Notes on the Basics, Timing, and Breaking a Fast
Just a quick one for you today. Given 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 isn’t okay? Can I drink coffee still? It’s even less surprising that the same questions get asked over and over and over.
If you’ve recently begun an intermittent fasting practice, then you’ve probably asked yourself a few of these questions or at least been curious. If you’ve read a lot about intermittent fasting, you may know the answers to a few of them.
If you’re a complete neophyte to the idea of intermittent fasting, you’ll get a lot out of this article, but you really should check out the basics first. My articles Intermittent Fasting 101 & Intermittent Fasting 201 should be enough to get you started.
Yes, you will die. But probably not as a result of starting an intermittent fasting practice.
Your first foray into intermittent fasting can certainly bring with it a certain degree of discomfort. You’ll be a little hungry. This is normal, and it’s nothing to worry about. And, the longer you fast (as in, practice the habit of fasting, not maintain one single fast), you’ll find that you don’t get as hungry as often. And so fasting becomes much easier.
The abbreviated version of why this happens: there’s a hormone called ghrelin that controls hunger; the production of ghrelin is dependent on when you eat. Producing ghrelin makes you want to eat, and eating produces ghrelin…which makes you want to eat more.
Ghrelin secretion adapts to follow feeding eating schedule; meaning the more often you eat, the more often you produce ghrelin, and the more often you want to eat (1).
All of which explains why you’re always hungry. Fasting will be hard in the beginning, because you’ve conditioned your body to produce ghrelin on a schedule, and so you have to push through that hunger. Here’s the good news: ghrelin secretion begins to adapt to new eating patterns pretty quickly. Intermittent Fasting means eating less often, which means you’ll get hungry less often.
Science lesson over. The upshot is that the discomfort from fasting fades quickly, and the benefits (both long-term and short-term) outweigh the acute inconvenience.
No, it isn’t. This a myth that I could write about all day, so, again, a summary. The noting that fasting slows your metabolic rate is an erroneous conclusion reached as the result of lazy science. One study examining the effect of Ramadan fasting (sunrise to sunset for thirty days) examined found no significant change in neither resting metabolic rate nor total energy expenditure (2).
Whenever you eat, you experience a slight increase in your metabolic rate. Known as the Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF), this is a measure of energy expended to break digest, absorb, and utilize the food you eat.
This part is true.
Here’s the part that’s not true: if eating increases metabolism, then the inverse must be true, and not eating (or fasting) must result in a metabolic slowdown.
Further, it must be true that eating more often leads to more frequent increases in metabolism due to repeated TEF. This is where the practice of frequent feeding arose. For years, you’ve been told that eating 5-6 small meals per day helps you keep your metabolism elevated. Again, not true.
The fact is that TEF is determined by your total energy intake, not how often you eat. So, it doesn’t matter if you have 2 meals or 8, as long as you’re getting the same number of calories, the effect will be the same.
All of which is to say that a daily fast of, let’s say 16 hours, does not decrease your metabolism (3).
These questions come up a lot with people who practice 16/8 intermittent fasting. In a perfect world, the model looks like this: fast for 16 hours, hit the gym, start eating. The suggested feeding window is 2-10 pm; so, ideally, you train at 1 pm. That’s a problem for a lot of people who have pesky things called “jobs.”
But, simply because you can’t follow that one specific recommendation doesn’t mean you can’t utilize fasting, or get great results from it. To that end, here are the two most common schedule concerns that I get, and my recommendations.
Depends. You can wait to break your fast if the following apply to you:
If those things are not an issue for you, sure, you can wait to have your first meal until after your workout. But, you don’t have to. The second option is to simply break your fast at around 1 pm with a moderately sized protein-rich meal, have a shake or something like it a bit later than one (up to you–if I eat before my workout I puke), and then have some BCAAs before training at about 5:30 pm. When you finish your workout, start eating the rest of your calories.
I’ll mention that option one is probably better suited to fat loss, while option two is better for muscle gain.
However, you may really want to examine whether you can move your workout time to early in the day. Training late in the evening can mess with your sleep, and c’mon, you need your beauty sleep (4).
The obvious question here is about meal timing: if this person finished their workout at, say, 7 am, they have to make a choice and either:
I get this one a lot. People want to know what constitutes breaking a fast, and what, if any, caloric intake is acceptable.
Here’s a list of things to DO NOT break your fast:
Those things are pretty much fine in just about any quantity. Cool? Not only do coffee and tea not have any calories, but more importantly, they don’t have anything that’s insulinogenic, something that spurs your insulin levels to rise, a hormone that responds to increases in blood sugar by shuttling blood sugar into cells. The grey area stuff comes in when it’s not as insulinogenic as, say carbohydrates, but there’s still a small insulin release after taking it.
Here’s a list of the grey area stuff, with a note on why it gets the official rating of sometimes.
NON-BLACK COFFEE – You can add all sorts of stuff to coffee to make it either more delicious or healthier–or sometimes both. But, adding anything to coffee that has calories can potentially break your fast. A little heavy cream makes things tasty. A little coconut oil gives you some medium-chain triglycerides, and you know how delicious those are (see Bulletproof Coffee).
If you have a single cup of coffee per day, this is a non-issue; but if you need 4-5 cups to get going in the morning, and you’re adding a tablespoon of cream or coconut oil to each on, that will add up. There’s no hard and fast rule, but I say just try to keep your total caloric intake below 100, even if it’s from fat. The poison, as they say, is in the dose.
DIET SODA – I don’t have a problem with diet soda or artificial sweeteners in limited quantities. However, not all are created equal, and they can exert different effects. For example, one of the zero-calorie sweeteners in Coke Zero is acesulfame potassium, which has been shown for decades to be insulinogenic (5); so that’s not the best choice during a fast, because you want to minimize insulin. Diet Coke, on the other hand, doesn’t have it. Diet coke has aspartame, which doesn’t increase insulin (but has a number of other potential downsides). The most common artificial sweetener nowadays is sucralose (Splenda) which is found in everything G2 Gatorade to protein powder and pre-workout (check the label, bro). Sucralose is also insulinogenic, which means Splenda might break your fast. Then, there’s stevia. Which actually isn’t an artificial sweetener because it’s naturally occurring. But just because it’s a natural sweetner doesn’t make it healthy, and it doesn’t mean it magically won’t break your fast. Here’s the problem with stevia: we don’t know as much about it. It was approved only in 2008, and has only risen in popularity in the last ten. However, recent research suggests that stevia doesn’t cause an insulin response like sucralose and ace-k, making it less likely to break your fast.
Is it going to make a huge difference in the context of long-term weight loss? Probably not. Is drinking diet soda going to kill you and make you fat and give you herpes? Probably not. Still, probably best not to make it your primary liquid of choice. Again, the poison is in the dose.
