The Handbook of Intermittent Fasting

How often (and when) we eat each day can affect our hormonal balance in such a way that we become more muscular – whilst also burning more (and holding less) body fat.

Intermittent Fasting protocols are unsurpassed in their effectiveness for developing a lean and sculpted body (and for re-setting your long-term body weight at a lower and healthier level).

Idai Makaya has used intermittent fasting protocols since the late 1990s – and even now (as a record-breaking endurance athlete) he still relies year-round on the tried and tested intermittent fasting methodologies that allow his body to derive more of its energy from burning fat (rather than just burning sugars) – so that he can go the distance and continue to produce lifetime best performances in ultra-distance endurance cycling events. He has completed numerous non-stop rides, of durations longer than 24-hours, on his ElliptiGO bike – whilst fasting on water alone…

Intermittent Fasting is a method of implementing ongoing and scheduled calorie restriction or ‘detoxification’ sessions to stimulate fat burning and to improve general health and weight maintenance. The calorie restriction or ‘detox’ spells are referred to as ”fasts” – although they need not necessarily involve total abstinence from food. The main aim of Intermittent Fasting is to induce what is often referred to as a ‘ketogenic state’ (during ‘ketogenesis’ the body is fuelled almost entirely by fat-burning). 

In The Handbook of Intermittent Fasting Idai Makaya explains how and why the practice works and presents practical guidelines and protocols – based on clinical research and his own personal experiences – for using all the known and fully proven Intermittent Fasting regimes (for fat-burning, weight loss, improved health and maximum muscle definition).

As various intermittent fasting programmes become more popular it is important to note that an intermittent fasting lifestyle, like any other dietary protocol, can get stale after a few months and it is essential that all dietary protocols can be refreshed and re-invigorated if they are to be successful over the long term.

For this reason it is essential that users of intermittent fasting learn a variety of intermittent fasting methods because they will invariably reach a point where their chosen intermittent fasting dietary protocol needs to be refreshed.

The Handbook of Intermittent Fasting covers all known and possible intermittent fasting protocols for this very reason – to enable users of this brilliantly effective methodology to periodically cycle between the different forms of intermittent fasting in order to maintain permanent leanness, dietary compliance and optimum health.

Although a huge range of intermittent fasting protocols are covered in this handbook there are two basic methods of ‘fasting’ or ‘detox’ which can be used for intermittent fasting. They are Water Fasting (which involves total abstinence from all food and only the drinking of water during calorie restriction periods) or Juice/Fruit Fasting (using specified low-calorie, low GI, fresh fruit sources during calorie restriction periods). Both methods are applicable to the concept of Intermittent Fasting – when used appropriately – and both methods can be equally effective, when used correctly.

Why should we do this?

Intermittent Fasting involves short, planned spells of focused calorie restriction (sometimes called ‘detox’ sessions) to train the body to run only on fat and to simultaneously preserve muscle tissue. Short fasting spells – far from being detrimental to health, muscular development and appetite regulation – actually improve all those parameters by optimising hormonal balance. This handbook explains the science behind these findings.

There are two basic ‘pillars’ of Intermittent Fasting – Alternate Day Fasting (fasting every other day) and Daily Fasting (fasting every day) – but a wide spectrum of alternatives and ‘hybrids’ of these two main methods exists. Most of these ‘hybrid’ methods are equally effective, but not all of them suit everyone. For this reason, the Handbook of Intermittent Fasting shows you how to vary the different methods to achieve your own health, diet and weight loss goals (in the practical ways which will suit you as an individual).

The Handbook of Intermittent Fasting covers every available protocol known for the development of an effective Intermittent Fasting program because a single and dogmatic approach to diet and health will never suit everyone. So a range of workable and practical Intermittent Fasting options are provided to suit a variety of circumstances.

A body of anti-ageing research indicates that Intermittent Fasting improves longevity and reduces cancer risk. An exciting research project funded by the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Appeal (first published in the International Journal of Obesity in December 2011) reinforces the links between cancer and obesity – and shows that an intermittent fasting diet is highly effective in reducing the risk of breast cancer in women.

Although the results of this study were not surprising it is gratifying to see this evidence being reproduced in another robust clinical trial. It is also one of the first clinical trials to directly compare the effectiveness of intermittent fasting to generalised low calorie dieting. The protocols used in this clinical study mirrored one of the numerous optional protocols outlined in The Handbook of Intermittent Fasting and you can read a summary of the entire study here.

Some of the strongest evidence relating to the importance of this approach is the scientific findings showing how Intermittent Fasting affects diabetes risk (see Journal of Applied Physiology PDF download) and how it improves hormonal balance to make the body leaner and more muscular (see Journal of Applied Physiology article).

Even more recently, in 2012, the BBC aired a documentary about Intermittent Fasting on the Horizon Programme; in which presenter Michael Mosley reluctantly followed ADF-style Intermittent Fasting as a trial for the program – and he was so impressed with the results (and the ease of adhering to the regime) that he declared he would continue to follow the protocol – even after the filming for the program had been completed. The endorsement of Intermittent Fasting by an organization as conservative as the BBC demonstrates the mounting body of supporting scientific evidence now available to support the practice.

Some History and Trivia about Intermittent Fasting

Idai Makaya has ridden an ElliptiGO bike for 39 hours NON-STOP (covering 336-miles, on a very hilly course) fasting on WATER ONLY...

Although the concept of Intermittent Fasting is not actually new in itself (the well-known American physical culturalist Bernarr Macfadden was known to practice it during the late 19th century) it’s still not very well known either.

However, fasting has featured in various forms among Eastern traditions for centuries and Intermittent Fasting has actually been extensively used by a range of well known international personalities – from singers and musicians to world record breaking athletes (see article here).

For example, the French and former Chelsea international football player Nicolas Anelka (see Daily Mail article) and the renowned musician Sir Cliff Richard (see BBC article) both say they have used Intermittent Fasting for decades.

The Handbook of Intermittent Fasting provides simple explanations on how to make the different Intermittent Fasting protocols practical and convenient. Ideas are provided to help people understand and overcome the mental barriers and ‘cultural’ misconceptions that many of us currently have in relation to weight loss, bodybuilding & muscle-preservation, fat-burning, general exercise, eating or diet schedules – and any practices involving fasting.

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