10 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

It has been four months since I’ve had a morning breakfast meal. In fact, I go until 2 pm everyday before my first meal. Intermittent fasting is one of the most powerful health discoveries I have ever made! Once I started fasting on a daily basis, I quickly recognized all the benefits of intermittent fasting that I hadn’t noticed before when I was eating breakfast everyday.

In this article I am NOT going to tell you why you don’t need breakfast, why fasting won’t cause you to burn muscle, and why fasting will not slow down your metabolism. If you still believe in these ridiculous myths I suggest you read this article here – http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top-ten-fasting-myths-debunked.html

Instead in this article I am going to share with you the 10 benefits of intermittent fasting I have received by simply fasting 16-18 hours every single day (9-10pm until 2-3pm). Now let’s get to this!

10 amazing Intermittent fasting benefits

1. Fasting benefits skin!

Through my teens and into my adult years I have always suffered with acne and regular breakouts despite eating a healthy diet and washing my face regularly. Once I started pushing my first meal later into the day my skin started to gradually improve. When I would go back to breakfast my skin would breakout again. Eventually I made the connection that this was a intermittent fasting result. Giving your body an extended break from digesting food allows your body to detox itself. Digesting food constantly throughout the day puts a lot of stress on your body and that stress comes out in many ways, one of which includes breaking out!

2. Breathing Conditions Improved

For the past few years I have suffered from some shortness of breath at times. At its worst my ability to enjoy life would be reduced significantly. Not being able to suck in a nice, big satisfying breath can drive you nuts and make your life somewhat miserable. Cutting out gluten, limiting dairy, injecting myself with vitamin b12 shots weekly and avoiding all fragrances and secondhand smoke improved my breathing conditions greatly.  Once I added intermittent fasting to the mix my breathing got even better and now gives me no problems to this day (except when I expose myself to second hand smoke, fragrance, gluten or too much dairy).

3. You Crave Healthier Foods

Once I started skipping my breakfast and fasting I have began to crave healthy, natural foods. Go 16-20 hours without food and naturally you will gravitate towards healthy foods. Eat food on a regular basis several times a day and you take the healthy stuff for granted and junk food becomes tempting.

 4. You’re able to cook amazing meals!

My friends still don’t believe me when I tell them that I cook for myself everyday. Rewind a few months ago before I started this intermittent fasting diet plan, cooking seemed like the biggest pain. I would rather drive to a restaurant and pay $20 for a meal then to make a meal for myself. Once I started fasting I gained a strong appreciation for cooking BIG Healthy Meals for myself.

5. You can eat BIG meals and still stay lean!

One of the amazing benefits of intermittent fasting is the ability to eat A LOT of food. This is because you create a massive calorie buffer by not eating breakfast. Those calories that you would have eaten can now be used in a lunch or dinner meal! In the past, when I followed the traditional diet of 5 small meals a day, I could never really enjoy a nice big meal. In addition to this I could never stay satiated on small meals and all I would think about throughout the day was food. Now I can get super lean and maintain while having nice, big, healthy massive meals.

My favorite method is to eat a regular size meal at 2pm and again at 5:30 and then a BIG Meal at 9pm.

6. Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss 

The many intermittent fasting benefits include it being effective appetite suppressant. This makes intermittent fasting for cutting a sound strategy. Once you adapt to it you do not get hungry during the fast. Instead you feel a sense of mental clarity and determination. In addition fasting lowers insulin, boosts HGH and increases catecholamines putting you in the ultimate fat burning state. Stubborn body fat no more. As well taking in caffeine in a fasted state increases the stimulatory effects.

7. Intermittent Fasting Benefits for Muscle Growth

Bulked up here (10 lbs heavier then the picture before) fasting 16 hours everyday and strength training only 3x per week. Most of the training was done on an empty stomach after ingesting 10g of BCAA (to increase protein synthesis and prevent protein breakdown). BIG high carb and moderate protein post workout meals were emphasized here to maximize lean muscle gains when my body was the most primed for growth. Fasting increases insulin sensitivity which allows you to better store and utilize carbohydrates in muscles. No need for tupperware containers and regular shakes. I could enjoy life without worrying about getting 30g of protein every couple of hours.

8. Incredible Mental Clarity with Fasting

Watch the trailer of Limitless and you will understand what I’m talking about.

Fasting is like taking NZT from the movie Limitless! I was blind but now I can see. Since I have skipped breakfast I am more productive, determined and have better focus. Everything is clear. I know what I need to do and I do it.

