Eat Stop Eat: 24 Hour Fast

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

Eat Stop Eat is written by Brad Pilon, who left behind a career in the sports supplement industry so that he could understand the true rules of weight loss and what we should really eat.

He says that in his time in the industry he realized that most nutrition research is no longer conducted in order to improve our health but rather is conducted for marketing purposes. Basically food and supplement companies will fund the research because it will help them to be able to sell more of their products.

Pilon spent a great deal of time studying weight loss and nutrition and he came to the conclusion that prolonged calorie restriction is the only proven nutritional method of weight loss.

Eat Stop Eat Diet Basics


Pilon says that our bodies are designed to be in a constant cycle of feeding and fasting. When we eat a large amount of food our bodies store fat so that we can burn it later when we are faced with an inadequate food supply.

According to him the key to effortless weight loss is to mimic the dietary patterns of our ancestors by undertaking short but regular fasts. He claims that this is the simplest way to lose weight with minimum disruption to your lifestyle.

ese_mikeandjulietContrary to popular opinion, Pilon advises us that fasting for short periods of time does not affect the metabolic rate. He supports his statements with scientific studies that indicate that there is no reduction in metabolism after three days of fasting or when fasting every second day for at least twenty-two days.

He advises dieters to fast for 24 hours, once or twice a week and states that this will produce the same effects as an entire week of very strict dieting. However you will never need to go an entire day without eating if you follow his guidelines.

In order to fast for 24 hours you simply eat as normally until 6 pm one day and then fast until 6 pm the following day. This method allows you to get the benefits of fasting without the need to stop eating for an entire day.

Pilon highlights the fact that it is important to think of a fast as providing a break in your normal eating routine. You should avoid the temptation to overeat on the completion of the fast because this will neutralize the calorie restriction benefits that the fast is designed to produce.

Recommended Foods

Fruits, vegetables, lean protein, herbs, spices, coffee, tea, and artificial sweeteners.

Sample Diet Plan

Pilon does not offer a meal plan because he says it is not necessary when you adopt the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle.

You can look for Healthy Meal ideas here.

Exercise Recommendations

Resistance exercises are recommended at least two or three times a week because they help to maintain muscle tissue when you are dieting. He suggests adjusting your strength training in terms of its intensity, volume and frequency in order to increase the size of your muscles while you are restricting calories.

If you wish you may also add any additional exercises such as yoga, cycling or aerobics.

Costs and Expenses

Eat Stop Eat is available as an eBook for $39.95. Packages are also available for $57 and $77 that include additional bonuses such as workout routines and audio files.

Eat Stop Eat Pros

  • Supported by scientific research.
  • Short-term intermittent fasting has been associated with many health benefits including a potential increase in longevity.
  • Does not require elimination of foods or adjustment of your normal diet.
  • Can help increase awareness surrounding food choices and eating habits.
  • May be followed as a lifestyle approach to weight management.

Eat Stop Eat Cons

  • Some dieters may experience hunger and other uncomfortable symptoms such as headaches while fasting for 24 hours.
  • There may be a tendency to overeat after the fast, which will negate the calorie restriction benefits.
  • Not appropriate for those with a history of eating disorders.
  • Does not include diet suggestions or a meal plan for the times when you are not fasting.
  • Not suitable for children, diabetics and pregnant women.
  • Encourages the use of artificial sweeteners.

Conclusions

Intermittent fasting may offer some dieters an easy way to reduce calories without the need to adjust their usual eating habits and can result in a variety of health improvements.

However, in order to achieve success on this plan it is vitally important that dieters avoid the tendency to overeat upon completion of the 24 hour fast, as this will neutralize many of the benefits including weight loss.

Eat Stop Eat: 24 Hour Fast
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By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Open

    Hello! Have you ever tried the Aston Fat Furnace?Maybe it could help you burn off your stubborn body fat in a clear, hlhatey way and most crucial permanently, like it already did for thousands? upon thousands of people.As a favor to you, I analysed this to other systems, and you know what? Aston Fat Furnace continue to works better. You will notice by yourself why, (just Google Aston Fat Furnace ).

  • Giovy

    I been doing ESE for 2 weeks now , Amazing results I have to say!!
    I don’t weight myself but I notice a big difference in my clothes!
    I do have a problem in NON Eating days because I get sooo hungry,
    And cooking for the family does not help, but I try to eat a lot of the good
    Stuff veggies and fruits. With me it worked wonders, and I am trying
    My best to do ESE like a life Style! By the book is great help.

    • john

      I had my last meal at 9pm last night (Wednesday) its now Thursday 7pm, and all ive had since is lots of water , I was gonna wait till Friday morning before I eat again , , but I then wondered if I can eat at 9pm tonight as it will of been 24hours ?? I,m not really hungry because of the gallons of water I,ve been drinking , but I think I,m just being greedy!! my brains saying “eat” though , I think I can do without , but I don,t want to, ??? ps have I got a mild eating disorder , sometimes I just eat for the sake of it even when I,m not hungry ?

    • Ed

      Here’s how I feel. If you are extremely hungry and water, fruit drinks do not work to fill the void, there is NO REASON why you cannot eat something reasonable. An apple, banana, orange, some celery… it not only fills the hunger pangs, but the psychological void….I live this diet and look forward to losing another 70 lbs in 2014

      • Ed

        I am 2 weeks shy of one year. I could have done OH SO MUCH Better, but I am still proud. I have gone from size 44 jeans on January 28th 2013 to size 38 tonight….still a little tight and uncomfortable, but I got them fastened with ease.

  • Monica

    I wanna know if we can drink the soup from let’s say a stew on fasting days with the same effect?

    • Ed

      Monica, on my fast days I make it a habit to intake nothing thicker than Tomato Juice, AND, I intake no more than 100 calories…still going strong and down from 326 to 265 since Feb 2013. I have had some tough weekends, but I continue this lifestyle..CLUES: plan some great and interesting meals on your eat days, stay busy and full of liquids on your fast days.

  • mitzi

    I’m willing to give this a try…I believe it sounds doable and makes sense. During the the fasting periods can you at consume water and hot or cold teas?

    • Katelin

      From what I have read, any no calorie drink is allowed on fasting days. Tea, club soda, diet soda….etc

  • Marie

    I haven’t read all comments, but has anyone already asked about bowel movements on this? I’m curious if regular daily visits to the can will be messed up. Good BM’s are very important for daily function..lol…

    • Ed

      Ok…I staretd this on my own on Jan 28th. I didn’t know the Eat Stop Eat existed, I just went on a liguid diet every other day and found this site online…STATS: I was 5’6″ on Jan 28TH at 326 lbs…No exercise…nothing but a 24 hr fast from 6 am to 6am..to date..NO EXERCISE I am down to 280…I am now within 100 lbs of my goal…POOPS…they are looser, they are runny due to liquids, but they are still regular……

  • Dawn

    Can I still lose weight fasting 2 days per week but just walking instead of strength training?

    • Latasha

      Yes but strength training is so beneficial for you (especially women as we age) so why not give it a try? You won’t get bulky like a man (we don’t produce enough testosterone for that) and if you have joint issues, use resistance bands instead of free weights. Also, walking WITH weights can help you burn more calories! Best wishes to you :-)

    • Aaron V

      Hey, I’ve been doing ESE for a few years now and LOVE it, very effective. The reason Brad recommend’s strength training is so that you can preserve your muscle in a calorie deficit. Walking is a great exercise. Being a dude however, I make sure to strength train.

      • lucasmrcooper

        Hey, Have you been able to gain lean muscle even in weeks that have caloric deficits? Pilon suggests that one can. Is that your experience?

  • bec

    Does the fast days have to be the same each week?

    • http://www.everydiet.org ted

      No, It’s always best to keep your body guessing and avoid routines. Your body can adjust quickly.

  • Ed

    I am very excited. I tipped the scales today at 39 lbs lost in 7 weeks and am enjoying this with great excitement. Tomorrow is Friday and an eat day. I am going to split a Margerhita Pizza with my wife…can’t wait….Breakfast….Bagel and an Apple…lunch….salad from a local food store….dinner, 1/2 a margerhita pizza…

  • Cheryl

    I think everybody is over complicating this diet. It’s simple.
    This is an excerpt from Brad Pilons blog.
    The whole diet can be explained in these few sentences:

    One OR two 24-hour fasts per week, divided between two days, combined with a sound resistance-training program. When your fast is over I want you to pretend that it never happened and eat responsibly. That’s it. Nothing else.

    • ED

      At week 6 I have lost 34 lbs with limited exercise. I actually enjoy this lfiestyle. What is KEY to ME is to keep busy and occupied during the 24 hour fast.

      I fast from 6am to 6 am because it suits me perfectly

  • AD

    First time I tried this diet was 3 years ago and I was amazed how fast and easy I lost weight by eatihg whatever I want and as much as I want, but only once a day. There are lot of muslims in my country, and they fast whole month every year, eating only once a day, every 24h and all of them say that they feel the best that month, and that they loose some weight, so that is how I got idea to try doing this. I was worried about my health, so I did regular controls and I was amazed again becouse my blood count and presure, sugar and cholesterol level have never been beter. Also, my skin is cleaner and I have more energy than I had before. Other organs are also fine. After I lost weight, I haven’t started to eat more meals, becouse every time I tried I felt tired and without energy, it was too much food for me, so for almost 3 years I usually eat one meal daily, sometimes 2, it depends wheter I’m hungry or not,. I dont think how much I eat, what I eat, becouse I know I won’t get fat and that freedom is one of the biggests benefits.
    Also, I haven’t lost muscels, becouse I did exercises regulary, I only lost fat.

    So, for those who say that this diet causes serious health issues- when should I expect that issues to show?
    I agree that all scary things you can hear about this diet are conducted for markenting purposes, becouse it’s effective and healthy diet, you loose fat easy and fast and you don’t have to pay nutricionists, pills and other products, so that is why this diet is not recomended.

    P.S. English is not my native language, so I hope you won’t mind eventual mistakes.

  • Slide

    To recommend, as some have done here. to fast for several days, much less a week or even a month can be VERY HAZARDOUS to ones health. You don’t know the health, age or other factors as some might be able to get away with this whereas others will lose vital nutrients and could have heart or other problems. CONSULT A PHYSICIAN before attempting any fasting over 24+ hours and Certsinly more than a couple days.

  • Ed

    I started this diet on my own with no prior knowledge this plan existed. I am in my 4th week. I am severly overweight and do not know my weight loss as of yet. ( I will weigh myself the 1st of every month). I am already feeling better, am able to bend easier and my pants are much looser. I feel good and the best part is planning the next days liquids, or meals depending. It is all in the mind…..

    • Ed

      At week 6 I have lost 34 lbs with limited exercise. I actually enjoy this lfiestyle. What is KEY to ME is to keep busy and occupied during the 24 hour fast.

      I fast from 6am to 6 am because it suits me perfectly…

  • Nick

    I’m in this kind of eating lifestyle for little more than a year. (24h fasting most days, some alternative-day fasting and more rarely 3-4 days fast with a big feasting before or after). I do this by myself, I dont have this book but most people will need some guideline at the beginning so the books seems good. For you who worry I tell you from personal experience seeing the results of me and my close friend (we both eat that way): NO muscle loss (but I do weight lifting regurarly), no strength loss (gained some but probably it’s because I am 21 years old and I am still growing), no hair loss and of course, no metabolic retardation (you do spend the energy you need even when you fast, you cant brake the laws of physics!)

    • Nick

      * to see what FAT you will lose count the average caloric deficit you have each day (there are plenty of websites to calculate your caloric needs, do some googling) and multiply with days, for example 1000 kcal deficit a day: 1000kcal/day * 7days = 7000kcal (1kg fat produce 9000kcal as current scientific knowledge supports).

  • Eli

    I was just wondering, does the fast have to be from 6pm to 6pm? Would it make any differnce if it was from 12pm to 12pm for example?

    • David Thornborough

      That’s my method, Have a nice lunch, skipping dinner is easy then get up late for work the next day so there is no time for breakfast. From 9-12 the next morning are a little rough but at that point you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    • ann

      none at all

  • Veronica

    I take daily suppliments like vitamins, garlic, grape seed extract, and a homeopathic detoxifier. should these be suspended on fasting days?

    • Gabriel

      You can still take them, but absorption for the supplements will be down, which is why it’s recommended with meals.

      I do not take mine on fast days

  • At

    I use this style of eating plan for the past 3 years. I lost a great deal of weight and have managed to keep it off for over two years. Additionally, I can eat whatever I want. I give myself days where I do overeat, then go right back to this style. It is the only eating plan that has ever worked for me.

  • sasha

    I did my first 24 hours fast yesterday and I was amazed at how easy it was!
    I did not want or need anything more than green & herbal teas.
    I slept in in the morning and I made sure to do the fast on an easy work day.
    I also had plenty of time to plan and shop for good organic greens and quinoa so that my first meal in 24 hours was a healthy fulfilling one!
    I am excited about this lifestyle change and I am happy that weight loss could be a benefit, but I am doing this more so that my body can have a rest and eliminate toxins…I am hoping to cure my persistent allergies…we’ll see!
    Good luck to anyone embarking on this…I think if you think of all the good this short fast does it is so much easier than thinking about the food you are missing.
    S.

  • craig mcshane

    i tried this for a month and had ok results started at 13st 8lb i wanted to get down to 10st,I fasted for 2 days at a time only eating a chicken fillet with a bit a veg and sald on the days i eat

    i had a alot better results on the cambrige diet witch is similar to this but i fasted for 3 weeks at a time olny having 2 shakes a day to cover the minerals and vitams that you need to stop your body staring.its not for the faint hearted and it need deadication to ajeeve the required results

    • Steve

      Ahh…didn’t follow the protocol. Would do better if you didn’t fast two days in a row and the restrict your caloric intake the rest of the time.

  • Grey

    I was 230 lbs and by doing this diet I lost 50 pounds 4 years ago in like 3 months. I’m currently 160 lbs abd I started again yesterday, I’m planning to lose another 30 pounds so wish me luck ;)

    • Ericka

      How’s it going now doing this? I kind of want to try but am nervous….

      • spankme

        I just did my first 24 hour fast yesterday and am on a 20 hour fast today and just feel hungry. I practiced a bit with shorter periods without food 12-15 hours which was helpful. drink a lot of tea.

  • Alia

    This sounds perfect for me and very efficient, I’m going to give it a try!
    Follow my efforts at losing weight with Eat Stop Eat

  • Demarion

    I may give this a shot, however, DON’T USE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS. They are horrid for you! Try natural sweeteners such as Stevia (love the stuff), Manuka honey, or even muddled dates.

    • Dana

      Stevia is fine, but you shouldn’t have honey or dates during this period because ingesting sugars during this time somewhat defeats the purpose (although it would still be giving your digestive organs a break).

  • Parthi

    What are the foods should not to eat first aftr finishing your fasting , and food must eat first? plz say

  • Kristina

    So freaking easy – I’ve been fasting for a week now and have lost 8 pounds already. I have a lot more to lose but this is the first time something has actually worked that I didn’t have to put thought into – just told myself, “Okay, we’re not eating until 6:00 p.m. tonight.” Any hunger pangs I had subsided after about 20 minutes, and as I kept drinking water, I never felt like I was going to die.

    • Eragon

      How did you fast for a week??? I just finished a 37hrs fast on water, but what do you live on to keep going for a week?

      • Steve

        More than doable. Once fasted for 60 days on water only! Hardest part were the first 3 day and then TRYING to eat again at the end.

      • Matt

        IDK man. I have actually fasted for 7 days before. It’s doable.

      • Furqan

        He didn’t fast for a while week, he did periods of fasts for a week.

  • Susie

    I have started the ESE today, so watch this space!

  • Wendy

    Did my first fast day today. Was actually really easy.

  • Jane

    I am starting this diet today! If one is only allowed fluids on the fast day, how can I take my medication when it has to be with or after food?? Taking pills 3 times a day makes this a bit tricky!! Has anyone the solution?? Thank you

    • Laura

      How about using a stomach protector like omeprazol. Go to your doctor and ask him if it is OK to do so as you need to be fasting now and then.

    • NurseKid21

      Ok what meds are you on? The reason I ask is because food is recommended (=NECESSARY) with certain meds to inhibit reactions in the stomache. One reason is ulceration of the stomache (that is, the medication will break down the lining of the stomache etc), which will lead to haemorrhage or just a goddamn painful gut. In hospital situations when patients are NBM (nil by mouth) the oral meds are ceased for this reason, and only those which can be alternatively given IV are continued.

      If you are on this diet and you need to take pills that are recommended with food then you should at least put a bit of cauliflower in your tummy (pretty much just water and minerals anyway) to help reduce any damage to the endothelial lining.

      Take care of yourself and if in doubt ask your GP or community nurse.

    • Kiwi

      what about taking a fiber tablet? Take your pills, have a fiber tablet then three glasses to aide the fiber tablet. Just a thought.

    • Jo

      Why don’t you try veg soup before your tablets?, might be worth a shot? x

  • Jo

    Hi there, I’ve seen the programme on t.v and am trying this diet out. Been fasting for 2 days, just drank loads of fluids and cut down my sugar intake in tea & coffee , feel headachey but other than that fine. I’ve got to try this cos have tried every other diet and I always end up going back to my old ways!! So fingers crossed it works! seems to make sense to me.

  • Pierce

    Works amazingly for me. Any time i feel myself falling off the wagon i IMMEDIATELY turn to this without question. And it works without fail.

  • Ike

    Type 2 Diabetes may not be a con to calorie restriction, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13887909 and http://diabetes.webmd.com/news/20110624/very-low-calorie-diet-may-reverse-diabetes Of course, any use of calorie restriction by a type 2 diabetic should be monitored by a competent health professional.

  • Isa

    Anyone doubtful of the benefits google BBC iplayer and watch the Horizon documentary Eat, fast live longer, it goes through all the science on fasting and the massive gains in creating healthy blood work and reversing risks of cancer and heart disease.

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