During the past 10 years or so there’s been a lot of chatter about the health benefits of intermittent fasting — that is, going without food for a short window of time on a regular basis. Some of the touted benefits of intermittent fasting include shredding body fat while maintaining muscle, improving blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, increasing longevity, and improving focus. But how many of those purported benefits are real and how many of them are just hype?
Well, my guest today is a nutrition scientist who has spent the past several years researching and experimenting with intermittent fasting to find out the answers to those questions. His name is John Berardi and he’s the co-owner of Precision Nutrition, an online nutrition coaching company. John has written a free ebook that highlights all the latest research on intermittent fasting as well as his personal experiments with several different IF protocols. Today on the show John cuts through the hype of intermittent fasting and gives us a nuanced look at the benefits and downsides of this diet method. If you’ve been thinking about trying intermittent fasting, you don’t want to miss this show. John breaks down exactly who should use IF and who shouldn’t, and what kinds of results to expect when you fast.
- Why John decided to dive deeply into research and experiments with intermittent fasting (IF)
- Why the idea of IF was controversial when it first popped up
- The body composition, health, and psychological benefits attributed to IF
- Why all nutrition research — including that on IF — needs to be looked at with healthy skepticism
- Can IF cure cancer?
- The effect of IF on testosterone
- How your body’s hormones and blood sugar are affected by IF
- The differences between how men’s and women’s bodies react to IF
- How to not become “hangry” when fasting
- How IF can, perhaps surprisingly, boost your energy and focus
- IF and weight loss
- The downsides of practicing intermittent fasting
- Some of the life situations in which you should actually avoid IF
- Can IF be a tool in your workouts and weight training?
- How your genetics can inform the effectiveness of your use of IF
- Why you should be “nutritionally agnostic”
- Fasting protocols and routines to follow if you want to try it out, including how often the average person should skip meals
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- John Berardi’s AoM article on intermittent fasting
- Podcast: The Real Science of Nutrition and Supplements
- Ghrelin — The Hunger Hormone
- AoM’s testosterone series
- Eat Man Food and Lose Weight: A Primer on Flexible Dieting
- 23andMe genetic testing
- Carb Confessions
If you’re looking for an easy-to-read, but informative breakdown of intermittent fasting, definitely swing by Precision Nutrition to pick up your free PDF copy (you just have to provide your email).
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
The Pocket Guide to Action: 116 Meditations on the Art of Doing. If you spend a lot of time thinking about things, making plans, and examining possibilities, but rarely pull the trigger on any of them, this is the book for you. Carry it around with you and turn to any page at any time to get a kick in the rear when you need it.
Read the Transcript
Last updated: August 9, 2017