Do you find that you're a slave to a strict diet yet not seeing the results you desire?
Intermittent fasting (IF) might be a better option.
Intermittent fasting involves restricting your body from eating during a period of time and then eating within a certain window. For example, a very popular intermittent fasting protocol is 16 hours of fasting, followed by an eight-hour eating window.
There are a lot of health benefits to fasting, and with IF, all you are doing is extending that period of fasting a little bit longer to force your body to use up stored fat. This method is really effective at helping people lose fat, lose weight, but also feel energetic all throughout the day. You come to realize that you don’t need to eat every two or three hours, like we have always been taught.
Drew Manning joins host Lisa Davis to explain the ins and outs of IF, as well as discuss the concept of liquid fasting and approved liquids for such a regimen.
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Intermittent Fasting with Drew Manning
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Lisa Davis (Host): So glad you’re listening to Talk Fitness Today. I’ve heard a lot about intermittent fasting. I have actually been told that I’m doing it and I didn’t even realize it when I was speaking with somebody about what time I go to bed and I stop eating at six p.m. and I don’t eat again until 8 or 9 in the morning or something like that, and I thought oh well this is good. So, today we are going to find out if this is actually is correct with the wonderful Drew Manning. We are going to be talking about intermittent fasting and approved fasting liquids. Heh Drew. Oh, Drew can you hear me?
Drew Manning (Guest): Yeah, I’m here.
Lisa: Heh, I’m going to start again. I didn’t like my intro. Blah, blah, blah. Okay here we go. I’m just going to bring you in. Skip all my dumb stories until later. Okay. You know I can’t help myself. So glad you’re listening to Talk Fitness Today. Today we are going to talk about how to intermittent fast and approved fasting liquids with the one and only Drew Manning. Heh Drew.
Drew: Heh Lisa, how are you?
Lisa: I’m good. I’m so blessed that you are on the show a lot. I just think you are so fantastic and I have learned a ton. If you missed the last interview, Drew and I talked about the top three mistakes of keto and how to avoid keto flu and much more. Today we are going to talk about intermittent fasting, approved fasting liquids like I mentioned. This seems to be the big thing right now Drew. When did you first get on this intermittent fasting train?
Drew: Yeah, so I have been doing it for a few years now. I learned about it probably five or six years ago, it became really popular in the health and fitness community and at first, my mentality of what I had been taught was if you stop eating, your metabolism will slow down. And so, I was eating six, to seven meals a day, eating every two or three hours, thinking if I stopped eating I will lose all my gains, I’ll lose my muscle mass and that’s a big myth that lot of people in the fitness industry believe and I used to preach it; until I dived into the science behind it and looked at it and then actually tried it out for myself. And so, I became a huge believer in it and it’s been honestly a huge – it feels so much – you feel so much more free not being a slave to food, right meal prepping six or seven meals and bringing your food with you all the time is really, really hard for a lot of people to sustain. So, this is so much easier to go throughout your day not having to be a slave to food.
Lisa: That sounds fantastic. Alright, so what is intermittent fasting?
Drew: So, to keep it very basic, it’s just where you restrict your body from eating during a period of time and you eat your food within a certain window. So, for example, a very popular intermittent fasting protocol is 16 hours of fasting, followed by an eight-hour eating window. Right, so you eat all your meals within those eight hours and the theory behind it is it forces your body to burn fat for fuel during that fasting period. Because honestly, we all fast, right when we sleep, we fast for eight hours or so and so there’s a lot of health benefits to fasting and all we are doing is extending that period of fasting to a little bit longer to force our body to use up some stored fat so it is really effective at helping people lose fat, lose weight, but also feel great during the day and realizing that they don’t need to eat every two or three hours, like we have been taught.
Lisa: So, I will usually eat dinner around 5:30 – between 5:30 and 6 and then I don’t eat anything after that. I think a lot of people end up making the mistake or the choice to eat after that, watching TV and usually it’s not the best choices, right. So, I think it’s good to give yourself a cutoff and say okay I’m going to stop eating at this time. So, I stop eating and I won’t eat past six and then I won’t maybe eat again, if I didn’t eat again until 9, I’m not good at math, is that enough hours?
Drew: Yeah, that’s about that’s almost that’s what 14 or 15 hours. If you stopped eating at 6 p.m. right and you don’t eat until 9 that’s about 15 hours of fasting, right. So, that’s great, but a lot of people, they have a hard time with that at first because they have never gone that long. Like they eat until they go to sleep and then as soon as they wake up, they break the fast and eat breakfast, right away. So, this kind of forces you to keep those meals within a certain window if you will and just keeps you more strict with this regimen and it can really help you with your health goals. So, that’s why it has become so popular is you’re cutting out the eating the minute you wake up and eating until you go to sleep and kind of provides structure for you to say okay, it’s noon, I can eat my first meal. I can’t eat past 8 p.m. or whatever time frame you choose. It just kind of forces you to stick with that structure.
Lisa: Now the intermittent fast, some of the benefits would you say weight loss or just maintaining the weight depending obviously on what you are eating and on your activity level. Because there are a lot of different factors that play into it. But would say the overall thing of it is feeling better and weight loss? Or what would you say?
Drew: Okay, so there are a lot of physical but also mental and emotional benefits to fasting. So, first of all, yes, you can lose weight, you can lose fat by doing an intermittent fasting protocol. It just depends on what your goals are. So, for me, I use it not to lose weight, not to lose fat but like kind of to maintain my body composition and feel optimal during the day because my brain feels so much sharper when I don’t have like a heavy breakfast or a heavy lunch. I can get so much more done workwise during the day. And so, for me, my mental clarity and cognitive function is improved when my body is not using energy to digest the food. And so, that is more on the mental and emotional side. Also, there are a lot of health benefits to fasting like longevity, antiaging, better digestion, better nutrient absorption as well and that’s why fasting has been a protocol for thousands of years. Religions use fasting as well for spiritual reasons and so, there are a lot of health benefits other than the physical side to fasting. And so, that’s why I’m a huge fan of it. No matter what reason you use it for; you can actually gain lean muscle mass, put on muscle mass, while doing an intermittent fasting protocol because if you are working out on a fasted stomach, you are burning stored fat for fuel, but also your human growth hormone levels or HGH will increase, your testosterone will increase which will help you then build lean muscle mass if you are eating like the right amount of calories, right amount of macronutrients during those meals, not just if you eat crap. It depends on what your goals are. If you are looking to lose weight, lose fat, then obviously you need to tweak your meals to go with those types of goals. Does that make sense?
Lisa: Oh, completely. You know it’s funny you mentioned the religious reasons, so I’m Jewish and we weren’t religious at all but, we would fast on Yom Kippur, nobody ever made me in my family, but I decided to once. I think I was twenty. It was like the hardest day of my life. I was just terrible at it. So, I have always been a little reluctant. You’ve done several day fasts. I follow you on social media and I know you did a three day fast. Let’s talk about that. When you want to take it a step further and then let’s touch on those approved fasting liquids as well. I have to get over my fear of fasting. I mean the intermittent fast I can seem to do okay, but when I think about not eating for a day or two, I’m like what. Give me my food.
Drew: I know. Our generation, our parent’s generation has always had access to food pretty much on demand, right ever since we had grocery stores and surplus of food supplies here in America. We have always been able to eat three square meals a day for a couple of generations, but a couple of hundred years ago, three hundred years ago, we didn’t always have access to food. So, it’s very new for us humans to always have food whenever we wanted it. So, our bodies are adapted to go periods of time without food. That is just how humans were designed which is awesome, otherwise, if you didn’t eat for three or four days we would have died and we never would have evolved as a species, so our bodies were made to go periods of time without food and it’s actually healthy and it’s natural. So, I have had a lot of doctors on; Dr. Jason Fung is an expert on fasting and I have had him on my podcast, I have read his book called the Complete Guide to Fasting. So, once I understood the science behind it I’m like oh, there is actually some serious health benefits to extended fasting. So, my first fast was about a year ago. I did a seven day fast. Now you don’t want to just jump into fasting and say okay I’m going to stop eating for seven days, you could, if you are mentally strong, but if your body is not prepared, if you haven’t done any intermittent fasting or you have never done the ketogenic diet, it will be really hard to transition. If you just stuff your face with pizza and fries the day before and then try and fast for a day or two days or seven days, it would be really hard.
So, I have done the seven day fast. But you still are drinking liquids which we will talk about approved liquids and you are taking in minerals and electrolytes, so you don’t feel too horrible, but after you get past day one and two, you actually feel euphoric and something you never experienced before. Your mind is just so much clearer because your body is not bogged down by having to use so much energy to digest food. We have been eating every single day, all day, for twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years of our life and we have never known what it’s like to go without food and actually is a great state of mind to be in, to be honest with you. There are lot of health benefits like I said antiaging, longevity, better digestion. There is a lot of anticancer properties to fasting, so fighting off cancer cells in our body and other diseases, strengthening your immune system, that’s why fasting has been kind of used as medicine for thousands of years. Like if you had a disease, they would have you fast and that was shown to be very beneficial in fighting off certain diseases. But with our modern society of always having access to food, that concept of going one day without food seems oh my God, how am I supposed to live? But I promise you, if someone put a gun to your head and said okay, you are not going to eat for three days, I promise you, you would survive.
