Eat Stop Eat: Pros & Cons, How-to + Tips For Weight Loss

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What is Eat Stop Eat Fasting Method | How to Follow Eat Stop Eat Fasting | How Does Eat Stop Eat Fasting Work? | Pros of Eat Stop Eat | Cons of Eat Stop Eat

As people have become increasingly aware of health and diet, they are more than ever keen to try out different kinds of intermittent fasting methods. Moreover, intermittent fasting positively affects weight loss and benefits your body metabolism and overall health. 

Some of the popular methods of intermittent fasting or time-restricted feeding are alternate day fasting, one meal a day fasting, eat stop eat meal plan, 5:2 fasting, 16:8 Fasting, where you would fast for 16 hours, and eat for just eight hours in a day.

In this article, we will understand more about the eat stop eat fasting method and discuss its effects on weight loss and other health benefits.

What is Eat Stop Eat Fasting Method?

Eat stop eat intermittent fasting involves eating nothing for full 24-hours once or twice a week and eating as usual on other days without any specific calorie restrictions. 

A Canada-based health expert Brad Pilon advocated this fasting technique as he conducted his research on the effects of short-term fasting on body metabolism at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. His Eat stop eat diet findings were first published in his book in 2007 called “Eat Stop Eat: Intermittent Fasting for Health and Weight Loss”.

You can reduce the fasting window to 20 hours to make this intermittent fasting method work for you. You can also try fasting once a week if you cannot sustain fasting twice a week. However, if you are fasting for two days a week, make sure not to fast on two consecutive days.

How to Follow Eat Stop Eat Fasting?

Intermittent fasting eat stop eat is a simple and easy method of fasting. In this, you fast for 24 hours, which means, you will be eating at a particular time during the day and not eating at all till around the same time the next day. In this, you have to eat at least once, even on the fasting day, and maintain a difference of 24-hours between your meals.

On your eating days, you can eat anything in moderation without excluding any specific food groups. It is suggested to include fruits, vegetables, 100 gms of protein daily in your diet to balance the body’s nutritional requirements.  

Also, drinking adequate quantities of water is essential during periods of fasting. You can also drink other intermittent fasting-friendly drinks like black coffee and tea on the fasting days.

How Does Eat Stop Eat Fasting Work?

Eat stop eat method involves complete calorie restriction for two days which naturally leads to weight loss. Besides the caloric restriction, which has an immediate effect on weight, the eat stop eat schedule also shrinks your appetite during eating time. It means you consume fewer calories overall.

Practicing it for a long duration reduces the calorie intake in the body leading to weight loss, assuming the level of physical activity remains the same. Of course, if intermittent fasting is combined with exercise, it can speed up the weight loss process.

Exercise and Eat Stop Eat Fasting

High-intensity workouts should be avoided until the body settles to eat stop eat way of eating. However, moderate walking, weight-training and resistance exercises can be taken up as usual to build muscle. It is better to avoid strenuous exercise on fasting days.

Pros of Eat Stop Eat

1. Boosts Metabolism

Eat stop eat fasting method induces a metabolic shift as the body satiates its energy requirements away from glucose by using fat and glycogen from carbohydrate stores in the body. It is called the ketogenic state of metabolism that strengthens the immune system by empowering the T-cells.

2. Boosts Fat Burning Hormone

Intermittent fasting enhances the production of growth hormones. Growth hormone (GH) acts on the body’s cells by making them release stored fats. Sports athletes use GH injections to induce fat burning.

As growth hormone production falls with age, the body starts accumulating fat. Intermittent fasting reverses the process by stimulating it and making the body release stored fat.

3. Eat Stop Eat Helps to Detox

Mitochondria, the prime cell organelle, dysfunctions due to toxins in our environment and lead to obesity. Intermittent fasting kicks autophagy in which the body cells, membranes, and organelles heal themselves. Intermittent fasting puts the body in an automatic detox and controls harmful toxins, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.

To know more about the role that fasting can play in triggering autophagy, read Autophagy & Fasting: All You Need To Know.

4. Reduces Chronic Inflammation

Many studies have suggested intermittent fasting, which is done from dawn to sunset during the Islamic season of Ramadan, reduces inflammation and oxidative stress markers such as adiponectin, c-reactive protein, and leptin.

More studies are needed to understand the specific effects of eat stop eat fasting plan on reducing inflammation.

5. Muscle Growth

Intermittent fasting sustains muscle growth by reducing inflammation in the body, contradicting the notions relating to losing muscles with intermittent fasting. It enhances the effect of insulin on muscle cells and promotes muscle growth.

6. Good Heart Health

Intermittent Fasting help in reducing bad cholesterol or LDL- (Low-Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol) and improves good cholesterol- HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol) in the body, which controls blood pressure heart-related concerns.

7. Helps Diabetic Patients

Diabetic patients develop insulin resistance, and insulin administration leads to weight gain issues and an imbalance of leptin and adiponectin in the body. Intermittent fasting works on these metabolic factors and is suitable for people with type 2 diabetes.

Many of the benefits mentioned above correspond to broad intermittent fasting types. Eat stop eat results are comparable to the standard daily energy restriction. Still, more specific studies need to be undertaken to ascertain the benefits of standard energy restriction over the eat stop eat method.

concept of intermittent fasting, ketogenic diet, weight loss. fork and knife crossed and alarmclock on plate

Cons of Eat Stop Eat

1. Fall in Blood Sugar Levels

People who have diabetes should do intermittent fasting under the health care provider’s supervision. A fall in blood sugar levels during the fasting time can lead to dizziness, fatigue, and sometimes proven to be fatal. 

If you’re a type 2 diabetic and considering giving the fasting diet a try, read Intermittent Fasting And Diabetes: Benefits And Risks

2. Insufficient Nutritional Intake

Due to a restricted window of eating time, your body might get deprived of essential vitamins and minerals for steady functioning. It is essential to eat a diet rich in essential vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein during the eating time to maintain the body’s nutritional requirements.

3. Psychological Effect

Eat stop eat plan might lead to a disordered eating pattern and have adverse psychological effects. Staying away from food for such a long interval can cause fatigue, irritability, dizziness and mood swings.

In some cases, fasting can also reduce libido. During the initial phases of fasting, the body takes time to settle using alternative energy sources away from carbohydrates which have been the preferred fuel source all through time.

4. Hormonal Effects

Limited food consumption during specific intervals can alter the level and frequency of hormonal secretion. However, more studies are needed to study the particular effects of intermittent fasting on hormones.

Suitability for Age-groups and Gender

This form of intermittent fasting is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding females. People with eating disorders are also advised against any sort of intermittent fasting. 

Other than that, all other healthy young and older adults can try eat stop eat pattern of eating irrespective of their age. But, since weight gain/loss depends on many metabolic factors other than calorie intake and meal patterns, there is no concrete evidence of its effects on weight loss.

To know more about the safety and risks of intermittent fasting, read Is Intermittent Fasting Safe? Should You Try Or Avoid It

How Easy is it?

Since this form of intermittent fasting does not have specific food restrictions, it cuts your cravings. Also, eat stop eat fasting regulates ghrelin or your hunger hormone.

So, it is relatively easy to sustain eat stop eat compared to different complex types of intermittent fasting where you have to restrict certain foods altogether.

Benefits Over Other Forms of Intermittent Fasting

Longer fasts can hamper your body’s ability to function and make you feel hungry all the time. With eat stop eat, you can eat whatever you like on your fasting days, which is not the case with other types of fasting. 

You can also combine the eat stop eat fasting pattern with a keto diet that involves eating more protein and fat and fewer carbohydrate-rich foods. However, an extremely low carb diet can affect energy levels, as per Pilon, who brought the concept of this form of fasting.

The Bottom Line

You would know if the eat stop eat pattern works for you by closely monitoring the difference felt in your body. If your body feels lighter, your mind is clearer, and the digestive system feels cleaner, you know the fasting is working fine for you. 

Also, individual personalities and preferences play a role to determine the weight loss plan that works well for them. You need to understand how your body behaves before choosing any forms of intermittent fasting or exercise to expedite weight loss. 

If you’re ready to transform your body, check out our intermittent fasting meal plans that will make it easy to follow intermittent fasting. With complete nutritional data & shopping lists, this is the ultimate guide for intermittent fasting + Meal planning.

→ Learn how to create your own meal plans with intermittent fasting

→ Easy steps that break down exactly how you can meet all your nutritional needs

→ FAQs on Intermittent fasting and ketosis

More on Intermittent Fasting

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Information on this document and our website is for educational and informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a dietitian, physician or another health-care professional. Consult your physician before starting intermittent fasting, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any medical condition, or are taking any medication. Read more here.