Intermittent fasting has become a popular eating pattern across the globe, and it’s all thanks to its powerful health benefits. But, Intermittent fasting is not a single pattern where everyone follows the same protocol. We can easily say intermittent fasting is an umbrella term for dietary programs that share the same characteristics. One of those programs is Eat Stop Eat, and chances are high you’ve heard a thing or two about it.
What is Eat-Stop-Eat?
Eat Stop Eat is an approach to intermittent fasting which centers on sprinkling 24-hour fasts into an otherwise normal lifestyle. The approach was developed by Brad Pilon, author of the book Eat Stop Eat.
According to Pilon’s website, the book is a result of his graduate research at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. His research focused on the benefits of short-term fasting, where he discovered that many things he believed were truly turned out to be false. Pilon learned that when you eat has a bigger impact than what you eat.
While getting enough nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is important, beyond hitting those minimums, the details of what a person eats matter very little. Malnutrition just isn’t a problem for most people who have the time to read nutrition blogs, for example. However, simple tweaks regarding when you eat can make a huge difference in your health and body goals.
The author of ‘Eat Stop Eat’ claims that Eat-Stop-Eat will help you get the body of your dreams without too much stress. But How?
How does Eat-Stop-Eat work?
An Eat-Stop-Eat fast is quite simple. You fast for 24 hours and then eat normally for 2-7 days before your next fast.
Here’s an example: you have an early meal on Wednesday, then start fasting at 8 a.m. and fast until 8 a.m. on Thursday. You have a meal just before the beginning of the fast. Then, your next meal is at 8 a.m. on Thursday.
What’s Special About Eat-Stop-Eat?
There are two features of this style of fasting that make it so popular.
The first is that you can eat at least one meal every calendar day. In our example, you have breakfast on wednesday, and lunch & dinner on Thursday. With this method, you never have to wake up, fast all day, and then go to bed! That’s an important psychological benefit for many people and can make Eat-Stop-Eat easier to stick to.
A flexible schedule is the second prominent feature of this approach. You don’t have to follow the same schedule or pattern every week. The beauty of Eat-Stop-Eat is that you can do a 24-hour fast whenever you have time. That makes Eat-Stop-Eat a very flexible style of intermittent fasting.
Remember, fasting here involves abstaining from food only. You can drink water, and it is recommended to stay hydrated.
While you can eat during the remaining days of the week, you should still make wise choices. Don’t use your fast as an excuse for overeating or going overboard with unhealthy foods. But don’t restrict yourself to “diet foods.” The goal is that when you do eat, you eat the same satisfying meals you normally would.
What are the benefits of Eat-Stop-Eat?
The benefits of Eat-Stop-Eat are quite similar to those of other forms of intermittent fasting. We’re going to address them below.
Eat-Stop-Eat works primarily to improve your metabolism. When you decrease the eating window, you enter a fasting period where the body needs to use its own stored glycogen from carbs and fat as fuel. So, when stores of glucose and glycogen are used, the body enters a ketogenic state. In this state, the body burns fat for fuel to allow you to “function.” When you’re not in a ketogenic state, the body burns carbs for energy.
Eat-Stop-Eat may promote weight loss through a calorie deficit. After all, to slim down, you need to consume a lower number of calories than you burn during the day. Since you have to fast for 24 hours two days a week, you get to create a significant calorie deficit that allows you to slim down, especially with a faster metabolic rate. The periods of fasting also improve insulin sensitivity.
Better heart health
Reducing carbohydrates to achieve the state of ketosis can improve heart health. More specifically, ketosis can improve levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, all of which are crucial for cardiovascular health. At the same time, it lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. More research is necessary as current studies didn’t examine the role of 24 hours fast specifically, but the ketogenic state in general.
· Simple to implement
· You choose when to fast
· May improve type 2 diabetes through increased insulin sensitivity
What are the downsides of Eat-Stop-Eat?
Potential downsides of Eat-Stop-Eat include:
· Cravings for food
· May cause a drop in blood sugar
· Making a transition to an eating program that involves fasting for 24 hours may seem stressful at first
Eat-Stop-Eat is a type of intermittent fasting that may induce various health benefits ranging from improved metabolism to better heart health. The approach could have some downsides too. If you’re taking medications, you may want to consult your doctor before embarking on this journey.
To make your fasting easier, you may want to try our fasting mints, specifically designed to curb your cravings by using the “anti-munchie” cannabinoid.