Lisa: Yes. And when you are talking about fasting liquids. You are thinking, I’m thinking bone broth or water or are there other things, or do you ever just do a water fast? Talk to us about the different types and why you would do one of them as maybe a green juice or yeah.
Drew: There are different types of fasts. And all fasting has benefits. No matter what protocol you follow, whether it is a true fast, a fat fast, a water fast, there are benefits to all of it. So, find out what works best for you and try that out. Obviously, a water fast is probably the one you want to shoot for, but for me and my protocol that I put out there for people is that I do have approved liquids where I will drink water, black coffee, tea, apple cider vinegar a little bit, add a little bit of lemon to my water. I will add salt or maybe a cup of bone broth per day, so these really low-calorie drinks that really aren’t giving me a spike in insulin, they are not spiking my insulin at all, they are very low caloric and so it is still a fast in my opinion. But I’m getting in some micronutrients like if I do powdered greens which has 20 or 30 calories or if I do like kombucha, I’m okay with that at well or exogenous ketones, sometimes I will add those in to help during those day one and day two where I feel a little bit lethargic and a little bit of brain fog because I’m hungry those days. But it’s really a great euphoric feeling honestly, being able to go without food. So, there are a lot of great benefits to fasting and I recommend that everyone at least try it out. I mean growing up. I grew up Mormon and we had to fast for 24 hours once a month and it was horrible. Like I hated it. I didn’t know how to prepare for it. I didn’t know how to like I would stay up till midnight the night before eating as much as I could and then just being starving all day at church like horrible. I didn’t know how to properly fast and so now I do. I love it. So, I’ll do it once a quarter maybe for three to four days. I don’t think I will do a seven day fast again, that was kind of long for me. But going once a quarter, I think is great for your health, to be honest with you. It is one of the best cleanses or detoxes I have ever done.
Lisa: Oh that’s great. I did do a soup cleanse it was through a company called Soupure, which I absolutely love. I have no affiliation with them, but they make the best flippin’ soups. Everything is organic. Everything is amazing, and you just ate soups for three days. I felt incredible. I know that’s different, because there are still chunks of vegetables and stuff, but it was – it was all vegan, it was really good. It was delicious soups. What about something like that if someone, just to do that first and then maybe do a liquid fast or what do you think about juice fasts? I’m assuming as long as the juices are not high sugar, obviously.
Drew: The juice fasts still, like I said, any fast is still beneficial for your body. You just have to understand with juice fasts, you are still getting a spike in blood sugar levels by chugging the juice. Now if it is mostly vegetable juice; you probably won’t get as much of a spike in blood sugar levels. So, that’s the problem is you are going to kind of stimulate that hunger and you are going to want to eat, I think you will feel hungrier by doing the juice fast, but there is still a health benefit. You are flooding your body with like a ton of phytonutrients and vitamins and minerals, so I still think there are benefits to juice fasting. So, that might be somewhere where you start and then maybe try a 24-hour fast. The way I tell people to get started on these extended fasts is to start out with intermittent fasting and then extend that period from maybe 16 hours of fasting to 18 hours for a week or two and then bump it up to 20 hours and then try a 24 hour fast and see how you do. And then from there, schedule it out. Maybe like once a quarter you do a two day fast or a three day fast. There are still benefits to it. Do you research first. Look into the science behind it and see if it’s right for you and your lifestyle.
Lisa: Now you have a great keto program. Do you have a great intermittent fasting program? Have people been asking you about that or is that something that’s on the horizon to kind of walk them through exactly what to do?
Drew: No, I have a 21-day program that walks people through kind of baby steps them through the process of intermittent fasting. So, it’s a 21-day program, very detailed and structured with detailed meal plans and recipes and specific guidelines for you to follow. So, week one you are at a 12-12 protocol. So, twelve hours fasting, twelve hours of eating and then week two, we bump you up to 14 hours of fasting, 10 hour eating window and then week three, we bump you up to 16 hours of fasting, 8 hour eating window and people see great results in a short amount of time and it is not strict keto. It is more if a balanced approach, but you are still getting the benefits of being in a modified – or a minimal state of ketosis through the intermittent fasting period and so, it’s a beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting so that would be a great place to start before trying to do a 24 hour fast.