9. I Never Get Colds Anymore

Before I started this Intermittent Fasting diet plan, I used to get sick quite often. Like everyone I’m sure I can’t stand being sick coughing and sniffling all the time. YUCK! Well now I rarely get sick! Even when everyone around me is getting sick and I’m getting their germs I stay healthy and vibrant.

10. Wake up with a Strong Morning Wood

Intermittent Fasting Benefits

 

The last of 10 benefits of intermittent fasting is kind of a doozie! Just thought I would add it because it is important, although not many men like to talk about it. For men that don’t know a strong morning hard on represents high testosterone levels. Ever since I started daily intermittent fasting I have noticed a big difference in the morning. This can mostly be attributed to intermittent fasting improving my testosterone levels.

As you can see, the intermittent fasting benefits are quite amazing!

How to Start Experiencing the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting 

To start taking advantage of the health benefits of intermittent fasting, I’d recommend daily fasting where you go 16-18 hours without food. So If I finish eating at 10pm I will go until 2-4pm the next day until my first meal. Coffee, water and tea can be consumed during the fasting hours (I love using Fasting Fuel for blunting hunger). I keep a 6-8 hour eating window where I consume all my calories. I like to have 3 meals within this time frame spaced evenly apart and avoid snacking between these meals. If my goal is fat loss I will keep my first 2 meals smaller and my last meal will be the biggest (this allows me to keep calories low without too much trouble). If I am bulking I will make the post workout meal the largest.

If I train around 12:30-1pm I will workout fasted after ingesting 10g of BCAA or whey protein. If I workout in the afternoon (3-5pm) I will eat 1 small meal (20% of daily calories) 2-3 hours before training and 2 more meals after training.

If I workout in the evening 7 or 8pm then I will have 2 pre workout meals (2pm and 5pm) each of roughly 20% of total calories. Then I will have one big post workout meal after training (roughly 60% of total calories).

 

Next Article – How to Incorporate Intermittent Fasting into Your Routine to Boost Muscle Growth & Maximize Fat Loss 

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About the Author

Greg

I'm Greg O'Gallagher the founder of Kinobody.com

107 responses to “10 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

    1. @Keith

      Usually I’ll train around 12:30 or 1pm and have my first meal afterwards. If I can’t train until later then I will have a smaller meal around 2pm, train around 5pm, another meal at 6 and my final meal at 9pm.

  1. Great article Greg, it shows all the things i have noticed myself since i started implementing to my lifestyle a year ago – including number 10;)
    I saw the light and i’m staying in the light:)

    1. @Orjon

      If I knew about the awesome benefits of fasting when I was 16 or 17 I definitely would have done it. Many teenagers don’t even eat breakfast before going to school and find they can work more effectively by skipping their breakfast. Of-course not everyone is the same and some people prefer to eat a healthy breakfast in the morning.

      Try it out for a few weeks and see what you think and if it is for you. Just make-sure if you are cutting out your breakfast you eat a healthy lunch, dinner and a third meal.

  2. well done for this post very intresting and all the signs of hgh increase

    so you have only lunch and dinner right?

    how many calories do you consume all together in that period?

    and when did you get started and what fat% were you before and after

    cheers

  3. That acne statement is interesting…….would love to see you go more in depth on that….interesting topic. I have found certain foods bother me…and I noticed the same thing you did.

  4. I am about to turn 15 and am on the powerlifting team. So I am constantly trying to increse strength. I am a slim but muscular teen. If I just ate 3 meals a day. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.) Would i have the same benifiets as fasting. And Can that 3 meal diet help me gain muscle mass if its full of protein?

    1. @Josh

      Intermittent Fasting can benefit you. Just make-sure to fast no more then 16 hours per day. If your training earlier get 30g of whey protein before hand or 10g of BCAA. The key to gaining muscle for you is going to be eating very large post workout meals with high protein and very high carbs.

    1. @Razi.

      Take 10g of BCAA before training and again 2 hours later. Have your first meal at around 12-1pm and your last meal at 8-9pm. This strategy is highly effective for fat loss but not quite as effective for building muscle. Since the 2-3 hour post workout window is when you are able to best utilize excess carbs.

