Home Blog The Truth About Meal Frequency: Is Intermittent Fasting for You?

The Truth About Meal Frequency: Is Intermittent Fasting for You?

Written on March 26, 2012 at 7:46 am, by Eric Cressey

Today’s guest nutrition blog comes from former Cressey Performance intern Tyler Simmons.

“It’s best to eat 5 – 7 times a day.”

“Eating every three hours fuels your metabolism.”

“If you skip meals, your body goes into ‘starvation mode,’ you gain fat, and burn muscle for energy.”

Chances are that you’ve probably heard something like the above statements if you’ve read anything about diet or exercise in the last ten years. Many of you (myself included) probably spent a lot of time preparing and eating meals, in the hopes of optimizing fat loss and better muscle gain.

What does the data really show about spacing out your meals? When I started researching the topic of meal frequency in 2010, I assumed there was ample scientific evidence to back up these nearly unanimous claims that smaller, more frequent meals were better than larger, less frequent meals. Boy, was I disappointed.

To my surprise, the scientific literature had some different things to say. My research focused on how changing meal frequency impacts two different things: 1) Metabolic Rate and 2) Weight Loss. What I found was compelling evidence that reduced meal frequency, sometimes known as Intermittent Fasting (IF), could actually help me, so I started an experiment.

In the summer of 2010 I was living in Alaska doing construction and labor, as well as doing off-season training for Track and Field (sprinting, jumping, and lifting). For years I had focused on eating every 2-3 hours, but based on my new findings, I decided to limit all omy food intake to an 8-hour window, leaving 16 hours of the day as my fasting portion.

Despite doing fasted, hard labor all day, then lifting, sprinting, and playing basketball, I managed to set records on all my lifts at the end of the summer. Not only was I stronger than ever, but I got leaner too.

Here’s pictures from before and after, about 2 months apart:

Getting lean wasn’t even my main goal; the idea that I could be free from eating every three hours without suffering negative side effects was extremely liberating. No longer was I controlled by arbitrary meal times and tupperware meals in a lunch box. During this summer, I developed the ability to go long periods of time (18-24 hours) without food, and not get tired, cranky, our mentally slow down.

So why didn’t I catabolize my muscles, drop my metabolic rate, and end up looking like skinny-fat Richard Simmons (no relation)?

The Science

The idea that eating several smaller meals is better came from a few pieces of information. The first was because of an association between greater meal frequency and reduced body weight in a couple of epidemiological studies, although this only shows a correlation, not causation. Breakfast eaters are more likely to engage in other health activities, such as exercise, which explains the relationship. In the most comprehensive review of relevant studies, the authors state that any epidemiological evidence for increased meal-frequency is extremely weak and “almost certainly represents an artefact” (1).

The second piece is related to the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), which is the amount of energy needed to digest and process the food you eat. Fortunately, this is dependent on total quantity of food, not on how it’s spaced, making the distinction irrelevant.

So, now we can see that the supposed benefits from increased meal frequency do not hold up to closer inspection, but why would we want to purposefully wait longer in between meals?

Originally, researchers thought Caloric Restriction (CR) was the bee’s knees. Preliminary research showed that CR slows aging, reduces oxidative damage, and reduces insulin and levels. All good, right? Unfortunately, these benefits come with some nasty trade-offs, including reduced metabolic rate, low energy levels, constant hunger, and low libido, pretty much what you would expect from chronically restricting food intake. These were not happy animals.

Recent research has shown that Intermittent Fasting or reduced meal frequency can convey many of the benefits of CR while avoiding the negative side effects. Some of these benefits include:

  • Favorable changes to blood lipids
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Decreased markers of inflammation
  • Reduction in oxidative stress
  • Increased Growth Hormone release
  • Greater thermogenesis/elevated metabolic rate
  • Improved fat burning
  • Improved appetite control

Some of these effects may be secondary to the reduction of calories due to improved appetite control, or they may be primary effects of IF, the research is not conclusive on this yet.

One of the most interesting findings was that contrary to conventional wisdom, reduced meal frequency actually causes an increase in thermogenesis (metabolic rate), which is mediated through the increase of catecholamines (stress hormones), such as adrenaline and norepinephrine (1,2). Yep, you read that right: instead of slowing your metabolism down, it speeds it up. Catecholamines also help with the liberation of fatty acids from fat cells, making them available to be burned as energy.

