Intermittent Fasting For Rapid Fat Loss
How to lose 1 pound per day using a little known secret fitness models like me and celebrities like Hugh Jackman have been using for years to transform their bodies in weeks — not months
How would you like to lose 14 pounds in 2 weeks without making any changes to your diet?
Seriously. You can eat all the same foods you eat today and still lose body fat. What’s the catch? All you have to do is change the timing of those meals.
Sounds too good to be true? Let me introduce you to my client Chris. I worked with Chris for about 4 ½ months with minimal results. He was eating better, working hard in the gym, but his progress was stagnant. Sound familiar? WTF. FML.
I wasn’t sure if he’d stick it out much longer so in a last ditch effort to accelerate his results and save our working relationship I convinced Chris to try intermittent fasting. He’d been resistant in the past, but with building frustration – he was willing to try anything.
Take a look at the two graphs below. The one on the left showing his actual fat mass in pounds. The one on the right showing his body fat percentage. Notice how both plummeted starting in late January?
That’s about the time Chris started intermittent fasting. In total, Chris lost 10 lbs. of fat and cut his body fat percentage by 4.4% in just over 2 months. And he did all this without changing WHAT he ate but by changing WHEN he ate.
(The workouts largely stayed the same as we continued using various forms of Metabolic Resistance Training. The only variable that really changed was the timing of his meals, which is why this transformation is so incredible.)
It gets better. Intermittent fasting is so freakin’ powerful and awesome that not only did Chris cut his body fat by 4.4% but he also added 5.4 lbs. of lean muscle mass. Chris was able to cut body fat while building muscle at the exact same time. See the graph below:
Intermittent fasting is kind of like a natural, safe, and legal alternative to steroids with regard to fat loss, muscle gain, and increases in testosterone and growth hormone.
You’ll throw gasoline on your body’s ability to torch fat and you’ll amplify your body’s ability to pack-on lean muscle through increases in insulin sensitivity and the creation of an optimal hormonal environment.
There is no diet strategy that is more effective at rapidly changing body composition than intermittent fasting. Whether your goal is overall weight loss, building muscle, or you want to get ripped to the bone… intermittent fasting will be one of the secrets to your success.
I’ve gotten tremendous results with clients, and I’ve personally used intermittent fasting to go from 9 – 10% body fat down to mid-single digits around 5 – 7%.
I then switched gears and used IF to add on about 10 lbs. of solid muscle keeping my body fat extremely low. See the photos below:
For further proof that intermittent fasting is one of the best kept secrets for getting six-pack abs or packing on slabs of lean muscle… look no further than celebrity superhero Hugh Jackman, who used it to get jacked and shredded for Wolverine.
Of course, that makes perfect sense. The People’s Champ is all knowing. Only a guy with such a ridiculous physique and a keen sense of nutritional strategy could go toe-to-toe with Vin Diesel in Fast Five without imminent death.
My client Christoph also used intermittent fasting to make his own Wolverine transformation (see photo below). He went from software engineer to superhero.
Lastly, to really drive home the point my client Michael lost 25 lbs., cut his body fat by 11%, and went from no-pack to six-pack in only 10-weeks using intermittent fasting. He details his diet and workout strategy in this interview I did with him.
What is intermittent fasting?
Just in case you’re a noob and never heard of IF, let’s first talk about what it is.
To be clear, intermittent fasting or IF for us cool kids in the know is not a diet. Intermittent fasting is a diet strategy which simply dictates when you consume your calories. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
It’s imperative to keep your insulin as low as possible during your fasting period. Keeping insulin low for long periods of time is how IF works so well.
A good rule of thumb is to keep calories at or below 100 during your entire fasting window. The less calories you consume, the better your fast will work and the more fat you’ll burn.
Your “fasting window” includes sleep and will last for at least 16-hours but no more than 20-hours. This is based on the most common daily 16/8 split which I recommend.
When including sleep, fasting for 16-hours is actually easier than you think. All you have to do is skip breakfast and take a late lunch. You’ve probably inadvertently done this in the past.
(Side Note: Women should start conservatively and begin with a 12 hour fast before moving to 14 hours. Fasting can affect women differently due to their hormones. For more information on intermittent fasting for women, check out this resource.)
