For those of you who don’t like to read, this blog about intermittent fasting educational videos is for you.
I have been doing intermittent fasting for 6 months now, and I have a number of comments to add since making my observations after my first 40 plus days. Since the initial 40 days, I basically think the same stuff, but I plan on doing an update soon on new things I noticed and the results I’ve had. Since starting, I have done a ton of research regarding intermittent fasting for a number of medical conditions that often have nothing to do with weight loss, and in my situation, I’m using it to GAIN muscle and just be healthier. At this point I’m thinking it’s nearly a universally healthy thing to do; for adults at least. Even so, I would still definitely ask your doctor first, but if he’s against it, maybe ask another doctor.
Because I’m starting to get a little tired of sounding like a broken record talking about generalities, and I usually tell people not to take my word for it but to research it themselves before trying the diet; I wanted to write a blog on my favorite video’s of people who are either medical/academic experts (as well as some regular people) and their experiences. The video’s I cite periodically through this blog, show those people’s experiences, which seems legit, and are in line with (and sometimes ahead) of the curve in regards to the research. In my case, I learned a little, just started it, and learned a lot more as I went. I think it’s one of those things where you really have to try it to understand it. There are some books I have bought and read that I don’t regret, but most of the information is available for free, so I’m only citing free sources. I did a blog on the different types of intermittent fasting protocols, which might be worth looking at if any of the differences listed below are confusing. Some of the resources below will describe alternate day fasting, modified alternate day fasting, or my favorite; time restricted feeding, which to me sounded the easiest to follow both physically and psychologically, and is what I do and recommend. So now, on with the videos.
Why Fasting Bolsters Brain Power, by Mark Mattson, is fascinating the entire 16 minutes! Dr. Mattson is Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging, and it turns out, an author of a number of the fasting and caloric restriction studies I have read. He was quoted in the book “The 8 Hour Diet” (which was fair at best) as saying “The fast I’m doing: Skip breakfast and lunch and exercise instead, then eat a nice meal over dinner.” It sounds a lot like the Fast-5 plan, which is a 19/5 (19 hours fasting/5 hours eating daily), my go-to recommendation for people because it’s simple, easy to follow, and I think psychologically ideal. The book is free, and only takes about 30 minutes to read, which is another plus. However, I thought the author and MD, Burt Herring’s TedTalk, though good, wasn’t exactly exhilarating.
The BBC documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer by Michael Mosley put the 5:2 diet on the map is great. The 5:2 diet is done by eating normally 5 days per week and doing a “modified fast” eating one 500-600 calorie meal 2 days per week. It’s not the kind of intermittent fasting I do but the research supports it as good, though perhaps not best, and the show is certainly interesting.
“Scott the truck driver” video blog (VLOG) showed up one day on my youtube recommended watch list. He has a number of fasting video’s, all of which are good, but I think the one where he talks about losing 41 pounds in 18 weeks is my favorite. WARNING, he swears a LOT, so if you are offended by such things, you have been warned. What I like about his channel is that he’s a regular guy who doesn’t have time to exercise much, doesn’t eat very healthy, and is using intermittent fasting to lose weight anyway. Whereas I have stuck entirely with time restricted feeding, first the 19/5 plan and now 20/4 while he tries a bunch of methods, with the primary goal being weight loss and comments on what he likes and doesn’t. As red neck as he comes across his information, though ‘colorful’ is really accurate.
