Is Intermittent Fasting The Key To Successful Weight Loss?

The Basics of Dieting

Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, South Beach, Atkins, Zone, Slim-Fast, Nutrisystem. What do all of these diets have in common? Restricting calories!

The simple fact is that for a short period of time, EVERY diet will work if there is some form of calorie restriction. If we follow a diet plan that consists of restricting calories, we WILL lose weight.

Well, what’s the problem?

The problem is we aren’t able to follow these restrictive diets for a long period of time. We eventually give up because it’s too difficult to maintain. Then we follow another diet plan that incorporates restricted calories. And after struggling with the calorie restrictions, we give up on that one too. Can you say, “Yo-Yo Dieting“?!

We are great at short term weight loss, but not so great with long term, permanent weight loss.

So What’s The Long Term, Permanent Weight Loss Solution?

No More Yo-Yo! We Want Successful Long Term, Permanent Weight Loss

No More Yo-Yo! We Want Successful Long Term, Permanent Weight Loss

We basically just need a restricted calorie diet that is EASY to maintain, right?

Let’s call it the “No Fuss, No Muss” Plan.

We need something that we can follow.

We need something that we don’t have to worry about.

We need something that will make us feel good.

We need something that will help us lose weight!

Introducing, An Unusual Concept

Think about it. We are always talking about what we “should be eating” to LOSE WEIGHT. Doesn’t that seem backwards?! We already know that we need to be in a calorie deficit to be losing weight. So, what are we doing eating if we have a goal of losing weight? Shouldn’t we be fasting?

Fasting, Who Does That?

Fasting isn’t a new concept. It’s done by thousands of people all over the world.  But just to be clear on what a fast and fasting is, let’s consult a dictionary.  According to dictionary.com:

fast [fast, fahst]

  1. to abstain from all food.
  2. to eat only sparingly or of certain kinds of food, especially as a religious observance.
  3. to cause to abstain entirely from or limit food; put on a fast: to fast a patient for a day before surgery.
  4. an abstinence from food, or a limiting of one’s food, especially when voluntary and as a religious observance; fasting.
  5. a day or period of fasting.

It’s a simple concept, right? In fact, as the definitions state, it IS done for medical reasons (like before surgeries) and for religious observances. It can also be used for weight control. But before we get into that, let’s alleviate some worries that you may have about fasting in general.

Alleviating The Fear Of Fasting

Fasting is NOT something you should fear! You should try it!

Fasting is NOT something you should fear! You should try it!

I’m sure you’ve heard all kinds of crazy things about fasting and how it puts you into starvation mode, slows down your metabolism to a crawl and burns all your muscle away.

Well, in a study done back in 1994, researches found that the resting metabolic rate (kJ/min) was significantly increased after 36 h of starvation (12 h 4.60 (SE 0.14), 36 h 4.88 (SE 0.13), P < 0.001), but was not significantly different from the 12 h value after 72 h (72 h 4.72 (SE 0.15) P = 0.06).

What in the world does that mean? It means that fasting does NOT adversely affect our metabolism! THAT’S GREAT NEWS! There are other similar studies out there, it’s just that the information can be difficult to find.

The bottom line is that short bouts of fasting will NOT have adverse affects on our metabolism AND it can be used to create that calorie restriction that we know will help us to lose weight. Wahoooooo!

OK, what about our muscles wasting away during a fast? If you never left your bed and didn’t eat anything for months on end, you would definitely waste away. BUT, if you are doing some strength training while fasting, you will NOT lose your muscle, just the fat! And remember, we are going to focus on SHORT fasting periods.

So, how do we use fasting to help us lose weight?

Introducing, Intermittent Fasting

Since we are looking for the “No Fuss, No Muss” Plan, a combination of short-term fasting and strength training is an easy way to create a calorie deficit. And remember this has NO negative impact on our metabolism or our muscle.

When I say short-term, I mean a 24 hour period. For example, fasting from 6pm Wednesday to 6pm Thursday. Here’s some great things about this:

  1. This is an easy way to decrease your calorie intake by about 15%.
    (30% if you do it twice a week on non-consecutive days.)
  2. No fancy nutritional planning.
  3. You just eat normally the rest of the week.
  4. No special food shopping list.
  5. It’s flexible. You control the times and the days.
  6. No expensive supplements or pills.
  7. You never go a day without eating!

Should you be doing it?

Yes, you should! You wanted a simple, effective, “No Fuss, No Muss” plan, right? Then this IS the plan for you! Just promise me you’ll do some strength training too!

