Brad Pilon’s book Eat Stop Eat was one of the pioneers of the intermittent fasting movement.
While in recent years the Intermittent Fasting approach (and the many ways to do it) has caught on like wildfire within the health and weight loss communities, it was definitely not popular or mainstream back when Mr. Pilon launched his book nearly 15 years ago.
Quick summary: Eat Stop Eat is meant to be a sustainable, long-term, weight loss (and weight management) way of life. It does NOT involve trying to completely change the way you eat or restrict any food group – and it doesn’t even involve counting carbs or calories.
For this reason, it’s one of the easier methods to follow when it comes to trying to lose weight for the long-term. If you’re interested in learning more about the research behind why intermittent fasting is such a great and effective approach to weight loss and health, definitely give it a read.
Download it for free here with an Audible free trial (also free with Kindle Unlimited).
Eat Stop Eat was written by Brad Pilon, an expert in the field of intermittent fasting. He wrote the book and developed the Eat Stop Eat method of Intermitted Fasting based on his graduate student research. It was first published back around 2007, although an updated version was put out in 2017.
You won’t find an exact step-by-step meal plan/formula within this book – it’s more about the method, why it works, and the scientific data backing it up. While he does tell you what the method is with some guidelines to follow – it is pretty flexible.
While some may find Eat Stop Eat method too vague, the flexibility is built-in for a reason. It gives people the opportunity to adapt it to their lifestyle without making drastic changes that are quite often unsustainable.
The entire point is that it’s supposed to be easy for people to stick to, it’s not to give people more rules to try and follow.
What is Eat Stop Eat?
The Eat Stop Eat method is a bit different than most mainstream IF methods talked about today. It involves complete 24-hour fasts, not partial day fasting (such as 16:8 or One Meal a Day) or eating 500-600 calories per day on your “fast” days (like with the popular 5:2 or Fast Diet).
Even though there are several ways to fast, the method outlined within the book is still the one he most recommends to this day. The reason being is that, according to him, it’s the easiest to follow.
While it’s not for everyone, it’s a great way to easily restrict calories without worrying and restricting everything that goes into your mouth.
However, it should be emphasized that everyone needs to do what works for them and that any of the various methods of IF (intermittent fasting) all have benefits and can help with weight loss.
Now, if you’re looking for an exact outline to follow including exact times/days to fast, what to eat, and recipes, this isn’t what you’ll find in this book.
Instead, this book is divided into two main parts:
- An incredibly in-depth look and discussion on the health benefits and research done on intermittent fasting
- How to fast Eat Stop Eat style – guidelines, what to eat during your fast, what times to fast, workouts
It’s important to realize this is a flexible, LONG-TERM solution for losing weight. If you’re looking for a drastic, quick diet to lose 20 lbs in a week or two, this isn’t it.
What is the Eat Stop Eat diet plan exactly?
Eat Stop Eat is a method of intermittent fasting where you typically fast 1 or 2 days per week, for 24 hours each.
Unlike the popularized 5:2 diet, in which you are told to consume between 500-600 of your calories on your “fast” days, the Eat Stop Eat method is a true 24 hour fast in which you refrain from eating entirely.
Zero-calorie drinks like black coffee, tea, or diet pop are allowed on fasting days. Artificial sweetener is OK, too.
It’s up to you whether you want to fast for 1 or 2 days out of the week. If you have more weight to lose, it might make more sense to fast 2 days out of the week. If you’re closer to your goal weight (or trying to maintain) a 1x per week fast may be appropriate.
Really, it depends on how fast you want to lose weight and what works for your body.
Not a “feast or famine” diet
This approach to weight loss isn’t meant to give people a green light to completely gorge themselves on off-fasting days. The entire point is caloric restriction, with the added benefits of IF.
In fact, it’s still entirely possible to gain weight while fasting if you eat TOO much when you do eat.
It’s about eating normally – eating a variety of foods while not denying yourself (but also not going overboard). If you’re coming from a place of eating very abnormally and very large amounts of food, you’ll probably need to make some adjustments to your eating habits if you want to lose weight.
Benefits of intermittent fasting
There has been plenty of research done on the benefits of occasional fasting and contrary to what some may believe, it’s not dangerous for most people.
When insulin is high, you’re unable to release body fat from your fat stores. In order to burn body fat, your insulin levels must be low.
The problem is, many people eat so frequently their insulin levels remain high. IF is a way to bring down insulin levels to a very low level without following a special diet plan.
These are just some of the benefits that have been proven…
- Decreased body fat/weight
- Maintainance of skeletal muscles
- Decreased insulin levels
- Decreased blood glucose levels
- Decreased food-related stress
- Increased cellular cleansing
Who is Eat Stop Eat for?
- People who are tired of dieting and not being able to stick to all “the rules”
- Those who don’t want to count calories or carbs forever
- People who are looking for a realistic solution to lose weight and keep it off
- Those who like the idea of “Delay, Don’t Deny”
Who Eat Stop Eat is NOT for
- First of all, obviously, if you have any health conditions that would make you physically unable to go 24 hours without eating, this is NOT for you.
- People who need strict guidelines and rules on what foods to eat (and how much to eat) this may not work well for you.
- If you’re looking for a quick-fix solution to drop 20 lbs ASAP, this may not be restrictive enough for you.
Is it expensive?
Eat Stop Eat is one of the least complicated and least expensive “diets” you could possibly follow.
Because it’s really just about NOT eating for 24 hour periods. At its core, it’s really just that simple.
Anyone can take that information and roll with it – there’s no requirement to buy the book if you really don’t want to.
And there’s no special pills, equipment, or expensive food that’s necessary to participate in the Eat Stop Eat way of life.
However, I find it an extremely informative and beneficial resource for fasting, and it makes you realize that losing weight does NOT have to be complicated, and how much of a lie most of the diet and fitness industry really is.
The Bottom Line
This is not meant to be a fad diet or a way to lose weight as fast as possible – it’s created to be a sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off over the long term.
It’s super flexible and allows you to enjoy eating without worrying about constantly restricting foods or counting every calorie. This is what makes it relatively easy for many people to follow, despite the fact it requires 24-hour fasts.
And if 24 hours sounds like too long, you can always shorten the fasting window. There are plenty of variations of the Intermittent Fasting method that involve different periods of fasting (although, then, of course, you’re not truly following Eat Stop Eat).
What’s cool is you can even find it on Amazon and get the audio version of Eat Stop Eat completely free if you sign up for an Audible trial or read it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!