3 Great Reasons Why Intermittent Fasting is a Good Idea

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Nutrition, Training

Guest Post By Brad Pilon

You may not have heard of intermittent fasting, and so you may not know why it can and should be a part of your workout and fat loss plan. Intermittent fasting is the practice of abstaining from all but water for a period of usually 24 hours to help with the goals associated with fat loss and weight loss in general. The way in which it helps in this arena is by cutting out a full days caloric intake, while still being able to maintain a full workout schedule. Let’s look at three main reasons I believe that intermittent fasting is a good idea for anyone serious about fat loss and muscle building!

The primary reason I’m fond of a workout plan that involves intermittent fasting is that it promotes maximum fat loss. Most people employ these types of fasts two days a week while working out, and this means they are effectively cutting out a full two days caloric intake from their weekly consumption. This combined with your workout can and does have a dramatic effect on the pace at which you lose excess fat. By working out while doing these fasts, you are attacking your goals with a two-edged sword, slashing it from both ends of the spectrum.

The second reason would be that this type of fasting allows you to maintain a moderate to intense workout load while still maintaining your energy and metabolism. Many people think that fasting drains both of these aspects, and while that is true for other, particularly longer fasts, for intermittent fasting the opposite has proven to be the case. You often have more energy and a higher metabolism while engaged in this type of fasting, making it the best of both worlds. Many other fasts are so debilitating that you are left at the end of the day so drained you are unable to do anything. Intermittent fasting is not like that at all.

The third reason why I believe intermittent fasting is a good practice to include in your workout plan is that it has beneficial aspects to it that are a little less easy to see, but of great benefit all the same. There is a cleansing of your system that takes place with any fast, as your body adjusts to less content being put into it. There are also undeniable psychological benefits, such as a very affirming sense of accomplishment that can help you in many areas of your life. Knowing that you are not a slave to food is a major part of that.

I’m a firm advocate of intermittent fasting as a way of enhancing your fat loss and workout routines. There is in my mind no faster way of getting maximum fat loss while still being able to handle a full workout load. Investigate it today. I think you might be surprised at the results you’ll come up with!

Brad Pilon is a nutrition professional with over eight years experience working in the nutritional supplement industry specializing in clinical research management and new product development. Brad has completed graduate studies in nutritional sciences specializing in the use of short term fasting for weight loss.

His trademarked book Eat Stop Eat has been featured on national television and helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat without sacrificing the foods they love.

Brad is currently offering a special deal, exclusively  for my readers who are interested in checking out Eat Stop Eat.

Click HERE for the special offer.

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19 Responses to 3 Great Reasons Why Intermittent Fasting is a Good Idea

  1. Grant October 28, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Nice Jason, got my clients onto 24 hour fasts about 2-3 months ago and they all love it

  2. joe daniels Swing This Kettlebell Studio November 5, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    as a national level bodybuilder , my views on nutrition has changed dramatically incorporating this from Ori Hefmeklers book the Warrior Diet. it has made a great change in my life by using this and getting rid of all machines from the gym and focusing on kettlebells and only functional training tools

  3. JP April 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    I’ve seen something similar to this promoted on another site, but with a bit of a twist. The other protocol did not utilize an absolute fast, protein shakes were still consumed throughout the fast day. The rational was that keeping some amino acids in the system would diminish the degree of muscle catabolism. Eliminating all carbs was thought to help increase insulin sensitivity in the muscle, resulting in better nutrient uptake by the muscle in the next few days following the fast.

  4. Marc April 15, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    When do you recommending fasting: on heavy training days, on conditioning days, or on days off?
    It is an interesting concept, but being ~ 5’8″, 155lb, 9-10%bf and seeming to need 4000+ cal/day for maintenance (always had trouble adding muscle weight), I’m not sure this would be appropriate/conducive for strength/muscle gains.

  5. Max April 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    I’ve been using Martin Berkhan’s “Leangains” approach to fasting. It’s basically a 14 hour or so fast everyday. So I just don’t eat until lunchtime everyday. I’ve never been hungry in the morning so it’s a very convient way to eat. I had to force feed myself every morning and did it because that’s “what you have to do” in bodybuilding and strength training. Well this approach to fasting has been the best thing I’ve ever done. My stretnth is going up, I’m leaner than ever and I just feel great.

  6. Gurpreet April 15, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    HI Jason,

    great post! am a late joiner to your posts. your advise and suggestions are a great help, thanks. just like Marc, i was wondering when is the best time to fast, on work out days or on days off? and should you take protein powder on workout days in the meantime or not at all?

