Hi, my name is Bob. Aside from being a great workout partner I also sell insurance. A very unique insurance in fact and my rates are very reasonable.
Let’s first talk about what other sorts of insurance you may currently have.
Do you have house or tenant insurance? “Well, yes, I do. I need that in case of fire, theft or the situations like this slippery ice on my sidewalk where liability may be a factor.”
How about life insurance? “No, my wife doesn’t need to get rich off me dying and we don’t have any kids.” Hmmm, I see. I understand that situation but you may wish to consider a small amount of insurance that would help her face the short-term (1 year) financial burden of such a situation. I have a friend in that business that could help. “Sure, shoot me his info; I’ll take a look into it.”
Now how about Critical Illness and Disability insurances? You realize 1/3 of all people die of some form of cancer and that a great many of them if caught early enough are treatable which is quite costly. Critical Illness insurance covers this along with a great deal more illnesses we commonly face. And while I wholly agree with your attitude towards life insurance, Disability insurance is very important. Most people in accidents don’t die, they get injured. Now of course we have WCB and ICBC for work and car insurance but I’m sure you’ve heard of how hard they work for the average Joe. “Those are some good points. Do you have any more information on prices?” Actually, I have a contact for that as well. But a great book on this whole subject is called Die Broke by Stephen Pollan and Mark Levine and I think it will give you some peace of mind to look at money in this manner.
Okay, let’s move on to health insurance. Do you have a good extended health plan with your employer? “Yes, both my wife and I have pretty decent plans.” Excellent, make sure you’re milking them for those massage, chiro and other services!!
How about fat loss insurance? Are you covered there?
I know a half-dozen people who will most likely put out a hit on my life for suggesting I touch their food intakes but hey, do what you like, I’m just going to argue the pros and cons.
What is fasting? Well, it’s easier to answer the question: “What is eating/feeding?”
Fasting is the complete opposite of that last question. It’s a period of time where zero calories are entering the body. Plain and simple.
Fasting in some manner has been going on since the spawn of humans. It happens everywhere in the animal kingdom. It’s natural. There are times you’re eating and there are times you are not. There are times when the wolf catches its prey and there are times it’s out there searching. The conundrum of modern life for humans is that it’s become FAR too easy to catch our prey by opening up our refrigerator or cupboards.
It wasn’t always like that; even 150 years ago and we’ve been on this planet for near a half million years. And obesity, like gout, was only seen in the wealthy, greedy and laziest of people. The citizens of the third world are right to look at the obesity epidemic in industrialized nations as absurd. I mean what parent hasn’t used the infamous “there are kids starving in Ethiopia right now that would kill to eat your dinner!” “Yes mom, but do I really have to eat these brussels sprouts?”
Humans for the most part were hunter/gatherers. We evolved and developed agriculture. Somehow in this past 150 years that’s turned into McDonald’s Extra Value menus, chocolate bars, eating out of cardboard boxes and my favorite obscenity: the delivery and cheer of a co-worker who brings Tim Horton’s assorted donuts to work instead of a veggie or fruit platter.
We used to have to work to get our food. Now, we just pay. With our health mostly.
I’m not the authority on such a subject but try Googling religious fasting. You’ll find it’s been used in that manner a great deal as well.
The point is, we’ve been doing it for a half million years as a species, and somehow Kraft Dinner and Kashi cereal and the never-going-more-than-4-hours-without-food-or-our-precious-muscle-will-spontaneously-combust mentality became a better option.
Back to the topic at hand
I’ve already explained the logic of fasting above. Plain and simple, it’s natural. It always was.
Let me drive home some selling points and I urge you to read all the way through before jumping on the bandwagon as there are some serious warnings I must include and there is a percentage of the population that absolutely should never fast for any real length of time. But first let’s talk about the nitty-gritty, how-to’s of fasting.
Methods of Fasting
There are quite a few different suggested ways floating around out there on how to fast and for different goals. Being that the main goal I’m discussing is weight loss/fat loss/weight management/health, I will only be talking about two methods I’ve used, suggested to clients and watched them succeed with.
The Hard, Yet Most Effective Method: I’m not going to do Brad Pilon an injustice by explaining everything (hows/whys(like insulin receptor sensitivity increases)/research) found in his fantastic easy read ebook called Eat-Stop-Eat. Instead I suggest you just purchase it and get your learn on. But the take home method was essentially a 24hour fast every 5th-7th day. Now that’s not like you wake up on Thursday and just don’t eat. Trust me you won’t make it and it’s not advisable. Instead you simply choose a 24 hour time period where you have zero calories coming in. I always suggest going from either lunch to lunch the next day, or dinner to dinner the next day. It takes some experimenting to find out what works better for you. Personally, I found it “easier” to do lunch to lunch the next day for when I got hungry that night I would just go to bed earlier (probably a good thing anyway) and when I woke I would simply count down the hours until I got to eat lunch again.
The Easy, Slightly Less Effective Method: I learned quickly (think flying daggers towards my head) that some people just can’t hack the above 24hour suggestion. So I had to come up with a different, more reasonable suggestion. Now, you need to hear me when I say it’s only 60-75% as effective as the Eat-Stop-Eat method. Essentially, you find a 16hour period, every 4th-5th day where you have zero calories coming in. The easy way to go: 8pm – 12noon the next day. That’s pretty doable for most people. You eat dinner, pass on breakfast and those damn Tim Horton’s donuts your evil co-worker brought to work and then eat a healthy lunch.
