The trouble with losing weight today is there are too many different diets for us to try. There’s paleo, Atkin’s, south beach, acid-alkali, the zone diet… the list goes on. I really think most of these diets could work if people would just stick with them long enough.
The trouble though, is people don’t stick to diets. According to UCLA researcher Tracy Mann, more than two-thirds of people who go on a diet, end up regaining more weight than they lost within just 2 years. The reason diets don’t work is they are all in some way restrictive – you have to avoid some of your best foods, or they require too much work – learning to cook different types of food from what you normally eat.
Also, many of the modern diets neglect the single most scientifically proven method for weight loss – sustained calorie restriction. Calorie restriction is a bit of a double-edged sword. It’s effective if you can sustain it for the rest of your life, but it can feel so restrictive that most people end up with rebound weight-gain.
Ideally, we want something that is proven to work scientifically (i.e. restricts your calories), doesn’t require any extra work, and is easy to stick to. After some 20 years of searching, I’ve come across one method that does all three, and guess what? It isn’t a diet.
Intermittent fasting is a cool, easy and fun way to restrict your calories and lose weight without feeling deprived, and without requiring any extra work. Unlike with most diets, intermittent fasting trims away the fat, while giving you more free time and saving you money.
I’ve been experimenting with intermittent fasting the last few months. It has helped me reach new levels of leanness, and unlike with traditional low-calorie diets, I’ve had a good time doing it and it hasn’t made me feel one bit deprived. More importantly, my clients who are trying it are reporting some powerful results in their chests.
When I looked into it, I realized that intermittent fasting causes some powerful hormonal changes in your body that can help shrink your man boobs.
But Isn’t Fasting Bad For You?
At one time, doctors used to say exercise was bad for you. While you are exercising, your heart rate goes up, your blood pressure goes up, you get a toxic build-up of metabolic waste-products in your body, and your muscles get damaged. We now know that exercise is what they call a “hormetic stressor.” A hormetic stressor is a stress on the body, like exercise, that forces our body to adapt in a positive way.
In the modern day, all we do is eat, eat, eat. Throughout history we have been fasting for short periods of time when food was scarce, while traveling, or even just during a hunt. Short periods of fasting is in our DNA, we are designed to fast, the body expects it.
Throughout history, us humans have needed to exercise to procure food and protect ourselves. Over the years our bodies have adapted to not only benefit from exercise, but to actually depend on exercise to stay healthy.
Just like exercise, fasting has also been part of the human experience for as long as we’ve been around. For most of our history, we’ve had to fight for and really work for our food. The Paleolithic hunter-gatherer for example, had no way of storing his food. Every time he needed to eat, he’d have to go through the arduous process of hunting down an animal, carrying it back home, plucking it or skinning it, cutting it up and cooking it.
I’m sure there were times when he just couldn’t be bothered, and preferred to stay hungry a while. There were also times when he was occupied by other things, like traveling and tribal wars, and times when food was scarce.
Over time, our bodies have come to expect intermittent periods of deprivation. Just like with exercise, our bodies have learned to use these periods of intermittent fasts to their benefit. Just like with exercise, our bodies are designed to fast intermittently.
The trouble though, is a lot of people nowadays are afraid of fasting. The diet and bodybuilding industry, and the media in general have cast an evil light on the most intuitive method for body fat reduction.
The 3 Big Fasting Spooks
There was a time when I was totally opposed to fasting. I used to believe that hunger was public enemy #1. This belief was instilled in me by the bodybuilding community, which generally supports the notion of having 6 or more meals a day.
What’s that you say? You gona eat your way to a six-pack? Riiiight…
Though 6-meals a day does work for a lot of people, most of the arguments used by this crowd are totally false. To get you on their program, they’ll have you believe that fasting at any time – going without food for more than 3 hours – will kill your metabolism, break down your muscles, and condition your body to store more fat.
|What The Diet Industry DOESN’T Want You To Know…
Now I’m no conspiracy theorist, but it seems that big industries like the bodybuilding and diet industries, greatly benefit from promoting the 6-meal-a-day plan, and attacking the notion that fasting could be of any benefit to us.
If you are made to believe that you constantly need to eat every few hours to stay healthy, then you’ll spend more money on food, meal-replacement shakes, protein shakes and supplements.
The only person who stands to benefit from intermittent fasting is you. No one can profit by advising you to fast. For this reason, many of us “little guys” are convinced that the big players in the diet and bodybuilding industries have gone through great lengths to demonize all forms of fasting.
See, the truth is, the diet industry’s arguments against hunger and fasting only apply to long-term calorie restriction. Studies have shown they have no bearing whatsoever on short term, intermittent fasting for up to 3 days.
