Welcome to The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting!
My name is Jerome and today I want to talk to you about intermittent fasting.
In recent years intermittent fasting has become a subject of interest.
From Hollywood stars to people who want to improve their daily lives, intermittent fasting has made a powerful impact.
I started IF (this is how I will refer to intermittent fasting throughout the guide) over a year ago.
It has made a dramatic impact on my life. It is my duty to share my experiences so that you too can continue to transform your life.
Fasting is not for everyone. I make this very clear throughout the guide.
There is much controversy surrounding IF. You may have seen negative articles in the media or heard negative comments about IF in your social circles.
In this guide, I support all arguments with scientific research.
This way you can gain a clear understanding of how IF can take you to the next level in your life.
When you are finished reading this guide you will have:
- A clear understanding of the benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- How myths in our society have distorted your opinions about diet and eating patterns
- Know how to start a fasting protocol in a healthy holistic manner
- A clear path to start implementing your learnings right after you are finished reading this guide
When I started IF it was a scary endeavor. Throughout my research, I could not find an in-depth starter guide.
That prompted me to create this guide so you don’t have to go through a million articles to learn about IF.
I am so excited to share this guide with you. I hope that you gain many valuable insights so you may fulfill your deepest desires.
So on that note let’s get started!
Oh, before we do get started you may want to know what we’ll cover:
Chapter 2. Five Ways IF Will Transform Your Overall Health
2.1 Benefit #1-Your Increased Energy Will Shock You
2.2 Benefit #2- You Will Lose Weight Automatically
2.3 Benefit #3- Your Sex Drive Will Improve Drastically
2.4 Benefit #4- IF Will Make You Stronger and Leaner
2.5 Benefit #5 You Will Become More Grounded and Focused While You Fast
Chapter 3. The Top 5 Fasting Myths Dispelled
3.1 No, You Don’t Need To Eat Small Meals All Day To Have a Fast Metabolism
3.2 You Are Not “Starving” Yourself
3.3 Muscle Loss Will Result Being In a Fasted State – Learn How This is B.S.
3.4 If You Are Worried About Becoming Socially Awkward Around Food, Read
3.5 Skipping Breakfast Will Make You Gain Weight – This Logic Must Die
Chapter 4. IF and Binge Eating Is Not a Pretty Combination
4.1 Fasting Will Encourage Disordered Eating
4.2 Be Careful of Overeating When You Break Your Fast
4.3 How to Break Your Fast Without Eating Everything In the Fridge
Chapter 6. The Top 3 Fasting Protocols You Can Start Today
6.1 The Easiest Way to Start IF Is to Follow the Sixteen8 Protocol
6.2 The OhMad Protocol Will Take You to New Heights
6.3 How XtendFast Can Accelerate Your Long Term Weight Loss Goals
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This way you can schedule some quiet time and really immerse yourself in the world of IF!
First off, IF is not a diet. IF is merely an eating pattern. This guide is not meant to help you figure out how you can lose weight quickly or go on a crazy diet.
What I mean by this is we won’t be discussing what’s the healthiest foods to eat(which is extremely important for keeping excess weight off forever), but we will be talking about when to eat.
Use this guide as a tool that you can use along your journey towards optimal health. We will be discussing the benefits of IF that you wouldn’t expect outside the scope of weight loss.
Furthermore, I want to add that I am NOT a doctor. While my advice is prescriptive, please consult with your GP (general practitioner) before you go on some crazy fasting journey.
This way you won’t be in any danger of dying because you read an Ultimate Fasting Guide on the internet.
I repeat IF is not for everyone. I will get into more of that later.
First, I want to give you my backstory on how I fell in love with IF.
Chapter 1 How I Lost 5 Pounds In A Week When I Started IF
Despite the bold headline above, I mentioned earlier that you should not approach IF as a weight loss protocol or crash diet.
When I first started IF, I made the mistake of giving IF a shot for those exact reasons.
2 years before I started IF, I completely changed my diet and lifestyle.
I stopped drinking and eating junk. I suffered from a severe candida overgrowth. I was bloated all the time. My face was super fat and my energy levels were deplorable.
I would try to go to the gym and lose weight, but I saw little result. I would then drown my sorrows in a heap of mac and cheese.
This awful cycle lasted for over 10 years.
Finally, I hit rock bottom and got some help. I started to see a holistic doctor. Using her advice to restructure my diet, willpower turned into an automatic habit.
Over 3 years later I now disdain mac and cheese. I refuse to eat it.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect. I still eat cake and sometimes french fries. I will always eat cake on occasion.
However, my french fry fascination will be quelled one day soon. Acrylamide which is found in high levels when you fry potatoes is no good.
Acrylamide causes inflammation which can lead to neurological damage and cancer and that’s where I will draw my line.
While I am not the food police, I do believe some food should be consumed in extreme moderation or not at all.
I am sure you too have that one food that you just can’t seem to let go of. IF can certainly help with this or make it worse. More on that later.
Most junk food I will never eat again because I simply don’t desire it. I will, however, always indulge from time to time with certain food. For me, this ensures long-term success.
When I first changed my diet (before starting IF), I lost weight instantly.
My inflamed face looked smaller every month. I was more active than ever before. People around me marveled at my transformation.
This lasted for about 2 years.
I was elated that I could maintain steady improvement for that long.
Finally, I hit a wall.
I felt that I was no longer progressing and I needed something more. We all get like this. I think that it is good for our continued growth.
Dissatisfaction will create positive growth if we frame it properly.
So yes, I was dissatisfied with my appearance and how I felt. Even though my diet was miles better and I saw vast improvement, I wanted more.
I felt that I worked really hard to get results and they no longer seemed to match my effort.
In the past, I read about IF, but gave it little attention. It seemed too radical for me. I felt that IF was only for extreme, crazy people.
You see, growing up my parents fasted for religious reasons. And they tended to make things harder than they should be for the sake of God. Fasting from my lens was just another tool to make life more of a sacrifice.
Also, scarcity ruled my upbringing and so I dismissed fasting as a lack of abundance. Far too many nights I had to listen to my parents complain about living in a cruel world where they would never be happy. Struggle and lack was the theme of my childhood.
Even though my past conditioning ruled out IF, I also love to do seemingly impossible things.
For example, I recently traveled to London for an important conference on a tight budget and was able to feel abundant throughout the trip.
I had a very rich experience that pushed me to grow in ways I never thought possible. I always try to find a way to make things work.
So I took IF as a challenge. I read one of my favorite bloggers, James Clears’ article The Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting.
I also read several articles on Martin Berkhan’s site leangains.com.
I stalled for several weeks and re-read the above articles plus others which I can’t remember now. I have the tendency to over-consume information before taking action. While I am getting slightly better at this, I have a long way to go.
Anyway, one night after reading about IF I decided to give it a shot.
So the next morning I attempted my first Sixteen8 fast. No worries if you have no clue what I am talking about. I will tell you how to do this later.
I went to work, skipped breakfast and planned to eat a later lunch at 4 pm fulfilling my 16:8 plan.
Honestly, the first day I felt super weird and naked. While everyone around me at work ate, I did not. I quickly felt like an outcast and realized how social food is.
Despite going to university and studying sociology, I never did a social experiment like not eating when everyone around you is.
I was super uncomfortable and hungry.
But, I wanted to test this out and be challenged. I wanted to lose more weight, fulfilling my vain aspirations so I did not break my fast.
After that first day, I felt elated! I strangely felt energized despite not eating. I wanted to try the same plan for a second day.
The second day was a grand success. I felt that I was onto something and I did not want to stop.
I did 16:8 the rest of the week except for Saturday and Sunday.
Now I fast every day. In retrospect, I should have started fasting every day, but I made excuses because of my work schedule.
In the first week, I did notice a complete difference. I was more alert and could focus with ease. My reflexes were faster than ever.
I was stronger in my workouts. I did not obsess over food as much. And yes, I did notice immediate weight loss.
However, my biggest takeaway was much deeper.
I felt more grounded and spiritually connected. My patience expanded and I felt kinder. I felt more aware of my emotions and how to process them. This has allowed me to feel and express myself more authentically.
I guess my parents were on to something.
I also noticed that:
- My skin glowed more
- My eyes were whiter
- My tongue pinker
- I lifted weights better
- I danced ballet with more precision
- My body fat lessened as the months went on
- I no longer worried about getting fat again as much
- My erections were bigger (better blood flow)
- My sex drive was more balanced and stronger
- My legs began to get more defined
- My belly began to deflate even more
- I was generally happier
- At spin class I would always be in the top 10 out of 70 despite only spinning once or twice a week
(YAY! I won!)
My goals during the first year of fasting quickly turned from losing fat to living life in a higher state. An improved physical appearance is a guaranteed by-product of IF.
Now that I have a firm understanding of how to fast long term, I am starting to focus more on my outer appearance, like my goal to develop a 6-pack.
Now that my face is leaner, I plan to tackle the last of my belly fat and build up my shoulders.
Early 2017 Late 2017 (my face is slowly getting leaner and shoulders more pronounced)
In my experience focusing on the inner work first will lead to outer results faster. This holds true for IF.
What I listed above are only a few of the benefits I noticed. This guide will go on to highlight even more, including what Tamara experienced.
So if you want to be vain at first with your motive to do IF go right ahead. Being vain is a great place to start.
You will lose weight, look, and feel sexier as long as you eat quality, minimally processed foods.
Of course, you will also experience pitfalls. I will do my best to highlight all of the major ones I encountered and how to avoid them.
But, before I tell you about the pitfalls to avoid, allow me to go into greater detail about the results you can gain by starting IF.
Chapter 2 Five Ways IF Will Transform Your Overall Health
As I mentioned above, I experienced many changes in my health after the first week I started IF.
Some changes were immediate and some manifested over time. As with anything, please do not expect to feel perfect as soon as you start IF.
In fact, you may feel worse before you feel better. This is because of autophagy (self-eating). Autophagy is your body’s natural way of ridding itself of toxins. Your body already has the tools to naturally detoxify itself.
Your cells create membranes that hunt for diseased unhealthy cells and eats them for fresh new cells. This amazing process is your body’s recycling program. There is no need for you to go on some fancy “cleanse” as long as you stick to IF over the long term.
Colin Champ M.D the author of Misguided Medicine states, “Autophagy makes us more efficient machines to get rid of faulty body parts, stop cancerous growths, and stop metabolic dysfunctions like obesity and diabetes”.
Autophagy is responsible for repairing damaged cell membranes and proteins. Constant eating shuts down the process of autophagy, especially if you consume a diet with lots of sugar and protein. This type of diet in the US is called SAD (Standard American Diet).
Eating three square meals of the SAD diet will prevent you from experiencing the wonderful benefits of IF. When your system is overloaded with unhealthy foods, the body never has the time to rest and repair.
You may have heard the advice to eat many meals during the day to have a faster metabolism.
But in fact, eating a lot of small meals during the day prevents your body to go into cellular repair (autophagy).
When I changed my diet over 3 years ago from SAD to healthy, I experienced autophagy at its finest. My system was overloaded with yeast.
I was constantly feeding my cells refined sugar, which turned into yeast so my fungal overgrowth continued to grow.
When I stopped feeding my body its daily dose of toxins, my body went into complete shock. Autophagy kicked in and my “candida died off.”
My symptoms included explosive diarrhea, extreme irritability, and cravings. After about 3 days or so my body adjusted during this healing process to feel much better than I have ever had before.
You may experience similar symptoms even if you don’t have candida overgrowth. Please consult with your GP if your symptoms last for more than a few days. Don’t give up and try not to be alarmed while your body is going through this process.
Know that you are taking the right steps to better your health. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.
