Today’s article is from my friend James Gaida.
Over the last six months or so, James and I have actually gotten to know each other pretty well … we live like 2,000 miles away … but I’m realizing as I write this that I’ve seen him at three different business events, in Vegas, Miami, and LA, all since last September!
Anyway, when we were in Miami, I mentioned to James that I was in training for the RKC II (it’s now coming up this next month) and needed to drop a few lbs to improve my pull up #’s. James suggested I try intermittent fasting (IF) because that is his thing.
It sounded scary. I had heard a lot about IF but never actually tried it myself. The thought of not eating for any extended period of time made me very nervous
BUT – I did give it a try – and really liked it. I dropped about 7 lbs over a month period with the approach. And I still do do a 8 on/16 off fast several times each week.
I knew FVT newsletter readers might be interested in the topic – so I mentioned this to James and he offered to do a guest article for ‘ya.
Enjoy this one – and let me know your thoughts in the comments section!
The Solution for Fast Fat Loss and Awesome Health
by James Gaida, author, 4 Day Fat Loss
As Jason Ferruggia so eloquently puts it:
“The problem with being like everybody else, is that everybody else sucks. Don’t do it”
I would assume that you’re not interested in being like everybody else. I think it’s safe to assume that the simple fact that you’re reading this is that you want to accomplish more than the average person. Maybe you even want to be awesome?
I want to be awesome!
I want to be able to do awesome things like:
-a perfect front lever hold for 20 seconds
-completing 5 perfect handstand pushups
-doing 50 pullups in under 4 minutes
-snatching a 24kg KB 150 times in under 5 minutes.
These are all things I’m currently working on and all will assist me in my pursuit of awesomeness. (on a side note, with this arsenal I will be able to dominate the Festivus Feats of Strength this year.)
It’s one thing to have goals of awesome physical feats but the fact is if you’re carrying extra weight everything on that list above becomes infinitely more difficult and in some cases impossible. Truth be told, life is easier with less body fat.
The fastest way to reducing your body fat is always diet. If your diet is lack luster your fat loss efforts will be the same. And if you need to shed some pounds of fat I recommend you take care of it as rapidly as possible.
You’ve probably heard about Intermittent Fasting or IF. If you haven’t, what you should know is that it’s all the rage nowadays. It’s all the rage because it’s working. And it’s working with the least amount of effort ever required in the past for fat loss, while proving to give the IF’ers awesome health benefits.
To sum up Intermittent Fasting I look to Chuck’s sage advice in the surfing lesson scene of Forgetting Sarah Marshall:
“You’re doing too much. Do less.”
IF is about doing less. Actually in its absolutely simplest form you are simply skipping meals. Not haphazardly skipping meals, but skipping meals strategically.
So why would anyone do this?
If this is the first you’ve heard of IF or are just new to the subject this is a very logical question. Let’s take a look at the benefits of fasting and then you can determine if it’s right for you. (At the end of this article I will give you a strategy to give it a try.)
*Learn more about my full “4DFL” diet method here => 4DFL
Fast Fat Loss
Obviously if you are skipping meals you will likely be eating less calories. Needless to say, eating less, is what you need for fat loss. IF ends up being a simple way to reduce calories from your diet.
Beyond calories, during a fast there is a lot more at play in your body that is initiating fast fat loss. Specifically fasting elevates catecholamines levels. You’ve probably heard of the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. These are both catecholamines and when they are elevated fat is released from cells to be metabolized.
In other words, elevating these hormones burns fat.
Improved Insulin Sensitivity
For many people, if they could just improve their insulin sensitivity they would drastically improve their health and burning body fat would be a breeze.
In simple terms, insulin sensitivity is measured by the ability of the hormone insulin to do it’s job of moving glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream into your
cells. Considering every thing your cells do, including keeping you alive, is dependent on the fuel from glucose it is important to do what you can to improve insulin sensitivity.
