How to Lose Fat with Intermittent Fasting


Download my bodyweight training program for skinny-fat guys (63-page PDF)


As a skinny-fat guy you have probably tried to lose fat with limited success. Personally, I have tried a lot of diets. I started out eating high protein meals 6-8 times a day, and I lost a bit of fat only to gain all of it back because I got tired of eating small healthy meals. After 1.5 year of training I discovered the benefits of intermittent fasting by reading the book Eat Stop Eat. To this day, Eat Stop Eat is my favourite book on nutrition. In intermittent fasting you simply divide the day into two phases:

  • Feeding phase of 8 hours 
  • Fasting phase of 16 hours

By doing that, you will be unable to eat more than 2-3 solid meals a day and the 16 hour fasting phase enables you to lose fat. This is a very effective approach for a skinny-fat guy, because to lose fat you have to eat less calories than you burn! In my opinion the easiest and most enjoyable way to lose fat, is by implementing intermittent fasting into your life style since it is very SIMPLE. As an added benefit, a lot of people experience that they are very productive during their fasting phase, since they are not spending their mornings on preparing breakfast and eating.

If you are a student just like me, intermittent fasting could look similar to this:

  • 07 AM: Wake up and drink a cup of coffee.
  • 12 AM-08 PM: Feeding Phase
  • 08 PM-12 AM: Fasting Phase

As you can see above, it is actually very simple: instead of breakfast you drink a nice cup of coffee (without sugar) and you stay productive until noon to avoid eating. When your 8 hour feeding phase starts, you eat 2-3 solid meals that fuel your workout. After your last meal you can unwind and enjoy your evening until you go to bed. I have experienced success with this approach, even though I eat what I want with each of my meals, as long as the majority of my food intake is healthy.

Therefore… if you implement intermittent fasting into your life style you can forget everything about:

  • Eating small unfulfilling meals every 2-3 hours
  • Waking up early to prepare breakfast
  • Experiencing insulin spikes in the afternoon
  • Counting calories

Also, once a week I go out and skip my fasting phase, but this has not hurt my fat loss at all. I highly recommend intermittent fasting to any person that is serious about losing fat. If you want to know more about Intermittent Fasting, I  recommend Brad Pilon’s book Eat Stop Eat. In this book he includes a lot of interesting studies about the positive effects of fasting on your body. It is definitely worth your time to read his book if you are serious about implementing fasting into your lifestyle.

Furthermore, a lot of people ask: what can I consume during the fasting phase? The answer is: coffee, tea and chewing gum without sugar. The most important thing is to stay hydrated during your fasting phase to avoid hunger!

To sum up, here are the benefits of intermittent fasting:

  • Simple to implement
  • Eat fulfilling meals
  • Lose fat and Gain Muscle
  • Skip Breakfast and Sleep In

575565_10201030396580315_1043435670_nSay BYE to small unfulfilling meals

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– Oskar



Download my bodyweight training program for skinny-fat guys (63-page PDF)



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Comments

  1. Hi Oskar,

    Is it trx training works with the 16/8 fasting to preserve muscle mass? I ask because i read that you have to do progressive load in weightlifting to increase and dont loss muscle while you do IF protocol.

    Thank you

  2. Hello Oskar,

    I have just discovered your website and I think it is fantastic!

    I have a similar question to Nathan. Would you recommend working out during your fasting phase?

    I need to work out at 8am in the mornings, but the rest of my schedule means I cannot end my fast until 1pm. Is it advisable to miss post-workout meals?

    Many thanks, Jim

    • Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer says:

      Hey Jim,

      Don’t worry too much about it. Workout when you’re the most energized and when it’s most convenient for you. Eat a big meal before you sleep and you will be fine for your fasted workout.

  3. Hi Oskar,

    love what u say on this site.it’s controvercial and a new hope for skinny-fat guys in the age of low testostrone and female males!!! so i have a question.do u recommend fasting for bulking too? or u just use it for fat loss?

  4. Hey Oskar,

    Interested in knowing how you’d schedule this around a workout? I often workout very early in the day (prior to 1200). Would you recommend moving the eating window forward to include a pre-workout meal? Alternatively, would working out fasted provide better benefit? (Pretty sure I saw you advise not to work out fasted in another article).
    Thanks,
    Nathan

  5. Oskar,
    I’ve followed a 6-meal diet per day and I’ve realized that this is not the best strategy for a skinny fat guy. Now I’m planning to start IF diet. What’s the best way to start IF? Should that be gradual (like start with IF once a week and increase the frequency each week)?
    Tks a lot,
    Junior

  6. Hi Oskar,

    You’re an inspiration to all us skinny fats out there. Had some questions after reading this article.

    What brand of chewing gum do you use to curb snacking? Most of the gum out there have sugar or artificial sweeteners, both of which are unhealthy and have empty calories right? Do you chew just a single stick of gum during the fasting phase?

    What has worked for you?

    Thanks
    -MJ

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thank you MJ,

      I usually went for whatever sugar free gum I wanted at the grocery store. It varied a lot. I would usually have 2-3 gums during the fasting phase. I didn’t put much thinking into whether the gum was unhealthy or not. I doubt 2-3 pieces of gum a day will do damage to your body.

  7. Greg Brown says:

    Hi Oskar,

    So if I’m in my initial leaning down phase, should I still be eating roughly at 300-500 calories below maintenance while implementing intermittent fasting?

    Thanks very much for the advice!

  8. Hi Oskar.
    In my opinion Intermittent Fasting is NOT a good strategy for someone who is skinny-fat.
    Skinny-fat are always ex-skinny.
    Skinny guys have potent catabolism phase and need to eat often.
    Many small meals (indispensable protein and carbs).

    When i do any kind of Intermittent Fasting, I definetely lose muscles.

    Obviously the commandment of eating every 2-3 hours is not valid for everyone.
    But it’s probably valid for someone like us “skinny” (or “skinny fat”), with a super-rapid metabolism.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      A lot of skinny-fat guys are skinny-fat because they have been eating candy and junk for years. IF is a simple tool that helps you adhere to eating healthy – nothing more than that.

      Also, I disagree with skinny-fat guys always being ex-skinny. I was never skinny. I have always been skinny-fat, weak and slow (even as a child). My metabolism is definitely not super-rapid.

      With that said, I don’t do strict IF anymore. I do fast maybe 10-12 hours most days, and 16 hours 1 day of the week. I find that eating around 3 meals a day, starting with breakfast works best for me to stay lean while feeling good and gaining muscle.

  9. I’ve read a blog from anthonymychal about using IF with carb cycling (High carbs/High protein/Low Fat during training days & Low Carb/Higher Protein/High Fat with lower calories during non workout days). Do you think that incorporating carb cycling with IF works well for skinny fat or should I keep the same macros during IF?

    Also regarding 16/8 IF, is it alright to spread 3 similar meals at (12pm/4pm/7pm)? Thanks

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      It is perfectly okay to spread 3 similar meals like that. I wouldn’t stress it too much as long as you eat maximum 3 meals and stay within that time range (+/-1 hour).

      I don’t like to cycle my macros because my body functions better when I eat the same things everyday. I like to eat a balanced diet because:
      1: High protein makes me constipated and I build muscle just fine by eating 100 g a day.
      2: I feel better and have better workouts when I eat a moderate amount of carbs and fats rather than cycling them.

      Also, it’s simpler to eat the same amount of carbs everyday in terms of training, since that will enable you to train pretty much everyday once your body gets used to it.

      • I just came across another article of yours where you mentioned “Start with a balanced diet that has a bit of everything. Once you have that, eat slightly more carbs on training days (especially after your workout) since that’s when you need them, and slightly less on days that you don’t train hard.”

        If my maintenance calories are (BW~139lbs*13=1800-200 cutting calories=1600), is 160g carbs/120g protein/53g fat 40/30/30 a good amount to have for a balanced diet or should I go for 110g protein and 63g fat?

        Regarding the more carbs on training days(I train on M/T/T/F) which you mentioned above, I am slightly confused because by increasing carbs on training days without reducing fat/protein (carb cycling), my calories will go higher than 1600.

