Intermittent Fasting – A Huge and Comprehensive Introduction for Weight Loss, Energy, Longevity, and More!

By on September 21, 2018

There is something wrong with the way that most of us eat. How is it that we can be both overweight and constantly hungry? How can we eat so much and still be tired?

Intermittent Fasting and Hunger

Proponents of intermittent fasting claim they have the answer, and that this diet or protocol can help to assist weight loss, improve health, increase longevity, and even boost focus and willpower. But is it all it’s cracked up to be?

My Investigation Into Intermittent Fasting

I initially began intermittent fasting because I’m the Bioneer and that’s what I’m supposed to do. This is a diet/biohack that has become incredibly popular, and so I needed to check it out and see what all the fuss was about.

I was also interested in losing bodyfat. Not because I have any particular interest in getting slimmer or more ripped, but because you need abs in thumbnails to get clicks. AND I was kind of interested in the idea of autophagy.

Intermittent Fasting Abs

During my time with it, I found there to be some more surprising benefits too though – as well as some unexpected obstacles and hurdles. And as I researched more deeply, I found some really interesting theories and studies relating to autophagy, brain function, hormone balance and more. Some of these were very positive and exciting, others suggested I should proceed with caution. It’s fair to say that I now view fasting entirely differently.

In this article then, I’m going to go really in depth and cover as much of this as humanly possible. Be prepared to bookmark this page, make a cup of coffee, and spend some serious time digging through all this… But I promise it’s going to be worth your while.

The Basics

Intermittent Fasting Meal

The basic idea behind intermittent fasting is that you go through periods of not eating. There are lots of ways you can break this down, but perhaps the most popular option is the 16:8 fast. That means you’re fasting for 16 hours, then eating for 8. That might sound extreme, but when you realise that you will spend 8 of those 16 hours sleeping, you realise that you’re only really skipping breakfast and pushing lunch back in most cases.

Breakfast is so named because you are literally breaking your fast. You’re already in a fasted state when you wake up, and so all we’re doing is pushing that a little further.

At it’s most simplistic, one of the biggest benefits of intermittent fasting is that it provides an easy structure for reducing calories. Instead of needing to count every single calorie, you can instead just rely on the fact that you’ll be eating less because you have less time to eat. Many advocates of IF rave about the fact that they can ‘eat what they like’ during their 8 hour window, and that they can keep their calories down without the stress. This is indeed beneficial, though I would stress the importance of eating healthily during that time still. Good nutrition actually becomes even more important during this time if you want to ensure you’re getting all the things your body needs to perform optimally. And if you’re building muscle, then you’re going to need to chow down on a LOT of protein.

It’s certainly possible to maintain big muscles on this diet though. Terry Crews sticks to the 18:6 protocol (my preference, as I’ll explain later on), meaning he has a six-hour window for eating. And he’s HUGE. That said, certain studies do suggest that fasting may increase the loss of lean body mass too (study) when compared with calorie restriction. I’ll be coming back to this shortly.

Terry Crews sticks to the 18:6 protocol and he’s huge!

Some people find that fasting leads to better adherence (meaning they find it easier to stick to their diet) and is easier to fit around their lifestyles. I personally find that social pressure to eat is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to dieting. Seeing as we primarily eat socially in the evenings, fasting during the first half of the day makes intuitive sense to me.

For me, intermittent fasting has clearly worked one way or another as a way to lose weight. I’ve managed to improve the appearance of my abs through the diet and bring out more definition elsewhere too. I can’t say whether this is due to calorie restriction alone made easier by the simplicity of an eating window, or whether it is the result of some ‘magical properties’ of fasting.

Intermittent Fasting Abs

But what I can say is that fasting has also made it much easier for me to control my diet in general. It seems to have simultaneously improved by will power and made me less prone to hunger pangs. Whereas I would once struggle not to snack on the odd thing during the hours between breakfast and lunch, I can now much more easily forget about food for long periods – or overcome my insane urge to eat yesterday’s leftover carbonara that has been on the side in the kitchen overnight!

It seems to have reset my psychological relationship with food, and that alone I think is enough of a reason for more people to try it.

The Science of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting certainly can work as a weight loss method for many people then (study) and this has been shown many times. But while some people say that IF is nothing more than an eating strategy, others argue that it actually has significant benefits when it comes to weight loss and general health.

The question: does intermittent fasting increase weight loss if calories remain the same? The answer is unfortunately uncertain, owing to insufficient research. Many studies focus predominantly on alternate day fasting (rather than strategies like 16:8) and don’t control for enough variables (study, study).

