3 Health and Lifestyle Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

For the last 8 to 10 months I have been practicing Intermittent Fasting.

Intermittent Fasting, or IF is a method of eating where you cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting. It doesn’t mean you starve yourself, you just have on and off periods of eating every day.

My current schedule is 8/16, meaning I eat for 8 hours and fast for 16. (The fasting period includes the time I am asleep). In the morning I wake up, skip breakfast, start eating at noon and stop at 8pm.

Here is my current eating schedule:

  • 5:00 A.M. Wake up + Coffee
  • 9:00 A.M. 10g of BCAAs
  • 9:30 A.M. Gym (M/W/F )
  • 12:00 P.M. Start Eating
  • 8:00 P.M. Stop Eating

I still get all the nutrition that I need by calculating the number of calories I need to eat per day to hit my goals and tracking what I eat with Myfitnesspal.

How I Found Intermittent Fasting

I found intermittent fasting (IF) during a period of research that I went through late last year. I was looking for a healthy lifestyle and workout plan that I can live with for the rest my life.

  • IF was one of many things that I tried
  • IF was the one thing that stuck

Lately I’ve been reading lots of fascinating information about the benefits of fasting and I wanted to share some of those with you today.

Two are the results of studies that have been posted online and the third is from my own experience.

Here they are.

3 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

1. Health Recovery

Historical records say that fasting has been used for health recovery for thousands of years. Hippocrates, Socrates, and Plato all recommended fasting for health recovery.

From reset.me

Fasting provides a period of concentrated physiological rest during which time the body can devote its self-healing mechanisms to repairing and strengthening damaged organs. The process of fasting also allows the body to cleanse cells of accumulated toxins and waste products.

The fast will also allow you to experience more energy, healthier skin, bettors quality sleep, I clean and healthy cardiovascular system, a decrease in anxiety and tension as well as many more beneficial effects.

*Note: While these health benefits are not the reason that I started fasting it’s nice to know that I could be allowing my body and mind to self-heal and repair itself. I spent years tearing my body and mind apart… they could probably use the repairs.

2. Immune System Regeneration

I recently read an article on telegraph.co.uk. It talks about a study that reveals that a person’s entire immune system can be rebuilt by fasting for three days. (hat tip to @artisconcept for sharing the story on twitter)

Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as “remarkable”.

It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases.

The researchers say fasting “flips a regenerative switch” which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.

*Note: I do not fast for multiple days a time. As I mentioned previously I fast only 16 hours a day, but I do it every day and from what I’ve read this consistency also provides some of these added benefits.

3. Convenience

Before I started fasting I experimented with a few different eating plans, including the popular clean eating and six meals a day routine. To make this happen I prepped 10-15 meals at a time into Tupperware containers and ate them through the entire day.

I didn’t really mind the preparation part. What I didn’t like about it was the constant feeling that I needed to be eating.

If I planned on leaving the house for more than three hours I had to bring food with me. Either a protein bar in my pocket or a tupperware container (or two) full of chicken, sweet potatoes and vegetables.

And after eating meat and vegetables for a few weeks… I was just sick of it. I was scared to eat fats or carbs too so my energy and mental levels hit an all time low. It was a f#cking drag.

To me, that’s just not a sustainable lifestyle.

Now that I’m Intermittent Fasting I only eat 2 to 3 meals a day. This allows me to focus on doing other things like work, writing for the site and working out.

I no longer worry about if I’m getting in enough meals per day, or if my metabolism is slowing down or any other voodoo like that that I was previously led to believe. I also eat a healthy mix of protein, carbs and fats that have returned my body to normal working order. I feel better than ever.

Overall it’s a much smoother lifestyle and one I think I can live with for a long time.

Conclusion

If you’re interested in trying intermittent fasting it’s very simple. All you have to do is skip breakfast every day for a few days and see how you feel.

How to Start Intermittent Fasting

  1. Skip breakfast tomorrow
  2. Eat from Noon – 8pm (you can change this to whatever you want)
  3. See how you feel
  4. Repeat

Give It Time

It is perfectly natural to feel a bit weird for the first few days or weeks. Especially if you don’t drink enough water.

