A Breakdown of the Most Popular IF Variations
Today, we’re going to get in depth about the most popular Intermittent Fasting protocols. Before we begin, in the last article about Intermittent Fasting, I gave you a brief primer on the practice. In that article, we covered a definition of IF, as well as some of the general aspects of practice that are consistent with various types of IF.
To briefly summarize: Intermittent Fasting is the practice of abstaining from food for a predetermined period of time, generally in the range of 16-36 hours. The benefits of IF vary from hormonal optimization to hunger management and caloric reduction; which benefits are prioritized will be dependent on which “type” of IF you use.
In this article, I’ll give you a complete analysis of the most popular Intermittent Fasting styles currently discussed in the fitness world, benefits and drawbacks, as well as my own personal experience.
Given that the most obvious difference between each of these methods is the length of the fasting period, I’ve listed them in order of longest fast to shortest.
SUMMARY: The feast/fast model is my own small contribution to the world of intermittent fasting protocols, although its inception had nothing to do with the benefits of fasting.
When cheat days were a common dietary practice for me, it became apparent that while the benefits were clear in terms of fat loss and mental reprieve, the aftermath from the more extreme cheat days was unpleasant. A Sunday spent questing for caloric overload meant a Monday spent in the throes of intestinal distress.
I’d come from the old school bodybuilding mentality of, “if you fall off the wagon, get right back on, immediately.” The conventional wisdom of the ancient Bro Gods intoned that you’d do more harm than good if you long deviated from your typical dietary intake, even on the heels of a cheat day.
After a night of eating pasta, ice cream, brownies, and steak–often, all at once–, force-feeding myself a cup of oatmeal and four eggs was the last thing I wanted to do. And yet, for years, that’s exactly what I did.
After some time, I discarded the bodybuilding “rules” and started pushing my first meal of the day back by a few hours. Eventually, I stopped eating altogether.
My results, I am happy to say, improved. Thus was born the feast/fast model.
BENEFITS: When I started looking into fasting (mainly to justify my not-eating), I came across a few different reasons why the feast/fast worked so well; some had to do with fasting, obviously, but there is some stuff that has to do specifically with the cheat day as well.
Like any style of fasting, removing food for an extended period of time can lead to fat loss, because it often leads to lower caloric intake. However, a fast coming on the heels of a cheat day is somewhat more specific.
As I’ve written about this before, the abridged version:
Prolonged reduction of caloric intake results in downregulation or reduced production of a hormone called leptin. As leptin levels drop, so too does the production of thyroid hormones T3 and T4, resulting in an overall metabolic slowdown. Fat loss, itself being influenced by those factors, also slows down. As leptin levels are in large part dependent on caloric intake, the influx of a large caloric surplus–occurring in a “cheat”–bumps those levels up a bit, thereby increasing the rate of fat loss.
Scheduling a period of fasting subsequent to a cheat day, therefore, does two things:
While it is difficult to quantify the in-vivo effects of such practices without hormonal panels, the practicality of the feast/fast approach is unassailable. That said, while this was created in an effort to alleviate discomfort, it also happened to work in terms of enhanced efficacy.
There are a few here.
The first is that in order for this to be applicable, you have to have a cheat day—can’t exactly do a feast/fast without the feast. Some people don’t like cheat days (I know, weird, right?). I made a pretty compelling argument for the inclusion of cheat days here, but if you don’t like them, you don’t have to use them.
From there, the main drawback is that you’re really looking at a 32-36-hour fasting period. If your last meal on your cheat day is before bed (assume 10PM) on Sunday, and you don’t eat at all on Monday, your first meal is breakfast Tuesday morning. For a number of people, this has proved to be a pretty difficult thing to do.
I believe that with some practice just about anyone can abstain from food for an extended period of time with little discomfort, but for a lot of people, the idea of going without food for a day and a half is a bleak proposition.
For these people, I let them keep the training wheels on for a few weeks: I’ll allow people a small dinner on Monday night, to take the edge off of the hunger. This won’t detract from any of the hormonal stuff, it just adds some calories where there weren’t any before.
I am a big fan of cheat days, so I use this method nearly every week. I like my cheat days to coincide with Sundays—because, call me crazy, but I like wings and nachos when I watch football.
This means that Mondays, I don’t eat AT ALL. I think this is a good fit for most people – Monday happens to be the busiest day for most people (myself included), and so if ever there was a time where it helped to free up a few hours by not eating, this is it. Also, since people are busier, they tend not to realize they’re hungry. Overall, this is a fantastic combo that works very well for most people.
OVERALL IMPRESSIONS: Again, this is my method, so I can’t really be objective here, but it’s worked well for me in the past, and all of my clients who have tried it.
SUMMARY: A 24-hour fasting period is essentially what it sounds like: if your last meal is at 8pm on Monday, then you simply do not eat again (at all) until Tuesday at 8pm. This can be done 1-3 times per week, with 2 being the most common iteration.
It’s impossible to talk about 24-Hour fasts without talking about Brad Pilon and his book Eat-Stop-Eat, which is the definitive book on this style of fasting. ESE has been around for several years, but Brad continues to publish updated versions with more science whenever he can. It’s a well-researched book that also happens to be well-written.
Brad was one of the first people talking about IF, and his approach to it is one of “lifestyle, not diet.” Brad discussed much of this in an interview I did with him, which you can read here.
The 24-hour fast works well for a number of reasons. The first of these is that it is easily adaptable to any lifestyle, and it’s very hard to screw up. The only rule is “don’t eat” for 24 hours. As mentioned above, this is much easier than a 36 hour fast, especially for those new to it.
Secondly, like most methods of fasting, the abstinence from caloric intake for large periods of time is going to be a large part of the reason for success.
For example, if you generally eat 2,000 calories every day, that’s 14,000 calories over the course of a week.
If you remove two of those days, you’re eating 4,000 calories less. Without any other changes to your lifestyle, you’d be on pace for over a pound of fat per week. Even if you “compensate” and eat a little more on the days you’re not fasting, you are still going to wind up with a fairly substantial caloric deficit. Add in some exercise, and it’s not hard to see consistent weight loss.
Caloric manipulation aside, this style of fasting works incredibly well because of the effect that fasting has on your overall hormonal environment.
More specifically, when we talk about fasting, we’re really going to talk about two hormones: insulin and growth hormone.
With regard to insulin, it seems that the less often you eat, the less often you raise insulin levels. This is not surprising, obviously. It’s even less surprising that this would lead to fat loss, since we know that chronically elevated insulin levels make it very difficult to lose fat.
Therefore, if you’re eating less often, you’re going to have fewer insulin issues—even if you’re eating the same foods in the same amounts. (This, by way, is a pretty strong argument against the popular frequent feeding method of 5-6 meals per day). However, while fasting and infrequent feeding help to control insulin and keep it low, that’s not enough to stimulate fat loss…unless growth hormone is present.
That is, if insulin AND growth hormone are both low, there isn’t a huge effect on fat loss. And so, while insulin management is important, growth hormone management is even more important.
Which brings us to the very predictable point: The effect of fasting on growth hormone is incredibly important.
Your body releases GH pretty consistently, but research has shown increased secretion of growth hormone in three specific instances:
- During/immediately after sleep
- After exercise (as little as 10 minutes)
- During and immediately after a fast
Looking at these three things—all of which are thoroughly discussed in Pilon’s Eat-Stop-Eat—it’s not hard to come up with a “best of all worlds” scenario.
If you produce a lot of GH while sleeping, and you produce it while fasting, then the obvious way to combine these is to continue fasting after you wake, allowing for prolonged GH secretion; from there, exercise will allow for increased production in addition to your prolonged secretion.
Overall, this maximizes both the presence of GH and its effect; and in addition, the elevated GH in combination with the low insulin is a deadly one-two punch to your body fat.
Finally, one of the main benefits of both this style of fasting and the book itself is the incredible flexibility of the program and the ease with which you can adapt it to your lifestyle—you can fast any day you like, and can move it around at will to suit your social life, which is important.
There aren’t many here. The main problem that clients of mine seem to have here is that 24 hours seems like a long time to go without food; however, this is not unique to 24-hour fasting.
That said, there are some people who seem to have genuine problems with abstaining from food for significant length of time—in particular, people with low blood sugar seem to have an issue. If you fall into this category, you may want to tread lightly.
The only other real problem here would be for people who don’t want to miss out on post-workout nutrition but find the need to train on fast days. This can be alleviated by either moving your workout to the end of the fasting period, or simply scheduling your off days and fast days to coincide.
This is a style of fasting I tend to use when I get very busy and have to train in the evenings.
Also, I use this pretty much any day when I have to go out to a large social dinner and am not going to be watching my diet. For example, if I am going out on a Friday night, I might make my least meal Thursday at 8pm. Then, at dinner Friday, I’ll get to eat a lot of food, perhaps enjoy dessert, and be fine, even if I go out after and eat again.
While this type of fasting is suitable for more than “damage control,” it works well for me in an occasional fashion. However, for many of my coaching clients, this is a sort of “every other day” approach that works well with them.
More than anything else, I frequently find myself referring people to Pilon’s book as an IF primer, and a good resource for understanding a lot of the science behind why fasting works, and I’ll make that recommendation here: check out Brad’s site and book for more info.
SUMMARY: The Warrior Diet was the first type of structured fasting that I tried. I initially read about it in an interview with the author, Ori Hofmekler on T-Nation back in 1999. I tried the diet for the first time in 2002.
Simply, the diet is, in theory, a 20-hour fast followed by a 4-hour feeding period; as the name implies this is inspired by the nutritional habits of the warriors of antiquity, who certainly weren’t in the habit of eating six meals per day.
Instead, warriors in cultures ranging from Roman centurions to the Spartan elite subsisted on one to two meals: a large meal in the evening and (sometimes) a small meal in the morning; according to the author, that is.
The diet itself is modeled after this type of eating schedule; however, it’s worth noting that this is often criticized for not being “true” IF.
That is, in most cases, while having a small breakfast and a large dinner will probably work for weight loss, there may only be 8-10 hours between them…which, some people posit, isn’t long enough to get the benefits of fasting.
Moreover, during the fasting part of the day, the diet allows for mild consumption—you’d be allowed to eat a few servings of raw fruits and vegetables, and a few servings of protein (protein shakes included) if needed/wanted. These are kept quite small. Having said that, some fasting purists understandably maintain that Warrior Dieting, should you choose to exercise these options, is not fasting. Thus, you won’t tap into the full benefits of intermittent fasting.
As I mentioned in my most frequently asked questions about intermittent fasting, there is some grey area in what fasting actually means. For more information on the Warrior Diet specifically (rather than a simple 20-hour fast) you can dive into Hofmekler’s book.
Much like a 24-hour fast, a 20-hour fast allows you to reap the hormonal benefit of increased growth hormone. And, like all fasting, generally will result in fewer calories being consumed.
The benefit that is unique to this type of fasting is that you’re generally eating one large meal and, therefore, the makeup of such a meal isn’t as important as you might think; as long as you get adequate protein, you can eat “junkier” foods and still do well.
Moreover, having only one meal makes life pretty simple, and less thinking means fewer screw-ups.
