Intermittent fasting is an excellent way to lose weight, maintain weight, improve your insulin levels, eliminate insulin resistance, increase hormone levels, and more! Our clients have great success losing weight fast with the HCG Diet injections, then they transfer over to Intermittent Fasting to help them keep the weight off! You can do intermittent fasting during or after any of our weight loss programs such as the HCG Diet, Sermorelin Therapy, Lipotropic Injections, etc.
Please learn more about intermittent fasting below with our guide.
A Guide to Intermittent Fasting
(Preferably After Finishing the HCG Diet)
What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?
The word “Intermittent” is defined as “occurring at irregular intervals”. The word fasting is an act in which one refrains from a certain activity for a specific period of time. Simply put, Intermittent Fasting is refraining from food for a certain time period.
IF has two components
- A fasting period: time interval in which you refrain from eating
- A feeding window: time interval in which you can eat.
What Intermittent Fasting (IF) is not?
- IF is not a magic bullet for weight loss, you will not lose 10lbs in one week. You may, however, make consistent loss such as 1pound per week.
- IF does not claim to be the best diet or the best approach to dieting for everyone. IF is a simplified diet method that works best for the busy individual.
- IF is not a necessity. IF, like every other diet is just a tool to help you lose weight. Think of it as another tool to add to your toolbox for fat-loss. There are plenty of other ways to lose weight. (HCG Diet, Sermorelin Therapy, Lipotropics)
Why should you fast?
Intermittent fasting has many benefits, here are a few.
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower oxidative stress
- Increased fat burning
- Increased metabolic rate during the fast
- Improved appetite control
- Improved blood sugar control
- Improved cardiovascular function
Who is this manual for?
This manual is for those who
- Want to learn the basic of intermittent fasting
- Want to improve their health
- Experience a consistent and manageable way to lose weight.
- Want to adhere to a diet and without the hassle of being limited to certain foods.
- This manual assumes that you have an exercise program to accompany an IF diet program. Maximum fat loss cannot be achieved through diet alone instead it is a combination of exercise and diet that produces the maximum fat loss. If you do not have an exercise program do not fright. An exercise program can be as simple as jogging for 30 minutes a day. However, it should be noted that a well-designed training program that is tailored towards your goal will produce the best results.
The essentials for a successful Intermittent Fasting program
- Your body
- A good exercise program
What you don’t need
- You will not need to buy specific foods, eat what you want to but remember moderation is the key factor. Personally, I recommend plenty of GOOD fats, moderate protein, moderate vegetables, and minimal low glycemic fruits.
- You will not need a personal trainer if you are well-versed in training. If you are not you may seek out a trainer or consult the internet for information.
- You don’t need any shady appetite suppressants.
Great Online Resources
- Please check out all the videos on Intermittent Fasting by Eric Berg and Thomas Delauer on YouTube. These guys have excellent information about fasting and I personally have benefited from the information they share. Note: Dr. Berg is NOT a fan of the HCG Diet, but it’s the 500-calorie protocol he does not agree with. Please remember that at HCG Diet Miami & HCG Near Me we also do not agree with such a low-calorie intake!
Chapter 1: Basic Dietary Guidelines
The following information can be applied to any diet. Before you start any diet, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the basics of a diet.
How does weight loss occur?
Weight loss is a process of being in a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit is when you use more calories than you are consuming. Weight loss cannot occur without a caloric deficit. Go back and read the last sentence until you have fully grasped the concept of weight loss.
What if I want to gain weight?
Since weight loss occurs when we are not consuming enough calories to meet our daily use, then weight gain is the opposite. Weight gain occurs when we exceed our daily caloric needs thus the extra calories are stored as fat. If you induce a stimulus such as weight training than the extra calories will be used to repair and improve the damaged muscles thus enlarging your muscles and ultimately results in you gaining muscle weight.
Why IF works
As you know by now losing weight is all about being in a negative calorie deficit. In a typical IF program, you will fast for most of the day. Then you may have one meal at the end of the day.
So even if you attempt to overeat during that one meal you will be full way before you reach your daily caloric intake. Thus, you will be in a constant negative deficit.
You always hear people saying, “I want to lose weight” or “I need to lose some weight” but they never specify what type of weight. Muscle contributes to your total bodyweight too, so does water, and your organs and so on. You could lose 10lbs of muscle, but would you be satisfied? The correct phrase is “I want to lose fat”. Typically, fat (adipose tissue) is what most people are referring to when they want to lose weight. However, what inevitably happens during a diet is muscle loss. Here’s why: Muscles are calorically expensive. Think of it as a bank. Say each pound of lean muscle requires 25 calories to uphold. So, if 100lbs of your total body weight is pure muscle than you need to eat 2,500 calories a day just to maintain your muscle mass. Say now you want to go on a diet so you reduce your calories down 2,300. Now a problem arises. You don’t have enough calories to maintain your muscle mass. Still using the bank analogy, you are now presented with two choices you can sell off your muscle (break down muscle tissue to pay for the other muscles and reduce total spending) or you can take out a loan (break down fatty tissue for extra calories).
Ideally, you want the latter because that’s what fat is for right? Fat is to be used as energy when we are in a deficit.
So then how does muscle loss occur? Muscle loss occurs when we exceed our loan limit. Say our deficit is now 1500 calories and we still need 2500 calories each day. We find ourselves down 1000 calories however we can only take out a max loan of 500 calories from our fat reserves. This limit occurs because there is a limit to which fat can be broken down. Thus, we are forced to break down some of our muscle to pay for the rest. So, in conclusion, to minimize muscle losses always reduce your daily calorie needs by small increments (200 or 100 calories, unless taking HCG) so that you don’t exceed your loan limit. Utilize a strength training program to ensure that your body realizes that your muscles are needed. Are all calories equal?
NO, all calories are not equal. Please be smart and enjoy food, but if you plan on being a fast food junkie, good luck! You can follow the basic food list from the HCG Diet Phase 3, but you definitely CAN NOT have such a huge caloric deficit as is required with the HCG Diet.
Are all foods equal?
There are foods that are filled to the brim with man-made chemicals such as high fructose corn syrup. These chemicals are potentially harmful and thus should be avoided or kept to a minimum. As a rule, the closer the food is to its natural form, the better. I am not saying that you can’t enjoy your favorite foods but simply stating that the majority of your diet should consist of natural foods. The benefits of a healthy diet are endless but here are a few
- Higher energy levels
- Better mood
- Less risk of diseases
- Stronger immune system
- Healthier skin
- Stronger Bones
- Longer life
Your Body is amazing at survival
Back during the ice age era, our ancestors would go days without eating. They lived their lives not knowing when their next meal would be or what it would come from.
So, our body is well-adapted for survival. Therefore, our body stores fat, to have extra storage of calories when we are starving. Fat is our insurance. Another reason why our body prefers breakdown of our muscle is that it sees that it can reduce daily spending by getting rid of the calorie expensive things such as muscle.
However, our ancestor didn’t have to worry about losing muscle because their lifestyle was more active. They had to run, jump, climb trees, scale mountains, throw spears, carry the old and wounded, and so on. So, their body’s top priority was to keep their muscle or else they wouldn’t survive in such a world.
Fast forward to today and a majority of us lead sedentary lifestyles. Our body says, “oh it’s okay for us to get rid of these muscles, it’s not like we use it for anything”. That’s where weight training comes in. Weight training gives our body a reason to keep our hard-earned muscles. Remember our body adapts to make life easier, not harder.
Macronutrients and Caloric Maintenance
I won’t delve too much into this topic as there is a wealth of information on the internet and it would be outside the scope of this manual. So, consider this a brief introduction to macronutrients.
Macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and lipids (fats).
Protein: If you are a serious weight lifter or an athlete then you should be aware of the importance of protein. Proteins are the building block of muscle and any aid in recovery after a training session. Of the three (carbs, fats, and protein) protein is the most important. Protein can be found in meats, dairy, nuts, and legumes (beans). The general rule for any athlete is 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. For example, if you weigh 150lbs then you should strive to eat 150 grams of protein per day. Each gram of protein is equivalent to approximately 4 calories
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. Most of your daily calories will come in the form of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates come in two major forms, sugars and starches. Sugars are easily digested and thus enter the bloodstream immediately. Starches take a while to digest and are often stored in the muscles as glycogen. Each gram of carbohydrate is equivalent to approximately 4 calories. Examples of carbohydrates are bread, pasta, grain, sugar, potatoes, and rice.
Fats: The media has destroyed the reputation of fats and thus when we hear the word we often associate it with synonyms such as “bad”. However, fats are not all bad and some fat is necessary for optimal health. There are three types of fats, saturated, unsaturated and trans. Generally trans-fat are bad and increase your risk of heart disease. Saturated fats are not necessarily bad but should be limited to a small percent of your diet. Foods with saturated fats are meat, butter, lard, cream, etc.
Unsaturated fats have been proven to decrease your risk of developing heart disease. You can include unsaturated fats in your diet by consuming foods such as avocados, nuts and any food cooked with olive oil.
Caloric Maintenance: caloric maintenance is simply the number of calories your body needs in a day to maintain homeostasis, which is to have no weight gain or weight loss but to stay at equilibrium. Caloric maintenance varies with each individual. It may be higher if you are younger, more active, and have more muscle mass. Your caloric maintenance will be achieved through a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Generally, for new trainees, I recommend a standard 40/40/20 ratio which means 40% protein, 40% fats, and 20% carbohydrates. For example, I generally eat around
3000 calories a day to maintain my bodyweight. So, 40% of 3000 is 1200 calories. 1200 divided by 4 is 300 grams of protein. If I followed a 40/40/20 ratio then my diet would be the following
It should be noted that consuming 300grams of protein in one day is next to impossible as that would mean you would have to chug down copious amounts of protein shakes.
To determine your caloric maintenance a good starting point would be to use a daily calorie calculator. You can find many calorie calculators online such as the one at Freedieting.com. My suggestion is to use the calculator to obtain an estimate. Then test the estimate for two weeks if you happen to gain weight subtract a little, such as 200 calories from the estimate and retest for another two weeks. If you lose weight then try adding 200 calories to the estimate and keep testing until you find your caloric maintenance. I know this task is meticulous and often frustrating when you have to carry a calorie log everywhere you go. Even then there will be times when you will not be able to know how much calories are in the meal you consume.
However, the good news is that with enough experience you will eventually be able to accurately guess how many calories certain foods consume. For example, I am now able to eye-ball foods and obtain a good estimate of how many calories were in the meal I ate.
Starvation vs. Hunger
A common mistake to make during a diet is to confuse hunger with starvation. People will often feel their stomach growling and assume that if they don’t eat soon they will vaporize into thin air. Well, I was kidding about the vaporizing, but people will often pre-maturely end their fast because their stomach was rumbling. The premise is that once your body enters starvation mode your metabolism rate drops thus you will burn fewer calories and your diet will be in vain. However, that is not the case WITH SHORT TERM FASTING. Studies on fasting and metabolism have shown that the earliest sign of a decrease in metabolism occurs after 60 hours and none of the IF programs will have you fasting more than 24 hours, so you won’t have to worry about a reduced metabolism.
So, what do I do about the hunger pangs? From personal experience, I found that if you just ignore them and continue about your day the hunger will go away immediately.
However, do not mistake hunger for physical pain. If your stomach is in physical pain and actually hurts, then you are doing something wrong. Please consult a physician. The good news is that if you follow the IF methods that I have listed in chapter 2 you will never have physical stomach pain.
An interesting phenomenon that I learned about hunger is that you can control hunger. Before I started using intermittent fasting I use to eat 6 meals a day. During my six meals a day diet I normally ate at 8:00 am. 11:00am, 2:00pm, 5:00pm, 8:00pm and 11:00pm. So, during the first week of intermittent fasting, I would become hungry at the same times because my body was so used to eating at those times. However, I ignored my hunger and by my third week of IF my tolerance for hunger was slowly dissipating and I could go longer without eating. Not only that but I would only feel hungry during the feeding window of my intermittent fasting program. So, what’s the moral of the story? You are the master of your hunger. Once the body gets accustomed to this new system, it will get very easy.
