Friday, March 28, 2008

Fasting for weight loss

I found this comment on one of my previous posts. It actually took me a couple reads before I realized the irony in what he was saying:

When I studied abroad in France, my host-mother would often fast to lose weight. To me at the time it seemed like a really unhealthy approach, but I'm the one who gained 20 pounds that year!!
I find it interesting that so many people have had to defend their fasting to friends and family members.

In my opinion this is the exact opposite of how it should be. Intuitively, the idea of constantly eating and consuming has always seemed unhealthy to me.

I guess the food industry has successfully figured out exactly how much money they need to spend in advertising to erase the logic of "eat less to lose weight" and replace it with "just keep eating our stuff, losing weight isn't healthy, to be healthy you need to eat even more"

My advice to anyone who has had trouble losing weight with the common approach of multiple small meals a day is to give flexible intermittent fasting and honest try.

If one approach hasn't worked for you then there is absolutely NO REASON for you to keep following it. You may as well try a different approach.

Eventually, you will find something that works and that is easy, comfortable and that you can envision yourself doing for a long period of time.


Learn more about flexible intermittent fasting and weight loss

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

How much weight training do I need to do?

Here's a great question I received today:

When you refer to resistance training (and the Eat Stop Eat program), is there a particular type you're talking about?

To be more specific (and personal), most people use "resistance training" and "bodybuilding-type" workouts synonymously. And by bodybuilding-type workouts, I mean multiple sets of 6-12 reps.

I'm training as a sprinter and am working out specifically for increased power and fast-twitch fiber development. Namely, I'm deadlifting and bench pressing and, for each exercise, doing no more than 5 sets, with no more than 5 reps/set, and no more than 10 reps total (I mix it up each workout) with weights that are between 85-100% of my 1rep max.

Would this be effective with the ESE program?

Here is my answer:

This work out program would definitely be effective.

I believe that as long as your workout program contains a work load that creates enough stress to challenge your muscles (which I'm sure this program would do), I believe it will protect you from any muscle loss.

I often get asked why I never give an "exercise prescription" with Eat Stop Eat. The reason is simple. It depends on the person. (this is the same reason why I don't tell you HOW to eat while following Eat Stop Eat).

For instance, it takes a high amount of volume, stress and exercise frequency for a 250 pound bodybuilder to maintain this high level of muscle mass.

If a 250 pound bodybuilder were to follow Eat Stop Eat then the amount and type of exercise that he would need to do to maintain that mass would be much greater than what a 145 pound women who doesn't exercise at all would need to do.

So your exercise needs are very dependent on your current training status, your goals, and the amount of muscle mass you are currently carrying.

Look at the amount of exercise you were doing before you started following Eat Stop Eat, and make sure to slowly progress from there.


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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tips to prevent holiday weight gain

Here's a great post from Adam Steer's Blog about Fasting and
holiday eating that I thought you might like to read. This past
weekend I took almost the exact same approach as Adam.

Nothing better than flipping the switch to "OFF" for a bit. Kind of
like an eating "re-boot". Especially since for me, holiday eating
can have an effect that last for days!

You can read Adam's post here ==>


PS- Here's a a great email about Eat Stop Eat that I want to share
with you.

--email start---

Hi Brad

Your book was a breath of fresh air. I am 48 years old and have
been weight training for about 4 years now, trying to eat a good
diet (six meals a day) and not daring to miss a meal in case I lose
muscle. I have not been able to lose that last bit of fat.

I have been using the fasting principles twice a week for the last
month with great results - fat loss and no muscle loss. It's such
a great way to eat.


Maxine Morris
United Kingdom

--end email--

Learn more about using intermittent fasting to lose fat.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Why I like the Smith Machine

I know for most of us this last weekend was probably one that involved a fair bit of food...especially chocolate.

For this reason I know you probably don't want to read about anything to do with food or especially fasting right about now.

No problems.

I spent the Easter weekend helping my friend John Barban work on a new project. We took a break during a video shoot, and I decided to do my first ever video-blog entry.

Simple story. While we were shooting, I noticed a smith machine. This reminded me of how everyone always "rips" on the smith machine for being a totally useless piece of gym equipment.

I've always found this funny, because next to the squat rack and a bench, this is probably the one piece of equipment I use most often.


Learn more about exercising while fasting

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Eat Stop Eat Review

Here's another great review of Eat Stop Eat I just found over at the Skwigg Blog.

