fasting ASK ALFONSO

Ask Alfonso: Intermittent Fasting – Does It Work?


fasting

Hi Alfonso,

First I want to say THANK YOU for all you do and offer. You are truly amazing!

I’ve come a long way – I used to weigh 150 and now I’m 105. I recently completed my ultimate goal, which was to compete on stage. And I placed top 5! Ever since my competition I have found that I don’t enjoy the ‘bodybuilding’ diet: Eating every 2-3hrs, 5-6/day.

I have a BIG appetite and with that style of diet I’m always hungry and all I can think about is my next meal. This leads me to Intermittent Fasting. The idea is to fast for 14-16 hrs, have a feeding window of 8hrs for men / 10hrs for women, and eat your largest meal post workout.

I have tried this diet for 2 weeks now and shockingly am enjoying that I’m not always hungry, not worried about my next meal, am appearing leaner, and I simply set a time to stop eating my calories for the day. What’s your thoughts on this and is there real scientific proof that this diet works?

Thanks!

Alyssa

 

Alyssa, congratulations!

Standing on stage feels awesome doesn’t it? I’m proud of you for your dedication and hard work – it paid off big right? And thank you so much of your compliment – I’m truly glad you like what I share.

The timing of your question is perfect as I touched on the topic of intermittent fasting yesterday and a few people wanted to know more about how it works.

You know if you had asked me this question a year ago, I’d say you were crazy and that intermittent fasting was just as crazy as you! But now, thanks to many of my Angry Trainer friends, and my own fitness quest, I’ve been forced to reevaluate some things within fitness I thought were hard and fast rules.

Intermittent Fasting seems fascinating on the surface, and in a way more ‘real’ than a lot of the diets we follow. I mean think about it, do you think our Paleolithic ancestors ate small meals every 2-3 hours? No way. They certainly didn’t graze – and they gorged whenever they could. They ate when food was in abundance, whether it be meat, fruit, or nuts and then probably went hours, or possibly even days without eating again. One thing is clear, our current way of eating, even the “healthy” way, is not a natural way to consume food.

Sean Hyson, fitness director at Men’s Fitness, wrote a blog about IF (Intermittent Fasting), and interviewed Dr. John M. Berardi, who ran his own 6-month fasting trial  with himself as the subject. The results were startling as Berardi detailed every day, every ounce of food, his workouts, daily weight, and his activity level. He tried 2 full days of complete fasting across the week, along with various fasting periods. In total, he lost 12 pounds in 8 weeks and cut his bodyfat in half, from 10% to 5%. That’s pretty darn good. Dr. Berardi’s accounting is very comprehensive and I highly recommend you read his journals.

Berardi notes among other things, that cravings subsided once he got into the program, and he just wasn’t hungry. I’ve known many people who never eat breakfast, and I’ve always wondered why they just weren’t hungry. I think you can “train your cravings” so to speak, and that by changing your eating habits, whether it be eating 3 meals instead of 5, or not eating after say 8pm, your body simply adjusts.

And paradoxically, I think that by eating more frequently, you may encourage more frequent hunger pangs. I know, crazy right? The thing that’s most important to remember is this – fasting diets are not low calorie plans. They just alter the window in which you consume your meals / snacks. Some plans have you gorging for 8 hours, others suggest fasting for only 10 hours, and some will have you eat your largest and most sugar-laden meals post workout.

Even Dr. Berardi isn’t exactly sure why this type of eating regimen works, but he hypothesizes that it has a hormonal effect that promotes fat loss. However he’s also quick to say that it’s not better than any other traditional diet plan, just different, and one that may only work for some people. Does that mean you should try it? Well, if you can stomach the plan, sure! Why not give it a go and see how it works for you. The worst that can happen is…nothing. And that aint so bad! On the other hand, you may have results similar to the doc and slash some body-fat. I’ve been pondering it myself, and I may just try it in the coming weeks.

Let me know how it works for you Alyssa. I always love to hear real world results.

And if you have a question – please just click here. I’d love to help you!

All information contained within this site, Angry Trainer Fitness.com, is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician.  No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website.  Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or on any opinions expressed within this website. Please see your physician before changing your diet, starting an exercise program, or taking any supplements of any kind.


3 comments on “Ask Alfonso: Intermittent Fasting – Does It Work?

  1. THANK YOU THANK YOU for answering my question, I printed this out and am putting it in my fitness folder :D I want to share with you I am 2 weeks out from my next show and I have been following IF well Im just being ‘normal’ I like to call it. I eat from 9am-7pm’ish and have been only eating ~3x/day. I tell this to girls who are competing with me and they think its maddness but I’m ~10%BF and I’m and VERY lean with less cardio then many of my fellow competitors are doing. Also it feels fantastic to eat my food until I am fool rather than bird eat and I am so sad because Im starving within 20min becuase I have to save my calories for my next 5 meals. Like you said it may not be scientific but it is proof that the 6x/day eating may not truly be a metabolism booster than many people think. Im going to continue this for the next month and then I will for sure see how this is working out. Ill even send you progress pics if you like! Thank you SO MUCH I love sharing your site with my friends and family! :D

  2. Pingback: The Angry Trainer Tries Intermittent Fasting! | Angry Trainer Fitness

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