And the cool thing is that there are so many interesting things that you’ll learn about yourself when you decide to fast for 24 hours such as:

  • Why you eat (and its almost never because of hunger)
  • What your real weaknesses are (this could be things other than favorite foods like social eating or tempting commercials etc)
  • That you don’t need to constantly eat to have energy
  • You’ll also get a ton of work done, and you’ll probably drop a couple pounds of water weight.
  • It will also be beneficial for you to workout while fasting to help prove to your customers that you CAN have a great workout without needing to eat before or after!

Click here for more intermittent fasting data that is backed by science and amazing life transforming testimonials

Is Intermittent Fasting The Key To Successful Weight Loss?

Give it a try and tell me all about it in the comments below. And if you have questions, just ask them below too!

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22 comments… add one
  • moncler jacken January 2, 2013, 10:13 am

    nice post,thanks for share.

    Reply
    • Lee Graves January 2, 2013, 10:32 am

      Thank you and you’re welcome! Any questions on anything? Have you tried intermittent fasting yet?

      Reply
  • Edward January 8, 2013, 12:17 pm

    Lee,
    I have heard about this and discussed it some with others. I am doing some strength training now and I will try this once a week and see if I see a change. Sounds like a great idea and plan. Nothing ventured nothing gained right..

    Reply
    • Lee Graves January 8, 2013, 12:22 pm

      You are exactly right Edward! It’s relatively easy to implement. In fact there are advanced ways of doing it within a 24 hour period by eating all of your calories in a small window during the day. I’m incorporating both strategies right now and seeing great results.

      Reply
  • Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness January 8, 2013, 1:33 pm

    I’ve read some stuff about intermittent fasting from Mark Sisson. It’s definitely something I’ve thought about trying. So strength training WITH fasting? Doesn’t that get uncomfortable in terms of hunger? Also, do you go full force with strength training or do an easier workout?

    Reply
    • Lee Graves January 8, 2013, 2:21 pm

      Hey Rachel, I’ve read some of Mark Sisson’s stuff and he’s a knowledgeable guy. Yep, strength training with fasting AND I’m going all out with my workouts. There is an adjustment period while doing the intermittent fasting. But since we all need a rest day, it makes perfect sense to do the intermittent fasting between a rest day and a workout day.

      Reply
  • Paul M. January 8, 2013, 2:02 pm

    Lee,

    Thanks for the great article. I’m looking to step up my game and this may be a great way to make it happen.

    Reply
    • Lee Graves January 8, 2013, 2:22 pm

      I definitely recommend giving it a try Paul. It takes a little getting used to, but it is well worth it!

      Reply
  • Alvin January 8, 2013, 2:16 pm

    Learned something today!

    Reply
    • Lee Graves January 8, 2013, 2:45 pm

      Now you’re going to try it, right Alvin?

      Reply
  • Jana Upper90 Fitness January 8, 2013, 10:15 pm

    Hmmm…not sure I could get through that…might be a good test of will power and as you said do it on a rest day. Do you think this method simply helps you maintain weight, or helps you to get to that calorie deficit for the week when trying to lose weight? I have an Indian friend who fasts for religious reasons occasionally…her willpower is much more impressive than mine!

    Reply
    • Lee Graves January 8, 2013, 11:18 pm

      You can do it Jana! It’s only a 24 hour period, once a week, and you sleep through a third of the 24 hours! By doing one day a week, it is an easy way to decrease your calories for the week which WILL help you lose weight. I hope you give it a try!

      Reply
  • Alvin January 9, 2013, 5:26 pm

    Wanted to read it again!

    Reply
    • Lee Graves January 11, 2013, 1:05 am

      LOL…measure twice, cut once!

      Reply
  • Ashleigh Correll January 9, 2013, 10:45 pm

    I’d never really thought about this before, great info!

    Reply
    • Lee Graves January 11, 2013, 1:06 am

      Thanks Ashleigh, you should give it a try and let us know how it goes!

      Reply
  • Linda English January 10, 2013, 12:12 am

    Great tips and reminders. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Lee Graves January 11, 2013, 1:06 am

      You are very welcome Linda!

      Reply
  • Adarsh February 7, 2013, 10:56 am

    Hi Lee,

    Thanks for the article…So during fasting you will abstain from all food but drink water rt?
    We would need to hydrate the body I guess…So only water for 24 hours?

    Adarsh

    Reply
    • Lee Graves February 7, 2013, 11:25 am

      Yes, that is exactly right Adarsh. Drink lots of water but don’t eat anything. Another tip, drink very COLD water. Let me know how your first 24 hour fast goes and if you have any other questions.

      Reply
  • amy April 18, 2013, 1:03 pm

    I am currently doing IF but a daily one ( eating from 10 to 4 pm and the rest of the day I fast). Worked great so far, lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks and I keep dropping.

    Reply
    • Lee Graves April 18, 2013, 11:35 pm

      That’s a great option Amy! Do you save most of your calories for post workout? Do you also do a full 24 hour fast?

      Reply

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