I first read about fasting in Steve Justa's book Rock Iron Steel. He recommends fasting once a week for 20-24 hours. This would make you stronger and clean your body by getting all the toxins out of it.
A few years later I tried Ori Hofmekler's Warrior Diet. On this diet you alternate daily 20h fasts with 4 hour feedings. I quit this diet after a few days because getting all your calories within a 4 hour time frame didn't suit my lifestyle.
I didn't give fasting much consideration after this. Until a few weeks ago while preparing the post How Many Meals Should You Eat Daily. Researching how meal frequency affects your metabolism got me interested in fasting again.
Studies show that eating every 3 hours doesn't increase your metabolism. Less frequent meals or fasting doesn't decrease your metabolism neither. Fasting can actually boost your metabolism during the first 36 hours.
But that wasn't why I wanted to give fasting another try.
Your Relation with Food. For years I ate healthy from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday I ate mostly junk foods. This is now called the Cheat Your Way Thin diet: eating junk food this way accelerates fat loss and keeps you motivated.
It kept me fit. But after 10 years of lifting and eating healthy, I came to a point where I preferred to live without junk food. I wasn't enjoying it anymore. And I was getting tired of the Sunday's bloating & laziness.
I knew that the 2 reasons for the junk food consumption on Sunday were my laziness to cook, but also a need for variety. It seemed I needed a break from cooking rituals and whole foods once a week.
I was solving this with the Sunday's junk food. And while it worked, it bothered me. Because it seemed this was nothing more than a habit. A bad habit. One I wasn't enjoying and which seemed tough to break.
Fasting. This is what eventually got me to fasting. Too lazy to cook on Sunday? I would fast from now on instead of eating junk food. Fasting also teaches you to control your hunger & cravings. Sounded perfect.
I started looking for books on fasting. I discovered there weren't a lot of useful ones. Most of them saw fasting only as a detox tool — advising fasting for up to 10 days — and didn't consider the perspective of weight lifters.
There were only 2 approaches that could work: Martin Berkhan's Leangains and Brad Pilon's Eat Stop Eat. I was tempted by Leangains, but since it's similar to the Warrior Diet (16/8h fast/feed vs. 20/4h), I wasn't sure I would like it.
More important: Martin Berkhan hasn't released a system on Leangains yet. So unless you apply to his coaching program, you'll have to read his blog & search forum posts to understand how it works.
Eat Stop Eat. A reader recommendation eventually made me go for Brad Pilon's Eat Stop Eat. And since I found the information inside it so helpful I decided to recommend it on StrongLifts.com. So I joined Brad's affiliate program.
Eat Stop Eat is a downloadable eBook. It counts 90 pages and has the most up to date research about fasting, 46 references to be exact. Brad debunks myths on fasting, gives you all the benefits and explains exactly how to fast.
- Lose Fat/Weight. Fasting 2x/week for 24h drops your calorie intake by 25%. It also boosts your fat burning hormones.
- Build Muscle. Fasting causes no muscle breakdown and doesn't slow down your metabolism. Brad debunks both myths in Eat Stop Eat.
- Break Food Addiction. Hunger & cravings are often more mental than physical. Fasting teaches you to control both.
- Save Money. Fasting 2x a week means 8 days per month less food. My monthly grocery bill dropped by about 20%.
- Increase Productivity. My fasting days are the most productive ones: no cooking, no eating, no need to worry about food, ...
- Increase Energy Levels. You won't feel tired or lethargic or weak at the gym. My trainings the day after fasting are often the best ones.
My Experience with Eat Stop Eat. I've been fasting 2x per week since almost 2 months. Sunday 8pm until Monday 8pm & Tuesday 8pm until Wednesday 8pm. I lift weights Tu/Th/Su, so 2x the day after fasting.
I haven't experienced any strength loss. I actually feel stronger the day after fasting. I asked Brad if he had an explanation for this. His reply:
The fact that you no longer worry about nutrition, or put as much... dependency ... into your nutrition, would let you concentrate on what really matters...
I've only lost about 1lbs/0,5kg. But that's because I eat more carbs to meet my caloric needs. Body fat hasn't increased although carb intake is higher. Grocery bill has dropped by 20%. Sunday's junk fests are history.
The biggest benefit for me is increased productivity. I get more work done on the days I fast. Main reason is that those days are longer: no cooking and no eating saves me 3h/day. And I don't need to worry about food.
Eat Stop Eat & StrongLifts 5x5. If you're doing StrongLifts 5x5, here's how your week could look like this when you do Eat Stop Eat:
- Monday: StrongLifts 5x5 + 8 nutrition rules
- Tuesday: rest + 8 nutrition rules
- Wednesday: StrongLifts 5x5 + 8 nutrition rules
- Thursday: rest + fast
- Friday: StrongLifts 5x5 + 8 nutrition rules
- Saturday: rest + 8 nutrition rules
- Sunday: rest + fast
Special Offer for StrongLifts.com Readers. I reached out to Brad and told him I found the information in Eat Stop Eat useful so I wanted to recommend it on StrongLifts.com. I asked him if he could come up with some special deal.
Brad agreed. As a StrongLifts.com reader, here's what you'll get:
- Eat Stop Eat. The 90 pages eBook in which Brad debunks the myths on fasting, explains the benefits and will teach you exactly how to fast.
- How Much Protein.Debunks protein myths and teaches you how much protein you really need to build muscle. 121 pages eBook.
- 10 Day Diet Solution. How to get rid of bad eating habits - like overeating - in less than 2 weeks. This eBook counts 25 pages.
You'd normally pay 109,85$ for this package. But if you order today you'll only pay 57$ and save 52,85$ (almost 50%).
Click here to get the special Eat Stop Eat package today.
Eat Stop Eat comes with an 8-week risk free money-back guarantee. If you don't like it, contact Brad and you'll get your full money back. I'm confident, however, that you'll like the information in Eat Stop Eat.