On the flip side of that coin, once again we’re running into the issue of hunger; and again, this isn’t unique to Warrior Dieting.
The main drawback in my experience comes from the meal itself—trying to get all of your calories in a single meal means that meal is, by necessity, quite large; so large, in fact, that eating it often leads to discomfort. This is why many people turn to less wholesome foods: getting in 2000 calories of chicken, veggies, and rice isn’t nearly as easy as getting it in chicken wings and French fries.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: A generally good dietary practice, and certainly easy to follow.
One criticism often made is that the points are made via story and anecdote, with very little in the way of scientific evidence to support the arguments. While some IF authorities dismiss The Warrior Diet based on that, I feel it should be respectfully acknowledged, given that it was the book that got people talking several years back.
Moreover, while the book does lack in science, it’s truly an enjoyable read. The author has a very engaging writing style and adding to the fun is the fact that he was an editor for Penthouse.
Plus, if that wasn’t cool enough, as mentioned earlier, this diet is based on the eating habits of awesome warriors–including Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Heir to the Throne of Gondor, of the Lord of the Rings fame.
Seriously, check it out. In this video, Aragorn debates the merits of Warrior Dieting vs. Frequent Feeding with Pippin:
SUMMARY: Popularized by Martin Berkhan, Leangains or 16/8 Intermittent Fasting is a daily fasting method that requires abstaining from food for 16 hours, with the remaining 8 hours comprising the feeding window. During this time, users may eat as many (or few) meals as desired, with the most frequent iteration being three meals.
Designed specifically with training in mind, the 16/8 method has specific post-workout suggestions and recommendations; as such, 16/8 is the most popular form of Intermittent Fasting among those who train for aesthetics and physique enhancement.
Berkhan is great in terms of showing his research, his clients get excellent results, and is one of the few people aside from myself who liked Final Fantasy 6 better than the inferior but infinitely more popular FF7.
BENEFITS: In addition to having all of the benefits inherent in other types of Intermittent Fasting, the 16/8 method is a stand out as it allows for an advanced level of hormonal management.
While something like 24-Hour fasting or Alternate Day Fasting will give you these benefits, these methods are not for daily practice, whereas 16/8 is. This means that you are going to have a daily increase in GH, potentially increasing the effects.
Moreover, daily practice (obviously) usually equates to a consistent feeding schedule, which is better for hunger management. Put another way, some people experience difficulty with fasting for 24-36 hours because they do it infrequently; not an issue with daily practice.
Finally, condensing all food intake to an 8-hour window leads to greater satiety, as a number of studies have borne out that larger, infrequent meals are superior to small, frequent meals.
DRAWBACKS: There are very few drawbacks to this style of IF, and these mainly come from scheduling. You see, from everything I’ve seen and read, the LG protocol is MOST effective if the workout is performed in a fasted state, and the meals that breaks the fast are immediately post-workout.
For some, execution can become a little impractical; for most people, adhering to that simple rule forces them to shift the feeding window to inconvenient times.
I find that most of my clients are able to workout either in the morning (roughly 6am, before work) or in the evening (6pm), after work.
Given that we want to have a 16-hour fasting window that ends with the postworkout meal and begins an 8-hour feeding window, you can see how either of those times present some issues. For example, let’s look at 6am. In order for this to work as your first meal, your last meal is going to be at 4pm (allowing you to fast for 16 hours for your next feeding window).
I addressed scheduling issues in this article covering many of the frequently asked questions about Intermittent Fasting, but it’s worth touching pointing out some potential problems with this set up:
That said, if you’re looking to try 16/8 and can only work out in the AM, it’s certainly doable, just be aware of this going in. And, of course, this “problem” is really only applicable to certain people.
Like any other style of eating, make it work for you—within the rules of the system.
This style of fasting fits very well with my life as I work from home.
For me, it’s very easy to plan my meals and workouts around one another, and making last minute changes isn’t a problem.
Most days of the week—usually Wednesday through Saturday—I do some form of 16/8. I like to workout anywhere between 12 and 2pm, so I just judge my last meal the night before based on when I’m going to train the next day. Sometimes I’ll wind up with an 18 hour fast instead of 16, but, again, this is really no big deal.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: Of all Intermittent Fasting protocols, 16/8 is probably the most sophisticated, in terms of both intention and execution. While most fasting is effective mainly because it prevents you from eating, the Lean Gains style is really about making your hormones your bitch. Which is awesome.
This style of IF is best for serious folks and those who are already lean; and, again, this is the only style of IF that was designed specifically with fitness-oriented people in mind, and therefore yields exceptional results for folks who train consistently.
Fasting is just not eating. But there are ways to not eat strategically. This overview of the most popular types of Intermittent Fasting (as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each) should provide enough insight to guide you towards the method that’s right for you. If you’re looking to try an IF plan, simply choose from those above, and read up on them.
While all of them are effective, the most important thing is to choose the one that fits in best with your lifestyle, and give yourself the greatest advantage.
One final point: specifically because Intermittent Fasting is not a diet, it lends itself well to nearly anything that is a diet. You can practice Intermittent Fasting regardless of your nutritional restrictions or preferences—it doesn’t matter if you’re low carb, Keto, Paleo, vegan, or anything in between.
Intermittent Fasting is a way of eating, a nutritional lifestyle that will allow you to reach your goals in an efficient and convenient manner, and then hold onto your physique once you achieve it.
Comments for This Entry
PearlandvbIs there any benefit to extended cheating, as in a "cheat week?" I've been doing the 24 hour fasts two to 3 times a week and have lost 10 lb pretty easily. I'm a relatively sedentary 55 year old female. I noted that at a certain point I seemed to "plateau" at 150 lb. I went on a vacation to an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica and ate like an absolute pig. Came home 3 pounds heavier, but then when I resumed my intermittent fasting I noted much more rapid weight loss and seemed to break through my "plateau" to get down to 145. Now a month later I seem to plateau again.
February 23, 2018 at 6:39 am
sly72during the fasting time can i drink coffee or something else ?
February 21, 2018 at 5:32 pm
James JohnsonI have been doing IF for a few weeks now and am enjoying it. Things were fine until the resent death in the family. The family is insisting on having this hugefamily breakfast. This would break my fast about 5 hours earlier than usual. How does this affect my regimine? Will I end up totally off track or what?
January 16, 2018 at 6:30 am
Mark DoddINteresting cheers matey
July 11, 2017 at 8:09 am
SidhikaI recently started the 16/8 fast and I won't be ale to get a workout in until 7:30 tonight, at this point my feeding window will be done. Do you suggest that I start fasting or have a post workout meal?
June 5, 2017 at 11:45 am
Aaron KeoghSo, lets say I fast until 1/2pm everyday and eat my last meal at 8pm. What time is best to hit the gymnasium??? By the way my aim is fat loss and muscle growth.
April 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm
Sween YoungHi - I saw you said black coffee wont break a fast - what about medication? I've got one and a half small tablets I take every morning - do you think that will interfere at all? They don't need to be taken with food. Thanks! I'm doing the first day of the 16/8 today after reading your articles.
December 12, 2016 at 5:06 pm
Margaret VanIderstineHi there :) For me my schedule would work best with 15 to 15.5hrs fast time; would that make much of a difference? And of all I've read (comments) I have not seen any from females. I am assuming that IF is unisex, correct? Thanks in advance, Maggie from Canada :)
November 12, 2016 at 5:07 pm
Mark LammeySo I'm aware this article was posted essentially forever ago so I doubt I'll get a response to this but figured I'd try. I've been doing this exact same feast/fast method (same feast day on Sundays no less...it's football day, how could I not). Anyway I'm not concerned with the feast day itself as I'm great with just making it a larger quantity of homemade pancakes and protein ice cream rather than actual junk food. Then, Monday fast day, got it no problem. My only question is Tuesday-Saturday...do you just go back to your normal diet routine as usual? That's what I've been doing Tuesday-Friday but not really set in stone on Saturdays. Sometimes I feel as though I should just treat it as a normal day but then sometimes I wonder if I should treat is closer to a fasting day as its the day before the feast. Any thoughts? Thanks a lot in advance for any help!
August 16, 2016 at 3:33 am
Hilary AbuhoveThis website IS glorious! As an editor, I especially appreciate how beautifully written it is ;-) (Did you go to a Catholic grammar school?) The articles are so informative and firmly grounded in the latest research. I'm a fan! (Deets: Just turned 50, dumped by boyfriend a month ago, have 50 lbs. to lose... have lost 9 lbs. so far on 16:8 after just one month.) Thanks for this great website, Roman!
June 22, 2016 at 7:52 am
Karen Sutherland OConnorHi, I have been on the 16/8 for a couple of weeks now and I just read its really for lean people , those who are doing training. But I'm neither lean nor training. I like this as it works better with my hours of work. Apart from seeking all the benefits from fasting I also want to lose 10kilos.. can I still continue with 16/8 or should I change my IF?
June 3, 2016 at 7:21 pm
cncOn 16/8, I think you got the time wrong, for the folks who can only work out in the morning. It's actually Fast 2pm - 6am feast 6am - 2pm
May 3, 2016 at 4:05 pm
Superboy 60Been IF for more than 40 years with the "Warrior" diet and never even knew it had a "name." At 68, my labs are better than when I was in my 30s.
March 31, 2016 at 7:17 am
AngelesHi! =) i'm fasting from 7pm to 12pm , my workout is from 730 am to 9am I drink my protein shake before and after training but will do 2 big meals after 12pm to 7pm. Is this ok? I'm looking for muscle and fat burn in order to tone.
March 22, 2016 at 2:41 pm
MummyExcellent article. Thank you. I needed that.
November 2, 2015 at 5:31 am
Mojorisen XI'm a little confused and would like some clarification. In the article above it says for the 16/8 the best process is to end your 16 hour fast with a workout and a meal right after. Yet in the FAQ's you said to the person who works out before work that it may imapct some of the hormone benefits by working out and breaking the fast after the workout. It sounds like he is doing what the article above states. Thats my confusion. I'm hoping the one above is best since that falls in line with my timing for the 16/8. I love this info and all your doing to help those of us not completely in the know. Either way I anticipate seeing positive results, thanks...
October 29, 2015 at 7:11 am
Fernando SantosIs there a problem in following 16/8 from monday to friday. Cheat day on saturday and 36 hours fast on Sunday?
October 11, 2015 at 8:30 pm
PatrickAnother great primer. Thank you!
September 23, 2015 at 7:07 pm
bruno Andradefirst just let me thank you for the very usufull insights in IF. I´m just beggyning to adress thr subject, and i was wondering if i can make, for starters a 19/5 method, once a week so it can fit with my lifestyle.Or should i´ll do it everyday? So, my feasting period would be between 3 PM and 8 PM, and would fast for 19 hours. do you think its possible? Namasté
September 19, 2015 at 8:25 pm
Jason BoggsMy IF diet is 3/36 hour fasts Monday -Friday with a 2 hour eating window ONLY on Tuesday and Thursday from 5pm to 7pm. HOWEVER....I do have two cups of a modified version of BP coffee on those Tuesday and Thursday mornings (3am to 5am) which consist of a total of 76 grams of fat and 4 grams of carbs (I add two tbls heavy cream to my BP coffee as well as the butter and MCT oil). My question is will this 700 calories of mostly fat hinder my GH production as well as my fat loss?
