This chapter covers the next level of Intermittent Fasting. The previous chapters described IFRs in a general sense. The chapter on IFRs as a fat loss strategy is just as important as the chapter on IFRs as a fat loss strategy – this is an important chapter because it describes the science and strategy behind intermittent fasting. If you have been following the book, you will know that we have been employing IFRs as a fat loss strategy, as well as an anti-obesogenic strategy.

In this chapter, we’ll cover some more advanced intermittent fasting tactics. We’ll talk about alternate day fasting, the 16/8 method, and the 24/7 method. But first we need to do a brief review of the different types of fasting.

Intermittent fasting has long been a target of the dieting community, and for good reason. Fasting is a powerful behavior, one that can produce some major physiological benefits and one that is incredibly easy to incorporate into your life. After all, how hard can it be to avoid food for 12 hours every day?. Read more about intermittent fasting 16/8 and let us know what you think.

Chapter 6

My First Intermittent Fasting Experiment: The Weekly Fast


Because fasting was new to me, I decided to start small. You may accomplish more than you believed possible by deliberately biting off less than you can chew.


It’s satisfying to say to yourself, “I’m going to do my homework, learn all I can, come up with the ideal strategy, and then I’m going to smash this.” But that’s simply your ego expressing itself. Its eyes are also much larger than its stomach.

People seldom smash it under these circumstances. Instead, this is how it typically goes:

  1. You spend a lot of time reading books and doing online “research.” You’ve been searching for the ideal software for days, weeks, and months, and you’ve finally found it. Hurray!
  2. You devise a huge, all-encompassing, and awe-inspiring action plan and start putting it into action. You’re a complete pro right out of the start. You’re completely dedicated and diligent. Nothing will be able to stop you. The Rocky training montage begins.
  3. You feel tension building after a few weeks, maybe a month. Something is going on at work, at home, and in your relationships. You’re having difficulty adhering to the plan you devised. “It’s just for a little longer,” you tell yourself as you drop your head.
  4. Either you’re panicked or you’ve surrendered to indifference at this point. Your self-talk is deteriorating. “I suppose I’m not the right person for this.” Other individuals may be able to accomplish it, but they must not have a life. I, on the other hand, have a job, a family, and obligations. This is unthinkable.”
  5. You’re stumped as to why anything isn’t working. Something has to give eventually. The mission is cut short. (Or, in some extreme instances, it doesn’t end, and you wind yourself unemployed and homeless in Santa Monica, California, living in an old VW van.)

The sad reality is that it didn’t have to be this way. You might have created some good momentum if you had chosen the smallest, simplest action step available to you – even if it wasn’t the “ideal” one. This fresh shift may have been planned for your life.

You might have added additional, similarly easy action steps as your ability increased. You might have built things up one by one, gently and methodically, until you reached your objective – a goal you can now maintain since you’ve developed as a result of the shift.

I can assure you that I am well aware of the situation. Every year, our coaching program receives 6,000 new recruits, all of whom are certain that they will come in and – yes – smash it. Only those who enable us to hold them back, allowing them to change the way it should be done – slowly and gradually – are able to smash the program.

The Weekly Fast is the first experiment.

I made my first fasting experiment as doable as possible in the spirit of simplicity. Every Sunday, I resolved to fast one day each week.

Of course, I consume a healthy diet with plenty of protein and vegetables, as well as mixed nuts, fish oils, correctly cooked legumes, a moderate amount of carbohydrate and sugar, and 2 litres of water each day. In addition, I work out 4-6 times a week. I opted to leave everything else the same.

On my non-fast days, I just ate a bit less food (around 500 calories per day less than usual), added a “eat whatever I want” day, and added a fast day.

This is how my schedule looked:

Day Exercise Nutrition
Monday 45 minutes of upper body strength training Calorie consumption that is moderate (2500 kcal)
Tuesday Sprints on the treadmill for 10 minutes Calorie consumption that is moderate (2500 kcal)
Wednesday 30 minutes of upper body circuit training Calorie consumption that is moderate (2500 kcal)
Thursday Sprints on the treadmill for 10 minutes Calorie consumption that is moderate (2500 kcal)
Friday 45 minutes of lower body strength training Calorie consumption that is moderate (2500 kcal)
Saturday Before each meal, do 100 push-ups. I’ll eat anything I want till 10 p.m. (5000 kcal)
Sunday There will be no workout. Take it easy till Monday morning (0 kcal)

How I Worked Out During My Weekly Fast

Here’s how my exercise routine looked:

Monday is the first day.