Conversely, your “eating window” will last for approximately 4-8 hours depending on the length of your fast. During your eating window, you will consume ALL your calories for the day.
This actually isn’t that hard either unless you are trying to add on a ton of mass very quickly. In that case, it can be a challenge (but not impossible) to eat that many calories in such a short time. For fat loss or body re-composition (fat loss, muscle gain) it’s surprisingly easy.
Need Help Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting?
Enter your name and email below to download my FREE Intermittent Fasting Kickstart Kit. You’ll get:
- Comprehensive resource checklist guide including access to my favorite intermittent fasting tracking app.
- Example Meal Plan so you know EXACTLY what to eat during your eating window to BURN FAT and BUILD MUSCLE.
Ideally, you’d workout just before breaking your fast for the day. For example, after fasting for 14-18 hours you’d hit the gym and crush a Metabolic Resistance Training workout or HIIT Cardio session. Post-workout you’d break your fast and start your eating window. For those of you that like to workout early in the morning or evening, I included a modified eating schedule below.
Example of My Intermittent Fasting Routine:
- 9pm (previous day): Last meal of the day.
- 4:45am: 30 oz. of water plus 1 serving Green Vibrance.
- 5am: Starbucks instant coffee w/ Saigon Cinnamon.
- 7am: Drink 1 bottle of Pellegrino.
- 2pm: Legion Pulse pre-workout shake plus 5g BCAAs (not a significant amount of calories; no carbs).
- 2-3pm: During workout drink 16oz of water with another 5g of BCAAs and Vega Sport Electrolyte Mix.
- 3pm: 18hrs after last meal I break my fast with my post-workout shake.
- 4pm to 9pm: Eat the remainder of my calories during my “eating window.”
Modified Early Morning Workout IF Routine:
- 7pm (previous day): Last meal of the day.
- 5:45 am: Legion Pulse pre-workout shake plus 5g BCAAs (not a significant amount of calories; no carbs).
- 6-7am: During workout drink 16oz of water with another 5g of BCAAs and Vega Sport Electrolyte Mix.
- 9am: Drink another 10g of BCAAs
- 11am: 16hrs after last meal break your fast with post-workout shake or meal.
- 12pm to 7pm: Eat the remainder of your calories during your “eating window.”
Modified Evening Workout IF Routine:
- 8pm (previous day): Last meal of the day.
- 12:00 pm: Break your fast with first meal of the day and start your “eating window.”
- 2pm: Light snack.
- 3:00 pm: 2nd meal of the day.
- 5pm: Legion Pulse pre-workout shake plus 5g BCAAs (not a significant amount of calories; no carbs). If you’re not training fasted, it’s isn’t critical to take BCAAs during your workout.
- 6pm: Break your fast with post-workout shake.
- 7pm to 8pm: Eat remainder of calories for the day.
All three of these are just samples and you can arrange your day and your meals however you’d like. As long as you maintain at least a 16 hour fast or more and at least a 4-8 hour eating window.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
The benefits of intermittent fasting are long but distinguished. Far beyond that of simply losing body fat or getting ripped enough to star in the beach volleyball scene in Top Gun.
As such, I’ll touch on them but explaining all the benefits in detail is simply outside the scope of this article. The goal of this article is to help you lose body fat so we’ll keep the main focus on that… while simply touching on the other health benefits.
The benefits of IF include longevity (increased lifespan), anti-cancer, brain health, anti-aging, mental clarity, focus, and improved energy.
One of the most overlooked benefits is simply the ability to get more done during the day. This is because you aren’t spending time eating food and you aren’t wasting energy digesting food.
Intermittent fasting is kind of like a natural and legal alternative for Adderall. You’ll have laser-like precision and mental focus, energy levels through the roof, and you’ll generally be smarter, faster, better than ever before.
How you choose to use that energy and mental focus is up to you. Get more done, make more money, start a side-hustle, workout more, or spend more time with your family and friends – it’s up to you.
My client Chris, from the story at the beginning of this chapter, is a dentist. He loved the fact he no longer had to take a break during the day to eat lunch anymore. This allowed him to see another patient and avoid that all-too-common post-lunch lethargic daze.
