What is Intermittent Fasting

With so many TT members using intermittent fasting, and more specifically, Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat program, we have a lot of discussion about the method here on my blog, as well as on FB and the member’s site.

So I decided to invite Brad over to the Turbulence Training Facebook page and ask him a few questions, and we opened it up for you to ask questions as well.

Here’s what went down:

My 1st question for Brad is– Are you fasting now? If not, what you eating today. Also, …and have you found any good donuts lately? For the record, your Tim Horton’s “s’mores donut”suggestion was a failure, but as you claim, not entirely your fault. A bait and switch. Can you make it up to us?

Brad Pilon – Everything bagel toasted with egg, bacon, tomato…Coffee, and I cannot confirm nor deny the presence of a cinnamon scone. I apologize to everyone for the S’mores Donut. I’ve talked to my people…it won’t happen again. There’s nothing that’s overly impressed me lately, but I’ll keep trying everything that comes out.

Turbulence Training – Nice. I am about to have a bacon and tomato sandwich. Question: What’s the biggest mistake people make when doing a fast?

Bud Brueland -Hey Craig, have more of a statement than a question. Just made the jump to a vegetarian, plant-based diet..cut out meat and dairy. Have never felt better!

Alwyn Cosgrove – Hi Brad, Do you have min or max time for IF? I think I read that you like 18 hours as a minimum?

Brad Pilon – Hey Alwyn, not really…Whatever it takes for people to learn to be comfortable taking a break from eating..even 12 hours could help some people. But really, the more ‘through the day’ the more people will learn about the triggers that cause them to overeat.

Biggest mistake: Stressing that they are doing something “bad”. If you have the mentality that you are cheating…it’ll make your fast miserable…

The second biggest mistake is expecting miracles…just like any other day in your life you are going to have great fasting days and horrible fasting days…you will occasionally have a headache or a runny nose…the key is to realize it’s just the normal eb and flow of life, and probably has nothing to do with fasting (good or bad).

Alwyn Cosgrove – Thanks Brad. I’ve been doing 24 hours once a week – finishing at night, eating a small meal (200-300 cals) and then going to bed (another 9-10 hours). Anything I can do to “upgrade” that?

Turbulence Training –  Aside from just doing jumping in and doing their 1st fast, how can people get over the “I’m going to feel so tired” mentality before they have actually tried it? or the “i won’t be able to do it” mindset?

Brad Pilon – Alwyn, that’s perfect, a good fast followed by a small meal then a sleep…it essentially allows you to reset and start the next day as if the fast never happened.

Bill Keyes -Brad, I’m not familiar with your methods. What are the benefits of fasting?

Brad Pilon – Bill – mostly 6 pack abs and living forever 😉 – Truthfully there are a large variety of benefits, from hormonal to emotional…

Matt Davies – Seeing amazing results from eat stop eat brad! I’ve kinda stalled though. Those last few pouns to get to 8 percent fat! Is there any basis for low barbing with eat stop eat? (Low carb on non fast days?) Thanks b

Brad Pilon – Matt, When you start to stall, the key is to look at what and when you are eating on your non fasting days…Take what you learn from fasting and use it to slowly adjust how much you eat on the days you do eat…

Matt Davies –Thanks a bunch as well brad! Amazin book! Anyone in doubt just get a copy of eat stop eat!! Alwyn love your work by the way as well!!

Brad Pilon- Numbers were exactly where I expected…with the exception of a crappy bench (290 I think) but that was due to me messing up the pause.

Jahid Ahmed – So basically starving yourself make u lose fat?

Brad Pilon – Jahid…basically yes.

K’ara Silva – Is it common for people to feel fear when thinking about fasting? I did it once and loved it but get worried that I am doing damage by not refueling after a workout and then there is just fear of being hungry…as dumb as that sounds. 🙂

Brad Pilon Fear? Absolutely, eating less to lose weight isn’t counter intuitive by any means, but it is counter to what we’ve been taught…and a lot of what we know about nutrition is fear-based. Did the entire meet fasted…27 hours fasted.

Zach Marcy – Brad, I am a Paleo person that does a similar method as Alwyn (I am Scottish too) with the 24 hour, small meal then sleep and fast for another 8-10. I was thinking to include a morning cardio run on fast days. What is your take?

Brad Pilon – I think morning cardio is entirely based on whether or not it’s when you feel best doing cardio…the whole fasted cardio over non fasted cardio debate is really nickels and dimes compared to the overall issue of eating less and moving more

Joel D’souza -Hi Brad, Do I need to take BCAA while fasting.

Brad Pilon – Joel, you don’t need to no.

Turbulence Training – Brad, you also did a power-lifting comp fasted, correct…how many hours in? What were your results? And what has been your favorite workout to do in the fasted state? That’s the last question for me. I have to go eat a sandwich now. Brad – thanks for doing this.

Brad Pilon – Favorite workout..deads and sled pulls while fasted…If I do these two while overly fed…I sometimes feel sick and have to caught the workouts early

Alwyn Cosgrove – Thanks a bunch Brad.

Brad Pilon – No worries Alwyn, great chatting with you

Erik Foust -Regarding bodyweight exercises in your programs- should I go to failure, rest then finish at number of reps prescribed if I cannot complete the full amount per set? Thanks

Brad Pilon- Guessing this last one is for you CB

Kim Scullion – How many times a week is it acceptable to do 24 hr fasts?

Brad Pilon – Kim, I like 1 or 2…you could do more, but doing 1 or 2 allows you to get the benefits of fasting while also working on how you eat on your non fasting days. It’s a nice balance.

Manos Markou -Hey Brad, Is it possible to remove stubborn body fat, and get that veins at the lower abs, just by eating less calories, and fasting? Aren’t macros important?

Brad Pilon – Manos, yes. and Even though they are important they are not limiting in this regard.

Manos Markou -Thanks Brad, also is it unhealthy, if I cut too drastically my calories? For example 800 kcal per day?

Brad Pilon – It really depends, but I can tell you it won’t be enjoyable nor sustainable… 1 or 2 fasts per week, eating a little less on the days you do eat, these are long term solutions.

Manos Markou –  Thanks Brad, you are really helpfull and honest. Plus you have extended the 20-minute period, I appreciate it man.

Turbulence Training–  Thanks Brad, appreciate your help. We’ll have you back for another one of these soon.

Brad Pilon -Your welcome, later everyone


For more information on Brad and his Eat Stop Eat program, drop by his blog at www.BradPilon.com.

He’s got a reputation for being one of the best No-bull fitness and nutrition experts in the industry, and you’ll get a lot out of his common sense and practical advice. He’s the guy that shows you that you don’t have to feel guilty if you eat a donut. It’s not that big of a deal in the big picture.


Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Certified Turbulence Trainer