Q#1): Do I have to start at stage 1?
Answer): No. If you’ve already tinkered with intermittent fasting in the past, then you can jump in at whatever level you think you can sustain. If you’re new to the concept of intermittent fasting, it’s probably best to start in stage 1.
Q #2): How long should I remain in each stage?
Answer: My rule of thumb is to remain in each stage until you are no longer losing weight. The preferred protocol is to weigh yourself at the same time each week (example: Saturday mornings, right after waking up and using the toilet). As long as you continue to lose weight, stay in that stage. If weight loss stalls for two weeks in a row, go to the next stage.
Q #3) If I want to lose weight faster can I move through the stages faster?
Answer: You can do whatever you want. You can jump right in at level five if you’re in a hurry to get lean. The question is whether you can sustain it. Whatever level allows you to reach your desired level of leanness is the level you will have to stay at to maintain that level of leanness.
Q #4) How do you deal with hunger?
Answer: It’s not easy. Hunger is a powerful force. Staying busy helps. Drinking lots of water and coffee/tea can also help blunt the hunger response. It may also help to re-frame how you view hunger. Think of it this way: When you feel hungry, that’s when your body STARTS to burn your stored body fat. So if you eat every time you feel the slightest twinge of hunger, your body never gets a chance to tap into it’s fat stores. If you think of hunger in this manner, you can start to view hunger as a positive sensation.
Q#5) I started this, made great progress but then I inevitably fall off the wagon. Can you help me?
Answer: Losing weight and keeping it off successfully with ANY method is a lot like pushing a car out of a ditch: You won’t get it out on the first attempt. Instead you typically end up rocking the vehicle back and forth until you finally are able to push the car up and over the ledge on the 5th or 6th push. Don’t expect instant success. Instead, temper your expectations and have a plan in mind in case you fall off the wagon.
Here is a tip that works well: Never let yourself fall down more than one level.
So if you’re currently at level 4 but you keep messing up and eating too much junk food, drop back down to level 3. If you can successfully stay at level 3 for two consecutive weeks (14 days), then go ahead and try level 4 again. But if you drop down to level 3 and you find you can’t even stay at level 3, go ahead and drop down to level two. Stay there for two weeks, then once again attempt level 3.
It’s not about trying to move through the levels as fast as possible. It’s about finding the level you can SUSTAIN. Someone who stays at level 3 consistently will have better long term success than someone who is trying to fly through the levels quickly but always ends up getting bounced back down to level one.
You now have a step-by-step blueprint to getting a lean & muscular physique. You don’t have to count calories, carbs or anything like that. You don’t have to measure your food or swear off your favorite dishes or favorite restaurants.
Just follow the five stages of intermittent fasting and you too can enjoy a lean physique and the freedom that comes with the intermittent fasting lifestyle.