August 5, 2015 at 3:55 pm
VanHey John. I'm following the Lean Gains protocol. What should my carb intake be if my goal is fat loss. I currently train 4 days per week with weights and 1day cardio. I have 16% body fat. Thanks. Awesome review.
July 16, 2015 at 8:03 pm
Korenna ColquittNew reader here, enjoyed your style. Your editor however is fired. I'm going to try the every other day. Hope it goes as well as you say :)
July 13, 2015 at 4:43 pm
Tammie BrooksGreat article thank you! I've been doing 36hr IF for almost 7yrs now and love it. I follow Isagenix 30 day cleanse as a lifestyle(1 cleanse day per week). Have you ever looked at the independent clinical studies? Really good science that backs up what you have written here. Awesome stuff!
May 13, 2015 at 7:13 pm
TXMAN2015Is eating Low carb OK when fasting?
April 25, 2015 at 2:20 am
April 9, 2015 at 4:18 pm
MarkoHello, I really like your post because I'm new to IF and it's written well. I have few more questions. I am on keto diet for 7-8 months now. I lost 10kg of fat and gain 5kg of lean muscle. But I'm hardly to lose fat around belly (I'm a lot under stress so maybe it can be because of cortisol according to poliquin's biosignature modulation) and never before I didn't see my abs. I'm 28, 172cm, 93kg, with 22% bf. Anyway I decided to try IF with 23/1 keto. I'm doing it for 6 days now. I eat around 140g of protein (without shakes) and 100g of fat and max 30g of carbs. Around 1700kcal. Should I eat more? First it was planed with 60g of more fat but then I went with that. I'm not hungry during the day.I feel fine but sometimes I get little foggy in my brains. When should this end? Should I eat more fat and less protein? My day: wake up around 8p.m. drink plain coffe then I go for a run-moderate cardio for about 30min. After that I drink whey isolate with 24g proteins. After 3h or 4h I go to resistant training 5-10min of warm up, then no more than 40min of resistant training 3x12 reps. Supersetting back and chest, then legs normally, shoulders normally and arms normaly, then I repeat with here and there day off. Before resistant training I drink preworkout booster with creatine 2g, beta alanine1,5g, bcaas 2g, caffeine, tyrosine and caffeine,... and postworkout is isolate 50g of proteins. Then I feast 1h after my shake. Maybe 1meal or 2meals within the hour.normally somewhere between 14h-15h or so. Give or take 1h. So my trainings are always in fast state and little before feast. Should I drink some isolate before cardio and resistant training? Is it good if I drink isolate after cardio? Should I drink isolate 1 hour after running or workout according to this http://chadwaterbury.com/the-truth-about-post-workout-nutrition/ Do you have any recomendation or supplement for lowering cortisol or how to target belly fat (there is for around 20 years and it's hard). I don't know if poliquin's biosignature modulation works I just heard of it and there is little to none written on internet about how you can do it. My main goal is to lose fat and preserve muscle. With best regards feom Slovenia, Marko
March 26, 2015 at 2:04 pm
Khaeruddin IsalwayshungryHey, I just wanna ask is it possible to combine both Eat Stop Eat (on my rest days) and Leangains (during my workoutdays) together?
March 22, 2015 at 11:11 am
Biohacking, intermittent fasting & experiments on self | Move Your Body Move Your Mind[…] By far my most favourite biohack has been intermittent fasting, the feeling I’ve had since I began this practice has been incredible. I first began exploring intermittent fasting after reading super trainer & kick ass writer John Romaniello’s articles about how it can not only benefit your body but enhance training You can read those articles here & here. […]
March 4, 2015 at 12:59 pm
Mario Natanael Valdesquick question. Does free vegies interrupt the effects of fasting?
February 17, 2015 at 3:27 am
bente_jenteYes. Unless you are only looking for the weight loss. If you want the full health benefits, no other intake than water, (green) tea and coffee.
February 17, 2015 at 1:27 pm
Ruben G.If im doing the Warrior diet, can I break my fast earlier in the day ? So let's say I fast in the morning until 3 pm and eat my large meals until 7 pm then I fast for the remaining 5 hours. So, that would add up to 20 hours of fasting, with a 4 hour window in between, but I don't know if that affects the fat burning process.
January 26, 2015 at 5:57 pm
Ruben G.if i want to try the warrior diet can i have my large meal earlier in the day. Let's say I wake up and fast until 3 pm, break fast and eat my large meals until 7 pm then fast the rest of the day, so that would leave me with the remaining 5 hours of fasting. i don't know if breaking the fast earlier ruins the fat burning process, but I'm just curious.
January 26, 2015 at 5:23 pm
Intermittent Fasting FAQ[…] how prominently Intermittent Fasting is featured in my programs, and how often I discuss various Intermittent Fasting protocols it’s not surprising that I get a lot of questions about the practice. What’s okay? What […]
January 19, 2015 at 7:01 pm
EmeritaHi - I just started IF and it's been good so far. I am concerned because my only time to workout is in the morning, starting around 6:30pm...and my feed time is from 12pm-8pm. Would a post-workout protein shake be "breaking the fast"? Am I losing muscle by not eating after my workout? It would be really difficult to change my feeding time given my family and work.
June 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm
Chanda Morseif I can only work out at night, and my workout ends at 9pm, should I try to remain fasted and then have my entire eating window be post workout even though I go to bed by 10? I don't have a problem getting all my calories and macros in in such a short period, but it does make for a quite large meal right before bedtime. So, basically I would be doing a 23/1 fasting protocol.
June 18, 2014 at 9:43 pm
Ivana Ivanče Martinović LazendićI really want to try IF but I am just having a little confusion. I guess I'm not sure how to work it out into my lifestyle. I prefer an evening workout. I usually do it at 7PM. I'm not someone who has difficulty with managing hunger and I also have about 40 lbs I'd like to drop, which I have packed on very recently and have about 30% body fat. I'm open to any type of IF but feel that 16/8 would probably be best. Any suggestions on a daily feeding schedule?
April 22, 2014 at 3:23 pm
Exercising On an Empty Stomach: The Surprising Benefits | NovaSpire[…] and 1,300 percent in women. The effect ends when the fast does, which is a compelling reason to fast regularly in order to keep muscle-friendly hormones at their highest […]
March 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm
Exercising On an Empty Stomach: The Surprising Benefits | Health Care Tips, Women's Health, Men's Health, Newsonlymyhealthtips[…] and 1,300 percent in women. The effect ends when the fast does, which is a compelling reason to fast regularly in order to keep muscle-friendly hormones at their highest […]
March 23, 2014 at 11:50 am
Fitness Healthy | Everything about Fitness and Sports[…] and 1,300 percent in women. The effect ends when the fast does, which is a compelling reason to fast regularly in order to keep muscle-friendly hormones at their highest […]
March 21, 2014 at 9:48 pm
Flexible Dieting 101 - Sohee Fit[…] learned this concept from Martin Berkhan’s site, LeanGains. Check out John Romaniello’s recent article to read about other styles of intermittent […]
March 14, 2014 at 4:29 pm
My Renegade Fasting experiment | Deadlift Dungeon[…] John Romaniello on the basics of fasting and the various methods […]
February 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm
Attention - Massive Fasting Weight Lost on Intermittent Fasting Program! | Weight Loss Diets[…] to see for myself. I’ve been back on StrongLifts 5×5 since mid-November and started IF maybe 4 weeks ago; I can definitely see good progress and my energy levels/strength gains/fat loss […]
January 30, 2014 at 6:16 am
Mike LongTotal Holistic Nutrition and Variety so a 10-20 cal drink intraworkout would be ok? Not promoting but I like iforce compete which is 10 cals/scoop. i just started IF monday, and due to work today was my first fasted workout but all i had was a preworkout 0 cal and some plain bcaa powder. But I'd like to use my compete but I def worry about using anything. I posted above but I thought even BCAA's caused an insulin response?
January 29, 2014 at 1:34 pm
Mike LongI thought taking BCAA's resulted in an insulin spike or release anyway? Doesn't this in effect break the fast? I was also curious about taking a preworkout prior to fasted training. One with zero cals should be ok?
January 28, 2014 at 8:57 pm
DonalHi I am wondering if cheat days should be continued through the "Surge" and "Complete" phases of the "Engineering the Alpha program". It was not clear to me if I should stop having weekly cheat days after the Adapt stage and just stick to 16/8.....or if a weekly cheat day should still happen every sunday right through the "Surge" and "Complete" phases. By the way, the whole program is going great for me.
January 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm
Do Cheat Days Work? The Cheat Day Cheat Sheet - Roman Fitness Systems[…] fasting the day following the cheat. Ideally, you shouldn’t eat at all: this is an intermittent fasting protocol known as Feast/Fast; it creates a huge caloric deficit following the caloric overload. In […]
January 10, 2014 at 9:41 pm
Weight loss | Weight Loss Fat Loss Tips & Tricks[…] to see for myself. I’ve been back on StrongLifts 5×5 since mid-November and started IF maybe 4 weeks ago; I can definitely see good progress and my energy levels/strength gains/fat loss […]
January 9, 2014 at 11:21 pm
protein 07 | Diet Tips[...] to see for myself. I’ve been back on StrongLifts 5×5 since mid-November and started IF maybe 4 weeks ago; I can definitely see good progress and my energy levels/strength gains/fat loss [...]
December 28, 2013 at 12:45 am
DurezaI gotta ask.. can I drink water during my fasting? people have their own opinions on this but I really wanna be sure.
December 4, 2013 at 9:29 am
You Win This Round, Vegas - Roman Fitness Systems[...] Joel and I started experimenting with various intermittent fasting styles following the cheat day to allow me (and my poor stomach) some time to recover and reset—and [...]
November 22, 2013 at 9:05 pm
Intermittent Fasting for Fat Loss[...] Time to sound off! In part two, Intermittent Fasting 201, I give a break down of YOUR favorite forms of IF, but I need to know what they are. Let’s [...]
November 13, 2013 at 4:36 am
Coach JCGood stuff my man! So have you found a way to make the 16/8 work effectively with someone that has to train in the am? You propose the problems above...any solutions besides to break your fast with your PW meal and not eating after 4pm? Thanks Boss!
November 10, 2013 at 9:24 pm
Jimbo JamesJust happened to see this.. you may drink Water, Coffee and any Calorie and Carb free drinks you have available.
September 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm
Angela UrseryNice summary; thank you for your work. Note that Berkman now states that even someone at 45% BF can benefit from LeanGains, a switch from his earlier position. And when you say it is for people who are serious, I do hope you don't me humorless...;-)
September 13, 2013 at 2:28 am
Grackos2 things; 1) FF7 is better than FF6 Roman 2) following your book, fest/fast isnt fasting for 24h, but 42h if the first meal of the week is Tuesday 2PM. I have done it for several weeks and its not easy, but its doable. And yes, you end up cutting the weekly calories by a lot.
September 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm
Prince JundiI have a question Roman. In the lean-gain 16/8 IF style can I drink water during the fasting moment?
