I’ve been on a vacation in Bali and Australia for the last 4 weeks. This was hard for me to leave as someone who is obsessive compulsive about the types of food that I eat. Coming from the perspective of being a professional fitness model my body image is very important to me, I hold myself to a high standard, so when it comes to making sure I’m in peak shape, I’m always on top of my game.

Bali meant that I’d have to give up some control though, because Bali meant that I’d be in a foreign country, with foreign foods, without the same access to the luxuries that I have in Canada like a reliable kitchen of my own to cook in, refrigerator space to keep my food, and all of the good stuff that makes a meal plan work.

So then, how was I to maintain my physique and still go on my vacation?

Intermittent Fasting Plan for Men and Women Benefits

Immediately I was attracted to the idea of Intermittent Fasting. Initially I was turned onto this information by a good friend of mine David O’Neil who did IF a few years back when we were really connected. He directed me to a website, I did some reading, but I never took an interest enough to take a plunge.

It was a cool idea, but it didn’t fit my lifestyle at the time.

This seemed like the perfect time to dive in head first. The only problem is – there isn’t a lot of information out there. I looked up the website that David had pointed to me (www.leangains.com) and there wasn’t a lot of information on there.

There was some, but it didn’t answer enough of my questions to turn this into the diet that I was going to live my life by.

I had to learn more.

I went online and purchased a book cited on the website, I went to Chapters and was met with disappointment (there was only 1 book in the ENTIRE STORE on the subject!) and I started to realize how new of a science this actually is. It hasn’t hit the tipping point yet, there aren’t enough people living the intermittent fasting lifestyle for people to see how valuable it actually is.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is eating the way our bodies are primed to eat.

Human beings are biologically designed to live with the sunlight, sleep at night. We learned how to make fire so we started staying up later. We learned how to work with electricity so we created the light. Now our society often sleeps half of the day and stays up half of the night.

Our ancestors thousands of years ago did not have lights.

They didn’t stay up past midnight eating a large bag of Dortios and snacking on ice cream watching countless hours of Netflix. (Are You Still Watching?)

Our ancestors were primed to survive. Primed to hunt. During a fasted state (a state in which our ancestors would not have food) their senses were heightened, they ran faster, their bodies lost the excess weight that would slow them down, in their hunt for food. Our ancestors had to go hunting, and their bodies were primed for the hunt, otherwise they would die.

Our bodies are optimized to function optimally on a fast. This goes against the conventional wisdom of “you need to eat 6 meals a day at 2 hour intervals in order to stoke your metabolism and lose weight!”

Intermittent Fasting Benefits for Men and Women Plan

Actually what we’re doing by feeding ourselves so many meals is we’re forcing our mitochondria to work too hard and in the process, they aren’t able to carry out the waste materials generated by our food, and so they get stored as body fat.

Imagine having a car and just driving it forever without changing the oil. What happens? Your engine eventually wears down and your car stops working properly, making sounds, you burn out your engine.

Our bodies are our engines, and when we don’t give our metabolism a rest (with a fast) and give it a chance to clean out all of the waste, it’s working in overdrive, and it stores the waste inside of us as excess weight.

Damn, son.

Let’s Talk About Our Storage System

Another thing that I was worried about was losing muscle. By fasting, won’t I lose muscle? Actually the body holds between 1500-2000 calories ready for usage in the liver.

Your body has a resting metabolic rate; which means, you burn a certain amount of calories just by being alive.

So when you’re sleeping, you’re burning calories.

By the time you wake up you’ve burned 1,000 calories in your sleep (a rough estimate based on an average person). Then when you wake up your liver still has 500 more calories before you’d start burning your fat stores… but wait. We get up and we eat breakfast. Now your body has another source of fuel. Food! So you never find a way to tap into those energy stores in your liver that are there for use, and you never tap into your body fat as a source of fuel.

Studies found in Intermittent Fasting men control groups vs. men who weren’t fasting found that the growth hormone levels were 20 times higher in men when fasting vs. not fasting.

Those are some phenomenal numbers, and it’s no wonder that you maintain your muscle mass while you fast. Our bodies are holding onto our muscles as a survival mechanism. We aren’t strong for the hunt, we aren’t primed for survival, we die.

Martin Berkham (http://www.leangains.com) was the originator of the 16 hour fast, 8 hours off. Since then it’s been taken and developed by many other people including the editor in chief of Men’s Health Magazine, David Zinczenko, who wrote a book called the 8 Hour Diet.

He tested intermittent fasting on 2,000 test subjects ALL of which stuck with the program saw incredible results. The only people who dropped out, dropped out within the first two weeks. Anyone who stuck with it longer than that saw the results they needed to see to incorporate the diet into their lives.

The best part about intermittent fasting is dietary freedom.

Bali for me meant that I was giving up control of how much I cook, meal prep, plan my food. I wouldn’t be able to do that with limited supplies.

I needed more freedom with the types of food that I ate, but I wanted to maintain my aesthetics over the course of my trip.

Since intermittent fasting I haven’t tracked any of my caloric intake on my trip and I’ve managed to lose a large portion of the belly fat I was carrying around, I’m more energetic, and more productive. Being a coach of health and nutrition I definitely have a very good feel for how much of which foods I need to be eating, so it’s not like I’m spending my time at Dunkin Donuts for 6 hours a day.

When I want to eat dessert, I eat it. I stick to high quality protein sources, carbs with a low glycemic index and I stay away from sugars for the most part. I’ve started to eat less for the numbers of food and more for the energy that the food provides me.

The best part about intermittent fasting is it got me over my habit of binge eating.

Hey, I’m Brian, and I’m a Binge Eater

I’d compete for a show, get super shredded, then binge eat afterwards because I deprived myself of so much food for so long. The human mind is a funny place, when you restrict yourself for so long, you just want more of what you cut yourself off from.

Intermittent fasting gives me the dietary freedom to eat guilt free foods.

Does this mean I can eat Cheetos and Twinkies and I’ll be in good shape?

No, I still eat nutrient dense, high protein foods and then I have a chocolate bar when I want to.

I’ll have my carbs and I’ll love my carbs.

Intermittent Fasting Plan Benefits for Men and Women

And I’m still losing body fat by the day.

There’s not many resources out there on Intermittent Fasting and for good reason – it’s controversial, and many people aren’t wiling to be the first people to try something. The masses want to see mass results before they’ll jump on any sort of new diet.

Intermittent Fasting is here to stay. The results speak for themselves, and every nutrition guru and their dog will be on this diet when they see the results in their own lives and the lives of people around them.

This is one of those life-long journeys that allows more freedom with the types of foods we eat which will lead to more enriched lives.

The studies around Intermittent Fasting were initially done on people doing Ramadan, and it was found that these people responded as being more energetic, less hungry, leaner, and happier overall.

The 8 Hour Body describes multiple different scientists that have done studies on lab rats and saw how effective intermittent fasting was on the rats, only giving them access to food 8 hours of the day, vs. having the rats eating as much as they wanted when they wanted, and the rats that had the run of the house for 8 hours of the day vs. they could eat whenever they wanted were much leaner animals.

Because it was so effective in the rat studies the scientists began studying on themselves, experimenting with the diet on their own bodies. David (author of the 8 hour body) writes of visiting these universities and interacting with these people and being amazed at how all of these men in their 40’s and 50’s sporting lean, athletic bodies.

Intermittent fasting works, and it works for everyone.

When You Eat is Just as Important as What You Eat

You are what you eat on so many different levels.

On a physical level, your body is going to respond directly to what you put into it. When you put in sugary substances that your body does not need to operate it is going to get stored as fat because it’s energy your body can’t burn off.

On a more spiritual level, when you eat food that is processed, goes through 3 different factories and is packaged by a manufacturer, it loses the actual life of the food, the spirit of the food that will nourish your emotions and your soul.

Not only that – your body has a much harder time processing the processed foods. << Haaa Irony.

Intermittent Fasting Plan for Men and Women

When you eat is just as important as what you eat though, in terms of body composition and overall quality of life. I can personally attest to this. Being an emotional binge eater meant that even when I wasn’t hungry I’d be thinking about food. When I’m bored I’d be eating. When I’d be sad I’d be eating. When I’d be.. you get the point.

Food was always on my mind.

Since starting intermittent fasting 4 weeks ago the results have been so drastic in terms of my emotional state, my physical state and my mental state that I am diving deeper into the research out there and turning myself into the most advocate student and believer in the newest advancement in human nutrition.

(Actually, we’re not making an advancement, we’re just reverting to the way that we were designed to eat in the first place)

“Is Intermittent Fasting for Me?”

Do you like having a lean body, sharp mind, and not obsessing about what you eat AND looking phenomenal?

For real though, I actually believe this is a diet that can work for everyone.

I’m a firm believer in If It Fits Your Macros as well, and I believe that you have to be eating a wide variety of nutrient dense, high protein foods, in line with the proper fitness plan in order to live an optimally healthy life.

Intermittent Fasting Plan for Men and Women Benefits

I do believe that intermittent fasting is something that anyone can be a part of though, and anyone can incorporate into their lives. The best part is that the studies support positive results in people doing the diet as little as 3 days a week.

A New Way of Eating

I’ve been my own guinea pig for the past few years.

I do the research, create a plan for myself, execute, and when it works I pass along the knowledge that I learn. As I learn more through self-experimentation and research I have more to give. That being said, if any of you have questions regarding intermittent fasting please reach out.

I’d love to hear your feedback and I’d love to talk to you about how to incorporate intermittent fasting into your life!