You're going to get something that many of you have been asking about for over a…
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, you’ve probably heard of the Intermittent Fasting diet by now, and you may well be asking yourself “does Intermittent Fasting work?”
The short answer: YES.
It allowed me to:
- Get down to sub-10% body fat
- Maintain this lean, chiselled condition year-round, 24/7
- Take my inflammation levels down to zero
- Sky-rocket my mental clarity & productivity
And it can help you to do the same.
I’m here to give you everything you could ever want to know, right here in this ultimate guide.
What Is The Intermittent Fasting Diet?
Intermittent Fasting in its’ most simple terms, is more time spent fasting, less time spent eating. And all the various Intermittent Fasting models (more on these later) are geared around this Golden Rule.
The human body already fasts when its’ asleep at night, which comes with tons of health benefits. The goal is to simply extend this period and receive more of the fat loss, physical and mental benefits.
The most popular and renowned method is 16/8 Intermittent Fasting, and you can read more about how to get started right here.
Extending the usual fasting period from the 7 or 8 hours (while sleeping) to 16 hours makes a whole world of difference, on many levels.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
It works by forcing your body to burn more fat, via several mechanisms.
The unfortunate reality is that most people spend their ~16 waking hours eating, and this isn’t the way we were wired to eat.
Your insulin levels are permanently elevated, it’s way too easy to eat a calorie surplus, and there’s no emphasis on fat loss. Here’s a table to help you to visualise:
|Fat Loss Success Factor||Fat Loss||Intermittent Fasting Diet||Fat Gain||Traditional Diet|
|Eating Window||8 hours or less||~16 hours|
|Mental Clarity||High||Carb Coma Low|
The reality is that when you start off the day by eating, you’re training yourself to eat unnecessary calories, and the likelihood is that those calories will be lower quality than they would be in an ‘evening feast’.
Adding to this, you’ve got permanently higher insulin levels, mental fog, and a whole host of other problems that make fat loss more difficult.
The Intermittent Fasting diet simply makes fat loss so much easier, it’s almost effortless.
My Fasting Results
I started off as a skinny fat young man – very little muscle, yet still a decent amount of fat.
I’m sure you know exactly what I mean by stubborn belly fat, love handles, and a puffy face. I had all of them, and was sitting at around 17% body fat.
I’d spent the last few years messing around with different diets like Keto, Carnivore, Paleo, and simply couldn’t find a sustainable solution.
Every few weeks or so I’d ‘rebound’ and the yo-yo cycle would continue to repeat itself.
Because these other diets weren’t flexible eating systems like Intermittent Fasting.
I was skeptical about fasting at first.
I kept asking myself “does Intermittent Fasting work?”
But once I had the freedom to eat whatever I liked but within a condensed window and with black coffee in the morning, I suddenly found that fat loss became natural and almost guaranteed.
Within a year, I managed to:
- Lose a whopping 43 pounds(!)
- Hit 8% body fat (completely shredded, striated)
- Maintain 10% body fat year round
And not only this, but my productivity (and income) shot up, attention from females (and relationship quality) sky-rocketed, and my inflammation levels (and health) improved drastically.
Intermittent Fasting truly was the one thing that lead to everything else improving.
Here’s some proof of the power of the Intermittent Fasting diet.
Chubby me vs chiselled me:
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Alright, time to get into some of the juicy benefits, of which there are many.
But let me preface this by saying that you must be doing Intermittent Fasting properly, which means eating the right foods and recovering correctly.
A surprisingly large percentage of the population views it as a license to eat junk food, which of course it is not.
But assuming you’re serious about getting this lifestyle in place, here’s what you could well be looking at:
Obviously, you’re going to lose more fat. You’re going to reduce your risk of obesity, CVD and diabetes.
But why? Well a narrow eating window, combined with black coffee (the way I suggest) is a pretty lethal fat-blasting weapon.
Both of these things will ramp up your metabolism, while simultaneously reduce your appetite.
And in addition to this, you get more fat loss over the long-term, because it’s a sustainable lifestyle that doesn’t involve cutting out entire food groups or macronutrients.
You also get to feast in the evenings and enjoy your social life, whereas most people on diets simply sit and suffer. This makes it all more sustainable, without the weight regain.