      1. I work out from 7am to 8am. would you recommend the first meal then to be big and with lots of carbs at around 8/9am? want to maintain my 77 kg while dropping body fat which is around 12% right now.
        2nd meal 1pm and 3rd meal 5pm? I´ll die :)))

        1. No, don’t consume your biggest meal in the morning. I would actually fast until noon time. Take 10g of BCAA just before training and one hour after training. You can have your biggest meal around noon and consume the rest of your calories/macros in your window.

  5. Would it be wiser to start your Intermittent Fasting diet after a couple month of muscle building or do a couple months of Intermittent Fasting then slowly build muscle ?
    Thank you for your help. My goal is to replicate your body size so I’m not sure how to tackle it. Your website is extremely inspiring and got me into working out at the age of 18!

  6. Hi Greg,

    I was wondering if your “morning to dinner fasts” will shed more body fat than Eat Stop Eat? (Since you’re fasting more than twice a week.)

    I also noticed that your style of fasting is similar to the Warrior Diet, but you don’t really “pig out” in the evening… is that correct? Otherwise, the large calorie deficit wouldn’t be there. :-)

    It’s almost like you invented the “new and improved” Warrior Diet, but without stuffing your face at night (to make up for the day).

    Could you please do a post on working the shoulders?

  7. An interesting article, I also love how casually random you throw in the pics of the hot chicks and the “ah ok……wait wut?”-moment at reason 10 cracked me up.

    At the moment i will probably fucking die if i wait 16 hours before i eat my first meal since i’m pretty accustomed to the whole bodybuilding eating pattern but I’m not overly bulky and ill keep it in mind for my cut period in the summertime.

    Keep bringing the humorous (yet) informative articles man, I really enjoy reading them! :)

    1. @Max

      Fasting 17-18 hours is fine. As an everyday thing I like to go no more then 18 hours so I can at-least fit in 3 meals during the feeding window. If I don’t eat 3 meals I end up stuffing myself during the 1 or 2 meals I have in the window (not good) or worse just binge eat non stop during the window.

    1. @Zach

      Thanks man. The reason I look so much bigger (even though I only gained 10 lbs) is for 2 reasons:

      a) Very little fat gain. Most people that bulk up 10 lbs gain about half fat and half muscle. I probably gained 70-80% muscle.

      b) Added most of the muscle to my upper body (especially shoulders, traps and arms) and less so to my legs which are already lean and strong.

  8. Hey Greg i’m Max again ;)
    Did you see the huge and ripped body of the new superman actor??
    I think he’s bigger than Reynolds’s.
    How do you achieve a body like that?
    Strenght training??
    And if you continue to gain strenght over time you will continue getting bigger like that?
    In how much time?

  9. What would you recommend for a post-workout meal if you were trying to bulk up? And how would you split the calories over the course of the day. Majority in the last meal of the day?

    1. @Branden

      My favorite post workout meals for adding muscle usually consist of a lean meat like chicken breast and a good source of carbohydrates like rice, pasta, potatoes or yams. For adding muscle I recommend having your biggest meal after you workout and keep your other meals a little bit smaller. For fat loss I have gotten the best results keeping my first two meals small (25-30% of daily calories each) and my last meal the biggest (40-50% of daily calorie intake).

  10. Hi Greg,

    What’s your opinion on total intake of protein? Brad Pilon says on his website that 70-120g is more than sufficient to build muscle mass. Have you found this to be effective in your training?

    Thanks,
    Bowen

    1. @Bowen

      I think that protein intake should be set much higher. 1-1.5 grams per pound of lean body mass. Everyone who is in incredible shape – strong, very lean and muscular tend to eat a lot of protein. You may be able to build muscle with 70-120 grams per day as a beginner but if you are striving for a high status I think it takes a little more protein to add lean mass (muscle without fat gain).

  11. I can relate to the not getting colds and your skin clearing up. Also, when you say coffee and tea can be consumed during the fasting hours, do you mean black coffee and tea with no milk or sugar? Can you clarify?

  12. I posted this in the “contact” section , but didn’t get a response, so heres my question..
    ” Hey Greg,
    First congrats for the awesome website! very useful content. Kinobody and FitnessBB are all i need for my workouts! :)

    I’ll get to the point. I saw “a simple but effective home gym workout” article dated November 16,2011 (http://kinobody.com/1448/home-gym-workou/) . I don’t have access to a commercial gym so home workouts are my only option. In the article dips are the recommended exercise for chest.

    My question- would just doing dips develop a square chest? I think i remember seeing in another article that dips are effective for developing the line under the chest. So wouldn’t dips tend to under develop the upper chest? are there any other body weight exercises for developing the square chest look?