BCAAs – Branched Chain Amino Acids are fantastic for a number of reasons, and when it comes to fasting, most people consider them necessary. BCAAs can blunt hunger, help you build muscle and retain LBM, and allow for better workouts overall. So, why are they in the grey area?
Very simply, they’re extremely insulinogenic (6). The production of insulin shuts down the production of growth hormone, so dosing with BCAAs may negate some of the benefits of fasting. Whether this is actually the case is open to debate. Many experts recommend this; for example, I’ve heard that the position of BCAAs not breaking a fast referred to as Berkhan’s Law, named for Swedish nutritionist Martin Berkhan, one of the godfathers of the IF movement.
My personal position is this: if you’re focused on insulin management (for example, during an Insulin Reset, which appears in Phase I of Engineering the Alpha), I would skip the BCAAs until after your workout. If you have good insulin management or are trying to gain muscle, go for it. The take away from these grey area options: just because something is calorie-free doesn’t absolve its ability to break your fast.
Yes, actually. The point of a keto diet is to limit glucose (and therefore insulin) by depriving your body of sugars to the point that it needs to convert to an alternate fuel source. In that state, it produces ketones (hence the name, the ketogenic diet). When your body creates ketones that’s keto people refer to as the state of ketosis.
I’m looking to keep this post dynamic and update it as time goes on, so feel free to drop any Q’s about fasting below, and I may
steal feature them going forward.
Hopefully, this post will help you as much as I know it will help me–whether you learn from the information or just refer people to it so you don’t have to keep answering these!
The science on intermittent fasting has grown so much in the last few years. In fact, it’s now being looked at as a treatment for cancer (7). Pretty cool stuff, if I do say so myself. And while I’m no longer diving deep into that research and bringing it to the fitness population, there are lots super smart who are, chief among them Dr. Peter Attia. So, if you’re looking to dive more into IF, check out his ongoing work.
Comments for This Entry
Matt PockatI need to take Vitamin B complex in the morning (prescribed by doc) and am doing 8:30 at night to 12:30 next day fast...can I take my fish oil (20 calories) with the Vitamin B and other non-calorie supps in the morning so that they can digest better without breaking my fast?
March 8, 2018 at 4:46 pm
Apet MathayHi. I take my maintenance medications in the morning ( Amlodipine, losartan, pantoprazole , domperidone ) for high blood and acid reflux. Does this break the fast
March 6, 2018 at 6:09 pm
Ethan RowanJohn, big question here... Amaretto Almond coffee contains 2 cal per serving, I am under the impression that black coffees doesn't break your fast but I am concerned about this and any other flavored black coffee. I always drink my coffee black when fasting however should i be staying away from these flavored coffees? Do they have any hidden sweeteners that may harm my fast or break it? Id love to know your thoughts, Many thanks, Ethan
February 21, 2018 at 4:22 am
Siabatto MarcoWhat about black tea? For example the one sold at Walmart already made for you but unsweetened, would that potentially break my fast?
February 6, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Cody TrimmellThis question relates somewhat to the timing concerns you addressed, but is not quite the same: As you noted, I, like many others, have been following the 16/8 fasting schedule. However, I have also read several places that one of the important factors of this is fasting for 4-6 hours upon waking (as part of the 16) to encourage fat burning/loss. My question is - if I sleep in/wake up late and my fasting window has already clocked or is getting close to the 16 hours off, should I still wait for 4-6 hours after waking to eat, or is it ok to go ahead and eat within like 2-3 hours of waking since I don't want my 8 hour window to be later in the day/get off whack? Or, conversely, will that harm the cycle I've been working towards and encourage ghrelin production earlier after waking again? Thanks in advance for your response.
January 30, 2018 at 12:17 pm
Jeremy MayThis may seem like a really stupid question, but I'm definitely new to If. Cough drops... Do they break the fast? Or is the poison in the dose? 1 - 3 fine 5+ break? How sensitive is this process?
November 14, 2017 at 8:42 pm
Brian SiegelCan I combined 2 methods of IF? I have been doing 18/6 for a bit and feel great. Can I also fast for 24 hours 1 day per week too?
October 30, 2017 at 6:58 pm
Жарко МилошевићDoes egg whites break fasting ?
October 15, 2017 at 1:48 pm
Louise GadouryI'm super proud of you. I am a master googler and your views always win over others for many reasons. you seem to always be the final word. you're doing a really great job. just sayin'.
September 26, 2017 at 11:02 am
Robert VitztumCalorie deficits and goals. Obviously in order to lose weight people need to hit there calorie goals for the day but I haven't really found an FAQ around whether or not hitting or missing this goals dramatically change results. The day to day miss is pretty standard but I have found it hard to hit my calories goals on a regular basis. This is simple I know, the answer is to eat but i had some questions you might be able to answer. I am attempting to lose weight and wouldn't mind building muscle. From what I have found my dci needs to be 2250 with 225g in carbs and proteins and 50g or less of sugar. I am choosing to go the route of 8/16- seems easiest for me. I like the idea of IF but wasn't sure if i come in too low on calories on a regular if the results will change. Coming in over i know isn't as big of a deal but everyone i speak with always tells me the importance of eating enough calories for the day.. The question. If I do not hit calories on a consistent basis will IF be useless? During the 8 Hours of feeding should i eat as much and as often as long as it fits my intake goals or should I only eat 2 times in this period?
September 13, 2017 at 2:43 pm
Amir GandhiHi Roman Does water with lemon or apple cider vinegar break your fast?
September 8, 2017 at 10:15 am
Catherine Mc KeonIs it ok to fast everyday? Or should it just be evey other day? Say eat from 1-9 everyday or every second or third day. Thanks
September 5, 2017 at 2:48 am
AndreaHi Roman. I am brand new to IF. Could you suggest a good book to read as I embark on this journey? I would like to know what foods and quantities are best to consume during nonfasting times.
August 16, 2017 at 4:36 am
Rose ParakCan i add an atificial sweetner to my black coffee? will this brake my fast?
July 19, 2017 at 2:12 pm
Celia Kristi GunawanHi, I have a question, if half of lemon + water during the fasting period break the fast? Thanks!
July 12, 2017 at 12:28 am
John MillerYour link to Green Powder is broken.
June 14, 2017 at 7:15 am
AshleyI'm doing No grains no sugar combined with intermittent fasting. (Post work out evening meal window) relieved to hear that my morning green tea with cream is permissible! 'Metabolismzz' made me laugh
June 11, 2017 at 2:50 pm
Morgan SchenkIm currently doing a 20/4 intermittent fasting diet. But I have some questionable items I am consuming throughout the day. Looking for clarification. Here are my items. 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, organic lemon, cayenne pepper(in water) Yerba Matte w/ organic cinnamon(2 cups) Diatomaceous earth(in water) Anyway am I sabotaging my fast? The only thing that holds any carbs is lemon.
