Intermittent Fasting, Liberate Your Life

Read Time: 2 minutes

Quiet, but Not Gone

Well, what can I say?

The radio-silence has been long enough that I almost forgot the URL to this blog. But I haven’t forgotten you, readers of the saloon.

Neither have I forgotten the multidimensional benefits of intermittent fasting.

Intermittent Fasting and the Tight Schedule

Intermittent fasting helped grease the journey through one of the busiest periods of my life: becoming a father to a lovely baby girl who brings with her incredible joy, new responsibility, and chronic sleep deficit. And a major work change.

Intermittent Fasting, Anytime

Some people warn that intermittent fasting is contraindicative during periods of stress and/or sleep deficit, because it adds more stress to a body that’s already under stress, resulting in health degradation and increased body fat, especially that around the abdomen.

But such warning may underestimate the body’s dynamic complexity and adaptive capacity. Stressors, whether those of the chronic or acute kinds, may cause adaptive changes in varying physical localities for systemic balance. There may be check-and-balance mechanisms and complexity we’ve yet to understand.

Intermittent Fasting and Recent Personal Experiences

Through my own period of stress and sleep deficit, intermittent fasting has helped manage my body weight and kept my body fat low, and it helped to preserve my optimal health (mentally and physically).

Intermittent fasting effectively removes much of the physical and mental stress associated with constant eating, meal preparation, eating schedule, and “eating dependency.” Also, the reduction in eating frequency probably decreased post-prandial stress, the inflammation occurring after meal consumption.

Intermittent Fasting and “The Important Things In Life”

This is not a bragging right nor is it something to be proud of: life has been busy and time is a premium. Every morning, before the storm of a new day, I take a quiet moment to watch my daughter sleep, breathing her tiny breaths, and then I bend to kiss her gently before I’m off to work.

Intermittent fasting removes the obsession that is breakfast — and all its preparation and mindless eating over the day’s incoming emails — and gives me a calm moment to breath in the soft focus that is my sleeping daughter.

During the day, a tight schedule can be made tighter with morning snacks and lunch, which are invariably mindless eating-on-the-run. Instead of the arbitrarily scheduled eating bouts most people subscribe to, I’m able to touch base and interact with colleagues for the “human side” of work.

Not being a slave to scheduled meals liberates time for mundane things, like email replies and daily projects, so that when I come home, I’m a husband and a father.

On weekends, freedom from the traditional eating schedule and the knowledge that there’s no physical harm or starvation of not eating also facilitates family time and a care-free day. It’s what the weekend is for.

Dylan, at 5 months:

Intermittent Fasting, Liberate Your Life

Intermittent fasting represents the freedom to chose and to live. You can chose to adopt intermittent fasting as part of a lifestyle; you can chose to fast on any given day of the week, or every day; you can chose to do other things instead of eat; or you can chose to eat when it really counts.

Intermittent fasting is liberation.

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43 Responses to Intermittent Fasting, Liberate Your Life

  1. johneturnerii says:

    Glad to have you back and posting again. Congratulations on the baby!

  2. hcestes says:

    What a beautiful baby!! Congratulations!! And welcome back! I’ve missed your blog!

  3. Joe says:

    What a beautiful family, and with a name like Dylan you know she will be successful in whatever she does. Good to see you blogging again.

    Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.
    B. Dylan

  4. David Hoskins says:

    Good to have you back posting again Johnny.

    Congratulations on becoming a father, Dylan is adorable!

    On a related note I started a new job as a travelling sales rep 5months ago which means my schedule is varied from day to day. At the time I started I had drifted away from IF but re-started again as it liberated me from meal timing. It allows me to fit food into my day, some days I eat at noon, somedays it’s 5pm.
    I have slowly leaned out during this time too and have dropped to around 10% bf when many other guys in my job keep gaining weight, this is because they must eat breakfast and lunch even when they are at a service station or in an area where no sensible food choices are available.