Intermittent Fasting vs Calorie Counting

How might IF be more efficient? More importantly, what about the other purported health benefits of intermittent fasting?

What happens in the body when you fast?

What Happens When You Eat?

To answer this question, we first must consider how food – or a lack thereof – impacts on our body.

Well, first of all, you use up your blood sugar. Once that’s gone, you then turn to your glycogen stores in your muscles and your liver. These take anywhere between 24-48 hours to deplete (depending on what you’ve been eating prior and your activity levels), so you’re not going to exhaust this resource on a typical 16:8 fast and start burning fat or even the Warrior Diet.

Intermittent Fasting Glycogen

What this does mean though, is that when you eat subsequently, those calories are going to first be used to replenish your glycogen stores.

What it also means is that you aren’t constantly ‘spiking’ your blood sugar throughout the day. When you spike blood sugar, this corresponds with a spike in insulin, secreted by your pancreas, which in turn can lead to fat storage. So, by fasting, you are at the very least avoiding these spikes and troughs. This can help to improve insulin sensitivity (study), potentially preventing conditions like diabetes.

Insulin encourages fat storage and also actively prevents the breakdown of fat (study). Insulin is also responsible for encouraging the storage of glycogen in the muscles however, and it’s also necessary for us to break down and absorb nutrients – ushering amino acids into the cells. We need insulin, as anyone with diabetes will tell you.

Intermittent Fasting Insulin

Spiking blood sugar also leads to an increase in serotonin – the feel good hormone – which is due to the tryptophan content in our food (which the body uses to create serotonin). Serotonin subsequently gets converted into melatonin – the sleep hormone. These are also inhibitory neurotransmitters that reduce brain activity and heartrate. This is why after eating a big meal, you feel great and collapse onto the couch before falling asleep. Your body is in what is known as a postprandial state (meaning post meal), or a ‘fed’ state. Bodybuilders will know this as being ‘anabolic’.

Intermittent Fasting Blood Sugar

And of course, this is also when protein synthesis and muscle building occurs – largely thanks to the activation of the protein mTOR – Mammalian Target of Rapamycin. This is released in response to heightened presence of energy and nutrients, particularly protein. It leads to increases in hormones like IGF-1 (study) and it makes it easier for us to put on muscle and fat.

What Happens When You Stop Eating?

Low blood sugar will conversely trigger a spike in cortisol levels – cortisol being the stress hormone. This is combined with an increase in noradrenaline, raising our metabolic rate and actually leading to heightened fat loss (study). In short, this your body going into ‘I must find food’ mode – and it’s actually one of the processes that causes us to wake up in the morning! Our sleep-wake cycle is closely tied to our diet in fact, more on that in a moment! In short, whereas reducing calories may decrease your basal metabolic rate, fasting can actually increase it.

Cortisol also leads to the release of myostatin, a substance that breaks down muscle tissue – which is why so many muscle heads are keen to avoid letting their blood sugar dip whatsoever. Cortisol also acts in an antagonistic manner to testosterone. In short: if you have more cortisol, then you will have less testosterone.

Intermittent Fasting Testosterone

The link between cortisol and mood explains both why we get ‘hangry’ and why fasting has been observed to increase focus and mental clarity (at least that’s part of the explanation). This is a little like taking a cold shower to trigger a sympathetic response and increase focus – and it’s one of the benefits I’ve really enjoyed when using fasting myself.

At the same time, fasting means less energy is ‘spent’ on your gut. I’m reading a book called Sapiens at the moment, which describes how mastering fire and learning to cook allowed the human species to shrink our intestines and thereby use up less energy on digestion. That in turn might have allowed our bodies to support bigger brains. It stands to reason then that by digesting less in the mornings, you’re also leaving more energy available for other key processes – like thinking.

And as a side note, it’s really surprising how much of a difference not preparing breakfast can make to your productivity too! We spend a lot of time cooking, eating and washing up. With that gone, you’ll find your productivity sky rockets – especially if, like me, you found yourself using food as a way to delay productivity.

At the same time as all this is going on, our alpha cells secrete an alternative substance called glucagon in response to low blood sugar. Glucagon in turn encourages the release of energy from the stored glycogen in the liver and muscles. It’s what happens once that supply of glycogen is depleted that’s really interesting though.

It’s what happens once that supply of glycogen is depleted that’s really interesting though.