The opposite of insulin sensitivity is insulin resistance which is a decreased ability of insulin to do it’s job. This results in prolonged levels of high blood sugar. These prolonged high levels of blood sugar are linked to a variety of harmful medical conditions including: blood vessel damage, high blood pressure, heart disease, heart failure, obesity, osteoporosis and cancer.
A study in 2005(1) confirmed that fasting improves insulin sensitivity when eight subjects committed to 20 hour fasting every second day for 15 days. All subjects showed significant improvements in insulin sensitivity (measured by glucose uptake).
Reduced Inflammation Markers
Chronic inflammation plays a large role in many of the scary diseases in our society today, most notably cancer and cardiovascular disease. It’s in the best interest for your health to get control of inflammation.
The good news is, studies have shown that fasting can reduce inflammation markers interleukin-6, C-reactive protein and homocysteine.(2)
Elevated Growth Hormone
Growth Hormone (GH) is your most powerful hormone when it comes to making changes in body composition (less fat, more lean muscle tissue). Not only that, GH is known as the anti-aging hormone. When growth hormone is elevated you will see improvements in energy levels, injury healing, immune system function, bone density, and cognitive function (memory & mental clarity).
A recent study from the Intermountain Medical Center Health Institute found that 24 hour fasting raises Growth Hormone levels by as much as 2000% in men and 1300% in women!(3)
*Learn more about my full “4DFL” diet method here => 4DFL
Want to give IF a try?
There have been plenty of different intermittent fasting methods discussed lately on the inter-web. One that I find to work best for me is the 24 hour fast once or twice a week.
To try the 24 hour fast, pick one day this week where you will be free to go 24 hours without food. Most people will eat dinner the night before, fast throughout the day and have a normal size dinner that night. You may prefer to eat breakfast and then go without food until the next days breakfast. Ultimately the timing doesn’t matter, just go 24 hours without calories.
During the fast it is important to stay hydrated. Try to drink at 2-3 litres of water during the day. Black coffee and green tea (another anti inflammatory) are also permitted. Just make sure you’re not getting calories in your beverages.
Drinking plenty of fluids will also help you curb waves of hunger which will surface and then go away throughout the day. Respond to hunger by taking in more fluids and it will soon pass.
The 24 hour fast is much easier then it sounds and gets even easier the second time around, when you know what to expect. You can partake in one or two 24 hour fasts each week. Don’t do any more than two per week.
*If your pregnant or diabetic, fasting in most instances is not right for you. Consult with your doctor before fasting.
If you’re ready to burn more fat while drastically improving your health, give fasting a try. Start with the 24 hour fast and see for yourself how relatively painless it can be to do less. (Every subsequent fast gets a little bit easier.)
Intermittent Fasting has made a massive impact on my life. I’m leaner, have more energy and feel healthier than I ever have before. This has all made my journey to awesomeness all the more possible and I’ve got IF to thank for that.
Give it a try this week and let me know how it goes by posting your comments.
1. Nils Halberg et al (2005), Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men, Journal of Applied Physiology, December 2005, vol. 99, no.
6 pp. 2128-2136
2. Aksungar F.B. et al. (2007), Interleukin-6, C-Reactive Protein and Biochemical Parameters during Prolonged Intermittent Fasting, Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism,
April 2007, 51:88–95
3. Intermountain Medical Center, http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-04/imc-sfr033111.php
James Gaida bio:
I am a fat loss expert and certified Precision Nutrition Coach. I have spent more than 13 years coaching clients in both nutrition and fitness. In that time I have also became certified as a Specialist in Performance Nutrition and a Certified Fitness Trainer. I also own many leather bound books and yeah, I’m kind of a big deal!
My baby, 4 Day Fat Loss (4DFL) is dedicated to teaching simple techniques to rapidly burn fat, increase energy and live a healthier life. If you want to find out how to burn fat quickly and transform your body check out the 4DFL Method here: