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This past weekend, I was up in Connecticut for a business and marketing event, learning some ways to streamline and improve my website, programs and the time I spend on all of them. To say I learned a lot is an understatement.

However, like any seminar I’ve gone to recently, I spent this weekend in the company of fellow fitness pros, who over the past year have become some of my closest friends.

While we all certainly live pretty healthy and structured lives, something about getting us all together seems to throw all of that out the window.

We’re all kind of dieting right now (Joel and I are locked in a fitness bet with 5000 of Joel’s dolla-dolla bills on the line).

So, while we all were hanging out and having an awesome time networking with a lot of other fitness-freaks like Tyler English and Dr. Kareem (who treated my elbow issue, you’ll be happy to know) we had to be very well behaved.

…until Saturday night.

Like the good body-boys that we are, we all scheduled our cheat day for the same time.

And that, my friends, is when the trouble started.

We went out to dinner at a local steakhouse (The Capitol Grille) and fully intended to Cheat Our Way Thin. Which sounded like a good idea. Then Joel ordered a few shots. I looked at him askance. With a shrug, he passed the shots around.

Let me just sidebar here to say that I really don’t drink. Seriously. I didn’t drink in high school or college, and I only started socially drinking when I was 25. On average, I have one drink every 2-3 weeks. Almost never do I have more than two drinks on any night I decide to “let loose.”

As Ron Burgandy is fond of saying: “When in Rome.” I knocked the shot back and continued my conversation.

Then Vince ordered more shots.

“One more,” I say, and clink my glass with those of my compatriots.

More shots appeared; at this point, I’m beginning to feel hesitant.

I’d planned to spend the night Cheating My Way Thin…I did NOT, you see, intend to Drink My Way Dead.

Joel and Vince seem to have had other ideas.

Another shot, ordered alongside a “Red Headed Slut” – which, it turns out, was a drink, and not our entertainment for the weekend.

Anyway. I’m plastered before we sit down to eat.

When we arrive at the table, I decided, in my intoxicated state, to order 2 appetizers, 1 entrée and 2 desserts…and ate ALL of it, while regaling the table with my theories on dating. (I’m sure everyone learned a lot.)

Two hours later, we’re at a bar and I’m having a dance off with Vince and this chick who in retrospect may have actually been a dude. (Vince won.)

I’m a little foggy on the deets, but we made it back to the hotel where I am told I ate pizza at 3am.

Yay for cheat days.

When I awoke Sunday morning, my mouth tasted of vodka and regret. Joel and Vince appeared a bit worse for the wear, but not as bad as I was.

We made our way to the dining room to meet with some friends for breakfast. Sitting with some marketing experts, we each processed to drink about a gallon of water in short order, but ALL declined to order breakfast.

One of the marketers (20 year old wunderkind David Sinick who is also into fitness) asked why we weren’t eating. Like a scripted B-roll, we all replied “fast day” in unison.

You see, I ALWAYS follow a cheat day with a fast day…especially when that cheat day involves alcohol.

I call this “Feast–>Fast” and I’ve been doing this for YEARS.

When I first started using the Cheat Your Way Thin system about 7 years ago, I did it as scripted. However, while I loved the fact that I could eat whatever I wanted for a full day, I always hated the digestive aftermath of the cheat day.

Eventually, Joel and I started experimenting with following the cheat day with a fast day to allow me (and my poor stomach) some time to recover and reset. While it was really begun as a comfort thing, we did notice that it seemed to make things more effective.

Fast forward 4 years, and all of the fit pros now use this strategy for both results and ease. In fact, the Feast–>Fast method is so effective that it’s now worked it’s way into Joel’s new program, an advanced dietary system that builds on the already effective strategies of CYWT by using fast days, protein only days and a lot of other cool stuff. (Appropriately, he’s calling it the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet.)

Anyway, getting back to my story: I’m explaining all of this to young David and of course he’s asking why fasting is so beneficial.

As I mentioned earlier, giving your digestive system a day off has its benefits. Not only will it force your body to more efficiently utilize the caloric overload from the preceding cheat day, but you’ll ALSO let the less than healthy stuff move out of your body a bit quicker.

More to the point, you do your liver a favor by allowing it to detoxify you more efficiently, since it won’t have to deal with any “new” stuff you’re taking in. The fast you make the happen, the sooner your liver can get back to producing fat burning enzymes.

The best part is you won’t be sacrificing muscle, because your leptin levels will be so high that the massive caloric deficit a fast day creates will simply help you lose fat that much faster.

Plus, you’ll FEEL better.

Sure, for a good many people, fasting isn’t generally enjoyable, but it’s really a very minor inconvenience. We certainly felt hunger pangs during breakfast (watching everyone eat eggs wasn’t fun), but after that it cleared up.

During a fast after a feast, the first 3-4 hours kinda suck. But after that you start feeling incredible. Whether it’s a alcohol or a simple food-hangover, your body need to focus on dealing with getting over the abuse you put it through, not new stuff.

About halfway through the day, toxins are being released and excreted and you’re burning fat an accelerated rate.

By 3pm Sunday afternoon, I was running around with more energy than I’d imagined possible, feeling like Saturday had been a dream…a weird, freaky dream filled with steak and dancing. I was more productive than usual and had a great lactic acid workout.

I have to say, Feast–>Fast is the way to go.

Hopefully, you’ve learned two things: first, if you hang out with my crew you’d evidently be ready to party. And second, if you DO have a big party/cheat night, you can leverage that your benefit by having a well planned fast the next day. Just drink plenty of water!

