“Can I gain weight while fasting?” – This is a common question I get from people who are curious about Eat Stop Eat.
The truth is, yes, you can gain weight even though you are fasting.
Fasting is an AMAZING way to create a calorie deficit, and as a result of this fact fasting is also a highly effective way to lose body fat, but it is NOT magic by any means.
As an example, lets say that you have been gaining weight for the last couple months (don’t freak out, remember..this is just an example).
Now, through a bunch of very scientific methods we figured out that you were overeating by about 30%.
In other words you were eating 30% more calories then you needed to stay weight stable.
Since you’ve been gaining weight you decide that its time to try out that “Eat Stop Eat” diet that everyone’s been raving about (shameless plug!).
After fasting twice a week, every week, for the last 7 weeks you are HORRIFIED to find that you GAINED 2 pounds.
How could this happen? Is that Brad Pilon a LIAR? Is fasting useless?…Or worse..did you RUIN your metabolism?
Well the answer may be much simpler than that.
It could be that the fasting worked INCREDIBLY well for you, and the two fasts a week managed to reduce the amount of calories you ate in a week by 22%. A very impressive drop..but sadly it was not enough.
If you were previously overeating by 30% and fasting caused you to decrease the amount you ate by 22%, you are still left eating in a surplus (around 8% more than you need).
Like I said before, fasting isn’t magic. There is (an always will be) a need to eat responsibly when you do eat. This does not mean you have to avoid sugar or dairy products (see my last post) and to be honest, it doesn’t even mean you need to eat healthy (although I do recommend eating with variety). To lose weight, you just need to eat a little less.
This is where small changes come in to play.
If you are still overeating even though you are fasting then your best bet is to examine your diet to find small changes that you could make that will cause big results.
A couple small changes should get you back down into a caloric deficit and help you lose weight.
It is EXTREMELY easy to overeat. Some people manage to overeat by thousands of calories every day. It is very difficult to under-eat by this amount for long periods of time – this is why I like fasting so much. But, if fasting isn’t getting you the results you want, then you still need to address the way you are eating even when you are not fasting.
Small changes…little reductions in intake…can have big results, ESPECIALLY if you are already fasting.
It may not be great Eat Stop Eat marketing, and it’s definitely not some MSN style cure all weight loss technique (ice water anyone?), but it’s honest and it’s true.