June 5, 2017 at 3:38 pm
Luiz Miranda LmtJust wondering, why fasting have a unbeliable result in increasing the HGH hormon, I do understand it goes up, but why ? Also the intake of pure black coffe, can I have a few in the morning (while fasting ) ?
May 29, 2017 at 9:26 am
Maritza LeaThis article is everythinggggggggggg. I love how it was written and you got RIGHT to the meat of the topics I was questioning. I just started IF so this was perfection. Thanks!! -Maritza Lea
May 25, 2017 at 7:00 am
Dani ParhamAlso just trying to keep this is simple as possible
May 24, 2017 at 10:09 am
Dani ParhamIf you are doing the 16/8 fasting, starting at 8pm to 12pm and then eating until 8pm, If you don't exactly eat all the way up to 8pm does that break your fast. Also - I'm trying to include this and go to the gym 2 days a week and workout between 530-615. If I continue on with my day, not eating until 12pm, how does this affect me
May 24, 2017 at 10:03 am
Eddie DurdinWhat if I don't want to take BCAAs after an 8AM workout and keep fasting until my normal window of 12-1pm breakfast? Won't ghrelin and GH levels maintain my anti-catabolic state anyway? Won't my insulin levels remain low anyway? Won't my T AR upregulation remain positive?
September 27, 2016 at 12:09 pm
Kyland YoungThank you for this awesome post! I have been trying IF for a couple of weeks, but my schedule has made it difficult some days - I typically sleep from 11:45-5(sometimes 5:15), monday-friday, and do my workout from 615-7. I like to take my whey protein right after workout. My difficulty has come from having to stop eating at 3-4pm every afternoon - and going to be after not eating since 3-4pm sometimes makes going to sleep uncomfortable because I'm trying to sleep on an empty stomach. Do you have any suggestions to make that late afternoon/evening hunger more bearable?
June 15, 2016 at 10:28 am
SCNDLESS96id love to have a bit of info on knowing when to break your fast , signals from the body etc.
May 15, 2016 at 5:49 pm
jessketo42If I drink BPC 12 hours into my 16 hour fast - will my body burn the fat from the butter/MCT instead of my body's stored fat?
May 10, 2016 at 10:35 am
James BockWhat's up, John? I just stumbled on this article, and I'm not sure if you see the comments anymore, but I'm wondering about Bulletproof Coffee. You suggest <100 calories of fat in coffee while fasting, but Dave recommends 1-2 tbs of both butter and MCT, claiming it won't break your fast. Any thoughts?
May 4, 2016 at 7:55 pm
J BenedikHi John, thanks for three very informative posts on this topic. Do you have any follow up reading I could do on how this process differs (if it does) for women?
January 31, 2016 at 6:30 am
Rachel KennyHey, will fish oils break the fast?
January 18, 2016 at 7:56 am
Carlos MenendezRoman, thank you for Engineering the Alpha it has change my life and body. I would love for my buddy to start the alpha training but he is a diabetic, How does IF affect Type 1 and type 2 diabetics?
November 18, 2015 at 10:29 pm
Mojorisen XHey Roman, Question(s): I have started the 16/8 fast and I am very new to this whole world of IF. I am exercising roughly 12pm and eat/break the fast by about 1pm. I do my eating portion until 9pm then start the fasting phase again at that time. Those are the time frames you suggested and they work for me. Here's the catch. I work swing shift so my morning is 12pm when I start my work out. Is eating at 1pm not a good idea? Should I hold the fast longer? To make it simple, from the time I wake up to the time I exercise and to the time I break the fast, how much time should pass, 6 - 7hrs? I saw in the post in FAQ's of the person who asked about working out in the morning and eating after, you said it may not be as successful because if missing out on the hormonal stuff. In essence I am in the same boat since I wake up and excercise. What is more important, the fasting in general or the fasting while awake? If I am fasting from 9pm to 1pm the next day is that ok? I am ending my 16 hour fast with a workout and a meal. Also, When I get home from work, about 3am, I am hungry sometimes, I cant have coffee or green tea, would Almonds break the fast or some other nut if I had that? Or Chia seed in water or something like that? Thanks, Gene
October 29, 2015 at 5:52 am
PharamcydropshipVery nice blog. I liked the post.
September 19, 2015 at 10:02 am
Minh Chien TranHey Roman. I am currently on phase 2 of your program. Just wondering if drinking some energy drink pre-workout on the 24 hour fast consider breaking the fast?
July 20, 2015 at 7:02 am
Jose WilchesHey there, quick question on topic, will L-tyrosine, 5 Htp or nootropics supplements break the fast?
July 11, 2015 at 4:29 pm
PaulI fast 7pm-11am problem is my shifts have all changed in work which means I will not be able to drink protien etc after my workout which I estimate i will be finnished around 7am before my shifts changed i finnished a daily workout around 10:30 am so it was never a problem would this affect muscle growth if i waited say 4 hours after my workout to drink/eat protien?
June 21, 2015 at 11:47 am
Bruce HillHey Roman, Great post. I do a 36 hour fast about once a month. I'm also a huge fan of Bulletproof coffee. On my fast days, I have a cup of Bulletproof coffee at lunch with about a 1.5 tablespoons of grass fed butter + 1tsp of caprylic acid. That really smooths out the afternoon for both energy and hunger, but is that killing my fast? Thanks and keep up the good work.
June 19, 2015 at 2:52 pm
Rouge SurreahIve also read that putting grass fed butter or coconut oil in coffee prior to a fasted training session has CLA that helps burn fat... Dont know how much I believe this. I take L cartinine and Yohimbine currently and BCAA but didnt know about the insulin spike until I read your article :(
June 19, 2015 at 6:57 am
Rouge SurreahHi Roman, How does one find out how sensitive they are to insulin? Also, in terms of putting etc. into the coffee. I like cream in my coffee, but only 2-3tbsp which is about 60 cal. Would this spike insulin? Or would stevia? I have read that HMB is a great alternative to BCAA's that does not spike insulin and is more effective in retaining muscle mass. Thoughts?
June 19, 2015 at 6:55 am
1 Hour AthleteGreat post, building intermittent fasting into my daily routine is pretty much the only way I can stay lean all year round, I've also found it frees up my mornings to focus on work rather than thinking about breakfast or the snacks I'm going to have before lunch! http://www.1hourathlete.com
May 19, 2015 at 1:37 pm
Damian | DareandConquerHey roman, I have a question about one of your answered questions. Specifically the one about working out in the morning. Does this "anabolic window" stuff really exist? Or is it another marketing tecnhique to promote and increase sales of post workout meals and protein shakers? Kind Regards, Damian
May 14, 2015 at 10:07 am
GeorgeHello all, I decided to start IF, with the 16/8 path, but my schedule is as follows: Work from 9 till 18.30 and excercise from 19.30 to 20.30 or 21.00 I cant workout in the morning, so that is out of the question. The most suitable feast window is 14.00 to 22.00 but only my second meal is after workout. Is that OK? Do you have any othe more suitable 8 hour to suggest? Thanks in advance, George P.s. wherever I read about IF, I havent seen anywhere about daily calories consumed. Isn't there a general rule on this? Fyi - I'm looking to lose fat out of this!
