Intermittent Fasting has a lot of hype these days, and for a good reason. Fasting can benefit not only your fitness goals but your overall health. Studies have shown that fasting helps increase life expectancy by reducing calorie consumption by about 30%. Furthermore, fasting has been said to increase brain health by increasing focus, memory, alertness, and productivity. Even if none of these fasting diets are right for you I highly recommend adding a fasting day to your weekly routine. Be sure to check out “Fasted Training for Rapid Weight Loss” to see how you can expedite your fat loss using our fasting protocols.
Here are the 3 main types of Fasting and their Benefits:
1.) Daily Intermittent Fasting (Leangains): Focuses on what to eat, and leniency on when to eat.
How it's done: Fast for 14 (women) or 16 (men) hours a day and then enter the feeding window for the remaining 8-10 hours a day. During the fasting period be sure to consume 0 calories. Black coffee, green tea, sugar free gum, and calorie-free sweeteners are okay. Most people tend to begin their fast 2 hours before bed time and fast for about 6 hours after waking up in the morning. This tends to be the easiest to follow as a large portion of the fast is in your sleep. Trying to find a relatively strict schedule for fasting/feeding times in order to get in a rhythm and make the leangains diet much more manageable.
Be sure to continue to eat healthy and prioritize carbs on workout days while fats on rest day. Protein levels should stay high everyday as it is a huge part of muscle development. The actual values for protein intake will depend on the person and their fitness goals. Eating healthy, high quality unprocessed foods is essential to any successful diet in order to see those gains we are all looking for. This is the routine I have stuck to and not only do I notice fitness advantages and overall strength increase due to “Fasted Training for Rapid Weight Loss” but I also have noticed a huge increase in focus, memory, and productivity throughout my day and specifically fasting window. Quick tip (especially to start): Be busy while you are fasting to distract from the hunger, and consume coffee or my go to green tea in the morning to set aside the sensation of hunger.
Pros: This is a relatively manageable fasting diet as it allows you to get into a consistent routine. After a few weeks of this, it becomes almost second nature and way easier to curb those hunger cravings throughout the fasting window. Your limit for when you eat and the time between meals is less important and gives a lot of flexibility for when to eat. The Leangains diet fits into your schedule nicely as there is no cooking to be done for a large portion of the day allowing you to be more productive. Intermittent Fasting also allows you to jump right into a fasted training system which is fantastic for overall health and fitness goals, see “Fasted Training for Rapid Weight Loss”
Cons: While when you eat is less important (within that 8 hour feeding window), what you eat is extremely important. Sticking to this food plan is more difficult and requires a lot of dedication to this diet. While it may be hard to do properly, I can guarantee the payouts are huge and will result in massive gains and rapid fat loss.
Best For: Regular lifters who want to burn body fat and build muscle
2.) Weekly Intermittent Fasting (Eat Stop Eat): Focuses on when to eat, and leniency with what to eat.
How it's done: Fast for 24 hours straight once or twice a week and then continue a normal eating schedule for the remaining days of the week. During your 24 hour fast consume 0 calories and only calorie-free beverages. In order to break your fast, do whatever fits your schedule and feels the best. Some people prefer breaking the fast with a light snack to ease back into digestion while others jump right into a big meal. Time is best for your schedule. This may be tough at first but definitely ease into it by fasting as long as possible and continually increase your fasting length until you reach 24 hours. The main goal of this is similar to general fasting benefits of clearing bodies cells of an unwanted build up of proteins, while also lowering overall caloric intake resulting in weight loss without losing out on your gains in the gym. Resistance training is crucial to see the outcomes you want for this sort of diet. This fasting diet requires less attention on what you eat (within reason) as long as you keep up with your resistance training to reap the benefits!
Pros: The upsides to this diet is that while the 24 hour fast is tough, you can ease your way working up to that 24 hour fast. On top of that there is flexibility in your actual diet which allows for on the go meals, eating out, socializing over drinks or dinners. There is so much more flexibility that allows for the ability to not count calories or stress over that slice of cake you want here and there. With this being said, be sure to eat responsibly and healthy overall in order to truly see the gains you want!
Cons: 24 hours without calories is no easy task. Definitely difficult to do and requires a certain level of motivation to complete. Also some people have different reactions to fasting such as fatigue or headaches but over time working your way to this 24 hour goal will result in awesome benefits. Furthermore, fasting for this long makes people want to “let go” after and indulge in junk food and excess food that will ultimately make this diet much less effective.
Best For: Healthy eaters looking to gain an advantage in their fitness goals.
3.) Warrior Diet: Focuses on what and when you eat
How it's done: This is the most intense diet but arguably also the most effective. It involves a 20 hour fast every day with a 4 hour feeding window (over-eating window). Throughout the 20 hour fast you can consume a small amount of fruits, vegetables, or protein if desirable but nothing else. This fasting window is designed to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and boost energy, alertness and stimulate fat burning. The 4 hour feeding window is also known as an overeating window in which you have 1 large meal to satisfy your daily nutritional needs. This feeding window is designed to help the body recuperate by activating the parasympathetic nervous system and help repair and rebuild muscles in the body. In this diet, the order of what you consume during the feeding window is also crucial as you should start with veggies, protein and fat, then if you are still hungry some carbohydrates.
Pros: While this diet is definitely strict and requires a serious dedication to a meal plan, it is very appealing because it does allow small amounts of veggies, fruits, and proteins to help you get through this long fasting window. More so, this warrior diet has been proven to help alertness, boost energy and stimulate fat burning to help reach higher productivity and meet those fitness goals!
Cons: This is still a very difficult and strict diet plan as the specific foods you are allowed to consume and the timing/order of these foods is crucial to the gains and makes it much more difficult to meet. Also this system makes it difficult to attend social gatherings for eating out, work lunches or any other food-based outings.
Best For: Those extremely dedicated and want to see that extra change in their physique
What to Remember:
Intermittent fasting is exploding as the new advantage for those trying to gain the extra edge in the weight room and by following one of these best-suited fasting diets, you will see crazy gains in the gym and increased alertness, memory, focus and overall benefits in health and fitness!
For those of you looking to get that extra advantage in the gym, be sure to supplement one of your workout splits with a high quality diet and a fasting regimen to see the true gains you want. I recommend fasted training as well to see drastic increases in fat loss (without losing muscle), strength increase, better focus, and overall better workouts. Take a look at the “Fasted Training For Rapid Weight Loss” to see the advantages to training while fasted.
If you need an extra edge in the gym try our pre-workout. It is zero calorie so it won't break your fast!