Chapter 2: Intermittent Fasting Programs
The 24 Hour Fast (24 hour fast once a week)
Popularized by Brad Pilon author of Eat Stop Eat, the 24 hour fast is a fast that lasts an entire day. You will only fast on one day of the week and on the other 6 days you will eat normally. The 24-hour fast views fat loss on a weekly basis. For example, if you normally eat 2000 calories per day that is a total of 14,000 calories a week. Now if you subtract one day then you are down to 12,000 calories. If you want to know more about this approach and the science behind it check out Eat Stop Eat.
Who is this approach for?
The 24 hour fast works great for beginners and casual dieters.
It is the easiest of all the programs because there is only one rule to follow. People who are new to IF should start with the 24 fast and work their way to the other IF programs if desired.
- Don’t eat for 24 hours
- Pick a day you would like to fast on
- Set the beginning time for your fast for example if you decide that your last meal should be at 8:00 pm on Wednesday then you will fast until 8:00 pm on Thursday
- Be productive on your fast day and get your work done.
What not to do
- Don’t compensate by eating more on the other 6 days. If you do find yourself eating more, know that you have some space for cushion. For example, if you ate an extra 400 calories on Friday know that you are still in a deficit of 1600 (2000-400) so do not worry.
- Don’t think about food during your fast. Keep your mind occupied.
The Lean-gains fast (16/8 hour fast)- MY FAVORITE FOR AFTER HCG
This approach was created by personal trainer Mark Berkhan and is popular among weight-lifters. The approach includes a 16 hour fast accompany with an 8-hour feeding window. The 8-hour eating window should be the same every day. Meal frequency is not important if you eat during the 8 hours. The Leangains fast is done daily as opposed to once a week. This approach is highly specific and was designed for weight-lifters thus it is recommended for athletes. Who is the approach for?
The LeanGains fast is mainly for athletes, but I believe this is the best plan for everyone.
- Diet should be high in good fat and protein
- You should include fasted training (training while fasted)
- You should cycle carbohydrates (training days should be high in carbohydrates while off-days are lower in carbohydrates).
- Feeding windows need to be consistent.
- On training days your post workout meal should (not mandatory) be your largest meal.
- On non-training days your first meal should (not mandatory) be your largest meal.
- Be sure to take some BCAA or Lipotropics (branch chain amino acids) before you train to ensure that you do not experience muscle loss during your fasted training.
- Determine your 16-hour fast period. Ideally, you would want the fast to extend overnight as you sleep. If you place your 16 hour fast during the time that you are awake, then it would mean that your 8-hour feeding window occurs during the time you sleep. For example, if your last meal is at 6:00 pm on Tuesday then you would fast until 10:00 am on Wednesday. Your feeding window would be from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- Once you decide on a fasting period your feeding window will be the remaining 8 hours of the day
- Determine a time for training. Ideally, you would want your training period to be just before your feeding window such that your first meal of the day will also be your post-training meal.
What not to do
- Do not schedule your fasting period such that your feeding window will be the same time as the time you normally sleep.
- Do not forget to take your BCAAs or Lipotropic injections before you proceed with fasted-training. Most protein supplements contain BCAAs.
Below is an example of my adaptation of the Leangains program.
- Note that my training sessions are also part of the fast.
- Notice how I adapt my schedule on the weekend due to my schedule.
The Warrior Diet (20/4 hour fast)
The warrior diet is a 20-hour fast period followed by a 4-hour feeding window. Like Leangains, The Warrior diet is daily too. The warrior diet was created by Ori Hofmekler and is inspired by nutritional habits of Greek warriors and Spartans. With this plan, you would either fast or eat minuscule amounts of food for 18-20 hours. Then you would consume a majority of your daily caloric intake in the remaining 4-6 hours. Ideally, you should place your feeding window near the end of the day as it is more convenient for family dinners and after-work training sessions. The only problem with The Warrior Diet is that trying to fit your daily caloric intake in one meal can be difficult. In summary, The Warrior diet is primarily a 20 hour fast followed by one large meal. For more information check out Ori’s book The Warrior Diet.
Who is this approach for?