April 15, 2015 at 8:30 pm
Joseph Lewis DeLisleRoman, Ever sense I started engineering the alpha my breath has been bad. I did some reading and found out the high fat diets can lead to this. Have u ever had a problem? This leads to my follow up questions does gum break fast?
March 31, 2015 at 12:35 pm
JC32Hey Roman, Here's a difficult training/work schedule, Working from 3pm - 7pm Mon - Fri. Training is Mon - Fri 7:30pm - 9:30pm and Sat 3pm-6pm and also training Mon, Wed, Fri from 12pm - 2:30pm? Is it even possible to fast with this type of schedule? I am intrested in IF for fat loss and getting extra lean (low single digits bf%) as a lot of what I do relies on great bodyweight strength. i.e. gymnastics
March 18, 2015 at 3:41 am
AshA recurring experience I've had with fasting is that under some circumstances (sleep deprivation or post workout) prolonging the fast leads to brain fog (suspected hypoglycemia??). Is fasting while getting less than 6 hours of sleep or having sleep debt over 2-3 days usually lead to decreased energy levels and mental clarity? Would really appreciate some clarity on this. Thanks Roman, Ash
March 10, 2015 at 5:58 pm
Àd Nanthanks for your effort could i workout in eating window ( 8 hours) ?? Would this reduce benefit of intermediate fasting?
February 23, 2015 at 1:04 pm
TraceyI have been fasting from 8p to 12p for about a month now. 12-8 , i eat whenever I feel hungry, usually 3 -4 times. I work out at 8:30 am before work. I havent found it difficult to wait til 12 to eat (unless I have a very hard workout). If I do, I just eat a half hour earlier and adjust the eve time. The issue I am having consistently is 3pm funk. Like i have the flu and I am exhausted. I have a snack and green tea, but it takes 1-2 hrs to feel human again, also I have been waking at 4 am and having difficulty falling back to sleep. Any suggestions?
October 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm
Nameis it acceptable to have my eating window around lunch, rather than afternoon? [10 AM - 2 PM]
September 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm
KungfuboyHi Roman, can creatine break fasts? Anyway 'm currently reading Engineering the Alpha and i have to say it is , Downright awesome!. Good job man!
September 7, 2014 at 2:52 am
Mike BrundaAlright... still unclear on if BPC or fatty coffee breaks my fast... I saw you're caloric recommendations on keeping it under 100 cal's, but I've read other sources that indicated fat doesn't break the fast. I'm including my BPC in my daily calorie and macro nutrient tracking, but enjoy it in the morning. I feel like I'm more alert, more energy and in a better mood... I know I could make the fast without it, but am reducing the results of my 16:8 by having my cup of BPC at 8? Heres' a "sciencey" explaination that I read supporting it... http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/2995-does-the-butter-in-bulletproof-coffee-break-if-and-ketosis/
September 3, 2014 at 12:27 pm
Lauren CohenLauren-Los Angeles/ I heard that fasting for 1 or 2 days a week is way better than IF...are you or those people right;-)?
April 17, 2014 at 5:39 pm
Berlin OrellanaHello Roman, i have a question, please give some advice, you see; I run at 6 am, im fasting and my first solid meal is at 1 pm, my workout is at 7 pm, my question is ..... Is it ok to run and hour while fasting in the morning.? Im doing it for fat loss, help me please
February 1, 2014 at 6:15 am
RajWhich bcaa brand do you recommend?
January 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm
RajHi Roman, I am currently ending the second week of prime. And have followed the programme as suggested in the book. However one night I went off track where I ate pasta and burgers. Did this ruin my insulin reset? I did however fast the next day for close to 24 hours and them went back to my 16/8 routine. Please advise if I should continue and enter into the third week where I would begin to slowly reintroduce carbs into my diet.
January 5, 2014 at 8:41 am
Melyssa St-HilaireI think I already know the response to this, but would a phytoberry drink and fish oil also break the fast? I typically have my Vegegreens, Phytoberry and nutrasea all at once in the AM and it helps me stave off the hunger for a while, but it IS a good 150 cals altogether so it probably isn't optimal.
November 29, 2013 at 6:04 pm
Golan HoreshStrait? I mean start
November 9, 2013 at 1:19 am
Golan HoreshHi roman, I'm currently reading and following the workouts in Man 2.0. Have followed the nutrition religiously and am showing great results. I will be 2 weeks into Surge when I then have a holiday in Miami for 10days. On my return do I need to strait the programme and the nutrition again from the start of Prime?
November 9, 2013 at 1:17 am
Nadim KabirRoman, I can only train in the morning. So I have a question about the proteinshake that you recommend to use during the workout. If I train lets say 08.00h in the morning can I have my proteinshake during the timewindow like 14.00h untill 22.00h? Can I do it like that while following your Engineering the alpha program?
November 3, 2013 at 5:15 pm
John RomanielloDoesn't raise insulin enough to affct things
October 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm
John Romaniellolol, I am not going to tell you smoking is bad. Policing your body is not my job =) To answer: if anything smoking may help. It causes a bit of appetite suppression, and seems to increase T3 ever so slightly. You're fine in that regard.
October 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm
Keith AngellYes. I'm wondering the same thing. Why hasn't anyone else asked this question?
October 21, 2013 at 8:29 pm
Nerijus DaržinskasHey, one quick question - I take Granade detonator supplement - two capsules almost right after I wake up. Does it break my fast?
October 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm
NerijusHey, one quick question - I take Granade detonator supplement - two capsules almost right after I wake up. Does it break my fast?
October 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm
Russell BellRoman, great post. Definitely answers a few questions I have had about all this. With respect to the morning training schedule is there any concern about the post workout protein synthesis window? I have read some places it is a lot of hype by supplement companies and not as valid as some people say/believe. Granted if you could double it up with the end of the fasting window that would ideal but sadly not the case for me. I know your friend/colleague Jason Ferruggia has said to have a some protein and fruit (no starchy carbs) following a morning workout if one must workout in the morning. Not to put it into a Jason vs. Roman manner just curious as I can imagine you two have discussed the post workout feeding window vs. fasting schools of thought. Love the book, about halfway done it now. Thanks for information. Russell
September 3, 2013 at 8:52 pm
Daniel DavidEngineering the Alpha I have just started phase 1 of Engineering the Alpha. I have one question before I begin. How do I 'completely' avoid carbs? For example, almond butter even though it's predominantly a fat source there is still carbs within the macronutrients, do i include this within my carb count for the day?
