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intermittent fasting and fat loss

Six Unconventional Fat Loss Tricks

Fat Loss

Fat loss: The formula is simple, but the execution is difficult.

And sometimes, we need a little boost. These six unconventional fat loss tricks help my clients stave off hunger and achieve awesome fat loss results.

But first…a story we can all relate to.

It has to do with that those annoying friends we all have. They drop fat at the drop of a hat. Their abs look great. And all this despite how much they eat and how little they work out.

Flashback to summers during my student days. I spent my afternoons at the University Ropes Course, belaying kids 30-40 feet up in the air.  After about eight hours, I’d call it a day. Then I’d hit the gym before heading home. Then, like most dudes my age, I’d hang out with friends, act like a fool, and drink cheap, shitty beer.

This lifestyle leads most dudes to gain the dreaded Freshman 15.  Well, except for one guy: Seth.

No matter what Seth did (drink lots of beer, lots of crappy food, no exercise) he stayed shredded. We’re talkin’ Instagram filtered shredded.

 It was ridiculous.

This is an extreme example, but my point is this: When it comes to fat loss and getting lean, everyone is different. We all have different genetics, abilities, and motivation. All these factors play a role in fat loss. But there is one overarching rule.

Fat loss is about energy balance: calories in vs calories out. You can increase the number of “calories out” with higher expenditure (exercise) or reduce “calories in” by eating less. It’s a simple as that. Rather than making up some claims like “just spike your growth hormone, bro.”

I’m going to help you get into a caloric deficit with six simple methods

1. Shrink Your Feeding Window

One of the most effective strategies is limiting the time frame during which you eat each day. The less time you have to eat, the fewer calories you’ll consume. Which is where intermittent fasting can be an awesome tool.

Problem is: you’ll struggle to jump directly into a fasting you’ve never tried it. Restricting your eating to the point where you want to gnaw your left arm off is a surefire way to falter and fall off your diet. Long fasts are something you’ll need to work up to.

A Restrictive 16/8 fast?

Maybe not.

A better option: Break yourself in slowly. Eat your first meal one hour later, and eat dinner one hour earlier than normal.

By making a small change in your eating window, you’ll take a smaller step towards your weight loss goal.You’ll eat fewer calories without fatiguing your willpower.

In time, you’ll consume fewer calories and prepare yourself for longer fasts.

2. No Starches at Restaurants

I love good restaurants. No dishes to wash. Good service. And great experiences with cool people. What could go wrong? Plenty! A restaurants job isn’t to make your food healthy. It’s to make your meal so damn tasty you’ll come back and spend more money.

That means more oils, sugars, and flavor enhancers. On top of the hidden fat and carbohydrates, most restaurant meals are huge. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to uncover tons of hidden calories that are terrible for fat loss. But you’re not going to stop going out to restaurants. What’s the solution?

Instead of dropping restaurants altogether, make smarter choices.

That begins with a healthier restaurant and focusing on getting the entrée you want, rather than blowing your diet on truffle fries and mac n’ cheese.


Excellent grub at Honor Society in Denver. This might be a new go-to spot ????????????????????????

A photo posted by bachperformance (@bachperformance) on


Doesn’t resonate?  Think of it this way. When you go to a steakhouse, what are you going for? Chances are: it’s the steak, not the mac ‘n’ cheese or the loaded potatoes. Stick to your guns and get the entrée you
want, but ditch the starches for veggies or side salad.

3. Drink Before Each Meal

No, not beer. Try drinking either 12 Oz. water with fresh squeezed lemon or a protein shake before your meal.

Lemon water works well as the acid helps blunt the insulin response to your meal. slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates. This keeps your blood sugar from huge spikes from carbs while stimulating more saliva, beginning the process of digestion.

By having a shake of 20-30 grams before you eat, you’ll fill up with high-quality nutrients before a meal.

It takes roughly 20 minutes for satiation signals to go between your brain and stomach, signaling that you’re getting full.

You’ll push the fork away before gorging on desert then and collapsing the couch in an insulin and guilt induced food coma.

4. Chew Gum When You Get Hungry

This one is simple. I’ve found that 14 hour days of training clients (sometimes without a break for 8 hours) can leave me ravenously hungry. Rather than be hangry (that’s hungry and angry, folks) with my last clients, I’ve tried everything under the sun to stay focused.

The best tactic?


Lots of it.

Artificial sweeteners be damned, chewing gum is a magical elixir that occupies your brain and mouth, giving the sensation of eating without actually doing so. Next time you get a sudden urge to devour a freezer full of Ben and Jerry’s, pop some gum into your mouth and wait it out.

5. Eat Satiating Foods

Ever notice the day after crushing a full bag of Cool Ranch Doritos (or other low-nutrient density foods) you’re hungry and craving similar foods?

Despite their salty, fatty, and sweet goodness, low nutrient dense foods allow you to mindlessly overeat.

To the detriment of your willpower and taste buds, these foods don’t really address your physiological hunger or need for quality nutrients.

