Fasting 3 times per week

by Brad Pilon

Hi Brad,

First off, thank you for the amazing book. It is really changing my life.

I would like to know, I have seen you on Youtube say that the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle is limited to 1 or 2 days of fasting for flexibility and that more days of fasting would be too intrusive. I find that it would be no trouble at all fasting on three separate days (Mon-Wed-Fri) for me. Do you think it’s safe for me to add the extra fasting day?

This is one of the more common questions I get about Eat Stop Eat.

From a physiological point of view, there is nothing wrong with fasting 3 times per week for an otherwise healthy person.

I do not like this approach because it lacks flexibility and it moves fasting in the direction of obsessive compulsive eating that I am trying to fight against (as scary as it sounds there are some people that would think that since 3 times per week is OK, and if 3 is OK then 4 is also OK, then 5…It gets very scary very quickly).

These are my main reasons for promoting once or twice a week as opposed to the more flexible and obsessive every other day method.

My personal opinion is for diet longevity, and for diet peace of mind, one to two times per week can be incredibly effective WITHOUT being overly restrictive.

But these are my only reasons.

If you’d like to try 3 times per week then go ahead, but my recommendation and expertise fall within the realm of one or two 24-hour fasts per week (combined with resistance training) used for weight loss, weight control or overall health. From my experience this approach seems to work the best.



alfred June 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm

I agree with Brad. I started with 24 hrs, then I thought: “why not thirty?”. Then 36 then… and I started to feel like I was going over to the dark side. I think if you want better results, you can just eat a little less on eating days. Fasting every other day while binging every other day just seems to defeat the purpose.

Brian June 28, 2009 at 11:59 pm

I think you can definitely try the longer fasts every once in a while. I didn’t become obsessed with it, just wanted to try and push a little bit longer when it fit into my schedule. But I definitely agree about binging on non fast days when going every other; it just really defeats the purpose. Just my opinion.

Sean June 29, 2009 at 4:01 am

I actually experimented with a 72 hour, water only fast. I’ll never do that again…man, does that mess with your head. I’ll stick to the 2, 24 hour fasts per week, it really is pretty easy.

Brad, in the past I’ve lost a lot of weight eating 6 meals per day. What I noticed since doing intermittent fasting is that my body seems to take “longer” to digest food now, compared to when I was eating 6 meals per day. It seems like my body increased the “rate” of digestion. Could that be the reason why people do indeed loose weight on the obnoxious 6 meal a day routines, since apparently it isn’t due to an increase in metabolism? Perhaps your body is being conditioned to go through food faster, preventing fat storage in a sense? To this day I’m still baffled as to why I did loose a significant amount of weight doing that even though I was no doubt taking in more calories than I normally would. (I did Tom Venuto’s burn the fat, feed the muscle program.) Even though I’m a big believer in ESE I do still go through occasional moments of doubt and I find myself thinking, “maybe there really is something the the 6 small meals per day thing?”

By the way, I’m noticing that I’m skipping lunch a lot more frequently on my eating days, is that normal?

Nekurahn June 29, 2009 at 8:42 am

Woohoo my post got an article! πŸ˜€

Thanks for clearing that up for me Brad πŸ™‚

hmmm June 29, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Hi Brad,

first, sorry for my broken English πŸ™‚
i’ve readed ur book (eat stop eat) ,that’s book have shown me “the truth” of Diet, thx very much for ur book.
I want to ask you many questions, hopes u will answer my questions. Bodybuilding is my hobby, i’ve readed so many books about diet n exercise, some of them written “u must eat after exercise(weight training), for recovery of ur body…”
but i do my fasting is from 1pm till tomorrow 1pm, and i lift weight on 9 pm. After exercise i can’t take the “recovery meal” coz i still on my fasting time. so the questions are:
1. Will i lose my muscle? (after exercise i still fasting till tomorrow 1 pm)
2. will i gain muscle? (after exercise i dont eat anything till tomorrow 1 pm)

Hope u want to answer these questions. Thank you very much.

jon June 29, 2009 at 11:41 pm

hi brad, this may be a dumb question, but is drinking tap water ok on the fast? do u have any idea if bottled water or tap water is healthier? is either of them ok to drink on the fast? do u drink tap water?

Brad Pilon June 30, 2009 at 12:02 am

Tap water is fine.


nana mho April 24, 2011 at 1:10 am

Hi Brad.

Muslim they fast from sun shine to sun site.Some time on alternat day and other time 2 a week monday and thurday. They have one month when they fast 30 days from sun shine to sunsite.
Do you think these is helpfule for them to maintain the body weigh or to loss weight. or it has to be 2 hours.

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