To summarize: Chris lost a bunch of body fat, gained muscle mass, made more money, and had more energy during the day to focus on his clients and his business.
Not too bad, eh? And no, this isn’t some fake drug like NZT from Limitless; it’s just intermittent fasting.
As a personal trainer, I can’t eat while training clients. For me, one of the best benefits is not feeling hungry during the day. Even better, I don’t have to choke down protein bars and shakes between clients.
If you travel for work like I used to, this is another ideal scenario for intermittent fasting. Because it can be a hassle to eat healthy in airports, IF removes all worry and anxiety around traveling.
No longer do you have to bring healthy snacks with you or stress about finding something “healthy” to eat in the airport. Not eating completely removes all worry, anxiety, and decisions regarding food. It’s quite liberating.
For additional research on the non-physique oriented benefits of intermittent fasting check out this excellent resource.
Physique Enhancing Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
All these benefits are great and all, but the point of this article is to help you rapidly lose body fat… not keep you from getting cancer — although that would be cool too.
Trust me, when you are having so much fun being ripped you’ll want to live as long as possible! It’s way more fun. Plus, looking a few years younger doesn’t hurt either. I actually stopped aging at 25 due to IF 😉
Here’s a list of the physique enhancing benefits:
- Increased fat oxidation (burn more fat)
- Improved protein synthesis (build more muscle)
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Increases your body’s ability to build even more muscle and burn even more fat.
- Increased growth hormone production
- Higher GH is correlated with increases in muscle mass and decreases in body fat.
- Improved anabolic response to post-workout nutrition
- Store more nutrients and more effectively use your post-workout meal to build muscle.
Intermittent Fasting Myths
The most common objections to IF come from old school bodybuilding dogma. For years, fitness magazines and bro-science bodybuilders have promoted these bogus ideas:
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day to kick start your metabolism.
- You must eat small meals throughout the day to “stoke” your metabolism and control hunger.
- Going more than a few hours without food will cause your body to go into starvation mode. Catabolism sets in and your body will simultaneously store fat and burn muscle mass.
To be clear, these ideas are complete nonsense. At best, these ideas show how uninformed the fitness magazines and bro-scientists are. At worst, it shows they’ve been lying to you in order to sell you more protein shakes. Either way, it’s not good.
I love when science confirms my experience… and research shows eating breakfast will not help you lose more weight than skipping breakfast. Research also shows that eating breakfast does not increase your metabolic rate any more than skipping it.
Based on this research you might be tempted to say the opposite… this proves practicing IF and skipping breakfast doesn’t help lose any more weight than skipping breakfast. Take caution in your tone. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong because those skipping breakfast were NOT practicing intermittent fasting. And IF is more than “just” skipping breakfast.
In fact, intermittent fasting doesn’t burn fat by increasing the body’s metabolic rate… so this isn’t a knock on IF either. Metabolic Resistance Training and HIIT Cardio burn fat by increasing your metabolic rate.
This is going to sound insane to you six-meal per day folks, but here goes…
Your body uses the exact same amount of energy to digest 2,000 calories eaten in 1 meal as it does to digest 2,000 calories eaten across 6 meals. In other words, the number of meals is arbitrary. There is no difference and yes, research backs this up.
Not to beat a dead horse on this matter, but to wrap this up with a pretty pink bow… research shows you’d have to fast for at least 60+ hours to experience a slowdown of your metabolic rate. This throws the starvation mode argument right out the window. Other research shows that metabolism actually increases after 36 – 48 hours of fasting.
If you know, trust, and like me… let’s move on. If we are still in the “getting to know each other” phase before moving to 2nd base, I guess I need to work on my closing skills. They’ve fallen off a bit since I’ve been a LTR for a while now.
While I work on that, feel free to continue reading and checkout Leangains. The author of the site, Martin Berkhan, is widely considered the godfather of intermittent fasting on the internet. He has addressed all these myths in painstaking detail, which is outside the scope of this article.
Frequently Asked Questions
How the hell am I supposed to manage my hunger for 16 hours?