You can read Skwigg's review here ==> Skwigg reviews Eat Stop Eat


PS- I totally agree with Skwigg about coconut flakes, they make everything taste better (I put them in plain yogurt with diced almonds, apples, bananas and a little bit of honey)

lose weight easily with intermittent fasting

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Monday, March 17, 2008

How do I gain weight?

Looking back through my old journals, I came across another crazy experiment that I once did.

Do you remember back in the early 2ooo's when 'bulking cycles' were all the rage? Bodybuilders would purposely put on weight in the hopes that while most of it was fat, a little bit might be muscle.

Well, I once took this to the extreme, trying to figure out how much weight I could put on in only 14 days.

I was on a normal 'bulking diet' consisting of roughly 5,000 calories. This consisted of breakfast, second breakfast, weight gain shake, lunch, pre-workout shake, post-workout shake, dinner, and bedtime weight gain shake.

However, this routine just wasn't cutting it, so I added one small extra touch.

Each morning I poured 2 cups of almonds and 1.5 cups of Ocean Spray craisins into a tupperware container and took it to work with me. My goal was to continue to eat my normal way, and to finish this container everyday before I left work.

Now, this may not sound like much, but 2 cups of almonds and 1.5 cups of crasins contains roughly 2,300 calories!

I didn't make it through the entire 14 day experiment (I ended on day 11, I just couldn't take it anymore). I had put on 12 pounds in 11 days! Four days after the experiment, after letting my GI and bowels settle down, I stepped on the scale to find I was till 9 pounds heavier.

Unfortunetley, according to my measurements, this was all fat (despite super heavy twice per day workouts).

Yet another experiment I did in the name of "getting big". If I could give one piece of advice to someone who is just starting to dive into the bodybuilding scene, I would tell them to never ever "bulk". To me, it is a waste of time, and some of the guys I used to train with never really recovered (some of them still joke about being on a a ten year bulking cycle!)


PS - Believe it or not, only a couple months after this experiment, I repeated a slightly less harsh version that pushed my weight from 185 to 216 pounds in four months, only to have to go on a super strict 'cutting' diet to get right back down guessed it...185 pounds...I wish I knew about Eat Stop Eat back then!

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

How much glutamine do I have to take to gain weight?

A couple of week ago I told you about how my basement flooded due to a freak thaw we had in Ontario. Well, I'm still dealing with the repercussions of that little flood.

Mostly, it has forced me to clean out my basement (which is no small task). I'm almost done now, but on Friday I was still going through some of my old boxes.

After throwing out a couple kilograms of Leucine and BCAA's, and about 3 years worth of Muscle and Fitness Magazines, I stumbled across some of my old training journals.

Now, normally, reviewing my old workouts isn't something I would consider 'blog worthy', but these particular journals were from back when I was working in the supplement industry, and outlined some of the crazier experiments I have performed on myself over the years.

Of course, If I could send a message back in time and tell my 8 year younger self that I would be advocating flexible and brief periods of intermittent fasting for weight loss, I'd probably think future me was crazy...However now that I am looking at some of the things I did 'back in the day', all I can say is "wow".

For instance, have you ever taken glutamine? I have. But I didn't just "take" glutamine, I mega-dosed with it.

Back in 2003, when most people were dosing their creatine with upwards of 75 grams of sugar I was thinking about a different approach. At the time I was experimenting with a low carb, super high protein diet, so I really did not want to be taking an extra 150 grams of pure sugar if I could some how avoid it. Somehow, I cam up with the idea of:

'What if I dosed 10 grams of creatine twice a day, but instead of using a mega dose of dextrose, I took a mega dose of glutamine?'

A simple enough question, and an even simpler experiment to conduct (especially when you have an unlimited supply of glutamine).

For 14 days I took 10 grams of creatine with 80 grams of glutamine once in the morning, then again after my workout in the evening.

From my notes I can see that I didn't have any weird GI problems, or any other unwanted effects. However my weight only increased marginally (3 pounds) which was typically of a creatine load for me, so the experiment ended with the notes

"160 grams of glutamine per day not any better than 20 grams of creatine."

Keep in mind that this was an experiment that only had one subject (me) and was definitely not blinded, so really it is just a review of my own personal experiences, but fun nonetheless.

This was probably one of the tamer experiments I tried. I've also uncovered the notes for a couple of different over-feeding experiments, as well as some crazy fat burning experiments that I will share later in the week.


