Can Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight AND Lose Man Boobs?

Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss

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.

Fasting VS Eating

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 just 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 Lies

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.

Eat Your Way To A Six Pack?

“What's that you say? You gona eat your way to a six-pack? Riiiight…” That's what my lean uncle always used to say to me when I was fat and constantly eating to try and lose weight. I hated him at the time for it, but now I realize he was right!

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 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 lies that may in the past have spooked you out of enjoying the countless benefits of intermittent fasting:

Lie #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.

Lie #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.

Lie #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.

Because of these three 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/or HIITand a low carb, high protein, high fat diet.

Intermittent fasting reduces body fat via multiple different mechanisms:

1. 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. One famous example is Sylvester Stallone, who used growth hormone to prepare for his role in Rocky VI.

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.

That's one reason just “eating less” like everybody tells you, doesn't work. You have to put time aside and FAST.

2. 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.

3. Reduces Inflammation

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.

Chronic inflammation makes you fat and gives you man boobs.

The fat-inflammation viscous cycle: being fat (or having man boobs) causes inflammation, and inflammation makes you fat and gives you 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 (insulin's arch enemy), 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.

It’s no wonder then that multiple studies (here, here and here) show that intermittent fasting is a viable method for weight loss in both obese and non-obese men and women.

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.

Low Calorie Diet VS Intermittent Fasting

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 depriving 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 reduces your grocery bill, leaving you with more money in your pocket by the end of the week.

Here's A Quick Summary Of 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

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:

Click here to discover my untold secrets of intermittent fasting

50 thoughts on “Can Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight AND Lose Man Boobs?”

  1. I just read the article! It boosted my confidence of getting rid of man-boobs because I am a Muslim and we Muslims fast in the month of Ramadan which will be there just after a month. So now I am absolutely sure that I am gonna loose those pesky man-boobs within a month!! I knew there were a thousand benefits of fasting but knew some but now I know that these are necessary for all peoples. Thank you for such a nice article!

    • Hi Ali, thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found the article helpful.

      I have a few Muslim clients, I’m advising them to continue their training during Ramadan, since studies have shown that people are indeed able to both maintain and grow muscle during fasted training.

    • Hi Shiv

      Water is ok, so is tea without milk and without sugar. I would strongly advise against zero calorie drinks and diet drinks. These tend to contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Aspartame is a known neurotoxin, which can upset the balance of your hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis, thereby reducing your testosterone levels.

  2. Great article on both the chest dips & Intermittent Fasting. I have read them both and considered on doing both of them. I have done dips before, but never realized that also helps loosing man boobs. I normaly have a problem with my right chest since that’s the one that is a man boob. I will start my fasting this monday and more dips as well to sculpt and tone the chest. I have done fasting, but without the intention. Is drinking a protein shake say after you break your fasting and then eating dinner before the start of the fast a good idea?

    • Hey Julio. Glad to hear you like my articles. Please do let us know how you get on with the fasting and dips. Drinking protein shake when you break your fast is not a bad idea at all, since your muscles could use the extra protein after a long fast. Just make sure you also have a nice, nutritious meal. I’m not sure what you mean by the dinner part though :s

  3. Hi garry
    I have built descent amount of muscle but i am still about 20-25% bodyfat.
    I want to lose fat fast without gaining more muscle. I am currently fasting for 23-24 hours a day plus having a low carb diet. I am also doing weight training 3 days a week and hiit cardio 4 days a week. Do you think this will give me good and fast results?

  4. Hello,
    Thank you for the interesting read. Just wondering how long do you have to try out IF before you can actually see/feel the difference?

    • Hi Farveen

      With intermittent fasting, you will feel the difference on your very first attempt. Your body will feel lighter. How quickly you start to see changes in your body depends on your diet and what you eat when you are not fasting.

      Assuming you are on a good, low carbohydrate diet and intermittent fasting twice a week, then you should start to see some noticeable results within the first few weeks.

  5. Garry, I am hardly 150 pounds at 5'10" …. So losing weight would be disastrous for me. I need to gain weight, if anything. But I have belly fat. Do I just ignore it and focus on building muscle, hoping the belly fat will go away as long as I keep building muscle?

    • Hi John, you’re right, you are very light for your weight, but if you have belly fat and want to get rid of it, no matter how low your body weight, the only way you’re gong to get rid of that belly fat is by reducing generalized body fat. Building muscle will help you to both lose weight, and to increase your body weight without putting on more fat. The best way to reduce body fat though, is to go on a low carb diet. Don’t reduce your calories, just avoid those sugars and grain-based carbs.