If you use Cheat Days as part of your fat loss strategy, you already know all about using diet to outsmart your body. Well, fast days take it a step further and allow you to increase the fat burning power of cheat days even more.

PS – Vince didn’t really win the dance contest. Of course I did.

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

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  • ado20004676

    is there a video anywhere of this dance of :D

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  • Dave

    Roman, my feast fast turned into a feast/feast. I plan on fasting the following day and I had a 16 hour fast in between. What do I do now? I feel horrible. I will follow with a 36 hour fast and get back to it. But that’s all I can think of to do. Any suggestions or words of encouragement?

  • Dave

    What if your cheat day was in a 24 hour period but not necessarrily tin the same day. For instance, you started at 3-7pm one day and then continued when you woke up until 3pm? Then fast from 3pm that day until 3pm the next day?

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  • Drogers

    Think about this.

    “When I found myself going
    through some tough times I would say this little prayer: “Lord, I cannot make
    excuses for yesterday and I cannot promise anything for tomorrow, but please
    help me today.” While this may seem elementary, this prayer helped me to take
    the focus off of me and open myself for God to work through my life.”

    Go to 
     Humility, A Cornerstone for Sobriety  
     
    OR  http://goo.gl/rLlnk
     to read more.”
     

  • Jassie2142009

    Do you you work out on your fast or your feast day?

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  • Jay

    Hiya Roman,

    Just wanted to ask a quick question. I weigh 354lbs and 6ft how can I utilise the cheat day into my diet, properly. I have been using the cheat on Saturdays (also the day i weigh myself before I begin cheat day) and am losing around 2-3lbs per week. I eat around 2000 cals per day. But am thinking about fasting the day after (which I didn't do before). All because when I have been weighing myself midweek (Wednesday) I always weigh the same or about 2-3lbs more than I did on the previous Saturday.

    Also would it be good idea to fast Sunday and add 400 cals per day thereafter until cheat day. I undersatnd your are busy, but I would really appreciate a reply please.

    Also we love your blogs and videos, keep up the great work as you have influenced and inspired me and many others here in the UK.

  • Curious,

    What was the name of the business and marketing conference?

    Always looking for useful education.

  • Danny

    Hey John, I seem to be losing weight from cheat days, but my abs aren't progressing that much. Could this be, because I don't have a lot of muscle on me, and I don't do a lot of ab work, im 5'11 , 150 pound @ ~ 9-10 % . I mean, I am losing weight, but my abs don't seem to be peaking more than before. I haven't really spend a lot of time working out my abs specifically. Also, during a cheat day, What ratio of Carbs to fat is good, because some of my favourite foods have 2:1 to ratio and some even 1:1, i.e. 23g Carb, 12 g fat , 20g carb , 20 g fat. However the majority is is like 35 g carb / 15 fat

  • Chris

    Hey John,

    I like your feast -> fast strategy and after 7 days of clean eating, tomorrow is my first cheat day which I'm looking forward to. I have 2 questions for you:

    1. What are your thoughts on starting the cheat day on Friday evening and continuing it until Saturday evening/night?

    Reason being is that eating clean Monday morning till Friday afternoon/evening is no problem. But often people plan get togethers or go out on both Friday and Saturday.

    2. How long does your fast last? is that from your last meal saturday till your first meal monday morning? or do you eat something on sunday evening?

    best regards,

    Chris

  • I agree with that Roman, implementing feast–>fast is a good thing. After I got hang-over after the drinking session, I usually drink plenty of cold water and I opted for fasting because I feel good if I detoxify myself and it easily replenished my energy. I usually do that during cheat days.

  • Great blog !

  • Tom

    Hey John,

    Just want to say that I did my first feast/fast combo and surprisingly, I was not hungry at all on my fast day. A little dizzy and a slight headache towards the end of the day, but felt pretty good otherwise. I guess my cheat day was cheaty enough. I weighed 181 before the feast. 185.4 the morning after. 180 the morning after the fast. Not sure what to expect over the next few days as I do the carb cycle that you recommended, but looking good so far.

    Can you take a look at this article:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11126336?ordinalpos=47&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

    It says that fat doesn't affect leptin as much as carbs, so does that mean our feast day should be only carbs? How do you make sure the cheat day is cheaty enough with only fruits and oatmeal? Thanks

    Tom

  • Hey Tom – yup, ideally simple sugars alongside fats are the way to go.

    if you're carb cycling, do it like this:

    Saturday – Cheat

    Sunday – Fast

    Monday – Low Carb

    Tueday – mod carb

    Wed – mod carb

    Thurs – low carb

    Fri – low

    Repeat!

    A “cheat week” is going to cause problems – if you're vacation, just do the best you can and try to keep it clean. Damage control, you know?

  • Tom

    Hi John,

    Not sure if you're still checking this thread, but if the purpose of the cheat day is to raise leptin, then what type of food would be best at accomplishing that goal? Simple sugars?

    Also, how would I set this up if I'm carb cycling? The cheat day is obviously a high day and the fast day a low day. Would the rest of the week be only low and med days if I'm in a fat-loss phase?

    Lastly, do you use this principle to some extent when on vacation? What I mean is what do you do after a cheat “week” from vacation? Do you fast immediately upon returning home and for how long? Thanks

    Tom

  • Dean

    Roman, is feast-fast part of your FPFL program?

    Thanks.

  • JH

    Hi Roman, do you use a post workout protein shake on your fast day?