That’s the “why” and the “how” for some of the effects of IF. Whatever the mechanism for it, IF seems to be effective for at least some people, myself included. But before you rush off to go start fasting 16 hours a day, here are some tips and caveats.

Important Considerations

Many people ask me if IF is good or bad, but as with most things, it depends. IF is not appropriate in certain situations. It can be good or bad, depending on who you are (your current health status/lifestyle) and what your goals are. IF is a stressor on the body; one of the primary effects is an increase in stress hormones. If you’re lacking sleep, eating low quality foods, stressed out about your job, and excessively exercising then don’t start an IF protocol. It will backfire and you will end up fat and tired!

Only experiment with an IF program if you are getting 8-9 hours of sleep a night, eating a high quality diet, appropriately recovering from exercise, and don’t have too many mental/emotional stressors.

As far as what goals this works for, common sense applies here. IF is generally best for people who are already moderately lean and are trying to get leaner. If you’re trying to put on 30 pounds of mass, don’t start IF. If you’re an athlete with a very heavy training load, don’t try IF.

For those of you who fit the criteria of goals and health status, I suggest experimenting with the 8-hour fed/16-hour fasted periods. Eat quality foods to satiation in your eating window, especially focusing on the post-training period.

Keep in mind that IF is not for everyone, but it can be a powerful tool at certain times.  Most importantly, even if IF isn’t for you, remember that you shouldn’t stress out if you miss a meal occasionally!

Additional Note/Addendum

Many readers have noted that this is similar to what Martin Berkhan does in his LeanGeans protocol. Martin Berkhan was certainly influential in the thought process behind this, and I don’t mean to take anything away from him. To be clear, LeanGains is much more complex than a 16:8 fasting:eating period. LeanGains involves calculating calorie intake, fluctuating calorie intake +20% on training day/ -20% on off days, macronutrient cycling (high carb/low carb), supplementing with BCAA’s, etc. I didn’t use any of these techniques during my ten week experiment, I just ate to satiety during an 8-hour window. Martin is a great resource for people that want to learn more, especially on the body composition side of things. His website is leangains.com.

About the Author

Tyler Simmons is the owner and head Nutrition/Strength & Conditioning Coach at Evolutionary Health Systems. He has his bachelors in Kinesiology with a focus in Exercise Science and Exercise Nutrition from Humboldt State University. A former collegiate athlete, Tyler specializes in designing training and nutrition programs for athletes of all levels, as well as general population. Learn more at EvolutionaryHealthSystems.com.

Related Posts

Why You Should Never Take Nutrition Advice from Your Government
Anabolic Cooking: Why You Don’t Have to Gag to Eat Healthy

References

1. Bellisle, F., & McDevitt, R. (1997). Meal frequency and energy balance. British Journal of Nutrition, 77, 57-70.

2. Mansell, P., & Fellows, I. (1990). Enhanced thermogenic response to epinephrine after 48-h starvation in humans. The American Journal of Physiology, 258, 87-93.

3. Staten, M., Matthews, D., & Cryer, P. (1987). Physiological increments in epinephrine stimulate metabolic rate in humans. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, 253, 322-330.

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  • Thanks Tyler. IF has been all the buzz these days and I think your caveats are KEY. It IS NOT for everyone and definitely not, IMO, for the general public who should be categorized as practicing IN (Intermittent Nutrition).

  • Jake

    Just my 2 cents: Been doing the leangains 16/8 fast/eating for the last 6 mos or so. Started Ferruggia’s Renegade Diet last month, which is basically 16/8 with only greens/protein/fat for the first 4 hrs of the feeding time. I’ve stayed at 188-192 lbs (8% BF) doing a Wendler 5/3/1 variation. My 1RM’s have improved and my weight has stayed the same, so I’m happy! The fasting is easy once you’ve done it for a week or so. I’ve done Cressey’s Show & Go before, and the 16/8 method would be perfect with it. If you have a high volume lifting program (bodybuilding-style), you might need to up the calories a bit around the workout area.

  • john

    The first couple days of intermittent fasting are tough, but one can adapt very quickly. I’ve gradually settled on a usual 2 large meals per day–maybe one is better, maybe not.

    Eric,

    Have you ever noticed a tendency to rotate the hips when standing on one leg [my hips drift significantly left when standing on right leg]? Is there a few obvious and quick ways to correct this?