  6. Hi Garry,
    I have been reading all your articles since last few months and i liked all of them.
    In our religion even though it is advised to fast on month of Ramdan and 4 or 5 days in a week for every other months I was not knowing that the fasting can do a lot for body building (Thank you very much for the great information :) )

    I would like to start intermediate fasting today itself. Can i do fast all days in a week? like only one meal a day around 6pm(and that too low crab). And is it a good idea to have some fruit juices and a small amount of nuts and dates while fasting ?

    • Hey Muhammad

      There are those who do intermittent fasting on a daily basis. They advise fasting for 16 hours every day, leaving an 8 hour eating window. You might want to give this a try, though personally this approach has not worked very well for me. Many people find their body adapts to this regimen and stops responding. I find 2 days a week of 16-24 hour fasts work best.

      A small snack is OK, if it helps you prolong your fast. My longest fast (36 hours) was made possible by a light snack. Try to keep it below 100 calories, and better to go low carb if you can (so no fruit juices).

      You can learn more about intermittent fasting in my program, Untold Secrets of Intermittent Fasting.

  7. Garry,

    Firstly, I am ChestSculptingBlueprint customer who has implemented your wonderful program for the past 4 weeks now (on my way to 12) while already enjoying measurable results. Furthermore, in an attempt to boost my results I bought and read the book that you reviewed, “Eat Stop Eat” and after having read and enjoyed the concept of intermittent fasting I was left with a couple of questions for you about which would be the best approach for marrying the two regimes.

    They are as follows:

    Would it be best to fast on 2 non-training days that fall in between training days in order to benefit from both the caloric deficit in the week and for added fat loss due to increased growth hormone while at rest (scenario #1)? Or, would it be more beneficial to fast on training days in order to keep feedings on days in between trainings for better nourishment and repair of the muscles (anabolic state) while also bolstering higher growth hormone during evening workouts on such days (scenario #2)?

    Scenario #1: Workout Monday (normal feeding), fast Tuesday, workout Wednesday (normal feeding), fast Thursday, workout Friday (normal feeding), Saturday and Sunday (normal feeding).

    Scenario #2: Workout and fast Monday, Tuesday (normal feeding), workout and fast Wednesday, Thursday (normal feeding), workout Friday (normal feeding), Saturday and Sunday (normal feeding).

    Next, would you recommend that I begin dips as my primary “chest” exercise for the remainder of the 12-week program if I have access to an assisted dip machine (one that allows for the lessening of my actual body weight) at my local gym? I am currently performing neck presses, however, I would like to use the most effective approach.

    Many thanks from a very satisfied customer thus far,


    • Hi Travis, thanks for your question.

      The answer is simple – it doesn’t matter. There are benefits to training in the fasted state, and benefits to training in the fed state. In the end, it all just balances out. The difference between whether you train in the fasted state, vs whether you train in the fed state, is so small, that it really isn’t that important. What IS important, is that you do something you can STICK TO in the long-term.

      Do you find training in the fasted state so agonizing, that you may one day just decide you’re not going to train any more? Then don’t train in the fasting state. Do whichever you find more pleasing in the long-term, and feel free to mix things up. I fast on Mondays and Thursdays. I train on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. So one day I train fasted, other days I train in the fed state.

      Some people find they perform better in the fasted state – because growth hormone levels are higher, and there is less blood-flow in the gut, so more blood available for the muscles.

      In the end, go for whichever works best for you, it really doesn’t matter. One thing I WOULD suggest though, is that if you do train in the fasted state, it’s a good idea to have a pre and post-workout protein shake.

      RE your second question – yes, go for it! Dips will do you a world of good! Be sure to progressively increase the load so you are working toward those full bodyweight dips.

      Best wishes,

      P.S. Also, check out my book on intermittent fasting, it’s called “Untold Secrets of Intermittent Fasting”. In it, I uncover some of the secrets I learned from my own experiences with intermittent fasting – stuff you won’t find in Brad Pilon’s book. You can learn more here:

  8. Hi garry, nice article. I eat my last meal around 11 pm. Then the next morning, I have beverages a couple of times – then around 12pm I have my meal. Is this intermittent fasting?

