I first heard about the intermittent fasting diet Eat Stop Eat about 3 years ago. I read the research on it and even though it sounded promising I decided not to try it. As a fitness trainer you are brain washed into thinking the only way to burn fat and lose weight is with 5-6 small meals a day and since this worked for me and many of my clients in the past I figured a fasting diet was just not a healthy fatloss strategy but I was very wrong!
I.F. is not really a diet but an eating cycle that includes eating days and fasting days (fasting means no food or caloric drinks of any kind are consumed). Unlike other types of fasting (religious, spiritual, or political) the main purpose is improved health, a faster metabolism, increased fat burning and easy weight maintenance.
In the video here Brad Pilon author of the Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan Eat Stop Eat explains how I.F. is very similar to fat burning workouts that boost metabolism. His plan explains all 10 benefits listed below in detail including all the science and research that may convince you to stop grazing forever!
1. Simple and easy calorie restriction for fatloss without all the fat loss diet drama.
2. Decreases insulin levels and increases insulin sensitivity which allows your body to burn fat.
3. Increases lipolysis (release of fatty acids) and fat oxidation (fat burning).
4. Increases glucagon levels which shifts the body into fat burning mode. "After only 24 hours of fasting, the amount of fat being released from people’s fat stores (lipolysis) and the amount being burnt for fuel (oxidation) had been significantly increased by over 50%." Eat Stop Eat
5. Increases epinephrine and norepinephrine which releases glucose and increases fat burning.
6. Increases growth hormone levels which assists with fat burning and lean muscle growth or maintenance.
7. Improved workout performance; you can train with more intensity and it feels easier! You can also train with less intensity if you're injured or very stressed and not gain fat!
8. An end to obsessive compulsive eating or mindless eating brought on by most grazing diets, low carb diets, paleo diets, etc.
9. Freedom to eat more of the foods you love and drink beverages you enjoy without feeling guilty.
10. Saves you money on food and on health care since it improves health and prevents diseases.
When it comes to I.F. you have various options. You can do it weekly, twice a week, or on alternate days (every 48 hours). You can also fast for 24 hours, 18 hours, or 16 hours BUT according to Intermittent Fasting diet expert Brad Pilon, a 24 hour fast is the most flexible and gets the best fatloss results.
Keep in mind that fasting requires that you NOT consume calories so any plan that allows calories during a fasting phase does not really qualify as a fasting plan so beware of plans that are actually ultra low calorie plans but claim to be "fasting" diet plans.
The New Detox Diet, Master Cleanse, Juice Fasting, Isagenix, Unto the 9th Hour, No Breakfast Plan, Warrior Diet, DO NOT qualify as intermittent fasting plans. These plans fall into the VLCD (very low calorie diet) category and they focus more on overall weight loss vs. body re-composition (fatloss and lean muscle maintenance or gains).
In the fall of 2010 I went on an a couple of easy hikes in CA (pic here) and by the time I got back home I had a very painful case of hip bursitis. My doctor said I had probably injured my hip prior to that but the hiking made it worst. He prescribed an anti-inflammatory and told me to stop training so hard so I exercised at a lower intensity and did some rehab for about 4 weeks but the problem only got worst.
So I went in for neuromuscular therapy, tried the kinesio taping method, tried foam roller exercises, and did more yoga, but my hip was not healing so I had a session with a rehab trainer at work who told me that my hip would need about 12 months of rehab to heal from the damage.
I didn't believe him but again my painful workouts proved me wrong plus I was starting to gain some bodyfat. It was just a few pounds of bodyfat but I was terrified that would snowball into 10 or 15 pounds quickly because I had heard so many horror stories about injury weight gain from clients and site visitors.
So I finally accepted that I would have to completely change my workouts and my diet for the next year if I was going to heal my hip! This is the reason I stopped filming videos for 11 months and also the reason why I started the intermittent fasting diet eat stop eat.
I.F. helped me cut calories easily which is something I needed to do since I could no longer do lunges, squats, jumping, sprinting, or hiking (even walking and going upstairs was a problem some days). It also allowed me to focus on rehab instead of fat burning.
Initially it felt strange not to eat one day a week but after 3 fasts it just got easier and easier and it improved my eating habits on non-fast days. It also helped me lose the few pounds of fat I had gained plus another 5 pounds. I normally weigh about 118-120 pounds but I.F. got me down to 115 lb which took a lot of pressure off my hip (I'm just shy of 5'4" so 5 lb is a lot for a shorty like me).
After about 8 months of intermittent fasting once a week I took a break for a few months then went back on it permanently for a year and I loved it. I highly recommend it to anybody who is struggling with healthy eating habits, to any female who is having trouble controlling portions, and especially to any woman who is tired of obsessing about what to eat, how to eat, when to eat for fatloss and weightloss or maintenance.
The results I started getting from intermittent fasting diet post rehab were actually much better because I got back to my normal fatloss workouts which boosted my fat burn! I really loved I.F. and if you are tired of stressing about fatloss diets then I guarantee you will love it too.
His eating plan focuses on under-eating during the day and eating normal size meals at night. What this means is you eat very little 2-3 times during the day then you eat a larger meal at night but ALL the food you eat is clean and healthy so there is no processed food of any kind allowed. Caffeine and alcohol are also not permitted.
The Anti-Estrogenic diet is a great way to lose stubborn fat and to condition yourself for fasting. Another advantage to using this plan is you learn how not to binge on junk when you're coming off a fast. This is an important skill to learn before you try I.F. because it will prevent you from yoyo-ing between no food and cheat foods which is not a good combination for quality fatloss and effortless weightloss.