You’re ready for a change. Intermittent fasting could be the new direction your body needs.
If you have ever had questions about intermittent fasting and are looking for answers about whether it would affect your financial life, I have good news.
Intermittent fasting will not only improve your body, including weight loss, but it will help control your food budget as well.
The modern era has seen an influx of fad diets and almost all of them are usually created with the mindset of separating you from your money.
These fads or plans are simply modifications to existing diet plans with small modifications to be sold as new.
Intermittent fasting is not a new idea, nor is it a fad or scam.
Fasting is a medically accepted method of controlling when and how much goes into your body each day. By exerting this control over your food intake, you can also control how much you are spending on said nourishment.
While fasting is not the answer to all of your problems with food and finances, it is the first step to a healthy life and a better relationship with food.
Buckle in and we’ll show you how to leverage intermittent fasting to create a lifestyle that saves you money and melts the excess pounds away.
Your Eating Habits
If your morning routine includes a discouraged look in the mirror, along with a large, unhealthy breakfast, you are on the wrong track.
After decades of being told that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day”, researchers have found that this marketing slogan is nothing more than hype(Article on eating breakfast myths). All of the breakfast cereal companies and related food industries are blowing hot air up your ass.
Intermittent fasting ditches the idea of waking and eating because our species did not have that luxury as we evolved.
Before the advent of the refrigerator, we had to scour or work to find food. This led to our bodies being equipped in such a way that breakfast is not only unnecessary but detrimental to our overall well being.
Examine your current eating habits and determine how many calories you are consuming before noon. Are you eating breakfast, having a sugar-packed coffee, and a snack before midday?
This behavior, which has probably been ingrained in you since childhood, is setting you back every single day.
The most popular diet fads are usually ones that get you to lose a lot of weight fast. They also prescribe that you don’t change how you eat, but what you eat alone.
Here are a few examples of some popular diets:
Detox diets- (Mayo Clinic article)These diets prescribe that you need to “detox” your body of all the impurities that you have been consuming. Usually, they will offer up a form of liquid diet that has helps your body flush away all of the gross chemicals we ingest daily. These diets are a form of fasting but don’t take you the whole way there. The big proponents of these diets generally want to sell you their proprietary drink mix that you are required to live off of for 7 days or so.
Ketogenic diets– (Harvard article)The ketogenic diet, or Keto, was developed with limiting the intake of carbohydrates and relying on mostly healthy fats for your calories. You are also supposed to limit your protein intake to less than 25% of your calories. This leads to eating a lot of nuts, cheese, and other high-fat content foods. Keto is well researched and is a working diet, in other words, you will lose weight, however, I don’t think Keto is good for the long term success of your weight loss. Not to mention the foods that you are asked to eat are very expensive relative to other more readily available foods.
Atkins diet-(The Atkins website) For more than 30 years, Dr. Atkins set forth that avoiding carbohydrates at all cost will lead to weight loss. While in the short term your body will shed some weight, this type of diet is not very sustainable. Nowadays, the Atkins diet is a way of selling you high priced, low carb meals and snacks.
Diets Don’t Always Work
No matter which of these diets you have tried before, you have probably had a seriously tough time staying on and adhering to the rules and regulations of these diets.
It isn’t the fault of the diets per se, it is more of a symptom of denying yourself things, versus allowing your body to thrive.
The way I see it, restricting food groups works in the short term because you are ultimately limiting your caloric intake.
Restricting carbohydrates (Article on misleading low carb diets)works short term, but over long stretches of time, your body will adapt to your new style of eating, making further weight loss much more difficult. Everything will always come back to calories in the long term.
To keep losing weight, you will not only have to restrict carbs, but you’ll need to cut back the total calories you are consuming.
This goes against the ethos of the proponents of these diets where they see the lack of carbs as a freeing experience that allows them to eat as much as they want.
Carbs Are The Enemy?
By demonizing the carbohydrates, they are stating that they are the only reason we as a society gain and keep weight on. This is not wholly true, and may not even be true of you and your body.
To address the detox diet a little more directly, the short term effects of a liquid diet are a severe amount of weight loss, but an unhealthy return to food almost inevitably.
Substituting liquids for food does not detoxify your body better than fasting would. In fact, it may lead to you returning to food and gaining all of the weight you lost back almost immediately.
The Diet Problem
How have these diets succeeded in making so many people pay for or even sermonize of how well they work?
Because in the short term, people do lose weight.
This clouds the results that anyone sees from these diets. The first week to 2 weeks of any lifestyle change, in which you start to restrict calories or food groups, your body will start to process that change by losing excess water.
The initial weight loss you see is almost entirely water.
Here is the scenario:
Bob has decided to go on a diet for his New Year’s resolution. Yay Bob! He feels that he is 30 pounds overweight and wants to make a change. Every time he looks into the mirror he becomes disgusted with his belly hanging ever so slightly over his belt.