    • Hi Lumen. I suggest you try to build up to fasting for at least 16 hours. Studies show that as little as 12 hours does bring some benefits, but 16 hours brings more benefits, and you get even more at 24 hours.

  9. Dear Garry, I understand the benefits, but one doubt.

    I eat just two big meals per day (lunch and dinner), but two cups of coffee/tea in the morning before lunch, two cups between lunch and dinner. With milk and sugar (can’t do without them!). No snacking, so basically just two meals and beverages. Is this fine?

    Also Garry, reg. your site, the popup keeps showing up every few seconds. Can’t read any article or type for a few seconds before the popup window comes up. It destroys the reading experience of your wonderful, informative site. So please look into it.

    • Hey Gus

      The main thing here is what do you eat during your meals? I strongly suggest you go low carb. The best thing you can do with your tea and coffee, is to replace them with green tea (with no added sugar). If you don’t like green tea, then at least get rid of the coffee. Stick to just normal tea, because coffee contains lots of extra nasties that you don’t want in your diet. Try to make it decaffeinated tea, because caffeine isn’t very good when it comes to losing man boobs. Dairy is bad too, so see if you can find a replacement for that milk – maybe give coconut milk a go.

      Thanks for the tip re the pop-up. I’m going to remove it for a while and see how things go :)

  10. Hi Garry,

    2 weeks into your Paleolithic HIIT and Chest Sculpting program, and I’m feeling confident in losing my man boobs and belly fat!

    1. Your last sentence on page 18 of Intermittent Fasting:
    “Won’t you just binge at the end of your fast and undo everything?” – I know after a while you mention you won’t have the need to eat a lot, and your stomach will shrink, but starting off, I’ve felt the need after a fast to “pig-out” – will this undo everything? Especially if I still have the need for high-carb food after a fast?

    2. Is having a huge meal right before you start a fast cheating, as you are still breaking down the food in your stomach for hours afterwards? Does it take away from the success of your fast?

    3. Does fasting while you are awake have a better effect than fasting whilst you are asleep, or do they both have the same effect?

    Thank you very much!

    • Hey Max, thanks for your questions.

      1. You’ll always feel the need to pig out after a fast. Whether this will undo everything or not depends on the extent to which you pig out :). It’s OK to eat more than you normally would during a meal if you were not fasting, but if you go overboard and eat three meals’-worth in one meal, then you’re likely to undo a lot of the added benefits of fasting. It’s even worse if you pig out with high carb foods. As you do more intermittent fasting over time, you’ll find you get better at controlling your food intake at the end of a fast.

      One very powerful tip here, is to keep in mind that there is a delay between you being full, and you actually FEELING full. When you are breaking your fast, don’t eat until you feel full. Get a big meal ready if you must, but divide it into parts. Tell yourself you can eat all of it if you want, but you will eat it in parts. Eat one small part first, then wait 20-30 minutes before you eat the next part. By the time the next part arrives, you’ll probably find that you feel full.

      It’s surprising how LITTLE you need to eat to fill your belly at the end of your fast. You feel like you can eat a whole cow, and if you could down a whole cow in 10 minutes, you probably would! But if you took a few bites and waited 20 minutes for the satiety center in your brain to let you know you’re full, then you’ll stop yourself and realize that eating the whole cow would have been a mistake.

      So the key here is to realize that your mind is playing tricks with you at the end of your fast. Your feeling of hunger is out of control and you feel like you need to eat more than you actually do. To beat your mind at this game, eat a little, and WAIT just long enough for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full.

      2. It’s OK to have a bigger meal than usual just before a fast, to help keep you going, but again, if this meal is excessively large and loaded with carbs, then yes, it will take away from the success of your fast.

      3. As far as I know, there is no direct scientific evidence to suggest one is better than the other. Theoretically however, fasting while awake would be more effective, since while you are awake, you are moving around and using up more energy. Thus fasting while awake will be more traumatic for the body, and the hormetic effect will be greater.

      However, the reason I suggest you sleep as much as you can during a fast, is because it is SO MUCH easier to fast in your sleep. If fasting while awake was, say, 25% more effective, fasting in your sleep is 100% easier! You don’t feel hunger while you are asleep, so it’s like free fasting-time, you are losing body fat with literally zero effort.