August 31, 2013 at 10:22 pm
Intermittent Fasting 201 – Roman Fitness Systems | Fat Loss Fab[...] Go to this article [...]
August 26, 2013 at 4:39 am
Davidare there any types of IF specifically for Muscle Gain?
August 20, 2013 at 1:50 am
Mandy HI'm a little confused as to what you eat during the feeding window, or rather, how often. I get that you eat to break the fast right after (or hour after) a workout, but during that 8 hour window (for 16/8), do you eat just the once, or three times a day, or just any eating schedule?
August 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm
AbdelrahmanGreat Article I loved it But i have a Question for you a friend of mine recommend that i should train in the 8 hours window to not lose muscle so if i worked out in the fasting will i lose muscle as he says or what ??
July 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm
Ruben Rodriguez IIIWow
July 10, 2013 at 12:50 am
The Eating Plan | The Forward Shift[...] I am trying to incorporate full 24 hour fasts the day after cheat days, based on the John Rominello feast/fast intermittent fasting style. I don’t want to do a full 36 hour fast following a cheat day as he [...]
July 7, 2013 at 3:26 am
Gabriel MutisDo amino acids EAA break fast?
July 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm
Intermittent Fasting | Blu3yy's - Fat Blaster blog[...] John Romaniello: Intermittent Fasting 101 and 201 [...]
June 26, 2013 at 5:15 am
CeeIf you only opt to eat one meal a day in a roughly 23/1 window, doesn't this effectively fit the criteria for all of the IF styles mentioned? For example, let's say I eat one large meal every day--Sunday through Saturday--at 6 PM. I'm full by 6:15 or 6:30 PM. (Large meal--but likely fewer calories than the daily recommended!) I fast (I don't eat again) until 6 PM the next day. Isn't this a 24-Hour Fast (aka Eat-Stop-Eat) every day--except without the limitation of 1 - 3 days to achieve more effective results? (I'm unsure what benefit there is to limit this to 1-3 days, unless it's simply to make it easier for people who want to eat normally on the other days.) With the Warrior Diet, eating only at 6 PM every day also seems to fit into the 20 hour fasting and 4 hour eating window. (Only 15 to 30 minutes or so is used of the four hour window, but it still falls within it.) And the 20 hour minimum fasting window is met--but is actually surpassed to a roughly 23 hour window. Is the only difference that the Warrior Diet requires a *maximum* window of 20 hours to make it easier for people--or is surpassing that window to 23 hours simply the same diet with more effective results? Finally, just as on the Warrior Diet, eating once a day would also fall within the windows of the 16/8 (LeanGains). In short, are the main differences between these IF plans is that they explicitly define a maximum window--you must eat within 8 hours and you must fast no more than 16 hours, for example, in the 16/8 plan? If I simply ate once a day at the same time every day, wouldn't the disadvantages you mentioned in terms of scheduling around work etc. be null and void because I'm not eating multiple times a day within extended multi-hour windows but rather only within one--and yet still reaping all of the hormonal benefits you mentioned of the 16/8 plan, and in fact, exceeding them? I feel that I must be missing some essential math here somewhere. I sense that these trademarked plans are strictly defined within these windows, and so referring to my 23/1 plan as the Warrior Diet or LeanGains with an extended fasting window would not only be confusing to some but wholly inaccurate, i.e. because "there's no such thing; it's explictly defined." I'm so confused. So if anyone understands what I'm saying, then you're probably even more insane than I! :) Thanks in advance.
June 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm
CharlesHello Everyone, I usually start my fast at 8pm, sleep, and do my morning strength/cardio workouts between 5am-8am then continue my fast until about noon when I break it, sometimes a little earlier but basically thats my routine. Since I wait so long after workout to break my fast, Is there any negative effect to that wait? Or does it just end up giving my body more time to eat my fat!!!!
June 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm
BrentmanFunny i just read this and i have been doing this for around 7 months now ... I do 16-8 workout days 22-2 on non workout feast on weekends and 24-28 hr on Monday...has got me down sub10% bf with little effort
June 11, 2013 at 9:51 am
Swimmer963Thanks, awesome article! I'm trying to switch from conventional eating to an intermittent fasting lifestyle, although more for the fact that it apparently provides the same longevity benefits as calorie restriction–I'm actually quite happy with my current weight. It's proving to be a challenge–I'm one of those people who needs to eat every 4 hours or I get cranky, and even when I get past that, I feel great for 2-3 days of 16/8 fasting and then I start feeling weak and dizzy, so I assume I'm mis-calibrated on how much I need to eat during the 8-hour window, and thus don't get enough calories.
June 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm
jeremydo you do resistance workout during the fast period?
June 7, 2013 at 3:57 am
DerekTo inform users about the 24 hour fast - I have been doing it since November 2012. I started off with a 40 inch waist, overweight, very unathletic and so forth.. After following the 24 Hour Fast method for about 7 weeks with mixed cardio/HIIT/Interval Training and minimal strength training ( don't ask why not.. I got to focused on the CUTTING part ) but I descended from a 40 inch waist to a 33 inch waist. I even had cheat WEEKENDS and still cut down. I now do it with strength training and cardio and my results are phenomenal. I have reached 12% body fat, 180 lbs, and can run my heart out. These methods are worth a try! I am living proof they work! Honestly though, whatever works best for you - in my opinion: 24 Hour Fast all the way!
May 30, 2013 at 12:42 am
Roman's Road Rules (Fitness Edition) - Roman Fitness Systems[...] Intermittent Fasting 201 [...]
May 17, 2013 at 9:22 am
glennam i still fasting in the morning if i have freash veggy juice from my juicer
May 11, 2013 at 11:17 am
HOT : Spy Optic Tron Round Sunglasses | Structured Totes[...] to see for myself. I’ve been back on StrongLifts 5×5 since mid-November and started IF maybe 4 weeks ago; I can definitely see good progress and my energy levels/strength gains/fat loss [...]
May 11, 2013 at 10:43 am
mKHow do you think about ending a 8 hour window with a workout? LeanGain suggests ending the fast with a work out, but i have a job and the schedule doesn't simply fit for me So i eat breakfast at 8, lunch 12, dinner 5 and then play tennis till 6pm.. and i dont eat after that. i'm not sure if i can skip breakfast haha i was so much of a breakfast-person Thanks! MMK
May 9, 2013 at 12:47 am
IanHey Roman 16/8 is tough when I work. I train at 6:30 am, eat around 7:30am which means my last meal should be around 3:30pm. If i get home at 5 and eat then, I'm stretching it to a 10/14 fast. How effective will this be?
May 4, 2013 at 6:46 am
Intermittent Fasting FAQ[...] but you really should check out the basics first. My articles Intermittent Fasting 101 & Intermittent Fasting 201 should be enough to get you [...]
May 2, 2013 at 5:46 pm
meltWhat about pre and post work out drink during the fasting period?
May 2, 2013 at 11:56 am
Mark KellettI have been using 17/7 for months - workout at lunch time and break fast after. It works great and I am not hungry. I would love a perspective of doing a cheat day/full day fast along with 17/7.
April 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm
Kayla MarieThanks for mentioning that you can do IF regardless of your other dietary inclination - sometimes I feel very out of place reading about intermittent fasting on all these Paleo sites!
April 11, 2013 at 2:39 am
post-workout feast | My Fitness Pins[...] to see for myself. I’ve been back on StrongLifts 5×5 since mid-November and started IF maybe 4 weeks ago; I can definitely see good progress and my energy levels/strength gains/fat loss [...]
April 2, 2013 at 6:31 am
Bronwen ChannonGreat review thank you. I tend tovget headaches when hungry, any tips? Also I've heard that you can have up to 500 calories over the fasting period -your thoughts?
March 10, 2013 at 10:38 am
Denise Myerson KazenI have been doing the 16/8 for about 2 weeks...LOVE it! I don't actually need to lose weight, just tone up. I've been working out towards the end of my fast on most days, but sometimes it's several hours (2-3) before I eat. I didn't realize that you were supposed to eat right afterwards. Is that mostly for strength training or does that apply to straight cardio as well? I've been using the 16/8 more as a way to enjoy eating what I want and not gain weight, but as warmer weather is approaching I'm getting ready to change my eating and add strength training back in to my routine. (Last year's bikini is taunting me..LoL) I just want to make sure I'm maximizing my feeding and fasting times and not ruining any benefits by waiting or not waiting to eat. Thanks!
March 2, 2013 at 8:59 pm
Brandon WarIts okay from refraining to eat after work out ....GH is really high after ..... As soon as u eat it returns to normal
May 28, 2013 at 5:41 pm
ben jakemanyeah i follow the 16/8 via jason ferrugia's spin on it, changed my life. simple fact
March 1, 2013 at 8:52 am
Flexible Dieting 101 | Fitness Photography, Fitness Model Photography, Fashion Photography[...] learned this concept from Martin Berkhan’s site, LeanGains. Check out John Romaniello’s recent article to read about other styles of intermittent [...]
February 28, 2013 at 9:10 pm
Michael J. McDonaldAnother great article on intermittent fasting. I love the 16/8 rule and it's easy to follow.
February 28, 2013 at 7:01 pm
What the Industries Best Have to Say About Intermittent Fasting | JUSTIN GRINNELL[...] Intermittent Fasting 201 [...]
February 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm
steffanalso if you need any workout ideas so to say i use the ideas from a book my uncle has. its called "convict conditioning" written by Paul "coach" Wade. its got some great workouts. and this diet from what iv researched about it helps build muscle faster. iv definitely noticed a difference. now if all people could do this diet America wouldn't be so obese.
February 5, 2013 at 10:00 am
steffanid like to just throw out there i fast for 20 hours every day and eat 4hours out of the day, and have been doing it for about 2 months or less and i also try to do cardio workouts every day, but iv lost 12 lbs so far. it works great for me. i do not allow any cheat days and i dont take any supliments at all.
February 5, 2013 at 9:56 am
Ron ChezJohn, I tryed IF a few months ago after reading some post on the internet! I tryed it for a few weeks but did not really loose any weight... After reading your articles I am going to try it again. But I have some questions, I am currently training five days a week I am at 13% BF my goal. is to drop down to 5% BF My (LBM) lean body Mass is at 186 lbs. I would like to reach my goal in two month or less... Is this possible using IF and doing this 16/8 eating plan the five & six small meals a day for me I just can do... Question I work out after 6pm everyday for about an hour. From reading I've done my understanding is that your last meal should be after your post work out. With high carbs, protein & Fats in order for your body to get the best results from your work out(s)... I don't want to loose muscle. what can you recommend if I start IF eating plan etc. Also during the no window eating can one still continue taking Protein, Creatine and BCAA's. I still want to loose 10 to 15 more lbs. and get down enother 7% BF please advise... My e-mail rlss[email protected], need some direction to reach my goal...
January 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm
Mark HewitsonOn my IF days, the technique I use is "Give in on the 3rd Grehlin attack". I usually get my first around 10-10:30am, then aorund 12:30, then usually eat on the third one which is around 2-4pm. I have noticed lately that some days I get to 6pm before I get my first grehlin attack now.
