“You look great, but what’s the science behind this stuff? Does intermittent fasting work for real?”
This dude at the gym wanted to get into a debate with me about my intermittent fasting results. All I know is that the results don’t lie with this system. You could debate studies done in 1975 or you can try something different to see if it works for you.
I love intermittent fasting because I can drink coffee, eat pizza, and still be jacked without eating 6-8 meals a day or living in the gym! Today we’re going to look at how to start intermittent fasting.
Are you sick and tired of these boring nutritional plans that you just can’t follow because you have a life? Do you want to have abs without doing crunches for hours?
Let’s skip all of the awkward stuff. We all want to be jacked but we feel like it would take too much time and effort. Typical nutritional rules are too stressful for the average person. The good news is that I want to introduce you to the Brute Fasting System to be JACKED, be more productive, and not have to stress about food again.
You’ve likely heard of it. Intermittent fasting has exploded in the fitness world. I’ve been a devout follower since June of 2012. I’ve tested everything out for you.
I’m here to organize hundreds of hours of research and experimentation. I’ve studied everything to find the best intermittent fasting schedule and to help you figure out how to use intermittent fasting for weight loss.
If I can get jacked anyone can. I have the worst will-power in the world and I love getting wasted
[Full disclosure: I don’t track my calories religiously in some fancy app, I enjoy pizza, I don’t eat 6-8 meals per day, and I certainly don’t miss out on a chance for some vodka shots with friends. I know that I should change this eventually, but I would rather be realistic with you in this article. Oh and pizza is life.]
How exactly does this intermittent fasting stuff work?
Here’s how intermittent fasting works, straight from Martin Berkhan from Lean Gains:
“The Leangains protocol consists of two phases; 16 hours of fasting, followed by 8 hours of feeding. During this period, three meals are usually eaten. Depending on the day, the composition of those meals varies; on workout days, carbs are prioritized before fat, while on rest days fat intake is higher. Protein remains fairly high on all days.”
You don’t eat for 16 hours and then you eat for 8 hours. That’s how you get started. I now just eat for four hours or less everyday. I do one nightly feast. This is what works best for me.
I love the simplicity. I’m horrible at tracking calories and planning my meals out. Life can be stressful enough.
Why even bother with Intermittent Fasting? What are possible intermittent fasting results?
We love to hear about the science along with the anecdotal advice. So I searched for complicated scientific explanations of what’s going on here. According to this piece on Dynamic Duo training:
“This structure controls insulin and blood sugar levels, and maximizes fat burning hormones and cellular factors (GH, cAMP) during the day. This ensures that you are optimally burning fat for a large portion of the day. It also improves energy and cognitive function.
The nightly feast maximizes muscle-building hormones and cellular factors (cGMP, mTOR). And with depleted energy reserves and damaged muscles from training, you’ll certainly be ready for a chow down, throw down.”
It seems like intermittent fasting is good for you despite all of the stories about how you should eat every couple of hours. You don’t have to stress about losing muscle or not getting the proper gains with intermittent fasting. You can also ignore your annoying relatives who are going to stress to you the importance of breakfast while they munch on their Fruit Loops cereal.
How can you use intermittent fasting for weight loss (and abs)?
There are different ways to find an intermittent fasting schedule that works for you. I skip breakfast and then depending on the day I decide how long my fast will last. It also depends on how I feel, how hard I trained (I need food after heavy lifting followed by a BJJ class), and what I have going on in my life.
What is intermittent fasting exactly? There are essentially three types of fasting styles:
- Intermittent fasting. You fast for 16 hours. Ideally you eat between 12-8pm. You can change this depending on your schedule. It’s supposed to be 100% flexible. Don’t message me going off if you work nights. The goal of this system is to be flexible. You’re an adult. You can figure out your best hours to fast.
- Warrior Diet. This is where you’re under-eating/fasting for 20 hours and then eat for four hours. a bit tougher because you have to wait longer to eat. This is what I’ve been doing lately. I only eat from 2-6pm or so. My youngest brother Adrian has gotten into this.
- 24-hour fast. This is where you create a caloric deficit by not eating for a 24-hour period once during the week. Brad Pilon advocates for this in his book Eat Stop Eat. I attempt a 24-hour fast once in a while. I heavily rely on coffee, distractions, and sleep.
