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As we get into the heart of summer, it’s crunch time to looking and feeling your best. Now, personally, I think everyone should make it part of their mission in life to feel and look good year round but for vanity purposes, summer time is where it really counts.
Now if you’re the guy (or girl) who likes to take their shirt off at parties and bars well hell more power to you. Because that’s become more socially unacceptable the older I’ve gotten, I’ve resolved myself to eventually live in a climate where shirts (ideally clothes) are optional year round. My reasoning is purely based on the scientific fact that it’s more efficient for Vitamin D absorption, relegating any vanity notions as purely side notes that have never crossed my mind for more than two seconds. It’s science brah.
My life goals aside, it’s about that time where you need to look lean and you needed to look lean yesterday. So let’s figure out how to do that in installment #3 of Look Better Naked This Summer.
Tip #1 Use Intermittent Fasting to Get Photo-Shoot Ripped
Ever since The 8 Hour Diet came out early last year, the internet has been a buzzing with a fasting craze.
“Eat whatever you want, but restrict it to a certain time period, and there’s like a 1483% chance you’ll have abs by next week” – Resident Bro Scientist
Wrong. Erroneous on all accounts. If Newton ever tried to get shredded back in the day, he’d be surely rolling over in his grave based on that bastard attempt at good science.
The truth is that macronutrient intake (how you make up that macronutrient intake is a post for another time) is the most important aspect to losing body fat (aside from the obvious caloric restriction). If your macro calculation resembles anything like my senior year calculus homework, then frankly you are shit out of luck. No amount of fasting, sans starving yourself, is going to make a appreciable difference.
If however, your nutritional knowledge is seasoned enough to know the difference between protein, fat, and carbs and how those three pieces fit into a nice puzzle equating to fat loss, then intermittent fasting could certainly take you to the next level.
Let’s discuss the science for a second. Don’t worry you don’t have to have graduated from Harvard to understand the basics (I dropped out, we’re solid).
When you eat, your body uses that energy for food. Well duh, thanks Andrew. As your fast prolongs, your body shifts from pure glucose oxidation to begin utilizing your bodies’ fat stores for energy. We know this because there’s some fancy measurement tool known as the Respiratory Quotient (RQ) that quantifies what your body is utilizing for energy. While RQ is between .95 and 1 (pure glucose for energy) two hours after a meal, after 16 hours of fasting, your body’s respiratory quotient is .72. Pure fat oxidation is denoted by a measurement of .7. (Source: Martin Berkhan)
What all that really means is that the longer you restrict food (fast), the greater amount of time your body has to use body fat for energy. Contrast this with someone who eats six times a day and whose blood sugar is constantly elevated and you can see why intermittent fasting is a preferable means to lose body fat in the shortest amount of time.
Here are a couple examples of clients of mine (and me) who have used IF fasting to get humbly “woah that guy is shredded” lean.
As you can see, it works. So how would I go about implementing it? To clarify before we jump in, I recommend 16 hours of fasting for males and 14 hours of fasting for females.
1) Honestly Assess Where You’re At
If you’re a male above 15% body fat or a female above say 22.69% (yes, that’s the cut off), then intermittent fasting isn’t a necessity. Of course, you’re still more than welcome to adopt it but eating real food and getting your macros in decent shape are more important in the fat loss hierarchy.
If you’re at a place where getting as lean as the pictures above is within reach, then I recommend IF 100%.
2) Understand the Hunger Pains Go Away
Over the first couple days of fasting, you’re going to get hungry and at times it’s going to suck. For the majority of people, we fall into habitual patterns of eating. Whether that schedules includes three-four moderately portioned meals a day or you’re more the 1 meal large pizza and a few too many 12 oz curls type of eater, your body comes to expect foods at certain times throughout the day.
You can thank gherlin for that. It’s a hormone released by your body when it is hungry or expects to be fed. He doesn’t care how devoted you are to fasting for 16 hours, gherlin wants energy and he’s going to make himself known in your stomach until he’s satisfied.
Tame gherlin for a few days and the hunger pains will go away. I promise.
3) Adopt carb cycling
There are a couple fat loss principles that are essential to implement.
Understand that carb manipulation is the key to rapid fat loss
Understand that pizza and cake are not only allowed but encouraged to get sexy
Sure, you can go low-carb for 17 weeks straight and get lean but that sounds about as fun as getting as root canal. And in truth, because of a bunch of fancy hormonal interactions, my 12th piece of pizza on Saturday night is going to get me leaner than your 4th serving of chicken breasts and broccoli.
I’ll go into the specifics of carb cycling in my next installment but understand that if you’re not manipulating carbs the right way, I’d bet my house that I don’t have that you’re not going to be as lean as you want come the July 4th Block Party.
If you’re not familiar with the nerd speak in the fasting community, IIFYM stands for “If It Fits Your Macros.”
Basically, if you have someone who knows what they’re doing (like this guy) then you can eat whatever kind of food you want as long as at the end of the day you eat precisely 17 grams of fat like you were told to.
Word of caution: if your diet guru ever prescribes you 17 grams of fat as a daily intake, you’re getting bamboozled.
You heard that right. Pizza, cake, brownies, beer. If somehow you can Huddinhi your way into fitting all those foods into your macros, then you will A) lose fat and should B) write a book detailing how you managed that.
I’ve done a pint of ice cream, six bagels, and a bag of goldfish but never have I managed to squeeze the above combo into my IIFYM.
Personally, I don’t love the concept of IIFYM over the long term for health reasons but assuming you have better insulin sensitivity than an obese chimpanzee, then I see no problem in imploring such a protocol for the summer.
5) Don’t Expect Magic
If done correctly, IF works. The results I have seen with both myself and clients is a testament to the efficacy of adopting an intermittent fasting framework.
And yet, IF is not going to take you from Dwight Goodman at the end of Dodgeball to Arnold in a matter of weeks. In case you forgot, after Peter LaFleur went all Matrix on him, Dwight put on a pound or two.
Understand this upon its adoption. There is still no magic pill out there that allows you to defy the laws of thermodynamics and evolutionary biology. At the heart of our deconstruction, we’re still just hunter-gatherers living in a foreign environment where having abs unfortunately didn’t let you get laid any easier 50,000 years ago.
Where to Go From Here
There are many fantastic resources on the web regarding the nuts and bolts of intermittent fasting. I’ll warn you that The 8 Hour Diet isn’t one of them, but I do wholeheartedly recommend Jason Ferruggia’s Renegade Diet.
I also heard through the grapevine that there are two handsome gentlemen offering online coaching to do exactly what I extolled throughout this piece… to look better naked. Check it out here.
P.S. Chad and I are close to announcing a body transformation contest in the coming weeks where we’ll actually pay you to look damn sexy by the end of it. Be on the look out 🙂