    Keep up the good work!

    Thank you…

    -Sid- “

    1. @Sid

      I used to be somewhat paranoid about not developing my upper chest. If you get lean enough everything will fall in place. With that being said dips will pack on muscle on your whole entire chest with slightly more emphasis on the lower part. Not a big problem though. Incorporate handstand push ups in there and you will be fine.

  13. Hey bro this is the first time i see your page i’m from Mexico and a few weeks ago I bought visual impact body building from Rusty Moore and I feel great and see some results Im not gonna lie to you I’ve been working out and doing my best on the diet 2 years ago I tried something like this fasting thing and it really worked for me going from 78 kgs. to 68 kgs. in almost 3 months the only thing i did back then was every morning going to the gym on an empty stomach sometimes just took 1 or 2 spoons of peanut butter after the gym get my first real meal a whole chicken or maybe just half of it this was around 2 pm. then afer 2 or 3 hours later took another meal which was the other half of the chicken or tuna and that was it i wasn´t taking supplements or anything else the last meal was around 5 or 6 pm. then i didn´t eat anything until next day after my workout, tell me what you think about it, right now i don’t have the time i had back then now i’m 25 and have a job all day and basically what i’m doing along with visual impact from rusty moore is every morning i eat pretty much anything just taking care on the calorie intake at 2 or 3 pm my second meal which is almost everyday chicken with veggies and 1 hour after my workout which is around 8 to 10 pm 1 spoon of protein in a shake and that’s it please let me know what you think and if you can give me any more tips i’d apprecciate it regards!!!

  14. Its very inspiring site! :) Its my first time to read this kind of page, it really amazes me. I learn a lot of healthy knowledge on how to handle myself in a healthy way. Thank you for this page!

  15. I experienced the same effect from fasting and when I saw the movie Limitless I thought too of this!
    So I decided to change my diet but I made a few changes:
    1. meal/after staying up/ Proteinshake (optional with Plantagoseeds),creatin and a double shot(2 Espresso’s)
    -between greentea capsules-
    2. 7 hours after/20 % of calories/much carbonhydrates and little fat(e.g. joghurt health bread)
    3. 3h later/whey proteinshake
    4. 3h later/big meal 50% calories/ approx. 47% protein 50% carbs 3% fat

    before every training I take BCAA and after Whey;

  16. Hi Greg,

    You mentioned your biggest meal of the day is at 9pm. Given you’re going to be sleeping soon, isn’t it bad if your body is digesting a big meal while you sleep? Shouldn’t this be an opportunity for your body to rest and heal isn’t during the sleep period rather than expend it’s energy on digestion.

    I’m open to your approach, just wondering how it works for you. Other nutritional experts I seen have said that you should have your last meal at 5-7pm.

    Cheers Greg

  17. Hey Gog,
    I have been trying fasting till 2 oclock, following the eating plan and the bodyweight excercise plan you have up here. but I am always sluggish for most of the morning. I am 18, but I am still growing taller and bigger- is it unsafe for me to watch my calories like you recommend? I can’t understand why some guys who seem to barely care are so much leaner than me. Not only that, but once every few days I binge eat on sweets at night. does that mean im not getting enough. agh. answer questions please!

    1. @Michael

      It is definitely safe for you to watch your calories and lose weight. Some people naturally have a very low body fat set point which makes it easy for them to stay lean. I recommend you track your calories and eat at a 500-750 calorie deficit or 10-12 calories per pound of goal bodyweight. If you want some junk then allow yourself it without going over your calories.

    1. With BCAA it’s all the same. One isn’t better than the other. I like to go with BCAA that are flavored in powder form because that’s the only way I’ll consistently take it.

    1. You can do a pre workout meal two hours before training, a post workout meal 30-60 minutes after training and third and final meal 4 hours later.

      Ex: meal 1 – 2-3pm, meal 2 – 6pm, meal 3 – 10pm.

  18. Hey Greg, I have been following your website and found it to have tons of great exercises and I was wondering if it would be unhealthy to start intermittent fasting at 14 years old. Would it be bad my health?
    Thanks!

    1. My younger brother started intermittent fasting at 14 years old. No negative effects. He actually went through a massive growth spurt. Ultimately the choices is yours. Make sure not to fast past lunch. Eat plenty of protein, veggies and fruits everyday.