Who actually wants to lose weight over a three to six month period, just to blow it all on your summer vacation? Or at Christmas? Or on your birthday?
Yet this happens all the time, because people HATE diets that restrict too many foods. And then they go and regain ALL of the weight that they worked so hard to lose!
You need a lifestyle that you enjoy, and can sustain.
Long-Term Body Fat Set-Point Reduction
Leading on from the above point, you’ll be pleased to know that once you set up your Intermittent Fasting lifestyle properly, whether its’ 16:8, OMAD or alternate day fasting, you’ll be able to lose the fat FOREVER.
Think of your body fat ‘set-point’ as a thermometer.
Most people on diets don’t alter the thermometer, they merely play around with individual radiators, without addressing the underlying ‘control room’ which is where the real power is.
But if you go straight to the ‘control room?’
You’ll get your body fat % down below 20, and it will stay there.
You’ll get it below 15%, and it will stay there.
You’ll get it below 10%, and it will stay there (although you’ll need a couple of extra rules in place at this level).
But it’s not just the psychological factors that make your fat loss permanent, it’s also a very physical phenomenon.
Personally, when I was stuck at 17% body fat for years, I would have no problem whatsoever eating 3500 calories per day. Easy.
But after doing Intermittent Fasting for a couple of years (and getting down to 10% body fat), I actually decided to experiment and do a little ‘lean bulking’ to add extra muscle onto my frame. I ramped the calories up a little, increased training frequency to 4-5 times per week.
And the result?
I struggled to consistently eat >2500 calories.
This is despite being able to eat 3500 EASILY when I had MORE body fat already clinging to my body. Kind of insane when you think about it.
Can you see how this makes it difficult to ever gain fat again?
You couldn’t even if you tried!
Here’s another snapshot of chubby cheeks vs having a jawline (and abs):
Protection Against Cancers
Intermittent Fasting, especially when combined with zero sugar, is virtually guaranteed to enhance a very natural ‘cleansing’ process in your body called Autophagy.
Autophagy protects you.
It’s a process whereby your body breaks down cells and ‘recycles’ itself. It rids your body of dysfunctional components, and therefore shields you from ‘negative’ cells.
Now there’s a fair few studies showing that there’s a VERY strong chance that Intermittent Fasting may be used as a treatment for cancer, and almost definintely will help as a preventative measure.
Protection Against Viruses
Furthermore, Autophagy appears to be very effective at targeting viruses, and determining your immune system’s response.
This study found Autophagy to play a crucial role in manipulating host anti-viral defense. Put it this way – the last thing you want to be doing when you’re ill, is stuffing your face with a bunch of insulin-inducing carbs.
Make sure you’re fasting, then feasting on meat, fruits and veggies, with plenty of vitamin C.
This study talks about Intermittent Fasting being effective, and should be used in addition to current treatments.
Preventing Diabetes & Obesity
You should view your Intermittent Fasting diet as the #1 defense mechanism against all-things-weight related. Whether it’s obesity, diabetes, or heart disease, Intermittent Fasting will KEEP your appetite down, and therefore your weight down.
But beyond appetite alone and the psychological side of things, the health magic can be found in the lowered insulin levels.
The biggest reason behind people damaging their heart, arteries and other organs, is chronically high insulin levels.
Intermittent Fasting changes all this.
Especially when combined with zero sugar – no junk food, high glycemic snacks, no cereal etc.
Again, feel free to read this study for findings on diabetes prevention.
Increased Human Growth Hormone Levels
Human Growth Hormone is a MAJOR and very well studied benefit of Intermittent Fasting. An increase in HGH means more muscle, more fat-burning, and a more youthful appearance.
This is even more true once we start talking about extended fasting – meaning three days or more spent in a fasted state (more on extended fasting shortly), which can lead up to a 300% increase in HGH(!)
But it’s not just extended fasting that skyrockets HGH secretion, Intermittent Fasting also does this via more indirect methods. The weight loss that comes from fasting leads to HGH increases, plus the lower insulin levels are also conducive to more growth hormone.
Fasting = More Human Growth Hormone.
One of the beautiful things about Intermittent Fasting, when done properly, is the increased mental clarity and productivity.