For the first few days or maybe even a week, it will be hard. You’ve spent years training your body to expect food every few hours and like Pavlov’s Dog – you’ve conditioned yourself.
The first week will be about breaking your mental and physical conditioning…
Physically, the first week will train your body to use fats and not carbohydrates for energy. This is one of the ways intermittent fasting burns fat off your body. Your body will also begin to get comfortable going long periods without food. This only takes a few days, maybe 7 – 10 days at most.
Mentally, the first week will train your mind to feel comfortable not eating at traditional meal times. Once you see how quickly and positively your body responds to fasting, your mind will accept the idea.
After this initial breakthrough period, a concept that once seemed absurd, stupid, and impossible… will now be comfortable, easy, and extremely beneficial.
Will <fill in the blank> break my fast?
After people get over the initial freak out period and come to terms with the idea of not eating for 16-hours… the next question I get is about what, exactly, breaks your fast. You are allowed to have the following during your fasting period:
- Water, both sparkling and tap
- Black coffee
- I prefer a black Americano with cinnamon, which is also fine
- Unsweetened tea
- Low calorie greens powder (keep under 100 calories)
That means no almonds, fruit, snacks, calorie laden beverages, or food of any kind. Period.
Here are a few things that are borderline, but always come up:
Adding a small bit of cream to one cup is borderline, but okay. Having lots of cream or several cups of coffee with cream will cause a problem and spike your insulin.
Adding sugar to your coffee is a no-no. It will spike your insulin and give you carbs to burn as energy. Substitute Stevia or cinnamon instead of sugar. Bonus points for cinnamon since it also improves insulin sensitivity.
Lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos are NOT allowed because they have way too many calories and lots of carbs.
Butter, MCT Oil, or coconut oil (e.g. Bulletproof Coffee) is only allowed if you have a very active job. Think construction worker or personal trainer like me. The other exception is if you have been practicing IF for at least 3-months and are on a bulking program.
If you are trying to lose body fat, Bulletproof Coffee will result in far too many calories too early in the day. Remember, you need a caloric deficit to lose weight.
Although technically allowed, I strongly urge you NOT to drink diet soda. Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners, which have been shown to raise insulin levels. This can put the brakes on your fat burning and it can also make you hungrier. Not to mention it’s linked to cancer. Better to be safe than sorry.
If you drink one here or there, no big deal. If you are drinking 1 or more every single day, it’s best to kick the habit and switch to coffee.
After all, coffee’s for closers. You’ll thank me later when you’re wearing watches that cost more than most people’s car and driving an $80,000 BMW.
“Put that coffee down! Coffee’s for closers only.” – Blake from Glengarry Glen Ross
Can I eat junk food?
After you fast for 16-hours, what you eat becomes less important and you can have a few more indulgences. But this doesn’t give you a free pass to treat your body like a garbage disposal. Obviously, the healthier you eat, the better your results will be.
For example, if you begin practicing intermittent fasting (when you eat), but you don’t change your eating habits (what you eat) — you will lose weight.
But this is not a long-term solution. Over time, your fat loss will slow and you’ll hit a plateau. That might happen at 5 lbs, 10 lbs, or even 15 lbs. It depends on your body and how much weight you have to lose.
At some point, you’re going to have to change your eating habits. This means eating better quality food, eating fewer calories, and changing your macros to continue losing body fat.
Intermittent fasting is a BIG win for most. For those of you that are overweight… it’s a fantastic strategy to kickstart weight loss and quickly lose body fat. On the flip side, it’s awesome if you’re trying to get those elusive six-pack abs or single digit body fat. But it’s still just one piece of the nutritional puzzle.
It’s kinda like throwing gas on a fire or adding a nitrous booster to your car. It’s helps stoke the fire and accelerates results, but it cannot replace a quality diet or workout plan.
What do I do if I get really hungry?
If you get really hungry and are struggling to stay the course, outside yelling a Braveheart style “Hold!” at you, there are four options to rid yourself of hunger:
- Drink black coffee or black Americano. This usually knocks your hunger out pretty quickly unless you’re dehydrated. If dehydrated…
- Drink ice cold water
- Drink ice cold water with sea salt
- Drink ice cold water with BCAAs
Pro Tip: Dehydrated or Hungry
- It’s very easy to confuse dehydration with hunger. To the body, it feels the same so you must be smarter than your body.