The warrior diet is for people who are looking for an entry point into fasting. This diet is very flexible and not as strict as Leangains. This diet is a favorite for people who love to splurge on calorie dense food (i.e. pizza, hamburgers, cakes, etc.). The warrior diet is a great introductory diet to fasting. It makes transitioning to a traditional fast easier as it allows you to have small snacks during the day given that your snacks must consist of fruit and vegetables. If you are looking to try out fasting or get an idea of what fasting is about, start with The Warrior Diet.
- Fast for at least 18-20 hours.
- Snacks are confined to vegetable and fruits, occasionally a protein shake
- Keep your diet high in protein (remember at least 1 gram per pound of bodyweight)
- Try to meet your daily calorie needs in one meal, meaning you can indulge in calorie dense food to reach your goal. Well technically speaking it isn’t one meal since you have 4 hours to eat what you want to, but let’s be honest how many people are still hungry after the first meal?
- Determine what meal you want to place your feeding window around (i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Determine how large you want your feeding window to be. 4-6 hours is the min and max. Your fasting period will be the remaining hours of the day.
- Decide if you want to eat snacks or do a complete fast during the day. Remember your snacks must be either fruits or vegetables and maybe a protein shake.
What not to do
- Do not eat anything calorie dense for snacks such as chips, sweets, pastries. Only fruits and vegetables are allowed (baby carrots, spinach wraps, grapes, apples, etc.).
- Do not have any large meals outside of you feeding window
- Do not constantly switch up your one large meal (i.e. going from dinner on one day to breakfast of the next day) keep it consistent.
Example (warrior diet: dinner)
|7:00am to 5:00pm (assumes 7:00am is the start of the day)
|6:00pm to 10:00pm
|Feeding Window (mainly Dinner)
|11:00pm to 6:00pm
The Alternate Day Fast (36/12 hours fast)
On this program, you eat every other day. Basically, you eat in a 12-hour window, say 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on Monday. Then you fast for the remainder of Monday and all throughout Tuesday. On Wednesday you eat again from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Rise and repeat. During your feeding window, you may eat anything you desire however it is recommended that your diet mainly consist of nutritional food. The alternate fast diet was popularized by Dr. James B. Johnson, please support him and buy his book, The Alternate Day Diet, if you wish to know more.
Who is this approach for?
They say the alternate day diet is suited for the general public i.e. the casual dieter. Supposedly, it is easy to pick up and apply. Personally, I think this method is hard even though it does not have to be used in conjunction with a training program. LeanGains method is still my favorite!
- Fast for 36 hours.
- Eat normally during the 12-hour feeding window
- You may eat anything you like, calorie dense food in moderation of course (unless you are severely behind on your calories and need a boost).
- Determine the time for your 12-hour feeding window. Note most people choose the start time as the time when they first get out of bed.
- Your fasted period will be the remaining 12 hours of that day plus the next day.
You will eat the day after your fasted day.
Example (alternate day fast)
|8:00 am to
of the day
Chapter 3: Intermittent Fasting and You
Deciding if intermittent fasting is for you
Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. Some people lose weight better on a traditional diet with regular meal frequency and some people respond better to an IF program. So, before you start any IF program I recommend you try to fast for one whole day. Yep, just try not to eat anything for 24 hours. You may find out that you get irritated easily when fasting and decide that fasting is not for you. You may also discover that you are extra productive when you don’t have to worry about eating and decide that you want to try out an advance IF program. So, to test the waters you should:
- Fast for one full day. If your last meal is at 8:00 pm on Monday try not to eat until 8:00 pm on Tuesday.
Be sure to make a note of how you felt during the day. Record things like your mood, hunger, productivity and anything you deem relevant.
I want to try Intermittent Fasting
Alright, so you did a 24 hour fast and decide that you would like to continue with intermittent fasting. So where do you start? The easiest way is to select one of the programs in chapter 2 and start from there.
- Review the programs in chapter 2 and decide which one is best suited for your lifestyle
- Follow the instructions listed with the program.
- Keep the fast going until you reach your desired bodyweight. Note that you can keep the fast going indefinitely or end it whenever you want.
- Be sure to record your progress and adjust accordingly.
Designing your own IF program
Alternatively, if you don’t like any of the programs in chapter 2 you can make your own. However, I don’t recommend trying this until you have some experience with IF. But if you do decide that you want to build your own program here are some steps to guide you.