Make it a point to get a veggie and lean protein source with every meal, even if you’re indulging on less healthy options. Hell, just eat more steak and you can’t go wrong.  More fiber, more protein, and less refined sugar keeps you fuller longer. It improves our health and discipline with your fat loss diet.

6. Walk Everywhere

Going out to dinner? Cool, where can you walk?

By adding 15-30+ minutes of walking to your day, you’ll burn hundreds of additional calories weekly. That adds up to big fat loss over time.

Make it your goal to get 10,000+ steps every day, starting with a morning walk. Even if you’re busy, spend time walking listening to audiobooks or take care of business calls.

Bunts and singles add to up to runs just like home runs. Small behaviors over the course of time add up big time, building momentum and taking steps towards your fat loss goals.

Want Some Expert Help? Only TWO spots left this month

At Bach Performance, we give men and women the expert guidance, accountability, and support they’ve been missing to help them achieve the dream body that’s eluded them for years.

Sure, the world of nutrition and fitness can be a confusing place. But it doesn’t have to be. In our coaching program, we’ll push you to build your best body and most confident mindset.
Each month you’ll get leaner, stronger, and more energetic as you transform your life.

So, if you’re ready to build your best body and transform your life– while taking stress away from working out and being held accountable to get great results– this is your chance.  


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Discover the Fat Loss Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Fat Loss Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Over the past week, I’ve received a number of inquiries regarding intermittent fasting. It was due to my recent blog “My Training Principals” that got a few people interested. Read that here.

I figured it was appropriate to delve more into the world of intermittent fasting and enlighten you guys on what it all entails. I wanted to go a bit deeper on this one…


Intermittent Fasting isn’t a diet. You aren’t counting points. You don’t cut food groups from your diet and you don’t need to reference any era (i.e. Paleolithic, or the mythical era during the reign of Morador and Gondor). In the most  simple explanation all you’re doing is eating during a specific time frame throughout the day/week and choosing not to eat during the remaining time.

There are a couple of ways to do this.

The first would be considered the Lean Gains approach (16 hour fast, 8 hour feast) which was pioneered by Martin Berkhan. Simply put, all you do is eat during a specific time period of the day . For example you start eating at noon and finish eating at 8.  That is an 8 hour feastingwindow. The remainder would be a 16 hour fasting window.

Just so we are on the same page you technically already do this, just in reverse. Here’s an example

  • 6:00 am: You wake up
  • 10:00 pm: You go to bed

You were in a feasting window for 16 hours. You fasted (slept) for 8.

(It’s also acceptable to have a 6 hour or even a 4 hour feasting window.)

The second would be the Eat Stop Eat approach by Brad Pilon. He simply suggests that you take 1-2 24 hour periods off from eating throughout the week.

The 24 hour period doesn’t mean you will miss a whole day of eating. If you finish eating at 7 pm on Monday you can eat again on 7 pm Tuesday. This method will give you the benefits of fasting without the need to stop eating for an entire day.

Brad provides you with in-depth research about metabolism and overall general health in his book. I highly recommend you read it.


How does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Think of it this way. When you eat food your body spends the next couple of hours processing that food. Due to the fact that it’s immediately available in your blood stream (sugar) your body uses that as energy rather than your fat stores.

If you’re fasting your body doesn’t have any “food” or energy to use so it pulls it from your fat stores rather from the glucose in your blood stream or the glycogen from your muscles and liver.

Here’s a great write up from Steve over at NERD Fitness 

Why does this work?  Our bodies react to energy consumption (eating food) with insulin production.  Essentially, the more sensitive your body is to insulin, the more likely you’ll be to use the food you consume efficiently, which can help lead to weight loss and muscle creation.

Along with that, your body is most sensitive to insulin following a period of fasting

Your glycogen (a starch stored in your muscles and liver that your body can burn as fuel when necessary) is depleted during sleep (fasting), and will be depleted even further during training, which can further increase insulin sensitivity. This means that a meal immediately following your workout will be stored most efficiently: mostly as glycogen for muscle stores, burned as energy immediately to help with the recovery process, with minimal amounts stored as fat. 

Compare this to a regular day (no intermittent fasting).  With insulin sensitivity at normal levels, the carbs and foods consumed will see full glycogen stores, enough glucose in the blood stream, and thus be more likely to get stored as fat.

Not only that, but growth hormone is increased during fasted states (both during sleep and after a period of fasting).  Combine this increased growth hormone secretion, the decrease in insulin production (and thus increase in insulin sensitivity), and you’re essentially priming your body for muscle growth and fat loss with intermittent fasting.

This in a nutshell is why you would IF.


Why were we told to eat 5-6 meals a day?

You, your parents, me, Tim Tebow, and even the guys from The Hangover were all told that you must eat 5-6 meals a day or eat every 2-3 hours.

Here are some of the main reasons why we were taught this:

  1. It will keep the body’s metabolism up, thus increasing thermogenesis (fat burning), resulting in weight loss.
  2. Eating 6 small healthy meals a day you will decrease your appetite and hunger. This may help some dieters control hunger and calorie intake.
  3. It helps balance your blood sugar.

Sooo, these all seem to be pretty valid points. Right?