The Big But(t?)
I can easily count a dozen people on my hands that do this 16hour fasting method every day. Every single day they do this. You know, the type that skips breakfast and instead chews 3 pots of coffee with fattening French vanilla coffee additive to the mix instead. Look, before you even consider fasting you need to be eating enough to support your function anyway.
A GREAT DEAL OF THE TIME, IT’S NOT THAT YOU EAT TOO MUCH, IT COULD ACTUALLY BE YOU DON’T EAT ENOUGH!
Generally speaking those people fall into the category of “skinny fat.” Or worse: “binge eaters” who go so long without food in their day because they are “too busy” so for dinner they instead eat a giant lettuce-only salad with insane amounts of fattening caesar dressing and finish it off with half a pint of ice cream before bed. Now they’ve only eaten 1000 calories that day, if lucky but yet they still keep gaining “skinny fat.” Hmm, I wonder why.
Look, learn to eat to support a healthy metabolism. Get your protein, healthy carbs like fruits and veggies and limit processed foods and sugars. When you get that part of the equation right this fasting thing may work for you. Until then, you’re bordering on anorexia. If you have no idea how to eat for a proper metabolism you may want to consult with someone like Scott Abel or Wet Wolf.
Math Is Fun!
I’m going to do the math on the Eat-Stop-Eat plan. The 16hour suggestion is roughly 60-75% as effective so do some of your own math after on that one. One number we need to keep in mind is 1lb of fat equates to roughly 3500 calories.
Let’s go with the most effective strategy: a 24 hour fast done every 5th day.
Okay: that means every month I’m roughly going to perform 6 fasts.
Alright for the average dude eating 2000 calories in a day, those 6 fasts in the month will equate to a total of 12,000 calories he would not have normally taken in. So if I take 12,000 calories divided by 3500 calories (1lb of fat’s worth) that should, in a perfect world, mean this person would lose 3.4lbs this month only from doing fasting. Add in exercise, appropriate sleep levels, etc and you see this means more.
Let’s then take the average babe and she’s trucking along at around 1650 calories a day and also performs those 6 x 24 hours fasts in a month. Well, she passing on 9,900 calories that would have otherwise been taken in; divide that by the 3500 cals in 1lb of fat and you get roughly 2.8lbs of, in a perfect world, fat loss. Again, add in exercise, appropriate sleep levels, some de-stressing techniques and you should see a pretty sweet picture.
The reality is, that this is not a perfect world and that the results of the above math are more like 80% of that as we tend to eat more going into or coming out of a fast. Those who use fasting are also not afraid to go have a nice meal once a week to treat themselves. But still 2-3lbs every month in extra fat loss insurance…sign me up!
The cost of this fat loss insurance? Nothing. Zero. Zilch. In fact you’ll save a ton of money!
Fasting may be, the only insurance that actually pays you!
Listen to me VERY CAREFULLY…I’m not a doctor. I’m not a certified nutritionist. I’m not a registered dietician. Everything I know I read elsewhere, experimented with myself and suggested others experimented and got some feedback on the subject. So you need to take what I say with a handful of grains of salt.
Rule 1: No eating does NOT mean you shouldn’t be drinking water. In fact you should drink a lot (again, not extreme). But calorie free, means that. Coffee, served black is calorie free. Add anything to it, even artificial sweeteners and you change this equation. Most teas are also calorie free or so low it won’t matter. But adding milk would. So don’t do that.
If you are unsure whether you should perform regular fasting, don’t. Go see your doctor and discuss this. Hell, print this article and ask their opinion on the methods I talked about above.
If you’re diabetic, don’t even think about fasting.
If you take ANY medication, especially the kind that say to take with food (because many require fats and carb based insulin spikes to absorb!) then either do not fast period OR again, use your noggin’ and go talk with your doctor.
If you are an athlete or workout enthusiast, from experience don’t workout mid-fast. Your performance will suck and it could be dangerous. Plot your fasting on a time period you do not have any training going on. Also, I highly suggest you use Surge Workout Fuel for your workouts to maintain adequate blood sugar and electrolyte levels; this stuff is awesome!!
If you’re pregnant or think you may be, obviously, do not fast!
If you have low blood pressure, fasting is probably not a good choice for fat loss!
USE COMMON SENSE or go ask your doctor. Period!
“What about…?” “What if I just….instead?” “Could I do…..instead”
Look, I’m not your daddy. Do what you like. Be smart about it. Go educate yourself about what I’m talking about here. Discuss your decisions with your doctor.
The most effective way to fast is to take in zero calories for 24 hours, every 5th day until you achieve a weight you wish to maintain and then I have seen good results with people changing to a 24 hour fast every 7th day.
Every time you downgrade from this, meaning you must have sugar in your coffee or you would rather select the 16 hours fasts instead, just know you are lessening the effectiveness. These insane questions like “What if I just take in BCAA powder?” or “What about Splenda in my coffee?” or “What if I just ate fruit only?” ALL change the equations and lessen the effectiveness.
I’m not your daddy. Do what you like. Be smart about it. Go educate yourself about what I’m talking about here. Discuss your decisions with your doctor. Use common sense. Heed my warnings in the WARNING section above.
Oh wait, I already said all that.
Any other reasonable questions, leave a comment.