I learned the hard way that fasting (especially working out fasted) without a lot of water in your system can leave you feeling dizzy and confused. Most people think it’s the lack of food, but it’s actually just dehydration.

It takes a little time to get used to. You’re changing the way your body gets it’s fuel and with any big change there is a period of discomfort that you have to breakthrough.

But as with anything else once you break through that uncomfortable bubble… Your home free.

If you have any questions please ask in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them. I’m not a health expert or a nutritionist, but I can offer advice based on my own experience

And sometimes that’s more help than anything else.

  • http://karoshi.io Karoshi MIKΞ

    I’ve done IF for about 3 years off and on now. It really is amazing, espc for entrepreneurs and affiliates. Haven’t been sick in years now, and the energy /convenience allows me to bring my A game to the table everyday.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      that’s great man. looks like from your thumbnail photo that it’s paid off too… i’ve been on it about 10 months now, can’t imagine what it’ll be like in 3 years. i agree. my work, focus, productivity goes through the roof during the fasted period, especially in the gym. it’s like a super power.

      • Petre Veluda

        I’ll leave this question here as this is the latest post:

        Are Interactive (or game based) Landing Pages a good solution, a better solution for a campaign funnel? Have you experienced with these type of marketing strategy? I mean more than question based LPs..

        Would you consider an article/video on this topic?

        I don’t know much about the subject but I’m starting to learn more so that’s why I’m asking. It seems like a good solution, harder to build, more difficult to replicate.

        • james

          I really agree with you about fasting

          in 1917 A GERMAN SOLDIER in the first world war his name was auchingar, he was ill with inflammation arthritis , he became handicaped, he went to the doctors and told him there is no solution. and he was using stcks to walk, then a friend of him, said to him. go FASTING. then he said what , and he fast for 19 days , in the day 19th he had kind of miracle., since that that he founded a center for this therapeutic FASTING, when he died left the center for him family. and they do the same.

          Do you know when Panda eats some poisonous food, he fasts for 36 days and drinks only water, and goes alone until recovers for the illness.

          Do you also know during the American crisis which last Between 10 or 10 years durinf thirteens and there was poverty, unemployment, people didn’t find food. and they expected people will not live longer because lack of food, the average age will be less. and as the time passed they found out people could live lover by more 6 years . they wanted to find the reason and it was people were eating less because there was not enough food. they were like Fasting .

  • Petre Veluda

    Cool science here! Did not know about this. I heard you talking about skipping breakfast when you were in San Diego so I’m glad you revealed your diet here. I’ll look more into this cause it looks pretty simple to follow and seems it has many benefits.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yes, very simple concept. key is to not overthink it. skip breakfast, count calories. done.

  • http://www.ultimatedjacademy.com Dan Castro

    How have you found IF in regards to maintaining muscle mass? Is catabolism an issue? Looks really interesting – saw Charles NGO does this too…

    Either way, great article – cheers for the read

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Dan, if IF’ing ate all your muscle, no one would do it. I encourage you to do your own research, but not eating for a few hours a day doesn’t cause my body to start eating muscle. If anything it allows it to eat fat.

      If you fasted for several days… probably a different story. But I only fast about 8 hours longer than a normal person every day. So it’s no big deal.

      • http://www.ultimatedjacademy.com Dan Castro

        Thanks – I am going to give this a shot and see how I go.

        Appreciate the response! Seeing the comments here about huge increases of energy has definitely got me interested. One thing I think I should do is cut caffeine to one cup of coffee a day – I am having far too much right now and it’s like you get addicted to it and it becomes routine.

        • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

          energy, focus, mental clarity for sure. not immediately, the first few days are actually kind of tough. but that passes. a few months into it and you start to feel kind of super human.

          also, do your research. black coffee i+ a little milk is part of the IF protocol that I follow. I have several coffees with almond milk every morning and 10g BCAAs in the mornings before the gym.

  • Oz

    Leangains saved my life. In three weeks multiple health problems were gone.