Not so fast my friend


Let’s Tackle These One by One

#1. Supposedly eating 5-6 meals a day will rev up your body’s metabolism thus creating a fat burning furnace allowing you to lose weight.

Sounds good in theory and I believed this for a very long time. As more time has gone by and more studies have been done it just doesn’t have much validity.

Here’s one study that states that it’s not true and here’s another study that shows no evidence that eating 6 meals a day increases metabolism, thermogenesis or weight loss.

This last study further proves the point.

Simply put, if eating 6 meals a day were to put you in a fat burning zone it would be so minuscule that it really wouldn’t make a difference.

#2.  Eating 6 small meals a day will decrease your appetite and hunger.

Once again it sounds great. From my understanding: If you frequently eat you’ll be fuller throughout the day so the next time you eat you won’t eat as much because you just ate and now you feel full? Is that right?

Here’s a study that shows no hunger suppressing affect.

Hopefully more research is done in regards to hunger and appetite as it’s pretty scarce.

#3. We have been told that it can help balance your blood sugar levels. Now this, my friend, would probably be the biggest, most important one of them all.

The theory is your blood sugar levels spike so eating quality foods frequently will keep them level throughout the day. This in turn would help keep you lean and functioning properly.

Here’s a study discussing your blood glucose during a run after a fed state and a fasted state. And another interesting study showing that blood sugar is maintained during a 48 hour fast.

This study shows that it takes roughly 84 hours of fasting before our glucose levels are adversely affected.

Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean people can’t be lean, look good and feel healthy if they eat 6 meals a day. It’s just stating what you’ve been taught or told might not really be true or there are easier ways in which you don’t have to obsess over packing your meals or spending every 2-3 hours eating.

Why Intermittent Fast?

Well, here are a couple of reasons why you should take a look a this approach

1. It’s easy. You don’t have to worry so much about always eating. You can still pack food and prepare like you normally would but you won’t have to stress about eating every 2-3 hours.

2. There is a high probability that you will lose weight and body fat. These approaches have provided phenomenal results for thousands of people looking to get rid of body fat.

3. All of these reasons from my previous blog and read this:

  • It increases growth hormone production. Studies have shown it raises growth hormone levels in both men and women.
  • It normalizes your insulin and leptin sensitivity. Insulin and Leptin are hormones that play a crucial role in energy production and fat storage. If both of these are normalized it can regulate your blood sugar levels, which can prevent type two diabetes and potential weight gain.
  • It reduces inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to threats from germs, harmful toxins, environmental pollutants, injury, stress, and other things.
  • It helps with appetite control. Ghrelin is an enzyme produced by stomach lining cells that stimulates your appetite. By fasting ghrelin becomes more stable helping you keep your hunger in check.
  • It can possibly improve gut bacteria. A healthy gut is one of the most important things you can do to improve your immune system so you won’t get sick, or get coughs, colds and flus. You will sleep better, have more energy, have increased mental clarity and concentrate better. A healthy gut can also help you get lean.

Intermittent Fasting Guidelines

  • Do the best you can to avoid calories during a fast. Drink coffee, green tea or water and avoid calorie filled drinks i.e. gatorade, soda, juice during the fasting period
  • BCAA’s can be beneficial during your fasting periods to help with muscle growth and repair.
  • Try and keep your feeding period consistent. If you eat from 12-8 do your best to keep that regular.
  • Be active, don’t sit and think about food. You shouldn’t do this anyways but while fasted keep busy.
  • Cycle your macronutrients. For example, some days you might go higher carbs other days you might go lower carbs. Base it off of your activity during that particular day (more activity more carbs)
  • Don’t binge. When your feasting window is open this doesn’t give you the green light to shove anything and everything down your throat. Eat quality food and eat until you are full.

Where to Start?

This is the million dollar question.

Figure out which works best for you. Some people like the Lean Gain approach because it fit’s there overall lifestyle while others love the simplicity of Eat Stop Eat. Either way figure out a feasting window that will give you an opportunity to eat a few meals. Once you have the schedule set start by making small changes.

Slowly work your feasting window down to an eight hour window and see how your body feels. Everyone is different as some people have a difficult time initially. Others, jump right into it without much of a problem.

Remember this is a lifestyle and something that you can do the rest of your life. You still need to eat clean, exercise often and most importantly get plenty of sleep. If you don’t do these three things then intermittent fasting won’t be effective.

Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

About the Author:

Dave Dreas is a certified personal trainer in Phoenix, AZ. He is the creator of ModestlyRefined.com and co-owner of Arizona Training Lab. As a former All American College basketball player, he spent years in the strength and conditioning world working with collegiate and professional strength coaches. He is currently a MuscleTech Sponsored Athlete and Reebok Ambassador. For more information he can be found at modestlyrefined.com.


People who have issues with blood sugar regulation, suffer from hypoglycemia, or have diabetes should speak to a doctor before Intermittent Fasting. Other categories of people that should avoid Intermittent Fasting include those living with chronic stress and those with cortisol dysregulation. If you fit into these categories I highly recommend you check with your doctor or dietitian before adjusting your eating schedule.

Have done IF? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Drop by Facebook and tell us about it!

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