During activity, we burn a substance called ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which increases levels of AMP (adenosine monophosphate – the constituents of ATP). That in turn activates a protein called AMP-activated protein kinase, which reduces protein synthesis through the inhibition of mTOR. In short, mTOR and AMPK exist at opposite ends of the spectrum and help to regulate catabolism and anabolism.

For all these reasons then, being in a fasted state is excellent for encouraging fat loss – it ramps up our metabolism while guaranteeing that we’ll burn fat and other supplies. At 18-24 hours, our insulin levels are at their lowest, ensuring lipolysis AKA fat burning (study). But for the very same reasons, many strength athletes assume that AMPK is the enemy.

Fasted cardio

In fact though, AMPK has an incredibly beneficial side effect called autophagy.

What is Autophagy?

Autophagy is a buzz word that has been doing the rounds recently since its discovery won Yoshinori Ohsumi the 2016 Nobel prize (reference).

You see, the problem with chasing after mTOR, is that while it increases protein synthesis and hypertrophy, it also leads to an uncontrolled growth and an increased number of errors and junk material. This in turn can result in numerous serious health problems including cancers, tumors, physical signs of aging, acne, and neurodegeneration – all things known to be on the rise in general (study). If you are constantly eating throughout the day, your body remains in a constant frenzy of anabolism.

Autophagy longevity

Autophagy – which translates roughly to self-eating – acts as a perfect counterbalance to this. Essentially, autophagy describes how cells will recycle their waste components. In short, when fasting, the body needs to get its amino acids and other nutrients from somewhere, so it breaks down things like toxic waste products, damaged organelles, and more (study, study). Particularly beneficial is mitphagy – autophagy of dysfunctional mitochondria (cellular energy factories) which in turn can reduce harmful reactive oxygen species that otherwise cause cell degradation over time (study). Autophagy can increase inflammation by identifying antigens in the short term, but will ultimately reduce long term inflammation by removing said antigens (study).

Through all these mechanisms, autophagy has been shown to promote the lifespan of many species of animal (study).

First, these elements are transported to a kind of ‘waste bag’ in the cell called the autophogasome, then they are taken to the cell’s lysosome to be broken down for energy and biomass. In short, this is cellular recycling. Here is a great resource that explains in more detail.

How long do you have to fast to experience autophagy? Some reports suggest that it takes 12-16 hours to experience the full benefits of autophagy. Others have suggested 24-48 hours. A paper called Progressive alterations in lipid and glucose metabolism during short-term fasting in young adult men”, suggested that 18-24 hours was the period that saw the greatest drop in insulin and the greatest increase in lipolysis – fat breakdown (that study again).

In all likelihood, the amount of time it takes to feel the full benefits of fasting would vary greatly depending on individual differences such as metabolic rate, as well as other variables such as activity levels (certain types of exercise like HIIT are particularly effective at using glycogen), and the amount of nutrients and energy stored prior to the fast.

In all likelihood, the amount of time it takes to feel the full benefits of fasting would vary greatly depending on individual differences such as metabolic rate

Note that you can’t experience the full benefits of autophagy by simply cutting out carbs, OR through calorie restriction. Tiny amounts of leucine alone are enough to trigger the release of mTOR (which also means you shouldn’t use BCAAs while fasting to try and prevent muscle breakdown). Tryptophan is likewise found in many proteins. In short, you need to go totally calorie free in order to enjoy the FULL benefits of intermittent fasting. And actually, a dry fast would lead to even greater autophagy benefist. This is why, I personally don’t feel that alternate day fasting diets like 5:2 – which permit you to consume a certain number of calories during your fasted days – make as much sense as going completely nutrient free for a portion of the day. Alternate day fasts won’t trigger autophagy to the same degree, and they may still cause fluctuations in insulin etc. These work as a method of calorie restriction for many people, but that’s probably about it (personally I also find that a daily fast is much easier to stick to, but that’s a matter of personal preference).


Autophagy has been implicated by some as an explanation for why people who are starved for long periods of time don’t experience large amounts of excess skin around their stomachs. I was personally very impressed when I noticed skin a skin tag appeared to shrink after several weeks of fasting.

Autophagy and Fasting – Not a ‘Magic Cure’

That said, we also shouldn’t be tempted to make the very human mistake of putting everything into neat boxes.

Autophagy Spectrum

Autophagy occurs all the time in our bodies on a lower level – fasting simply ramps it up to a significant degree. Likewise, you can be in varying states of autophagy – this is a spectrum rather than a binary. Several other things can also increase autophagy, including physical exercise (resistance training in particular), coffee (study), green tea (study), and resveratrol (study).