Here are three of the biggest fasting “spooks” that may in the past have spooked you out of enjoying the countless benefits of intermittent fasting:
Spook #1: Fasting Kills Your Metabolism
Though a chronic, low-calorie diet will lower your metabolism and result in muscle break-down, there is nothing “chronic” about intermittent fasting. There have been too many studies that show short-term, intermittent fasting for up to 72 hours, does not lower your metabolism.
Spook #2: Fasting Causes Muscle Break-Down
When it comes to short-term, intermittent fasting, research clearly shows that fasting for as long as 72 hours, neither increases muscle breakdown, nor slows down muscle growth. This is true, regardless of whether or not you are exercising, and happens largely because of an increased release of growth hormone during short periods of fasting.
Spook #3: Fasting Kills Exercise Performance
There are numerous studies (like this study on Tunisian footballers during Ramadan, measuring speed, power, agility, endurance and dribbling skills) that demonstrate little or no effect of fasting on exercise performance.
Despite the three big fasting spooks being nothing but big fasting lies, a lot of folks are still not sure whether intermittent fasting will work for them. After all, haven’t studies shown that some 83% of people who go on a traditional starvation diet, end up gaining back all the weight they lost?
Can You Really Lose Weight And Blast Away Man Boobs With Intermittent Fasting?
From all the scientific studies I have reviewed, there’s no doubt that intermittent fasting is more effective at body fat reduction than traditional low calorie diets. And in my experience, it works like gangbusters when combined with resistance training and a low carb, high protein, high fat diet.
Intermittent fasting reduces body fat via multiple different mechanisms…
Increases Growth Hormone
Growth hormone is one of the most powerful fat burning hormones in the body, so much that many a celebrity has been caught illegally injecting this stuff to prepare for a movie role.
In a study at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, a 24-hour fast was found to increase growth hormone by almost 2000% in men. It’s interesting to note that growth hormone is only elevated during complete calorie restriction through fasting. It is not elevated in even very ultra-low calorie diets.
Decreases Insulin Levels And Increases Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin is the single most important regulator of fat metabolism in the body. When you have chronically raised levels of insulin, not only do you store more fat, but your body is also physically incapable of breaking down or burning any fat.
In a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fasting every other day for 22 days was found to reduce insulin levels by 57%.
Studies show that intermittent fasting also increases insulin sensitivity. When you increase your insulin sensitivity, your body doesn’t need as much insulin to do the job of controlling your blood sugar levels. Increasing insulin sensitivity means less insulin floating around in your body.
This means your body gets better at burning fat, and stops storing so much fat from your meals.
A high estrogen to testosterone ratio in guys with man boobs, leads to high levels of chronic inflammation in the body. Overeating and being overweight also lead to chronic inflammation. But it also works the other way. So long as you have chronic inflammation in your body, it becomes notoriously difficult to lose weight, or to reverse the estrogen:testosterone ratio to get rid of man boobs.
It’s a vicious cycle. The more overweight you get, the more inflammation there is, the more inflammation, the more overweight you get. You need something drastic to break the cycle, and intermittent fasting is the key.
Studies on Muslims who fast during Ramadan, have found that intermittent fasting significantly reduces chronic inflammation in the body. There are multiple other studies that confirm this as well.
Other mechanisms via which intermittent fasting induces body fat reduction, include increased glucagon, increased catecholamines, reduced blood glucose, and increased cellular cleansing (a process called ‘autophagy,’ a whole topic in itself).
Intermittent fasting works so well because…
- It metabolically primes your body for fat-loss, by increasing all the hormones and enzymes that help burn fat, and decreasing the hormones that prevent the burning of fat.
- It also creates a calorie deficit, and helps you do this without making you feel like you’re starving and restricting yourself all the time.
- It’s easy to comply with
- It preserves your muscle mass.
- Way I see it, intermittent fasting is win-win in every possible way.
But Isn’t Intermittent Fasting Just Another Low-Calorie Or Starvation Diet?
There are two things that set intermittent fasting apart from a traditional low-calorie diet.
1. It’s more effective than even the most ultra-low calorie diets
2. It’s easier to comply with than any diet
Short bursts of eating nothing by fasting is far more intense than a grudgingly slow and boring low calorie diet that goes on for weeks and weeks on end. We know that fasting turns on genes and stimulates hormones and enzymes that even the most ultra-low calorie diets simply do not. We know for example, that growth hormone is not elevated in a low calorie diet, but is elevated in the fasted state.
