Help with Fasting

by Brad Pilon

Every once in a while I get an email that reads something like this:

I recently purchased your books and have been trying fasting for 2 months now. I fast for 24 hours twice a week, then on the days I’m not fasting for 24 hour I fast for 16 hours. I’m Paleo, except on weekends where I eat carbs, but only ever with protein (never with fat) I run 5 miles two to three times per week and I also do a spin class at least once a weekend. I am tracking my calories and I’m eating about 1000 to 1200 daily, I’m 5’6″, 155lbs. F.

 Lately, my weight loss has slowed down, can you help?

 If this sounds like you then I have a suggestion. If your weight loss is slowing down, try this one thing: Try Eat Stop Eat.

(Because what is written in that email is NOT Eat Stop Eat)

EAT STOP EAT:

One OR two 24-hour fasts per week, divided between two days, combined with a sound resistance-training program. When your fast is over I want you to pretend that it never happened and eat responsibly. That’s it. Nothing else.

Let’s take a second and dissect this…

“One OR two fasts” means exactly that… once or twice, not twice every week, not three times a week…once or twice. Even the 24 is a guideline. I like 24 best, but if you can only do 22, that’s fine. They key is I don’t want you to strive to not eat ever again… just take a break every once in a while.

“Combined with a sound resistance-training program.”  I’m not sure if I’ve explained my thoughts on this properly, so I’m going to be very blunt with how I say this.

I am not a fan of fasting on its own.

And, for the purpose of weight loss and fat loss I am ALSO not a fan of weight training on its own.

However, for the purposes of losing body fat I am a huge fan of occasional fasting + consistent weight training (Especially when the fasting style is Eat Stop Eat).  In fact, I like the idea of ESE style fasting + weight training better than I do the idea of chronic caloric restriction + weight training. But if you’re not weight training, you’re not doing Eat Stop Eat. Your fasting, just not the way I recommend.

Next: pretending your fast is over and eating in a style that I call “responsibly”. Basically, I really DO NOT like the idea of combining fasting with extreme dieting. That wasn’t the purpose. And I don’t like the idea of using fasting to allow for a huge binge afterwards.

With anything I write or do, the goal is to make things easier and less complicated, not to give people something to further complicate their approach to weight loss.

The way I suggest people use Eat Stop Eat is as a REPLACEMENT for extreme dieting, not as an addition to it. Yes it is true that eating ‘responsibly’ means eating less that you want to or are used to, but it also doesn’t mean extreme dieting… most likely it means just a little less, and you probably know EXACTLY the things you should cut out in order to consider what you are doing ‘responsible’ without me telling you.

As an example, if a 5’6” woman needs to eat about 1200-1400 calories per day to lose weight (just picking numbers), with Eat Stop Eat she could fast once or twice a week and then eat 1700-1800 calories on the non fasting days and still lose weight. To me, that makes much more sense.

The other thing to keep in mind is that with Eat Stop Eat you still eat every single day.

So in reality the example above could look something likes this:

 

Monday – Eat 900 Calories then start fasting…

Tuesday – End fasting then eat 1400 Calories

Wednesday – Eat 1800

Thursday – Eat 1800

Friday – Eat 900 Calories then start fasting

Saturday  – End fasting and eat 1200 Calories

Sunday – Eat 1800 Calories

 

In my opinion this looks a lot more enjoyable than simply eating 1400 calories every single day.

Finally, Eat Stop Eat is meant to replace the need for extreme exercise. So in the example above, if you love running, if it’s your thing, then by all means keep doing it, however, if you are running to try to lose weight you probably need to re-think your approach. It’s not needed. Especially when you start becoming obsessive about how many calories you are burning each day..

 THERE IS SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING….

This is true for  both diet and exercise.

Here’s the thing about trying to massively speed up your fat loss…

‘Fast fat loss’ is typically a synonym for ‘transient fat loss’. It won’t last. You will burn out, you will stop. And then the weight gain will happen and you will be angry at yourself.

Then what?

You try again, only harder… more rules, more dieting, more exercise…

Guess what happens this time..yep..same thing.

It’s a viscous and unnecessary cycle that leads to negative reinforcement that you simply cannot lose weight because you are somehow broken.

Bottom line:  If you are having issues with your weight loss, if you feel you are stalling or just having an all together rough go… Simplify and try going back to basics.

 One OR two 24-hour fasts per week, divided between two days, combined with a sound resistance-training program. When your fast is over I want you to pretend that it never happened and eat responsibly. That’s it. Nothing else.

 

Rest when tired, eat when hungry,

BP

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