PS- Sara over at the Sanaworld Blog wrote a very interesting review of Eat Stop Eat that touches on the psychological effects of fasting and some of her own experiences with fasting and obsessive compulsive eating. You can check out part 1 of Sara's post HERE.

No more counting calories to lose weight

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Why am I so hungry?

If there's one thing I've noticed about Eat Stop Eat, it's how it makes me very aware of what does and doesn't make me hungry.

Oddly enough, when I'm fasting, I rarely get hungry, but when I'm eating and I miss a meal, I get hungry (and grumpy).

I've received a number of emails on the topic of intermittent fasting and hunger, and I think I've figured out my own personal theory on the connection.

In fact, I received an email this morning from my friend Justin Owings ( about his experiences with Eat Stop Eat, and I think between the two of us our experiences with fasting and hunger have been identical..


I've been implementing about two fasts a week for around a month now and
have managed to lose about 10 pounds of weight and 2 - 3% body fat.

What I'm curious about is how fasting has seemed so easy for me. I don't
get heavy hunger pangs while fasting -- when I do notice my stomach, its
usually for a minute or two and then it completely goes away. Does this
mean that my body has adjusted? I originally just assumed that my body had
switched to fat burning for energy, and since there's still a solid amount
of fat energy to use up, it doesn't send me heavy "hunger" signals.

Just curious if you had any thoughts on this.


Hey Justin,

Great question and great timing, I was just discussing this exact same
phenomenon with some colleagues.

We believe that it's not as much your body that is adjusting to the fasts
as it is your mind.

For instance, on a non-fasting day, if I was planning to eat at noon, but
got caught in meetings until 2, I would feel like I was "starving". Yet on
fasting days, I absolutely do not notice that I have not eaten. Typically,
I don't get hungry at all, except for a few hungry pangs that may last for
a minute tops.

I've come to the conclusions that this has a lot to do with expectation of
eating, and the
biochemical reactions that this expectation causes.

So I think what you are experiencing is a better control over your minds
influence on your body. I think that because fasting allows you to take
breaks from constantly eating, it teaches you better control over the
perceptions of being "hungry".

In the end, even hunger may be a case of "mind over matter".


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Monday, March 10, 2008

Intermitent Fasting - Simple Reasons to Give it a Try...

I stumbled across a really good post about some of the more "Life Friendly" benefits of following a intermittent fasting lifestyle such as Eat Stop Eat....

You can check it out here ==> Simple Benefits of Fasting

You can learn more about the benefits of following a flexible form of Intermittent Fasting by Clicking here ==> Flexible Intermittent Fasting


No more counting calories to lose weight

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

How Much Does Weight Loss Cost?

I took some time today to start getting caught up on work. After answering a bunch of emails, I start searching the 'net for fat burners.

Yep, I was looking at weight loss supplements.

One of the things I like to do is to make sure I keep up on the weight loss supplement industry.

I don't work in the weight loss supplement industry any more, but I find that it is beneficial for me to keep up to date on the latest products and their advertising.

From my experience, the supplement industry is always on the cutting edge for what is new and "in". If certain catch phrases are in a supplement ad, then you can bet they will be mainstream in another couple months. In fact, I think some of these companies are innovative enough that their marketing can actually create media trends.

As I was going through the ads and the products out there I realized two things - There isn't much new going on in the supplement industry, and the supplement industry has actually managed to put a price on weight loss.

That's right. With a quick little experiment we can actually figure out how much the supplement industry is charging you per pound of weight lost.

Assuming their weight loss claims are correct, and that if (and this is a big if) you were to take their products you would actually lose the amount of weight they say you will, then you can actually put a price on weight loss.

For instance, the very best claim that I have seen on a supplement is that you will lose about 15 pounds in 8 weeks. So, hypothetically if you took this product (we'll call it product X) for 8 weeks you would lose 15 pounds.

Now, with product X you had to take 4 pills per day and the bottle contained 80 pills.

Therefore, to take the product for the full 8 weeks you would need to buy 2.8 bottles, and since you can't buy .8 of a bottle, you'd have to buy 3 bottles.

You can buy fat burning supplements for a wide range of prices, but the average is around 29.99. However sometimes you can find the 29.99 ones on sale for as low as 25.99, so lets just say product X costs 25 dollars per bottle.

What do we get from all this math? Simple, according to the supplement industry losing 15 pounds should costs you 75 dollars (3 bottles in 8 weeks, at 25 dollars per bottle).

Or about 5 dollars per pound (And remember, this is assuming their products actually work!).