Intermittent fasting turns on genes and stimulates fat-burning hormones and enzymes, where low calorie diets don’t. Studies show that intermittent fasting is also better at preserving muscle mass than low-calorie dieting.
A big reason why intermittent fasting is more effective than traditional low calorie dieting, is that the benefits of intermittent fasting go beyond just calorie restriction. Studies suggest that even if you eat extra on non-fasting days and have no net calorie restriction at the end of the week, you still benefit from intermittent fasting because of the way episodic deprivation of food conditions your body to process nutrients and burn fat.
“Simply choosing to not eat is easier than any “diet” I have ever tried”
…Mark, Chest Sculpting Client
I could go on all day about the benefits of intermittent fasting over a chronic low-calorie diet, but the single most important factor that decides whether a certain fat loss or man boob reduction regimen will succeed or not is compliance.
As my client Mark tells me, “Fasting is one choice I make at the beginning of the day “I am not eating today” and the rest is easy.”
Unlike with intermittent fasting, all types of diet require you to think about food all the time, every single day of your life – what can you eat? what can’t you eat? When should you eat? How much should you eat? According to Brian Wansink’s book, “Mindless Eating”, we make as many as 200 food related choices every single day. Believe me when I say, that for most people, it is a relief to finally not have to think about food at all on those fasting days.
Many of my clients and customers who have started on intermittent fasting, tell me how their fasting days are their most productive. They are astounded by how much free time they suddenly have. As a general rule, I fast on my busiest days of the week. Not only does this make it easier to fast (no time to think about food), but I also get more done.
With intermittent fasting, a couple of days of intense deprivation, allows you to be completely free for the rest of the entire week. For the rest of the entire week, you can eat whatever the hell you like, and eat as much as you want. What’s really cool is that the fasting days train your body to automatically eat less on non-fasting days. So you eat less without feeling like you are restricting yourself.
It’s so simple. You either eat or you don’t. Whenever you go out to a restaurant, you order your favorite dish with desert. Compare this to dieting, where you constantly have to worry about what you order when you eat out, and then feel bad if you eat too much or eat too many carbs.
Unlike dieting, intermittent fasting is also easier to handle when you go on vacation. Eating away from home suddenly becomes easy when you no longer have to worry about special meal requirements, and no longer have to feel bad about cheating.
With intermittent fasting, there really is no excuse. You can’t say you don’t have the time for it – intermittent fasting gives you more time. You can’t say that you can’t afford it – intermittent fasting significantly reduces your grocery bill, leaving you with more money in your pocket by the end of the week.
A Quick Summary On The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
- It’s a cool way of restricting your calories without feeling deprived. You challenge yourself just twice a week to see how long you can go without food.
- Short, intense fasts cause powerful metabolic changes in your body that even ultra-low calorie diets don’t.
- These metabolic changes allow you to burn fat and preserve muscle mass without depriving yourself for the rest of the entire week.
- It liberates you from having to think about food all the time – both on fasting and non-fasting days. You’ll have more free time, and be more productive, especially on those fasting days.
- Unlike with low-calorie diets, it’s a fun and challenging lifestyle change you can easily stick to for the rest of your life.
- Perhaps most importantly, you can still enjoy your favorite foods
How Do You Get Started On Intermittent Fasting?
Getting started with intermittent fasting is easy. You already fast for 8-10 hours every day in your sleep (yeh, it’s so easy you can do it in your sleep 😉 ). All you need to do is extend this fasting period an hour at a time. I started out by fasting just 12 hours twice a week. I’d start my fast at 12am, then break my fast at 12pm. Studies show that even just a 12 hour fast can be very beneficial for your health.
As your body adjusts to the 12 hour fast, you can start to push the boundaries a little at a time. Start breaking your fast at 1pm, then 2pm. At the same time, start your fast earlier before you go to bed. If you have your dinner at 8pm, and break your fast the next day at 12pm, that’s a 16 hour fast right there!
This is exactly how I did it. I pushed the boundary an hour at a time, until I got to doing 14 hours, then 16, then 24. 24 hours is still a bit of a challenge for me, so I like to maintain my fasts at around 16-18 hours, 2 days a week. This is so easy, and yet the benefits have been astounding.
Where Can You Learn More About Intermittent Fasting?
I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for a good few years now, and I’ve tested different methods on my clients. I have discovered some interesting methods that not only make intermittent fasting super-easy, but make it super effective at the same time.
Have you ever wondered about a method of weight loss and man boob reduction that is as easy as popping a pill? Well my new method of intermittent fasting isn’t as easy as popping a pill, but it really is the closest thing there is to literally doing nothing and losing weight.
You can learn about my untold secrets of intermittent fasting here.