It was through Scott’s channel that I heard about the HodgeTwins. It turns out they have been making intermittent fasting videos for years. If you like older Eddie Murphy comedy, you’ll like the HodgeTwins; if you don’t, you’ll likely be deeply offended. If sensitive, I would, however, recommend you suspend your disgust and watch them anyway because it really is some of the best fasting information out there, especially in relation to working out and looking better. They really do a great job of comparing it to other diets because they have tried and ‘vlogged’ about having tried a lot of those other diets before they learned about IF (intermittent fasting). When did they learn about IF you might ask? Apparently 3 days prior to June 18 2012, or at least that’s the date they uploaded their first video on intermittent fasting, having heard about Martin Berkan’s Leangain.com 16/8 approach. The HodgeTwins are a couple of bodybuilders who are using intermittent fasting to gain muscle and get ‘ripped.’ They, and I, agree that intermittent fasting is an easier way than the typical fitness mantra of eating six small meals a day. They also generally do time restricted feeding, eating 3-9 hours a day ,and fasting the rest of the time. They vary their eating window depending on whether they are cutting or bulking. Per their videos, it’s obviously working. They probably have thousands of short videos out, and a few of my favorites are:
24 Hour Fast And We Feel Great: This is my favorite HodgeTwins video of how they felt after their first 24 hour fast. It’s just a good overall talk about intermittent fasting, how it makes you feel, how they noticed their appetite was decreased, how they were stronger, how they had increased energy, and how they were burning fat at the same time. They talk about how much the supplement industry would lose if the word got out that if you want to lose weight, you just have to stop eating. It’s back from July 2012 within a couple months of when they first started fasting. “If you want to get bigger and stronger and leaner, STOP EATING…!”
More on the increased energy you get with intermittent fasting, which if you ask me, is the best part.
Intermittent Fasting Kills Food Cravings. That’s another one of the big things I noticed and didn’t expect. You just don’t crave the bad foods anymore, certainly not as much.
Just to reiterate, intermittent fasting does not slow your metabolism. Nope, if anything it likely revs it, where do you think all that energy comes from?
Six small meals a scam? Pretty much.
Is caloric restriction necessary with intermittent fasting? They say it is, though probably less so than with regular diets; which fits with my experience because I am actually gaining weight with intermittent fasting, though it’s an effort. One of my patient’s weight was static on a 19/5 fast the first month decided to reduce her calories to 1250 per day to start weight loss, and she was adamant that fasting is easier and more satisfying than regular dieting. She commented that eating 1250 calories in a 4-5 hour window did fill you up, while when spread out over an entire day she was always hungry.
INTERMITTENT FASTING TO GAIN MUSCLE for which if I didn’t agree, I wouldn’t have linked the video. Generally they recommend a longer eating window, around 8 hours eating, 16 hour fasting for bulking, but so far I’m gaining muscle eating just 4 hours and fasting 20 largely because it fits my schedule better, and I wanted to see if I could do it. When I get home from work though I have to really get on it, and basically binge for 4 hours. It’s still better than when I was bodybuilding and on the weightlifting team at NAU, where I would had to binge all day to gain weight.
Here they talk about the 8 Hour Diet, which is the book I mentioned above. I have a lukewarm opinion on it, for pretty much the same reasons as the HodgeTwins. Just to show that the HodgeTwins are not fad diet followers, here is them giving what I think is some pretty good advice regarding Paleo diets, the Atkins and low carb diet; which all predate their discovery of fasting. Also what I think makes it particularly interesting, is how their faces are fatter and muscles are smaller in the older pre-intermittent fasting videos. The fasting, which they quickly became sold on (I shouldn’t say sold because it is free) has obviously and visually worked for both muscle gains and fat loss. When it comes to gaining muscle and losing fat, bodybuilders generally have more experience than anyone.
Herschel Walker, says he’s been eating one meal a day since he was 18 years old, that he has around 8 or 9 at night. That predates even the Warrior Diet by a couple decades making Herschel one of the true founding fathers of intermittent fasting.
Hugh Jackman says he used intermittent fasting 16/8 to get in shape for Wolverine (1:50 in) and he learned it from none other than Dwaine “the Rock Johnson.
I plan to do a number of additional blogs on intermittent fasting in relation to specific disease and metabolic conditions that I treat but the above gets through the basics with a bit of flavor as to why people like it. With the above video’s you should know know more about intermittent fasting than most anyone, but you won’t know how good it feel and how easy it is till you try it.
As always, if you have any further questions or need for clarifications, please don’t hesitate to ask. Being aware that some of my blog ideas are contentious and occasionally a bit out of the field of my expertise, I encourage my readers to come forth with any questions/comments that are of interest or concern. Your comments are valued and welcomed.
Chad Reilly is a licensed physical therapist, located in North Phoenix, practicing science based medicine with treatment protocols unique and effective enough to proudly serve patients from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Peoria, and Glendale.