It’s also a mistake to ignore the potentially negative side effects of autophagy. While it can prevent the onset of cancer and reduce the progress of cancerous cells in the early stages, it can also actually support advanced cancerous cells which use its protective properties to aid their own survival (study). Likewise, certain diseases also seem to be able to benefit from autophagy, even turning it against us in order to attack healthy cells (study). Again then, we shouldn’t paint intermittent fasting as a ‘magic cure’ – but rather a potentially useful tool that should be viewed in the larger context of health and nutrition.

Autophagy healing

Autophagy: it won’t grow back your arm

That said, fasting for the necessary amount of time may increase autophagy by as much as five times (study), bringing many health benefits – counteracting the accumulation of damaged cellular components associated with age, and increasing metabolic efficiency (study).

Longer Term Effects of IF

Reading all this, you might be about to draw the conclusion that intermittent fasting is useful for your health and longevity, but only equivalent to calorie restriction for weight loss – with added risks for your muscle mass.

Actually though, there are several more reasons that intermittent fasting may be of interest…

Intermittent Fasting and Insulin Resistance

For instance, if you were planning to build muscle by keeping your blood sugar levels high in order to keep mTOR high and insulin up, you may find that you run into a little problem called insulin resistance. Being constantly overloaded with sugar leads the body to eventually respond by becoming resistant to insulin – increasing the likelihood of diabetes. Just as taking certain medications can cause the brain to eventually ‘adapt’ to raised levels of neurotransmitters and reduce the number and sensitivity of receptors, so too can constantly high levels of insulin cause the cellular receptors to adapt making us less able to utilize that insulin. Remember: we need insulin to build muscle, utilize energy, and absorb nutrients.

Intermittent fasting insulin resistance

Conversely, fasting can help to improve insulin resistance (study), as well as boosting mitochondrial efficiency (study, study). Remember: our mitochondria are our cells’ ‘energy factories’ – they are what we use to turn glucose into muscle or brain power.

In short, you can think of fasting as being a form of training. You force your body to become better at functioning with very low amounts of nutrients and energy. That way, when you subsequently have an abundant supply of energy and nutrients, you will be far more effective at using them. You are subjecting your body to a short and controlled hermetic stressor, in order to make it stronger and more resilient – just as you are when training.

Keep in mind though that there are some studies that haven’t been so positive. At least one suggests that in women, blood sugar control could worsen (study). In fact, fasting may affect women quite differently compared with men in general – even potentially dysregulating of menstrual cycles and harming fertility. A worrying recent study showed that fertility was impaired in both male and female rats on an IF diet (study). Female neurons have also been shown in studies to be more resistant to autophagy (study).

Intermittent Fasting and Fat Adaptation

Autophagy fat adaptation

There’s another more positive potential impact of ‘training’ your body in this way too though – which is that it may help to make you more ‘fat adapted’. Fat-adaptation is usually associated with the keto diet and other high fat diets. When the body is fat adapted, it is better optimized for burning fat, so that it will more readily turn to fat stores. How do you get better at burning fat? You practice! And through intermittent fasting, you may be able to become better fat adapted. Fat adaptation will upregulate genes associated with lipid metabolism (study), which often takes around 2-3 weeks. At this point, you’ll find it easier to go for longer stretches of time without feeling intensely hungry, and you’ll be able to rely more on fat during extensive exercise. You’ll still be able to utilize glucose, it’s just now your body has options and unsurprisingly, you could potentially perform and look better as a result.

Intermittent Fasting and Ketones

How about ketones? Ketones are organic compounds produced by the liver that are actually preferred by the brain for certain processes. Ketones also encourage the release of the brain-plasticity promoting BDNF. Proponents of the keto diet say that ketosis enables them to burn fat stores, while feeling highly energetic with mental clarity.

Intermittent Fasting Ketones

Again, we should avoid thinking of the body as being in either one state or another. While getting into full ketosis may take around 48 hours of full fasting, you can become slightly more ketogenic and prompt your body to produce more ketones. These ketone bodies, acetone, acetoacetate, and 2-hydroxybutyric acid, and may contribute to the mental clarity and improved fat adaptation described by IF fans. Of course, fasting can also be a very useful way to get into full ketosis occasionally without having to go carb-free – fasting for a couple of days is a shortcut to ketosis, especially when combined with HIIT routines.

