The Right Balance between Fasting and Eating for Weight Loss.
"The 60/40 Rule"
Dr. Nadia Brito Pateguana outlines the best balance between fasting and eating for weight loss.
Probably one of the most frustrating and confusing things our clients face during their journeys is trying to figure out how to lose weight and CONTINUE to lose weight.
(Not all our clients want to lose weight – as shocking as that may seem to some. Weight is only one expression of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, and it may in fact be a protective expression. More on that later…)
When you are trying to lose weight, it can be frustrating as heck, especially if that scale just won’t budge. (Have you heard Megan tell you to throw out that lying scale yet? You should.) And, it’s even more frustrating if you’ve lost weight but, for some reason, you’ve stalled.
Our TFM program and community are consistent in our message: To lose weight, you shouldn’t be counting calories. Instead, you should be trying to lower insulin.
But, the calorie concern still comes up all the time. People trying to lose weight worry that they are eating too much. And people who don’t want to lose weight always think they’re eating too little.
Let’s address this. Calories don’t matter! We can’t say that enough. Your body doesn’t count calories, as Dr. Fung says, and neither should you.
If you’re trying to maintain weight, for sure calories don’t matter. If you’re eating too little or too much, that doesn’t matter either. In fact, the Longevity Solution book alludes to the fact that mild calorie restriction may be beneficial for longevity. Great. How about for those looking to lose weight? Calories don’t matter either, but you do have to make sure you’re eating ENOUGH.
What the heck does that mean? Eating enough? Back in the day, we used to use the expression “fasting and feasting.” (We’ve strayed away from that only because we don’t want to give the impression that people should be binging.) But, for those looking to lose weight you must ensure you’re not starving yourselves either. That’s what happens with CICO (Calories in, Calories out) and the “Eat less, move more” theory – but not with proper Intermittent Fasting.
This is where the “60/40 Rule” comes in. The 60/40 rule basically states that you should be either “eating 60% of the time and fasting the other 40%” or vice-versa. Both should be equally beneficial to your weight loss efforts if done consistently and interchangeably.
If you divide your week into 60/40, you roughly get four days/three days. In practical terms, you should be fasting three to four days of the week, and eating the other three to four. An eating day is usually defined as 2mad (two meals a day) for most of us. A fasting day is either OMAD (one meal a day) or NOMAD (no meal a day). Most people find success following an eat/fast, alternate day, approach. Others prefer to do a few fasting days in a row followed by a few eating days in a row, or something in between. If you follow the 60/40 rule, you actually have lots of options, and some flexibility to go with your weekly and ever changing social schedules.
The “TFM Gold Standard” for weight-loss seems to be 3xNomad, or 3x42h, per week, plus four days of eating (2mad) in between. My favourite (which I have shared before) is 2x48h fasts per week (it looks like a mixed schedule of 3x2mad, 2xNOMAD and 2xOMAD), please look back at my coach’s notes on this if you’re confused. Using the 60/40 rule you can think of many other weekly schedules, here are a few examples:
4xOMAD plus 3x2mad
2xOMAD plus 2xNOMAD plus 3x2mad
3xNOMAD(3d EF) plus 1xOMAD plus 3x2mad
Please note that at no time did I mention how many calories you should be eating per day. Instead, you’re focusing on HOW MANY MEALS you should have per day. In that case, you’re trying to create a balance between eating and fasting, but NOT starving and fasting. You shouldn’t count calories, but you should always make sure that when you eat a meal, it is rich, nourishing and satiating, following preferable a Lower Carb, Appropriate Protein, Higher Healthier Fat, Real Food approach.
Happy Fasting and Eating Everyone!