        Do you meant on training days, increasing carbs to maintenance of 1800 calories will not hinder cutting progress and during rest days, keep the same amount of carbs 160g at 1600 calories(with protein/fat at the same amount on both training & rest days)
        or
        during training days, stick to 160g carbs with total of 1600 calories and during rest days, reduce carbs and increase protein plus fat to reach 1600 calories everyday?

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          I don’t calculate my macros and calories so it’s difficult for me to tell you whether you should eat 110 or 120 g of protein. Honestly, it won’t make a noticeable difference as long as you get 80-120 g of protein per day you are all set.

          To get a balanced meal I fill up half of my plate with fatty meat or fish and the other half with some kind of carbs such as rice. It’s simple and it has worked for me, no counting of calories etc.

          About fats and carbs: You can cycle them or eat balanced meals.I tried both approaches and I progressed in my training by doing both, however I feel better by eating the same everyday.

  10. Looks like you are following the 16/8 Leangains protocal by Martin Berkhan. This is currently what I’m following and I throw in a 24 hr fast once every few weeks to pay homage to Eat Stop Eat. I’ve been able to control my weight with this style of eating and believe it’s something I can do forever at this point.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      I don’t follow intermittent fasting religiously anymore, but it has definitely been a great lesson that has taught me how to control my hunger. Nowadays I can keep the fat off without any problems, and it seems like you have gained the same beneft from it.

  11. I’ve read the eat stop eat, but the 2007 version, where he advocates the 24hr fast, once or twice a week only.
    Is the newer version prone to 8-16?
    I’ve used 8-16 to get 14.9 to 9.9 BF, and plan to use it further as feeding objective.
    Its not strict 8-16..sometimes 7-17, 6-18.
    I presume that everyday 8-16 has same results as 2x24hr / week fast, and at least to me, it is somewhat easier to apply.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      It’s still 24 hour fasts in the new edition.

      I personally prefer the 16 h fast/8h feeding window as advised by leangains.com, however both work well for fat loss and gaining muscle so use the one that is most convenient for you.

      • So, how many calories, even though you don’t count them..you probably did in the past, did you try to eat/day.

        It is quite problematic to eat 2 meals/day, and be able to eat for instance 3500.
        Thats 1750 meal twice.

        Example 180g raw rice = 640 cal
        200g meat = 210 – 290 cal (turkey, pork)
        ——————————————————–
        Substantial meal, and only 930, for the pork combo
        If you eat many greens, as they are “healthy”, you are filled pretty much sooner, and are able to eat less.

        Of course you can add fat, to boost cals, but adding 820 from fat to each meal, to get from 930 to 1750, is a lot. Thats 126g of pork fat, wallnuts, twice a day.
        Or 100g oil.

        You’d have to eat 360g rice, 400g meat, 200-250g fat /day, to supply macro nutrients.
        It’s not much of a smaller picture for a 3000cal diet, if you want to eat healthy, low ingredient foods.

        For me, it is not a problem to lose fat with IF, but to gain quality size, it is quite a filling sensation after that amount of food in your stomach twice a day, and therefore much easier to under eat.

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          To get a lot of calories in I recommend you to make a mass gainer shake. You need the following:
          – Natural Peanut Butter
          – Bananas
          – Strawberries or Jam

          Put in as much of each as you desire and it won’t be a problem to get those calories in. I’d usually take a whole banana, 4-5 tbsp of jam and 4-5 tbsp of peanutbutter.

          So a typical meal would be 1 lb of meat and 250 g of rice with taco sauce and a mass gainer shake at the end of the meal. I don’t know the exact amount of calories for this meal, but it’s definitely a lot. This meal would be eaten after my workout, and my second meal would be something smaller such as a 4 pieces of rye bread with salmon.

          Finally, you don’t need to be in a caloric surplus everyday to gain muscle and intermittent fasting is just a means to an end. If intermittent fasting makes it difficult for you to eat enough to fuel muscle growth, you don’t have to do it.

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