I know that after autophagy was allowed to occur, I felt amazing. Others around me noticed it too.
Now let’s talk about the Top 5 Benefits of IF
2.1 Benefit #1 Your Increased Energy Will Shock You
The above headline may seem counterintuitive. You may be thinking, “If I am fasting, I definitely won’t have much energy, because I’ll have no food in my system.”
When you consume a healthy diet with the proper amounts of fats, carbs, and proteins you will not have to worry about decreased energy levels.
This is because when your body goes into a fasted state, a process called ketosis kicks in which sustains high levels of energy.
In recent years there have been tons of diets, studies, and workout regimes dedicated to the keto process. But let’s keep this simple and avoid unnecessary overwhelm.
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that happens after your body has broken down all stored carbs for energy and moves to burn fat instead.
This process is a good thing for a healthy person. A buildup of ketones in the blood of a person with uncontrolled diabetes is not good. This is because they do not have enough insulin.
When you first start fasting you probably won’t experience high energy levels straight away. Give your body time to adjust and cleanse.
Make sure that you are drinking the appropriate amounts of water. You can easily find out what that is by checking the guidelines for your height and current weight.
I noticed that when I started drinking the appropriate amount of water, my energy levels skyrocketed when I was fasting.
If you don’t consider yourself a water drinker currently, you definitely will become one when you start fasting.
Water will make your fasting easier. You will be more focused and energized.
As weeks go by and you continue to fast, your energy and focus levels will continue to stabilize.
Ketones are an amazing fuel source for the brain and are more efficient than glucose. Along with the side effect of increased energy, the lack of glucose in the brain can drastically improve your focus. Ketones can prohibit brain degeneration that causes diseases like Alzheimer’s. 
I don’t know about you, but anything that I can do to prevent brain degeneration, I’m all about it. Brain diseases in our country are on the rise.
More than 5 million people in the US suffer from Alzheimer’s. 
When you consume the SAD diet, or never allow your body to go into ketosis, your brain never has the chance to experience the joys of hyper metabolizing fat instead of glucose.
Let me show you what Reddit users told me about their energy levels while being in a fasted state.
One Reddit user says:
I love how he was very honest in his answer. Yes, it will take a couple weeks for you to get used to fasting. But the payoff is worth it.
Your meal prep process is easier and you will feel better over time.
I remember when I first started fasting, I felt guilty because my life got so much easier. I felt more in control of my daily routine. I wasn’t such a slave to meal times.
I kept fasting because I wanted to continue to feel great and make my life easier. More than a year later, I now can say that what the above Reddit user said is true for me as well.
Let’s take a look at another comment:
Yup, your excess belly fat will start to disappear. Again increased energy levels are reported.
I know that you may still have reservations about all of this talk about increased energy, but have a look at another comment.
This guy is serious about IF. When I first started my research, I was amazed at how passionate people are about IF.
Initially, I just thought I was a crazy person because I loved fasting so much. Turns out I am one of many. Many are serious about maintaining an IF lifestyle for the rest of their time on Earth.
I am one of them. Like the guy above, I want everyone to know how awesome IF is. Hence me writing this ridiculously long Ultimate Guide on IF.
Increased energy and focus is the number one benefit that I have encountered in my experience with IF. This is not by accident as you now know a little bit about how the body works in a fasted state.
If you don’t feel sharp and focused all the time, then something is wrong. You should refuse anything less. Having energy and focus should not be a luxury, but a necessity.
Even if you think you won’t fast, I encourage you to consider what else you can do to improve your energy and focus.
I remember when I did this exercise, I found that I was simply not drinking enough water. The next day I confronted this problem by committing to drinking my daily requirement.
The first 2 weeks I ran to the bathroom A LOT!
Then my body adjusted and I felt AMAZING!
I kicked myself for not correcting this issue sooner.
Now I automatically drink enough water every day. My personal amount is 119 ounces per day or about a gallon.
I automate this process each day by filling up a gallon glass jug. If I drink more than ¾ then I know that I have met my goal for the day.
I stand at 5’9 and weigh roughly 175lb (I hardly ever weigh myself) and my activity level is pretty high.
I hardly ever weigh myself because it is easy to get obsessed with numbers which can inhibit positive progress.
On my lower activity days, I drink a bit less and still feel great. Knowing this helps me mix things up so my body can rest. So don’t worry about hitting your personal target every day.
There is no question that fasting helps you increase water your consumption. By making a commitment to have higher energy levels, your good water consumption habits will become automatic over time.
You can calculate your recommended consumption here.
But, maybe water consumption is not the reason for your low energy levels. Perhaps it’s not enough sleep or you can’t seem to break those nightly sugar cravings because you’re unhappy. Whatever your goal is, make a commitment and stick to it by planning ahead.
So what do you think you can do to improve your energy levels?
I promise you the answer is inside of you. Make space to clear your head, learn how you can fix your problem with low energy, and then act.
You will live a brighter life because of your commitment to thrive.
2.2 Benefit #2 You Will Lose Weight Automatically
One of the first things I tell anyone that comes up to me, wanting advice on how to lose weight, is not to focus on weight loss.
You may think that this is counterintuitive. For most, one of the main reasons for them to become healthier is so they can lose that gut or get more toned.
Like I said earlier, think of IF as a way of life. A new eating pattern that you are now adopting. If you have some weight loss goals then you should keep them in mind, but don’t obsess. Obsessing over weight loss can make you stressed out, causing your weight to yo-yo instead of decrease steadily over time.
Your unwanted weight will fall off naturally without you obsessing over it.
I remember when I first changed my diet, I did not weigh myself for many months. Instead, I received plenty of positive feedback to let me know that I was on the right track.
I knew that I would never be a junk food eater again. By focusing on eating unprocessed foods as much as possible and following a workout schedule that I could maintain was all that I needed.
When I finally got around to weighing myself, I was thrilled. I remember it clearly. I was visiting my brother in San Francisco. He happened to have a scale just laying around in his kitchen. Something told me to hop on it and see where I was.
When I saw the number, which was 185 if my memory serves me correctly, I was overjoyed.
At my highest weight, I was about 210. Losing those 25 pounds was life-changing. I remember standing on my brother’s patio which overlooked the tranquil Pacific ocean feeling very thankful and at peace.
As I watched the setting sun ablaze in orange and purple, I knew that I was well on my way to a thriving new life. Gratitude washed over me as I walked back inside.
After that, I did not weigh myself for many more months.
To this day my weight is stable. I almost never weigh myself. Instead, I focus on keeping my IF schedule and maintaining a good workout schedule and spiritual practice.
Now let’s go into more detail about how you can practice IF and lose weight without the mental strain of chasing numbers that appear on a scale.
First, you must pick a definite fasting schedule and stick to it. I will go into more detail about the different types of fasting patterns later on in this guide.
For now, keep in mind that a consistent fasting/eating pattern will facilitate rapid weight loss.
In fact, I was speaking to Tamara, who you will meet later on in this guide, about how she recently started IF. She said that she lost five pounds within the first week of starting IF.
While again the number is not important, it is nice having the knowledge that weight loss can happen that effortlessly
Remember the key is to have a steady decline in weight. You have a much better chance of keeping the weight off long term if you are following your fasting pattern for the long term.
How often you eat is just as important as what you eat. One of the objectives of fasting is to mimic how our ancestors and how they approached eating.
As Nicholas Lesica in “Daily Rhythms and Meal Timing” stated, when you eat late at night constantly then this confuses your daily circadian rhythms. Nighttime is when your body goes into maintenance mode. 
If you eat late at night and again early in the morning then your body never has the chance to repair.
Eventually, your body’s rhythms will break down completely. This will cause inflammation, which causes weight gain and other maladies.
Lesica also says that when your daily rhythms are broken then your pancreas will release more insulin (a glucose regulator), your fat cells will release more leptin ( a fat storage regulator).
Think of hormones as messengers telling in your brain what to do. Increased amounts of leptin released cause your brain to become resistant to the message to stop eating.
If you inject massive doses of leptin in mice, it will cause them to become extremely obese causing premature death.
This is because the mice became leptin resistant. Think of a type 2 diabetic who becomes insulin resistant.
The more overweight you are the more leptin resistant you become. There is no ceiling for the body to stop producing leptin. The brain will continue to ignore the message that you don’t need any more food.
Eating only during the day and not late at night will determine your overall success with IF and weight loss.
Even if you eat healthy at night, your body will still be confused because nighttime is reserved for overall body maintenance, not the beginning stages of digestion.
Personally, I have noticed a huge difference when I stopped late night eating. My job for the last ten years was a 2nd shift job. I got home at 11 pm or 1 am starving! Face planting in a pile of fries and mac and cheese was my norm.
This wreaked havoc on my body. Late night eating caused me to have inflammation, which aggravated my candida overgrowth.
Now that I eat earlier, I have noticed more weight/body fat loss. By changing my eating pattern, I am more in sync with my body’s natural rhythm.
My goal is to stop eating even earlier than I do now (more on that later).
Eating earlier in the day can make weight loss effortless for you as well.
Take note of when you usually eat. If it is late at night (regardless of being healthy or junk food) try changing your eating pattern to daytime eating.
By changing to daytime eating you will begin to reset your body’s natural rhythms. Keep in mind this may take a while.
After 10+ years of following a horrible eating pattern and diet, I started to realize that it will take years for my body to completely repair itself from past destruction.
If you eat late at night on occasion, this won’t make you fat nor destroy your efforts. Be kind to yourself and know that life is never completely black and white.
What you do on a consistent basis will shine through. But if you eat late at night sometimes, your efforts will not be lost.
Realize that I just picked one factor in the overall facilitation of weight loss. There are many other ways to help rid your body of excess weight.
Eating only in the daytime is not talked about much besides the restriction of food after 7 pm. Americans rather focus on extremes like that sexy, magical pill or being a 100% gluten-free vegan.
If not eating after 7 is unrealistic, then try to stop eating after 9 pm. Break your fast earlier with a big meal, then have your second meal be lighter. This is assuming you are having two meals a day since it is possible to practice IF by having one meal a day.
Eating whole foods, while having a consistent eating pattern that minimizes late night eating, will cause you to lose and keep off weight safely.
The best part is that you don’t even have to think about it once you get into the flow!
2.3 Benefit #3 Your Sex Drive Will Improve Drastically
So you may be thinking, “If I am fasting why would my sex drive increase? Won’t I be super hungry and not focused on sex?”
When you first start fasting the above statements will probably be valid. Your body will go through a period of shock. If your libido is lower at first don’t worry. After a few weeks, your drive should normalize and will most likely be stronger than ever before
If you research the topic of sex drive and fasting you will get wildly different opinions. Some people report a severe drop in libido, while others experience increased drive.
Personally, over time I experienced a more healthy drive. I suspect people who report a loss of libido are either not eating enough calories or not eating the correct foods for their personal needs..
When you decide to start a fasting protocol, keep this in mind. Focus on eating the best quality food possible so that you will feel energized during your fasting periods.
I remember when I first started fasting,( sometimes even now) if I didn’t eat enough calories or my diet wasn’t the greatest the previous day I would experience a decrease in energy. This of course results in having a low libido.
As soon as I focused on feeding myself the best quality food during my eating periods, my drive would skyrocket! IF done the right way gives you so much sexual energy that at times it becomes distracting.
This is because of the increase of testosterone when you fast.
I am fine with this because I know that I am on the right track in continuing to heal my body.
At first, I was uncomfortable with the fact that my libido was so crazy.
Now, I feel normal and healthy. I also noticed that I am able to gain muscle easier because I allow my testosterone to flow without the impediment of the process of digestion.
Whether you are male or female you can benefit from having a stronger libido through fasting. You become more in tune with your body’s daily rhythm.
While these changes may not happen straight away, it is worth sticking to a fasting protocol for a few months to see how fasting affects your libido.
I find fasting very rewarding when it comes to libido and sex. Over the past year, my personal outlook on sex has become more positive.
I have noticed that I exhibit more passion and confidence during sex. I am more comfortable with my body allowing myself to focus more on the pleasurable experience of sex.
My partners, in turn, respond accordingly. The whole sexual experience becomes more connected. I am able to experience greater satisfaction.
Having a higher sex drive and increased confidence was one of the most surprising benefits for me when I first started fasting.
I felt like a brand new person. My personal development has been accelerated through fasting.
By having healthier sex(which I continue to work on) I am now able to develop deeper self-love.
Being loving and lovable should be a top priority for everyone even if you end up not starting IF.
Remember, when you first start to practice fasting increased sex drive may not be apparent.
If you struggle with a low libido fasting may help turn this around. If you find yourself struggling with a low drive after a month or so of fasting try adjusting your caloric intake during your eating periods.
It is very important that you experience all of the wonderful benefits of fasting. If you feel drained all the time that is a sign that something is not working.
Play around with your schedule until you find what works for you(more on that later). Throughout this guide, you will notice that I tell you this over and over.
IF is not a diet but a way of life. Once you find what works you will be able to experience mind-blowing sex!
Passion and desire will overflow within you. Energetically you will feel more attractive thus attracting quality mates. Enjoy the new sexual you!
2.4 Benefit #4 IF Will Make You Stronger and Leaner
You may be thinking the above statement is complete B.S. If you do not practice IF the right way the above statement will not come true.
In my first year of practicing IF, I have come across many hurdles that have sabotaged my goal of losing body fat and becoming stronger in my workouts.
I hope by writing this guide you can avoid some of these pitfalls yourself.
I am a firm believer in self-learning. But some trial and error can be avoided by learning from others who have already made the mistakes.
With IF I noticed that if I don’t eat enough when I break my fast, this will catch up with me in a few days.
It is very important to meet your caloric needs when you break your fast. If you find yourself experiencing fatigue it means that you need to eat more.
You will experience some fatigue when you first start IF.
If you are still experiencing a multitude of negative symptoms over a 14 day period, reevaluate your caloric intake and meal quality.
If you are very active, it is paramount that you don’t go too much into a caloric deficit.
Greg also recommends caution while building muscle. He personally consumes about 2,700 calories to provide himself an increase in muscle growth.
While I abhor counting calories daily, I do recommend periodically evaluating roughly how many calories you are consuming when you break your fast.
Listen to what your body is telling you. When you start to fast daily, you start to develop a deeper awareness of what your body exactly needs.
If you are focusing on lifting heavier, make sure that your daily consumption meets the requirements of extra energy expenditure.
You can get lean by losing body fat while building muscle. We will dive deeper into this concept later on in the guide but keep in mind this is completely possible.
Personally, I have noticed that if I fast too long I go into a deep caloric deficit that is hard to get out of.
For the last few months, I have been practicing the OhMad protocol which we will talk about later on. Let’s just say I went overboard and started to become weak and felt cold all the time.
Circulation in my hands was practically non-existent.
I noticed that I did not have enough power in my spin class and my high jumps started to suck in ballet class.
I started to lose weight without gaining muscle definition.
My body was telling me to increase my caloric intake immediately.
You simply can’t workout hard and not feed your body the required excess calories for long periods of time. I know you may be thinking, “Duh, Jerome that’s what happens!”
Take a lesson from me and learn that it is easy to become accustomed to eating in a deficit but you can go overboard in a matter of days.
Remember that when you eat whole foods that are minimally processed, they are significantly lower in calories than foods found in the SAD diet.
Now I have increased my caloric load. Not a lot but enough to continue getting stronger. If I go overboard then I’ll just start getting fat.
Learning how your body reacts to IF is a process that will take time to develop. There is an art to maximizing the awesome benefits of IF. It will take you some time to learn.
Greg suggests not being afraid to eat dessert or food that is considered not as healthy to ensure larger caloric consumption.
If you want to become leaner and stronger by practicing IF, approach the above statement with extreme caution.
I believe in flexibility and eat dessert 1-2 times a month. If you eat awesome foods that work for your body, going off diet once and awhile will ensure your long-term success.
I found that increasing my carb intake by eating sweet potatoes or pumpernickel bread( that is low in gluten) slathered with ghee and honey is a guilt-free way increase caloric load.
This way you are not tempted to start shoving cake down your throat every other day.
As you go deeper into your practice of IF you will find what works and what doesn’t.
Do not be afraid to experiment.
Even though I have done deep research with IF, I am just getting started on my journey. There is so much to learn so don’t feel bad if you fuck it up sometimes.
Despite my recent lesson in not consuming enough calories, I have certainly become leaner and stronger with IF.
Right away I noticed my face started to look less plump.
When my calories meet my expenditure I am a powerhouse. When everyone else is panting for breath after a hard ballet combination, I stand there calm ready to go again.
It’s almost like I have developed this superhuman quality. You can facilitate the same.
I also found that I need to make my gym workouts harder with more frequency. My level of conditioning continues to rise each month.
As time goes on you will experience your own wins. Patience pays off. Do not delude yourself and think that IF is a quick fix.
Utilize IF as a tool so that you can use to make your life healthy and easy.
Greg puts the whole leaner and stronger thing to rest in one simple statement, “When we first wake up, that is the perfect time to maximize fat burning. Human Growth Hormone rises shifting your body into a fat burning state while preserving muscle mass.”
If you are still worried about losing muscle mass while fasting, skip ahead to You Are Not Starving Yourself section.
There are many ways to encourage lean muscle mass, IF will help you accomplish this goal without obsessing over meal planning and eating a thousand times a day.
You use this new found freedom by improving other areas of your life.
2.5 Benefit #5 You Will Become More Grounded and Focused While You Fast
IF has helped me become so much more grounded and focused. Using my newfound productivity, I now can create tons of written and video content free from a distracted mind.
Like most, when I started IF, I was looking for the outer results like a flat stomach and increased muscle growth.
After the initial shock of my eating pattern changing, I noticed my inner world started to change.
When you first start to fast you will probably feel empty, uprooted, quick to anger, and have little focus.
Don’t be alarmed if you experience these negative symptoms. Like I said earlier, if these negative symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks I suggest checking in with your GP to make sure IF is right for you.
Once you get through the rough start of fasting, the beauty of transformation begins. Your inner world and outer world will change.
(Since I started IF my grounding and meditations are more powerful)
I encourage you to take note of your mood and tolerance for stress once you fall into your fasting rhythm.
Below are the changes I noticed in my inner world once I was 2 months into IF:
- I had more focus during the day. Distractions were easy to handle.
- My patience for unpleasant situations at work and home increased.
- I began to experience my emotions fully. I allowed myself to feel and not block pleasant or unpleasant emotions.
- Life became easier. I started to connect to the present moment more.
- My spiritual practice began to deepen.
- I had more positive energy thus resulting in attracting positive people and experiences.
- My awareness increased and I have cat-like reflexes. My reflexes continue to shock others.
When I asked Reddit users if they had similar experiences, one user wrote,
Yes! That’s a great way to put it. You can get woke too!
By fasting the right way you will experience the same positive inner changes.
Fasting Incorrectly Will Make You Miserable
Earlier on in this guide, I mentioned that growing up my parents practiced fasting for religious reasons.
I tried fasting a few times as a teen and hated it.
My parents were always so grumpy when they fasted so I developed severe negativity around fasting.
Now, I am beginning to understand why they acted like monsters during their fasting periods each week.
I suspect their monster-like behavior steamed from the fact that they don’t fast every day. When I was younger they usually broke their fast with unhealthy food as well.
The last time my parents saw me they were amazed at how I looked. They started to ask me questions about how I fasted.
This shocked me because they have been fasting for religious reasons for 40+ years.
I decided to give my Mom a call and ask her about the fasting schedule she and my Dad follows.
My suspicions were confirmed.
My parents fast on Fridays and Sundays for no longer than 12 hours. The Sunday fast is usually longer but rarely exceeds 12 hours.
They also do not drink water during their fast.
Throughout this guide, you will learn that fasts that exceed 14-16 hours are more effective.
Fasting over the 14-hour mark gives your body the chance to digest all foods and start to burn fat stores instead of glucose.
After the first 12 hours of my fast which is done while I sleep, the first 5 hours of my day is when I am in my peak state.
This is when I do my writing, spiritual practice, and physical activity.
I don’t even need coffee or tea.
I do drink coffee or green tea most days but after only about 4-5 hours after waking up.
I then consume caffeine in a tight 1-2 hour window ensuring that I won’t have a sleepless night.
Consuming a bit of caffeine helps me keep focus but not become dependant on it.
This process works beautifully for me but you have to test to see what works best for you.
There is a lot of controversy around caffeine and fasting. I will address this issue in future guides and videos.
Don’t worry about caffeine and fasting issue. Just focus on learning the basics of IF.
The Impact of Religious Fasting
Many religions throughout the world practice some sort of fasting. Some scientific researchers are now analyzing health markers of people who fast for religious reasons.
In a great study, “The Impact of Religious Fasting on Human Health”, researchers have begun to study the health benefits of people who practice Ramadan, Greek Orthodox Christians, and the biblical based Daniel Fast. 
While I won’t go into detail about Ramadan and Greek Orthodox Christians, I do want to highlight the remarkable results of the 21 day Daniel Fast.
Ramadan fasting is not based on diet restrictions like Greek Orthodox and Daniel fasters.
Ramadan fasters can have improved health markers but this depends on their diet quality.
The 21 Day Daniel Fast prohibits foods that contain refined carbs, animal products, sweeteners, caffeine etc.
The Daniel Fast typically lasts for 21 days but a 10-40 day fast can be observed as well. Daniel fasters exhibited significant health improvements, more so than Greek Orthodox fasters.
Preliminary reports of an anecdotal study of the Daniel Fast was completed before a deeper study. The initial study showed an excellent result.
Participants who were 20-62 years of age enrolled in the larger Daniel Fast study experienced a multitude of positive health makers like stable blood pressure and increased insulin sensitivity. 
The participants of the study underwent various lab tests to measure body weight, inflammation, and resting blood pressure.
The participants were also measured in their compliance of the 21 day fast along with their mood and overall satiety.
The result at the end of the study was extremely positive. The participants had improved in all measured health markers especially when it came to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Body weight composition was also lower (naturally).
Participant compliance of the 21 day fast was 98%!
The mood of the participants at the end of the fast was measured on a 10 point scale and the average was 7.9!
So I guess I am not that crazy feeling my mood and connection to a higher power improve over time while fasting.
People who practice the Daniel Fast do it to become closer to God. They engage in prolonged prayer which typically starts at the beginning of the year.
Along with a deeper spiritual connection, Daniel Fast participants end up having better health than when they start.
You can have the benefit of an increased connection to whatever higher power you believe in by fasting.
With IF you can experience the reported effects of the Daniel Fast all year long.
Developing a deeper connection to Source Energy does not have to be about religion.
Fasting grounds you helping you become more connected to your True Self.
Fasting will be a powerful tool if you want to grow spiritually. IF will help you relate to your world in a more positive manner. You will be less angry and more interested in giving value to others around you.
I encourage you to be aware of the spiritual benefits of IF. Your life will change and you will fulfill your seemingly impossible dreams.
Chapter 3 The Top 5 Fasting Myths Dispelled
So this may be one of my favorite parts of the guide to write. When I ask others about IF, they go off on this tangent of what they believe is true when it comes to fasting.
They start to spout off various bits of misinformation like fasting will make you lose muscle and you need to eat many small meals throughout the day to maintain weight. Ugh!
If I hear the last statement one more time I may turn violent. Oftentimes I am blindsided by these ridiculous statements.
I don’t want to create an argument because that is not effective in creating positive discourse.
Instead, I let the sleeping dog snore. I sit there and listen to the person ramble on about why it is sooo important that you must eat many times a day. Sometimes I try to interject.
That just makes the person speak louder with more conviction. I sit there with a bewildered look feeling helpless.
It is truly a horrible experience. After many hours internal stewing, I kick myself.
All of a sudden, beautifully crafted arguments pop into my head. If only they popped up during the conversation!
Perhaps I need to get better at the debate process. Perhaps it’s not worth trying to convince the person that their ingrained beliefs are unfounded.
Maybe it’s better for me to write out the rebuttal. At least this way more people can see the other side of the argument I can craft my side of the argument beautifully.
99.9% of the time, I am sure the “diet professional” is not going to race home and produce thousands of words backing up their claim.
So I win.
Not that it matters.
You may not agree with any of the information that you are about to read but I do hope it will open your mind.
It is important for your personal growth to see all valid points of an argument.
I find it hilarious that so many people all of a sudden become an expert in all things related to eating. It’s like they magically received their Ph.D. in nutrition.
While I am no doctor, I live what I teach. I test and study. I have committed my whole life to helping America then the world become free of this critical health crisis.
So if you are interested in learning the rebuttal of common beliefs in our culture read on.
3.1 No, You Don’t Need To Eat Small Meals All Day To Have a Fast Metabolism
This myth drives me absolutely bonkers!!
I am not sure when this became ingrained in our psyche. It is the number one thing people tell me when I talk about IF.
Perhaps it’s because the meal replacement industry is making billions. Most of us don’t make 6 meals a day at home.
Remember earlier how we talked about autophagy, your bodies self-cleaning process? If you are eating small meals all day long when will your body get a break?
While I won’t get into the whole digestive process, keep in mind that it is quite an intense process that starts with your saliva.
Also, isn’t annoying worrying about food all day long? I mean I love food but I have other things going on in my life.
When I first started fasting, one of the main benefits I reaped was the simplifying of meal planning.
I felt so free realizing that I could cut my meal planning down to more than half. Instead of worrying about 14-21 meals a week, I plan 9-11 meals.
Freedom from planning and eating all the time has allowed me to focus on building my online business. I also have more free time.
Cooking twice a day was turning into a burden. I started to cook less and eat more food not prepared by me which usually makes me feel sluggish.
Once I cut down meal frequency, my life became easier and I felt 10x better.
If you want to try fasting but have some resistance to starting keep this in mind.
Its become rather funny watching people run around worrying about their next meal.
I developed the awareness that most people are reactive, not proactive in their life. You will feel free and focused once you start cutting out meals each week.
There was a study done in the British Journal of Nutrition that showed that increased meal frequency does not promote greater weight loss. 
The study sample was small with 16 obese participants (8 men 8 women), it showed one group was given a high frequency of eating 3 meals and 3 snacks for 8 weeks.
The other group was given 3 meals a day for the amount of time and there was no difference in weight loss.
Even though the sample size was small, the length of time of the study proves that you won’t lose any more weight if you eat 3 or 6 meals a day.
Like we talked about earlier if you want to lose weight, meal timing and your circadian rhythm are more important than frequency.
Eating with less frequency means that your body is not always flooded with glucose so you have more time for cellular repair.
While this may mean not much in the short term, over time meal frequency will determine how your body reacts to the aging process.
The New York Times even published an article by Anahad O’Connor titled, “The Claim: Eat Six Small Meals a Day Instead of Three Big Ones” debunking this silly myth. Basically, Anahad said if you want to lose weight, move more.
Anahad goes on to say if the caloric and nutrient intake is identical to the six and three meals, metabolically your body responds in the same way.
If weight loss is your goal, I would advise you to eat whole minimally processed foods during the day combined with a fasting protocol to maximize your results.
Fasting obviously does not benefit the food industry. Myths like many small meals a day are designed to keep the billions flowing.
I also thought that when I cut down on my meal frequency I would save some money. The research that I did also highlight this fact.
It turns out that I still spend the same amount. I just spend my money on high-quality food. So while you may save a little money, focus on purchasing high-quality food.
This way you will feel more satisfied because you are consuming more nutrients. I firmly believe in investing in yourself. This starts with the quality of food that you put in your mouth.
Maybe the food industry should focus on better food quality as well…
That’s me being very utopian.
3.2 You Are Not “Starving” Yourself
Do you know how long it takes a human to starve?
Without water about 10 days.
With water 30-40 days.
So if you if you start to skip a few meals a week you are not going to put your body into “starvation mode”.
In America, we are surrounded by food all day every day. While there are definitely people that do not get adequate nutrition, it is super hard for the average American to starve.
Even if you don’t have money it’s still really hard to starve in this country.
Trust me, I live in New York City and every day I see people who do not have homes, who don’t have loving environments and have no creative outlets.
While these individuals may be starved of love and shelter, physically they do not appear to be starving.
I have seen so many acts of kindness throughout my years living in NYC. Countless times I have seen people give money and food to the homeless.
I have seen people take a pause from their daily life, stop and give a sandwich and drink to a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk.
They say, “Here, I am not going to eat this sandwich. Please take it. Also, take this bottle of water too.”
The homeless person mumbles thanks and the kind person disappears into the masses of people.
Usually, this act of kindness happens in about 30 seconds or less.
About the time you would wait for the walk sign to light up.
While many, many people are starving from lack of love, purpose, and fulfillment very few are starving physically.
While our much of our food source in this country can be deemed as unhealthy. There is an overwhelming abundance of food and drink. Healthy and unhealthy.
As you start or continue your own fasting protocol, do not fear starvation. It is really hard to do. Especially in a first world country.
If you think you do want to start a fasting protocol, I do recommend consulting with your GP but starvation should not be one of your concerns.
I have been fasting for over a year and I am nowhere near “starving” myself. Despite the fact that I eat 8-11 meals a week.
I actually need to lose more body fat.
I am losing my excess body fat slowly so my body will adjust permanently. I am doing this by exercising with more variation combined with my fasting schedule.
In addition, I continue to heal myself emotionally (which is super painful but rewarding) and eat high-quality foods which catapult me into my best body and mind.
While I do tend to take things to the next level, I have no worries of “starving” myself.
You should adopt the same mindset.
Many of us are starved of love, purpose, or fulfillment.
If you look around you will notice our physical bodies in America are rather robust. Too robust if you ask me!
The Minnesota Study
Let me tell you about a little study that was done towards the end of World War II. 
During the height of the second world, war famine was a serious issue in many parts of the world.
At the time there was little research done on the physical and psychological effects of actual human starvation.
There have always been periods of famine in human history but not much study was given on this fascinating subject.
While I won’t go into the gritty details of the study because that would turn this Ultimate Guide into a research paper, I will give you some highlights of the study.
First, 36 men were recruited for the study. The selection process was rigorous.
The men selected had to be of good physical and mental health, single, and have a willingness to serve humanity. Objectors of the War proved to be a perfect selection ground.
200 men volunteered which proved that there was much interest exploring the psychology of human starvation.
The research protocol called for the 36 men to lose 25 percent of their body weight! Keep in mind the men selected were not obese so that amount of weight loss would be significant.
The first 3 months of the study required the men to eat a normal diet of about 3,200 calories a day. That amount of calories at first glance may seem kind of high but keep in mind these men were eating simple whole foods. They were not eating processed junk food.
The next 6 months of the study required the men to have a caloric restricted diet. They could only consume about 1,570 calories a day. They split the caloric allotment between breakfast and lunch.
Ugh! Even though I fast daily that still seems pretty terrible. Imagine going a half a year eating 1,500 calories a day.
The men were kept busy by working in the lab, walking, and doing educational studies. This part of the study, in my opinion, was very important.
Imagine having nothing to do but starve yourself for 6 months. Surely that would drive you absolutely bonkers!
After the restricted phase of the study, the men then had their caloric intake increased to 2,000-3,200 for 3 months.
If you were in this study can you imagine the first day you were allowed to double your calories? Personally, I would probably have made myself sick!
The first few days of eating more must have been a pretty wild experience for those men.
The last part of the study which was 8 weeks allowed the men to eat freely and rehabilitate back to a normal eating pattern.
(This is what starving actually looks like)
The 6 months of the starvation period of the study was extremely hard for the 36 men. Like you could imagine, the men dreamed about food constantly.
They were completely obsessed with food. They read, talked, and fantasized about food despite the fact they were involved in daily activities.
The benefits of intermittent fasting proved opposite while these men were in the starvation phase.
The men reported a loss of sex drive, lack of energy, irritability, depression, and lack of mental clarity. Some of the men did not complete the study which I am sure you can imagine why.
So yes, you definitely will go into starvation mode if you don’t eat enough calories for an extended period of time.
IF does not call for such a severe eating pattern. Like with anything IF is about balance and moderation.
Once you start your optimal fasting protocol, listen to what your body is saying.
If you are experiencing any of the side effects like the men in the Minnesota Study, then go and eat something wholesome and warm!
I have gotten to the point that I know I’m going overboard with fasting. I am more in tune with my body more than ever before.
If I am not eating enough my body tells me immediately!
As I sit here and write, my body is telling me that I need to add an extra meal tomorrow.
If I ignore these warnings then I have the tendency to overeat in the long run. I will talk more about this later on.
Only you know what your body needs exactly. By staying in tune with yourself you will not starve.
Instead, you will continue to reap the wonderful benefits of IF.
3.3 Muscle Loss Will Result Being In a Fasted State Learn How This is B.S.
So you may be thinking, “Omg but those guys in the Minnesota Study got super thin.”
Yes, that is true but remember that the study was designed to see how starving affects humans emotionally and physically. To this day the Minnesota Study still holds validity.
Most people in present day are not willing to go through such a drastic change in eating for such a long time
A normal fasting pattern will not permit such drastic weight and muscle loss.
The only way to look like the guys in the Minnesota study did is to follow an eating pattern that severely restricts calories for over 6 months.
You are approaching fasting in a totally different way. You want to lose weight and build more muscle.
Regardless of your gender identity one of the goals above will most likely resonate. There is no harm in desiring to look sexy.
Our bodies are amazing machines and should be maintained like a sexy car or airplane. Side note, airplanes fascinate me. The mechanics of an airplane are mind-boggling. Cars, I could care less about.
Anyway, don’t feel guilty. You should feel and look as sexy as possible.
This means that you will live a healthy, long, vibrant life.
Starting or continuing a fasting protocol will help you gain muscle not lose it. Yes, I know this may seem completely bonkers but try to expand your mind a bit.
Think about it. If you have less fat then your muscles will start to show. Now you can start to manipulate the now present muscles into growing bigger. You can also continue to lose more fat to get even leaner.
You can do both.
James Clear explains how this is done.
In his article 12 Lessons I Learned from 1 Year of Intermittent Fasting, the first lesson James learned that his biggest barrier was his mind.
My mind was also my biggest barrier when I started IF. I hope that as you read this guide your mind will open so you can get over your mind hurdle quickly.
After James conquered his mind, he then started to experiment with ways he could lose weight while gaining muscle.
In the first year of fasting, James added 12 pounds of lean muscle mass and cut 5 pounds of fat.
That’s absolutely amazing!
How he did it was super easy.
He started to cycle his carb and calorie intake. On the days that he trained he ate significantly more.
On rest days he ate less. He also ate fewer carbs. By cycling his caloric and carb intake James was able to cut fat and build muscle while doing IF.
James was able to achieve both goals. Just not on the same day.
He followed this pattern with a marathon mentality. Quick diets to cut fat and build muscle are exhausting and counterproductive.
By making a few simple changes, James was able to compound massive results.
James learned that by fasting food no longer controlled him. He actually wanted less food and ate when he wanted to.
James also discovered something that I too discovered in my first year of fasting. By doing IF he was able to train less while making those incredible gains!
He did this by making his workouts more efficient by consolidating work.
For example, he focused on upper body (doing only push-ups) in the morning then lower body (only doing squats) in the evening.
I also noticed that I don’t need to train for long periods of time. A 45-minute muscle pumping session at the gym or a challenging ballet class keeps my body revved.
If I do this 4-5 times a week I’m good. If I go down to 3 one week I don’t get super soft like I used to. My body stays tight for longer periods of time.
By being more efficient in my workouts and working out in a fasted state, I reap the hormonal benefits of IF as well.
Continued Release of Human Growth Hormone is a Powerful Benefit of IF
HGH (human growth hormone) is released in greater amounts when you fast.
HGH is made by the pituitary gland. When you were young HGH helped you develop into the vibrant awesome person you are today.
When you lack HGH as an adult, high body fat percentage, lack of bone density, and other maladies occur.
HGH levels naturally go down as you get older.
There are synthetic versions of HGH but I won’t go into detail about that. It’s dangerous and you can easily increase your HGH levels with…IF of course.
(IF will help you make more there is no need for synthetic)
There was a fascinating study done by Kerndt Pr that consisted of one patient that fasted for religious reasons for 40 days.
Personally, I don’t consider a study done on one person supports a solid claim. But I must admit the fact that the patient’s HGH levels went up from 0.73 to 9.86 is worth examining.
That’s a 1250% increase in HGH!
HGH causes glucose to rise when you are in a feeding period. When glucose rises hormones like cortisol and HGH are suppressed.
When you fast, you get a spike of HGH in the morning. Then HGH released at a slower rate as the day goes on.
Maximizing my HGH levels is of the reasons why I practice the OhMad fasting protocol. More on that later on.
In a study done with a larger sample that consisted of 9 men who fasted for 2 days, their HGH levels increased 5-fold. 
HGH is crucial to the development of lean muscle mass. So if you are worried that practicing IF will suppress your muscle gain, the opposite will happen.
I could go on and on telling you about studies that support that the fact that fasting can increase your muscle mass.
Instead, I encourage you to keep in mind that by fasting you are not going to cause your muscles to shrivel and die.
Once you pick the proper fasting protocol and get into the flow you can start having more fun. Play around with your workouts and carb intake like James does.
Or you can like me celebrate the fact that you can make desired results happen faster. This all while continuing to make your life easier.
I am so excited about all the possibilities going into my second year of IF!
The benefits that I described earlier are getting better over time. You will witness the same if you decide to start IF.
Your new lean sexy body will manifest. Perhaps not right away but it will.
Soon you will walk around the house with your sweatpants falling off marveling how thick you used to be (I’m still shocked by this).
3.4 If You Are Worried About Becoming Socially Awkward Around Food, Read
Lately, people have been coming up to me at work asking how they can start to fast.
One of my co-workers has become so drained from his diet of pizza and hamburgers. He told me that he has gained weight and feels shitty all the time.
He is attempting a fasting protocol. While this is okay, I suggest cleaning up your eating habits first if your diet is terrible like his. Then you work in your desired fasting schedule.
Doing everything at once will most likely be a disaster. You may end up looking and feeling worse than when you started.
Feelings like my coworker have usually spurred one into action. I know when I changed the way I ate it was out of pure necessity.
I had this terrible feeling in my stomach most of the time. I could barely do my job and my weight was skyrocketing.
My anxiety was at an all-time high from my massive sugar consumption. Every minute of my day took extreme effort.
This is no way to live! If you have feelings like this and are heading to rock bottom think of what you can do immediately to change.
For me was to see a nutritionist despite the cost. To this day, I still remember the absolute fear I had around worried how much my “new” lifestyle of eating well would cost.
I never went into debt, paid my bills on time and I was able to make more money at work because of my increased energy.
My fears were complete B.S.
Your life is worth much more than spending a few extra dollars getting yourself back to good health.
The cost of whole healthy food with the support of a nutritionist or health coach is money well spent.
I have people around me of complaining of headaches they have had for a month!
One young man I know was in the hospital for many weeks due to ulcers which were linked directly to his diet.
He was out of work for 90 days!
Pizza is one of his favorite things but now he knows that consuming pizza on a regular basis will send him straight back to hospital.
Possibly sending him to his death.
Yes, I might seem dramatic but this is fact. I see people in my world almost dying because of SAD (Standard American Diet).
Who do you know is sick because of their diet? Is it you? Someone close to you? I am sure you don’t have to think that hard.
While this guide is about fasting, I encourage you to clean up your diet and start feeling amazing. Then incorporate a fasting schedule to get better results from your efforts.
You might be thinking, “well if I do all this IF stuff, what about when I go out to eat and drink with friends?” “Won’t my fasting schedule be ruined because of my social life?”
That’s just your ego resisting and making up excuses.
One of the greatest things about IF in my opinion is that you don’t have to worry about breaking your fasting protocol because of a social event.
If something comes up and it requires eating, drinking and being merry that’s exactly what you do.
The beauty of IF is that it’s not a diet just a pattern of eating. You can figure out which meal you want to skip on a daily basis. The meal that you usually eat alone is a good place to start.
If you have breakfast with your family just have a bit of coffee or tea instead. Or just have water. Tell them to shut up if they ask you why you’re not eating.
You could also be nicer and tell them what you are doing. Perhaps they will be inspired to do the same.
You can fill that extra time you usually spend eating with anything you like. Start a new hobby or a side hustle. Find something fulfilling to do.
When humans were more nomadic, we did not have set eating times. We ate when we could because the food was scarce.
When we ate we ate a lot to ensure that we had enough fat stores to last until our next meal. This was before the age of agriculture.
Remember you are not starving yourself.
If Becky invites you to lunch on Tuesday accept and have fun. There is no reason why your social life should be affected by IF.
What you do on a daily basis matters most. Being strict all the time will only lead to resentment and failure.
The more strict I am with fasting the worse off I am. If I don’t meet my desired protocol one day because of a social engagement I could care less.
You won’t magically blow up overnight and lose all of your muscle gains. Having fun will make your fasting journey more enjoyable.
To avoid not eating when everyone else is:
- Figure out which meals you eat alone or with people who understand what you are doing.
- Plan your fasting pattern (which we talk will about in a few) around your alone meals.
- If Becky wants to have lunch with you accept and have an awesome time. Life is unpredictable and fun!
So there you go. IF won’t affect your social life.
IF will only enhance life because you are sexier and you don’t have to worry about consuming extra calories if you indulge.
Oh, one more thing. If you decide to be gluten-free or vegan in addition to IF, know exactly what you can and cannot eat.
Become knowledgeable about what to eat so you will match your dietary needs.
Going out and projecting your dietary restrictions on everyone is a sure way to make enemies and make you feel unloved.
Humans have an innate desire to fit in. Cater to that by arming yourself with knowledge.
Personally, I don’t follow a specific diet. I eat whole minimally processed foods which happen to be low sugar, dairy free, gluten free, blah blah blah.
If I’m out and have chicken liver pate which has a bit of cream in it, I don’t freak out. I indulge knowing that I am not ruining my “goals” for the next month.
The more relaxed you approach IF the higher your success will be.
By the way, you have read almost 10,000 words.
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3.5 Skipping Breakfast Will Make You Gain Weight- This Logic Must Die
That’s how one Reddit user I asked feels about breakfast.
This is exactly how I feel about breakfast.
Perhaps you can relate to feeling like a zombie when a flood of sugar rushes through your right after you wake up.
The notion that one must have breakfast in order to be a healthy human has proven to be scientifically baseless.
Before we dive into the logistics of why skipping breakfast is completely fine, let’s talk about how society has pushed us into believing the opposite.
When I was growing up and I am sure you as well, I was taught that breakfast was the most important meal of the day.
I used to feel bad when I skipped breakfast thinking that I completely was destroying the speed of my metabolism.
My diet, lack of activity, and deplorable emotional state caused my metabolism to be slow as molasses, not skipping breakfast.
On occasion, I would go on these eating breakfast kicks. I would have waffles, sugary cereal, and loads of orange juice.
I figured as long as I was eating an early breakfast my body would burn calories more efficiently.
You may be able to relate. In the US we have been drilled to eat a healthy breakfast. What constitutes as healthy is an abomination.
Throughout your childhood advertisements of Lucky Charms claiming to be a healthy choice because they have “whole grains” were slammed in your face.
Cheerios are supposed to be “heart healthy.”
Grains sprayed with Roundup (one of the most common pesticides) doesn’t seem very heart healthy to me.
Orange juice which is stripped of all natural fibers leaving only the fructose rounds out the supposed healthy breakfast. Filled with vitamin C! What a ridiculous claim!
Is that supposed to distract the consumer from the amount of sugar in one serving?
Tropicana orange juice has 22 grams of sugar in one 8oz serving. That’s about half of your daily recommended sugar intake.
If you squeeze an actual orange into a glass, the amount of sugar is only 7 grams.
With all this marketing propaganda it is hard for you to think that perhaps skipping breakfast may be the healthier choice.
When I tell people that I don’t eat breakfast, the fear of God appears in their eyes. They look at me in absolute horror.
“How come you skip breakfast?” “ It’s the most important meal of the day!”
Last time I checked Eggo waffles slathered in butter and fake maple syrup is not something you should start your day with.
When I was younger, I loved breakfast food. I would gorge on sugary cereal, toast, and orange juice at 10 am. Then I felt like shit for hours. Sometimes I would go into a deep food coma.
Do you ever feel like shit after breakfast?
If you do something is terribly wrong. Food is supposed to fill you with positive energy allowing you to live your best life.
(Eat your avocado toast later on in the day to see faster results)
Okay, enough of my anti- breakfast rant.
Let’s talk about why skipping breakfast as part of your fasting protocol may be the best decision you make all year.
First, you may have read that obesity and non-breakfast eaters have a definite link. At first glance, this may seem true.
If you dive deeper and analyze that non-breakfast eater’s diet choices, a clear picture will be painted.
Eating crap at any time of the day will ensure obesity and ill health over time.
There has yet to be a causal link between skipping breakfast and obesity. 
Late night eating and then only allowing a 5 hour fast before consuming breakfast definitely promotes obesity and other diseases.
A 4-year study based on Japanese insurance statistics studied the effects of lifestyle behaviors.
The study found that self-reported breakfast skippers had a lower incidence of all diseases compared to breakfast eaters. This included metabolic diseases.
In the same study, there was a definite link between poorer health and late-night eating.
You can see from the graph above that breakfast eaters report more medical claims than the skippers.
A study that measured physical fitness, sedentary time, and physical activity in European teens concluded that skipping breakfast had no impact on the above factors. 
“Well, what about my energy levels?”
“Won’t skipping breakfast affect how I start my day?”
While these concerns are absolutely legitimate let’s dive further into more research that addresses this.
Skipping breakfast does not affect 24 energy expenditure, resting metabolic rate, or food-induced thermogenesis (heat production in organisms). 
This contradicts common knowledge that breakfast skippers are more sedentary and overweight.
If you are sedentary and overweight eating or skipping breakfast won’t make much of a difference.
Personally, including skipping breakfast as part of my fasting protocol is one of the best decisions I ever made.
I never wanted to eat as soon as I woke anyway. Plus my diet is a 100x healthier because I am not starting my day with a flood of sugar.
I have better mental clarity because my body is not in digestion mode.
When I workout in the morning, I absolutely bounce around the gym with energy. I allow my daily dose of human growth hormone floods my body free of suppression.
Perhaps you can relate.
Even if you don’t decide to skip breakfast I encourage you to eat more dinner and lunch foods.
Shoving donuts down your throat at 9 am won’t help you progress to your optimal mental and physical health.
One of the great benefits of IF is appetite suppression. When you practice IF, you experience intermittent ketosis that aids in caloric restriction, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging benefits. 
So once you start IF and skip breakfast you will probably get hungry around 1 or 2 pm. This may take a bit but the longer you follow an IF protocol, the less hungry you will be in the morning.
When you skip breakfast and exclude late night eating, which is super easy to do when you practice IF you set yourself up for long-term success.
If you still violently disagree with me about skipping breakfast, consider removing late-night eating.
Late night eating which we covered earlier is the bigger culprit in allowing for inflammation which promotes disease.
So tomorrow when you wake up and want breakfast foods, have some salmon, brown rice, and kale instead.
See how that meal feels in comparison to the usual gross sugary breakfast foods you usually consume.
Speaking of eating unhealthy foods, let’s explore some reasons why IF may not be right for you.
Chapter 4 IF and Binge Eating Is Not a Pretty Combination
In my early teen years, I developed a very unhealthy relationship with food.
There are plenty of reasons why this occurred. I will certainly write more about this in future guides and books.
One of the main reasons I developed an unhealthy relationship with food so early on was lack of love and understanding in my family.
I am the oldest of 9 children. Growing up in such a large family certainly has its benefits.
There is someone to always hang out with and you are able to develop better communication skills because you are surrounded by so many different personalities.
Growing up I was the most different and quite the contrarian. I bewildered my parents to the point that by the time I was a teen they left me to my own devices.
When I was in 7th grade my parents abruptly pulled me out of school. I never went back to school after the winter break.
This was absolutely devastating but I managed to soldier on.
I taught myself most subjects, read constantly, and became an accomplished equestrian by the time I finished high school.
Being so different took its toll and I resorted to food for solace. I speak more of this struggle in my first guide The Ultimate Guide to Stop Binge Eating at Night.
Anyway, let’s just say in my college years my addiction to food grew. By the time I moved to New York City in my late 20’s I was well on my way to developing some serious health conditions.
I was overweight, bloated from inflammation, and had severe high blood pressure.
I am thankful that I hit my rock bottom before I landed in the hospital. I am now able to share my story with awesome l people like you.
I hope that I will inspire you to take control of your health if you struggle with disordered eating.
Throughout the years my relationship with food has greatly improved. I now understand how to manage my emotions. I have deep knowledge of the binge impulse.
My Binge Eating Guide will give you some actionable steps that you can take today if you struggle with eating for comfort.
Now through deep emotional healing which I will continue to do until I die, I now have a thriving relationship with food that grows more each day.
Yes, at times I do falter but those moments are rare.
If you don’t have the best relationship with food I do not suggest starting a fasting protocol.
Work on eating for nutrition.
Develop an understanding of why you seek food for comfort. You can work on this type of healing in many ways.
Here are some ways I suggest:
- See a Holistic Chiropractor that specializes in emotional healing.
I found that by getting my spine adjusted it made feel more grounded. This provided a solid foundation for understanding why I was reacting emotionally towards food.
- See a Nutritionist or Certified Health Coach.
A nutritionist and health coach are different but both professionals will give you a framework to get you to eat foods that best support you.
- Talk Therapy
Coaching is about creating your best future and therapy is about healing past wounds.
Talk therapy can be great to get insight on why you do the things you do. Be careful not to dwell too much on the past. Use talk therapy to heal past wounds and create a beautiful present and future.
- Invest in Career Development
When I started to invest in my future by writing, learning about online business, and becoming a certified health coach, my whole world blossomed.
Building my career has become very personal and spiritual. Coming into my true purpose has helped me release my emotional dependence on food.
I have invested thousands in my health and career and will continue to invest in the millions.
A wonderful amazing life is ahead of you.
By taking action and utilizing the abundant resources available you have an excellent start. You have the power to overcome your greatest struggles.
Never in the history of the world has it been so easy to become a key person of influence in your chosen industry.
Even if you are broke.
You will find a way if you really want to.
Once you get a firm handle on your relationship with food then you can fine-tune your health with IF.
You have absolute power to create your best future.
4.1 Fasting Will Encourage Disordered Eating
Last year when I started IF my relationship with food was still a bit shaky. When I would break my fast I would go crazy with eating.
While most of the time I would eat healthily, I had a hard time figuring out if I needed the food or if I was binge eating.
I had lingering negative emotions with food coupled with the fact that I was really hungry.
This is why I suggest having a good relationship with food before you start fasting.
You will make your disordered eating worse if you don’t. Take a look at how some people who do not have a good relationship with food approach IF.
Notice how this Reddit users binge cycle is just pushed into a smaller time frame. I am glad that they are aware of the issue. Taking the proper steps like therapy and perhaps not doing IF is key.
This Reddit user should not be doing IF until they conquer their eating disorder! Primatene is an allergy medication that can be used to suppress appetite.
While black coffee or green tea is okay to use ( there is some controversy which I will address later on), chemical gum and drink is not a good path to take.
If you are super hungry while fasting, lessen your fasting window and eat well. Relying on artificial stimulates will make disordered eating worse.
Calorie counting while fasting will drive you into a deep hole. Be thankful for the wholesome food that you are putting in your body.
If you are worried about calories or think about food constantly in an unhealthy way heal that part of yourself first.
4.2 Be Careful of Overeating When You Break Your Fast
Once you have healed yourself of disordered eating, being mindful of overeating is extremely important.
Like I said earlier, I started IF before I fully developed a good relationship with food. This caused me to feel deprived and at times caused me to binge.
Even if your relationship with food is good, beware of fasting too long then resorting to junk food to feel full longer.
In order to receive all of the wonderful benefits of IF that I mention throughout this guide, healthy eating is paramount.
When you first start IF you probably will overeat a few times until you find your personal balance.
You can avoid overeating by:
- Having a great relationship with food.
- Drinking lots of water during your fast (lemon helps).
- Knowing that you need to eat more if you are active (which you should be if you start IF).
- Sleeping 7-9 hours a night.
- Eating meals that are made by you or someone you love.
Don’t beat yourself up if in the beginning of fasting you go crazy one day.
Learn from your mistakes and view them as a learning tool. You are not doomed to forever fail.
Over time you will find that you can’t eat as much as you used to.
When I first made this discovery I thought that I was developing another eating disorder. In reality, my stomach shrank and my body was learning to operate more efficiently.
In my experience, once you have a good relationship with food, IF can enhance it.
This Reddit user finds IF to combat cravings and snacking. A whole foods diet also takes cravings away.
This will only happen if you have a great relationship with food.
Otherwise, you will continue to binge and find clever ways like using allergy medication to cover up your disordered eating.
If I find myself dreaming of chocolate cake, I know that I am missing nutrients. The next day I make sure I eat more to support my body in a healthy way.
Finding the balance will take time. Fasting helps you be more in tune with your body.
Know that it will take years to perfect IF and that’s ok.
You will learn from mistakes you make along the way. I know I do.
Don’t Judge Others While Practicing IF
Try not to be disgusted when you see someone shoving donuts down their throat.
I noticed that I have become a bit judgy and appalled when I see people gorging on junk food.
IF helps you disdain junk food if you have a healthy relationship with food.
Just don’t project that disdain on other people. If people around you want your support to stop eating junk they will ask for it.
I lead by example and people come to me for advice and support. You can do the same.
Also, don’t be afraid to indulge on occasion.
Remember that IF is an eating pattern and not a diet.
Being crazy about diet and IF is a sure fire way for you to relapse into another massive eating disorder.
4.3 How to Break Your Fast Without Eating Everything In the Fridge
When you first start fasting your body will go through some shock. Autophagy which we talked about earlier will produce some weird physical manifestations.
While you fast you will also experience a caloric deficit. While having a caloric deficit is great especially if you want to lose weight, it can also be a snake in the grass.
I noticed that when I started fasting( and even sometimes now), I become overwhelmingly hungry after a few days fasting with tight eating windows.
When I train hard doing ballet, going to spin class and the gym, the urge to eat massive amounts gets worse.
(Being silly after ballet. My fifth position needs some work!)
If your body is screaming for replenishment don’t ignore!
If you do ignore your body you will eventually raid the fridge anyway and feel terrible about it.
Learning how to practice IF in a way that best supports your body takes time. You have the license to experiment and fail. Failing is the greatest because that’s when you learn the most.
I hate that failure has such a bad rep because that is how you get to the next level in your life’s purpose.
If you don’t “fail” which really is just stepping out of your comfort zone and growing, you will be forever stuck.
By the mere fact that you are reading this guide, I know that you detest being stuck. You have the strong desire to learn and grow.
IF will serve you in a positive manner with your positive growth mindset.
So once you have that positive relationship with food, you are ready to learn how much food you need to thrive each week.
Here are some things to take into consideration when you find yourself wanting to overeat:
- You are eating whole minimally processed food, they are calorically much lower than foods in the SAD diet.
- If you start training harder as you practice IF the amount of food you eat must increase.
- Your body is going through major change, you must tune in and be kind to yourself during this awesome transition.
Even if you do everything in your power to meet your body’s caloric needs, I can guarantee that one day you will find yourself gorging on every carb-laden food in your house. Or clicking the GrubHub app and ordering the whole menu.
I know this may seem like an awful scenario to you but it does happen to the best of us. Remember, going through a few overeating periods will teach you more than hurt you.
When you fast, IF is extremely forgiving when you overeat. In fact, if you overeat for a day or two IF will get you back on track quickly.
Remember, this will only work if you have a good relationship with food. Otherwise, you are just developing a fancy binge/purge system which may land you in hospital.
He states that overfeeding can be beneficial in the long run. While I hesitate to use the term overfeeding and rather say refueling, I do agree. 
He argues that “After a period of overfeeding your body up-regulates its fat burning hormones and machinery. Once you switch back to dieting(or IF in your case) your body will be primed to burn fat more efficiently.
He then goes on to say that by overfeeding (refueling) your body creates an anabolic rebound.
Greg also suggests not to name these periods of refueling binge or cheat days. I encourage you to do the same.
Have a binge/cheat day puts a negative connotation to your lifestyle. IF should be about fostering excellent health so that you are able to produce immense value for the world.
So plan for a refuel day. Use that day to consume extra nutrients so you will not feel depleted and resort to eating massive amounts of junk.
By doing this you remove the “cheat day” syndrome. You develop an awareness that your body may need extra calories a few times a month to continue to build lean muscle and burn excess body fat.
When you have guilt around food, this is a sure way to ruin the beauty of the IF eating pattern.
Now is the Time to Get Rid of Your Cheat Day
In the past 2 years, I have had many conversations with people about their eating habits and diet.
Whenever someone tells me about their new diet, they always let me know how they look forward to their cheat days.
I don’t know about you but I would rather enjoy every meal that I eat instead of looking forward to a cheat day once a week.
Talk about deprivation. Imagine most of your meals being boring and tasteless. That kind of eating pattern won’t last long for many.
Many people that I observed for over a year, will go on a diet like Whole 30 for a month.
They get awesome results only to go back to their previous way of eating a few weeks later after the diet program ends.
This is a waste of time and energy.
Usually, they gain all of their lost weight and their diet-related health conditions come roaring back.
The purpose of an eating pattern like IF is to mitigate vicious patterns like yo-yo dieting.
Once you establish the IF protocol that works best for you, there is no reason to have cheat days.
If you feel undernourished, then by all means refuel. Eat more calories for a day or two.
This way you are always in balance and you have less of a tendency to overeat unhealthy foods.
With IF you have the license to enjoy every meal to the fullest. You have the power to create healthy tasteful meals that will continue to fuel you throughout your fasting period.
The best part is that IF is a lifelong way of eating.
Cheat days are a thing of the past.
You may find yourself coming up with healthy clever ways to increase your caloric load.
You don’t have to count just listen to what your body is telling you. Over time you will develop an innate skill that most people don’t have.
The skill of being in tune with your body will last for the rest of your life.
Chapter 5 Case Study: Meet Tamara! She Just Started IF and Has Seen Amazing Results!
I am so excited to introduce Tamara!
For this guide, I wanted to interview someone extensively that is just starting IF like you.
While many people in my world would never dream of embarking on the fascinating journey of IF, Tamara has.
So far she has seen amazing results.
Now before I give you the highlights of the wonderful video interview we had, I want to let you know that I have known Tamara for most of my 33 years on this planet.
This is because Tamara is my dear sister.
I rarely get to see Tamara because she lives several states away but a few months ago we happened to be going to Europe at the same time.
I had the opportunity to meet up with her in London.
In London (which is absolutely gorgeous), Tamara told me that she just started practicing IF.
I was shocked!
I had no clue that Tamara even knew what IF was. Coupled with the fact that she recently started practicing IF was mind-blowing.
Our time together in London was filled with dining in cute cafes, walking in Hyde Park, and of course talking about IF.
After London, I spoke to Tamara a few times to check in to see how she was doing with IF.
Every time I spoke to her she excitedly shared her amazing progress.
That’s when I knew that I had to sit down with her and do a video interview. I needed to share her amazing results with you.
Before we get to the video, I want to apologize for the bad camera quality on my screen. I look like a scruffy monster speaking out of the void.
I’m so glad Tamara used a better camera so you can see her beautiful face.
In the video, Tamara shared her successes and struggles with poise and grace.
Despite only practicing IF for a few months, Tamara is able to communicate how the power of IF has impacted her life.
What she shared beautifully summarizes the content of this guide.
I suggest you give the video a few views. It is easy to relate to Tamara. You will gain insight on how IF will affect your life day to day.
I can write and make videos about IF until I’m blue in the face (which I probably will do). But it is very important for you to get other people’s perspective as well.
Throughout your IF journey, you will find case studies like Tamara’s to be an invaluable resource.
In the video, Tamara talks about the benefits of IF like clearer skin, weight loss, and the lack of the desire to eat breakfast.
Tamara not eating breakfast was shocking because growing up she ate eggs a lot!
I will check in with Tamara in a few months and do another interview on my LivingLifeLite YouTube Channel.
Remember to hit that subscribe bell to stay tuned.
Enjoy the interview!
Watch the Video to Learn How IF Looks in Daily Life
Chapter 6 The Top 3 Fasting Protocols You Can Start Today
So I guess you are really interested in learning how to fast. You now have read over 16,000 words about fasting.
I congratulate you on having the keen desire to take control of your health so that you may serve this wonderful world to the highest of your abilities.
Even if you don’t decide to start a fasting protocol, I am sure that you have learned useful information that you can put into daily practice.
So far in this guide:
- We covered the results I saw when I first started IF.
- You learned about the top five benefits of IF.
- We dispelled some of those silly myths about diets that continue to swirl around our world.
- You had a chance to see a behind the scenes account of how IF has impacted Tamara’s life.
It’s time to put all of this information into action.
I don’t know about you but when I want to try something new I read and watch everything I can about the subject.
I become absolutely obsessed! I spoke briefly about this flaw of mine earlier on in the guide.
I become overwhelmed with all the information I consume. Fear starts to settle in and then I start to procrastinate.
Then I’ll read even more information hoping that I will find the perfect way to start. This only sets me back further from taking action.
This happened to me when I first learned about fasting. First, I dismissed the idea of starting to fast completely for months.
Then curiosity got the best for me because I had the desire to make my body look sexier.
I still remember sitting in my room in the dark, reading furiously about IF and imagining how it would possibly look in my life.
Then I said to myself,” Enough is enough I am going to try this for one day and see what happens.”
Like magic fasting fit beautifully into my life. My worries about meals dissipated immediately. I felt so free.
I encourage you to re-read this guide and other quality work that is out there. Read some of the research that I have cited.
Ask people in your world if they have ever tried fasting. Usually, you will get a strong negative or strong positive response.
Last of all just take action. Don’t hem and haw like I did. While I am getting better at this I have a ways to go.
Implementation of some information is more valuable than consuming vast amounts of information.
Once you implement you can use what you have learned to grow.
Consume more information only once you have taken action. This way the information you consume will have greater impact allowing you to learn faster.
Guides like this are just a guide. It’s up to you to decide if you want to implement.
Most times the things that I am most scared and resistant to are the things that will improve my life the most.
This is the same for everyone.
If you feel massive fear around fasting, that’s the Universe telling you perhaps you should give it a shot. (Double check with your GP of course)
Even if you close your browser right now and try and forget about fasting like I did, I must warn you IF has a way of creeping back into your life.
That’s because once you start and get over the first few hurdles it’s so easy to stick to a fasting protocol long term.
If you are ready to take the first leap like I finally did read on.
6.1 The Easiest Way to Start IF Is to Follow the Sixteen8 Protocol
My foray into fasting started by practicing the Sixteen8 protocol.
Throughout my initial research, the Sixteen8 protocol seemed like the easiest way to get started without too much shock on the body.
This is commonly called the Leangains method popularized by Martin Berkan who I spoke about earlier when we covered my initial research.
The Sixteen8 protocol dictates that you fast for 16 hours then have an 8-hour eating window.
In my opinion, the Sixteen8 protocol is the best for beginners like you. Sixteen8 can fit in your life super easy.
The first day you start Sixteen8 all you have to do is stop eating at 8 pm then the next day break your fast at 12 pm.
This way the only meal you are skipping is breakfast. Remember that skipping breakfast will provide you with the best results as you progress.
Most likely you eat breakfast alone or with loved ones so you won’t have to worry about social awkwardness.
Sixteen8 will aggressively promote fat loss, fewer cravings, and better brain function.
Better brain function is promoted because blood is pumped throughout the body rather than focusing on your digestive system.
Tamara reported in our interview that if she eats breakfast one day instead of fasting she is hungrier throughout the day.
This is because by eating right when you wake causes your insulin levels to spike. This causes blood sugar to drop making you hungry. If you wait to eat until 12 or 1 pm you allow insulin and cortisol levels to drop. 
This makes you less hungry and will promote weight loss/ maintenance.
Practicing Sixteen8 allows you to shed excess weight immediately, lower body fat, improve energy levels so that you may enjoy a higher quality of life.
Since you are sleeping for most of your fast, hunger will not be too much of an issue.
After the first few weeks of practicing Sixteen8 you will notice that you are no longer hungry in the morning.
When I first started Sixteen8, I only did it 5 days a week. I still saw a great result. On my non-fasting days, I noticed a decrease in energy and an increase in hunger.
Once I started practicing Sixteen8 every day, I did not turn back.
Here are a few tips to make your transition into Sixteen8 seamless:
- If you are reading this guide and want to experiment, start tomorrow!
- Make sure you get adequate sleep.
- Learn how much water you should be drinking.
- Purge your kitchen of anything that you have the tendency to overeat.
- Buy whole minimally processed foods so that you can break your fast effectively ( you will crave these foods anyway after the initial shock).
- Have fun!
The times that I mentioned above of when you should fast are completely hypothetical.
Make sure that you commit to fasting 16 hours a day and allowing an 8-hour eating window that best fits your current lifestyle.
As time goes on and you will get more practiced you will get into a flow state.
The goal you should have is to practice Sixteen8 daily without disrupting your current lifestyle in a drastic way.
This allows your transition to be seamless.
The first few days of practicing Sixteen8 will feel weird. I felt naked, exposed, left to deal with my underlying emotional angst.
Don’t worry if you experience some uncomfortable feelings once you start to fast. When you do something uncomfortable like fasting you are growing.
Personal growth is extremely important if you want to take your life to the next level.
Without investing in yourself you are doomed to stay stuck.
Learn how to control hunger while fasting.
Your Body is Designed to Support You when You Practice IF
Like we talked about earlier, fasting will not make you lose muscle mass and ruin other goals you may have concerning your health and physical appearance.
Starting a Sixteen8 protocol will cause your deepest desires to look and feel amazing attainable.
In a study done in 2014, The Effects of Eight Weeks of Time-Restricted Feeding (16/8) on Basal Metabolism, Maximal Strength, Body Composition, Inflammation, and Cardiovascular Risk Factor in Resistance Trained Males, supports the argument that Sixteen8 is an asset to your lifestyle. 
Let me give you a brief overview of the study.
In the study, 34 males were selected at random to participate in a time restricted feeding (TRF) and a normal diet group (ND).
All participants in the study were healthy and had worked out on a consistent basis for the past 5 years with no anabolic steroid use.
The TRF group followed a classic Sixteen8 protocol and the ND group ate three squares at normal times like most people think they should do.
Both groups followed a diet that consisted of the same amount of calories and food quality.
Before the study, the participants were measured on factors like total and free testosterone, insulin-like growth factor, HDL(high-density lipoproteins), LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol, and blood glucose.
At the end of the eight weeks, the TRF group showed a decrease in overall fat mass compared to the ND group.
Fat-free mass in the arm and thigh and maximum strength in both groups were maintained in both groups.
The study does highlight that as of 2014( in my extensive research this is still holding true), participants practicing Sixteen8 for the long term and tracking health-related biomarkers has not been done.
I will make the hazard guess and say that in a more long-term study the TRF group would outperform the ND group.
Over time the TRF group would see more muscle mass growth and greater fat loss while having improved health-related biomarkers than the ND group.
I found it interesting that in this study, testosterone in the TRF group decreased significantly and the ND group had no changes in testosterone.
When I first started fasting, initially I thought that I had an increase in testosterone levels.
Looking back I think my levels did improve solely based on the fact that practiced IF beyond 8 weeks.
A 2-month study is not a long enough time to study the full effects of Sixteen8 while in a weight resistance program.
The study did go on to say that Sixteen8 does seem to improve health-related biomarkers like a decrease in fat mass and maintenance in muscle mass in resistance trained males.
A longer-term study needs to be done to see how factors like testosterone and cholesterol improve.
Most of the IF research done now concentrates on religious fastings like Ramadan and Daniel 21 Day Fasting.
IF is starting to become more mainstream. In the next few years, I am sure you will see more research that studies the effects of Sixteen8 on a larger population sample.
The compliance rate of Sixteen8 is high so it will be easy to recruit participants for a 1 or 2-year study.
Preliminary research on athletes is just beginning. Fitness professionals are starting to embrace fasting protocols like Sixteen8.
A healthy Sixteen8 protocol does not support the current food industry. The fitness industry is directly related.
IF is all about consuming less.
The food industry and fitness professionals who benefit from unhealthy food and supplementation products will be resistant to recommending a Sixteen8 protocol for their clients.
It is up to you to take control of your world.
You Can Start Today
Now that you know some of the nitty-gritty science around Sixteen8 as well as how it can fit easily into your life you can take action.
Yes, it will be scary for the first few days but in a short while, Sixteen8 will become your best friend.
You will experience more freedom and food will lose its control over you.
