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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

The Intermittent
FASTING
Cheat Sheet
M

By Yuri Elkaim

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

Intermittent fasting is arguably the least expensive and most powerful


healing method we can incorporate into our lives.
Every religion has an element Thus, they ate what was And, if anything, fasting from
of fasting—whether it’s freshly available. time to time is more “natural”
30 days of Ramadan or and healthier than constantly
But sometimes they couldn’t
a one day Yum Kippur fast. eating 3–4 (or more) meals
find anything to eat, and
Our ancient ancestors were per day. I’ll show you proof
their bodies evolved to be
definitely on to something. further below.
able to function without
We humans have been food for extended periods of First, let’s answer the most
fasting since we first walked time. Today, we still have this common questions about
the earth. Our paleolithic same biology — we haven’t fasting and then I’ll show
ancestors didn’t have the evolved at all. you the 3 main ways do
luxury of 24/7 convenience intermittent fasting properly.
stores, a Starbucks on every
corner, or even refrigerators
to store their food.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

1. What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of


eating and not eating. It’s not a diet that says “eat this, not that”, but rather
you don’t eat any food for a certain length of time — usually 16–24 hours.

There are a number of different types of intermittent fasting


(highlighted below), but they all serve the same purpose — to
allow your body time without food to spend more of its energy
on internal healing and repair—something that cannot happen
when you’re constantly in a fed state.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

2. Who is Intermittent Fasting


For?

Intermittent fasting is really meant for anyone who is serious about


improving their health and losing weight without overhauling their diet.

It’s also for those who want that extra edge to burning fat while
maintaining their muscle (shouldn’t we all?).

It’s completely safe to do (when done properly based on how I’ll


show you in a second) and provides enormous benefits so it’s
really just a matter of committing to it, trying it out, and seeing if it’s
something you want to do regularly.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

3. What Are Some of Its Benefits?

There are literally


dozens of benefits! If
you’re wondering how
to do intermittent
fasting to get the most
bang for your buck,
check out some of these
incredible benefits —
all backed by science,
including:

• Increased Life Expectancy (1)

• Improved Hormone Profile(2,3)

• Faster Weight Loss. (4,5)

And much more!

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

4. Why Is It Effective?

A 2014 review of the literature showed intermittent fasting’s powers


come from its impact on adaptive cellular responses that reduce oxidative
damage and inflammation, optimize energy metabolism, and improve
cellular production.
The review showed that
in rodents, intermittent
fasting was able to
protect against diabetes,
cancers, heart disease and
neurodegeneration, while
in humans it helps reduce
obesity, hypertension, asthma,
and rheumatoid arthritis. (6)

An earlier study conducted


in 2005 published in the
Journal of Nutritional
Biochemistry revealed that
the beneficial effects of
intermittent fasting result from
at least two mechanisms:
reduced oxidative damage
and increased cellular
Fasting also triggers the the house — a process you’d
stress resistance. (7)
process of autophagy, which hope would be taking place in
Basically, that means that it breaks down and recycles your body on a frequent basis.
helps your body deal with dysfunctional proteins and
Hopefully, this gives you
stress, which includes being cellular debris. (8)
a better understanding of how
able to better cope with
This is similar to taking out the intermittent works its magic
fasting (which is a form of
trash and cleaning up around inside your body.
stress) itself.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

5. Why Does Intermittent


Fasting Help to Burn Fat?

In case you’re interested in the science, here are the “physiological” ways
intermittent fasting helps you burn fat faster:

• Increased uncoupling Basically, not eating tells


protein-3 mRNA (important your body to rely more
for the production of heavily on its fat stores. This
energy inside the cell) is a similar phenomenon
experienced with consistent
• Increased norepinephrine
exercise training.
and epinephrine levels,
which increases fat Basically, your body becomes
breakdown “smarter” and understands
that, in order to maintain
• Increased glucagon levels,
blood sugar and spare muscle
which breaks down fat
and liver glycogen (stored
• Increased growth hormone carbohydrates) for potential
levels, which preserves immediate use, it’s better off
muscle mass and thus relying on fat, which naturally
a healthy metabolic rate provides more energy
which in turn burns more fat (9 calories per gram) versus
carbohydrates or protein
• Increased activation of
(4 calories per gram each).
hormone sensitive lipase

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

6. What Should I Eat After My


Intermittent Fast?

