Eat Stop Eat Program by Brad Pilon
The Eat Stop Eat (ESE) method by Brad Pilon is a really great way to stabilize and maintain new weights. It actually involves the use of intermittent fasting (IF). While this method is used by him for promoting fat loss as well as weight maintenance, for our purposes as hCGer’s, I find this program to be a fantastic follow up to Human Chorionic Gonadotropin as a way to maintain your new weight.
I have tried this protocol out now for a few months and found it to be great in a few ways.
I used to be very leery about fasting. I am one of those people who had the wool pulled over their eyes and was taught that fasting was unhealthy and that it would cause a lot of muscle loss. Or the big one everyone’s heard, “it will totally kill your metabolism!” When I read Brad Pilon’s book, I felt like my eyes had been opened! He has numerous studies and factual information proving that short term fasting, when combined with resistance training, promotes fat burning and does not cause muscle loss. I found his book to be the best I’ve read when it comes to proving how intermittent fasting is not only safe, but advantageous.
The basics of what he promotes in his Eat Stop Eat program is to fast for 24 hours 1-2 times a week. The neat thing about this is most people choose dinner to dinner as their 24 hour fast window, which means that you never go a whole day without eating- you are still eating dinner on your fast day. As an example if you started fasting at 6 or 7pm one day, you would break your fast the following day at 6 or 7pm by eating dinner.
The other 5 or 6 days you are not fasting, you just continue to eat the way you normally eat. There is no cheat day involved with this program. The idea is to pretend you never fasted at all and just continue to eat normally. But what’s nice is that because you created a large calorie deficient on your fast day(s), you don’t need to worry about counting calories on your eat days.
What you’re doing with this program is creating a weekly calorie balance or calorie deficient instead of viewing your calorie or balance/deficit on a day by day basis. I love this idea and it made perfect sense to me once I read it.
It made sense because of the instruction I’ve received from my 3 year old son’s pediatrician regarding his nutrition. She told me not to worry about my son getting all the perfect ratios of nutrients every single day. She said there will be days he will hardly eat anything, and days he will eat a lot. She told me not to sweat this at all and that instead of looking at his nutrition in one day windows, to look at his nutrition over a period of weeks. Some days he’ll eat more carbs, some days more protein, and over the period of a week or a couple weeks, the nutrition ratios will create a balance. That is all that is needed to keep my son growing into a big strong man. This was a new thought to me when she first mentioned it.
At first, as many of you first time mothers out there might identify with, when my son turned two and I stopped nursing him, I was worried about him eating the right foods and the right amount of those foods. It seems like such a huge hurdle for a little guy to grow properly into a man. It was heartening when I felt frustrated by my lack of ability to get him to eat what I felt he should eat to hear his pediatrician tell me this. And as it turned out the pediatrician was right because he’s almost now 3 years old, growing like a weed, speaks and thinks much beyond his age already, and has the energy of ten men. The last part was kind of a joke but kind of not. My husband and I seriously marvel at the energy that such a small little person can contain and display.
Thus when I read through the ESE program, it made perfect sense to look at your calorie intake over a the period of a week instead of by the day. If this works for a little child who is growing by leaps and bounds every day physically, mentally, and emotionally, why shouldn’t it work for an adult who is, let’s face it, more stagnant when it comes to growth?
I was so happy to come across this idea in my research (once again, thank you to google you awesome search engine you). During this particular vlog I had already done my first fast day ESE style, and since that time I have completed many more.
I actually love the fast days!
A few positive things that I discovered fasting short term like this accomplished for me:
- Fasting seemed to keep me craving the right, healthy foods. After having an empty stomach for 24 hours or so, instead of feeling like eating crackers or a chocolate bar, I was craving to eat a real meal- chicken or steak with broccoli and salad. This never failed to happen. I felt like the fast days really helped me to stay on the path of healthful eating. Prior to fasting periodically, I would find myself slightly full a lot and reaching for what you could call “junk” type foods, because when you’re full, salad just doesn’t sound like it will hit the spot. But having an empty stomach totally changed my food desires, in a good way.
- It was good for my self confidence, to see myself be able to have the willpower and self control to get through one day without eating. It’s not such a long period of time to go without eating that it feels cumbersome, yet at the same time, when it’s time for dinner, you feel so proud of yourself for completing what you set out to do, and that makes you feel like there are other challenging projects in your life that you could probably successfully tackle as well.
- It really does help keep your weight in control if you are the type of person, like me, who although eating the right types of foods, finds themselves eating a bit too much of those foods. This was of course the original purpose of trying this protocol out, but as you can see, it has come to be really only the 3rd most important benefit on the list, as I really consider the first two to be an unexpected result of fasting that I value even more highly.
- More time! More time to focus on other things. One to two days a week where you don’t have to really think about food- preparing it, buying it, eating it, etc.- wow I felt like I was able to focus and accomplish so much else on those days.
If you would like to learn more about this protocol and the proof behind why it works and why it’s not only safe but healthy, you can go to bradpilon.com. His book was worth every penny I spent on it to me, and I have since re-read it as he came out with additional material to add to it. It’s important when you try things out that go against “the norm” to be informed enough about what you are doing that you don’t feel intimidated by the majority around you who, when they discover what you are doing respond with the typical comments about how unhealthy what you are doing is, etc. etc. etc. Comments like these can weasel their way under your skin and cause you to falter and doubt yourself and either stop you from pursuing the protocol, or prevent you from reaching your potential with it. However, if you have your done your due diligence and read all the research proving why what you are choosing to do is not safe but a good thing to do, you won’t waver when these well meaning friends and family say what they say.
In short, be informed so you can prove to yourself why what you’re doing is such a good decision!
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