  • Fine job, Tyler. I really appreciated that you pointed out who is not a candidate to try IF and that IF is a major stressor for the body. As intuitive as both might seem, it bears repeating and is seldom pointed out elsewhere.

    RS

  • Tyler,

    I periodically use intermittent fasting, and see great results.

    Some people might see IF as the gateway to getting leaner while slacking on their diet at the same time. This isn’t the case. To nail the full benefits of fasting, you need to eat the right kinds of foods just as you were on the 5-7 meal schedule.

  • R Smith, thank you and as you can tell, I’m in full agreement. The stress factors are the main thing that I see left out of the conversation in regards to IF.

    Mitchell, that’s great that the fasting is working for you so well. You’re absolutely correct, this will not let you get away with poor meal quality. In the hierarchy of nutrition factors, food quality is king.

  • Arturo

    Great post. I have been doing IF for over a month now and I have lost weight, but I have also been on a caloric deficit. I plan on starting the normal eating schedule next month to see changes. I already eat a healthy diet, but my main thing is I do have a lot of school work and constantly stressing. Lack of sleep just adds to this. Training under these conditions is awful, but overall I enjoy my morning when I am busy, but I find that timing is still important with this diet. I feel I have more flexibility by not timing my meals by leaving 16 hours of fasting aside.

  • Casper

    Worked last year with IF as per Brad Pilon with fasting 24 hours every 5 days and it worked wonders in my case. It should offer also other benefits comparing to the 16/8 regimen as the studies show the real benefits past standard CR lie after the 18 hour fasting point – HGH released by body skyrockets as the glucagon releases stored glycogen in the liver converting glucose and raising blood sugar levels.

    All my main lifts went up but so did the stress levels, as said don’t do it if you are on 6 hours sleep and hight intensity workouts and other stressors. But def worth a try and everyone should find his own IF protocol, i like what Brad advises, 24 hour once or two times per week.

  • Cool. I’ve been doing an LG approach since March of 2011 (1 year-yippy!) and couldnt be happier. I was putting down 5-6 meals before that like most people and it wasn’t terrible. However, I enjoy eating mountains of food at a time. Overall, IF works great for me and makes it easy for me to shred if thats my goal. I eat plenty of meats and greens, plus sweet potatoes and some fruits here and there. I def. dont use it as an excuse to eat crap, because I don’t like feeling like crap! I’m glad to see its spreading!

  • Tyler, great write up mate!! It comes at a great time too with the Renegade Diet just being released. I have just purchased it and it’s great to see another person’s point of view on IF who isn’t getting paid to talk it up. Some great points raised and I did like your recommendations on who it’s for and not for. Great work mate!

    John,
    Just as a random observation, hips should slightly move laterally to compensate for standing on one leg. There shouldn’t be any rotation though. If it feels weird then maybe some glute activation or core stability to help straighten it up. Just a few thoughts. 😉

    Matt

  • darius sohei

    You look the same in both pics, only the after is tanner/redder. And being lean itself does not equal health as there are plenty of lean people with endocrine dysfunction, etc.

  • Matt

    So let me get this straight. On the 16/8 IF I could basically eat very similar to the old way. If I ate every 2 hours with the 16/8 split I would get 5 separate meals. One at the start of the 8 hours and then every 2 hours. What’s the big difference? Plus part of the 16 hours is 8 hours sleeping. If I go to bed at 11pm and sleep till 7am I eat 11am-7pm. That’s not a major difference. Basically just missing an early breakfast. Or am I missing something?
    And do agree with Darius not much of a difference other than being tan. Do you have any solid numbers to back up your experience?

  • Tyler, great info. I agree IF needs to be part of a lifestyle approach. If you haven’t looked into this already, you should connect with Mike T. Nelson at http://www.extremehumanperformance.com. He’s developed a concept called Metabolic Flexibility which includes IF in it’s approach. But it also goes beyond that; basically training the metabolism to be very efficient at using any food for fuel (fat or carbs) and be very efficient at using either at the appropriate times.

  • Tyler,
    Good stuff! John Berardi has some great articles that parallel some of the ideas presented.

  • Tyler, like how you’ve put some research into this. As for your pictures, I can tell you’ve put on some muscle mass, which is something people looking to do IF wouldn’t think could be possible. I’ve tried IF a few years ago when I was first introduced to it by Brad Pillon and had ok results, but nothing crazy. I did the one day a week fast, instead of the 16/8 breakdown you describe.
    Could you offer a sample day of what you’d eat and the times you ate? I realize you only eat during that 8 hour window, but is there any restrictions during that window besides not eating junk?
    Great read!

  • Andrea

    Thanks! The article raises a question – what about doing IF while stressed? Why not?

    If you have research I’d love to see it. I’m specifically asking *because of* things like “fasting before chemo increases survival” and all that – clearly that’s fasting while under pretty extreme stress, and it works.

    And there’s the whole adage of fasting when sick in general to help the body regroup and conserve…. thanks for more insight.

  • Dale

    I’m an IF’er and at the age of 55 am leaner than I was when I graduated from highschool.

    HOWEVER, I’m not so sure how helpful it is to distinguish between IF and calorie restriction. IF IS another form of calorie restriction.

    The reason I’ve lost fat, since taking up IF, is because it afforded a means of reducing calories while, at the same time, allowing me to enjoy more substantial meals when I did eat.

    Conversely, I know people who’ve GAINED weight on IF.

  • Natalie

    Actually those lions are copulating so they probably ARE pretty happy animals. If it didn’t feel good they wouldn’t do it so often 😉 Interesting article, but the pic doesn’t quite fit lol

  • Craig Harrison

    The protocol is pretty much what Jason Ferrugia is now advocating in his Renegade Diet book. Been following this way of living for the past 2 weeks and feel noticebly better, and nowhere near as stressed out as I was preparing and eating food all the time.

    First week was a challenge in the mornings as you are skipping the traditional big breakfast but your energy levels are much higher for the day. Dont get tired throughtout the day anymore which is a massive plus.

  • Drew

    8-9 Hours of sleep with no life stress?

    So IF is only for surfers who smoke weed all day? This is laughable.

  • Nigel

    ” If you’re trying to put on 30 pounds of mass, don’t start IF. If you’re an athlete with a very heavy training load, don’t try IF. ”

    That was the best part of this article! Now was my fish and yams?

  • Arturo, glad to hear you’re liking it. I think you would probably see a lot better results if you managed your stress a bit better, and got some more sleep!

    Casper, good point. I’ll look more in to the benefits of extended fasts. It happens to me a couple of times a month just by chance, but I haven’t ever purposefully scheduled them.

    Matty C, thanks! A couple of people have mentioned the renegade diet, I might have to check it out.

    Curb Ivanic, thanks. I’m familiar with Mike Nelson and his metabolic flexibility stuff, Mike is a good guy.

    Darren, I heard Berardi was doing some stuff along these lines, I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet though. Thanks for the heads up.

    Conor, this article was actually a very condensed version of an extensive literature review I did in 2010, if you’re interested in reading the full paper, shoot me an email and I’ll send it your way. I was basically macronutrient agnostic during the trial, but all of my food was really high quality – mostly pastured meat, fish, eggs, sweet potatoes, potatoes, all sorts of vegetables. I’ll send you a sample day if you’d like.

    Andrea, while this is outside of my knowledge base, I think the main difference is between chronic stressors and acute stressors. IF with an intermittent stressor would be fine, but under chronic stress I’ve seen people develop other problems. Usually the first sign is when you’re tired but can’t sleep well, if that happens then you need to back off of the IF.

    Dale, IF can be calorically restricted, but isn’t always. As you say, some people use it to put on muscle.

    Craig, thanks for the input on the renegade diet, I’ve been hearing good things.

  • fred penner

    good article but i’d like to point out the only difference between the before and after photo’s is the tan and the pose. no noticeable body fat change, but its a well written article.

  • Rafael

    All the times i try with window +/- 12 hours, my weight come down and i feel thinner, with good quality, but fow who want gain weight sometimes its hard, specially eat alot of food in short time

  • Mike

    I think you owe it to Martin Berkham to at least give him CREDIT or a link back to his site, http://www.leangains.com for blatantly taking his material and passing it off as your own.

    Pretty weak, brah.

  • I think this is an interesting post, but only scratches the surface of our knowledge of what IF actually does and why it works and it’s failings. See these two links if you really want to know about IF. There’s a third part to the series coming out this week:
    http://www.dangerouslyhardcore.com/1270/intermittent-fasting-part-1/

    http://www.dangerouslyhardcore.com/1299/intermittent-fasting-part-2-the-fights-over/

  • Chris

    I believe this is the lean gains method yeah?