His jowls are softening his face and his jawline is not what it used to be.
Not only that, but Bob feels like crap. Luckily, Bob stumbled across the Ketogenic diet and wants to give it a whirl. Apparently, the weight will just melt off of him and all he has to do is eat a high-fat diet and avoid those evil carbs.
Bob assumes that won’t be a problem because he adores cheese, nuts, bacon, and veggies.
He also reads up on the health benefits of a Ketogenic diet and sees that there is a lot of good research into why it works.
So begins the journey of Bob, the overweight middle-aged man with droopy jowls.
Bob starts off strong, easily avoiding carbs and packing his plate full of bacon, cheese, and eggs. He snacks on almonds, string cheese, and jerky.
Things are going very well during week one.
Success is Assured?
Except…. During the first 3-4 days of his diet, Bob feels groggy and tired. His body refuses to “be normal” and Bob’s brain is in a constant fog.
This decrepit feeling is the transition period from his old eating habits to his body adapting to the new. After this period Bob should be in a state of ketosis, which should lead to weight loss.
That first week crawled by and Bob struggled to stay focused. He did not stray from his diet, however, because he was determined to do it right this time. Bob stepped on the scale after week one and is down 7 pounds! Hallelujah!
Week 2 becomes much easier to focus and Bob feels great. That burst of excitement after stepping on the scale is driving him through this entire week.
Nothing feels better than losing weight, Bob thinks to himself.
How Diet Problems Arise
At the end of week 2, Bob is incredibly excited to step on the scale. To his dismay, his weight loss didn’t increase, it actually decreased a ton. He only lost a pound this entire week.
The questions start firing in his mind about where he went wrong, what did he do to jeopardize his weight loss journey?
The fact is, Bob didn’t do anything wrong at all. His body normalized the ketosis and he began a healthy weight loss of about a pound a week. The first week was mostly excess water and bloat that he was carrying.
This breaks Bob’s will. He had been so good, but the weight loss had already slowed. Bob was getting tired of cheese and bacon too.
By the end of week 3, Bob had lost another 1.5 pounds, but he had decided it was time for a cheat meal. This cheat meal turned into a cheat weekend. Whoops!
This weekend kicked Bob’s body out of ketosis and meant that he had to start that foggy feeling 3 days all over again. Bob didn’t make it through day 3.
The Struggle is Real
While Bob’s journey may have been short, it is a too common occurrence.
Diets will not work if they cannot become a part of your lifestyle, and a lot of these diets are forcing you to change your life drastically.
Weight loss should be a slow, methodical process that leads to long term success. In Bob’s case, he expected to lose 30 pounds in a month and when his weight loss slowed, he lost his inspiration.
Tempering your expectations will help you on your weight loss journey. Expecting too much from an eating plan is like expecting to pay off all of your debt in one month.
It’s unreasonable. Don’t give up, let’s make positive long term changes together.
Making A Change
Intermittent fasting is a different beast. A beast that changes the way you think about your body and the way it handles food in general.
You have not restricted any exact foods you eat, you are given a timetable in which to eat.
Intermittent fasting is the schedule of eating only during a certain period of your day. Some examples of fasting schedules:
- 16-8: This schedule is for 16 hours of fasting and an 8-hour window for eating. This schedule is the most common form of intermittent fasting
- 18-6: 18 hours of fasting coupled with a 6-hour feeding window.
- 20-4: I am a huge proponent of this schedule and I am personally on something very similar to this one, 20 hours of fasted state with 4 hours of eating.
This is almost the entirety of the intermittent fasting way of eating. There is no special meal plan, there are no special diet drinks, there is only the prescribed method of not eating and then eating.
This simplicity leads to an easier change for most people, providing they can get over the mental hurdle of not eating.
As I said before, our ancestors did not wake up and run to the fridge to grab a bite to eat. They spent the majority of their day foraging for food and hunting. The hunter-gatherer ancestors were a much larger part of our history than the settled farmer societies that were created later.
How Fasting Affects The Body
Not enough research has gone into intermittent fasting (Harvard article on intermittent fasting)but I will give you the overview and why it works, for most people.
Especially in men, our bodies are set up to process food in a very particular way. When we consume food, our bodies secrete insulin into the bloodstream to carry the glucose to our cells.
This process takes a lot of energy and requires the body to use resources to process that meal.
That is why you feel sluggish after eating a big meal, your body is committing resources and blood to the task of digestion.
Another aspect of that insulin release is that your body shuts down testosterone production while insulin is present.
For any healthy male, testosterone is the lifeblood of staying healthy, energetic, and building muscle. Those of us that want to stay fit, especially later in life, insulin is the enemy.
In the simplest of terms, that is how people develop diabetes(Article on developing diabetes). By overconsuming, our bodies become resilient to the insulin our own bodies produce and over time, we lose our insulin sensitivity.
If you look at fasting from this angle, you will see that fasting promotes testosterone by limiting the amount of time you are producing insulin. The longer your body goes without insulin and is producing testosterone, the more benefits you will see.
Testosterone production helps:
- Cell Reproduction/Regeneration
- Build Muscle Mass
- Sex Drive/Erections
- Strengthens Bones
- Fights Depression
- Mental Acuity
Ultimately, we want testosterone production to continue in our bodies for as long as possible each day. Intermittent fasting helps to achieve this.
The Brain Benefits
The groggy, sleepy feeling (Article on the effects of eating)you get after eating is tied to your body’s need to digest everything you have consumed.
It is a large part of the reason you get mid-afternoon slumps after having lunch.
The fabulous thing about fasting is that you never get into this foggy state. Your mind stays sharp and acute throughout the day, or at least until you eat.
The research behind this states that the increase in testosterone (Article on fasting and testosterone)helps with keeping you alert and focused on the task at hand.
When we were hunter-gatherers we needed that extra focus to attain our next meal. Your body is essentially giving you the tools to acquire what it needs.
The longer you fast, the more acute this sensation becomes. Some studies even push the fasting window into the days or up to a week (Article on longer-term fasting)
Intermittent fasting is the process of shortening the fasting window versus these long term strategies.
The intermittent part is what helps most people keep their sanity without food.
Imagine going through your workday completely focused and ready for whatever the world throws at you. No mid-afternoon lull where you feel like you could collapse at your desk.
Fasting will help you achieve that mental acuity.
Now apply that acuity to your financial life and you begin to understand how it affects all aspects of your life.
Improved Financial Health
Now that we have a basic understanding of intermittent fasting, we can apply those principles to our lives and see how it affects our financial well being.
Think of this form of eating as budgeting your food into blocks of time versus the normal 3 meals and snacks throughout the day.
When you can plan your meals, and with fasting, it should be 2 or less, you can also budget the cost of those meals effectively.
By adhering to the schedule of 16 hours off and 8 hours on, you have given yourself a relatively small window to consume calories.
If you’ve ever eaten a large meal, 1000 calories or more, then you know that stuffed feeling you can get. Limiting your eating window means that you can stuff yourself and then end the eating window.
This means that the by-product of fasting is calorie restriction without actively restricting the calories.
The fasting will help to reduce your stomach size and effectively help you to eat less per meal.
Fewer calories per meal=less money per meal!
Ok, you are thinking that any calorie-restricted diet would be less money per meal, but with intermittent fasting, you don’t have to be as restrictive on the actual food types that you eat.
If we look back at the types of diets, they require that you eat certain foods, usually the more expensive types like meat and that you still to this restriction.
With intermittent fasting, giving your body the time to repair and produce testosterone, while burning fat stores, means that as long as you are eating fewer calories, you will lose fat.
Not just weight, you will lose honest to goodness fat.
And spend less money doing so.
My Fasting Schedule
I want to bring you into my world a little bit and let you see how I use intermittent fasting and how it affects my life, especially financially.
The longer you are in a fasting lifestyle, the more you will become accustomed to having that “empty, lean feeling”. The longer you fast each day, your body feels leaner and you can almost hear the calories being burned.
That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the longer I push the fast, the better I feel. When I do finally eat, it brings that feeling to crashing halt and my body feels sluggish and sloppy.
This dichotomy of feelings has led me to push my fasting windows to the absolute limit each day. I try to have one large meal and snacks within an hour or two towards the very end of the day.
My schedule ends up looking like 22-2 fasted hours to feeding hours. I also push to be as close to 24 hours before eating as I can.
This schedule has allowed me to plan my meals to the calorie and budget my shopping to one large meal a day.
No longer am I snacking or having expensive coffees, I am planning each meal and making sure I have all of the nutrients I need.
Intermittent fasting makes this even simpler because if I want a huge plate of spaghetti, I can have a huge plate of spaghetti and garlic bread. And I will still lose fat that day.
Imagine a world where you only have to plan one meal a day, shop for one meal a day, and prepare one meal a day.
The simplicity, coupled with the wonderful “lean” feeling, has led to a lifestyle that I really, truly enjoy.
The restricted timetable keeps me from spending money on snacks, desserts, and usually unnecessary side items.
The Overall Effect
You may be wondering if I ever get “hungry”. The answer is yes, but our bodies actually cycle through hunger (Article on the hormonal effects of fasting)as opposed to get hungrier.
This cycle means that the longer you abstain from eating, the less hunger you will feel. Crazy right?