  • Originally Posted By AnnieDo you fast for the complete day or have a meal at night (warrior diet style)?

    Depends on the goal. If I'm trying to lose fat while gaining some mass, I'll have a little something at night (usually just meat).

    If I'm going *strictly* for fat loss, I'll fast entirely.

  • Originally Posted By nathanHi Roman,

    Whats your take on set fasting times like the warrior diet? ive been trying something i call '7-11' which is basically not eating outside those times (7pm and 11am). so every 24hrs involves a 16 hour fast. No strict rules on what to eat, although im sticking with protein, good fats and vegetables, sometimes fruit, green tea, water, MRP/protein shakes.

    my results are mixed, i feel energetic then lethargic depending on my workload (PT with around 35 sessions a week) my cardio is its best ever, RHR now 38. strength is still pretty good, BF% creeping down each week, now at 8%

    Have you ever tested anything like this? what were the results?

    cheat days are awesome, but i find its hard to convince myself they dont take you a step away not closer to getting ripped??

    cheers, Nathan

    I've never tried it specifically like that; but that is probably the way I'd recommend going if you were really prone to losing LBM, or if you were kind of hypoglycemic and had some issues with fasting for really long periods of time.

    In terms of cheat days, I know it's mentally a hard pill to swallow, but please trust me when I say they work!

    Like CRAZY.

  • Annie

    Do you fast for the complete day or have a meal at night (warrior diet style)?

  • nathan

    Hi Roman,

    Whats your take on set fasting times like the warrior diet? ive been trying something i call '7-11' which is basically not eating outside those times (7pm and 11am). so every 24hrs involves a 16 hour fast. No strict rules on what to eat, although im sticking with protein, good fats and vegetables, sometimes fruit, green tea, water, MRP/protein shakes.

    my results are mixed, i feel energetic then lethargic depending on my workload (PT with around 35 sessions a week) my cardio is its best ever, RHR now 38. strength is still pretty good, BF% creeping down each week, now at 8%

    Have you ever tested anything like this? what were the results?

    cheat days are awesome, but i find its hard to convince myself they dont take you a step away not closer to getting ripped??

    cheers, Nathan

  • Matt

    @John Romaniello – Not “cheat-y” enough…yeah, maybe. I felt like I was eating a ton. I didn't load up on anything sugary, but I loaded up on the carbs (including some white pasta, which I never eat) but mostly complex carbs. But yeah, I won't give up on it that easily if it's effective.

  • Originally Posted By MJCan you do 2 workouts in one day during the fast day? Say Hiit cardio in the morning when you wake up, and some sort of workout (dynamic or lactic acid etc.) later on during the day?

    Thanks.

    Easy, killer! Start with one and see how you feel. If you can handle 2, give it a whirl. I've only every done one.

  • Originally Posted By MJWhat kind of things can you drink on the fast days besides green tea and water? Are drinks like “diet lipton green tea, 0 cal sobe lifewater, powerade zero” and all those other artificially flavored waters ok?

    I assume that wouldn't affect anything at all. I'm not a big fan of diet lipton green tea. Not for any fitness reason, it just sucks.

    Man up and get some Crystal Light. That's hardcore.

  • Originally Posted By MattHey John,

    This was my first week doing a cheating day and following it w/ a fast day. Today is my fast day and it's been pretty rough. You described having enough energy from the feast day to endure the fast day, but that hasn't been the case. A lot of sick/hunger feelings and a little shakey from time to time. Did you think I did something wrong?

    I wouldn't say you did anything wrong per se…it just takes a while to get used to it.

    Joel, who is known to be prodigious as an eater to begin with, goes crazy on cheat days and has been known to say that if you don't have enough energy to get through as fast day, your cheat wasn't cheat-y enough.

    I'll just say that I notice the main problem with people is energy, in which case some green tea is best.

    I have been known to take some caffeine pills to offset some of the energy drain.

    It just takes some getting used to. Give it a few tries. It may not be for everyone, but I love it.

  • You have to have those cheat days every now and then. Just imagine not having any cheat days? How long would you stay on top?

  • Matt

    Hey John,

    This was my first week doing a cheating day and following it w/ a fast day. Today is my fast day and it's been pretty rough. You described having enough energy from the feast day to endure the fast day, but that hasn't been the case. A lot of sick/hunger feelings and a little shakey from time to time. Did you think I did something wrong?

  • MJ

    Can you do 2 workouts in one day during the fast day? Say Hiit cardio in the morning when you wake up, and some sort of workout (dynamic or lactic acid etc.) later on during the day?

    Thanks.

  • MJ

    What kind of things can you drink on the fast days besides green tea and water? Are drinks like “diet lipton green tea, 0 cal sobe lifewater, powerade zero” and all those other artificially flavored waters ok?

  • Yup! That's exactly how I do it. should be perfect.

  • Matt

    John,

    Great post.

    If I have a cheat day every week (which I do), will having a fast day after my 'feast' day every week as well be safe?

  • MJ

    That makes sense, what about Post workout Nutrition for the cardio? Do you just not eat anything or you need to? If so what do you eat? I remember reading that cortisol levels are high after the hiit cardio and breaks down muscle tissue and can store fat. Correct me if im wrong.

  • Originally Posted By MJA fast day seems simple enough, specially if your still full from the day before. But a quick question, how did you do your lactic acid workout while fasting? Can you workout during a fast day and have no food? Does it work the same for HIIT cardio? (Or MIIT cardio from Cheat your way thin).

