We did a little research on social media and discovered that there are certain questions which crop up time and again. We went and saw how Brad Pilon has answered them on social media and blog posts. Here are the main Eat Stop Eat diet questions, their answers and some basic concepts:What happens if I get hungry?
Well, nothing happens if you get hungry, you just … get hungry! What is very interesting about a 24 hour fast is that you are able to understand when you are really hungry (because your body needs food) or when you are “hungry” for psychological reasons. A lot of people get “hungry” around meal times. This is not because your body suddenly needs food, but because your mind knows that you are about to eat. There can also be other circumstances that make you “hungry”; for some people it is stress, for others it can be social occasions. So, if you are on a fast it can be a good idea to be aware of which circumstances are causing “hunger”.
Is it best to fast every other day or once a week?
Brad Pilon recommends fasting once or twice a week. He says it is not metabolically wrong to fast every second day or three times a week but he feels it becomes challenging and cannot really be kept up for long. If you are fasting once or twice a week you can arrange it around your social engagements and this allows for a very flexible and long-term eating plan.
Do I lose more weight exercising or fasting?
What a lot of people don’t realize is that the metabolic reactions to fasting are the same that happen during exercise; the insulin levels drop, growth hormone levels go up and free fatty acids are released from the body into the blood. During exercise and fasting you will thus have fat burning happening. Also you will have an increase in muscular metabolism with amino acids moving in and out. Norepinephrine and epinephrine levels increase in both circumstances. So in both cases your body is in a fat burning state with the only difference that the fasting lasts 24 hours and the exercise usually not more than two. Of course during exercise you have a bigger increase in metabolic rate so hypothetically you would lose more weight with 24 hours of exercise than with 24 hours of fasting. On the whole, training an hour a day, in a fasted or a fed state, brings the best long-term fat burning results.
How and when do I stop eating?
For everyone it’s different, the best thing is to start off by experimenting. Some people have no trouble going to sleep on an empty stomach but feel they need food on the morning. If that is your case you could try a 10.00 am or 12.00pm starting time. If you are okay about not eating when you wake up but prefer to eat before bed you can try a 7.00pm starting time. The important thing is that you go for 24 hours. During the first few weeks you can do a 12 hour fast, then an 18 hour fast and finally a 24 hour fast when you feel you can manage it.
What can I drink while I’m fasting?
The best thing to drink whilst fasting is water because it will help you cleanse your system of all the toxins which are released during the fat burning process. You may also drink black coffee, tea and herb teas. You can drink sparkling water and flavored water, as long as it doesn’t contain sugar and you can drink diet drinks. Avoid fruit juices as these are quite high in calories.
What can I eat while I’m fasting?
Brad Pilon says he often gets asked this question. He says that there are some foods that are considered “no calorie” like sugar free jelly or certain vegetables. However, the point of the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle is to get your body used to eating only when you’re actually hungry and not when habit is playing tricks on your stomach. That is why he advises not to eat any food at all during the 24 hour period.
The biggest hurdle to overcome when fasting is to break the body’s habits. Actually eating at regular times is not natural because right up until the agricultural revolution people would eat when they managed to hunt or gather their food. How resilient our body is depends on our age and on our mental attitude, but sooner or later everyone can become fully accustomed to fasting because it is something our body is built to cope with.