There are so many different types of diets and exercise regimens bombarding people now a days that it can get very frustrating.  This information overload has many deciding that it’s all too confusing to even get started.

As an ELITE Trainer nothing gets my goat more than when I overhear people talking about the New Break Through in weight loss trick that they are trying.  I just sit there and listen to them try and explain how it is ‘supposed’ to work and shake my head over all of the misinformation.  There have also been times where I will interrupt with some cold hard facts only to get an eye roll and a shake of the head.  I normally just smile, shrug my shoulders, and walk away.

One night I was reading some articles online when I came across an ad that had two photos of a man.  One photo showed him with a very healthy physique.  He was lean with abs, of course, that were slightly washed out by a layer of water.  A physique that would make the average Joe want to look like him.  The second photo was the same male, now with a completely shredded look.  This time he was much leaner with some vascularity and his abs were more dominant than in the first photo.

High Calories Meal

I believe the ad read something like; I found this new way to eat anything I want and get RIPPED! It’s called Intermittent Fasting…My first thought was “Oh boy! This person is about to get rich overnight.

After I was finished chuckling I decided that I needed to do something to get the truth out there.  This type of marketing is extremely irresponsible and it pissed me off!  I get so tired of seeing, and hearing, ads that weigh on a person’s financial or physical emotions that I needed to clear the air.

If you are dead set on what you think is the truth then you can stop reading now.  If you are open minded and want to know the cold hard truth then I urge you the read on.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

I guess the first step is to explain what Intermittent Fasting is.  Intermittent Fasting is a ‘diet’ regimen where you deprive your body of food for a determined period of time.  See how I emphasized ‘diet’.  I did that on purpose.  Intermittent Fasting (referred to as IF from this point on), according to some experts, can help you lose weight faster and improve your health by fasting for short periods of time.  In essence some marketers will tell you to fast for 12 to 16 hours and then pack in all of your meals in the next 12 to 8 hours.  But they do not stop there.  Some actually suggest that you can eat whatever you want! Huh?! In essence they want you to believe that eating a bunch of pizza, fried chicken, processed sweets, and dinking sugary soda will still allow you to lose fat.  Head scratch…

Now don’t get me wrong IF seems to have some pretty good success at least in the short term.  It is far too early to cheer from the mountain tops that IF is the best way to lose fat fast or to stay on for an undetermined amount of time.

Since IF is in its infancy and there still needs to be more studies conducted, people are left to pretty much experiment for themselves.  There are, however, a few basic provisions on how to carry out IF correctly.  Let’s look at a few.

Weekly fasting

Weekly fasting is for those who aren’t quite sure if IF is for them.  This gives you the opportunity to ‘test the water’, so to speak.  The weekly fast is started by choosing one day out of the week to fast.  Let me ass in a little disclosure here…make sure to have a solid nutrition plan in place for the days that you are not fasting.  Also you should be following an appropriate exercise program as well.

Drop Sets

For the sake of simplicity lets schedule our fasting day for Sunday.  This means that Monday through Friday you should follow a moderate calorie nutrition plan.  The focus should be on making sure you are consuming all of your essential nutrients during these days.  On Saturday, this is a GOOD day, you can eat whatever you want for the whole day but not eating after 10pm.  You should be able to double your standard calorie intake on this day.  For example, if you’re eating 2500 calories per day you can increase it to 5000.  Enjoy this day because the next day is gonna suck!

Guess what?  Sunday is here and it’s time to fast!  This has got to be strict!  No food what so ever!  You will live on water, green tea, and maybe some branch chained amino acids for the whole day.  This would also be a good day to rent a bunch of movies and not leave the couch.  You must keep your activity to a minimum.

Bi-Weekly Fasting

The bi-weekly fast is very similar to the weekly fast with one BIG difference.  You will fast for two days during the week. So let’s take a look at how this works for the whole week.  With the bi-weekly fasting plan you would consume nutritious meals on Monday and Tuesday and fast from midnight Wednesday until your normal first meal on Thursday.  For Thursday and Friday you would get back on your standard meal plan until Saturday morning.  Just like the weekly fasting plan, Saturday is a refeed day where you can eat whatever you want until 10 pm.  Sunday would then be another fasting day.

Drop Sets to Build Muscle

The one main point that I have identified with the above plans is that you have to consume meals that are nutritious for most of the week.  You see the idea that you can perform intermittent fasting and then refeed with anything you want to the rest of the time is suspicious.  Your body needs the right amount of macronutrients in order to change in the way you want it to.  Sue you can lose fat the way it is advertised but wouldn’t you rather do it and still be toned with well-shaped muscles?

Intermittent fasting is not for everyone.  If you have problems with your commitment and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle or getting in the best shape your life then you are going to have problems trying to stick with IF.  The good thing about IF is that there really is no set in stone way to do it.  You have the ability to try different ways to do it.  You can do weekly, bi-weekly, tri-weekly, or monthly.  There are endless ways to do IF.

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