    Basically as long as you get it done pretty early in the day, you'll have a LOT of energy from the cheat day and be able to get through the workout without a problem.

    It's really pretty cool how it all works.

    And yup, same strategy for HIIT or MIIT.

  • MJ

    A fast day seems simple enough, specially if your still full from the day before. But a quick question, how did you do your lactic acid workout while fasting? Can you workout during a fast day and have no food? Does it work the same for HIIT cardio? (Or MIIT cardio from Cheat your way thin).

  • Chris Normand

    Is it advised to workout on the fast day (strength training or cardio)? My limited knowledge would point to “no” but I'm trying to learn. Thank you.

  • Kevin

    No video or pics of the dance off? Now, that would be entertaining! lol

    I really like that you are being real and living life like most normal people. It's good to have a balance and to know you can be “bad” sometimes and it's not the end of the world. It's how you live the vast majority of the time…your lifestyle that matters.

  • Bill Pairaktaridis

    Ah, wish I knew this yesterday…I went all out during the weekend with pizza and some after clubbing eating and I could've fasted today. Oh well. I'll know from now on ;)

  • Brian

    Interesting post. Currently I am doing the FPFL program and really liking the results. I just finished up my 3rd week and I am down about 7lbs and have definitely leaned up quite a bit. I actually started by “lean up” phase 4 weeks ago and I've lost 15 lbs. since I started. I lost 8 lbs the first week before I started the FPFL program, but a lot of that was water weight since I had a nice cheat “weekend” before I started. I am currently following a low carb, calorie restrictive diet. However, once I am done with the 6-week FPFL program I plan on trying to add some muscle while trying to keep my new found leanness. I am planning on cycling my carbs and calories and will probably be adding in some occasional cheat days so I think I will be giving this a try. I would like to see some additional content on this whole cheat/fast deal. On your fast day are you just consuming strictly water or are you also taking in other low calorie liquids like black coffee and green tea?

  • bindiya

    love your writing style…and thank you ever so much for sharing the trick.i don't drink but i have my food related craving ….esp for sinful molten sizzling gooey choclate brownies and i had my moment last nite ,-)))

  • Robyn Elam

    @Bj̦rn R̦singer Рhey when would u recommend this drinking of milk and eating of bread? like during a cheat day or what?

  • Robyn Elam

    @Fred – haha tap dancing is awesome! i used to compete in tap when i was in high school! and roman you should really try out for dancing with the stars! that'd be freaking awesome!

  • Robyn Elam

    @John Romaniello – hehe i love entourage and sex & the city! so ur like totally sexy with a dose of horniness. got it! haha

  • Robyn Elam

    @John Romaniello – whenever i drink i start talking in a british accent and i hear that i actually do it quite well……..and its freaking hilarious becuz ill have ordered something froma waitress and then once i have a drink or two and am feeling it and i ask for the check in my accent and she'll look at me like WTF?? lol@John Romaniello –

  • Robyn Elam

    whenever i drink i start talking in a british accent and i hear that i actually do it quite well……..and its freaking hilarious becuz ill have ordered something froma waitress and then once i have a drink or two and am feeling it and i ask for the check in my accent and she'll look at me like WTF?? lol@John Romaniello –

  • Robyn Elam

    Haha that's awesome! I actually love Red Headed Sluts! The drink of course! I laughed so hard when I read that you didn't realize that it was a drink and not entertainment! :) We all have our naive moments I guess :) so anyways this Feast -> Fast thing sounds interesting. What if you have to take medicine everyday in the morning with food? Does that mean that you can't partake in this Feast -> Fast? And won't you be super hungry during the whole day? It seems like you would be even though you're drinking water.

  • Dr. Kory

    John,

    Not only do I appreciate the great info, but I love your storytellin'! Reading about your night out had me bustin' up; you write just like I imagine you would talk. Very refreshing; just like I was listenin' to one of my buddies.

    Keep up the good, (and entertaining) work. The FPFL is working great for me!

    Thanks,

    Kory

  • Tino

    Great story and great info. I'd like to give it a try soon.

  • This Saturday a couple of my best mates are celebrating their 20th birthdays.

    It sounds harsh because I've been dreading the night, as it consists of a All-you-can-eat Chinese, followed by a pub crawl which will then lead us on to a club crawl…

    I'm going to give this a shot on Sunday, thanks for the blog!

    CB

  • Markus

    Hi Roman,

    nice story and sonds like a good procedure :)

    Next time I overdue it I'll try it out.

  • Justin

    72 comments? Wow, I saw that and thought I had landed on Nate Green's blog. Ohhhh, bang bang.

    ha just kiding, Roman. Great post.

    I am flying out to AZ tomorrow so I think I am going to try to feast today and fast tomorrow while I spend most of my time in the airport.

  • Nishita

    We get to hear things like “never skip your breakfast”, dont get into the “starvation mode” etc etc. So is fasting for an entire day (after a cheat day) ok?

  • Ditte

    Hi Roman

    Currently I'm in second week of FPFL, and I have been reading a lot about this cheat day..

    I am diagnosed with PCOS which means I also have insulin resistance. I read that you also suffer from this bitch, and that you have to be extra careful around these cheat days, can you give me any advice on how to deal with it?

    PCOS means that I'm kindda intolerant to starchy carbs, so I rarely eat rice, bread, grains and potatoes, and I never touch sugar. So I could imagine that my body would freak out a bit if I went crazy in pizza craving?