Intermittent Fasting Brain Fog

Intermittent Fasting and Microbes

And as if there wasn’t enough to think about already, intermittent fasting also seems to have an impact on our healthy bacteria. This is something I’ll be returning to in the future, but in short, healthy gut bacteria are essential for our health and can help with weight loss, as well as producing hormones and neurotransmitters that control our mood, immune system, digestion, and more. I mentioned in a previous video, that a faecal transplant can help an obese person to become slim by giving them the bacterial profile of a slim person!

What many people don’t realise is that gut bacterium have their own sleep-wake cycle and even metabolisms.

What many people don’t realise is that these stomach pets have their own sleep-wake cycle and even metabolisms.

I’ve briefly touched on the link between our diets and our sleep-wake cycles. Interestingly, researchers are currently exploring whether circadian rhythms could be controlled through time-restricted eating in order to slow signs of aging (reference). But what’s more is that gut microbes also have their own circadian rhythms, which may be controllable via fasting.

Of course, the question here is whether the protocol you adopt will be beneficial to your mitochondria or unbeneficial. There’s certainly a chance it may further aid weight loss, but it’s something I want to look at further.

Fasting VS Muscle Mass

So, does fasting lead to the degradation of the muscle? Well, Terry Crews would suggest not. And indeed, this is considered to be another of the big advantages of IF – it doesn’t seem to cause muscle loss. How can that be when low blood sugar is known to trigger myostatin, lower testosterone, and deplete muscle glycogen?

One thing to keep in mind is that exercise, or more specifically mechanical stress, can also activate mTOR and thus elevate protein synthesis. Thus, weightlifting and fasting make excellent bedfellows. Not only that, but fasting is also known to spike levels of growth hormone (study) which protects muscle mass, encourages fat burning, and also has age-reversing properties. These aren’t the huge game-changing spikes that some people paint them as, but they are certainly welcome.

Autophagy may also be protective of muscle breakdown – the body can get what it needs from junk material, rather than from the muscles. Note though that you may well notice that your muscles look smaller due to depleted glycogen – and this could impact on your muscle endurance.

Looking at this from an evolutionary perspective, the question to ask is: why would the body want to cannibalize its precious muscle if fat AND waste protein materials are both available? It simply doesn’t make any sense.

How to Use Intermittent Fasting

This evolutionary perspective is the lens through which many people view intermittent fasting. The presumption is that during our evolution in the wild, we wouldn’t have had the same access to food. We would have been forced to go through periods of fasting due to the simple fact that eating required us to first locate and kill prey, or forage for fruit and veg. We didn’t have any means of stockpiling food and so couldn’t just snack on Mars bars throughout the day.

Thus, it is suggested that our very design is predicated on the idea that we will go through lengthy periods without food – and that this is in fact the optimum state of affairs. Spending time in both fasted and fed states provides balance – ensuring we benefit from separate and equally important functions in equilibrium.

This also explains why we might find it easier to stick to such a diet. Evolutionary psychologists suggest that we might have a tendency toward ‘gorging’ when we find food, seeing as we don’t know when we’re going to find food next. During a regular diet this is a problem, seeing as we can end up gorging constantly. During intermittent fasting though, you have permission to go crazy.

Intermittent Fasting Evolution Paleo

But there is a counterargument. The book Guns, Germs, & Steel points out how actually, we might have been more likely to locate and settle in areas that gave us proximity to naturally replenishing resources. We might not have been able to farm, but we could locate ‘natural farms’ which would ultimately allow a small tribe to grow into a powerful culture. Such a lifestyle would have made ‘grazing’ much more possible. And in fact, those with the ability to graze, might have been the very ones who survived to form today’s civilizations – especially those with access to protein.

I’ve also pointed out in the past how we are all adaptoids. People with rounded backs and Dad bods are not maladapted athletes – but rather they are ideally adapted for the office based, carb-fueled lifestyles they live.

There are examples of people thriving in all kinds of strange conditions. In The Fittest Book in the World, author Ross Edgley describes how the Ecuadorian bull wrestling Chagra manage to remain incredibly fit and healthy into their advanced years despite their diet of steak and large amounts of Puntas alcohol. Plenty of people are claiming that the Carnivore diet is doing wonders for them. It may be that we can thrive in a whole variety of different circumstances.

People with rounded backs and Dad bods are not maladapted athletes – but rather they are ideally adapted for the office based, carb-fueled lifestyles they live.

More likely, what I have noticed observing many other people on various different diets, is that we are all so different as to benefit from entirely different strategies. Fasting might do nothing for one person, but be the catalyst to a body shape transformation for another.

Practically, I notice drawbacks and limitations when fasting too. For one, it makes you weaker. While exercising and lifting weights, I am significantly less effective if I have been undergoing an extensive fast. And while I start out more productive and alert, I find that I also sometimes experience anxiety as a result of my low blood sugar, and certain low energy.

I also have a strange issue with a very dry mouth in the mornings. Water won’t quench that thirst – it needs to be milk or juice. It’s almost unbearable for me to get past that first hour if I wake up this way. Other people report similar challenges – some struggle to sleep for instance. It also sucks that I can’t use my preworkout due to the sugar content.

And then there is the theory of the ‘constrained model of energy expenditure’ (more in this post from Mark’s Daily Apple), which suggests that we will become more or less active depending on the number of calories we consume – that we will instinctively become slower and more sluggish when we eat fewer calories, thereby negating the benefits of calorie restriction. Maybe this is a mark against intermittent fasting, or maybe IF is the solution – seeing as it increases metabolism and provides an energy boost through hormonal changes.

Intermittent Fasting Growth Hormone

I apologize if you were hopping for something simple and entirely positive. Unfortunately, our biology just isn’t that straightforward and there’s still a LOT more research that needs to be done on this topic before we can draw any hard conclusions.

What to do With All This Information

So, what do you take from all this?

That’s ultimately up to you. If you want my advice though, I personally find that performing an 18:6 fast makes a lot of sense. It gives me a big enough window to get enough protein and nutrients during the evening, but it is also long enough to ensure I get the best benefits of fat burning and hopefully some autophagy during the fast. Stopping at 16 hours might well mean giving up right when you’re starting to achieve the biggest benefits!

At first, I found this hard to do, but with time it has become easier and easier. Another tip then is not to leap straight into this – just like you wouldn’t run 26 miles the first time you went jogging. Start by just pushing breakfast back a little and then experiment with pushing it further and further.

Intermittent Fasting Coffee

During your fast, avoid all calories and nutrients. Stick with black coffee and water.

And I would also suggest that you use intermittent fasting… intermittently. After all, if you really want to know what life in the wild was like during our evolution, the answer is that it was largely random. We would have often eaten when the opportunity presented itself. Sometimes we’d go lengthy periods without food, sometimes we would have enjoyed seasons of prosperity.

There have been plenty of incredibly fit, focused, and energetic individuals who exist on a ‘modern’ diet. Plenty of bodybuilders who became massively and powerful using nothing but bro-science. Maybe this is just further unnecessary complication. But the problem is that more and more of us have become reliant on the quick shots of energy provided by simple carbs, and have trained ourselves out of burning fat.

Intermittent fasting

So, my suggestion is that fasts be used as occasional ways to reset your system – to encourage fat burning, improve fat adaptation, and keep the body guessing. I still prefer my ‘strategic intuitive eating’ approach most of the time, but I’ll go through periods of intermittent fasting from now on in order to enjoy the health benefits of occasional autophagy, and to ensure my metabolism gets fired up and doesn’t become complacent. Because I’m staying flexible and changeable, I hope I can avoid any of the potential downsides of fasting regularly. And because I already eat less during the first half of the day (check out my previous videos), this fits naturally into my routine.

But just in case that comes off as negative, I want to re-iterate that I am sufficiently convinced by fasting to introduce it into my routine. I really think it has greatly improved my abs, it’s excellent for clearing brain fog, and it seems to have a host of benefits. By combining it with other forms of diet, I feel I can get a lot of advantages I’m looking for.

There is still lots to unpack here. I’ll be returning to intermittent fasting in future. You can count on that!

About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.


  1. Phil Kleidon says:

    My wife and I have just started (1 week) a 18:6 fasting protocol. Some days we wake hungrier than others, but love how we feel. For myself my head is clearer for my PT studies.

  2. Dave S says:

    This is a fantastic article and pretty definitive on this topic. I have been experimenting with 16:8 on days when I do cardio / core / yoga. On the days when I lift weights, I eat before and post workout on a ‘normal’ cycle. Seems to work for slow (1lb / week) weight reduction without much apparent muscle loss (even gain). Not mentioned here but I would add that I think avoiding refined sugar as far as possible helps to avoid bad hunger pangs during the fasting periods. I’m now going for 24hr fasts and find this fairly easy to do, even with a 10k run in the morning.

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