One of the most important steps in learning how to do intermittent fasting is


figuring out how to ease back into eating.
When you finish your fast you There is no magic way to end
need to pretend that your your fast. The absolute best
fast never happened. No thing you can do is simply
compensation, no reward, no pretend your fast never
special way of eating, and no happened and begin eating
all-out binges. in the exact way you would
normally eat at that specific
The minute you decide to
time of day.
stop fasting, simply wipe the
fast from your memory, and One thing I have noticed
eat the exact way you would though with many clients is that
normally eat at that specific they tend to “crave” healthier
time of the day (while eating foods at the end of their fast.
responsibly of course).
As a result, they end up
If you end your fast at choosing a green smoothie
dinnertime, have dinner. If or a healthy snack instead
you end your fast at 4:00pm of devouring a large pizza
and you don’t typically have (as you might think would
dinner until 6:00 or 7:00pm, happen after not eating
then have a light snack … but anything all day).
nothing larger than you would
normally have at that time.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

7. Is Intermittent Fasting Bad


for My Blood Sugar?

The truth about having low blood sugar is that it is not nearly as common as we
are often led to believe. But obviously check with your doctor if you’re uncertain.
For the vast majority of
the healthy population, we
are easily able to maintain
healthy blood sugars that are
neither too-high nor too-low
in a whole range of different
situations, including fasting
and intense exercise.

In research examining the


effects of a 24 hour fast, it
was found that fasting did not
cause blood sugar levels to dip
below 3.5 mmol/Liter, meaning
that during the entire 24 fast,
blood sugar slowly lowered
itself, but remained at normal
non-hypoglycemic levels. (10)

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

8. Can I Exercise When


Intermittent Fasting?

I absolutely encourage you to practice as many different types of exercise


as possible. Just like nutrition, I think variety is the key to exercise and
both yoga and mountain biking are excellent examples of exercises that
complement intermittent fasting.
As long as you are doing some
form of resistance training
at least two or three times
a week you will not lose
muscle since intermittent
fasting actually increases
growth hormone, which helps
preserve muscle.

One thing you may notice is if


you work out on day in which
you’re fasting, your energy
levels may be a little lower.

That’s because the workout


will be tapping into lowered
glycogen reserves, which
means you may fatigue
sooner than on a traditional
“eating” day.
However, exercising, especially for short durations at high
intensity, in a fasted state is a secret weapon I would strongly
encourage you to explore as it will accelerate fat loss
tremendously (more on that below).

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

9. Why Do I Get Hungry When


Intermittent Fasting?

Well, you’re not eating any food so naturally your stomach might experience
the odd growl here and there.

Additionally, your hunger hormone ghrelin responds to a lack


of food in the stomach, which will naturally have it firing on all
cylinders, making your brain think you’re starving.

Hunger pangs usually dissipate after your first 2–3 fasts as your
body adjusts.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

10. Why Do I Get a Headache


When Intermittent Fasting?

First of all, not everyone does.


But there has been a lot of
research on Ramadan fasting
and headaches. (11) It seems
that women are particularly
susceptible to headaches
while fasting.

This is not due to dehydration


and may actually be similar
to withdrawal symptoms,
similar to the headaches you
experience when you quit
drinking coffee cold-turkey.

From my experience, if you


experience headaches they do
tend to go away after your first
couple of fasts.

If needed, you can treat your


headache as you normally
would when not fasting. Just
remember to drink lots of water
and get some fresh air during
your fast (and in general).

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

11. Can I Drink When


Intermittent Fasting?

Yes you can but make sure there are no calories.

That also doesn’t mean Some people tell you that Instead, focus on drinking
drinking diet soda is ok, black coffee is ok to drink plenty of water and/or any
because it’s not. Just drink during a fast but I wouldn’t herbal teas that you enjoy
water or herbal tea. advise that. Yes, the caffeine without the use of milk, sugar,
in the coffee will skyrocket or sweeteners. Remember, this
your epinephrine which can is a day of “rest” for your body
assist with fat loss, but since so that means no calories of
I don’t advise drinking coffee any kind.
in general, you’re better off
without it, especially when its
caffeine isn’t buffered by food.

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12. Can I Still Take My


Supplements When
Intermittent Fasting?

You can but I would give your body a break for the day. So if you’re
taking multivitamins, fish oil, probiotics, etc … just take a day off from
supplementation.

This may also help prevent your body from developing


sensitivities to commonly consumed supplements and
ingredients that can occur with continued consumption of
literally any food product.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

13. How Often Should I Do


Intermittent Fasting?

This really depends on the type you’re using but if you’re following my 1-day fast,
then once per week is plenty. Some people choose to do TWO 24-hour fasts per
week and have seen great results doing so, but I would say that’s the maximum.

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14. Why Do I Get Cold When


Intermittent Fasting?