September 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm
Daniel DavidI have just started phase 1 of Engineering the Alpha. I have one question before I begin. How do I 'completely' avoid carbs? For example, almond butter even though it's predominantly a fat source there is still carbs within the macronutrients, do i include this within my carb count for the day?
September 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm
Daniel DavidI have just started phase 1 of Engineering the Alpha. I have one question before I begin. How do I 'completely' avoid carbs? For example, almond butter even though it's predominantly a fat source there is still carbs within the macronutrients, do i include this within my carb count for the day?
September 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm
Daniel DavidJohn Romaniello I have just started phase 1 of engineering the alpha i have one question before i begin how do i avoid carbs? for example if i ate almond butter even though it predominantly a fat source there is still carbs within the macronutrients. do i include this within my carb count for the day?
September 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm
Reed LuikaartJohn, I've searched to my hearts content. Being a triathlete, any articles you could point me towards regarding IF and endurance training? It is off season and focusing on muscle gain and starting your program but plan on doing short cardio workouts on "off days" Reed
August 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm
Amy VandeputteHope I will get an answer to this - it's been asked but haven't really found the answer. (I'm a girl haha and in love with your man 2.0) I'm helping my dad and a friend doing the alpha programme -> on certain days my dad can only train in the morning so he doesn't take anything in post-workout. I am making him drink his 'carbshake' in the afternoon, a couple of hours after his first F+P meal and before his next/last F+P meal. Is this ok or not? I know it's not ideal but with the carb reintroduction and all, I wanted to be sure it's not completely messing everything up.
August 15, 2013 at 8:46 am
Roman AuthorThat's actually a great plan. Well done!
August 15, 2013 at 11:27 am
Marcus DeAmicisHi Roman...I fast from 8pm untill 12pm , workout at 5am before work and supplement with BCAA's after workout. My questions is in the PRIME phase or any phase of Engineering the Alpha, would it be ok to supplement with HCL Creatine anywhere in the routine?
July 11, 2013 at 2:02 am
Keith LacockHey Roman, I just got done with Adapt and first wanted to say thanks for writing the book. This is the hardest and easiest diet I've ever been on. (Does that make sense?) Anyway, I'm down from 194 to 178 and lost a lot of fat. One of my favorite things in Adapt was the cheat day followed by the fast. I'm totally cool with getting a day of gluttony followed by a 36 hour fast. My question is that I didn't see cheat days or fasting really mentioned in Phase 3 or Phase 4. Can I still keep stuffing myself (to a reasonable point) and then following with the fast? I'm seriously already thinking about which pasta dish to have on Sunday. Thanks!
July 2, 2013 at 8:30 pm
Roman SadikoffHow about sugar free gum? Thanks
June 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm
Eduardo UriasPeople are over concerned about food. Just on side note: green tea may cause nausea and an upset stomach when you are fasting, so it might not be a good option for some people. Lots of water and some black coffee here and there. You cannot go wrong with that and your muscles WON'T melt down after 24h fasting. Nice post, Roman.
June 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm
Cody Boom Boom McBroomLove the athletic greens product, but how does that not break your fast? I have been practicing IF for about a year now and always assumed it did because it has calories and some carbs.
June 27, 2013 at 8:40 pm
JoeHey Roman how do you go about breaking a fast for an athlete who trains 2-3 times a day? I am a boxer and have cardio(2-3mile run or roadwork circuit in the morning), boxing/conditioning at 11am-1pm, strength training/skill work or possibly more conditioning in the evening?
June 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm
Nick X MassaThis may have been asked a million times already (and if so, sorry about that), but if the eat window is 2 - 10 like you suggest, is it cool to eat a small meal at 2, train after work and then eat the big meal after that?
June 27, 2013 at 7:16 pm
O'Rion AldersonIn week 1 of Adapt and I'm 19 lbs and 2% BF leaner. I break my fast about noon with bulletproof coffee (15g butter 15g mct oil) in the morning. I work out about 6 (after work), but I find it very difficult to get that second meal in before 8pm after my shake. Suggestions for scheduling my meals? Fasted for 40 hours after my first cheat day and it ain't no thang even with cardio and recording a podcast.
June 27, 2013 at 7:01 pm
JamesJust a note out there to other readers wondering about IF, I've been doing it since I started ETA nearly 2 months ago. Once you get used it, like Roman says, it's not hard at all, and actually I find I both save money and am MORE satisfied from meals. Who wants to eat 1 bite of something multiple times a day? By putting your entire calorie intake for the day into 2-3 meals over only 8 hours, it means you can easily be satisfied each time you eat.
June 27, 2013 at 6:35 pm
Aaron BrodkeyRoman. First of all great blog post. I just found your blog and I enjoy the way you write and what you have to say. I'll definitely be subscribing to blog! I've starting writing my own blog and I'm thoroughly impressed with yours. I'll be sure to take note of the things you do. Take care. Aaron http://fitandleanteen.com
June 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm
Darin TealI need to work out in the am before work. I Have Found. Have no energy and A Crappy workout if I dont eat a little. So that means. Have To start my eating at 8 till 4? That sucks
June 22, 2013 at 9:02 pm
Michael LuskindHey Roman, If I'm breaking my fast with a post-workout shake, since I'm gyming at 12 or 1pm, should I have "breakfast" later in the day, around 4-5?
June 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm
Michael LuskindI mean, should i push back my first real meal of the day?
June 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm
June 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm
Richard McMahonI apologise if this was answered in the article but to clarify- greens in the am and coffee as long as its under 100 calories. Thanks, love your work.
June 11, 2013 at 5:19 am
Miguel LaemmleThanks for the information Roman. There's just one thing I'd like to know. In your book " Engineering the Alpha" you posted your meals for Phase I. Your first meal of the day consisted of just Protein and Fat. Did you eat this before or after your workout? What about your 2nd meal which consisted of Protein, Carbs and Fat. When did you eat/drink this?
June 10, 2013 at 11:50 am
John RomanielloBoth were after my workout.
July 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm
DannySince you like movie paraphrases so much , here's one for fasting. " Your bodies dying pay no attention , it's only ordinary body death " . Bought the book , in the prime stage.
June 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm
Nigel RogersI was curious as to if and why "free veggies" have no effect on ones car intake during and eating window. I'm resetting my insulin and I see in the book that it suggests that you have veggies with every meal but in doing so it seems impossible to keep within the reccomended range of carbs.
June 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm
Sara LeachHi Roman, I wondered if you had any advice for females following engineering the alpha, in particular the calculations around calories and macros. Should the difference between men and women and tenancies in body fat mean the scale for working out daily allowances is any different for women?
June 5, 2013 at 9:35 am
Frank JacquesHey Roman! First off, thanks for everything you've done with your website and especially your book. You mentioned Bulletproof coffee, which I just tried today and really enjoyed. I eat my meals 12pm-8pm but I wake up at 5am and would drink the BP coffee (with 2tbsp MCT oil and 2 Tbsp organic butter from grass fed cows) about 45min after I wake up. Should this be discontinued for optimal results? I am currently in Phase 2 week 3.
June 4, 2013 at 3:08 pm
Sam NahrgangRoman in the first two weeks of Phase 1, you state 0 carbs on non-workout days; I'm finding it hard to find foods that have absolutely no carbs in them, what foods would you recommend. Also a lot of my meals end up being higher in protein and lower in fat than they should be, but this is because a lot of the fats listed in ETA have some carbs. And is there a cheat day in the first two weeks?
May 30, 2013 at 1:50 am
MarkyMarkRoman- My goal is fat loss/recompisition rather than gaining size, and fortunately due to my work schedule I am able to follow the 16/8 pattern during the week and break my fast in the early afternoon post-workout. My question is what do you recommend for the post-workout meal. If you read Berkham he states stick to whole food, and make it the largest meal of the day----keeping it nigher C and P and less F ( though I think that is for gaining size, and I'm sure he would tweak that for fat loss etc). But then many continue to feel that a higher carb and protein, maybe 2:1 (a shake lets say) is ideal in the post-workout window. I would think it would have to be the world largest shake to make it the largest meal at lets say 40-50% of total calories. I have been following kind of your FPFL recommendations, even post workout---higher F and P land less C, allowing for a little more C on workout days. PLeased so far, just wondering if I can tweak it a but more for the better, Thanks M
May 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm
BenHi Roman, Love all of your stuff! I had no knowledge about IF or your blog until a friend recommended I read ETA. I have, and I love it. I'm 6'2", 205 lbs, and 13% body fat (have a 6 pack), but after reading your book I got my testosterone tested and came in at 419. I had been doing standard lo-carb high-protein diet, I'm taking up your protocol instead. My question is on the later phases, with the feast/famine eating model, if my eating window is 2:30pm-10:30pm, does that apply on my cheat day as well? Also, how many calories should I be aiming to eat on my cheat day as a multiple of my normal days? 2x? 5x? I'm more concerned with adding muscle than losing fat, but I assume the fast day doesn't run counter to that, so planning to incorporate that as well. Thanks Roman, and thanks for all of the great knowledge!
May 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm
DanHi Roman! Just got finished with your book this weekend - great read, and congrats to you and Adam. Few questions, 1) I have to work out first thing in the morning at 6:00am. I know you recommend working out later so how do you recommend structuring things around a morning workout? Would you still recommend consuming the carbs at night, and how about post-workout drink? 2) Also, I'm been following Fat Loss Forever program for the last few months. I've also been following the diet so I'm pretty much only consuming carbs on Wednesdays and Sundays (cheat days). I made great progress but have started stalling recently. Should I still begin this program at phase 1, considering that I've already been in a significant deficit calorically and carb wise? 3) Can you elaborate on cardio recommendations for ETA? I don't really remember reading any.... Thx! Dan
May 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm
TroyRoman, I typically work out around 4:30am, would taking MP Assault pre be considered breaking the fast? By the way...loved Engineering the Alpha, it's the reason I'm going to start IF and your program highlighted in the book. Hoping it can take me to the next level...6% BF! Thanks, Troy
May 22, 2013 at 1:57 am
johnMp assault has calories in it so yes you would brake the fast. Choose a pre workout without any calories or bcaa s in so you dont raise your insulin either or brake the fast
May 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm
Paul M @ Cleveland FitnessRoman, I've been trying to find a good "go to" article for intermittent fasting and I'm thankful I came across yours. I often get question after question as I try to explain the principles to people and now I can just print this out and give them a little homework and answering a couple quick questions. Thanks again.
May 15, 2013 at 7:59 pm
Tony Peaveysadly, I workout at 9:30pm so I have to flip my diet and actually have the post shake as my last meal, fast till 2 and then break the fast with eating and then a meal at 6 then got workout a few hours after that, how does this affect the diet?
May 15, 2013 at 6:18 pm
Patrick HerwardDo either of the following "break" my fast: 1. taking prescription medication (pills) with water. 2. chewing gum PS just read Engineering the Alpha and currently in Phase 1.
May 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm
Ben HardyHi Roman! Thanks for the great info. Your book and this info convinced me to give IF a try. I'm liking the results so far. My question is this: around 12 hours into the fast I start to feel dizzy, my pseudo-scientific theory is that my blood sugar level is getting too low. If I eat then the dizziness goes away. Is this common in the first few weeks? Is there something I can do to mitigate the dizziness without breaking the fast? Thanks!
May 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm
Mridul Murali (from India)As a follow on to the earlier question, literature in support of casein/or any kind of slow release protein, states that when you fast during your sleep your muscle breaks down. Is this plain bullshit or is there some science behind this?
May 12, 2013 at 2:38 am
Mridul Murali (from India)Hi John, your book was certainly an eye opener especially in terms of the science laid down bare. Had a question, considering I am in a 'pesky' job, my workout would be in the morning (7:30-9:00 AM) and my window for eating would typically be 10 AM-6 PM. That said, would it be beneficial/detrimental to have a casein shake before bed, considering that I would be fasting for 16 hours otherwise and hitting the gym first thing in the morning
May 12, 2013 at 2:35 am
Steve ZappaFirst of all, just wanted to say how great Man 2.0 was.. I really enjoyed the fact that it was easy to read, but also gave the science behind everything without being too technical. Anyway, here's my question: I've been following a 5x5 workout program the past few weeks, and am really liking the results it's giving me. On the other hand, I would love to follow the diet plan outlined in the book. Is there any way I could keep my current workout program and incorporate the diet in this? The only thing I'm afraid of is the fact that eating so few calories might interfere with my recovery from intense 5x5 training.
May 10, 2013 at 1:15 am
Jérémie Saint-MarcRoman, for the cheat day, what time can we start/stop eating? full day or 8h window? Thanks!
May 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm
John RomanielloGood question. On cheat days, I like a 12 hour feeding window. For me, 11-11.
May 15, 2013 at 4:58 pm
Jérémie Saint-MarcOK! I am now closing Prime week #3, love the diet, great results already on insulin spike, sleeeep (big + for me), sex life, hunger, focus, skin, and off course body fat. Thanks a lot Roman!
May 17, 2013 at 4:36 pm
Jake MaggardI would like to be clear that I'm talking about tobacco, not marijuana. Some folks on the Internet asked the same thing about marijuana.
May 9, 2013 at 3:08 am
Jake MaggardUmmm, without going all "Smoking is the devil, just quit and leave it at that," what effect (if any) will it have on my fast? I know smoking is bad for my health, and I know it's a vasoconstrictor and is bad for my workouts, so please don't tell me all that and let me know what effect it may have on my fasting. I'm on Phase 1 right now, but I assume it would apply across fasting in general. Thanks.