45 minutes of upper body strength

(Warm-up for the upper body)

A1. Bench press with flat dumbbells 3 repeats in 5 sets

Pull-ups (A2) 10 reps x 5 sets

B1. 5 sets of 3 repetitions bent-over rows

5 sets of 10 repetitions B2. Low cable crossover

C1. Bench press with a lot of force 8-10 reps in 5 sets

C2. Inverted explosive rows 8-10 reps in 5 sets

Note that the letters “A1” and “A2” indicate that I alternated those sets. For a total of 5 “rounds,” I performed one set of A1, one set of A2, and then back to A1. B1/B2 and C1/C2 are the same.

Tuesday is the second day.

Sprints on the treadmill for 10 minutes

2 minute walk

Sprint for 15 seconds at 9 mph on a 12% incline.

15 seconds of rest

Count to ten.

2 minute walk

Wednesday is the third day.

20-minute upper-body circuit

(Warm-up for the upper body)

A1. 20 repetitions of close-grip push-ups

A2. 20 inverted rows

A3. 10 flat DB presses

A4. 10 bent-over DB rows

A5. 10 band crunches

A6. Hypers x 10 in reverse

Exercises should be completed in the sequence listed, with no breaks in between. After completing A6, take a minute to relax. Rep 5 times more.

Thursday is the fourth day.

Sprints on the treadmill for 10 minutes

2 minute walk

Sprint for 15 seconds at 9 mph on a 12% incline.

15 seconds of rest

Count to ten.

2 minute walk

Friday is the fifth day.

45 minutes of lower body strength

(Warm-up for the lower body)

A1. 5 sets of 3 repetitions of front squats

A2. Leg curls with a Swiss ball 10 reps x 5 sets

B1. Deadlifts (five sets of three repetitions)

B2. 5 sets of 10 repetitions dumbbell squats

C1. 5 sets of 8-10 reps of kettlebell swings

5 x 8-10 repetitions of speed deadlifts

You may be wondering what happened to the Saturday push-ups. There’s nothing spectacular about it. In terms of muscular growth, my chest is my weakest body region, which is why I did an additional 400-500 push-ups on a non-exercise day.

During the Weekly Fast, I ate the following foods:

I didn’t strictly adhere to a diet. I just followed these guidelines:

From Monday through Friday,

Meal frequency: Eat four meals a day, with a four-hour gap between them.

Meal content: The majority of meals should include:

  • 2 palms of lean protein (8 oz)
  • 3 fists of vegetables (3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup raw nuts (1/2 handful)
  • 1/4 cup legumes (1/2 handful)
  • 2 cups of water (500 mL)

I took the following supplements every day:

  • 1 vitamin supplement
  • Vitamin D4000 IU
  • 1 tbsp fish oil (15 mL)
  • Before working out, take 10 g BCAA capsules.

Saturday

I may eat anything I want as long as I follow the following guidelines:

  • majority of the above rules are broken
  • Eat until you’re full, not until you’re ill.
  • Increase your carbohydrate intake rather than your fat intake.
  • before each meal, perform 100 push-ups
  • At 10 p.m., you should cease eating.

Sunday

From 10 p.m. on Saturday until 10 a.m. on Monday, fast. On Sunday, eat three “meals,” with each meal consisting of:

  • 1 liter (4 cups) water + 1 scoop of greens
  • green tea, 250 mL (1 cup)
  • BCAA pills, 5 g

Monday through Friday, sample meals

Here are a few ideas for Monday-Friday meals:

Sample 1

  • Chicken thighs, 8 ounces (marinated in olive oil and hot sauce)
  • salad with 3 cups cole slaw, broccoli slaw, and carrot slaw
  • Salad with 1/4 cup of lupini beans
  • salad with 2 tbsp raw mixed nuts
  • seasoning (salt, pepper, etc.)
  • dressing: 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • Dressing: 2 tsp Udo’s oil

Sample 2

  • 5 eggs, whole
  • 2 bacon pieces
  • 4 tbsp pesto (homemade) (with basil, spinach, raw cashews, olive oil)
  • a quarter-cup of refried beans
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of fish oil

Sample 3

  • 2 scoops whey protein powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 scoop greens+ supplement with a chocolate raspberry flavor
  • 2 teaspoons of fish oil

Sample 4

  • 8 ounces ground beef (extra lean)
  • salad with 2 cups spinach, tomato, green pepper, and onion
  • a quarter cup of kidney beans, tossed into the salad
  • 1/2 cup guacamole (homemade) in salad
  • Seasonings (salt, pepper, etc.)
  • Dressing: 2 tsp Udo’s oil
  • The zone bar (chocolate mint flavour)

Sample 5

  • 3 links of spicy turkey sausage
  • 2 cups veggie medley (frozen)
  • sauerkraut (1 cup)
  • Spices, salt, and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of fish oil

Of course, I tried a number of various meal combinations over those eight weeks. However, the main focus was to incorporate approximately 8 ounces of protein (2 palms worth), a ton of vegetables, some nuts, legumes, and healthy oils. I would sometimes include a protein bar or smoothie, but these were the exception rather than the norm. When I went out to eat, I kept things as basic as possible: a big amount of protein, plenty of vegetables, no carbohydrates, and an oil and vinegar dressing. Simple, simple, simple.