Fasting increases the blood flow to your body fat (the process is called
adipose tissue blood flow). (12)

So when you are fasting, more blood is travelling to your body


fat, presumably to help move it to your muscles where it can be
burned as a fuel. Due to this increased travel to your body fat,
vasoconstriction occurs in your fingertips and sometimes toes
to compensate.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

15. Will Intermittent Fasting


Slow Down My Metabolism?

In spite of all the fat burning benefits I’ve already mentioned, you might still
be wondering whether or not intermittent fasting will slow your metabolism
to a halt.
After all, you’ve probably been who even fasted every other The bottom line is that food, or
told that you have to eat every day (alternate day fasting) for the lack thereof (at least in the
2–3 hours or your metabolism 22 days had no decrease in short term), has virtually nothing
will shut down and you’ll store their resting metabolic rate. to do with your metabolism.
fat. Thankfully, that couldn’t
In addition, people who were In fact, your metabolism
be more untrue.
on very-low-calorie diets is much more closely tied
In a 2000 study published in and on a resistance exercise to your body weight, and
the American Journal of Clin- program (i.e., lifting weights) did specifically your muscle mass.
ical Nutrition, subjects went not see a decrease in resting If your body fat (and thus your
through 4 days of fasting to metabolic rate, and these lean mass) goes up or down,
determine the impact on their people were eating only 800 so does your metabolism.
resting energy expenditure, calories a day for 12 weeks! (14)
Bringing a few of these studies
which is the amount of energy
to your attention has hopefully
your body needs to carry out
shown you that short-term fast-
all of its basic functions when
ing can provide incredible ben-
you’re resting.
efits without worrying about it
The findings would surprise sabotaging your metabolism.
most people: for the first 3 days, In still more studies, there was
There’s nothing to be
the subjects all saw their no change in the metabolic
scared of, and hopefully, I’ve
resting energy expenditure rate of people who skipped
eased any misconceptions
(metabolism) increase! (13) breakfast, or people who ate
you’ve had about how to do
two meals a day compared to
In another study by a different intermittent fasting and its
seven meals per day. (15)
group of researchers, people impact on your metabolism.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

16. Is Intermittent Fasting Safe


for Women?

This is the biggest area of controversy when it comes to how to do


intermittent fasting.
Those who caution women term fasting on the menstrual
against intermittent fasting cycle of women.
state that studies show that
These research studies found
it negatively impacts fertility.
that despite the metabolic
And that’s true.
changes that occur during
Unfortunately, what most of fasting, even fasts as long as 72
these people fail to realize is hours do not seem to have an
that ALL of these studies use effect on the menstrual cycle of
“alternate day” fasting protocols normal cycling women. (16)
be safe, healthy, and effective
where women are literally
Interestingly, even longer fasts at burning fat in women of all
eating nothing every other day!
have been shown to have little shapes and sizes.
No wonder their hormones impact on the menstrual cycle
But again, we’re not going
get messed up and have of normal weight women.
crazy with this and only fasting
fertility issues.
There is research, however, for no longer than 24 hours.
Remember, I’m advising to suggest that longer fasts
Nonetheless, if you’re a wom-
a 1-day fast — once per week — (72 hours) can affect the men-
an and still unsure whether
which is much, much safer and strual cycle of exceptionally
or not intermittent fasting is
I’ve yet to see any negative lean women (body fat levels
right for you, then my advice
effects in the thousands of well below 20%). (17,18)
would be to inch yourself into
women that I’ve helped with
Overall, there’s a lot of it so that you’re fasting for
intermittent fasting.
research (even some of the 8–10 hours at a time. Then
There is some research that “alternate day” studies) that gradually increase that length
looked at the effect of short- show intermittent fasting to of time as you see fit.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

17. Is intermittent fasting safe if


a person has hypothyroid?

In general you should be fine if your fast is no longer than 24 hours. Here’s
what you should know: since the circadian rhythm is affected by both
food and light exposure, lifestyle practices can enhance natural circadian
rhythms. These practices should optimize the circadian cycle:
Light entrainment: Get daytime
sun exposure, and sleep in
a totally darkened room.

Daytime feeding: Eat during


daylight hours, so that food
rhythms and light rhythms are
in synch.

Intermittent fasting:
Concentrate food intake
during an 8-hour window
during daylight hours,
preferably the afternoon.
A 16-hour fast leading to
lower blood sugar and
insulin levels, and the more
intense hormonal response
to food that results from
concentration of daily calories
into a short 8-hour time
window, will accentuate the
diurnal rhythm. Adequate carb intake: this will be taken care of on other days
where you’re eating plenty of healthy carbs.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

18. Is fasting not a good idea if


you have adrenal fatigue?