    Great blog by the way :)

    Ditte

  • dorothy livett

    Feast-fast

    A good way to go Roman and Joel – you reminded me again of the fast bit haven't been doing that lately, Cheers, Dorothy

  • Garfi

    I have to say that this is the first blog I have ever considered worthy of a reply/comment, so fir dinkum mate and good on ya!

    Will give it a blast this weekend as a buddy is having a bit of a bash as a warm up to St Paddy's Day! Waahay! But I can see the potential already.

    Bless ya!

  • Jessica (in Aussietraylia)

    Ha! I love this, not just for the many great reasons provided by the other blogsters and clearly the fasting curiosity it's raised but I reckon you’ve just provided those who have imbibed excessively with the perfect hangover cover up!

    You know, most people would probably come clean and just admit that they’re not eating because of the following universal equation:

    A (way too much rich food) plus B (way too much booze) / C (way too little sleep) = D (feel like death warmed up and even the thought of food makes me want to hurl).

    Nope, not you “Entourage in the City” boys – you don’t eat after a big night out because it’s all part of “the cunning diet plan”.

    Pure genius ?

  • Yi Shen

    Dawn, I guess is your psychology thinking make your hungry. Because some people who are used to 5 to 6 meals. cannot even hold few hours for skipping a small single meal. I do not think you are having hypoglycemia. Is your brain think that your are hungry. but the truth is your blood glucose will not go down. You can go check with doctor when you thought you are having hypoglycemia.

    Thanks.

  • Dawn

    I have hypoglycemia and can't imagine fasting for even breakfast. I would be too weak and shaky. Is there any safe way to fast that won't bottom out my blood glucose?

  • Travis

    Hey Roman,

    Sounds like a pretty fun night filled with many events. I have a few questions regarding the fasting:

    1. Say I'm on a bulking phase. I go out and party one night and get trashed. Should I still take a fast day the next day or will it ruin my muscle gains?

    2. If so, should I do a workout as well? If so, what type? My normal bulking workout or do some HIIT cardio instead?

    3. Should I still drink my post-workout shake with a ton of calories and carbs? I'm assuming not, so what should I drink instead?

    Your stories are amazing. I still can't get over your “bad day” story you sent out the other day. Truly entertaining.

    Thanks,

    Travis

  • george

    Thanks for the story. I can relate to that. Now I know what to do on a sunday.

  • Madge

    I've read that fresh lemon juice in water helps cleanse the liver. Maybe that would be useful to incorporate on fast days? Also the lemon flavor might help with that yucky feeling of “fasting breath.”

  • Kimberley in HK

    Hey Roman,

    Great post. I have had real troubles with cheat days, as while I love them my body does not. It takes me about 4 days to get back to fighting form again if I have more than 1 small treat. Anyway I am going to try this and see if it works.

    I was wondering if anyone had tried this weekly fast using the 'miracle juice' from Ann Louise Gittleman's one day liver detox? It is a juice made up of mainly water with pure cranberry, orange / lemon and cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Basically the theory behind the juice components is:

    1. Cranberry and cirtus has vit C / ascorbic acid which thins and decongests bile making it easier for the liver to break down fats at peak efficiency. Vit C also helps production of glutathione (a major anti oxidant) which the liver requires for the 2 stage detox process. Vit C also binds to heavy metals for removal.

    2. Cranberries contain arbutin which is a diuretic that helps flush toxins for our system. Cranberries are rich in A, B, B2, B3, B5, B6, C and E as well as many other trace elements. There is also mounting evidence that cranberries could be very useful in preventing cancer, stroke and heart disease.

    3. Cinnamon contains a flavonoid that mimics the body's insulin regulating activities and helps control blood sugar metabolism. Studies have shown cinnamon is effective in combating type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon also aids digestion and improves blood circulation. All in all, one of the best fat fighting foods.

    4. Ginger cause blood vessels to expand. As this happens, blood flows more freely and your metabolism revs up. An Australian study (Int Jour of Obesity) has found as mush as a 20% impact on metabolism,

    5. Nutmeg is a 'warming' spice that aids digestion, helps fight hunger pangs, and of all things, reduces flatulence.

    Ok, so the absolute worst thing you can do for your liver – processed carbs, alcohol, caffeine, pesticides and excessive use of antibiotics.

  • Yi Shen

    Hello Roman,

    So does a 24 hours fast is alright?

    Thanks.

  • Rosa

    @Bud – It wasn't the fasting that wakes up cravings, but rather the cheat day.

  • James

    I can't argue too much when you look the way you do… buuut on the flipside you're coming from the opposite end of the scale to me. As a hard-gainer who weighs a lean 147lbs (formerly 116lbs) at 5'9, the idea of fasting scares the hell outta me.

  • Terry

    Hi John: you know, that's a heck of a good idea, wish I had tried that after being foolish the night before. Will definitely keep it in mind for next time. (Fasting that is)

    Thanks

  • Rosa

    Hey Roman,

    Thanks for the fast day after the feast tip. I'm going to try it this week. Love your humor and admire your stick-to-it-ness. It was great to hear some science behind the fast day, but I also love you didn't get too technical. Keep the good BS coming! We all need pep talks and knowing our “trainer” is human. Have a great day!

  • anup

    Hey John,

    This one is quite interesting. For your information many Hindus practice fasting on new moon and full moon days with a heavy dinner on the previous night. This ageold practise by Hindus through generations. I find striking similarities in the basic concept.