  11. Hi Garry,

    I hope it’s ok to ask just a few more questions, so as to ease my mind. I am currently fasting twice a week, for 24 hours each fast.
    I have read your book on Intermittent Fasting, and also Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat, but I just need to have this final clarification, as I have been taught differently my entire life:

    1. If I don’t eat and I feel hungry, does my body go into starvation/survival mode, and store the fat that it does have?

    2. Do I need to eat breakfast every day, or do I only begin to eat when I am hungry?

    3. If I do need to eat breakfast, does it have to be protein-rich, and within half an hour of awakening in order to begin the fat-burning process?

    4. If after 18 hours of fasting I get hungry, can I just have a pure clear vegetable broth (without the vegetables), and/or chicken/beef broth (without the chicken/beef)?

    5. Can I eat sugar-free chewing gum on a fast, as it starts to get the digestive juices flowing. Is this in conflict with the fast?

    Thanks again for all your time and help!

    • Hi Max

      I’m sure Brad and I have answered most of these questions in our books, but I’ll answer them here anyway.

      1. Starvation mode comes more from chronic low-calorie diets, than from short bursts of intermittent fasting. Studies actually show that your metabolism increases with short-term starvation.

      2. Eat breakfast on non-fasting days. If you always skip breakfast, then your body will just get used to it, and you won’t benefit much from it. Intermittent fasting is about shocking your body with occasional bursts of starvation. There is a school of thought that recommends doing 16 hour fasts EVERY DAY. In my experience, this only works for the first couple of weeks, then your body gets used to the routine and you stop benefiting from it. Stick to fasting just twice a week.

      3. Ideally, every meal has to be protein rich. Breakfast doesn’t have to be within half an hour of awakening, you’re already in fat-burning mode when you wake up, because you’ve been fasting in your sleep. You don’t need to have an early breakfast to supercharge your metabolism either, your breakfast timing won’t make the difference between success and failure. Just have breakfast when it’s convenient for you.

      4. Check out page 30 of my book, Untold Secrets of Intermittent Fasting, where I talk about how many calories is OK to have during a fast. Make sure the broth doesn’t contain any flavor enhancers like monosodium glutamate.

      5. Avoid sugar-free gum, as it contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which are known to kill your testosterone levels. You don’t need chewing gum to get your digestive juices flowing, your digestive system is perfectly capable of digesting your food after a fast, since as I discuss in my book, your body is designed to fast intermittently.

  12. Hey Gary I usually take some supplements everyday. I take fish oi, a multivitamin and vitamin d. I also take nattokinase 2000 fu. If I fast two days out of the week like you suggest can I still take my supplements like normal on an empty stomach? I also like to drink some lemon juice with water in the morning. They say that’s good for detoxing your body. Can I still do that on the days I fast? Gary I’m also off dairy is almond milk a good replacement for milk? Do you recommend any cheese that I could eat or is it out of the question too?

    • Hi Jerry

      Unless you have a severe vitamin D deficiency, a good fish oil supplement should contain enough vitamin D for your needs. I wouldn’t take fish oil and a separate vitamin D pill, I’d stick to just the fish oil. Being a whole-food, fish oil is also much safer.

      Feel free to take your supplements during a fast. It’s generally accepted that one snack of less than 100 calories won’t break your fast. Lemon juice in water is perfectly fine too. You can also drink teas without milk/sugar. One drink I strongly recommend is green tea.

      Almond milk is an excellent replacement for dairy milk. Just make sure you get the 100% natural stuff, or make your own. Avoid the usual stuff in the stores that are filled with sugar, sweeteners, or other chemicals. Always check the ingredients label.

      Like milk, I would recommend you avoid cheese for now. If you are crazy about cheese, then avoid it for as long as it takes for you to lose your man boobs. Once your man boobs are gone, you can try reintroducing cheese into your diet, and see what effect it has. When you do eat it, try to stick to raw grass-feed organic cheese, and definitely avoid the cheese spreads, the stuff in spray cans, and the chemical-laden sliced stuff they use on burgers.

  13. Ok so I’ve been fasting everyday for almost 2 weeks now and the first week I lost 4.8 !lbs I’m still doing the same thing but I’ve gained like a pound and I can’t lose…… what’s going on? PLEASE HELP!

    • You’re most likely gaining back some water weight that you lost in the first week. The initial phase of dieting usually gives some very big gains immediately from this water weight loss. Don’t expect that rate of decrease to continue. Stick with the program and expect to see results in coarser grained intervals v(like every two weeks).

