An empty plate ready for food

What is intermittent Fasting? I’m glad you asked. Intermittent fasting is the practice of not consuming calories for an extended period of time, forcing the body into a fasted state. Think of this as going into survival mode. The body begins to burn the calories are stored in the body for energy, also known as that no good dirty rotten unwanted fat. This is why, for expert level dieters, I suggest pairing intermittent fasting with the ketogenic diet. Alright, let’s get into it.

Fasting in Society

Maybe you heard about it from Joe Rogan, maybe you didn’t. Still, why would anyone want to purposefully do this? Well, fasting has been a concept of diets well before it caught on in the health industry in recent years. Fasting has long since been a tradition in many religions. Most prominently known in the Islamic faith is Ramadan.  It is also part of Christianity. Although the concept has changed as times have changed as well, many of you probably know this as Lent today. Fasting has repeatedly shown up in history as a political protest. Mahatma Ghandi is well known for fasting as part of his protest. The concept of fasting was extensively studied by the Greeks, referring to it as “the doctor from within”, as typically when people get sick they lose their appetite and eat less or not at all [3].

My History with Intermittent Fasting

Much like everyone new to the industry of health, I was looking for any way that I could to get slimmer faster and without as much work. In researching better ways to get slimmer faster, I cam across intermittent fasting. Immediately I was intrigued, and to it was pretty easily achievable at that! Mind blown, I couldn’t wait to give it a try. Not being overly into breakfast and wanting to sleep as much as possible in college, I went with a 16:8 timing ratio, which we will go over together below. I was hooked pretty quickly, and I intermittent fasted for the next 4.5 years of my life in varying degrees. I stopped intermittent fasting due to life related things, and wanting to experiment more with my diet.

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Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

  • Weight loss
  • Reduces insulin resistance
    • Can help those with type 2 diabetes
    • Reduces blood sugar levels
  • Can reduce inflammation
  • Possible reduction in blood pressure
  • Possible reduction in LDLs
  • Rat tests show that it has life span longevity benefits
  • Increases HGH levels
  • Helps protect again neurodegenerative diseases
  • Boosts metabolism

Methods of intermittent Fasting

16:8 Timing

This is the most popular form of intermittent, and if you hear someone talking about intermittent fasting this is likely the timing of the diet that they are talking about. This timing works by consuming all the days calories in an eight-hour window, and then not consuming any more calories for the following sixteen-hour window. The plus side is that most of the fasting hours are during your sleep. The average person is already fasting during their sleep meaning that this is not new to the body, which is where you get break-fast from. Once you get up for the day, the idea is to not eat calories for the first 4 to 6 hours. Hope you’re not a breakfast fanatic. Once begin eating calories, your eight-hour window of eating begins, and the day’s calories would need to be consumed before the end of that time frame.

16:8 fasting timing

Timing Example

If you get up at 7:30 you would not want to consume calories till 11:30AM – 1:30PM. If you started eating at 11:30AM this means that all of your day’s calories would need to be consumed by 7:30PM. Alternatively if you have the will power and didn’t start eating until 1:30PM your day’s calories would need to be consumed by 9:30PM. If this is the timing of intermittent fasting that you choose to go with then adjust the windows to your life and that specific day.

5:2 Timing

This intermittent fasting timing style works by eating calories as normal for 5 days, and then eating a small amount of calories for two days. So, in reality it’s like how you eat with a bad hangover. This timing doesn’t have an explicit fasting time frame. At the end of the 5 days you begin the “fasting” period by consuming no more than 300 calories a day for 2 days. This can be done best by eating two small meals per day instead of 1 larger meal. Obviously, this requires some serious discipline, and can be very hard to sustain as a lifestyle choice. Additionally, unless you plan to be crabby during the week, you’re more than likely going to plan your 2 “on” days during the weekend, which don’t make for fun nights out.

5:2 Fasting Timing

Eat Stop Eat Timing

This timing ratio of intermittent fasting is based around consuming calories as normal, but 2-3 times a week you would follow a true and complete fast for 24 hour period. This version of intermittent fasting can also be adopted into every other day method, where you would fast every other day.

eat stop eat fasting timing

Warrior Diet Timing

This intermittent fasting style is an extreme form of dieting, and is accurately named the warriors diet, because you might as well be behind enemy lines. This diet is based on a concept of when food was not as abundant as today, and meals were more unknown. For this timing ratio, you would not consume any calories until dinner time, in which all the day’s calories would be consumed in a 4-hour window. Much like the previous 2, this will require an extreme amount of discipline to follow through on.

warrior diet fasting timing

Once, you get into protein break down, gluconeogenesis, and etc. I strongly recommend only following the 16:8 intermittent fasting. Especially if you’re trying to make a lifestyle change. Being able to stick your dietary choices is what makes them work and become actual habits.