It will depend on the individual but if you’ve got full blown AF you may
want to do a shorter fast and have something small throughout the day to
stabilize your blood sugar.

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3 Ways To Do Intermittent
Fasting

Here, I’ll explain how to do intermittent fasting through three different


methods and I’ll tell you which one I employ on a weekly basis in addition to
being a prominent feature in The All-Day Fat Burning Diet.

Option #1: Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting


Alternate day intermittent And it makes sense since
fasting is basically fasting every you’re not eating half the
other day for a 24-hour period. time, which is not advisable,
For instance, you would eat especially for women for
normally on Monday, fast whom carbs and caloric intake
Tuesday, eat Wednesday, are important for hormones
fast Thursday, eat Friday, fast and fertility.
Saturday, and so on.
If this is the first method you
This style of intermittent try as you figure out how to do
fasting is the most popular intermittent fasting, my fear
form used in research studies, is that it will be too difficult
but from what I have seen it for you and you’ll give it up
isn’t very popular in the real altogether.
world. I’ve never tried alternate
The truth is, it’s just not
day fasting myself and I don’t
sustainable for most people
plan to do so.
unless you enjoy feeling
In my eyes, it’s a bit excessive miserable 50% of your life. As
and many of the negative a result, I think you’re better off
effects seen in some women using either (or a combination)
while fasting tend to be related of the following two
to this type of fasting. intermittent fasting methods.

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Option #2: 16/8 Daily Fasting


With this type of intermittent
fasting you fast for 16 hours
and eat during the remaining 8.

The fasted phase should last


through the night and during
the morning hours. Ideally, the
fast should then be broken
at noon or shortly thereafter
if you wake up at 6–7am like
most people. Afternoons and
evenings are usually spent in
the fed state.

To be quite honest, even


though I only do a committed
fast once per week, I probably
do 16/8 fast — inadvertently —
2–3 times per week mostly
because I don’t feel like
eating anything until about
lunch time.

It doesn’t matter when you


start your 8-hour eating period.
You can start at 8am and stop
at 4pm. Or you start at 2pm
and stop at 10pm. Do whatever
works for you. Based on my
schedule, I tend to eat around
1pm and 5pm most days.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

Option #3: The 1-Day Fast


As the name implies, this Don’t beat yourself up. If A lot of times you’ll recognize
is a 1-day fast — typically you’ve fasted 14, 17, 20, or that you’re not hungry but
18–24 hours in length. however many hours, just be rather anxious, bored, or in
happy with the fact that you’ve a “conditioned” situation
I initially learned about it from
given your body a “breather” (like working at your desk)
my good buddy, Brad Pilon,
to do some much needed where you would normally
and have adopted it ever
cleansing and healing. be snacking on food. This
since. It’s also the type of
awareness alone is worth
intermittent fasting that Please remember as well that
doing a 1-day fast.
I recommend in The All-Day your first 1-day fast will likely
Fat Burning Diet. be a challenge, especially if Whichever type of intermittent
you’re used to eating all the fasting you choose, the
Here, instead of fasting every
time. However, it will also be additional benefit it provides
day or every other day, you
one of the most rewarding you is a little more flexibility
simply fast once per week. I’ve
experiences you go through as with your diet.
found this to be most realistic
you’ll a lot about why you eat.
and sustainable for most You don’t need to be a food
people. nazi and nitpick every single
thing you eat as a weekly fast
To make it easy on yourself,
can help clean up some of the
simply start your fast after
junk. But also don’t use that
dinner so that by the time you
as a hall pass to eat whatever
wake up the next morning
you want at your other meals
you’ve already completed
throughout the week.
about 12 hours of your fast.
Then, if you can make it Whether you’re a man or
on water and/or herbal tea woman, the benefits of fasting
until mid-afternoon or early are simply too numerous to
evening, you’re golden. ignore. So how do you get
started? Well, here’s an excerpt
Having coached thousands of
from my book The All-Day Fat
people through this process,
Burning Diet, in which a 1-day
let me say that being hard on
fast plays a prominent role in
yourself for not making it the
helping you get and stay lean.
full 24 hours is not a good idea.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

