All diets work.
At least at the beginning. Especially if you’re operating at a caloric deficit.
But eventually, homeostasis kicks in. Your body adjusts to the lack of energy coming in and your metabolism slows down. You hit the dreaded weight loss plateau. And after 6 months or one year, you eventually put back all the weight you’ve lost.
Calorie counting is probably the most popular method of weight loss that gets thrown around by the so called “experts” out there. The problem is, it has about a 99% failure rate. You’re almost guaranteed to fail if this is your chosen weight loss strategy.
So, what works? It’s actually pretty simple. Just don’t eat. Take a break from eating. This is more commonly known as intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting, in my opinion, is one of the most powerful methods of weight loss. Because it’s not really a diet. It’s more of a lifestyle.
It’s an eating pattern where you regularly switch from the fed state to the fasted state. The more time you spend in the fasted state, the more weight you lose.
The theory is pretty simple but it’s not always the easiest thing to get started with for a lot of people.
In this video, I’m going to show you 10 intermittent fasting tips to make your life easier.
Intermittent Fasting Tips #1: Start slow
Don’t go from zero to 100 miles an hour.
You don’t have to go all out at the beginning and a lot of people fall into this trap. They hear about intermittent fasting and all its amazing results. So they pick the hardest intermittent fasting protocol right away and they fall flat on their faces immediately.
That’s like signing up for a marathon when you can’t even make it around the block without huffing and puffing. You may or may not finish but you’re gonna have a miserable time doing it.
If you’re somebody who is used to eating six meals a day and then all of a sudden, you just eat one meal a day, that’s gonna be really hard on your body. A 24 hour fast will come as a complete shock to your system. You’re most likely gonna struggle and you’re probably gonna quit.
There are levels to this. If you’re used to eating six meals a day, just start by deleting those in between snacks first. Just eat three meals a day like a normal human being. After that, start eating a late breakfast. If you normally eat breakfast at 7:00 a.m, start eating breakfast at 8 a.m. And then 9 a.m. and then 10 a.m. and so on.
Start slow. Get a few wins under your belt. After that, you can eventually just skip breakfast altogether and adjust your eating window to a 16 hour fast where you only have an 8 hour window. The next step is to make your fasting window longer and longer. You want to extend it to 16,, 18, 20 and then eventually a 24 hour fast.
Intermittent Fasting Tips #2: Stay hydrated
This is a dead giveaway but it’s worth mentioning anyway. I would wager that majority of people don’t drink enough water.
Staying well hydrated will make your fasting periods that much easier. Plus, your body is made of 60% water so you should be drinking plenty of this stuff to begin with.
The biggest benefit of staying hydrated is it helps deal with your hunger pangs. Sometimes when you feel hungry, you’re not actually hungry you’re just thirsty. But your brain can’t tell the difference between the two.
A good habit to get into if you’re not doing it already, is just start every morning the moment you wake up after you brush your teeth with a nice big glass of water. This is good practice because when you wake up first in the morning, that’s when your body is the most dehydrated. You haven’t had any water for the last eight hours (If you got eight hours of sleep). So this is a good routine to start your day with especially if you’re fasting and you’re skipping breakfast that morning.
A good general rule of thumb for this is you want to convert your body weight into kilos and then you want to drink the same amount in ounces.
For example, let’s say I weigh 57 kgs. My goal then is to drink 57 ounces of water for the entire day.
Intermittent Fasting Tips #3: Drink coffee or tea when you’re fasting
Coffee is literally the perfect drink for fasting. It’s a great appetite suppressant. Plus, it’s delicious.
It’s also been shown to improve the production of ketones. If you don’t know what that is, ketone bodies are a byproduct of your body burning fat. It’s what your body uses for energy when you’re fasting once it’s done burning up your glycogen stores. It’s also a much cleaner burning fuel compared to burning sugar for energy.
If you’re not a big coffee drinker, you can drink tea instead. My personal favourite is green tea because of its high antioxidant content. If you’re not into green tea, feel free to substitute other types of herbal tea (There are hundreds of them).
Intermittent Fasting Tips #4: Avoid diet soda and artificial sweeteners
This is a big one so pay attention.
Diet soda and artificial sweeteners somehow get a free pass from a lot of people up to this day because if it’s zero calorie content. And that’s the problem. As mentioned earlier, calorie counting for weight loss has a 99% failure rate. It simply doesn’t work for many reasons.
And I’ve mentioned this in a lot of my other videos and blog posts but it’s
worth repeating every single time. Your body doesn’t count calories. There’s no calorie counter in your stomach.
So this whole notion that you can drink something that’s zero calories and not have it effect your body is a complete lie.
The problem with diet sodas and artificial sweeteners is that it can kick off your cephalic phase response. If you don’t know what that is, that’s when your body starts to expect that there’s food coming in. So it triggers hunger and insulin production. And once you trigger insulin production, that breaks your fast.
The problem is, there’s actually no food coming in. So your body gets confused and triggers an even stronger hunger response. Notice how you’re always hungrier every time you drink Diet Coke when you’re on a fast?
As you can see, this isn’t a matter of willpower. You are literally going against your hormones every time you consume artificial sweeteners and drink diet soda.
This by the way is one of the biggest reasons why people don’t lose weight when they’re fasting. Or why they don’t lose weight, period.
You’re sabotaging yourself by drinking too much diet soda and artificial sweeteners. It’s basically wolf in sheep’s clothes.
But at the same time, I get that people are coming into this at different stages. If your baseline for example is that you drink a big Starbucks latte every morning, then switching to black coffee with a little bit of stevia is a great first step.
But I want you to treat artificial sweeteners more as a training wheel. Eventually you’re just gonna want to go without it completely.
One last point that I want to make about diet soda is that it has been shown to destroy your gut microbiome. It’s also directly linked to obesity.
Think about it this way. Do you want anybody who lost a lot of weight from drinking diet soda? The short answer is, no. It’s the exact opposite. Because these are the same types of people who order a burger and fries and eat pizza and then they’ll say, “And a diet coke, please.”
Intermittent Fasting Tips #5: Ride the hunger wave
It’s perfectly normal to feel hungry when you’re fasting. Especially when you’re just starting out. But this is more about your body being used to eating at certain times.
If this is your first time skipping breakfast for example, there’s gonna be an adjustment period. You’ve trained your body for years to expect food first thing in the morning. If you skip breakfast, then your body is naturally gonna send hunger signals to your brain that it’s hungry.
But here’s the thing. There’s a big difference between mental hunger and physical hunger. You’re perfectly fine skipping breakfast. Contrary to popular belief, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. Especially if you normally eat cereal, instant oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, or anything that’s processed and sugary.
Breakfast is the most important meal that you should skip if that is your normal routine and you want to lose weight. I found that hunger
comes in waves and you can simply ride it out. You’re not hungry 24/7. My advice is that every time you feel one of these hunger waves coming, it’s the perfect time to drink your big glass of water. If that doesn’t do the trick, then drink black coffee or tea.
Intermittent Fasting Tips #6: Control your environment
Try to physically remove yourself from all food stimuli when you’re fasting. If you surround yourself with food while you’re fasting then
you’re just torturing yourself. But more importantly, you’re also triggering your cephalic response.
Your brain thinks that you’re about to eat because you’re surrounded with food but you’re actually not eating. Your brain then goes, “What the hell, dude?”
Try not to cook while you’re fasting. Don’t go grocery shopping. There’s a saying out there that don’t buy groceries when you’re hungry. It’s the exact same thing when you’re fasting. Out of sight, out of mind.
Intermittent Fasting Tips #7: Stay busy
This is just part of controlling your environment in that you want to stay busy when you’re fasting.
I find that fasting is a lot easier when I stay busy during my fasting periods.
For example, when I’m doing a 24-hour fast, I’ll start the day by drinking a cup of black coffee and skip breakfast. Then I’ll usually work through lunch I’ll try to stay really productive and take another cup of black coffee if I get hungry. I won’t even think about food until about five or six o’clock and at that point, I’m almost done the 24-hour fast.
My advice is you want to schedule your fasting days when you have a lot of work to do. It’s easier not to think about food that way.
8. Don’t tell people you’re fasting
Here’s a quick little history lesson for you. Fasting has been around since the beginning of time.
Back then, it wasn’t really by choice. Our hunter ancestors were forced to fast when they couldn’t catch any animals. Sometimes they would go days without food and their health didn’t suffer. Obesity didn’t exist back in the Paleolithic era.
Fast forward to today and if you tell the average person that you’re skipping breakfast, you’re gonna get some weird responses from people.
So called “experts” will say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. They’ll say that you’re causing irreversible damage if you skip a meal and a whole laundry list of negative things about fasting.
But here’s the thing. In North America, nearly three-quarters of American men and over 60% of American women are either overweight or obese. Which means that your “normal” person is actually overweight. Do you really want to get diet advice from that person?
Unless you’re pregnant or you’re breastfeeding, you’re underweight, you’re a teenager, if you have diabetes, or you’re taking medication, you’re perfectly fine to fast. Just keep it to yourself or you can talk to someone who’s also fasting
9. Forget about it
After you’re done your fast, let’s say you did a 16 hour fast or 24 hour fast, forget that it ever happened. Don’t eat like a jerk.
What I mean by that is you just did so much good for your body by fasting. You created this huge caloric deficit and you lowered your insulin levels. The last thing that you want to do is hit up your local all-you-can-eat buffet and ruin your diet.
Fasting does not give you a green light to just eat whatever you want. You have to be sensible about this. Again, pretend it never happened. Just eat whatever you would normally eat for your next meal.
10. Pair it with a low carb diet
I don’t even like putting labels on diets because people have preconceived notions when it comes to certain diets. Whether you’re doing paleo, keto, or low carb. I just like to call it the “Proper Human Diet.”
Make sure your diet revolves around nutrient-dense foods. Don’t drink liquid calories. Try to avoid processed carbs and refined carbs like pasta, pizza, donuts, cookies, and chips.
Listen, I know they’re delicious. But you can’t possibly think that it’s a good idea to have those things as part of your daily diet and expect to stay lean and healthy.
Make sure that you’re avoiding foods with added sugars. I’m not a big fan of fruit to begin with because give it a health halo because of it’s “natural” sugar content. There’s nothing natural about it. Think of fruit as nature’s “candy”.
But if you want to eat fruit, make sure that you’re eating fruits that are in season. Try to stick to berries and avocado for the most part.
At the end of the day, if you just do those things, you’re doing way better than about 95 percent of the population hopelessly trying to figure out this whole weight loss thing. If you revolve your diet around plants and animals and if you don’t snack in between meals, you’re way ahead of the game.
If you just do that last part and follow it 90 percent of the time, I promise you, you’re gonna lose weight. A lot of weight. Intermittent fasting will just help you get there faster. And if you follow the 10 intermittent fasting tips that I just laid out for you then it’s gonna make your life a lot easier.
As always, if this was helpful, share it with a friend who could benefit from it as well!
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