of storing food so only ate when they were successful at hunting or forraging. This indicates that it is actually very possible that our bodies are designed to fast regularly. There are actually a number of physical benefits that are bodies show that would suggest that fasting is natural, such as:
- Lower insulin levels in those who regularly fast
- Reduces oxidative stress
- Slows down the effects of aging
- Maintains lean muscle mass
- Increased energy levels
- Increased levels of growth hormone
Intermittent Fasting for Fat Loss is Similar To Intense Exercise
Imagine being able to mimic the effects of exercise without the actual hassle of…you know…working out.
Well fasting twice a week has near enough the same HGH boosting and fat loss effects as 2 intense workout sessions.
Brad Pilon gives a great run down of why Intermittent Fasting is as good as intense exercise when it comes to fat loss in this video…just click play…
So What Does Exercise and Fasting Have in Common?
1. Both Increase Fat Burning
2. Both Release Free Fatty Acids
3. Both Increase the Release of Growth Hormone
4. Both Cause A Reduction in Insulin Levels
Fasting and exercise are nearly identical metabolic states. However there is one massive difference…
The fat burning effects from exercise will only last for the hours preceding the workout whereas an Eat Stop Eat style fast will have you in the fat burning zone for the full fast and upto 12 hours after you have eaten.
For me it’s always an easy decision to recommend the Eat Stop Eat style of dieting to my new clients.
It really is one of the best ways of getting lean. At the end of the day there are only so many workout sessions you can perform in a week before you run the risk of overtraining.
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