Saturday, June 25, 2011

Intermittent Fasting

One of the strategies for fat loss that I've been studying is intermittent fasting. There's actually a large body of research to support the practice. One advocate of this approach is Brad Pilon, author/creator of Eat-Stop-Eat. Here's one of his articles describing the benefits of strategically using fasting for fat loss:

You may not even have heard yet about intermittent fasting and the benefits thereof. In fairness it is a relatively new way of looking at fasting and it's possible uses, so let's take a few moments and examine why intermittent fasting is quickly becoming a valuable element in your weight loss/fat loss arsenal.

Many of us know fasting as something that has religious and/or spiritual applications, or perhaps as a political statement or tool. (Almost always a bad idea!) However you've thought of fasting in the past, it may be time to look at it in a new way. Intermittent fasting has evolved into a useful way to cut your caloric intake and still maintain energy and strength enough to workout and get stronger, and in general become more fit.

An intermittent fast can be defined as one in which the person fasting abstains from everything but water for a period of 24 hours, one to two times per week. This definition serves those who would use this as a tool in their weight loss routine, and still be able to workout. Think of the benefits of exercising a full two days worth of calories from your diet, and still be burning them up at a high rate simultaneously. Sounds attractive, eh?

Now, employing a fast once or twice a week and then using the remaining days to practice for eating contests won't cut it. You need to practice restraint and employ a sensible eating plan for those days, but all in all, most people report that the urge to pig out isn't as strong as they thought it would be.

One of the biggest benefits of doing intermittent fasting as a part of your workout program is that studies have shown that not only is your energy NOT diminished, but it actually seems to be enhanced, and your metabolism isn't reduced but clearly further stoked up. This is the primary complaint among people who would use a traditional fast. They would no longer have the gas left in their tank to work out, and while they'd lose weight, often it would be muscle mass, which sort of defeats the purpose.

When starting out with intermittent fasting, make sure you start out easy, getting your body used to skipping a day once a week, then perhaps two. Also take it slow when working out during this transition time, until you start to feel as though you're able to take a full load in your workout program. This won't take long, and in fact will leave you hungering for more, and I don't mean food!

If you're seeking a way to accelerate your fat loss and still keep working out, then you need to take a good look at intermittent fasting. You may be pleased at just how effective it can be at painlessly reducing your caloric intake while at the same time allowing you sufficient energy to complete your workouts!

Brad Pilon is a nutrition professional with over eight years experience working in the nutritional supplement industry specializing in clinical research management and new product

development. Brad has completed graduate studies in nutritional sciences specializing in the use of short term fasting for weight loss.

His trademarked book Eat Stop Eat has been featured on national television and helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat without sacrificing the foods they love. For more information on Eat Stop Eat, visit Eat Stop Eat.


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