January 8, 2013 at 11:08 pm
Mark HewitsonHey Roman! If I do say a big legs day and totally smash all my fibres, for how long following do I need to provide nutrients to the muscle to sustain growth before I start fasting? I am cycling between muscle building calorie surplus/leptin spiking days, and cardio days with IF. Basically, how long should I wait after a big workout before I start starving my body of nutrients without effecting the muscle repair so much?
January 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm
Mckinley DelapenaThe Slave of the Husband... Trying to find in advance to finding out excess from you afterward!......
December 19, 2012 at 11:45 pm
kaszI f you have your cheat day in Sunday and don't eat Monday would you have to workout Tuesday instead of Monday? Maybe a stupid question but I'm curious..
December 18, 2012 at 8:41 pm
kaszI have been doing the 16/8 for a few months and it took me a while to see some results but then again i had a hard time figuring my macros and my workouts are basically p90x workouts, the real question is is it necessary to workout while IFing? i have been sick for that past week and i just continued basically the same meals but just havent worked out. I still weight the same and havent gained any fat in fact i think i got leaner....what do you think?
December 15, 2012 at 12:45 am
Finger Pointin’ Good | Top Skin Care[...] to see for myself. I’ve been back on StrongLifts 5×5 since mid-November and started IF maybe 4 weeks ago; I can definitely see good progress and my Energy levels/strength gains/fat loss [...]
December 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm
Tucker Max is (kind of) an Asshole Roman Fitness Systems[...] [[NOTE from Roman: for those interested, check out my articles on intermittent fasting here and here]] All righty – you’re healthy and fit, which means you’re pretty. So, let’s talk about the [...]
December 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm
Half an Effing Chicken... - Eat, Lift & Be Happy[...] I’m working on a detailed, personal post about fasting but until then, make sure you check out John Romaniello’s IF 101 and 201. [...]
November 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm
Intermittent Fasting: Why and How a Food Lovin' Girl Chooses Not to Eat. - Eat, Lift & Be Happy[...] have reading material for at least a week.) John Romaniello: Intermittent Fasting 101 and 201 Precision Nutrition: Experiments With Intermittent Fasting (free ebook) Martin Berkhan: Top Ten [...]
November 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm
Steffen SchulzGreat blog. Thanks, very informative. You don't cover JUDDDD, or Johnson's up day down day diet. It's a form of ADF (the generic term for the 24 hour fast above), but with calorie restricted fast days instead of wet fasts. It should be on your list. I've been doing that since August, and have lost 15kg quite easily.
November 24, 2012 at 10:42 am
Intermittent Fasting – The Eradication Of BroScience[...] eating options for intermittent fasting can be found here. However from my person experience and from most research the 16/8 methods seems to be the easiest [...]
November 19, 2012 at 4:47 am
Q&A: What are some cardio workouts to tone down your arms?[...] to see for myself. I’ve been back on StrongLifts 5×5 since mid-November and started IF maybe 4 weeks ago; I can definitely see good progress and my energy levels/strength gains/fat loss [...]
November 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm
post-workout feast – fast fat loss workout | Fat Loss Diets Super Tips[...] to see for myself. I’ve been back on StrongLifts 5×5 since mid-November and started IF maybe 4 weeks ago; I can definitely see good progress and my energy levels/strength gains/fat loss [...]
November 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm
OliI've been trying to find an answer to this question everywhere but no luck so maybe you can help me. Due to work, social issues and such I have planned a program around my daily life that I find will be easy to stick to. Day 1 - Weight Training 6am Eat Normally Last meal is 9pm. Day 2 - Light Cardio & Core Workout 6am Fast until 2pm Eat two meals one at 2pm and one at 6pm Did my first Day 2 plan today. I just want to know is it ok to do my cardio workout and then remain in the fast for the next 7 hours or should I be looking to bring myself out of the fast straight after the workout? My goals are to shed the body fat without loosing the muscle mass I've worked so hard on the last 6 months. I greatly appreciate any feedback
October 23, 2012 at 4:09 am
samBut that's the thing...unless you are 4% and under with body fat you won't lose muscle mass. Starvation mode is a relative myth and with fasting for 24 hours will not put you into that. Think about it - we have fat for a reason, it's the first go-to when we need it. Not muscle. Our bodies do everything they can to protect our muscles
November 18, 2012 at 10:57 pm
Will HebbesAll I have to say is that its about damn time someone said FF6 was better then FF7.
October 6, 2012 at 3:03 am
Dan 'Dizm' RobbinsYessir.
October 6, 2012 at 4:18 am
Fabian BurnettI have been doing the 16-8 IF version for about 7 months and the results have been great!
September 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm
Anne Marie SilkeI am very confused by this article I thought one should try to reduce growth hormone - check out this bbc documentary advocating the 5:2 diet: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19112549 In it Michael Mosley is saying "As levels of the IGF-1 hormone drop, a number of repair genes appear to get switched on according to ongoing research by Professor Valter Longo of the University of Southern California".
September 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm
Ondřej TurečekIGF1 is insulin-like growth factor, something entirely different.
October 11, 2012 at 6:19 am
Adam Longhttp://suppversity.blogspot.com/2011/09/intermittent-thoughts-on-intermittent_25.html This should help. Don't worry about most of the techy stuff in it - the general summary is that: the primary benefits of fasting = AMPK whereas the benefits of feasting = mTOR. From Figure 5 (the cloud-one) you can see that mTOR, IGF-1, (and growth hormone as it stimulates IGF-1) promote healthy cell metabolism and growth. In the fasted state, one benefits from AMPK doing all the cellular repair while mTOR and IGF-1 are low (thus, you get that anti-cancer and longevity stuff). In the dying momemnts of your 16/8 fast (with post-sleep, post-exercise, and post-feast effects), you spike GH as much as possible in an acute/temporary manner, and then reap the fat loss and muscle/cell growth therein. Because the effect is short (see Figure 4) you won't be suddenly getting cancer as your metabolic machinery is designed to be able to regulate growth for those brief periods of time - figure 3 indicates what would happen if mTOR was chronically activated (and THEN your repair genes would be perpetually impaired or off - which you're right would be bad). Sorry for the research vomit, but AFAIK that's the hormone-focused side of things :P
December 29, 2012 at 3:57 am
Roman AuthorThanks for that, Adam =)
December 29, 2012 at 11:09 am
Brian DupuisHappy B-day Anne Marie!
March 28, 2013 at 10:57 am
Sanyo TizicThat feast then 36 hour fast after is sooooo good :D!
September 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm
JockJohn do you / can you training on fasting days ? What are pros and cons for it.
September 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm
&^Ozeri Touch 440 lb Digital Bath Scale — Measures Weight, Body Fat, Hydration, Muscle and Bone Mass with Auto Recognition Technology for 8 Personal Profiles | Messenger Bags Blog[...] to see for myself. I’ve been back on StrongLifts 5×5 since mid-November and started IF maybe 4 weeks ago; I can definitely see good progress and my energy levels/strength gains/fat loss [...]
September 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm
SunilWhere can I find book of Martin berkhan the 16-8 system?
August 28, 2012 at 11:43 am
Donovan GarnerJust head over to www.leangains.com. You'll find most of what you need from Martin there.
October 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm
Day 234-2 (T, 120821) — Cheating and Intermittent Fasting | New John for a New Year[...] Wrong Name. Reading the Roman Fitness Systems’ highly informative posts, IF 101 and IF 201, I realized that my normal routine is NOT a LeanGains-style IF regimen but rather a Warrior Diet [...]
August 21, 2012 at 6:45 pm
JonnHey man I'm 17 years old i weight 120lbs and I'm an ectomorph, I'm curious about IF, i want to gain weight but stay as lean as possible.... whats your opinion, do you think IF and ectomorphs trying to bulk mix or is that just going to make my life harder? Thanks
July 31, 2012 at 10:53 pm
Mathieu RicaudGreat article, Is IF (leangain for example) compatible with multiple workout daily (crossfit training)? Thanks
July 20, 2012 at 12:51 am
Sanuk Women’s Vertigo Thong Sandal Buy | Gladiator Blog[...] to see for myself. I’ve been back on StrongLifts 5×5 since mid-November and started IF maybe 4 weeks ago; I can definitely see good progress and my energy levels/strength gains/fat loss [...]
July 19, 2012 at 3:42 am
William WongJohn, i remember the warrior diet shows the idea of eating huge meal at night(and the effects of that on the brain, more relax, not as alert as during fasting in a.m. time), what do you think about Joel's Big breakfast diet?( huge breakfast/ fast until next day's breakfast)? i'm worry about the effects of having all the foods eaten in breakfast, and don't know if it will make me more "sleepy" then alert during work....what is your opinion? is it good to flip the warrior from am-fast/pm-feast to am-feast/pm-fast? (i'll do my workout 1st thing in the morning, in a fasted state). thanks for your time.
July 14, 2012 at 2:22 am
Marie MarieHelp! I've tried fasting, but I get extremely shaky and feel like I'm going to pass out. What can I do?
June 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm
MickyFLF question: Hey roman for Friday warrior days (or Tuesday) do I need to get all 2500 calories from "clean" foods and hit each macro (carb fat protein) or it's cool to go out to eat for that meal to hit calories for the day and not worry about fats carbs protein? Love the program so far
June 15, 2012 at 2:15 am
[BLOCKED BY STBV] Intermittent fasting - Page 2[...] of the different IF protocols, and where I got the idea for 24 hour fasts after cheat days: Intermittent Fasting 201 | Roman Fitness Systems Reply With [...]
June 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm
SteveHey Roman, I love the 16/8 fasting with feast fast 1-2x per week. My question is regarding fasting. What restrictions are there on drinks. Can I still have coffee and various teas (green, black, herbal) during the fast or would that break the fast? Thanks and keep up the awesome posts.
June 8, 2012 at 7:18 pm
Steve BrakeHey Roman, I love the 16/8 fasting with feast fast 1-2x per week. My question is regarding fasting. What restrictions are there on drinks. Can I still have coffee and various teas (green, black, herbal) during the fast or would that break the fast? Thanks and keep up the awesome posts.
June 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm
Ches NormanHey Steve, Water, and black Coffee and tea should be fine from what I've been reading and tried.
June 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm
Ben BergmanI've done fasting a number of times over the years. Nothing is a better weight loss ideal. Its really one of the most disiplined forms of mental training you can do. http://powerandmight.blogspot.com
May 28, 2012 at 5:00 am
ross13I love the idea of the cycling, I have technically done this for years. Some days higher and some lower..I just always thought the high days were "bad" and then it started a "bad" cycle! My only issue is, sometimes after a week of low cal dieting or low carb dieting, I cannot eat alot of food, and when I do eat it ( mostly carbs) make me feel sick the next day. I get low blood sugar and can feel pretty bad the day after a binge and i feel like i need to nibble on stuff to make me feel better. What would you recommend? A few 100 cal low carb protein shakes throughout the day? Also, would recommmend a schedule of binge..fast..no carb for 2 days, low gi for 2 days and hi gi for two days then repeat?
May 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm
Gilberto GauldingI don't really believe in fasting when working out. My nutritionist says I need all the nutrients I can get. He also told me to take 5 meals a day instead of the regular 3. My workout is the TRX by the way.