  14. Hey Garry I wanted to ask, after fasting when should you eat and lets say you fast until 2pm does that mean you skip breakfast and lunch then just have dinner only.

    • Sorry I also wanted to add, that I am sixteen years old and would this be healthy for someone of myself who is going through puberty.

      • Hi Tanatswa. Yes, intermittent fasting is still good for you if you are going through puberty, especially if you are either overweight or have man boobs. Just be sure to stock up on your micronutrients by eating healthy when you are not fasting. Stick to a low carb diet with meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and plenty of vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables.

  15. I’m trying to piece together how to effectively do intermittent fasting (which I’ve used many times in the past) together with the diet and exercise programs from your books. I’m thinking about a routine like the following, do you have any feedback?

    1. Exercise Sunday through Friday, alternating HIIT and resistance training (I’ve been using Start Bodyweight as a new program on that).
    2. Fast from 8pm till 12pm
    3. At the end of my fast, do my daily exercise
    4. Follow up exercise with a protein shake, piece of fruit and perhaps oatmeal (boost of carbs to replenish glycogen)
    5. Eat high protein/high fat diet remainder of the eating period
    6. Saturday is the rest day: more relaxed diet, no exercise, no fasting

    Does this sound reasonable?

    • Hi Michael

      Sounds very reasonable. I would personally make some slight changes, but my way isn’t the only way.

      I prefer to fast twice a week rather than every day. I know there’s a new movement of fasting 16 hours every day, and it works for a lot of people, one famous example being Hugh Jackman, who plays Wolverine in the X-men movies. With daily fasting, I find my body just gets used to it and no longer responds to it. Intermittent fasting on the other hand, shocks my system and forces me to lose more fat.

      I would also ditch the oats. Sure, oats have lots of health benefits, one example being that they contain avena sativa, which helps boost testosterone. They’re also high in fiber. But at the end of the day, oats are a grain, and they are both carb dense and contain toxic anti-nutrients like lectin, gluten and phytates.

      When I personally switched from eating rice to eating oats, I still found it difficult to reduce my body fat. It’s only when I quit grains completely that I started to get results.

      But hey, that’s just me being extra pedantic. You’re having oats for post-workout glycogen replenishment, which isn’t nearly so bad. I personally prefer to have a banana.

  16. The advice here is so interesting

    You mentioned two day a week fasting which Muhammad* did (as well Ramadan etc)

    Muhammad* also said wheat makes one lethargic, so he preferred barley, but even with that didn’t recommend eating to full and said of all the vessels you could fill the stomach is the worst one, as the son of Adam only needs a little to keep his back upright. But if there is appetite then keep to 1/3 for food, 1/3 for water and 1/3 for air.**

    * Peace be upon him
    ** Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1381), Ibn Maajah (3349); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (2265)

    • Very interesting Imad. I knew about the fasting (recommended by Muslims on Mondays and Thursdays), but not the thing about wheat.

    • Hey Nawaz. As far as I understand it, you can’t change your Ramadhan timings to suit your training needs. What I advise with Ramadhan is to train just before you break your fast. You also have to be careful not to overeat during those hours you are allowed to eat.

      Studies show that Muslim athletes do not lose their performance during Ramadhan, but a lot of my clients have found that they don’t have the energy to exercise during this month. If this is the case with you, then you can always cut back a little on your training, so you are only working on maintaining your muscles during Ramadhan.

  17. hey Gary, what exercise can i add to intermittent fastening to loose weight and reduce my man boobs in few months

  18. Hi Garry, I appreciate the website big-time, very informative. I am not overweight and don’t have man boobs but I have excessive fat on my chest and belly. Probably %95 percent of my body fat is stocked in these areas. I will definitely give it a try with your fasting&training suggestions to get rid of them. I would like to ask a couple of things, will be really glad if you can reply.

    1- Does drinking water should also be avoided during an ideal fast? Or is it ok to drink water as much as I like during a fast?
    2- You said 2 times a week & 12-hour a day fasting is good for starters. Will it be ok not to work out during fasting days? I am planning to do PHIIT training 3 days a week (non-fasting days). So my plan is to do PHIIT 3 days, fast 2 days, rest 2 days. Eat high on protein & fat & fruits & veggies, eat low on carbs and diary in general…

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hey Tom

      It’s perfectly fine to drink water while you’re fasting.

      It’s also fine to not work out on fasting days.

      Your plan sounds awesome! Let us know how you get on.


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