    • Johnny says:

      Thanks, David. Yes, IF liberates you from the claws of crap food. You eat it by choice, not because it’s “time to eat.” Perhaps that’s the biggest benefit: IF puts choices back into your hands, and holds you accountable. No more crutches and excuses: “Oh, but lamp-heated hot dogs were the only thing they had for lunch.”

      Best,
      Johnny

  5. Matt L says:

    Great to have you back Johnny and what a beautiful daughter you have.

    It’s a shame you lost the original Lean Saloon domain, but hey, the message you deliver is what’s important.

    A great blog post as always.

    Take it easy,

    Matt

  6. Scott says:

    Congratulations and good to see you back, I loved your posts.

  7. Sigi says:

    Oh, Johnny, she’s beeyoooooooootiful! I hope you and Lori are finding great joy in the whole parenting thang and your new lifestyle. Wishing you plenty of catch-up sleep soon!

  8. jaysond says:

    yo johnny, glad your back. i check daily for you! daughter is beautiful man, awesome job. great post as always. for me, IF gives me the freedom to stop at ricks rather rich ice cream and have a vanilla bean milk shake whenever im in town LOL

    hell, i might even order 2 of them if its a training day!

    • Johnny says:

      jaysond,
      Rick’s Rather Rich… now you’re talking my language. Amazing how shredded you’ve become and still talking about a double-order of vanilla bean milk-shake. I’ll join you for one, for sure.
      Best,
      Johnny

      • jaysond says:

        well im shredded because you opened my eyes to IF. yes i have taken it to another level but your site made me make the leap back in June 2011! thanks!

        ill be at Rick’s on April 18th at between 11am – 12pm (noon) ! ill shoot you a reminder day before!

  9. foggy says:

    sweet, beautiful baby. Does her mom handle IF? seems most of the posts are from and about men’s health?
    Foggy

    • Johnny says:

      Hi Foggy,

      Mom did IF through much of her pregnancy, eating only when physically hungry, with no apparent effect to pregnancy or baby. Very straight-forward, full-term delivery. Baby is extremely healthy and all developmental measurements are normal (weight, length, head circumference, motor, etc.).

      Best,
      Johnny

  10. Maomao says:

    I’m curious at what age will you teach your child to practise IF? Or has Dylan started the IF journey already?

    • Johnny says:

      Hi Maomao, great question. I think it’s more important to teach Dylan to eat only when she’s hungry, and that food is primarily to nourish the body, and secondarily to enhance social interaction in some circumstances. Equally important in teaching her that the body is nourished primarily by food, we’ll teach her that the soul is nourished primarily by the arts, literature, and by healthy relationships with those around her — not by food. Anyway, a touchy area that deserves more thoughts and exploration.
      Best,
      Johnny

      • Johnny,
        First off, glad to have you back. Dylan is beautiful, what a head of hair!
        My kids have always eaten when hungry, IF’ed naturally. We always have good food at meal time, I never had to stop the kids from eating, sometimes they wouldn’t even finish what was on their plate. Not that we didn’t let them have some junk, there was some, only limited. When my oldest daughter was in elementary school, I was actually accused of not feeding her enough food, she was so lean. Healthy? yes for the most part. What is interesting that the kids who did not have ear problems were both breast fed. (long story why only two of the five were breast fed).

  11. Al says:

    To Johnny or anyone else ehwho answer my question.

    My biggest hurdle with IF is compensating. After I fast I always tend to overeat. It seems like I eat the same amount of food regardless if I use IF or not. How do I overcome this? Has anyone else had this problem before? Thanks.

    • jaysond says:

      i had the same problem at first. i learned to weigh my meals, ready my nutrition labels and switch out as much processed food for whole natural food for satiety. now what your numbers are (calories) and break it up into meals during your feeding window. i never knew how much i was overeating until i counted. johnny is not a fan of counting but i shredded out once i started doing it.

      always put satiety first. example, a cup of your average nuts is between 700-900 calories. nuts are great, great snacks BUT one cup of nuts is like having 6 chicken breasts.

      protein powder (protein shakes) averages about 20 grams of protein per 30 grams of powder. 100 grams of uncooked chicken has 20 grams of protein.

      out of the two examples what do you think will hold you over longer, the whole food!

      i really hope this helps!