What’s the best way to get started with the Brute Fasting System right now?
I consider my style of fasting to be the brute fasting system. I fast all day, lift heavy in the morning, do BJJ, and chug carbonated water. I have one nightly feast.
You can start by just skipping breakfast and delaying your first meal.
Don’t worry about the eating window right off the bat. You can try 6-8 hours. Don’t stress if you don’t get it correct right off the bat. You can slowly try the four-hour window.
Once you’re comfortable with fasting, you can try the 24-hour fast once per week. This is where you see what you’re made of!
Are there any secret weapons?
- Carbonated water. I swear by this stuff. There’s no calories and it fills you up. Carbonated water and coffee get me through every morning.
- Sleep. We all know that rest is good for you. The good news is that sleep obviously counts towards your fasting window. You’re better off sleeping in an extra hour to skip breakfast so that you wake up more refreshed.
Why should you try intermittent fasting?
[Side note: you can drink vodka when you travel and taste delicious food without stressing about taking off your shirt. That’s me on the world-famous Bondi Beach.]
- You don’t think about food all of the time. This is huge. Too much of working out advice involves meticulous tips on meal planning, counting calories, and the amount of food that you should be eating. Who has time to always think about food? Certainly not me. You don’t want to be that weirdo that has a timer setup so they don’t miss a meal. I’m assuming that you already have a busy life and can’t be spending all of your time on eating.
- You save money. You save money. Your meals are simple. You’re not always eating. You don’t do the whole late-night binge eating. You don’t stress about having an expensive breakfast. There’s lots of money to be saved.
- The results are there. Google IF and look at the results. They’re out there. You can’t deny them. I got into the best shape of my life at 30, while still traveling and never missing a night out.
Let’s look at how to do intermittent fasting…
^^^ That’s my youngest brother Adrian. He got on the fasting in May of 2017. This photo was taken in October of 2017.
The theory is great, but we all know that execution is key. How are you supposed to skip the most important meal of your day? How do you get on the fasting?
This is my intermittent fasting schedule:
- Wake up.
- Stay busy.
- Drink black coffee. Usually at Starbucks. You can choose your coffee shop.
- Drink lots of water. Regular water and carbonated water.
- Get work done. I like to write at coffee shops.
- Go to the gym. Depending on the day. Sometimes I do weights and then BJJ. Some days just weights or BJJ. Some days I scroll through Instagram.
- Break my fast when the 16 (or 20) hours are up by eating a high quality meal with lots of protein.
- Go on with the day.
It’s not going to be easy for the first few days. That’s a guarantee. I promise you though that after a few days it’ll become very convenient. Your body eventually gets used to it.
Push yourself through the first few days and then you won’t even think about it. IF is totally sustainable in the long run.
I don’t even think about food in the morning now. I drink my coffee and go on with my day. I start writing. I shoot out emails. I hit the gym. I run errands. I do what needs to be done without worrying about eating until after lunch. I also like to listen to podcasts while I prepare my meals during my fast. I really got into salmon lately.
I obviously have a long way to go. I’m learning and sharing as I go. You should always try to eat high quality food as fasting doesn’t mean that you can eat pizza every single night.
You want more resources?
Why restricting your eating time period to 8 hours will transform your health & fitness. This article from Collective Evolution is the perfect primer for getting started with intermittent fasting. Jeff Roberts does an excellent job on covering the topic in great detail.
Intermittent fasting may be center of increasing lifespan. Who am I to argue with Harvard?
Beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting. This piece from Roman Fitness Systems helps you get started with fasting. The article also goes over more advanced techniques.
Intermittent fasting guide. Greg O’Gallagher opened my eyes when he came on my podcast and tell me about carbonated water/skipping BCAAs. The results that his clients have achieved are unreal.
It’s your turn to give fasting a try. You have nothing to lose (well, your gut). If your current system isn’t working, you need to change things. You have to be more realistic with how you approach your eating. Delay your first meal by as long as you can. Drink black coffee and water. Lift on an empty stomach. Get abs for the first time in your life. Look for any excuse to take your top off.
I hope that this is enough proof that intermittent fasting works. You now know how to start intermittent fasting.