    Cheers,

    Anup

  • Em

    Hi John,

    I had a cheat day yesterday,its now lunch time and I've just read your post so I've already had breakfast and morning snack (just protein and veges so far).Will fasting for the rest of the day still help?? Or have I ruined the fasting benefits because I've already eaten?

  • sue

    Just want to say you crack me up. I enjoy your updates, keep them comin!

  • Jessica

    John,

    I agree that your honesty and levity makes the intensity of your program realistic. Life is not just perfection 24/7…and for lots of us, the longer we push for perfection the stronger our desires become to break the rules. I love how fasting feels, so I'm going to incorporate this into my routine. I like the idea of closing the day with a protein only meal. Makes sense. I can't believe you drink 2 gallons of water a day, I thought I drank a lot of water…I”m going to have to up that. I've told you this before, but your information is unique and original. Thanks for being so supportive with us.

    Jessica

    ps…where's the video of you dancing? If I'm ever on the east coast, I'm calling you boys.

  • Shame on 'youse guys'! Here we are, TRYING to live up to your guidance and you are off boozing and partying. As for me, I spend my time trying to eat properly and keep my blood sugar under control. It is VERY difficult for diabetics to lose weight – read that last statement again and AGAIN. Alcohol is NOT part of my life and I do just fine withour it. But I cannot deny a little enjoyment with it, just not for me. Will

  • Bud

    John,

    I just wanted to say thanks to Dr. Debra for mentioning that fasting can wake up cravings and am curious how you'll respond to that. Sugar cravings are tough for me.

    Oh by the way Roman, I wasn't preaching to you about getting drunk. As I said, “No explanation necessary.” I simply wanted to take the Yay-Party!! image away from your message, which is an important one.

  • Tara

    John! I say don't change a thing!!! The Blog is incredible and most certainly, NEVER leave out the Bullshit!! Makes it even more exciting and fun!! I love the story! and it's nice to know we are all human, afterall!! Cheers!!

  • Chris

    Hey Roman,

    Thats cool that you put in stories that are going on in your life. It makes for a good read. When you say fast for the day, do you not eat anything (until night)? How often do you have cheat days and fast days per week? Thanks.

    Chris

  • Bj

    Sup Roman,

    really nice post and i love the idea of having a fast day after a cheatday lol. even if i'm not really sure if i'm strong enough to keep it going over the day….

    But i see it like this: dont worry about drinking,also eat some fast-food if you have a hugh claim and of course have some fun with friends :) just because you have some weak moments in life you are not a bad workouter.

    I'm 17 i'm not the biggest but compared to the cunts around me i'm the over-pro hahaha and i love to have a pizza or two and go out in clubs with my friends and hit the bar and just leave after we killed 5-8 bottles of vodka but hey i'm fledgling i'm german so i say: who cares i just have to hit the school,gym or whatever at the next day….

    Tip from a young german: Drink min. 250ml milk before bed and eat some bread. i swear it safes your life ;)

    But again nice post cant wait to party with vince,joel and you :)

    see ya later bro Björn

  • Jeannie

    Wow, I had no idea the feast-fast would work. I am going into town in a limo Friday night and was worried what it will do to me surrounded by champagne and wine. I will prepare myself to fast the next day. Thanks for the article, it is good to know you are human.

  • Nicki

    Hey all…

    Love the fact that you can cheat, period! So many people preach discipline, discipline, discipline. But cheating the way you guys explain, not only works some kinda magic, but it's darn good for the morale too.

    Thanks for being there John.

    Keep it coming… Ciao

  • Ha, love the post and after spending a few hours with Vince i know what an influence he can be when it comes to drinking…

    In regards to the feast/fast, is it something that you recommend on a weekly basis (not including the alcohol?) year round?

    Do you cut it out once you get clost to comps??

  • cansin pek

    wow

    this explains why i was sooo fit during summer. loads of alcohol and dancing every night+training during day.

  • James

    Roman

    I have fasted for 14 days straight before. so the fasting won't be a problem. I was always wondering if a fast would be a good idea.

    Thanks for a great Blog!

  • Roman: Great blog…love your honesty…been there done that !!! I'm 53 years old and have been fasting a minimum of twice a month since I was a teen (my father introduced me to fasting). Nothing compares to the renewed feeling you get waking up the following morning. You just don't want to put ANY “junk food” into your revitalized system. Using this technique I have stayed the same size as I was at sixteen (combined with regular exercise and weight lifting, of course!).

  • Fred

    I never truly believed that Vince could out-dance you. When will we see you on dancing with the stars? I imagine tap dancing is really where you get down and dirty.

  • Always good to share your imperfections in a way that encourages others.

    Fasting of course has been around for eons and useful for many reasons. Giving your system a break is healthy and emotionally not focusing on food is healthy.

    Many recent weight loss approaches have used some form of this. Jordan Rubin's “The Great Physician's Rx” advocates partial fast days weekly. Brad Pilon's “Eat Stop Eat” uses fasting as its basis. It definitely has merit but not a carte blanche to abuse our body.

    Personally, for me cheat days don't work as they wake up cravings, but fasting is an awesome tool to help minimize the effects of “falling off the wagon” and for just allowing the body to have a day of R&R.

  • Ha, the Rat Pack! I like to think of us more like a cross between the guys from Entourage and the girls from Sex and the City (I'm Vince mixed with Samantha).

  • Jim Crowell

    I just did this this past weekend! :) I had my cheat day on Sunday…ate pizza, fruit loops, then went out to Red Robin and had a big burger with appetizer, shake, and all! When I went to bed, I was kinda regretting the day…haha But Monday was my fast day! Like you said, the first few hours was hard, but it wasn't too bad the rest of the day til my friends invited me out and I had to decline…I did get a headache at the end of the day, but I think I just wasn't drinking enough water.

    Thanks for the post, Roman!! Awesome stuff!

  • Lindsey

    great article! I know that I could easily do the feast fast. Do you do a feast/fast cycle every week? And do you workout on the fast day or not?

  • Jon Nelson

    well i can relate i used to drink especially when married to my 5th wife but since than ive become diabetic and cant drink (a blessing in disguise) anyhooo my bouts with booze were not pleasent and i really didnt know why i did it o start with soo yes i know how you felt and i did fast after a drunk (didnt know it was helpiing me stay in shape so to feel better i drank my eggs in a beer

  • @ Bud – Great points! I personally don't have an issue with drinking, it's just really not for me. Outside of when I spent two months in a wine course last year to educate my pallet (I recommend everyone do this) I just don't partake.

    As for drunkenness–counting Saturday I've been drunk exactly 4 times my entire life, and I don't really see that number goin' up too much higher!

    Anyway, thanks so much for the link to Bragg.com–I'll read up and get back with my thoughts.

  • Jacqueline

    Hey John, I've certainly tried fast days, sometimes they went well, sometimes not so well. When I get nauseous, then I eat immediately. A growling stomach I can handle, nausea not so much, also not feeling faint in the middle of a workday. If you can answer what to do via one of your emails, that will be great.

  • Bud

    OK Time for a few words from a much older man. First of all, for those of you squirming from some sort of moral discomfort. You are correct. There is nothing wrong with drinking. However (you knew I'd sneak one in here) there is definately something wrong with drunkeness. No explaination is necessary here.

    As for fasting, go to Bragg.com where you'll find super information about Mr. Bragg's fasting habits. It is a great site with great products but the books about the Bragg lifestyle and fasting are worth a read.

  • Amelia

    Its nice to know the 'rat pack' of fitness gets its kicks too. Next time you need some liquid courage to enter a dance contest forget the redheaded slut and go for a pig wrestler.

    Oh, and thanks for the info I am someone who needs a cheat day to keep on track, but always feels like crap the next day.

  • @ Per – I'd mainly advise against density training. That usually winds up being the most total volume so I do it on cheat days. I'd say other than that it's fair game!

  • @ Hadi – that's actually a subject for a whole post. I'll try to get it in soon.

  • @ Molly – John Berardi had an article about it a while back, I'll see if I can find a link. Brad Pilon talks a lot about it as well. I just sort of stumbled on it myself and liked the way it felt, so I kept at it.

  • @ Kirk – if you feel up to it, definitely do it. On fast days I generally prefer just high activity and a single lactic acid workout rather than dedicated cardio. I'll take my dog to the part, or in the summer go surfing or take a bike ride.

  • @ Christina – you could do a small casein drink, but I'd personally save it for the night. I wouldn't really worry about muscle loss in this instance, but as I said you could certainly have a shake post workout.

    Regarding timing of workout, you're absolutely correct–evening would be a bit better for further elevation of GH

  • @ Ed Marriott – I would say it in a different way, I guess. High leptin doesn't specifically spare LBM…it's more that you're less likely to LOSE LBM because the higher your leptin levels, the more easily you burn fat (over muscle).

  • @ Bill – Thanks, Bill, I appreciate the support. I try to keep the blog bullshit free =)

  • @ Ylwa – I'm usually giggly and I'm almost always hands, so drinking really just ups the ante. Although evidently I do a lot of accents when drinking.

    I would say we can experiment with fasts this month for sure.

    I normally do about 2 gallons of water per day normally, so I up it to 2.5 when fasting. Green tea and coffee would be okay.

  • Per

    If lactic acid training is the preferred brand of training on fast days, which kind of training would you advice against placing on a fast day? Heavy lifting/cardio/something else?

  • Hadi

    Hey John,

    once again another great post, keep 'em coming :)

    But I want to know, what is your and Joel Marion's 5 grand bet about?

  • Molly

    That was hilarious. Where did you learn about fasting? Is there a book you reccomend? I have started about 3 weeks ago fasting dinner to dinner once a week but I can say that I really don't have as much education on it as I would like. Thanks!

  • Kirk Fletcher

    This makes so much sense it's almost scary…

    Would hitting an intense interval cardio session on the Fast Day be beneficial or more detrimental to fat loss/muscle building?

  • Try just having cottage cheese or another slow digesting protein before bed. So fast till dinner or your pre-bed snack.

  • Ha, well the gallon of water in this case was really to offset the dehydration caused by the alcohol.

  • That's an interesting approach! I'm curious as to how that would affect you when you went back to a 'normal' eating schedule. I'm assuming the transition is fun!

  • It's MUCH easier after a cheat day. Also, you can “ease” into it by doing a fast for most of the day and then having a low carb dinner at about 8pm. That works pretty nicely as well.

  • I normally do lactic acid training on a fast day.

    In terms of a shake, if I'm trying to recomp, I'll have whey only shake. If I'm aiming for fat loss only, I ski[ the shake.

  • Mark

    Hey Sash, thanks for the input. That sounds like a good idea, perhaps more realistic. Will be interesting to hear John's thoughts on this also.

