Fasting to loose fat

Hey everyone!

I have heard fasting being mentioned a few times on the BP podcasts and just wondering if i could have a bit more information on this.

I have never heard about it until recently, but from what i can gather it is a period of not eating any food? But ive been told that can be pretty unhealthy and make your body think its 'starving'... Isnt that ment to make you put ON weight? Or is this just another example of people being ignorant and not really knowing what they are talking about?

Does anyone here do this regularly? How did it go?



  • ClownFishClownFish
    edited August 2013

    Hey, about fasting:

    In my opinion, fasting is psychologically therapeutical. I myself practice it and recommend it to people. For a person who is overweight because overeating the bad stuff, it will be completely healthy to fast in order to recognize and control those impulses that drive them to the overeating. You will feel your body crave food when smells food, your glucose will become jealous because ketones are there now (so it drops and might trigger a mild hypoglycemia) and the body readjusts to the decrease in glucose. There might be physiological responses, like food crave, increased salivation, increased stomach acidity, impulsivity for eating, etc. All of those are great to feel and recognize, then control and understand.

    Now how to fast correctly:

    1- You don't exercise while fasting. And if you do, you will probably promote muscle breakdown as a consequence. So if you fast while exercising, take the precautions and supplement with the adequate aminoacids: branched chain aminoacids, glutamine and stuff. You will probably feel very weak if fasting during exercise and crave even double food intakes along with carbs. I do not recommend fasting while exercising.

    2- Fasting = no glucose generators intake. This means the body will use glycogen first for energy then fats mostly for energy and if improperly done then proteins for energy (muscle wasting). That is why is so important to fast smartly. This means having a bulletproof coffee in the morning is a good idea, because it prolongs the second stage of fasting state which is fat usage. If the body feels caloried deprived too long, where he has trouble mobilizing the fats for energy or those fats are insuficient, he will break down muscle. If he breaks down muscle, you will feel lethargic, will lose muscle weight and will not lose fat. So have nice intakes of usable healthy fats around while fasting. Also fats mask hunger, which ultimately help in finishing the fast time.

    3- You can pull up weight if you comeover from the fast with a LOT of carbs and fats (even healthy ones) together. So is best to keep the cycle going with fats and protein. This happens more often if you were fat in the first place, because fat cells still have that increased sensitivity to insulin. So watch that out too. This is often what happens when people who calorie deprive themselves for a while to lose weight suddenly start eating again and regain that fat weight. They basicly go and eat a lot of carbs and stuff and regain the weight because they did not teach the body anything in the first place (using fats for energy as priority).

    4-If you start feeling lethargic on fasting, it would be good to have some protein on the side too (whey shakes, beef). It mostly will be used to replenish protein demands from the body. For example, having proteins circulating would mean muscle will not need to breakdown because those aminoacids could be used for gluconeogenesis. But muscle breakdown would be less unlikely if the fast lasts for the recommended 16 hours (and again, no exercise).

    5- Fasting can also be done without eating anything (16 hours or even a day off). But it's better to use the fats because they could also aid the body to accept them as the real food.

    Again I repeat the herarchy of energy derivation used by the body on fasting:

    1- available Glucose-->2- available glycogen--> 3- fats--> 4- muscle

    You can safely hack on #3 with bulletproof coffee, mct oils and healthy fats and if wish to promote the fasting further than the 16 hours, then #4 with proteins (or more Branched chain aminoacids, glucogenic aminoacids and such).

    One more thing. If you want to really learn to control impulses, go to restaurants where your friends are having awesome looking and tasting foods/desserts and fast. Sense the smells of food, and see how your body reacts to those things. Then control yourself.

    This is my input from my biochemistry knowledge. But maybe the Bulletproof intern has more tricks he can share :cool:

    Happy Fasting

  • Hi Adam:

    Yea you are right. I should have said this is my interpretation of the fasting states and this is the way I do it instead of the "correct way". There might be other correct ways or approaches and I just was not careful with the way I assembled my words here. I might even be wrong in what I said, because again, is my own interpretation based on actual biochemistry books from college and med school with no other input. I kept it oversimplistic because it is the convenient way of posting it. The other way would be drawing a lot of molecules and pathways and pretend people would understand what is happening. So basicly, because I might be wrong, simply read for fun and don't follow it. I certainly had fun writing it.

    If anyone else has their own protocols feel free to share because writing stuff is what keeps this forum growing and we readers learning. Even if protocols are right or wrong, it doesn't matter. Its fun to share. 8-)


  • something about making the absolute statements you made in here to somebody who appears to be in a very impressionable place on protocols for their own health just really didn't seem right.

    Lol, any information given by fellow 'like minded' individuals on this forum is better than anyone else i could ask tbh. They would say its outright bad for you after all.

    But i have looked through enough forums on different subjects, to know that any information given has no guarentee that it is 100% right. So i take it with a pinch of salt, and move on to the next piece of information and make my own opinion from what sounds right to me :P

    I dont think anyone should take what they have been told as if its set in stone. That is why so many people are still eating sticks and twigs and saying it will make them healthy. :roll:

    ...Hmmmm..... Maybe i should put that as a quote in my signature... lol!

    So thanks for that great amount of information Clownfish. It has been amazingly useful for me to make up my own mind about the subject =]

    But now i want to ask, how long does it take for this process to start? Even a rough idea would be useful to know because i doubt it happens right after you decide 'im going to fast now' lol. :lol: If it is as soon as your glucose and glycogen run out. Is there a eating plan you should idealy follow before starting the fast?

    Any infomation is welcome :)
  • When you wake up in the morning you are already fasting. It all depends on your last meal from the day before. You can actually plan it like that. For example: Last meal 8pm, went to sleep 10pm, you start counting from about 10pm to 10am next day (12 hours), then add to that 4 more hours, so the 16 hour fast should end right about 2-3pm of the second day, or even later at 4-5pm (if you decide to expand it more). You just keep it rolling by eating some healthy fats and then waiting until late afternoon when you again eat. That is what I understand works, and don't want to sound like my last post where I said is the definitive thing.

    I've have done it like that and works FOR ME. I actually can drop about a pound per day keeping that cycle of 16 hours on fasting (while eating just fats), re-eating protein after the fast (with vegetables and stuff), and rolling out for the next day. But I limit that to once per week because that is not my primary goal right now. And I don't exercise during the fasting because it makes me feel weak and tired in excess.

    Again if someone has other protocols that work, feel free to share.


  • In my opinion both are partially correct when you are talking about exercising in a fasted state. I do Crossfit and very intense exercise. I do a lot of my workouts in a "fasted" state. But it's crucial I take EAA (Essential Amino Acids) at least 10 grams before and after. If I don't, my workouts suck. But this fasted state for me is only 10 hours without food. My last meal being 8 pm and I workout at 6 am. I have tried working out after 24 hour fast and did ok, but performance was noticeably diminished. I once worked out after a 48 hour fast and thought I was going to die. I had to quit about 5 mins in. First time I ever quit on a Crossfit workout in 18 months of doing Crossfit. So that is my experience anyway, hope it helps. But one other point, I strongly believe in Intermittent Fasting and I have increased performance and gained muscle. Plus it saves me time not having to cook breakfast in the morning. Although now I am trying IF with a bulletproof coffee in the morning. It's just fat so should keep you in a ketogenic state. And I love bulletproof coffee so will find a way to make it work :)
    Sean Buck
    "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."
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