I may sound like a cheerleader for intermittent fasting, and I am, but the overall effect it has had on my life has been unbelievable.
When I found intermittent fasting, I was 5’10” and 215 pounds of pure fat. While I am not a fitness model now, I am getting into the best shape of my entire life.
This has helped in my financial journey (Our article on our financial journey)as well. Where most people get hungry and immediately go spend money, I have a prescribed time I plan on eating, and that meal is already laid out for me. I don’t break that unless something seriously drastic happens, like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
And as long as the foods fit into my calorie budget, usually 2100 calories per day, then I consume it! Sugary, fatty foods be damned, they all go in.
Using this method of eating, I lost 40 pounds over the course of 6 months and packed on a bit of muscle too.
My financial journey has coincided with a physical journey that has made me a better person overall. There was no way I wasn’t going to share this with you and show you the benefits of living a fasted life.
How To Implement Intermittent Fasting In Your Life
I know I have made fasting sound like a glorious proposition, but you are still wondering in the back of your head if you can handle not eating for long periods of time.
Of course, you can, but it isn’t going to be an overnight success. You are going to have to take it slow and learn your limits and start small.
- Start with doing a 12 hour fast. Usually, this will mean just skipping breakfast.
- Move this up to 14-16 hours during week 2. You’ll find that the extra hours don’t really add that much hunger to the equation.
- If your stomach growls, feed it with pure water or black coffee. A lot of times, our bodies just need water when we mistake it for needing food.
- If you are comfortable at the 16-8 level of fasting, keep pushing beyond to see how many hours you can do. I feel like most people can handle a 20-4 schedule with no issues.
- Even if you can’t push past 16-8, you can still get great benefits from fasting. As we age it is tough for our bodies to continue producing testosterone, but fasting really helps with this.
- Stay busy and the hunger will fade away. By keeping busy, your mind will stay sharp on your tasks without the fog of digestion getting in the way.
- Make sure during your fasted state you consume literally zero calories. As soon as you consume calories your body will be kicked out of the fasted state and into the insulin-digestion mode.
- Balance your proteins, fats, and carbs based on your nutritional needs. In other words, if you are lifting weights a lot, you will want to balance more towards protein. If you are sedentary, you will want to balance more towards fats.
- Aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week and find out what amount of calories you should consume to get there.
Tips To Save Money With Fasting
- Shop for one week’s worth of meals at a time. Set a budget and then stick to it. By planning in this way, you will always know when and what your next meal will be.
- With intermittent fasting, you no longer need trips to the vending machine or snacks throughout your day.
- Cook your own meals and budget your calories ahead of time. If you make too much food, you can always plan to have leftovers in a few days time.
- Fasting saves a lot of time throughout the day when you aren’t thinking about eating or consuming food. Time is your most valuable resource.
- Use the increased mental awareness during your fast to become more efficient in your job. I am currently writing this while fasting, and the focus benefits are wonderful. More efficiency means that you can work towards promotions or even side hustles (Our article on hustlin’).
- It may seem trite, but fasting has changed my outlook on life in a lot of ways. The health benefits have been so immense that as I enter my 40’s, I am still looking to grow a business and start new ones because of my new found energy.
The Cost Of Change
Changing to a plan of intermittent fasting shouldn’t cost you one red cent. Don’t fall victim to any high-cost diet plans or promises of super-fast results.
Keep the money in your wallet.
By implementing fasting into your life, you’ll find that losing weight is easier than the diets you’ve tried before, but it is also a completely free way of doing it.
You will not need: shakes, drink mixes, specialized meals or meal plans, specific work out gear or videos, high priced trainer, or any number of other diet fad related nonsense.
By making sure you watch how many calories go into your body during your feeding window, you are assuring your success.
Read the labels on your food and stick to the portions that they recommend.
You’ll find that fasting will save you more money, and you’ll lose more weight consistently, than any fad diet.
Success Is Not Assured
I want to take a moment and bring you back into the reality of the situation. While I have laid out all of the benefits and wonderful aspects of intermittent fasting, you have to realize that fasting is exactly as it sounds. You will not be eating for long periods of your day.
Before starting anything like this, you should consult a doctor, but more importantly, you need to be ready to stick with this long term.
Your success is only as good as how hard you work to secure that success.
That goes for business, weight management, or anything else worth doing. I want you to be fit, rich, and happy by the end of your journey.
Intermittent fasting changed my entire life, and I want to pass that along to you.
The great thing about fasting is that it is becoming more and more accepted by science. The more we learn about how it affects the body the more encouraged I am to continue.
Please do some more reading (Link to Amazon’s intermittent fasting books)and let us know how it affects your life.
Please let me know if you have found success using an intermittent fasting schedule and what other tips you could give others to be successful too. If you haven’t used fasting before, would you like to start?
We’ll see you in the comments below!