- If you are new to intermittent fasting, you might feel really hungry during the first few days. This is often dehydration and NOT an actual need for food.
- During your fasting window, you aren’t eating any carbohydrates or consuming any sodium – both of which cause the body to retain water. As a result, your body is holding less water than normal and it becomes much easier to get dehydrated.
- Instead of breaking down and consuming food, try sprinkling some Pink Himalayan Salt into your tap water, drink sparkling water with sodium like Pellegrino, or drinking a low/no calorie electrolyte water enhancer like Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator.
- As a last resort, add BCAAs to cold water to knock out hunger for good.
Will I lose muscle mass?
If you do these two things, you will NOT lose any muscle mass while fasting:
- Eat enough protein during your eating window.
- Supplement with BCAAs before/during your workout.
First, research shows protein is absorbed by the body at a much slower rate than you might think. In fact, your body will still be absorbing protein from the previous day during your fast.
Whey protein is absorbed at 8 – 10g per hour. That means a 40g post-workout protein shake will take up to 4 hours to be absorbed. And that’s the absolute fastest absorbing protein you can consume.
Conversely, casein protein is absorbed at about 6g per hour. Even slower, cooked protein sources like eggs or chicken are absorbed at a rate of less than 3g per hour. That means 25g of protein from a chicken breast can take 8+ hours to fully absorb.
In fact, this study found that eating an entire day’s worth of protein in a 4-hour eating window followed by a 20-hour fast had zero negative impact on the body’s ability to preserve muscle mass.
All this information is a highly scientific and technical way of saying… if you’re eating roughly 1g of protein per pound of lean body weight, you’ll be fine. Keep in mind, 1g per pound of lean body weight is a good general recommendation for weight loss.
I’ve touched on BCAAs a few times now, so I’ll summarize:
BCAAs act like a magic force field protecting your muscle mass by used by your body for energy. Even better, they knock out your hunger. The minimal effective dose is 10g.
Tips for Your Success
- Cowboy up. If you’ve never worked out fasted before, your first few workouts will suck… you might even get light-headed. It may take 1 – 2 weeks for your body to adapt, but don’t waver – once you adapt you’ll love the feeling of a fasted workout. Plus, the caffeine high is way better on an empty stomach.
- Coffee’s for closers. Coffee can prevent hunger due to the caffeine. I highly suggest starting your day with black coffee as the cure for morning hunger, brain fog, and for a bolt of energy.
- Don’t confuse dehydration with hunger. This is easy to do and is a classic rookie mistake. Drink plenty of water during your fast. Adding Pink Himalayan Salt or electrolytes can help maintain hydration and knock out the feeling of hunger. As a last resort, use BCAAs.
- Protect your muscle. Eat roughly 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. And leverage BCAAs to prevent muscle breakdown when working out.
Action Items For Your Success
- Start today. My favorite marketing guru Russell Brunson says, “The best time to start was 10 years ago. The 2nd best time to start is today.”
- At first, it’s not going to be perfect but that’s okay because you’ll get better and after a few weeks, you’ll have it down. After reading this article, IF isn’t something that’s going to take months or even years to master. You can do it in a matter of days or weeks.
- Start slow if needed. If you’re hardcore like me, go balls deep and shoot for a 16-hour fast right off the bat. But you may want to start slow with a 12 – 14 hour fast and work your way up to 16+. Once you get started it’s hard to stop. Before you know it you won’t have eaten for days! Just kidding.
- Plan and prepare your first meal. Once it’s time to eat you’ll get hangry as hell if you have to wait. Have something ready and waiting once your fast is over. I often opt for a post-workout. Whatever you do, just be sure to have it ready to go so you can crush it immediately. Trust me.
Need Help Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting?
Download my FREE Intermittent Fasting Kickstart Kit. You'll get:
✔️ Comprehensive resource checklist guide including access to my favorite intermittent fasting tracking app.
✔️ Example Meal Plan so you know EXACTLY what to eat during your eating window to BURN FAT and BUILD MUSCLE.
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