Meal samples for “Eat What I Want Day”

That’s precisely what I did on my “eat anything I want” day. Here are a few examples from back then.

Sample 1

  • 2 tiny soft tacos with chorizo
  • 2 tiny soft beef tacos
  • 2 soft tacos de pescado de pescado de pesca
  • 2 tiny soft tacos with chicken
  • guacamole, 1/4 cup
  • 1 bottle of Corona

Sample 2

  • 3 eggs, whole
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 pepper, green
  • 1/2 cup chocolate protein oatmeal
  • peanut butter, 2 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Sample 3

  • a big salad with 2 chicken breasts
  • Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, 1/2 pint
  • 2 cookies with chocolate chips

Sample 4

  • Sushi in 15 pieces
  • 1 cup salad with seaweed
  • 1/2 cup ice cream (green tea)

Consumption of calories

In general, I ate around:

  • On days when I eat moderately, I consume 2500 calories.
  • On Saturday, you should consume 4000-6000 calories.
  • On Sunday, there are no calories.

For the whole week, my daily average calorie consumption was about 2500.

Obsessive-compulsive personality types

Obsessive-compulsive individuals: I could go on and on about why you shouldn’t put all of your efforts into calorie tracking and finding the ideal calorie balance. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Instead, I’ll just say this: I didn’t attempt to anticipate my activity expenditure or balance it out with my energy intake using one of those online calorie counter thingies, despite the fact that I did write down what I ate each day in a small notebook. In fact, I almost never do any of those things in the first place. (Neither should you, most likely.) Ever.)

Instead, I used the “fist” and “palm” rules: a cup of vegetables is the size of my fist, and 4 oz of protein is a piece of meat, poultry, or fish the size of my palm. Without the stress and hassle of weighing and measuring every meal, these guidelines keep me in the correct calorie range. It’s close enough and doesn’t cause any problems.

I also paid attention to my hunger and appetite signals, which is something that every health and fitness enthusiast should learn to do.

It was a fair point of reference since 2500 calories per day was the amount I’d usually used to reduce weight and body fat in the past. If my strategy proved to be more successful or simpler than prior efforts, I’d know I’d hit pay dirt.

Of course, you’ll need to come up with your own calorie estimate based on your body size, metabolic rate, and level of activity. To put it another way, our fists and palms are likely not the same size. However, I’m sure you already knew that.

So, what went wrong with me?

The Results of the Weekly Fast

Loss of weight

During the first eight weeks on this regimen, I dropped 12 pounds. I began at 190 pounds and eventually dropped to 178 pounds.

Of course, the weight reduction was not in a straight line. It seemed to be more like this:

As you can see, there was some weight loss right away, which was most likely due to the early bodily water losses that come with a reduced carbohydrate diet. Following that, I saw a consistent reduction of 1-2 pounds each week.

It’s worth noting that my weight – and anyone’s weight, for that matter – varies from week to week. This is natural, and it’s amplified when you’re cycling calories. My weight had risen 1-2 pounds after my high-calorie days. It was down 1-2 pounds after my fasting days. That’s why, even if you weigh yourself every day as I did, you should only compare the results of your reference day weigh-in each week.

Friday morning was my reference day.

This was the furthest I’d gone from my previous high-calorie, fasting day, and the day when my weight was most likely to remain constant. Expect weight fluctuations. Don’t be concerned about them. The weight increase will not be body fat if your calorie intake is enough. It’s the weight of water. Simply believe your reference day weight, and if it is steadily decreasing over time, everything is OK.

Body fat

According to my Intelimetrix body fat monitor, I lost 60 percent of my weight (7.2 pounds) over the first eight weeks. The remainder (4.8 pounds) was referred to as “lean mass.” That didn’t bother me too much. All non-fat weight in the body, the majority of which is water, is referred to as lean mass. Because I ate adequate protein and maintained my power throughout the period, I believe the majority of the lean mass I lost was water weight.

Mood and vitality

I believe it is essential to distinguish between overall emotions of mood and energy and particular sensations on the day of the fast when discussing mood and energy. It’s also worth noting that these emotions will shift from week to week.

The first several days of fasting were difficult for me when I initially started this experiment.