May 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm
ChrisGreat article Roman! I've been on the 16/8 for about 4 months and have seen extraordinary results. I train in the morning fasted and take BCAA's before and after which help to avoid muscle breakdown. Would you recommend throwing in any sort of pwo shake or would that totally defeat the purpose of the fast? Thanks.
April 9, 2012 at 7:32 am
BaldurharaldssonHey, I'm an eighteen years old boy from Iceland and it may be my lack of understanding the big words, but something made this article kind of blurry for me. I really like this idea of fasting but I don't really know how to use it when I lift weights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and do cardio on Tuesdays and Thursdays (I rest on Sundays). If you could help me with that, than I would be more than happy. 1. Should I eat something and if so, what, pre/post workouts? 2. Doesn't this have any effects on my muscles? Doesn't my body try to get, because of no calorie/energy intake, to get to my muscles for energy? 3. I love cheat days, I have to have one, mainly because I like to eat something that I really like during my time watching football (in my case soccer, let's not argue about the football/soccer dilemma, soccer is obviously more 'football' than then your idea of football) But again to the cheat days, are you saying that you fast before, eat high caloric food, and then fast again?Would really make me happy if you could find time to answer me.
March 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm
Swiftsessionsso can I do the FLF program if I have low blood sugar?
February 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm
RojThinking of trying ESE, but want to be sure about something. Already able to fast twenty four hours at a time with no problem, so I doubt two will be an issue. So with respect to the other five days then, maintenance calories and exercise? Or something else with the remaining five?
February 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm
bente_jenteI am new to IF (although I tried it doing the XFLD), and I am trying to figure out which is better for me. I work out pretty regularly (5-6 times a week) mostly interval training, but also a little strength. I work 8am-4pm. I think 16/8 might fit me better w my eating window from 11.30-7.30, but I usually work out at night. My workout will then be either right before my last meal or after. There is no way I can go every work day without eating. Maybe ESE would work better for me, but 24 hrs is still a very long time...... I might be able to go from lunch to lunch, but twice a week? I wond't know... :D Any suggestions? Starting tomorrow.
February 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm
SandyIS AN IPAD/IPHONE TRACKER COMING OUR WAY?
February 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm
ClementAs you well know, I'm a great supporter of IF, having practised it for a period of 2 years. It helped me overcome an eating disorder and re-establish a healthy relationship with food. I was extremely excited when you finally warmed up to the idea! For the past year, however, I've taken to a JC Dean-style flexible form of eating. I have 2-3 large meals per day whenever I need or feel like it, without really caring about the duration between meals. The focus is purely on meeting my caloric and taste buds' needs. I feel that IF is more suited to someone who lifts heavy but doesn't do a lot of conditioning. As a former soccer player and now martial artist, I do a fair bit of conditioning work in addition to heavy lifting. If I didn't have a small meal before playing a soccer game, I would feel weak and faint. Perhaps it is because of the different energy systems used, but this personal experience told me that my lifestyle and fitness choices did not complement IF. Martin Berkhan has also written before that he seldom prescribes intervals or metabolic finishers in his clients' programmes as he feels it hinders rather than aids their progress. The most he has them do is 45min of steady-state cardio. My experience is more anecdotal, but I still feel that endurance or strength-endurance athletes might not find IF a comfortable way of eating. That was the main reason I decided to change my way of eating. Also, I've experienced gastric discomfort if I fast for long periods of time. The 36h fast would have been an excellent addition to my lifestyle had this problem not arisen - I have a rest day and days which I don't have any conditioning planned - and would have welcomed the break from food and chance to create a caloric deficit or perform form damage limitation after a sumptuous cheat day. Unfortunately, I would experience a sharp pain in my stomach if I abstained from food for too long - it may occur after as little as 14h or as long as 20h without eating, and sometimes not at all - which would be cured within an hour of breaking the fast. Regarding my new eating patterns, my first meal is a meat-and-nut breakfast 3-4h after waking up. The other meal or meals consist of plenty of protein, fruits and a moderate intake of carbohydrates. My last meal is often 3-4h before bedtime. If I have martial arts or soccer training on the day, I have a small meal (included in my 2-3 meals per day) an hour before training. Unconsciously, I find myself having a 14-16h fast every day. I just don't experience my gastric problems now as they appear to manifest only if I don't eat for long periods during my waking hours. Is that considered IF? I don't know, as I'm not consciously planning a period of time without food. I just know that I'm not hungry immediately upon waking up and I don't like to go to bed with too much food in my stomach, so that's how I've planned my meals. The most important lesson IF taught me was that I can enjoy food and eat delicious, filling meals. Now, thanks to it, I'm flexible with my eating patterns and habits.
February 20, 2012 at 9:03 am
Casey-steele1can i use the 16/8 method 2-3 x week still good enough
February 18, 2012 at 7:13 am
February 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm
JavarinoDoing FLF now with great results so far. Have some questions that are not answered in FLF program booklets. How do I get them answered?
February 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm
John RomanielloJust email them to myself or Dan!
February 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm
Amit HossainHey, i have a question. Doesn't fasting force your body to en especially your feast/fast model. Andter "starvation mode"?
February 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm
DeanI think your comment got messed up. Let me correct it for you. "Hey, I have a question. Doesn't fasting force your body to enter "starvation mode?" Especially your feast/fast model.
February 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm
John RomanielloThat is a myth. Starvation mode takes DAYS.
February 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm
StefNice article! I was wondering though if you do like a 16/8 protocol or feast/fast.. do you take some amino acids to prevent catabolism?
February 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm
Andrew R.Even more benefits associated with fasting! Add cancer treatment/prevention! http://news.yahoo.com/fasting-plus-chemo-may-help-cancer-fight-study-190206046.html;_ylt=AqLIg.8aVy9_xcLOEuW52itUyLYF;_ylu=X3oDMTQ1ZDVlYXRtBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBIZWFsdGhTRiBDYW5jZXJTU0YEcGtnAzhhMjIwZDQzLTZkZTYtM2Y2ZC04ZjIyLTdiMTRhMmY0NGZiMgRwb3MDMQRzZWMDdG9wX3N0b3J5BHZlcgNlYjcyMzE0Ny01MmEwLTExZTEtYWZmZi04YWExODU4ZWM5Njk-;_ylg=X3oDMTIxb2x1b3BtBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANoZWFsdGh8Y2FuY2VyBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3
February 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm
Latinmami1067HHi guys! I am a boxer and I train 3x a day...I want to do the 24 hr fasting 2 maybe 3 times a week...may I still drink my.bcaas post workout? Will I be able to maintain my muscle definition with no protein and only bcaas on fasting days?
February 6, 2012 at 11:15 am
Sara Traub1My understanding is that fasting creates a surge of cortisol in the system, which if course is not a good thing. Please explain. Sara
February 5, 2012 at 12:58 am
mikeI try to consume my last meal at 8pm,and do my workout at 11am so my post workout meal is about 12:30 pm. that means I've fasted for 16 hours. I have found my energy has improved, and I'm burning more bodyfat and the results are noticeable. Thank you for all your expertise on fasting and weight loss.
February 4, 2012 at 9:19 pm
Kiko23you are awesome.
February 4, 2012 at 8:35 am
February 11, 2012 at 6:36 pm
JohnYour description of how the 24h IF is applied effectively comes down to skipping breakfast and lunch (that is having dinner early one day, and late the next). This doesn't seem to correspond to eating 4000 calories less if you do this twice a week. Cheers
February 4, 2012 at 12:05 am
John TeichertExcellent articles on IF. I'm curious about your opinion on eating or drinking sugar-free things during your fast. I like to have some sugar-free hard candies and black coffee and/or tea with artificial sweeteners. While there is no sugar involved there are still very few calories. Does this affect the fast/hormone levels? I'm hoping the calories are too minimal to make a difference because it really helps curb hunger and boredom for that matter.
February 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm
YggyThanks for this page. I have been doing the Fast 5 (19/5) version of IF for a week now with some great results. Eight pounds lost, down a pants size plus huge strides in appetite control. I also think I am already noticing some reduction in inflammation. Two years ago I lost 45 pounds on the Dr. Fuhrman Plan eating mostly vegan high nutrient food. I actually ran a marathon last Spring. Unfortunately post-marathon I struggled with some injuries and regained 30 pounds of what I had lost while still eating a high nutrient diet but not exercising nearly as often. I am a year away from turning 50, and I need to find a life plan that will work for me as I age to take in less food. I have always been an eater with strong appetites and portion-control has always felt like a prison sentence. Before I lost the 45 pounds two years ago my fasting glucose was over 120. Even after following the Fuhrman Plan it seldom dipped below 90. I am hoping IF will be the key to insulin balance for me. I want to sensibly reintroduce more exercise and work my way into running again, although less frequently than before with more cross-training to avoid re-injury. I have been walking more while fasting. Any advice on where in the fast to start increasing the exercise? Right before breaking fast or in the morning upon waking? I am usually eating from 5 pm to 10 pm.
February 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm
Hannes KettunenYo! How should I exercise while IF? I'm a broke student from Finland, so I tend to under-feed, how should I combine eating + exercise with IF for proper results? Thanks !
February 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm
simon gillGreat article, started IF a week ago after reading it. One question though, i do crossfit and have heard/read that this isn't a great modality of exercise to get rid of belly and back fat due to the increase in cortisol levels with this training modality, is IF a good way to counter this?
January 31, 2012 at 7:05 pm
STkaczukHi! I'm fairly new to IF, having experimented with fasts ranging from 8 - 48 hours. I have two questions for you: 1) What is the maximum time one should be (safely) in the fasted state? I've heard talk about a 50 or 60-hour "threshold" where the metabolic rate does begin to decrease, and potentially negative hormonal effects could take place. What would you recommend as a maximum?2) During the fasted state, the deficit of calories = a decrease in macronutrient intake = a decrease in micronutrient intake.... how do we account for the decrease (let's say 20%) in all the vitamins, minerals ,etc that we're NOT eating in the fasted state? For example, if you chose to sustain a super-clean diet of 1500 calories per day, that would be a total of 10,500 "clean" calories per week. Incorporating two 24-hour fasts per week and eating the same way, you'd only be consuming 7,500 good calories. I guess what I'm trying to ask here is, does a person doing IF have to be even more conscientious of the calories they do consume while in a non-fasted state, to ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need, whilst maintaining a calorie deficit? Sorry if this is confusing... any advice would be great!! Thanks.
January 31, 2012 at 8:47 am
AshleypaigemathewsAny suggestions on making this work for a 6pm workout? Schedule? Thanks
January 29, 2012 at 2:09 am
MaconJingChaJust out of curiosity - would this style (one of the above forms of IF) suit someone who works out moderately and is relatively seeing consistent success? I ask b/c I'm losing about a lb a week and everything I'm doing - via Travis Stoezel - is working right along schedule. Granted the gains in strength and endurance far surpass the loss in weight and inches; however, IT IS WORKING, so my questions is should I mess with what I'm doing and add this into my routine? What say you?