Coffee or No Coffee

It is largely recognized by the intermittent fasting community that the consumption of non-caloric drinks, such as coffee, tea, and BCAA’s during the fasting stages of the diet is acceptable. However, famed Dr. Rhonda Patrick disagrees with this sentiment. In her research, she concluded that consuming anything other than water during the fasting stages actually activates the liver and therefore pulls the person out of fasting [2]. My recommendation is to not overdo yourself and do what you can. In my love for all things coffee I cannot tell you to not consume it. I have given this information to you to do with it as you please. If you want to hear more from Dr. Rhonda Patrick or hear it from the person herself watch this episode of The Joe Rogan Experience.

Working Out and Intermittent Fasting

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Since this we are a fitness blog, we should probably talk about working out on the intermittent fasting diet. Working out after starting your caloric intake window should not cause any problems. However, many of you may workout in the morning, or if you have chosen one of the other fasting timing ratios there are large windows in which you will likely want to workout while you are fasting. There are many people that do fasted cardio. If you are looking to lift weights though, it is possible during the fasting stages that you would risk your body consuming muscle for energy. To help prevent this it is widely recommended that you take Branch Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs to help with muscle recovery and fortitude.

Intermittent fasting is a sure-fire way to burn some extra calories and get healthy. There are a ton of other health benefits to boot! While eating this way may add a ton of benefits to your health, it is not an excuse to eat crap. Eating bad foods will still result in poor results in your health and fitness. This is not a tool to provide an easy out of dieting, and good, clean, whole foods should be consumed always. You can never out train a poor diet.

Key things to remember:

Hopefully this article was helpful and informative on whether or not you want to do Intermittent Fasting. If you have questions, we’d love to hear from you.

  • Fasting is not a new concept, and has been around for ages
  • Can easily be added to The Ketogenic Diet
  • There are numerous benefits from intermittent fasting
    • Weight loss
    • Reduces insulin resistance
      • Can help those with type 2 diabetes
      • Reduces blood sugar levels
    • Can reduces inflammation
    • Possible reduction in blood pressure
    • Possible reduction in LDLs
    • Rat tests show that it has life span longevity benefits
    • Increases HGH levels
    • Helps protect again neurodegenerative diseases
    • Boosts metabolism
  • There are four main types of intermittent fasting
    • 16:8 Timing ratio
    • 5:2 Timing Ratio
    • Eat Stop Eat Timing Ratio
    • Warrior Diet Timing Ratio
  • Intermittent Fasting is not an excuse to eat bad foods
  • If you’re going to workout in a fasted state try taking BCAAs
  • It is possible that “non-caloric drinks” other than water can end your fasted state
sunny day picture of the owner of the blog
Hey there! My name is Hampton Tyler and I help others achieve their dream physique and fitness goals. I am certified in general nutrition and personal training. I have over 6 years in sports fitness and bodybuilding combined. Even now I am still learning new things all the time.

Sources

  1. ^The Joe Rogan Experience Team. (2018.10.02). “Joe Rogan Experience #1178 – Dr. Rhonda Patrick.” Youtube.com, PowerfulJRE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M8X_bs_fzI
  2. ^Dr. Rhonda Patrick. (2019.05.01). “Coffee and Amino Acids Effect On Fasting-Rhonda Patrick.”Foundmyfitness.com.https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/coffee-and-amino-acids-effect-on-fasting-rhonda-patrick
  3. ^Dr. Jason Fung. (2016). “Fasting – A History Part I.” The Fasting Method.com. https://thefastingmethod.com/fasting-a-history-part-i/
  4. ^Kris Gunnars. (2016.08.06). “10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.” Healthline.com. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-health-benefits-of-intermittent-fasting
  5. ^Stockman, M. C., Thomas, D., Burke, J., & Apovian, C. M. (2018). Intermittent Fasting: Is the Wait Worth the Weight?. Current obesity reports, 7(2), 172–185. doi:10.1007/s13679-018-0308-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5959807/
  6. ^Kris Gunnnars. (2020.01.01). “6 Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting.” Healthlne.com. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-ways-to-do-intermittent-fasting

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