For me the ability to create more time is powerful. Instead of constantly worrying about my next meal I am able to freely create content for my online business and thrive.
Sixteen8 will help you do the same.
Below is a sample Sixteen8 schedule. Remember that having sporadic meal times is a good thing.
6.2 The OhMad Protocol Will Take You to New Heights
You are probably wondering what the hell OhMad is.
Since I live in NYC I will give you examples of neighborhood acronyms.
Tribeca= Triangle Below Canal Street
Soho= South of Houston Street
Nolita= North of Little Italy
You get the point.
So OhMad= One Home Meal a Day
This type of fasting is more commonly known as the 23 hour fast, OMAD, or 23:1.
You can practice OhMad by eating at 7 pm and stopping at 8 pm. I usually eat at 8:30 and stop at 9:30 pm.
I think that this is a bit too late (remember meal timing) but it’s good enough for now and fits into my life well.
In the next few months, my life will be changing and my eating period will be earlier.
The goal for you should be the same. Start. Then improve over time. This applies to anything new you want to try.
One of the most important factors of the OhMad protocol is the emphasis on having your one meal cooked at home.
Do not confuse OhMad with the Warrior Diet which is 20:4. The Warrior Diet has a longer eating window thus allowing for higher caloric intake (which you may want to do some days).
When you eat foods that are prepared by someone you love or yourself, you know exactly what you are eating.
This way you are more likely to be consuming high-quality foods that are minimally processed.
When you are fasting, it will be a more productive fast because your body is able to burn off energy that is less toxic.
Over time OhMad will help you see faster results in fat loss, muscle growth, and all the other amazing benefits of IF.
John Romaniello who is a bodybuilder, author, and huge advocate of IF in his article, IF 201: A Look of The 4 Most Popular Intermittent Fasting Protocols says, “ Caloric manipulation aside, this style of fasting works incredibly well because of the effect that fasting has on your overall hormonal environment.” 
OhMad will give you the best opportunity to lower insulin levels and allow a higher production of the Human Growth Hormone.
Remember that we talked earlier about how important HGH is in allowing for muscle growth and the anti-aging benefits of IF.
John also makes the great point that the fewer times you eat per day the less your insulin will be spiked.
He says, “ The elevated HGH in combination with low insulin is a deadly one-two punch to your body fat.”
Practicing the OhMad protocol is great if you lead a busy life. OhMad can be a wonderful addition to your Sixteen8 protocol.
Personally, I practice both protocols throughout the week but most days I do OhMad.
If I feel that I am in an extreme caloric deficit I will have a Sixteen8 day.
Having a Sixteen8 day allows me to refuel. Then I won’t go and eat crappy foods because my macro and micronutrient intake are deficient.
Lately, I have been doing Sixteen8 two days a week and OhMad the rest of the time. This totals to roughly 9 meals a week depending on my activity level.
I will be honest with you a say at times I do OMAD rather than OhMad.
This happens if I am being lazy or need extra calories (which food not made by you usually has) or if I am out with friends.
This is the beauty of OhMad. You can be flexible and enjoy your life. This way most of the time you are eating whole minimally processed foods.
If you have an off day it’s not the end of the world.
When I have an off day I make sure I practice OhMad for the next few days to make sure that I am getting the proper nutrients.
John makes the point to use OhMad as damage control if you know that you will be going out the next day to eat rich food with friends.
If you are going to use OhMad as damage control make sure you are not covering up disordered eating.
A Word of Caution
If you think that you will start IF once you are done reading this guide, practice the Sixteen8 protocol first.
Sixteen8 allows you to transition into fasting easier. You will be less likely to fail and overeat if you practice Sixteen8 initially.
Give your body time to adjust to fasting. You will experience some failure and setbacks. And that’s okay.
Doing the Sixteen8 protocol will minimize these setbacks allowing you to fast in the most healthy manner possible.
I recently started OhMad a few months ago and I am glad I waited.
At first, I thought fasting for 23 hours was way too much. I feared fasting that long every day.
It seemed super hardcore to me.
If OhMad seems like that to you, that’s awesome. Start practicing OhMad at a later date if you want to try it.
Once I decided to give OhMad a try I was pleasantly surprised. I have seen amazing results in increased energy and further loss of body fat.
Each month I feel and look better. But I did experience setbacks in the beginning of practicing OhMad.
In the beginning, I ate too little and started feeling the effects( I spoke about this earlier). At one point I thought there was something seriously wrong with me.
Eating at a deficit for weeks on end while being active will catch up with you. This is why having a wonderful relationship with food and listening to your body is extremely important
I learned to listen to my body with extreme urgency. Now I have a few refueling days when needed.
Having those refueling days is magical.
Refueling allows you to build muscle by having an increase in calories while still losing body fat. Make sure you are active on your refueling days for the best result.
So if you are new to fasting, practice Sixteen8 for an extended period of time before you throw in the OhMad protocol.
This way you will fail less and see faster progress toward your personal goals.
(This is my current protocol blend of OhMad and Sixteen8)
Other Fasting Protocols
There are a few more fasting protocols that I haven’t mentioned.
The reason why is that through my extensive research, Sixteen8, OhMad, and Xtend Fast (which we will talk about next) have the most scientific research.
I also don’t want to overwhelm you with other fasting protocols because this is a Beginners Guide. The 3 types of protocols I highlight are more than enough to get you started.
If you do Sixteen8 for the rest of your life, that’s more than enough for you to see all the amazing benefits of IF.
So don’t feel as though you have to try every type of fasting protocol.
Your body is designed for sporadic eating. Whichever protocol that works best for your lifestyle is the one you should follow.
6.3 How XtendFast Can Accelerate Your Long-Term Weight Loss Goals
Since this is a Beginners Guide, I highly doubt that you will want to take up prolonged fasting straight away.
I personally do not fast for more than 48 hours at a time.
I find at this point in my life it’s unnecessary to fast for longer than 48 hours since I fast daily.
If you are thinking about starting a fasting protocol, please start with consulting with your GP and practice the Sixteen8 protocol.
In my first 8 months of fasting, I saw my doctor a few times a month to ensure that I was in no danger of health deficiencies.
If Xtend Fasting interests you, read on. I find it fascinating how long the human body can survive without daily food intake.
As with most fasting protocols, there is little research done on the outcome of Xtend Fasting.
What I did find is absolutely fascinating.
In one study done in the 1960’s Total Fasting in the Treatment of Obesity, 46 obese patients fasted for a fortnight (2 weeks).
There were 14 male subjects and 32 female subjects with ages ranging from 16-75. I found the wide variety of age and gender particularly interesting in this study.
Most studies for fasting have been more male-centric so it was important for me to find a study that focused on more on females.
All participants were under strict medical supervision so safety was insured.
During the fortnight of fasting, the patients lost between 17 lbs and 31lbs. For someone that is obese, this is an amazing result. 
Keep in mind the participants were allowed to consume coffee and tea and partook in light exercise.
They were not confined or bedridden.
The compliance rate of the participants was also high. 44 of the 46 participants completed their fortnight fast.
Many of the participants had slight euphoria.
I personally experience euphoria with even a shorter fasting window. You tend to feel more grounded and spiritual the longer you fast.
This is one of the reasons why fasting is so prevalent in religious practice.
In addition to weight loss Xtend Fast can promote:
- Reduction of hypertension (high blood pressure). Beware that Xtend Fasting can induce hypotension (low blood pressure).
- Reduction of parasites in the gut.
- Tumor growth reduction
- Extended ketosis
- Increased mental clarity and an improved relationship with food (if you don’t have disordered eating history). 
While immense benefits can be found with Xtended Fast, most of the benefits described above can be found by following an intermittent fasting protocol.
In the future, I do intend to experiment with Xtend Fast by doing a 3-5 day fast. I will do this for more of the spiritual benefits than the further loss of body fat.
Now while the participants of the fortnight fast study saw great short-term results, the results in the long term presented a different picture.
This is why it is extremely important that you have a firm grasp on how to nourish your body with minimally processed foods.
Make sure that you have an excellent relationship with food before embarking on a XtendFast protocol.
If you are overweight or obese Xtend Fast will help you lose excess weight and detoxify your body only if you are well supported.
The last thing you want to do is lose weight, feel amazing and then gain all the weight back in a few short weeks.
You Will Die From XtendFast Without Proper Support
Xtend Fast is no joke. There are plenty of reports of people dying from fasting for longer than 20 days.
Many die from heart failure or the inability to fight disease. Xtend Fast as well as IF should be taken seriously.
If you want to lose weight and become healthier, IF is your best bet. You will be less likely to gain excess weight back.
IF is for the long term and your diet will become more healthy as time goes on (mine definitely has).
Xtend Fast in your case should only be utilized under strict medical supervision.
Your goal can be weight loss but it should also be for deeper spiritual reasons.
Remember it is hard to die from IF.
With XtendFast death is more imminent.
Take a Look at this Fascinating Case Study
Before I close this chapter, I want to talk to you about a video on Youtube that a friend of mine shared a while back.
In the video YouTuber ProGramer Jay recounts his experiences of going 28 days without food.
When I first watched the video I was completely shocked. At the time I did not know it was possible to go without food for that long.
In the video, Jay talks about his experience going without food for so long and how he was able to transform his body.
He describes in great detail how tough it was only drinking water and how he was able to lose massive amounts of weight by continuing to work out throughout his fast.
He was well supported during the 28 day fast and had a positive result with the outcome.
This video was published in March of 2017 and has almost 12 million views since December 2017.
Apparently, my friend and I were not the only ones drawn to Jay’s fascinating story.
As I watched the video, I felt kind of uncomfortable and had some disbelief.
It took me a few days to fully digest all of the profound insights I got from the video. The intense detoxification process which rid parasites in Jay’s gut particularly interested me.
Like I said earlier I am interested in a 3-5 day fast. Anything more with me being at a healthy weight would do more harm than good since I fast daily.
If you have 20 minutes, watch the video. The human body is fascinating and this case study is a testament to that.
Chapter 7 The Hardest Part Is Getting Started
You are absolutely amazing!
I want to thank you for taking the time to read this super long guide. It means a lot!
Now you are armed with so much information.
- How IF will benefit your life.
- Myths about eating that were forced upon you since you were a child.
- How you can fast without binge eating.
- The best fasting protocol to start your journey.
All you have to do now is implement this new found knowledge. Watch your whole life expand in ways you never thought possible.
Starting IF is no joke but I know that you are ready for a journey of self-discovery and growth.
Most will not take the time to control their health.They would rather complain about being fat while shoving Doritos down their throat and binge-watching Netflix.
Clearly, you are not most people.
Even though you are superhuman, you will need support once you start fasting.
I don’t want you to go through what I went through when I first started fasting.
I remember being completely overwhelmed. It took me months to get into a healthy IF groove.
IF may be hard in the beginning but it’s worth it.
My capacity for love and compassion grows daily.
IF will change you for the better but you have to start.
While reading this guide, you may have questions that need to be answered. You can always email me.
You can also join my Ultimate Fasters private support group on Facebook.
There you can post any question you have and it will get answered within a day.
Fill out the form below to get access to the Ultimate Fasters Group.
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Perhaps you have some fear around starting a fasting protocol. That’s okay. As long as you start your fear will dissipate.
Use your fear as a tool to grow. When you don’t continuously challenge yourself, you will become stuck.
So don’t give up.
I am here to support you by:
- Writing more Ultimate Guides.
- Creating inspiring YouTube videos.
- Writing Ultimate Blog posts to complement those videos.
- Having 1 on 1 and group conversations with you.
And that’s just the beginning!
So stay tuned.
I’ll see you soon!
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