January 28, 2012 at 12:27 am
Kevin CuljatI started fasting this week and already like it alot. I work out every day around 1:00. I have a post work out protien and carb shake and then eat a meal around 8:00. two questions. Is the post workout meal OK or should I cut out the carbs until dinner? Can I use a pre workout drink like Buzzerk for an energy pump a half hour before my work out or should I use only water until my workout is complete.
January 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm
JackieHi Roman :) I started ESE a couple weeks ago and find it so damn easy! I like it lots. But I have a question. Should I break my fast with any particular foods? Like should I avoid sugar? Funny question since I'm trying to lose fat :/ I LOVE reading you blogs and I'm about to link your site on a support forum that I'm active on. Thanks for your humor and insight :D
January 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm
cavemansCodegood man! for giving props to Martin Berkhan for opening a lot of peoples eyes about IF.
January 25, 2012 at 10:19 am
Briannelson89Just out of curiosity John, do you follow the same exercise routine for a fast day as it states in XFLD? Many thanks Brian
January 25, 2012 at 5:27 am
warrior dietDoes warrior diet very similar to eat stop eat .. as i fasted for 20-24hrs everyday and have a large meal every night dinner. Fro example monday dinner at 8pm and i will not eat anything till tuesday 8pm. is it consider eat stop eat or warrior diet? Moreover fir the meal its consist of high protein moderate fat and low or no carbs. All carbs come from vege / fibre
January 25, 2012 at 12:38 am
Joanne PriceThis is my 3rd week of the 16/8 fasting. Nothing after 8 and not before noon. I do my workout at 5:00 and eat at 6:30. Is the workout still going to be as effective at this time. I can't go in the morning. Joanne
January 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm
Two Nutritional Commandments Challenged[...] 101 and IF 201 by John [...]
January 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm
steve kostoffHey Roman, I'm considering living VIA the 16/8 IF style. But I do like my Sunday cheat day, and follow that with a 24 hour Fast (following your sage advice of course) Do you recommend incorporating the two together?
January 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm
John RomanielloAbsolutely - a combination of the feast/fast cycle and 16/8 is one of my favorite syntheses of IF protocols--this is included (with some other stuff) in the IF program I'm releasing in a few weeks.
January 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm
steve kostoffThanks for the quick reply dude, always appreciated.
January 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm
steve kostoffOne more thing (for now)... From a trainers perspective, any recommendations on how to prescribe this stuff to clients? people you wouldn't recommend this to etc.
January 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm
Arno-nymsThere is a Leangains.com approach for early-morning-fasted-training! Source: http://www.leangains.com/2010/05/early-morning-fasted-training.html Quote: "Here's a sample setup for a client that trains early in the morning and prefers the feeding phase at noon or later. 6 AM: 5-15 minutes pre-workout: 10 g BCAA. 6-7 AM: Training. 8 AM: 10 g BCAA. 10 AM: 10 g BCAA 12-1 PM: The "real" post-workout meal (largest meal of the day). Start of the 8 hour feeding-window. 8-9 PM: Last meal before the fast."
January 24, 2012 at 10:28 am
John RomanielloAwesome; I was going to include that but the article was getting long. I will add in. THanks!
January 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm
btIs there any problem if i do not take any BCAA after training in above leangains approach.
January 24, 2012 at 11:35 pm
MusashiGreat read as always, thank you. Now I usually do not post, but the hate Final Fantasy has gotten since FF7 has to stop. X was awesone and a much different game in a different era. I do miss the good ol days of FF6-7 but the music and theatrics in X were simply amazing and made the game so much fun! And gaming is the best way to forget about hunger on fast days :)
January 23, 2012 at 11:00 pm
John RomanielloFFX was good, but if you consider that the "best" game since 7, it's still a pretty strong indictment of the way the series has fallen since then. Yes, the story was pretty good, and the music and graphics were amazing; however, the story in games like FF2/4j and FF3/6j is just superior in every way. Further, I think the game play in FF7 wasn't always great, especially with regard to camera angles; the main problem being that often the gameplay and control was sacrificed in an effort to showcase the graphics and the "power" of the new machine. It was almost like Square was trying to justify moving away from Nintendo in favor of PS.
January 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm
MusashiI know you are right...Im just a sad nostalgic chocobo lover who falls in love with every FF hoping the magic will come back...
January 26, 2012 at 10:54 am
Mickygreat article...do you cheat/fast every week?
January 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm
John RomanielloHey Micky, Yes, I cheat/fast almost every week. Sometimes I don't really need or want to cheat, though, so I skip it and just replace with an extra day of 16/8
January 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm
JamesWhat is your opinion on the Leangains protocol for people who train after work (5-6 PM) that has you taking in two small meals before you train and then a large one post workout?
January 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm
John RomanielloI think it's a perfectly acceptable way to do things. You miss out on some of the benefits of fasted training, but, in all honesty, as long as you train hard and pay proper attention to your macros, you're fine.
January 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm
John Arreagaawesome articles! something i needed as i was looking more into the IF system. question though..... if i wanted to follow the 16/8 system, does the fast have to be 16 or 8 hrs, or can it be somewhere in btwm? Thanks!
January 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm
John RomanielloIt's not 16 OR 8 hours...it's 16 hours of fasting with 8 hours of feeding. You could fast as little as 14 hours, though.
January 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm
Intermittent Fasting and High Repetition Breathing Squats[...] Some weeks, I use John Romaniello’s Feast-Fast system, or Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat system. One day—usually Sunday—I eat whatever I want [...]
January 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm
KatyThanks for that info, is really helpful. Looking at what you write, are you combing 16/8 and feast/fast in the one week? I'd like to try that. Is this a do-able scenario: Mon - Fri: 6am workout, PWO shake to break the fast, then breakfast and lunch, last meal being a protein shake at 3pm. 2-3 hours of specific Sports training in the evening. NOTES: (I feel ill if I eat too soon before sports training,so last meal at 3 works for me. Also, I never feel like eating after a great night time training session, so thinking this might be a really good way to fit in the 16 hour fast window). Sat: Cheat day, some afternoon sports training Sun: Fast day, sports training at 10am. Will this work? Thanks :)
January 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm
John RomanielloThat would work perfectly Katy!
January 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm
AnonymousJohn, Have you read "The Alternate Day Diet" by Dr. Johnson? What are your thoughts if so?
January 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm
John RomanielloI've only read a synopsis of Alternate Day Diet; can't comment too much on it'
January 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm
Josh MaitlenGreat article, but I have one quick question....During the fasted state, should I still take my CLA and fish oil supplements or will that break the fast and take my body out of the fasted state?
January 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm
John RomanielloI would save those until the end of the day, after you've broken the fast.
January 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm
Josh MaitlenThanks. I'm really starting to enjoy this way of eating/living
January 31, 2012 at 12:00 am
Sirena BernalThanks for the follow up on this Roman. I really liked how you gave real-world examples with how you fit it into your life. I've been practicing IF for about 3 years...pretty much the time I started reading your blog :) Over the course of that time, practicing IF has taught me a few things: 1. We DON'T need to eat as much food as we think we do. 2. Most hunger is boredom and not knowing what do to with ourselves. IF has taught me what REAL hunger is. 3. How to be more effective with my time. Funny but true. When you first start fasting you have to find ways to keep your mind occupied, and for me that meant finding productive things to do like reading, writing, meditation even. 4. How obsessed we are with food in general. On a side note, practicing IF has actually helped my GI issues because I'm not force-feeding myself every few hours which, when you have GI issues can make things worse. And, I've cut down my grocery bill by at least 40%. So IF can save you moneeeez. Cheers :) Sirena
January 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm
Blake DennyThanks for the article Roman, I have just really begun delving into intermittent fasting and have been looking at applying it to a few of my clients and have begun using 16/8 here and there, but have wanted to do more research on other options, so thank you for the summary.
January 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm
Nicholas RitcheyWow, I've been playing with IF for the last 8 months and am writing a book on the topic. Just came across this post and our experiences (and adaptations) are just about identical (started with Ori, learned about Lean Gains, read ESE and started 16, 24 or 36h fasts after cheat day)! Birds of a feather flock together... guess I'll have to become a regular reader of your blog!
January 21, 2012 at 11:30 am
John RomanielloHey Nicholas, Thanks for the comment and stopping by; happy to have you as a reader. Would really love to check out some of your stuff. Welcome aboard, and looking forward to your book.
January 21, 2012 at 11:51 am
Risto UukWhat kind of people or situations would you not recommend fasting for?
January 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm
John RomanielloAnyone with severe issues with hypoglycemia. Also, anyone who has true emotional issues with food.
January 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm
FelisnondomesticusI have always been an emotional eater. I find that with IF (most often, a Sunday cheat/Monday Fast/Tues>Sat 20/4) I don't think about food NEARLY as much, and it's OK to eat a LOT of healthy food, which "sates" my binging urges. I also have wondered if the control of insulin helps control moods better, which in turn controls emotional eating better...hmmmm. By jove, Roman, I think we're on to something here! Just found your blog and posts today, from Isabel del Rios. You are AMAZING!!!
February 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm
Tucoaweomse! i do 20/4 but not like the warrior diet (with snacks or shakes in the fast), i do it like lean gains but extend the fast form 16 to 20 hrs. Also ocassionally do the feast/fast (36hrs or more) if i have a social event.
January 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm
John RomanielloNice! I love the flexibility. Thanks, Tuco.
January 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm
JES2008There is also the Fast-5 model of IF by Bert Herring. It is basically a 19 hour fast with a 5 hour eating window. And while you can choose whatever five hour window that best suits your lifestyle, the one that Dr. Herring usually recommends is 5pm to 10pm. This allows for eating dinner with your family and is more socially adaptable on a long term basis. Other than that, it's also very unstructured. Nothing is off limits, but after a couple weeks, most people naturally gravitate towards healthier food choices. Also, many people work out just fine in their fasted state and find they have lots of energy despite it. Those into hardcore exercise usually time their workouts to end right before their window opens, as well. And because the time frame is consistent from day to day, there really is no hunger in the fasting period.
January 20, 2012 at 3:21 am
John RomanielloGood point; it's very similar to Warrior. I don't have much exposure to f5, which is why I didn't include it.
January 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm
LowcarbNYI concur. I'm a Fast-5 ' er and it suits me to a T. I could not stand changing scheules every day. I love the Binary mode of it. I'm not eating or I'm eating. . It is great to have my feeding window from 5pm to 10pm so that I can go out to dinner or a social gathering. And if I need to stretch it an hour or two earlier or later , for whatever reason, I just do that. There is no Fast-5 police force to arrest me. It works like I never could have dreamed it could work. I've lost 21 lbs in 5 week, I go to bed 100% satiated every day and I hardly worry about food all day long. What could be better? Oh, yea, I'm keeping it Low Carb too.
June 28, 2012 at 2:59 am
Dazzaupreme05Great article-ive tried most of these IF protocols, and while admittedly I do enjoy my feeding times, adjusting to these isnt terrible-except when there is nothing but cooking shows on and a coffee pot is on in the apt ALL THE TIME! But I didnt know much about the Warrior Diet, so once again I learned a ton!
