Why Fast? Part Six – Choosing a Method
Mark’s Daily Apple
by Mark Sisson: Beat
the Creep: Gradual Weight Gain Stopped and Reversed
been keeping up with the series, you should be saying to yourself
"Hey, maybe this fasting thing would be a cool thing to try out,
and it might even make me healthier/live
weight/etc.," which is a sufficiently extensive list of benefits,
don't you think? I could probably go on theorizing and speculating
about all the reasons why you should consider intermittent fasting,
but I'd rather move on to the implementation. Thinking about fasting,
reading about fasting, and reciting the benefits of fasting are
all pointless if you don't know how to go about doing it.
go over the different variations of fasting. I'll give a quick rundown.
Each involves not eating for a period of time, unsurprisingly.
other rules that apply to all the given methods:
hours (provided you don't sleep-eat) count as fasting hours.
- Eat well
regardless. While some fasting plans tout their adherents' ability
to eat crappy food and still lose weight, I'm not interested in
fasting solely as a weight loss method.
Okay, on to
Berkhan's incredibly popular fasting protocol is slightly more
involved than others, but still pretty simple:
- A daily
16 hour fast (Martin sometimes recommends 14 for women, who just
seem to do better on shorter fasts) during which you eat nothing.
and other non-caloric fluids are fine.
- A daily
8 hour (or 10 for women) eating window.
- Three days
of weight training, ideally performed at the tail end of the fasting
period. To improve performance and muscle protein synthesis, you
have the option of consuming 10 grams of branched
chain amino acids 10 minutes before the workout.
- Always eat
- On training
more carbs and less fat.
- On rest
days, eat more fat, fewer carbs, and slightly reduce calories.
- Most people
begin their fast after dinner (say, 9 PM), workout in the afternoon
(at around 12 PM), and break their fast immediately post-workout
(at around 1 PM), but you can use
any schedule you prefer.
- Your post-workout
meal should have about 50% of your day's caloric allotment (a
should try it?
geared toward people interested in losing fat and putting on muscle
and strength, Leangains presupposes that you will also be lifting
heavy things several times a week, usually in the fasted state.
Therefore, Leangains is best-suited for people who will be training
on a regular basis. In fact, it's probably the most meticulously-designed
steady schedules will have more success than people with erratic
schedules. A huge part of Leangains is the hormonal entrainment
induced by regular feeding times. Once you get locked into your
routine, your hunger hormones will adapt to the schedule, and the
fasting should get easier, or even effortless.
Eat Stop Eat
Pilon, Eat Stop Eat is really basic:
- Once or
twice a week, don't eat for 24 hours.
- Start your
fast in the morning, at lunch, or at dinner. It doesn't matter
as long as you don't eat for 24 hours.
- Break your
fast with a "normal-sized meal." Don't try to make up for the
lost calories by feasting.
should try it?
in fasting for the therapeutic
benefits (cancer protection, autophagy, life extension, etc.)
would probably get a lot out of this method, as opposed to people
interested in the body composition benefits.
Going a full
24 hours without food is a much tougher slog than going for 16 hours.
In my experience, going lower-carb and higher-fat makes longer fasts
easier, so I'd have to say a low-carb
Primal eater would do better than most.
plan is based on the feast-and-fast concept:
- Eat one
meal a day, at night, and make it a big one. A real feast. You
have three or four hours to eat until full. So it's basically
- You can
occasionally snack on low-calorie raw fruit and vegetables during
the day, but try to limit protein as much as possible until the
during the day, in a fasted state.
should try it?
have trouble sticking to a stricter fast will do better on the Warrior
Diet, as it allows light eating during the time leading up to the
feast, but I wonder if you'd be squandering some of the benefits
the rest of the article
to Lew's recent podcast with Mark Sisson
April 20, 2012
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