No wonder they are a multi billion dollar industry!!

Truthfully, weight loss shouldn't cost you this much. In my opinion there are only three things you need to lose weight, and once you have them, you can lose weight and maintain that weight loss for as long as you want without ever having to pay any more money.

Those three keys?

A proper diet that you can stick to long term, an exercise program that you find challenging, and supportive friends and family is all you need to lose weight.


PS- speaking of exercises, here are two cool videos from Craig Ballantyne of

Bodyweight workout
Fat Burning Workout

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

How to Prevent Vacation Weight Gain

I'm back, and it's snowing. Again. This winter has definitely made me start to think about relocating to somewhere warm, at least during the winter months.

(Are you kidding me!? I've got to shovel THAT just to get to the gym?)

The good news is I had a great vacation, and was able to spend a ton of time with the family. The other good news is that neither my wife nor I gained any weight, despite eating "vacation style" for 7 days.

We made a point of practicing the rare art of "fasting to avoid spending tons of cash at the airport" and made sure our fasts occurred during our flight to Florida, and during our flight home.

Worked like a charm.

So here's my tip...If you are planning on going on vacation, keep up your Eat Stop Eat regimen, but make sure to spend the 'travel days' fasting, it will cut down on costs, and lots of calories that you don't really need (I doubt any of us burn a lot of calories sitting on a plane).

Not only was it a great vacation, but last week was also full of some great reviews for Eat Stop Eat.

First, Craig Ballantyne shared some very positive reviews of Eat Stop Eat from his TTmembers site (you can read them here ==> Eat Stop Eat Feedback)

Then Eat Stop Eat was reviewed at Your New Body - You can read this review here ==> Eat Stop Eat Review

Finally, I read a great post at the Skwigg blog, where Skwigg stated that Eat Stop Eat has helped her become a "Happy Eater". (You can read Skwigg's post here ==> Happy Eater)

In an industry full of obsessive compulsive eating, nutritional scaremongering, and food confusion, nothing could make me happier than hearing someone describe themselves as a happy eater.

Really, this should be everyones goal.


No more counting calories to lose weight

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Did you read that blog post on intermitent fasting?

Greetings from Orlando, Florida!

After having enough of shoveling snow, horrible winter driving, and being cold all the time, I've taken a week off to visit West Gate Vacation Villas in Orlando Florida.

Brier traveled awesome in the plane, and has been a little gem for the whole vacation (she's saving up the drama for when she becomes a teenager!).

My wife and I both fasted on the days we flew. We figured this saved us a combined 20-30 dollars worth of food we definitely did not need to eat.

It's been a great week so far, and I've committed to doing as little work as possible.

(Hard at work doing the best kind of work possible!)

Yesterday I decided to check my email. Imagine my surprise when I found over a half dozen emails all on the same topic...

"Brad, did you see the post by Dr. Eades on the four day work week blog?"

Well, my curiosity was peaked and I took the time to read the posts. And honestly, I disagree with a lot of what was said. I even went so far as to post a comment (which I rarely do).

(I should point out that Eat Stop Eat is not just intermittent fasting. Its the combination of a flexible form of intermittent fasting combined with resistance training...and the resistance training part is very, very important.)

After posting, I stopped to think about the phenomena of the blogosphere and the internet. After some serious thought I have decided that I am no longer going to spend time defending Eat Stop Eat. It's a lesson in futility. Their will always be nay sayers, the concept of starvation mode will never go away, and some people will never be satisfied with the simplicity behind the concept of weight loss being as easy as finding a way that allows you to eat less with the least amount of hassle.

It is also very hard for me to argue because I will always have a vested monetary interest in Eat Stop Eat, so I can never be completely unbiased (although I always disclose this, even in lectures and seminars).

For these reasons I will spend my time promoting Eat Stop Eat, but not defending it. Promoting it allows me to reach people who are honestly looking for help, and who are looking for an easy and effective way to lose weight.

Defending Eat Stop Eat typically involves arguing the semantics of research, a practice that can be best described as focusing on the trees instead of the forest...or in this case its more like aruguing about the stroma in the leaves.

I will leave the debating up to capable people like Chris Highcock, Adam Steer, Martin Berkhan, and Matt Metzgar, all of whom I beleive to be very bright, well spoken and well educated in the area of intermittent fasting, but than can also be viewed as much more unbiased on the topic than I can.


PS- I've handed off my black berry for the rest of the trip...

(Busy screening Daddy's emails until we leave Florida)

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