  19. I’m 19 years old college student. I attend classes everyday at 8 o’clock and have to get up at 6am every day since I live a bit far from the campus. In a week or two I’m going to start working out at the local gym, on the afternoon. Hence, do you recommend to fast in the morning until lunch?

    I’ve been reading your posts and watching some of your videos and I think they are great! Awesome advice Greg. I’m actually thinking to buy your program, thanks.

    1. Yah I think fasting until lunch is a great strategy for a lot of people. Once you can adapt to it, getting and staying lean becomes a heck of a lot easier.

  20. Is it alright to take multivitamins, omega-3’s, and melatonin while in a fasted state? Just curious… Trying to get the most out of this program.

    1. Multi vitamins and omega’s should be taken with a meal, don’t take them in the fasted state.

      Also, why would you take melatonin during the day? Most people take it before bed to aid with sleep.

  21. Melatonin would be taken around midnight. Would be towards the start of the cycle though I suppose… Was just curious. Thanks for the info on the vitamins.

  22. What kind of fasting (if at all) would you recommend for a 16 year old? the annoying thing is that im around 10-12% body fat, have decent muscle mass and definition its just the stubborn lower ab/ oblique fat i have remaining detracts from my whole physique. So i’m wondering if i should do some kind of 16/8 hour fasts or 24 hour fasts with strategic cardio to get rid of that fat by August. Or I could start fasting a month leading up to august in a more aggressive ‘push’. Let me know your thoughts.
    Thanks

    1. I wouldn’t do the long 24 hour fasts! That’s a little too extreme. Rather, I would recommend daily fasting of up to 16 hours. Don’t worry about getting too ripped. Maybe get to 8-10% body fat and then maintain, bring calories up and allow for muscle growth to occur.

  23. Do I have to take BCAA’s if i work out fasted? Both Pilon and Berkhan doesn’t seem to have any problem with it. Just curious because i don’t wanna be relient on BCAAs, and I don’t always have time for a pre-workout meal.

    1. You don’t have to take BCAA’s before fasted training. That said, the research shows that pre workout protein is beneficial. So it’s definitely not a bad idea. But I’ve done many fasted workouts without BCAA’s and make strength and muscle gains.

  24. Hey Greg what do you think about testosterone supplements? A lot of the stores around my area have Body Fortress Test Boosters and some of the guys at my gym say that they’re great and they give them plenty of energy to go the extra mile and have helped them loss body fat and build stronger muscles–I’m a bit hesitant to try them–so I figured I’d ask a guru such as yourself for advice.
    Thanks for your time, keep doing what you’re doing!
    Derek.

    1. They don’t really do anything! More of a placebo effect. Some of them can make you hornier but that doesn’t increase testosterone. Make sure you’re getting adequate amounts of fish oil, vitamin d, calcium, magnesium and zinc and you’ll be fine.

    1. The warrior diet is pretty good but not really my preferred approach. I’d recommend eating two big meals per day then stuffing all of your calories in one giant meal. Also, I’d get rid of all of the morning juices. If you want to have fruit or do a juice then I’d recommend doing it in the early afternoon to break your fast.

  25. how bout for the morning lifter. say one lifts in the 9-noon range? wake up at 7. fast. take bcaa. workout at the above time. do a protein drink with banana. berries etc. directly after workout. have small amount of foods including carbs mid afternoon and then larger dinner later also with some carbs? too many carbs? on no. lift days. lunch and dinner with minimal carbs? thanks

    1. I don’t think BCAA’s are even necessary for fasted training. I’d suggest coffee pre workout, maybe a banana or piece of fruit an hour after training with 30g of protein. Then I’d suggest a big sized lunch with plenty of protein and a big dinner.

  26. Hi Greg,
    I’ve just purchased your AFL program. I train in the morning and usually take a post-workout protein shake. I’m assuming that I will be breaking my fast if I continue to do this? Do I skip the protein shake and wait to eat/drink until the first big meal? Will it affect my post-workout recovery?

    Here is my IF and training schedule:

    7.00am weight training 3 x times a week
    then a protein shake post-workout – do I get rid of this if I want to implement AFL?
    1.00pm first meal of the day
    6.00pm second meal of the day
    9.00pm small last meal of the day

    Thanks – Adrian

  27. Hey Greg when fasting and cutting in general does chewing a lot of sugar free gum make a difference because I will often chew 15-20 pieces a day and the boxes usually say 1 piece has five calories but I just chew the gum I don’t eat it, what do you think?

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