No more carb comas or energy crashes by 11am. No more lethargy at work. You can use Intermittent Fasting to essentially destroy your competition and make more money.
Now what really amplifies the mental clarity, is having either black coffee or green tea in the morning before your first meal.
I’d say this is one of the key factors that allowed me to build six figure businesses within a few years – achieving the impossible, when you compare to my previously sluggish self.
All I can say is, try it out for yourself. You won’t regret it.
Looking Decades Younger
Admittedly this one is a little more anecdotal, but I’ve had hundreds of Men Over 40 on Twitter tell me about how amazed they are with their skin, youthful appearance, and energy levels.
I suspect that it’s a combination of the fat loss, the increased Human Growth Hormone, and the cleaning up of the diet – think no sugar, junk food or processed garbage.
What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting Schedule?
There are many different models you can potentially follow, and the best Intermittent Fasting schedule really depends on you and your lifestyle.
The 45 year old man with a busy work life and three kids, will have very different needs to the 25 year old man who has low ‘life overhead’ but a more active social life on the weekend.
So if you see an Intermittent Fasting schedule that appeals to you below, feel free to click the link to the appropriate guide so that you can get the full lowdown.
The Intermittent Fasting 16:8 Diet
16/8 Fasting is the most popular version that the most people do. Because it’s super simple. All you need to do is push your first meal back by four hours, and drink some coffee or green tea in the morning.
Then from your first meal onwards, you’ve got an eight hour window to eat your calories, macros and (hopefully) healthy foods.
Read my entire Intermittent Fasting 16/8 guide.
The 18:6 Or 20:4 Intermittent Fasting Diet
Personally, I have been doing 18:6 for years, and these two models are simply variations of the above, tweaked to fit your personal schedule.
You get a slightly more condensed eating window (and therefore more satiation from your meals), and slightly more autophagy on any given day.
OMAD (One Meal A Day)
OMAD gives you maximum freedom and flexibility, and it’s incredibly popular with Men Over 40. The Human Growth Hormone increases and permanently lower insulin levels seem to have a massive impact on guys post-40.
It’s not just the hormonal benefits though.
It’s also the lifestyle benefits. A lot of Men Over 40 have incredibly busy lives, and don’t have time to be cooking all the time, preparing meals, worrying about what thye’re going to eat at what time etc.
OMAD makes all of this very easy. One big meal in the evening (or lunchtime). Plus, you also get to enjoy a great social life in a calorie deficit, and people have no idea that you’re ‘on a diet’.
I highly recommend it for ‘older dudes’, and you can read the entire guide right here.
Alternate Day Fasting
Honestly, alternate day fasting isn’t my favourite form of Intermittent Fasting, mainly because I’m old-school when it comes to daily consistency.
But I can’t deny the fact that loads of people I know on social media are having tremendous succees with it, so if this sounds like something that would work for you, go for it.
How it works is like this – you are fasting every other day completely, meaning zero calories, and then you’re allowed to eat what you want on the non-fasting days.
I highly recommend steering clear from sugar and alcohol on your non-fasting days though.
If you want to read the entire guide including various strategies you could use, here is the link.
72 Hour Fast (Or Longer)
Now, my definition of extended fasting does not include a 24 hour fast or a 48 hour fast. That’s for wusses. If you’re going to do this, you’ve got to man up and do it properly.
This means doing a 72 hour fast (or longer). The more weight you have to lose, the more fasting time you can get away with.
Extended fasting is extremely powerful, but you must learn how to fast properly.
You can lose a load of weight, undo a lot of inflammation and eliminate your sweet tooth all in one go. THAT’S how powerful this can be. But as you can imagine, there’s also potential drawbacks to a 72 hour fast (or longer).
Read the entire extended fasting guide right here.
Common Intermittent Fasting Myths
There’s a lot of fasting myths that prevent many people from achieving their dream physique and being long-term healthy.
I’ll tell you straight – if you Google anything in today’s world, you will hear horror stories, you’ll be told you’re at immediate risk of a heart attack, and you 100% need to call an ambulance right now. As is the nature of fear-mongering headlines, clicks, attention-grabbing etc.
But I’ll give you some common sense to the most frequent Intermittent Fasting myths and questions/objections I’ve come across.
Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy?
Well let me pose this question to you: “Is being over 20% body fat and having chronically-high insulin healthy?”
“Is having a sugar addiction healthy?”
These are the real questions you need to be asking yourself, as they are the real threats to your health, and Intermittent Fasting attacks all of them, head on.
The only tiny risk you face (during the initial stages of IF), is light-headedness in the morning while you adapt. And to eliminate this, all you do is drink some salted water, or take an elecrolyte supplement in the morning.
Doesn’t Fasting Ruin Your Metabolism?
What ruins your metabolism is piss-poor muscle mass, highly processed food, sugar, and a lack of sleep. Fasting, especially when followed by feasting (on the right foods), is conducive to increasing your metabolism.
If a high metabolism is what you’re after, your focus must be on high testosterone, muscle mass and clean food.
But I Thought Eating 6+ Meals Per Day Boosted Your Metabolism?
Similarly to the above, the answer is no not really.
Can it boost your metabolism by about 1.5%? Sure.
Will it also increase your calorie intake by anywhere from 10-200%? YES! It’s a completely ineffective strategy that the entire population is already doing, otherwise known as ‘snacking all day’, and they’re not exactly walking round with shredded six packs.
Speaking of which, the bodybuilders who come out with this stuff aren’t operating in the real world, for two big reasons:
- They’re on hefty quantities of gear (like SERIOUS amounts – you’d be shocked)
- They usually don’t have these annoying little things known as 40-60 hour work weeks in an office
And for these reasons, they’re playing a different game entirely to you and I.
We can’t just live in the gym 24/7, so eating all day is a completely ineffective strategy for fat loss, and the obesity statistics prove it.
B-B-But Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal Of The Day!
Created by the cereal (sugar-junkie) industry, this is possibly THE most annoying Intermittent Fasting myth out there.
If breakfast made you ‘Big And Strong™’, then everyone who ate breakfast would be just that. But they’re not. Big is right, but it’s not the kind of big that peple are after.
If breakfast ‘fulled you for the day’, then you wouldn’t be starving by 11am, and your energy wouldn’t be crashing all over the place.
If breakfast ramped up your metabolism, you’d be walking around at 8-10% body fat like me.
Do you see my point? It’s all brainwashing, conveniently created by the biggest BSers of the breakfast industry.
How To Start Intermittent Fasting
If you want to know how to start fasting, the best thing is to change your mindset. The reality is that you’re not ‘skipping’ anything, and you’re certainly not depriving yourself.
You’re simply re-allocating your calories from the morning (when you don’t need them) to the evening (when you need them the most).
With that said, here’s what to do:
Shift Your First Meal Back By Four Hours
Do you normally eat breakfast around 8am? Put it back to 12pm. Instead, drink black coffee. You’ll be more satiated and you’ll have more energy this way.
This four hour shift it simple a very easy ‘first step’ into the Intermittent Fasting world, as you’ve now started the 16:8 Intermittent Fasting diet, which is the most popular version of fasting (assuming you’re eating your last meal around 8pm).
Once you’ve become accustomed to, or even mastered this 16/8 fasting lifestyle, you can move onto 20:4, OMAD, or alternate day fasting if you so desire.
Your Fasting Weapons
In order to optimise your Intermittent Fasting diet, you’ll need some fat-torching assistance. I’ve already hinted at the power of black coffee a couple of times, and this is especially true in the morning to kickstart your metabolism and your entire day.
But there are several other options. Including, the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea, the satiation-boosting effects of sparkling water, or the sheer tastiness of a good ol’ Earl Grey tea.
Simply pick the zero-calorie options that work for you, get them into your house, and prepare for your fasting journey.
Your Fasting Supplements
These also will enhance fat-burning indirectly, and over the long-term. Having said this, the main reason (in my opinion) to take supplements is for overall health and day to day energy levels. Also recovering from training, testosterone and sleep.
I recommend that ALL people, particularly in the modern era, take vitamin D, magnesium, and fish oil. These three simply cover the bases that are so easily and often missed in the world we now find ourselves in.
But in addition to these, you will also need fasting-specific supplements. These include electrolytes in the morning, and potentially BCAA’s too if you’re a morning lifter.