This headline is a bit ‘punny’ because the bigger takeaway is the app Zero that I’ve been using to aid in my intermittent fasting journey. Intermittent fasting, or time-restricted eating, has a growing body of research validating a whole host of benefits ranging from body recomposition, human growth hormone production, to purging cancerous cells. Regardless of your health goals, I’m confident you’ll find something on the benefits menu appetizing enough to give it a shot. Let’s run through the 80/20 of what you’ll need to capitalize on this free health hack.
PICK A PROTOCOL
Anything past 12 hours of fasting yields some benefit, but the two recommended protocols are:
- 16-hour fast, 8-hour eating window – 7x/week (enshrined by LeanGains, the unofficial godfather of intermittent fasting for physique transformation).
- 24-hour fast, 1-2x/week
The former is better and more lifestyle friendly.
ASSEMBLE YOUR MOTIVATION FOR COMPLIANCE
Dr. Rhonda Patrick has as of late been touting the benefits of intermittent fasting, but prevention (i.e. thwarting off cancer) is not the best way to motivate people to action, as any marketer will tell you. The immediate benefits of HGH production and hormone optimization result in the body transformations to which many can attest. Don’t take my word for it, let’s listen to what Wolverine has to say.
STAVE OFF HUNGER
There will be an adjustment period, like anything else. Don’t let it deter you. Common hacks to pierce through that 30-minute hunger strike are coffee and/or sparkling mineral water. If you can raw dog it, more power to you, but keep the calorie-free liquids flowing.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
I’ve tried baking intermittent fasting into my routine so that I simply break my fast a noon daily, but I find that to be unrealistic if you’re serious about the 16-8 protocol. Allow yourself some flexibility of when you finish eating at night. So if you happen to finish dinner at 9 pm, for instance, you’d have to remember to break your fast the following day at 1 pm. But does “remember” sound like life optimization to you? In response, I (or Kevin Rose, rather) bring to you Zero, the 100% free and simple AF app to help you track your intermittent fasting, You can customize it to any protocol and it will even notify you when it’s time to stuff your face.
A NOTE FOR THE LOVELY FEMALES
Intermittent fasting is considered “eustress,” meaning a beneficial stressor to the body that makes you stronger thereafter, similar to physical exercise. When taken in aggregate, your body registers the additional stress, “healthy” or not, as simply more stress. Lifestyle factors such as environmental, mental/emotional, and work stress can compound rather quickly, rendering intermittent fasting less advantageous. Specifically, women can run into menstrual cycle issues when taking fasting past their body’s threshold (also common for female athletes/fitness enthusiasts who push it to the extreme). Bottomline: listen to your body and adjust accordingly, always. If you’re not in fact lovely, but female, this still applies (though exceedingly unlikely by virtue of you reading my blog).
Is intermittent fasting one of the most potent free health interventions? Is becoming Wolverine our now shared primary goal in life?