I found myself continuously thinking about eating early in the day as hunger signals gathered. That’s when I realized how essential it is to keep occupied with various chores and activities. My inner teenager acted out when I was bored: “Waahh, I’m hungry!” This is terrible!” When I was busy, I didn’t think about food as much and didn’t feel obligated to eat.

My physical hunger decreased as the day proceeded, but it returned in waves. However, I saw that my energy was dwindling as well; I didn’t want to walk about much, so I didn’t. On fasting days, I simply relaxed after 4 p.m., spending time with my family around the home or in the yard. There will be no exercises on fasting days.

During the first several days of fasting, I was a bit irritable and cranky. This is a natural result of the hormones produced during fasting. It was understandable, yet it was nonetheless aggravating for my family and myself. I had to be especially careful about maintaining my cool, taking long breaths before replying to a difficult remark, and not overreacting to little irritations.

While none of this sounds very pleasant, I believe it’s essential to emphasize that none of these emotions were as terrible as I had anticipated. Rather of making me completely unhappy, they just irritated me. Things were OK as long as I stayed busy and was aware of my interactions with friends and family.

Another encouraging message: it becomes much, much easier as you practice this kind of fasting. It was difficult for me to go on a one-day fast for the first time. It grew better with each one-day fast after that. I was hardly uncomfortable by the fourth or fifth day of my fast. And by the seventh or eighth day of my fast, I was enjoying fantastic days.

This neatly leads into a discussion about my overall mood and energy levels. While my body weight and fat percentage reductions were consistent with prior fat loss studies, I noticed a significant difference in how I felt on days when I wasn’t fasting.

During past diets, my energy would drop after four weeks, my training would deteriorate, and I’d get a brain fog, all of which would impair my memory and focus. This sensation was frequently referred to as “the life being sucked out of me.” It wasn’t a major issue, but it was inconvenient. I couldn’t wait to “restore normalcy.”

On the other side, I didn’t have nearly as many problems with this fasting regimen. In fact, with the exception of one weekly fasting day, I never felt like I was “dieting” (see description above). I had very little cognitive fog, very few strong food cravings, and very little pain most of the time. This is very essential to me since I have a family to look after and a business to manage.

Some of these advantages are also attributed to the high-calorie days. On these days, I was allowed to eat anything I wanted, as long as it was within reason. And I got to eat until I was satisfied, which isn’t something you get to do very often when you’re trying to lose weight.

But it’s not only about the psychological elements. I’m pretty sure that having at least one higher-calorie day each week has some modest metabolic and hormonal benefits, particularly if you’re eating at a deficit for the rest of the week, include a day of fasting, and intend to eat this way for a long. Although they may not be apparent in the near term, I believe something is going on.

In addition, I had plenty of time on fasting days to do other things. I learned how much time it takes to prepare, eat, and clean. Plus, after a full day of fasting, I felt “cleansed” and ready for another successful week of fat reduction. Again, I think there’s more to it than just the psychological aspect – one long fast each week may have some minor metabolic and hormonal benefits. But there was nothing I could quantify.

Lessons Learned from the Weekly Fast

Now it’s time to find out whether this strategy was more successful for fat reduction than traditional dieting methods. Here’s what I discovered:

  • Fasting once a week, as stated above, was effective but not significantly better than traditional diets. Using this IF approach, I didn’t shed fat quicker, maintain muscle mass better, or even finish up with a healthier blood profile than in prior fat loss trials.
  • However, I found it to be more enjoyable. This initial trial was a huge success in terms of my mood, energy, and lifestyle, as well as in terms of compliance. I had a lot more fun with the diet while still reducing fat — and maintaining lean muscle – at a reasonable pace. It’s all fine.
  • I’d fast like this again. If I needed to lose body fat or improve my body composition, this is certainly an eating approach I’d adopt again. I may even utilize it to remind myself of the sensation of true physiological hunger. Over time, it’s easy to forget.
  • Fasting once a week was ideal for my lifestyle. Personally, as long as I avoid the early “side effects” of full-day fasting, I can go a week without eating, compensating for the low-calorie fasting day with a higher-calorie “eat whatever I want” day, and reduce fat, maintain lean mass, and avoid the majority of diet-related complaints. That’s a fascinating discovery, and it’s a great experiment to do at home. Of course, your results may differ.

But what if you didn’t eat for two days? That’s an other thing altogether.


Intermittent fasting has recently become a popular way to lose weight, but what exactly is intermittent fasting? In this chapter, we’ll explain what intermittent fasting is and why it is beneficial, as well as cover how to incorporate it into your lifestyle.. Read more about intermittent fasting diet plan and let us know what you think.

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