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Monday, March 17, 2014

Weight Loss Tool: Intermittent Fasting

Warning: The following is not for everybody. If you are hypoglycemic, diabetic, or pregnant, you should consult a doctor before trying intermittent fasting.

Double warning: intermittent fasting is not a diet, it is a eating schedule to help promote accelerated fat loss, or to help reduce the amount of fat gained during a caloric surplus (bulk). It is still possible to gain excess fat with intermittent fasting.

Let us begin.

The science behind intermittent fasting is varied at best, with both positive and negative results on both sides of the fence. However, from my own personal experience, and the results I have seen in myself and others, intermittent fasting at its most basic level is a tool to help support you losing fat.

I began my weight loss journey with a very aggressive approach. (Overly aggressive really.) I cut my calories, began working out 5-6 days a week, and also used intermittent fasting. I can't pin point to what technique was responsible for my results or if it was a combination of all three. The calorie deficit and commitment to daily exercise was the key, as it is with any diet. However, I'm confident that intermittent fasting played a role. At the very least, fasting kept me to an eating schedule where I was required to exercise discipline daily. 

How does intermittent fasting work?

Have you ever noticed if you weigh yourself right before you go to bed, then you go to sleep and weigh yourself the next morning, you weigh considerably less? This is because your body is breaking down all of the food you have consumed throughout the day, and either turning the excess calories into fat storage and glycogen for your muscles, or if you have been in a caloric deficit, Burning your your stored fat as energy. Intermittent fasting works on this principle. By going longer periods of not ingesting foods, you are lengthening this food break down process, requiring your body to burn more fat storage if you are in a caloric deficit.

How do I start intermittent fasting?

You now have two windows: Your eating window and your fasting window. 

The 8/16 Split

The key to intermittent fasting is to make your fasting window twice as long as your eating window. There are 24 hours in the day, so this is accomplished by eating for eight hours of the day, and not ingesting any form of calories for the rest of the 16 hours of that day. That's why they call it the 8/16 split.

This kind of split could be done every day (this is what I do), and is most easily accomplished if you skip breakfast, eat lunch at noon and then stop eating dinner before 8 PM. Rinse repeat.

The 24 hour fast

This means one day you will stop eating at whatever time you choose, let's say 8 PM, and then your fasting window will continue for 24 hours until 8 PM the next day.

This should not be done every other day, this is best done two or three times a week. This requires less daily discipline, but does require a more marathon block base of discipline.

The 36 to 48 hour fast

Same principles as the 24 hour fast, but I do not recommend doing this more than once a week for either. 

I used to use the 36 hour fast to balance out my epic cheat days. I would sometimes consume over 10,000 calories during a cheat day, with the 36 hour fast, it allows the body to balance those calories out over two days, minimizing the fat gained from such extreme eating behaviors. 

Keys for Success

Save the majority of your calories for your final meal, and it eat your final meal right before your fasting window ends. Make this meal packed with carbs and proteins (depending on your macro-nutrient diet needs) so you feel satiated all the way until bed time. Depending on your calories and how many carbs you are getting, this may spike your insulin enough to put you to bed right away.

Plan your fasting window around your sleep so that you can do the majority of your fast while layin in bed.

Drink zero calorie beverages during your fasting window in order to fill your belly.

Theorized benefits of intermittent fasting.

Practical benefits of intermittent fasting

  • More precise eating schedule, no time for late-night snacking.
  • Larger meals equals more satiation
  • Better weigh in results.

The Adjustment Period.

For those of you interested in trying intermittent fasting, at first it will be very difficult to stick to. I've heard people having a lot of difficulty with sugar cravings, hunger pains, light headiness, and irritability and I've experienced each of these symptoms. However, the effects wear off as your body adapts to the new schedule.

Famous examples of intermittent Fasting users.

Hugh Jackman.

Hugh Jackman revealed in this interview that he used intermittent fasting in order to hit his peak conditioning for Wolverine. The man was lean enough to see veins in his gut...that's lean.

Martin Berkhan

Berkhan is one of the pioneers of the intermittent fasting life style, and is the creator of the lean gains method. He is so in demand that he has a waiting list of clients by the thousands. He knows how to get people lean, ripped, skinless. His strength and conditioning is unreal. He lives, eats, and breaths the science he has discovered and is responsible for lots of changes in thought philosophy in the industry.

And ol' Yeargain

JK, y'all. Those guys got me beat with the leaness factor...and the strength factor...and the financial security...I feel sad. But, I do Intermittently fast and I've found the lifestyle to be fairly easy to stick to and it has definitely contributed towards me reaching my goals.


For those of you who are interested in learning more about intermittent fasting, I suggest you look at these sources to get a better understanding of some of the science and life style elements that go with intermittent fasting and how to effectively use it with your own parameters.

Eat Stop Eat

The IF Life

Or, if you have any additional questions, feel free to look at my Contact page and send me a message, or write a comment below.


  1. This is actually quite a simple diet to follow. You have 24 hours to eat, compared to 24 hours to quick. On your eat time, you are able to eat what you need and as almost as much as you want. Regardless how poor your meals are for eating. It can be oily burgers as well as cheesecake. Intermittent fasting for weight loss is ideal technique for instant weight loss. The only real guideline is that you have to consume this throughout the twenty four hours with regard to eating. The actual going on a fast period seems long, but it isn't which poor. You will get accustomed to it very quickly and it will assist you to appreciate your eating days.

  2. You don't even need a caloric deficit if you eat a ketogenic diet high in healthy fats, proteins and low in carbs.....eating higher levels of fat, like coconut oil and olive oil, will satiate you.

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