      • Johnny says:

        Excellent reply. There are lots to gain by having a clear perspective on food. That’s a must in today’s food environment.
        Best,
        Johnny

      • GuyJeb says:

        This is really insightful. I’ve been downing protein shakes to “hit my Protein goal”, when the reason I’m trying to do that is to cut down on my weight. lol Too much internet information confusing me.

        The only real time I’ve lost weight in the past 3 years was from this site. Learning that I can fast 10 -36 hours if I want to, and actually eat 600 – 1,200 calories a day(TDEE 2,500) without damaging my body.

        Fasting and Whole real food keeps winning every time. No wonder obesity wasn’t an issue so long ago. Cavepeople were never told to eat 6 meals a day, etc etc,

        Thank you Johnny for all the information you provide!

  12. Johnny says:

    Although IF is part of a big solution to overeating (learning hunger cues, regulation of energy substrates, enhancing fat metabolism, etc.), you still have to learn eating control, and this starts with behavioral changes.
    Best,
    Johnny

  13. Darren says:

    Johnny/Jaysond, you offer an interesting “twist” on the LeanSaloon method. I think a period of daily IF, WITH calorie counting is a valuable tool. I think nowadays we really have no concept of what a “normal” portion size is and how much fuel we ACTUALLY need, as opposed to what we think we need. I feel like a period of IF with calorie counting can recalibrate our sense of appropriate portion sizes. Who the hell wants to count calories long term…..too boring and monotonous but for a short period of time, makes sense to me. Jaysond, sounds like you had some serious success with this and I am assuming, once the “recalibration” is done, you can go to a more sustainable, “loose” and intuitive method of Leansaloon-ing.

  14. jaysond says:

    darren, how right you are. i have had such success with I’Fasting it has been a game changer for me. i was able to get from 8.9% BF to 6-7% by using I’Fasting and getting my portion sizes down. it might not sound like a lot but once your in the single digit body fat zone its very hard to loose fat. notice i said “loose fat” not loose weight, huge difference. i spent about 2 months weighing my food and now i pretty much have it all memorized. here is one on the fly (not looking it up, promise) approx 1 large egg, 52 grams, 70 calories and 6 grams protein and 5 grams fat! ;o)

    your also right about how much fuel we need. your average restaurant portion is way too much food and defiantly has way too many carbs vs protein on the plate on never enough green veggies.

    i don’t count or weigh anymore unless it’s a new routine and i need to know the data. I’Fasting is a way of life and on weekends i spend plenty of time with my 2 best friends (my 12yr old son and 16yr old daughter)…. and we know how to party with lots of treats at the mall and movies and lots of laughs! martin from leangains says, let the good times roll and he is right. i worked hard to get my body dialed in and now i can let the good times roll!

    if i cant have two large vanilla bean milk shakes with whipped cream mixed in the shake whenever i’m in palo alto (not very often) or some chocolate drizzle kettle corn at the great mall with my kids………. Then whats the point!

  15. Chance says:

    Hey Johnny, so glad you are back and congrats on the greatest gift you will ever receive, your daughter. She is beautiful.
    I have had some staggering results with IF thanks to you. You, your website, simplified it to a point where I actually saw IF as doable, sustainable, and effective. I have lost at least 40 lbs. and at 36, am easily in the best shape of my life. But I may have a problem.
    I am experiencing some negative side effects that I think may be related to under nutrition but I’m stuck in a rut of chasing further progress.

    • Johnny says:

      Hi Chance,
      First congrats on achieving the best shape of your life.
      Second, increase your nutrition by increasing colors (naturally) in your food.
      The healthy balance is somewhere between over-calorie and under-nutrition.

      Best,
      Johnny

  16. Joe says:

    Hey Johnny, any word on the 9-pound leather medicine balls you were trying to get?
    Thank you.

    • Johnny says:

      Got a couple of samples made by some manufacturers and the way I’d want people to use the medballs, the stitches are poor quality. I wouldn’t want to be associated with that kind of craftsmanship. The search continues, though not at the top of the list. I recommend looking into Leatherhead Sports leather medballs. I have one, and it’s tough and beautiful at the same time.