    • tgrezlik May 23, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

      Check out the Renegade Diet. Jason breaks it down for ya there. Its an “IF” (intermittent fasting) diet.

  7. Mike April 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm #


    I am fond of carb-cyclying, having found through many different experiments that it really works for my body. How would you incorporate this into a carb-cycling nutrition plan?


    Mike Mahony

  8. Rio May 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Fasting has been prescribed for centuries and is not a new phenomenon. Many religions advocate fasting as a physical and spiritual cleanse. In Islam we fast from sunrise to sunset and do not consume any food or drink during that period, usually in the month of Ramadan. However, it is a tradition of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) that Muslims fast regularly, such as twice a week, or a few days every month in order to purify the body and the heart. There are numerous traditions that are just beginning to be validated, but have been practiced and recommended for ages. See the book, Medicine of the Prophet for more details.

  9. Mateusz May 3, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    I started this some time ago, but I’ve to tell I had some problems with fasting. Sometimes it gave me headaches.

    • tgrezlik May 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

      Your headaches are most likely being caused by withdrawal from something you are addicted to or in other words, eat regularly ie: caffeine, sugar or high carbs etc. If you stop the consumption of these products you may experience headaches that last about two to three days, then they will disappear and your body will not be hooked on the substance because it is repairing and recovering. Start with ceasing the use of caffeine. Then after a week, you can introduce it back in the system and you’ll find a renewed performance enhancer (caffeine) in much smaller doses than before. If you do not consume caffeine, then try eliminating sugar for a week, etc. Either way, headaches are usually associated as a symptom and in most cases, a withdrawal. Hope this helps. -Tim g

  10. Kathleen August 18, 2011 at 4:51 am #

    To each his/her own.

    To me, a good nutrition plan is one that provides you with a steady stream of nutrients (vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals) to fight disease on an ongoing basis, day in, day out. (So you see, I am not a fan of fasting.) I would think you would suffer not having these nutrients on 2 days out of 7. Brad? What’s the research on this?

  11. Matt August 31, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    Thank you for an interesting and informative post, as always. Here’s an alternate view on the subject from Dr. Ben Kim, someone whose advice regarding vibrant good health I think we’d all do very well to heed:


    Keep up the exceptional good work, sir.

  12. Anders January 22, 2012 at 5:20 am #


    I was wondering can you gain musclemass and still doing intermittent fasting once a week?

  13. Zahava April 12, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Thank You I like what I read,Here is my ?
    1-Do I still count calories?
    2-For weight lost is a 24 or a shorter one better?
    3-after a 24 hr. fast do I eat all my allowed daily calories?
    4-want to give this a try but I don’t undestand,If I train at 5pm after work when do I eat?do I have a shake frist that bcaa in it or a apple so I don’t train or go so long w/o any food?
    5-How often can I do a 24hr fast,I need to lose another 25lb already lost 65 other ways

  14. brian July 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    I have a quick (hopefully) question. I’m new to IF but digging it so far. I’ve been fasting 11p-3pm, working out from 2-3p then ending the fast with a huge meal. I normally take a prescription (along with a bunch of vitamins) in the morning, but find that with no food in me it’s tough on my stomach. Is there something small in the way of food/calories that I could have w/out substantially breaking the fast? I’m thinking something non-protein, per Brad Pilon’s article re BCAAs interrupting the fasting state, but wasn’t sure.

    • Jason Ferruggia July 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

      @Brian- coffee with or without coconut oil or MCT’s or grass fed butter

      • brian July 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

        Thanks so much!! One ques – what’s MCT?

  15. Reon August 8, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    It’s so funny reading these comments because everyone has a slightly diff view.
    Mine is slightly diff, Lol. I’ll just tell you what I’ve experienced using
    intermittent fasting or eat stop eat. It’s THE BOMB. I choose one day
    a week and I mix up the day on the week. Once you are over
    the mental struggle the body follows and boy what a result. Your head
    is clearer, increadable focus, your stomach feels great, and you CAN lift heavy
    and hard. I do on my fasting days. I’m a former runner that mow lifts
    promarily. Just to prove to muself that it could be done, directly after the 24
    hrs of fasting I went out on a 15 mile run at an 8 min mile. It felt awesome
    and I did not think that there were calories missing, go figure. I at like a breast directly
    after, Lol. This eating style is fabulous and I am getting phenomenal
    results. I’m also a Paleo. There’s my two cents:-)