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
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