  • Good stuff Tyler and thanks for sharing! Thanks for the kind words Curb.

    AS you state, IF is not that scary and won’t result in a massive loss of muscle mass.

    I personally perfer a longer fast of about 24 hours done about once a week for most people since there is a bit of data showing that insulin levels will flatten out around 18 hours; so that gives them another 6 hours or so of uber low insulin.

    Insulin is the fuel selector switch, and low insulin = more fat oxidation and ramping up of all the machinery involved in it. I think this is actually the main benefit of IF as it makes you more metabolically flexible towards fat as a viable fuel source.

    I agree that starting IF can be more stressful, but a key is to never force a fast. Forcing physiology is rarely ever a good idea. Slowly working towards a longer and longer fast, just like progressive overload appears to be faster.

    I know Martin and other have seen great results with a 16/8 approach, but I think you may miss out on some time to spike up muscle protein synthesis (MPS) with the daily longer fasts.
    How much muscle this will add up to in time is unknown though.

    Thanks again for sharing!
    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

  • Vic

    No citation of Martin Berkhan?

  • Good article and definitely some things to think about. On a personal level, I’ve been IFing for over a year and I have to say that it is the only way for me to stay lean and strong. I hate to have foods/drinks that are off limits (beer, ice cream, In N Out etc.) I had Brad Pilon’ book “Eat Stop Eat” on my computer and after about a year I finally got around to reading and it was a true eye opener. Anyone considering IF should watch some of his YouTube video’s on the other benefits of IF. One benefit that I wasn’t aware of and that’s not mentioned here is that when you eat you stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and when you fast you stimulate your sympathetic nervous system so its not uncommon to feel a little “wired” towards the end of fast. I know that sounds counter intuitive but its true. The other thing that IF will do, and this I can’t explain, is give you an intensity in your workouts that is like no other.

  • Also, just curious but what does reference three pertain to? The study itself doesn’t seem to be applicable to the article at hand, as the test subjects weren’t fasted and the experimental protocol employed injecting epinephrine (adrenaline) and not dietary methods of manipulation.

  • Nate

    Hey, sounds great! What do you think of Martin Berkhan btw?

  • Tony

    No offense, but could you at least give credit where credit is due? Some people work really hard over the years, with trial and error to develop such method.

  • Mike, Chris, Vic, Nate –

    Martin Berkhan was certainly influential in this protocol, I don’t mean to take anything away from him. To be clear, LeanGains is much more complex than a 16:8 fasting:eating period, it also involves calculating calorie intake, fluctuating calorie intake +20% on training day/ -20% on off days, macronutrient cycling (high carb/low carb), etc – I didn’t use any of these techniques during my test, just ate to satiety. Martin is a great resource for people that want to learn more, especially on the body-comp side of things, maybe not as much for athletics.

  • Kiefer-

    Thanks for reading, I’m a big fan of your work, by the way. I will definitely check out the links. Keep up the great writing. I have done some other experiments with carb backloading that I found to be very successful.

    The third citation is to show that catecholamines do influence metabolic rate; that the increase is not caused by another nutritional factor. The researchers in the second citation showed an increase in RMR and an increase in adrenaline during a fast, the third is just supporting evidence that it is the adrenaline increasing the metabolic rate.

  • Tyler, there are plenty of people who follow Berkhan’s IF protocol without calorie or macronutrient cycling. But the idea itself of 16/8 is purely his idea first, and therefore, you really should be crediting him in this article. To say otherwise is just dishonest.

  • Eric

    I’ve been following Martin Berkhan’s method or slight variations (including the “eating to satiety” plan that you mention in the article) for almost a year now. You really should be crediting him in this article even if you don’t advocate the other parts of his method. Berkhan started the 16/8 protocol–he deserves the credit.

  • pacificBeef

    “…maybe not as much for athletics.”

    deadlifting ~600lbs seems pretty athletic

    http://bit.ly/Hccr2W

  • Ryan

    +1 on crediting Martin Berkhan. Kind of weak to write a whole article on the guy’s work without even mentioning who came up with this concept.

    My roommate and I have been on LG for 3 months now. I’m having incredible results and my gains seem to be accelerating. I am adding lean mass quickly while my roommate (stronger and fatter guy) has been maintaining strength while losing weight quickly.