First, notice that all the IF programs have a few things in common. Use these commonalities as a general guideline when designing your own IF program.
- They all contain a fasted period and a feeding window
- The fasting period is generally longer than the feeding window
- Try not to have your fasting period exceed 36 hours because once it does you will start to lose the benefits of fasting and may experience actual starvation.
So, if you wanted to design your own IF program.
- First, decide how often you want to fast (daily, once a week, every other day).
- Then decide how long you want your fast period to be (36 hours maximum)
- Then your feeding window will automatically be the remaining hours that you aren’t fasting.
- Put your plan into action the next day or the next week.
Tips for Success- Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you try out IF.
- Start out slow. Take your time and slowly settle into your IF program. Remember you don’t have to maintain rigid adherence. You may want to try fasting once a month before you try fasting weekly or daily.
- Experiment. Everyone is different, and a cookie cutter program won’t work for everyone. Start with one of the templates and adjust it to accommodate you. For example, you may find out that certain foods don’t agree with your bowels or you may discover that you respond better to a longer fast. Make a hypothesis
- Test it out
- Document your results
- Going back to tip 3 you will discover a lot about your body. You will find things such as:
- The best time for you to eat
- The easiest digestible food for your body
- The best time for you to train
- Your caloric maintenance
Once you have enough experience you won’t ever fear gaining weight again as you’ll know that losing it isn’t as hard as everyone made it out to be.
- Don’t fix what isn’t broken. It the diet is working, and you are seeing results then leave it alone. However, if fat loss has reached a plateau than consider adjusting. You may need to lower the calories a little more (100 calories less is a good increment).
- Expect failure. This tip is true for much more than just diets. The truth is very few people will succeed on their first try but what really matters is what you do afterward. If you tried IF and didn’t make any results than review what went wrong and correct it. But don’t quit after one week. Give it at least one month.
- Listen to your body. Our bodies are always communicating with us. It’s just that most people don’t know how to interpret the messages. Some common cues are listed in the following table.
|Better sleep quality
|Positive mood changes (e.g. happy, relaxed, calm, less frustration)
|Negative mood changes (e.g. easily irritable, frustrated, anger,
|Lack of attention
- Food choices are important. Remember what I said in chapter 1 about natural foods? If not go back and reread “Are all foods equal?”
- The best weight loss is slowest (unless HCG is being used). People often become frustrated with diet programs because they aren’t seeing immediate results. However, dieting is a marathon and the best weight loss program is the one in which you lose weight in a slow consistent manner. Consider the following scenarios
Scenario 1: person A has been dieting for 2 weeks with a severe calorie deficit. Person A has loss 10lbs in 2 weeks but now weight loss has come to a halt. Okay, so that person has managed to lose 10lbs but how much of that weight was muscle? And more importantly, will that person regain all the weight they lost?
Scenario 2: person B has been dieting for 2 weeks and has managed to lose one pound per week. However, the person continues this trend for the next year and loses a total of 52 lbs total with minimal muscle loss.
To sum it up strive to be in scenario 2. Record your weight weekly and make sure you lose 1 to 2 pounds a week.
- Be Productive. The fast is the best time to be productive and get things done. If you are constantly focused on work, then the fast would be over before you know it. However, if you sit around and brood about food, chances are you will break your fast prematurely.
- IF is just another component of your life.
This is the most important tip of all of them. IF, like exercise, is just something we incorporate into our lives to make life easier and more enjoyable. IF makes our life simpler by removing our worries about eating and allows us more time to work on other aspects of our life. If intermittent fasting causes you stress, then stop doing it. In life, we already have enough sources of stress you don’t need another one. Remember you don’t have to maintain strict adherence to an intermittent fasting program. The core of intermittent fasting is, sometimes you eat, and sometimes you don’t. If you can at least follow that, then you will be practicing intermittent fasting in its humblest form.
Final Words and Summary
If I had to sum up intermittent fasting in a few rules I would say this:
- Eat sometimes but not all the time
- When you do eat, pick the most nutritious foods
- Indulge in your favorite foods every now and then
- Remember to exercise.
- “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat