Fasting and Fat Loss Goals

We’re back with the author of Eat Stop Eat, Brad Pilon.  Where he describes today in this expert interview series, that you don’t have to give up the foods you love to lose weight or avoiding those chocolate treats.

However, before we move on, jump back to part 9, where the nutrition specialists recommends the best time to workout  during your fast.


Craig: That’s really cool. I find people always want to a diet and fast at the same time. Can you just explain to people that fasting, at least from my understanding of your work, is that it should not be combined with anything else? It’s you eat normally. You don’t force feed yourself. You don’t let yourself go hungry. You just eat normally, and you do your program.

Brad: Yeah, all right. So, this is an easy one, and it’s this simple hare versus tortoise type of thing. I know you expect weight loss to be effortless and massive and your weight constantly going down. The first couple times you do a fast, especially because most likely the massive anti-inflammatory effects of a single 24 hour fast and the fact that you’re getting rid of a whole lot of foods from your system, you’re going to drop decent weight on your first fast. It’s a great feeling.

Your second fast, same thing. Your third fast, your fourth fast, and then suddenly  it’s going to slow down a bit, because now you’re just actually losing body fat. You’re in a groove, whatever sort of extra weight you’re carrying, not fat. You’ve gotten rid of, which is still good weight to get rid of.

Don’t let anybody tell you that whole it’s just water bull crap, because any extra weight you’re carrying you shouldn’t be carrying whether its inflammation or extra water, whatever you want to call its’s  a good thing to get rid of.

So, now you’re just losing fat and fat comes off at a fairly slow pace no matter what anybody tells you. It’s DIFFICULT to make a large calorie deficit that you’re actually going to drop five pounds of fat in a week, especially if you’re already relatively lean.

Then there’s the issue, especially for women because of the way your hormones change throughout the month, where you’re going to one day, and everybody is going to do this, so I’m going to warn you now, there’s going to be that one fast where you’re going to start at a weight, and you’re going to end 24 hours later at like a half pound above that weight. It just has to do with your body’s ability to hold water and that sort of thing, and again your hormones going up and down and that sort of thing.

This is generally when people go, “Oh my god, I’ve got to start dieting on the days I’m not fasting.” Then they just start suddenly  pushing everything in where it’s, “I’m fasting and on the days I’m not fasting I’m only eating celery sticks, and then I’m just going to do some protein.” It just becomes this crazy crash diet, which admittedly is going to work for a week or two. That’s the not the goal of Eat Stop Eat.

Eat Stop Eat is not a super fast how fast can I lose the fat kind of diet. This is a lifestyle change to let you lose weight at a reasonable pace and then stay lean the rest of your life. That’s the goal. So, this crash diet approach of dieting severely, avoiding foods you like and fasting is the opposite of what I want. I’m trying to get you a move away from obsessive compulsive eating. A move away towards the lack of freedom and lack of the variety, and giving you away  you can eat foods you like while still losing weight or maintaining a body weight. That’s the goal of Eat Stop Eat.

I do not want your overeating in between periods, FASTING IS NOT THIS GIANT FREE PASS that means you just crush food on days you’re not fasting. I obviously don’t want that. Even during the times you’re eating, I want you to be mindful and probably eating a bit less than you would if you’re just not paying attention at all.

However, I don’t want you in a situation that you consider purposeful self punishment by not eating on the days that you’re not fasting, because otherwise it’s not an enjoyable process. You’re creating something that’s not sustainable. That’s not enjoyable, and that’s just a bad spot to be in. So, always remind yourself that the goal of Eat

Stop Eat is to create a situation where on the days you’re not eating you’re eating a little less than you’d like to, but you’re eating the foods that you enjoy.

I don’t think there’s a day or two that goes by where I don’t have some form of chocolate in my system at some time. That’s kind of the point of Eat Stop Eat, to be able to eat the foods you like while losing weight or maintaining the weight you like. It’s not about massive denial during your fasts then almost massive denial when you’re not fasting, that sort of thing.

Is that kind of along the lines of what you’re thinking?

Craig: Yes, but I think more along the lines of the questions I get these days is people want to have a 1,200 calorie diet on their off days from Eat Stop Eat and fast on top of that, so really they’re doing a diet plus fasting, or they’re doing a low carb plus fasting. And really that’s from my understanding not the point.

Brad: Yeah, no. 1,200 calories, not unless you’re five feet tall. If you’re 5’8’ or 5’10” or six foot person that’s low, very low. While that’s in mind with calorie intake, with the right work could be reduced calorie intake with optimal nutrition. The point of Eat Stop Eat is you don’t have to do that. So, exactly what you said, you should find a nice HEALTHY BALANCE where your fasting is allowing you to eat “normal” on the days you’re not fasting.

That’s great! Tomorrow we’ll look at part 11,  where nutrition expert Brad Pilon addresses a few questions on nutrition and exercise strategy for increasing longevity.