May 9, 2013 at 3:06 am
Rafael MatiasExcellent question. I'm waiting for that reply too
July 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm
RJHi Roman, I'm wondering what your take is on fasting for a strongman competitor. When I do my training it often lasts close to 2 hours and I usually need an intraworkout shake to keep me going. Depending on my work schedule I sometimes train before work and sometimes after. Is it necessary to follow 16/8 fasts every day or what would be the minimum number of days per week to fast in order to benefit from it? I can't see myself maintaining strength through those workouts after a 12-16 hour fast.
May 9, 2013 at 2:08 am
Andy BaxterI just finshed reading Engineering the Alpha and I am excited about trying intermittent fasting. I have a really weird situation that I'm trying to resolve. I work night shift and normally workout within 1 hour of waking(2:00 PM). I was considering changing my workout time until after work(around 7:30 AM) That would mean that I would have to consume all my calories in one setting.(8:30AM-9:00AM) What's your thoughts on this? Have you had any clients with a similar situation?
May 9, 2013 at 1:39 am
Armistead LeggeGood post Roman. Great workarounds for those interested in fasting, and spot on in terms of accuracy. Another tip: Chew gum. It makes fasting way less of a pain and gives you something to ease your oral fixation.
May 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm
t MeehanGum either has sugar or artificial sweeteners, most of which are insulinogenic. Wouldn't that be a problem if you are resetting your insuliin?
February 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm
AndresHow important is keeping a regular schedule with fasting? I'm implementing two or three 20 hour fasts throughout the week, but I don't often have control over which two or three days I can fast on. Is the only risk that my ghrelin levels won't adjust and I'll remain hungry for longer?
May 7, 2013 at 8:40 pm
Travis DuncanSo, if I eat fibrous vegetables, that is breaking the fast too?
May 6, 2013 at 3:17 am
Roman Fitness SystemsWould prefer you waited till after the fast.
May 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm
Matthew HollingRoman Fitness Systems But we can drink the green powder?
May 29, 2013 at 8:02 pm
Engineering the AlphaYes, that's fine.
July 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm
Miguel RamosRoman, Adam hi! I'm starting the Alpha regimen tomorrow as presented in the book. The 4 Hour Body worked quite nicely for me but I slacked off and have to start again. I'm willing to test alternatives and the fasting part appeals to me. My schedule allows me to eat at 2-3 pm, train at 5-6 pm, eat post-workout and have dinner before 10-11 pm. I'm 55, weigh 90 Kgs and in relative good shape. Question: apart from protein shakes and BCAAs that have already been discussed, what is your take on the following and whether they can be taken in the "fast window". NO X-Plode (1st thing morning). Vitamin D3 3x daily. PAGG Stack (as in 4HB) 3x daily. Vitamin supplements 3x daily. Mineral Supplements 3x daily. Can I snack Free Veggies (like pickles) any amount / anytime or do I still have to add those calories to my daily limit? These fall within the eating window, but I'd still appreciate your opinion on them: NO X-Plode (Pre-Workout). Jack 3D (Pre-Workout). Glutamine Pre-workout. Creatine Post-workout. btw: A friend (43 yrs, 78 Kgs) will also start the program but last year he went through a serious illness. He's Ok now except his triglyceride count is >300 (should be 100). Any comments on his going through the Alpha program? Thanks! Miguel Madrid, Spain
May 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm
DanWouldn't it be better to not fast and make sure you get 3 grams of leucine 4-5 times a day to keep protein synthesis high? What about just supplementing with leucine during the fasting period?
May 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm
Chris YorkIf I implement a cheat day into my schedule, should I still utilize the 16/8 schedule for the cheat day? For example, do I do all my cheating in an 8 hour window?
May 4, 2013 at 4:16 pm
bardziejI usually train in the morning (7-9 A.M.), so my 'natural' feeding window was 10 A.M - 6 P.M. Should I move my feeding window to 2-10 P.M. and skip pre- and postworkout BCAA's for Phase 1 best results? And how about Phases 2-4?
May 4, 2013 at 6:34 am
Leonardo FAOROI bought Engineering the Alpha and I'm currently in Phase I resetting my Insulin. Beside your recommended workout I keep training some muscles on sets (chest, biceps, triceps), my goal is to lose body fat but also gain extra muscle in those areas. In the first 30min after I wake up I drink a protein shake (35g Protein, 12g BCAA) 100% Gold Standard (ON). Why do I do that? Because Tim Ferris demonstrates in his book 4-Hour Body that >30g of protein in the first half an hour after you wake up accelerates your metabolism and increases fat loss. Then I keep fasting until 2pm. After I bored you with all these details, my question is: Does the protein shake break my fast?
May 3, 2013 at 8:53 pm
Mike AlanYes it does
January 4, 2015 at 9:46 pm
vsyncwhy would it break it? it's protein, not carbohydrates. fasting is regarding ONLY to carbohydrates which break into sugar which replaces the ketones. and you want ketones. not sugars. protein is not break into sugars (if a reasonable amount is consumed)
February 13, 2017 at 4:32 am
KCIt's calories, which spikes your insulin, which diverts form the fat burning process
February 12, 2018 at 12:37 am
Leonard FaoroI bought Engineering the Alpha and I'm currently in Phase I resetting my Insulin. Beside your recommended workout I keep training some muscles on sets (chest, biceps, triceps), my goal is to lose body fat but also gain extra muscle in those areas. In the first 30min after I wake up I drink a protein shake (35g Protein, 12g BCAA) 100% Gold Standard (ON). Why do I do that? Because Tim Ferris demonstrates in his book 4-Hour Body that >30g of protein in the first half an hour after you wake up accelerates your metabolism and increases fat loss. Then I keep fasting until 2pm. After I bored you with all these details, my question is: Does the protein shake break my fast?
May 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm
Guled YousufThe protein shake will still break your fast with water because protein incites a insulin response. Also your shake contains BCAA's and as Roman states above BCAA's are extremly insulinogenic. I would think that defeats the purpose of Phase I which is resetting your insulin sensitivity.
May 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm
Roman Fitness SystemsCorrect.
May 4, 2013 at 12:46 am
Roman Fitness SystemsIt breaks the fast. Skip the shake.
May 4, 2013 at 12:47 am
Craig PreisendorfI'm sure you've heard that John Kiefer recommends a TBS of coconut oil and 10 grams of whey isolate in your coffee. That wouldn't be a big enough insulin response would it?
May 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm
John Romaniellothe fat from the oil would slow the insulin response, so you'd probably be fine.
May 6, 2013 at 10:00 pm
Jérémie Saint-MarcI used to train from 6 to 7am. I have moved my w/o to 3-4h after 1st meal at 1pm to take advantage of the 16h fasting and the 50g P +30g C intake from the post-w/o insulin spike. 1.5w into Prime and it's worked great for me so far! BCAAs before w/o!