  • Emy

    Sir, is there a reason why you won’t post my comment about not citing Martin Berkhan and his site (www.leangains.com)?

  • Ahmed

    So you are saying that pulling 600+ is not athletic?

    Be professional and give credit where it is due. It is fine to have your own variation, as in Jason Ferruggia’s Renegade Diet. Unlike you, he maintains his professionalism and gives Martin the credit he deserves.

    I would be very surprised if anyone actually takes you seriously from now on….

  • I have approved all comments that don’t include profanity or serious negativity. All constructive criticism is always welcomed.

    That said, please note the addendum to the article. I’ve also emailed Martin directly to clear the air.

  • Tyler,

    Thanks for responding. I can see the thread of logic now. Citation (3) just seemed to be hanging there.

    Also, thanks for reading my stuff. I look forward to reading more of your work.

    I sent you an email if you wouldn’t mind keeping an eye out for it.

  • Bulldog

    Fasting has been around since…well…forever. Martin Berkhan doesn’t own the patent on the 16/8 at its generic level the way Tyler here is talking about. Sorry, Tyler, if you had gone with the 5 hour eating protocol you’d be accused of stealing work from the author of the Fast 5 diet, a 5/19 protocol that’s been around on the Internet for quite a long time as well. Nice article by the way. However, you’d better quote me if you take my 15/9…geesh!

  • Mark

    The take home point is that meal frequency, (in terms of body composition) is a matter of personal preference. There is ample evidence to support this, including this piece.

    Thanks for the piece, it will help in the quest to eliminate the bro-science that is so prevalent with regards to nutrition and the exercising crowd!

  • Kel

    Nice results. I am curious, however. It seems people are either fasting and then feasting, or obsessively eating 6-7 meals a day like weirdos. Has anyone looked into people who just eat a normal 3 meals a day of extremely healthy food? Does it really have to be one of two extremes?

    Kel

  • DecathlonHSU

    Martin Berkhan: From reading these posts and your own, I think that Perhaps you should get in league with Microsoft, or the federal reserve. I say this because these entities have monopolies on there areas of business and you obvious feel that you have a monopoly on fasting. Although fasting has been around for thousands of years and people have been doing it for as long as people have recorded history, It must have been Mr. Berkhans heritage that has been passing on this undeniable information. For people to continue complaining about this article “copying” Berkhans, says to me that people really cant read well and digest the article that’s provided, for if you had that ability to decipher black from white, then you would see that this article represents well established scientific information that no person is entitled to as there own. Unless of course you were the scientist that did that research and published it in a scientific journal, but still that information is shared with the public sphere to better all. It would seem that in the nutrition community we would want to share more information and come to a higher understanding of health through positive dialog and feedback. Unfortunately Mr. Berkhan and his followers are more concerned with getting credit for something that is meant for all, and has been known and been done for a long time now. I thank you Mr. Simmons for continuing to share information and empower the public. It is people like you, that are willing to be unselfish that help this world become a better place.

  • marc

    IF has been around for a long time. Dr. John Berrardi did a really cool experiment not too long ago, using different IF protocols. His results were awesome (you can actually get a free download… PN nutrition site).

  • Kane

    I like that people are starting to talk about how stressful IF can be on the body. Like you said, it is definitely not for everyone but if you are in the right place in your health and life, it can be very powerful.

    The other thing I think people need to start thinking about is WHEN to do IF. If you live in the Midwest, or anywhere with seasons, IF should be avoided during the winter in my opinion. Otherwise, you have 3 of the biggest stressors to the body going on at once: low blood sugar, cold and darkness. Coupled with work and exercise stress and I think you will start to run chronically on stress hormones and set yourself up for health problems down the road.

  • Mark, you are 100% right on. That was the point of the article exactly.

    Kel, I should have been more clear on this but I was limited in length- Three meals a day is a totally viable way to eat, it’s what I do the majority of the time. The extremes certainly aren’t needed.

    Marc, I checked out Berardi’s ebook since I wrote this, seems like we came to many of the same conclusions.

    Kane, I agree and that’s why I really emphasized it here. A lot of proponents of fasting like to downplay the potential negatives and look at it in a purely good/bad context, when really it’s much more nuanced. The seasonality factor isn’t something I’ve looked in to thoroughly, although I have thought about it. Do you have any research on it I could look at?


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