January 19, 2012 at 11:15 pm
kennychinI'm new but very interested. I know my insulin is my problem judging by the love handles and back fat I carry. Thanks for the review of all the types. I'm thinking the Eat Stop Eat might be the way to go for me. Twice a week would be no problem if I can get used to the hunger initially. Thanks again. I gave it a retweet.
January 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm
GlennI've been doing 16/8 for a while, and it is great. As mentioned in your case Roman, now that I work from home and can train during the day it works heaps better: gym at 11am, break-fast at 2pm, finish dinner around 10pm. I've found with this timing you don't even get hungry until it's time to eat. Good summary of techniques, I'd definitely recommend them as a nutritional protocol.
January 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm
AnonymousA great roundup here John - I personally favour the leangains method. It just slots in to life so easily and allows for a lot of flexibility..!
January 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm
TymurdsI agree. Been doing it since March and its very easy to do. Some days are 14 hour fasts, others are 18. No biggie, plus I like eating very large meals (I don't like to snack). @John - What are your thoughts on macro percentages? I carb cycle on my training days, high pro everyday and higher fats on off days (a la LG). It works fine for me but everyone responds differently..
January 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm
Anna SmithGreat post Roman! Do you take BCAAs when your fasting? I show horses and there is always stuff going on and good food friday, saturday, sunday. Is there any way that I could eat friday and saturday and fast sunday?
January 19, 2012 at 11:57 am
Ylwa Eklund FalkBoy have I been waiting impatiently for this one since your first IF post :). Nice work! I've personally started to incorporate 16/8 after coming off my contest prep. I love it and I feel like I get great results even though I work out in the afternoon. While I know that Martin often argues for the benefit of exercising in a fasted state, he also provides other templates to make 16/8 fit into you lifestyle successfully. He has a very thorough post on his website called "The Leangains protocol" that both discuss his philosphy on training and provide you with options for how to make your eating window fit into your lifestyle successfully. I personally follow his approach for afternoon workouts, since I usually work out around 4-5 PM, have my first meal around 1 PM, my second after my workout at 5:30 and my last one at 8:30. Works great! If I on occasion work out in the morning I follow the protocol for that, outlined in the same post. This way of eating has been like "coming home". What I found to be the hardest during my diet was not the calorie deficit or the foods I ate, it was having to eat 6 times a day. I felt like my mind was constantly on food and when/how/if I should/could schedule my next meal. It was draining and just got me more stressed. I've also never been much for breakfast and I have no problem to go for longer periods of time without food, but when I eat, I want to eat. The fewer, smaller meals I have, the hungrier I am and the more cravings I have. Leangains have almost completely eliminated this and I plan to stay on this method for my next contest too. My next step is to incorporate 1-2 24 hours fasts during my week. I look forward to you next post on IF (although I always look forward to your posts), pwetty pweaze make that one on muscle building and IF. Snuggles
January 19, 2012 at 11:48 am
Andrew EdwardsRoman i protocol that isnt specificaly metioned is the :deplete-feast-fast how does this compare in terms of fat loss/pure badassery?
January 19, 2012 at 8:58 am
DanielDamn, being depleted before a cheat = 2000 extra calories of ice cream lol
January 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm
John RomanielloHa! Correct - lots of extra ice cream. But, to Andrews point: it's not a different method, just a more advanced version.
January 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm
RobertoHi John. On your workout days Would it be ok to eat pasta say with tomato sauce for dinner in the correct qty following your charts for phase 4?
June 29, 2013 at 10:48 pm
Roman AuthorYeah, that's fine.
July 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm
KujoI've been doing 16/8 for about 1.5 years now. My feeding window is 1-9PM. I've never trained fasted, and prefer working out in the evenings (I work 9-5, so I have to, but even when I wasn't working for a while, I still kept the same schedule). I just prefer having big ass meals PWO in the evening. I honestly can't see myself eating another way. I love Leangains.
January 19, 2012 at 8:37 am
DanielSo if u have 3x maintenance, and do a 24 hours fast after with a lot of exercise you prevent any spillage?
January 19, 2012 at 6:51 am
John RomanielloYes; although to be honest "spillage" isn't really something most people would need to worry about.
January 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm
DanielIs your maintenance temporarily increased or something?, because I'm trying to figure out how those 5000 extra calories would be burnt during the fast day even with a lot of exercise :P
January 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm
Daniel AipaI've never done any IF before, but after reading a couple of your articles along with others. It seems it may be a good time to experiment with it.
January 19, 2012 at 12:25 am
Benever read up on Scott Abel’s “cycle diet” ???
January 18, 2012 at 11:27 pm
John RomanielloHey Ben - sorry, I haven't heard of it. I like Scott's training stuff, so will check it out.
January 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm
guestHey Roman, I loosely follow the leangains IF protocol. I'm currently having a preworkout meal of carbs and protein(~500cals) about an hour and a half before lifting. My memories from XFLD make me reluctant to believe I'll be stronger fasted:/ Is it just one of those things I'll have to try and see if its for me? Or do the hormonal benefits really give strength benefits? I follow Bill Starr's 5x5 btw.
January 18, 2012 at 10:55 pm
James KerrisonHave you heard of Mike O'Donnell (The IF Life and The 2 Meal Solution) which is similar to the Leangains approach (although I think Mike is a little less stressed than Martin!) His take is less about the eating window (16/8) and more about having lunch and dinner (not snacking and not having breakfast)
January 18, 2012 at 10:27 pm
John RomanielloYes, would have mentioned it but the post was getting pretty long. He certainly is less stressed than Marty ;)
January 18, 2012 at 10:33 pm
MarieMy first experience with IF was with Xtreme Fat Loss Diet in June 2011. I found it to be relatively easy to incorporate the Feast/Fast into my lifestyle and continue to do so.
January 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm
John RomanielloCheat days make everything more bearable, don't they!?
January 18, 2012 at 10:34 pm
Emilybowsher1What is the lowest you have been able to get your bodyfat % while having the cheat day/fast day?
January 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm
John Romaniello4.6% as measured, but those tests are never really accurate. Some of my lowest BF pics are here: http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com/blog/ready-for-your-closeup/
January 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm
RockyAny of these work well for muscle building? Or is it just a fat loss thing?
January 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm
John RomanielloThey can be used for muscle building as well.
January 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm
DanielHow so? Just throw in a cheat day with density - > fast -> return to normal mass gain routine?
January 22, 2012 at 9:16 pm
yannick noahgreat article roman! nicely structured and easy to understand. plus i like it because you touch on people's busy schedules and convenience in practising them. also you discussed your own experiences in using them.
January 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm
John RomanielloThanks, Yannick, glad you liked the article. Tried to be as balanced as possible.
January 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm
ArturoAnother great article man. Currently on a 48+ fast right now. Actually I'm on hour 19. Didn't really want to, but have to. Prepared myself with a major cheat day yesterday. I've tried different variations of this and like the idea. I'm currently on high calories, so I don't do much fasting right now. Throw in a 24hr here and there, but when I diet down, I'll be incorporating this stuff all the time. My concern is fasting while trying to bulk... tips? Thanks again.
January 18, 2012 at 9:34 pm
John Romaniellothe main thing would be you need to get adequate calories. For most people, the difficulty comes with not being "able" to get enough calories, because it's "hard" to get XYZ number of cals during a small feeding window. The answer, like with any other issue of this kind, is simply to eat calorically dense but "low volume" foods so you can get more energy without killing hunger. And, if possible, get more liquid calories.
January 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm
January 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm
HJAllenThat was one of my main concerns of the FFL Warrior diet day. How to fit all those calories in one meal?? Liquid calories is an excellent suggestion! I certainly don't want to eat junk food and then feel AWFUL!
February 24, 2012 at 7:11 am
Daniel Wallen16/8 would be a fun experiment, but like you mentioned, it doesn't work in my daily life. At all. When I'm working from home, I'll give it a shot. I'm a fan of the feed/fast, which I found from you, Roman. I hated eating breakfast the Sunday after a cheat and came to love my Sunday fasted lactic acid workouts. Also, no cooking = more time to blog, watch football, and play Arkham City. Pretty much, you made my Sundays kick ass for 2 months. Thanks for that.
January 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm
John RomanielloFootball + Arkham city is an amaaaaaazing Sunday
January 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm
JoeFor the 24 hour fast you can always have bcaa's before and after working out in place of your pwo meal. This lets you remain in a fasted state and still have the amino's to feed your muscles.
January 18, 2012 at 8:49 pm
John RomanielloExcellent point, Joe. Thanks for bringing it up!
January 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm
JonnHey man I'm 17 years old i weight 120lbs and I'm an ectomorph, I'm curious about IF, i want to gain weight but stay as lean as possible.... whats your opinion, do you think IF and ectomorphs trying to bulk mix or is that just going to make my life harder? Thanks
July 30, 2012 at 2:03 am
Donovan GarnerYou should check out the experiment Nate Green did with John Berardi at www.biggersmallerbigger.com. You could probably benefit greatly from the first part of the program.
October 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm
Matt KittoeOne piece of advice I have for would-be IFers is if you have ANY junk food in your house, THROW IT AWAY. Once I was nearing the end of my fast and realized I had some Swiss cake rolls in my freezer from a previous cheat day. At that point my willpower had fallen to oblivion and my belly rumbled with ravenous hunger. It was a fierce battle, and Little Debbie emerged the victor. What a bitch. So please, do yourself a favor and ditch the Ding Dongs. Oh, and FF6 is one of my all-time favorite games. FF7 was great and all, but it took the games in a direction that ultimately ruined the series for me.
January 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm
John Romaniello"Ditch the ding dongs" is sage advice =) I agree regarding FF, btw. The series was never the same after 7.
January 18, 2012 at 10:37 pm
Bill PairaktaridisWell, in all fairness, I think FF9 was pretty awesome. Unfortunately, it was the last "fairy tale" FF...
January 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm
John RomanielloI never played FF9. No idea why, though.
January 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm
KristinI had to reply Matt! You are so right! How can you have such willpower for 24 hours only to taint it with junk food? I have teenagers and it drives me mad so I try and hide it....I know they don't need it either, but I do allow a few things....so if that pop tart sneaks out....I am bound to break off a piece....it is such a bitch!
February 9, 2012 at 10:47 pm
Tyler CarterI find it significantly more difficult to fall asleep on an empty stomach (enough so that I don't eat if I need to stay awake for a double shift at work/school), isn't that a notable drawback to some of these protocols?
January 18, 2012 at 8:23 pm
John RomanielloNot generally...most people are feeding in the evening. I personally sleep like a baby, since my last meal is a pretty big one at 10ish and I'm in bed at 11. Zzzzzz.
January 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm
TcopleyVery informative. Great job, as always!
January 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm
John RomanielloThanks! Glad you enjoyed =)
January 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm
Andrew EdwardsAnother great well balanced article on the major IF protocols. Well done Roman
January 18, 2012 at 7:44 pm
John RomanielloMuch appreciated bru!
January 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm
Vamsee RajPeace bro, I wanted to know if it's okay to wait 2 hours after training to break the fast. I'm doing a leangains style 17-7 fast. Specifically would like to know if it affects muscle mass in any negative way. Thank you.
December 7, 2013 at 9:01 am