Here’s how to implement intermittent fasting for maximum results.

Unlock Faster Fat Loss With Intermittent Fasting!

Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 1 day ago.

10 min read

Intermittent fasting is a great way to boost your fat loss results.

However, it’s also very misunderstood.

In this article I’m going to show you how to apply it for maximum results, then explain the various advantages it offers, and finally erase some of the biggest myths surrounding it.

Table of Contents
what is intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is based around a really simple concept.

You will eat your daily calories within a set time period each day, and then you will fast for the rest of the day.

The length of your feeding window and fasting window depends upon your preferences. Many of my clients like to use a 16/8 split (16-hours fasting and an 8-hour feeding window), but you can also use a 14/10 split, or even a 20/4 split.

That’s basically it.

As such, intermittent fasting is not really a diet in itself, but rather a tool which you can use to enhance your existing diet, because you could apply these rules no matter if your diet plan is vegan, vegetarian, mediterranean, ketogenic, flexible dieting, or old-school clean eating.

The biggest benefit here is calorie control.

By squashing your daily calorie intake into a small space of time, and then outlawing food for the remainder of the day, there’s a significantly smaller chance that you’ll over-eat, and this is why it’s so good for fat loss.

Sure, social media “gurus” looking to make a quick buck at your expense will hype up the fact that intermittent fasting will help you to live longer, and some also talk about how it can increase the activity of certain genes which are responsible for metabolizing fat cells, but these effects are absolutely tiny in comparison to the results you will see from the calorie control aspect of I.F. (2, 3, 4, 5)

Former Muscle & Fitness Magazine science editor Jim Stoppani is a huge fan of intermittent fasting. He had this to say:

Jim Stoppanie intermittent fasting


does intermittent fasting work

I’ve been a personal trainer for over 20 years, and during that time I’ve noticed two types of people who really excel with what intermitteint fasting offers.

  • People who need more structure in their diet.

If you have a history of failed weight loss attempts, then the rigid structure of intermittent fasting can be an absolute God-send for helping you break through the obstacles in your way and unlock your best results to date.

As your body adapts to eating within pre-set times, you’ll become much better at avoiding those unplanned junky snacks which used to pull you off track in the past, and this adaptation is what creates greater consistency (the key to success with any diet). (1)

You have to be ready, though, because the first few days will hit your harder than a 50kg bag of dicks.

  • People who have already achieved results, but have reached a plateau.

The final phases of a transformation can be difficult, because you’ve already made significant reductions to your daily calorie intake.

I.F. can be useful here because the shortened window for food makes the trainee fell like they’re eating more than they actually are (try cramming your entire daily calorie intake into a 4-hour window and you’ll see what I mean), and by this stage they’ve already demonstrated the discipline required to adhere to their fasting window, so once again it just increases the likelihood of consistency in the latter stages of their cut.



is intermittent fasting good for weight loss

The worst thing about something catching on trend is that fucking idiots appear everywhere.

Intermittent fasting is a technique which has been used for decades, but it didn’t take long before the media began inventing things which it can supposedly do and hailing it as the next big fat loss fad. We’ve seen this type of behaviour before with things like Adkins, paleo, and keto.

So next I’m going to debunk a selection of the biggest I.F. myths which you might have heard.

  • It can cure type 2 diabetes.

Improving your lifestyle and getting regular exercise will reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes, and intermittent fasting can definitely be part of that jigsaw, but the fasting itself is not working any magic. In fact, a 2015 study actually showed that fasting had a negative impact on insulin response. (8)

  • It can boost oxygen supply to working muscles.

Early research on this topic showed a slight improvement, and this created a huge buzz in the fitness world because increasing oxygen supply to working muscles is essentially what athletes are trying to accomplish when they use illegal substances.

However, the boost created by intermittent fasting is absolutely miniscule in comparison. (6)

  • You can eat whatever you want within your feeding window.

Sorry, but I.F. cannot over-rule the law of thermodynamics (calories in versus calories out). (7)

I often catch absolute thundercunts trying to sell their intermittent fasting diet plans by claiming that you can eat whatever you want as long as it’s within your feeding window, but this is absolutely false.

One of my buddies fell for it back in 2014, when some ripped Youtuber told him he could eat like crazy between 12pm-8pm without fear of gaining weight (cuz fasting, bruh). I tried to warn him, of course, but by this point he was sold on the idea that he’d discovered a diet which allowed him to get results without putting any work in.

He gained 30lbs.



how does intermittent fasting work

I recently opened up the floor for my social media followers and website members to ask me their burning I.F. questions.

Here are the most commonly asked things.

  • Can you build muscle with intermittent fasting?

I.F. works best when it’s used to support fat loss, because it’s based around the concept of calorie restriction.

You can still use it to build muscle, too, but the best way to gain size is to increase the number of calories you’re eating each day, therefore cramming your food into a short feeding window isn’t very practical.

  • When is the best time to start my feeding window?

Ideally you want it to straight after your workout, so you can refuel your muscles and then focus on nailing the rest of your window.