Lisa: Okay, I have to. Oh sure.
Drew: Oh shoot, I should have brought my popper thing. Okay, got ya.
Lisa: Well Drew, I definitely want to get that because I want to do that program. Now what about if somebody wants to do keto and the intermittent fast program at the same time? Should you do one or the other? Would it be too much? Or unless you have already been doing keto for a while, right and that’s just the way you happen to eat?
Drew: Now I think there is a synergistic effect with doing keto at the same time as doing intermittent fasting. They kind of go hand in hand in my opinion. But, with intermittent fasting, you don’t have to be as strict, but if you want to combine those two and you are willing to give it a try; that’s how I got started. I started doing an intermittent fasting protocol while doing keto and that’s why I noticed those benefits pretty quickly to be honest with you. Because the quickest way to get into ketosis is to fast, to be honest with you. Eating a ketogenic diet; you will still get into ketosis, but it takes a while longer. So, if you want to get into a state of ketosis really quick, you stop eating, right, so, that’s why I combined intermittent fasting with keto, but for some people, that are eating a standard American diet and want to jump into it; I would say maybe transition to the intermittent fasting program, so try my healthy 21-day jump start program first and then from there you can try out my 60-day keto program which will kind of take it to a whole other level; which the 60-day keto program is a type of intermittent fasting but you are having bullet proof coffee which technically will break the fast because you are getting a small bump in insulin from even from the fat, but it is not a – it is not like eating carbohydrates. Because you are eating pure fat, like it will not give you a big spike, it will give you a small bump in insulin but, so it is not a true fast, but it is a form of intermittent fasting in the keto program.
Lisa: Now what’s been the feedback? I bet people are loving these programs.
Drew: People love it because the flexibility. There have been huge results. I have a ton of transformations. If you go to my page, you will see great testimonials from people from all over the world, all different backgrounds. People that have both lost weight, lost fat, but have also put on lean muscle mass or people that have just gotten off their medications, their blood pressure medications or type two diabetes medications as well and they just feel so much healthier and here’s the thing. Like I’ll be honest with you. Keto might not be for everybody. Intermittent fasting might not be for everybody. But what is awesome is people are willing to give these programs a try to find out if it is optimal for them and maybe it is and maybe it isn’t but maybe it’s a version of it. Maybe it jump starts their health and from there they are like okay, I didn’t feel great on this, maybe if I tweak it a little bit and I do the 16- 8 protocol for intermittent fasting, I feel more optimal on that than I do these 24 hour fasts or these three day fasts. It depends like just – I tell people all the time, become your own self-experimentation and find what works best for you.
Because me telling you what to eat or some other expert or guru or magazine or celebrity saying heh I eat this way to lose fat; doesn’t mean it is going to work for you. So, there are all these people pulling you in different directions which is why it gets confusing but be willing to try new things. be willing to do some experiments on your body and what I tell people, give it like a minimum of 21 days, right maybe 30 days minimum of consistency before you write it off and say you know I tried it for two days and I didn’t feel great so it’s not for me. It takes your body time to adjust to a new eating protocol, so I don’t care if you go vegan or vegetarian or paleo or keto; it doesn’t matter to me. Find what works best for you because the only person that knows what’s best for you is you, not your doctor, not some expert or guru online. You know what’s best for you. So, try different protocols for maybe 30 days and find what best suits you and your lifestyle and maybe what worked for you yesterday doesn’t work for you today and now that you are 20 years older, maybe that diet you did back in your 20s doesn’t work for you anymore because your hormones have changed. And so being open to upgrading your knowledge and your nutrition and your exercise even, is very important for us I think to continue to progress in our lives.
Lisa: You know, I’m really glad you mentioned exercise. Do you exercise when you are fasting? Or does it depend on if this is something you have done before or are you supposed to rest?
Drew: No, that’s a great question. At first, it is hard for people to exercise on an empty stomach. But after a while, like maybe a week or so; your body gets used to it and it starts learning how to use stored fat as energy which is why you are going to see a greater fat loss working out in a fasted state. Like I said, it is going to increase your HGH production as well as will help you build more lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more fat you burn. So, don’t be afraid of lifting weights ladies, if you are listening. A lot of women are afraid that they will get big and bulky. I promise you, unless you are supplementing with testosterone; you are not going to put on a lot of muscle like you think you are. So, anyways, I work out in a fasted state almost every single day and I feel great, I feel optimal. I can do cross-fit type of workouts, I can do an endurance type of workout, I can lift. It depends on the person, but you just have to give your body time to adjust and adapt.
Lisa: Alright, so that’s on the intermittent fast, right, so you haven’t eaten breakfast, let’s say you haven’t eaten 16 hours before you are going to go work out. What about if you are doing like a hard core three day fast? You are still working out or do you like maybe rest the first day?
Drew: That’s a great question. So, I normally don’t do any kind of high intensity workouts when I fast, though this past three day fast which I just ended last night, to be honest with you; I went for a walk or a hike every day. So, yeah, nothing extreme. It wasn’t running, but I would go for like an hour long walk and hiking in the mountains, so you are hiking up hills, get that heartrate up a little bit and then I would come home and swim and nothing fast or intense but just nice slow easy pace and that’s pretty much all I did, but a lot of walking when I fast instead of lifting heavy weights or high intensity workouts, to be honest with you. But, I know people that have lifted heavy with really long breaks in between and really low amount of reps, so maybe three reps to five reps, not exhausting their body, but I now people that have done that on their extended fasts. It just depends on the person. But for me personally, long walks and light exercise.
Lisa: Oh, that’s great and before I let you go; we have a couple more minutes. Give us the approved fasting drinks one more time or beverages.
Drew: Yeah, so water, obviously. Water is totally fine. Coffee, tea, apple cider vinegar, powdered greens, bone broth, and exogenous ketones. You can also add in sparkling water like La Croix or those kinds of drinks to give yourself a little bit of flavor. Those are the approved liquids that I’m okay with on an extended fast or during your fasting window. Right, so just try not to add a lot of calories during that fasting window. Keep those calories to a minimum and worst case scenario, just do water, you will be fine, I promise.
Lisa: Alright, so let’s say you have done a three day fast. Talk about breaking the fast. You don’t want to go hog wild and eat everything in sight, right?
Drew: You think you can, but I promise you, really quickly, your stomach shrinks, you realize oh my gosh I ate way too much. So, I try and eat really clean with my first meal back and a lot of easily digestible foods. So, I won’t do like heavy carbs and fats together. Like I won’t do pizza, fries and cheeseburger with a bun. You will feel awful. I promise you. Right away. So, I try and stay really easy, so I will do like a few scrambled eggs with some coconut oil or butter, maybe like a grass-fed burger on the side with some avocado on top and then I really don’t do a ton of like vegetables right away because those are harder to digest. So, I start out with maybe some white potatoes or a little bit of rice, white rice or maybe some sweet potatoes. Because those are easy to digest, to be honest with you. And that is kind of like my first meal and I start out small. So, I definitely start out with like a smaller meal than I normally would eat and then the next day, I kind of up my calories a little bit more and have bigger portions and I start working out again and so you are back to normal pretty quickly.
Lisa: Oh cool. Well Drew you are so awesome. I always love having you on. Tell us all the ways we can find you and I highly encourage people to do your programs. I’m going to do them in 2018, I have it all set and I’m not one of those – you know I set my goals and I don’t do them. So, I’m excited. I’m excited. I think I’m going to do the intermittent fasting first because I have already been doing that a bit and then do the keto. But anyway, tell us all the ways people can find them.
Drew: Yeah, so the Healthy 21-day Jump Start Program is just healthy21jumpstart.com and that’s the 21-day intermittent fasting program and if you want to do keto it is keto.fit2fat2fit.com and that’s my 60-day keto course that a lot of people have done and then online you can find me at fit2fat2fit for my website, all my social media handles, my book, my podcasts and my TV show, which is coming out on January 8th, 2018, season two. It is going to be on Lifetime, so set your DVRs for January 8th, 2018 6 p.m. It will premiere season two. Super excited about that and that is called Fit To Fat To Fit, Fit To Fat To Fit. So, that is where I take other trainers on the fit to fat to fit journey. Put them through this the weight gaining process and then they have to lose the weight with their client together at the same time. It definitely humbles these trainers that think they know it all and think it’s easy. It’s a great TV show in my opinion.
Lisa: Oh I love your show. Well next time you come on, you are coming back in January, we should talk about the show, because I am such a fan and I’m so excited and it is going to be on Lifetime. That is great. Well I want to thank everyone for listening to Talk Fitness Today. I always learn so much. I love having Drew on. Again, you can check us out on social media at talkfitness2day, also you can me out at healthmediagal1, so everybody intermittent fast and stay well.
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