May 9, 2013 at 9:32 am
Alfonso De ArmasHi Roman...I usually fast from 2PM to 6AM. I train at 5AM. I am able to train at 1PM. Do you recommend I switch to fasting from 10PM to 2PM?
May 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm
Jake JohnsonAwesome post Roman. Just recently started experimenting with 24-36 hour fasts, and I'm loving it. Also, as a side-note, I just listened to your podcast with Bryan Callen and it was outstanding. Keep up the great work. Jake Johnson
May 3, 2013 at 6:01 pm
Cone Nueve OnceIt would be really nice to know a bit more about Acesulfame Potassium effects on insulin levels. How much Acesulfame-K is in a can of Coke Zero and how much insulin levels rise? I mean... wouldn't you like to start your day with a can of Sugar-Free Red Bull? That would be awesome.
May 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm
Roman Fitness SystemsHonestly, it's unclear. Rat studies and all that stuff. I would personally not like to stat my day with red bull, as I find it horrendous. But, more power to you.
May 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm
Xavier San GabrielQ & A on Intermittent Fasting or IF...
May 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm
Piotr DamekRoman, Would you recommend to feast if someone is in the 1 phase of ETA(week 1- 30g carbs on Workout Days, 0g- on non-workout days)? Thanks in advance for the answer P.S- Few days ago I sent you the message on Fb. Did you get it?
May 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm
MarkAbsolutely not. I guess if it was recommended, he would have included it in that phase of ETA :) Gotta wait until week 5 Sunday (24 days to go and counting)
May 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm
Matt KennyThanks for the post, Roman. I've been fasting for a couple months and have gradually made it regular part of my life. Reading posts and experiences from you and other coaches has really helped get me here. Having the 8-hour feeding window (sometimes less) made me no longer tied down to meal times for training, etc. Side note: did you mean to say ghrelin levels are suppressed after eating?
May 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm
CubanCowboyR, bought 'Engineering the Alpha' last week, started Phase 1 this week (today's day 5, on 'Workout 2), following advice/instructions to the letter....and amazed by this glorious fact: yesterday (zero carb non-workout day) was the first day in 25 years that I did not have to inject myself with insulin! (i'm an insulin dep diabetic who, through your guidance, has begun a loooong overdue 'reset' process...btw: even endocrinologists vouch for intermittent fasting and upping one's insulin sensitivity:)). With Big Thanks, Jorge
May 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm
CubanCowboyOops..I meant Workout 4!!
May 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm
MiguelGreat info John! How about "cheating" the fast on other supplements such as Creatine, multivitamins, fish oil, etc. Do they make a difference? thanks!
May 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm
ShakedEven found an answer about Creatine?
June 14, 2017 at 3:46 am
tipoo2Creatine has no calories and should have no insulin impact.
August 23, 2017 at 7:45 am
Doug PearlSome would say because creatine is an amino acid it could spike insulin, and more generally trigger digestive/metabolic processes. Also if there is in fact zero insulin impact, then creatine uptake might be limited.
March 4, 2018 at 9:08 am
Konrad MuzykaI train in the morning and break the fast with a postworkout shake. Ii would be now inclined to move it until early afteroon (to see how my body responds). Should I now break the fast with high-glycemic carbs(i.e. dextrose)?
May 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm
Roman Fitness SystemsYup, sounds aboot right.
May 3, 2013 at 6:58 pm
BennDo you stick from of fasting or do you practice say 16 hour fasts Mon to Friday. Good feast on Saturday then 24 hour fast Sunday
May 3, 2013 at 8:03 am
John RomanielloSunday - feast/cheat day Mon - full fast, no food at all T - 16/8 W - 16/8 Th - 16/8 F - 16/8 S - 14/10 (mainly just out of convenience. I also don't eat any carbs on this day)
May 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm
BennAwezomes yes this deserves a 'z'. Thanks Roman.
May 8, 2013 at 7:13 am
Eduardo UriasHi Roman, What time do you break your fast on Tuesday? Do you have you last meal on Sunday evening right? My PR is 34h fast, but did not like much of how I felt at the end.
June 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm
Nikki IsbeingvagueBy any carbs, do mean veg carbs too? Forgive the seemingly easy question, I’m keto and just starting IF. Trying to figure out the balance.
February 12, 2018 at 5:44 am
Logan WaltzFat causes no insulin response. Protein causes some insulin response and carbs cause even more of an insulin response. The primary purpose of fasting is control and regulation of hormones. Keep carbs for cheat meals or cheat days. They will only last half a day at most and will kick you out of ketosis for a few hours. If you want to include carbs at all in your keto diet, make them green veggies only. These are high in vitamins and low in carbs, they are also very slow digesting carbs, having the lowest insulin effect. The point of carbs in keto is misplaced concern for how healthy the diet is or because you lift weights and you need carbs as a quicker burning energy source for heavy lifts. If you want to know about carbs, just refer to glycemic index.
February 22, 2018 at 8:47 am
Stefan PutterThanks for some more alpha knowledge. My question is, i suppose, an iteration of question 3, and that is given my workout timings my options are 16/8 with a pre and post workout meal, or 20/4 with all the calories post workout. I can manage either, and im sure either will 'work'. So my question would be, for someone who is already 8% bodyfat, which is optimal? Or as i shall refer to it, which is Alhpa? Peace out
May 3, 2013 at 7:05 am
John RomanielloIn the case of someone already lean, I would say train in the morning and dose with BCAAs.
May 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm
Tom GlanderInspired posting, my man. Love it. And your book rocks my casbaaaaaaa. Or however you spell that song word thing. Most excellent work.
May 3, 2013 at 3:47 am
GuestI was just about to email you about Question #4, so this was timely. Turns out I was breaking my fast early and that may have tanked my leptin levels after I dropped all that fat (found that out thanks to ETA). I have a slightly refined question #4 though. Let's say I workout twice a week in the morning, before work and twice a week after work. My eating window is noon to 8pm. Let's say my training goal is re-composition/maintenance as opposed to fat loss. If I have a post-workout drink after those morning workouts, thus breaking my fast early, will the benefits of the PWO drink outweigh doing IF only 5 days/week?
May 3, 2013 at 1:00 am
MikeRoman, you've stated in a comment on your Athletic Greens post that you prefer 1g fish oil per % of body fat for fat loss, which is news to me. If you're 20%, would consuming that much in the morning with 5000 IU Vitamin D and Athletic Greens break your fast? I tend to think it would. If it matters, I do 18/6 IF most days breaking the fast at 2pm. Thanks in advance for any guidance. Ps~ really digging Engineering the Alpha! Congrats on the achievement!
May 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm
John RomanielloThanks for the kind words about Alpha, Mike. Means a lot. To your question - I would say you'd want to have the fish oil at night, which some believe is better, anyway. So, AG and D3 in the morning, fishies at night. (also, if you're taking 20g, use liquid - much cheaper)
May 2, 2013 at 10:42 pm