This isn’t always possible, of course, so don’t worry if you can’t always do it this way. Heck, I look after three boys at home and my house resembles a scene from Mad Max when I return from the gym at 6am. Do you think I worry about perfectly timing my feeding window in this madness? Fuck no.

Another useful strategy is to save your feeding window for the part of the day where you usually feel hungriest. If you are a night-time eater then put your window there (because trying to fast at this time would put temptation at its highest and increase your chances of falling off). Once you get the hang not eating outside of the window, you really start feeling the benefits.

  • Which foods are best to eat?

Your total calorie intake is the deciding factor in weight loss results, but most of you also want to build lean muscle.

Therefore it makes sense to pack plenty of protein into your daily calories (aim for 1g per lb of target body weight). Ending your feeding window with a slow-release form of protein is also a great idea, because protein has a larger satiating effect than carbohydrates and fat, so this will make the early stages of your fast feel super easy.

  • Can you drink BCAAs during your fast?

Fitness magazines and supplement companies love advising people to sip on BCAAs during a fast “to avoid muscle breakdown” (example: Myprotein), but this is bullshit. A fasting window is not long enough to cause muscle breakdown, plus your BCAAs do contain calories, so they would inadvertently break your fast.

  • Which supplements can I use during my fast?

You can only use those which legitimately have zero calories. Caffeine is quite useful, but aside from that I keep it very simple and just drink water.

  • Which foods can I eat during my fast?

None, obviously! This might seem like a silly question, but it’s not, because I recently read an article from a so-called “expert” who claimed that you could eat negative calorie foods during your fast. Yikes!

  • Can I still get results if I only use I.F. a few days per week?

As the name suggests, it can be used intermittently. Sure there are I.F. zealots who insist you need to eat this way for the rest of your life, but you’ll find those assholes in every corner of the fitness world. They are dead wrong. Remember that the main goal of this technique is to help you control your total calorie intake, and if using I.F. on certain days of the week helps you do that, so be it!

  • Could you do a video on I.F.?

Sure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgN4E7Lnvc8



intermittent fasting

The best diet is the one you can stick to, and intermittent fasting is a great technique which has helped many of my clients do just that.

The rigidity of the feeding window is great for helping people build dietary discipline.

I am currently using I.F. with my own diet. I tend to have two phases each year where I bring it into play (fat loss phase A is after New Year and fat loss phase B is immediately before summer). If you are also using it and would like to tell me how your journey is going, or to ask a question which you don’t see above, drop it into the comments section down below and I’ll get back to you.

  1. Stewart, T. M., et al. Rigid vs. flexible dieting: association with eating disorder symptoms in nonobese women. Appetite (2002).
  2. Pilegaard, H., et al. Effect of short-term fasting and refeeding on transcriptional regulation of metabolic genes in human skeletal muscle. Diabetes (2003).
  3. Hildebrandt, A. L., et al. Exercise attenuates the fasting-induce transcriptional activation of metabolic genes in skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol Metab (2000).
  4. Mattson, M. P., et al. Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting and caloric restriction on the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems. J Nutr Biochem (2005).
  5. Trabelsi, K., et al. Effects of Ramadan fasting on biochemical and anthropometric parameters in physically active men. Asian Journal of Sports Medicine (2011).
  6. Stote, K. S., et al. A controlled trial of reduced meal frequency without caloric restriction in healthy, normal-weight, middle-aged adults. Am J Clin Nutr (2007).
  7. Swinburn B., et al. Increased food energy supply is more than sufficient to explain the US epidemic of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr (2009).
  8. Jakubowicz, D., et al. Fasting until noon triggers increased postprandial hyperglycemia and impaired insulin response after lunch and dinner in individuals with type 2 diabetes: a randomized clinical trial. Diabetes Care (2015).

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Get More From Russ!

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I’m Russ. I’ve been a personal trainer since 2002, and I own russhowepti.com.

My job is to simplify fitness for my readers.

I send out free fitness tips to over 100,000 men and women every week, all in the same no-nonsense style as the article you’ve just read, so if you enjoyed reading it be sure to jump on my email list below.

7 responses to “Unlock Faster Fat Loss With Intermittent Fasting!”

  1. Harvey avatar
    Harvey

    I’ve been doing I.F. for the last two years and lost 20lbs and kept it off. One of the things which put me off is the cultish behavior some I.F. users have, dead right it’s all about calorie control Russ 🙂

  2. Adam avatar
    Adam

    I’ve really enjoyed doing IF 12/12 split. Makes shift work so much easier!

  3. Gaz avatar
    Gaz

    Started following IF through one of your earlier blogs. That was 2017, still going strong!

  4. Otis avatar
    Otis

    Loved this. Straight to the point, thanks.

  5. Wendy avatar
    Wendy

    I’m on week five now and loving it.

  6. Carey avatar
    Carey

    I have been doing 16/8 most days and it works great.

  7. Merah avatar
    Merah

    Exceрtіonally well written!

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