  • Christina

    Great tip and I can only agree, been doing a fast day after the cheat day for 4 weeks now and like it. It was good to finally get the scientific rationale for it, though – the liver/detox angle never occurred to me, since I usually don't drink (just eat for two). A fast day is not hard at all. It's a great guilt buster, you feel you're erasing yesterdays' sins. And it's kind of relaxing psychologically – we get so focused on food when we're dieting, all those decisions, temptations, all the information, it tends to dominate our brain. The fast day, you can let go of all that. No menu to plan, no decisions to make about portion size or dairy or no dairy or whatever, you don't even have to THINK about eating all day.

    Two questions, could it be beneficial to take a small portion of a casein protein drink, noon and evening, maybe, to avoid muscle loss? Or don't you worry about that at all for one day?

    And I've read that growth hormone is released only with an empty stomach. Can you confirm that our lactic acid training should take place on an empty stomach then? And closer to evenings, because more HGH would be released at night?

  • Alton

    Great advice!! Am currently overseas and heading home on R&R shortly so no doubt there will be a couple of indulgences (over??) when I catch up with family and friends again. Following a cheat day with a fast day makes the cheat day seem not so “cheaty” I suppose you could say.

    Thanks John, great advice as always, keep it up.

    Alton

  • Susan

    Roman- great blog and admission of guilty pleasures! The encouragment to fast after such a cheat is valuable and timely…seems like the world is on CYWT or some such program, with all of us trying desperately to fool our metabolism and get where we've set our goals. Thanks so much for the info and honesty.

  • Ed Marriott

    Hi, Roman.

    V funny post. But how does increased leptin levels spare LBM? Have not heard this before.

    KR

    Ed.

  • Sash

    Hey Mark,

    obviously I'm not john, but just like yourself im going to do a full 24 hour fast, but what i will do is actually stop eating around 8 pm saturday evening and then have my next meal 8pm sunday. This way I don't think I will be insanely hungry before bed.

    and thanks for raising the question in the call yesterday John.

    Sash

  • Bill

    Of all the fitness stuff I have read over the years I have to appreciate your honesty. Thanks for keeping it real and may the wild nights only lead to upset stomach and the what the @#%$.

    Have a good one.

  • Ylwa

    I don't know why, but I imagine you getting all giggly and a little handsy, when you get drunk?

    I've been curious about fasting for a while, maybe this month? On average how much water do you drink in a day when you fast? Coffee or tea allowed?

  • Mark

    Hey John, I have decided to do my first full fast tomorrow. Today is my cheat day and I did a density workout this morning. I think I will be able to complete the fast but my worry is not being able to sleep tomorrow night. I find it hard to fall asleep if im very hungry. Do you have any tips for counteracting this?

  • Clement

    Hi roman, this has to be my favourite post as it covers fasting's use in caloric restriction. Brad Pilon talks a lot about the health and hormonal benefits of fasting and I'm not sure if it works, but I do know it can regulate caloric intake very effectively. As a small 19 year old Asian male – I'm only 168cm and 120Ibs – I certainly can't eat as much as most people, especially since I'm looking to really bring out the definition in my body and go from 14% bodyfat to 7%. If I were to go for multiple meals a day, each meal would be excruciatingly small and unenjoyable! Thus, I do a different type of Intermittant Fasting: the way I do it is only eat between 12-8pm on weekdays, 2 moderately-portioned meals during that time, and fast for the rest of the day. I relax this rule on weekends but aim for 2 square meals a day, or one large one in the evening. Your way seems appealing as you don't have to restrict your food intake every single day and only have to practise self-discipline in not eating one day a week, but I'll probably stick to my method as I tend to follow a plan better if it becomes a ritual. I also don't really play with my macronutrient intake – for me, it's all about calories and eating as whole and natural as I can.

    A question though – why a gallon of water in the morning?

  • Meg

    Great blog! I think fasting really made a difference during my recomp stage. I was fasting (no water) for the whole month of Ramadhan, thats when I noticed the effect. When you're allowed to only eat for 8 hours at night, you're definitely going to eat hell of a lot to get that 300g of protein.

    Its like feast->fast everyday for a whole month.

    Looking back, I managed to lose more fat during that 4 weeks than i normally would and gained some muscle :)

  • Mark

    Hey John, great blog update. I did a one day fast last year for Ramadan to try and understand what it was like for some of my Muslim friends. Basically woke up at 3.50am and had breakfast then went back to sleep. Then I wasn't alowed to eat or drink anything until 7.50pm and we all met for dinner. I actually found it very difficult but I surprisingly managed it. I ate a lot at dinner! Not sure I could make a full day. May give it a go after a cheat day, I like the idea.

  • This is awesome info! I have avoided fasting at all costs but here you are saying it'll work well with CYWT, which I'm about 2 months into, so I guess I'll give it a shot. My tummy sure has not been enjoying cheat days. Thank you again!

  • Matty

    John,

    Sounds tantilizing. What type of training do you do on fass day? if any? and is water the only type of substance you take in? or post-workout shake?

    Matty

  • It'll depend. I'm in a strictly fat loss phase, I'll fast the whole day. If I'm more in a recomp mode, I'll have a protein only dinner. In that case, I'll also have a whey only shake after I train.

  • Becky

    I have been cheating then fasting for a couple of months now. Love it!!! John do you fast the entire day, no dinner either?

  • Boys will be boys. I love to eat my calories- drinking them seems like such a waste…I make a great designated driver and can hang with the drunkest of them all- until they get to puking…Sunday is my cheat day. Monday morning I hit the weights at 6AM, and would probably pass cold out if I didnt eat afterwards. Sorry but I dont have the guts to try this one. WR