Intermittent Fasting – Is It As Effective As They Say? My weight loss experience with intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting has gained tremendous popularity in the lifting community as one of the fastest way to get shredded. There are hundreds of photos showing successful journeys to status “RIPPED” achieved with help of daily meal skipping.

bruce-lee-power-muscle

Bruce Lee was shredded way before intermittent fasting was popular

While I don’t believe intermittent fasting is magical, it does promote weight loss when applied with a daily caloric restriction. I have used this system on two occasions to lose weight. The most recent one was in the beginning of this year. I would eat a small meal in the morning than fast until some crazy hours like 5-7 in the evening. Needless to say I lost a lot of weight with this rather aggressive cutting approach.

The first thing that hit me right from the start was the hunger and low energy levels. I remember the first days. I would wait for the bus on my way back home and feel like I am about to collapse. In my case this effect was slightly boosted because I have naturally low hemoglobin levels. It was not a very pleasant experience, but I attribute it mostly to my extreme fasting phase. If you stick to 6 hours, the negative side effects will probably be diminished. Anyway, after some time, I adapted and my fasting phases were not nearly as difficult.


However, the main reason I lost weight was that the total amount of food consumed for the day was very little. I don’t think I would have been able to the same if my evening meal was 2 500 calories or something. No way.

So, once again I arrived at the golden rule of fat loss – overall caloric restriction is required during the day. If that’s not respected, the fasting hours are somewhat lost. There are plenty of fat people who don’t eat much during the day due to having dynamic jobs but compensate for it later with beer & junk food overload in the evening.

THE GOOD SIDES

They say intermittent fasting raises hormone X and hormone Y, but to be quite fair I doubt the increase has any meaningful effect at the end of the day.

The main benefits that I observed during my intermittent fasting cut were:

  • less thinking about eating and higher focus, after the first adaptation phase;

  • every meal tastes better because you are very hungry;  If you are one of those people who have a thing for delayed gratification, this is your thing.

  • stable blood sugar levels;

  • steady fat loss – around 2 lbs in the beginning and a little less during the final weeks;

  • you are no longer one of those cowards who think their muscles will disappear if you skip a meal or post workout shake; {hard earned muscle does not leave you that fast, honey}

THE BAD SIDES

  • hard to adapt in the beginning; {this is the most painful part}

  • low energy levels;

  • may have an impact on your social life, although that was not really a problem for me;

Will intermittent fasting give me the shredded and muscular fitness model look?

You can definitely get very lean and acquire a set of visible abdominals, but I don’t think intermittent fasting will make you a muscular beast. If you think about it, intermittent fasting is just regular eating with a few extra hours in between your scheduled meals. This is not going to have a profound effect on your body composition.

I believe the main benefit of intermittent fasting is actually outside of the training room. When I was on this schedule I was more productive because I had a plan and my fasting hours were dedicated to some sort of work. Instead of walking around like a lost duck, I followed a schedule.

However, I have to clarify that I work at a desk which makes my energy needs much smaller compared those of a construction worker or bike messenger.

Nevertheless, I do believe even people with more physically intensive jobs can use this style of eating, but you have to schedule your meals in a specific way to prevent energy crashing that might be detrimental to performance.

That’s why I advise people to follow similar eating schedule only if it improves their overall daily performance. If you think that intermittent fasting will give you some sort of physical transformation that is not possible with other basic diets, you are mistaken.

One comment

  1. Glen

    Worked fine for me. Overall I’d say it’s simply just another way to help reduce calories. Technically nothing magical. But I think the real magic comes into play when you realize it is an option and it does work, as opposed to thinking you need frequent meals which isn’t necessary in reality.

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