“I’m very aware that the mere If you’re anything like me, you
mention of the term fasting might not feel hungry in the
terrifies many people, conjuring morning. There’s a good chance
up images of intense suffering this will happen considering
and starvation. They picture how much you stuffed yourself
themselves waking up in the the day before. So much for
morning and starting their 24- breakfast. If you can make it to
hour timer, anxiously counting lunch on a few glasses of water,
down the milliseconds until then you’ve just knocked out 14
they can have the first bite of hours of your fast.
their post-fast meal. Others
And if you can make it to at
can’t even fathom the idea of
least 4pm, that’s 18 hours.
going a full day without food.
You’re really on fire at this point.
It really doesn’t have to be so Maybe you can have a cup of
awful, and there’s an approach peppermint tea as a reward.
that actually makes it quite After all, this is when the
doable. In fact, it’s what I do. It’s massive health benefits from
a bit of a cheat, but it doesn’t your short-term fast really start
lessen the benefits of your fast, to kick in.
so I say give it a go. The day
For example, if you had a big At this point, if you really
before your 1-Day Fast is your
dinner around 7pm, your body can’t take it, you can have a
1-Day Feast. On that day, about
would be in a “semi-fasted” smoothie or smaller meal to
3 hours after you’ve enjoyed the
state by the time 10pm rolls break your fast. However, if
last bite of your last meal for
around. Consider that the you really want to win, power
the day, start the timer on your
kickoff of your fast. Hit the sack through to dinner without
1-Day Fast.
and sleep for 7 to 8 hours. By taking a bite. Once you reach
the time you wake up, you’ve 10pm, you’ve made it. You’ve
completed one-third of your successfully completed your
day’s fast without batting an fast and you can go to bed
eyelash, literally. dreaming about breakfast.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

If you can’t wait until morning What makes it all a whole lot When you consciously make
to eat, I recommend a small easier is simply making the the decision that tomorrow
high-protein meal or, better decision to do it. Most people will be a fast day, you activate
yet, a protein shake with a few have a tough time without food a new mechanism inside
carbs about an hour before because they’re constantly yourself. You’re forced to let
you go to sleep. That way, you thinking about what they’ll your innards recharge while
provide essential proteins to eat next. In the middle of a you reflect on the bad eating
your muscles, while keeping stressful day, that just feels habits with which you’ve
your tummy satisfied until like too much to handle, as the been self-medicating. Fasting
morning. The 1-Day Fast isn’t satisfaction that comes from is such a profound tool for
easy, but it’s not impossible a delicious meal — even one deep change. No wonder
either, and when you stay that’s not good for you — helps people have been turning to
focused on the benefits, it people soothe their blues away. it for centuries.”
becomes a lot more doable. When that food isn’t there, they
Can you do this? I bet you can. start panicking.
There you go. That’s
all you need to start
intermittent fasting.

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

19. How to Do Intermittent
Fasting for Weight Loss?

Similar to what I described above, the easiest way to do intermittent fasting


for weight loss is to simply do it just once per week.
Although a lot of the research
on fasting has used “alternate
day” fasting where you
basically don’t eat every other
day (which is crazy if you ask
me), you can still see noticeable
fat loss results with just a single
day of fasting each week.

So finish dinner and start your


fast thereafter. Then, if you can
make it through to the next
day’s dinner you’re golden.
Remember, when your body is
in a fasted state is starts to rely
more on its fat stores for fuel.

Thus, it helps you become


a fat burner instead of sugar
burner who is constantly
craving food. It’s a very
freeing process.

Here’s another strategy you


can use to speed your weight
loss while intermittent fasting:

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The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet

At any point of your day,


do 5–10 minutes of high
intensity interval training
to increase your body’s
release of catecholamines.
These are your fight-
or-flight hormones—
specifically, epinephrine and
norepinephrine—released
by the adrenal glands in
response to stress like high
intensity training.

One of the roles of these


hormones is to break down
And if you want to take your fat Basically, the most fat was
stored fat in your body into
burning to the next level, then burned post-workout. But
free fatty acids that can then
after you finish your intervals, again, workout intensity sets
be converted into energy. This
spend 30 minutes or more the stage for this to happen.
intense exercise also depletes
going for a nice easy walk or
your glycogen stores much So, to really take advantage
bike ride to burn up those free
more readily. of this fat-burning window,
fatty acids (from broken-down
I strongly recommend
As glycogen is depleted, your fat) that have flooded into
following your high intensity
body must rely further on your bloodstream.
intervals with 30 minutes
burning fat for energy.
Post-workout is when your (or more) of low-intensity
You do not get this body, since it’s recovering, really cardio like walking.
catecholamine response with relies on those fats for fuel.
This will help shuttle those
low-intensity exercise. (If the
For instance, a 2008 study free fatty acids floating around
word intensity scares you,
showed that even though in your bloodstream into your
don’t be alarmed. You’ll only
carbohydrates were the muscles to be burned as fuel.
be doing 5 to 10-second bouts
predominant fuel source
interspersed with nice and
during the actual workout, for
easy recovery.)
more than 3 hours afterwards,
fats became the main
contributor to energy. (9)

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