8 Reasons To Start Intermittent Fasting (Part I)

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Two things are I noticed from my recent trip to the US:

1)   People are panicking about the flu epidemic (More on that later)

2)   A new diet book, The 8 Hour Diet, is on all of the best-seller lists

So this book, written by Men’s Health editor David Zinczenko, is claiming you can eat what you like, as much as you like, and lose up to 15lbs in just 6 weeks.

So what’s the diet?

The diet is based on intermittent fasting , or IF.

IF is not new – in fact I’ve been following guys like Brad Pilon, Jason Ferruggia and Martin Berkhan for a few years now, and it’s been around for a lot longer than that.

I’ve actually been on a strict intermittent fasting (IF) diet for the last 13 weeks, and I gotta say, I love it!

If you’ve never heard of IF, it is the practice of abstaining from all but water for a period of anywhere from 18-36 hours to help with the goals associated with fat loss and health in general.

Basically IF has a few versions, but they all follow a designtated period each day that you consume no calories. I read Jason Ferruggia’s version called The Renegade Diet, and it made sense to me.

Here were the main points I got out of it…

1.    Don’t eat Breakfast – it is overrated!

After an overnight fast, your body is in the prime fat-burning state. A few reasons for this… The main reason is due to insulin being low. When insulin is low, you burn fat more effectively. When you eat carbs insulin becomes elevated, which means fat burning comes to a sudden halt. Therefore the last thing you want to do is start your day with cereal, OJ and toast (The typical Western diet and one that is loaded with carb’s)

Growth hormone is released when skipping breakfast, which means more fat loss and more muscle growth for all of us.

Another important thing to note, when you eat first thing in the morning you take yourself from a sympathetic nervous system into a parasympathetic nervous system. That means you go from being productive to entering a foggy, brain-dead state

(Hence the 3 cups of coffee by 10am for most people)

Also, the cereal industry is a multi-BILLION dollar industry. Do you really think they are going to let us believe that skipping breakfast can be GOOD!?

Zinczenko himself said in his book that he is going against what his magazine had published for decades, and that is to NEVER skip breakfast.

So by “following the rules” and eating breakfast you are actually doing yourself a massive disservice and taking your body from a fat-burning state to a fat-storing state!

This was the biggest change I noticed – I had way more energy and mental clarity between 5-11am.

2.    Doesn’t fasting sends you into “Starvation Mode”??

I have said this one myself hundreds of times over the last 10 years. However here’s the reality – we are designed to go for periods where we don’t eat!

You will not lose muscle and story body fat from fasting.

This is complete BS, manufactured by the supplement companies. Years ago they figured out that they could make lots of money pushing bodybuilding powders onto people by convincing them they need to eat every three hours.

But this is complete BS… According to studies your metabolic rate is not negatively affected from complete fasting for 60-92 hours!

So ignore the myth that you need to eat every 3 hours to avoid “burning muscle and storing fat”

3.    Eat carb’s at dinner – they will help you sleep, and increase recovery at night!

Do you remember the old rule, “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a princess and dinner like a pauper”?

This made sense in theory, as it related to the fact that our energy requirements were lower at 7pm compared to 7am.

But doing this skips one of the most important releases of hormones – insulin.

Insulin is the storage hormone that stores body fat, but it is also arguably the most anabolic hormone in the body (Yes, even ahead of testosterone.)

So whilst you definitely want an insulin spike to store good hormones into the muscle, you do not want it in the blood stream for too long. By keeping carb’s low for 16-20 hours each day, and then consuming them at night, you get a huge insulin release which leads to you building more muscle whilst staying lean.

Also, it feels GREAT knowing that every night I can enjoy some carb’s with my meal. It’s easy to keep busy during the day knowing I can get a rewarding carb meal at night.

4.    Your digestive systems require a rest!

This is THE MOST underrated factor when it comes to health.

Whatever your fitness goals – fat loss, muscle gain, more energy, better looking skin and eyes, boost you immune system – it all starts and ends with gut health.

Think about it – if the food you consume is not digesting, as in it is rotting or fermenting – how healthy can you be?

Ferruggia goes on to say that, “All diseases and problems start in the gut. If you have poor gut health, you will never function at 100% of lose fat and build muscle at an efficient rate.”

For me personally, my digestion improved OUT OF SIGHT once I began fasting for 14-18 hours per day. I skipped the “5-8 meals per day” that the fitness magazines promote.

It gave my system a chance to rest and recover, instead of always trying to process my last meal.

Another key for the digestive system is through the use of fermented foods, such as raw sauerkraut. Also try drinking a large glass of warm water, with an entire lemon squeezed into it, before main meals.

I highly recommend The Renegade Diet, you can see the details here >> The Renegade Diet 

Click here for Part II

Committed to your success,

Pete

By the way, if you found this article helpful, I’d really appreciate a LIKE or a COMMENT down below! Cheers, Pete

  • Nick Bone

    Thanks for that mate – I’m pretty interested in that stuff because I tend to eat like that on the weekend anyway just due to routine (sleeping in etc).

    Quick question though – This ONLY applies to people trying to achieve fat loss and nothing else right? If I’m trying to SLOWLY lose the last bit of fat, while maintaining and hopefully growing more muscle (which is really my main goal now for 2013) – surely I’d be required to maintain my calories every day? Or do you still maintain your calories/macros and just fit them all in at different times/later in the day?

    I read all the stuff about growth hormone being released and everything, but doesn’t muscle still require ‘excess’ calories to grow?

  • pete

    Hey Nick,
    No, can still apply to muscle gain. I took my deaflift from 160-210 in 9 weeks following this, and lean muscle increased whilst I lost fat. For muscle gain, you can be a little bit more liberal with carb’s at night and could also have a small serve of sweet potato/rice post workout if you are not working out directly before dinner. As for the calorie surplus, yes that still applies, so carb’s would increase but only on workout days.

    I’m NOT a fan of guys getting fat and then saying they are bulking to justify it. I believe lean gains are possible – as demonstrated by gymnasts, martial artists, and even prison inmate. All 3 of these examples are not trying to be in a massive calorie surplus, but because they are placing increasing demand on their body (through strength gains) muscle gain is a result.

    Basically yes, same cal’s, in a smaller window.

  • pete
  • Peter Taylor

    Morning Peter,
    Thanks for this new view on how and when to eat. As you say this goes against current “best practice” which focuses on minimising the insulin variation by small frequent meals every 3 hrs.
    I like it. Keeping your digestive system empty until lunch makes sense to me. I will convert immediately.
    Haven’t discussed with Gay yet.
    Thanks
    Peter Taylor

  • pete

    Thank you Peter… Yes it is breaking the “rules” of diet, but as you’d agree there are plenty of people who follow these rules and go no where.

    The breakfast industry is one of the biggest, so I’m unsure if the majority will ever be able to convinced otherwise as we are up against some clever marketing… I’ll send some more your way.

  • Mikel Gellatly

    What if I’m training at 5:30am?

  • pete

    Hey Mike it can work, you would have the BCAA’s and coffee pre, and the BCAA’s during & post, and you may break the fast a little earlier. It all works around dinner time, so 16 hrs from a 6pm dinner is 10am. There are benefits with 12 and 14 hr fasts, but the most benefit comes from 15-19 hrs.

  • Kris

    The best thing is, you can workout fasted and not even require a post workout meal. IF is not only brilliant for fat loss but works for muscle building AND helps keep your wallet full.

    Check out Eat Stop Eat for more information.

  • Kris

    Also, to increase muscle, you never want to being in a caloric surplus over the week. You may be higher on your daily, so you must drop under on another day. You want to hit maintenance by the end of the week.

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