      Best,
      Johnny

  17. Jared says:

    Johnny
    I’m 20 year old and I’d like to have a decent physique and be fit
    My physique goal is something like this same age guy: http://i43.tinypic.com/5zqyu.png
    I’m confused because I know even though I just weigh 141 lbs I should lose fat to look like that, but bodybuilders on forums say that I will look like a starving kid if I lose fat and I should bulk but when I bulk I just look fatter. Also I have been told I should do a 5 day split, pyramid sets, focus on increase the weight I lift 10 lbs every week and a lot of other specialized things but all I want is just a decent physique not becoming a professional athlete and I wonder what’s a good simple straight forward workout I can do with just a pair of adjustable dumbbells at home to improve my body shape and composition.

    Thanks

    • Johnny says:

      Jared,

      Keep doing strength exercises that your body is not used to, and do it a lot. Change it up regularly. Be consistent. Your genetics will determine how far you can go, and when you’re about 97% at your genetic ceiling, put more obsession into the details, if you want any bit of improvement. Until you reach that 97%, do the above.

      Also, look around on the web for all kinds of great bodybuilding and strength methods for whatever equipment you have access to.

      Best,
      Johnny

  18. Matt says:

    Yeah!! So glad to have you back and posting Johnny. I’ve been watching and hoping for TLS to return, good luck in your new incarnation.

    And of course, congratulations on your beautiful daughter.

  19. Matt says:

    Glad to have you back!
    I was a slave to the bodybuilding mantra of 6 meals per day. Then my wife gave birth to twins, and I was pretty much forced into IF. (There literally was zero time to eat during the day.)
    It was a happy accident and I haven’t looked back.

  20. Chance says:

    I really appreciate your minimalist approach to looking good and have spent the last six months self experimenting with some decent success. I have a few questions related to this:
    You’ve said that ultimately genetics will determine where we end up physically. Are there signs to look for to know when we are at our peak?
    In regards to exercise, I agree completely in the benefits of increasing incidental activity and I think it’s obvious that previous generations and certain segments of our population have this advantage over most Americans, but I want to talk about “working out”…You look great with a minimal amount of “working out”, but I’m guessing that you’re main objective is maintenance. Isn’t there a difference in the amount of work one needs to gain versus maintain?
    Any thoughts you have are appreciated.

    • Johnny says:

      Hi Chance,
      Great questions. Genetics play different roles with different perspectives, depending on what physical characteristics you’re considering: muncle, fat level, performance, etc. Most people use elaborate methods that make sense only when closest to genetic ceiling, even though they’re nowhere close. Hard to determine “where” this genetic ceiling it from person to person, but you can get an idea by looking at natural competitive bodybuilders, fitness competitors. For performance, perhaps observe collegiate athletes (then, of course, performance at that level requires an entire different lifestyle and eating pattern). Some goes with effort for achieving a state or effort for maintenance — it depends. If it’s muscle mass, for example, the stimulus (work) to achieve a certain amount of muscle is still needed to maintain that certain amount long-term (maybe even more work because the body accommodates and can go backwards even with the same amount of work). As for fat loss, there may be more work at the front end to lose the excess, as compared to the work required for maintenance, though effort may be just as great or greater.

      But in the end, the mirror or how you feel will be the best and simplest guidance. If you’re not there, then keep at it. If you’re there, then adopt a lifestyle that will keep you there.

      Hope that helps,
      Johnny

  21. Sondra Rose says:

    Yay, I found you!

    Dylan is breath-takingly gorgeous!!

    Thanks for keeping an island of sanity out in the blogosphere.

    • Johnny says:

      Thanks, Sondra. Good to hear from you. A few balls are in the air right now and I’m not the most skillful juggler. See you online!
      Best,
      Johnny

  22. sondrarose says:

    So glad I finally found you here!

    Congrats on your beautiful daughter & I do hope you can both catch-up on some sleep. I recently found this blog article, which you may find interesting:http://drgominak.com/vitamin-d

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