John: Hey, John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com.
So in this video, I’m going to answer a question, but not a question that someone e-mailed me.
This is a question that I get all the time and I’m tired of answering it individually.
I’m just going to give you why I’m doing this. I’m a little bit bizarre, right? I do a lot
of crazy kind of things. As you know, if you follow Get Up and CODE, my podcast on fitness
which you can check out at getupandcode.com, I’m pretty much into fitness and in health,
but I do a lot of weird things in that area. I’m like Tim Ferriss that I experiment on
myself. One long time running experiment that I’ve
been doing that I often get asked about a lot is the fact that I fast until 5 PM every
single day. I’ve been doing this for 9 months now. It’s not a fad and so I inevitably
get asked why am I doing this. I figured I’d create this video and share it with you.
Now, before I get into why I’m doing it, I do have to say, although sometimes I may look
like a medical doctor, I am not a medical doctor. I’m not giving you medical advice.
I’m not a lawyer, not a politician, none of those things so none of this is—the basic
disclaimer, don’t follow or don’t starve yourself to death and then sue me, because
I’m not recommending that you do this, but I’m going to tell you why I do it. If you
want to do it by yourself, fine. Go ahead. Anyway, why would I fast until 5:00 everyday?
Well, let me give you a little bit of history of what I’ve done and the kind of experiments
that I have done. I was doing some bodybuilding back way in my younger days in the acting
and modeling days and doing bodybuilding. When I was doing bodybuilding, what I did
was I would eat 6-7 meals a day and I would cook those meals, chicken breasts that whole
deal. The idea was that it sped up your metabolism and you need to refill your muscles and have
protein every so often. That actually turned out to be false, right?
A lot of studies have come out that showed, “Okay, that’s not really true. You don’t
need to eat 6-7 meals a day. It doesn’t actually increase your metabolism.” Also,
studies have shown that your protein absorption is actually a lot higher than what you would
expect. If you eat like 200 grams protein in one meal, your body will digest that over
time. You don’t need to break it up into 20 grams here or 20 grams there. That’s
the basis of where I transitioned from there. I said okay. I started to learn these things.
I tried eating less meals per day. I saw I was getting the same results. Then what ended
up happening was I’ve been on kind of different low carb diets and all these kind of things.
I went to Hawaii last year for 2 months and I didn’t want to make my daughter and wife
suffer of my crazy diet plans. They wanted to go out and eat and I don’t really go
out to eat when I’m eating pretty clean. I said, “Okay. Well, here’s the deal. If
I skip … I had already been doing some amount of intermittent fasting, which is kind of
like where you fast until noon or you basically skip breakfast and don’t eat until you have
this smaller eating window. I said, “What if I just extend this?” What if I said,
“Okay, I’m not going to eat until dinner everyday while we’re on vacation and then
we can go out to eat and calorie wise I’ll be fine.”
That’s what I did. As I started doing that in Hawaii, I actually started getting a lot
more lean. I was already in decent shape, but I started dropping fat. The other thing
that happened is I expected that I was probably going to lose some muscle. Well, my strengths
are going up. I said, “This is interesting. This is weird. How is this happening?” I
actually started looking out there and looking at some studies. I found this one study that
showed that some folks they had put them on basically a one meal a day fasting for a longer
period of time. In fact, they had done different fasting experiments and they found that the
HDH levels in some of the subjects peak after about 48 hours of fasting, which went against
this whole idea that bodybuilders are afraid of starvation mode, like if you don’t eat,
you’re going to go in starvation mode. In 48 hours, you’re going to start cannibalizing
your muscle. It turns out that’s not true. As much as the study can show you that, I
experimented on myself and I found that to be not true. I found that I was actually gaining
more muscle and staying lean by eating one meal a day. That’s why I started doing it
or that’s why I kept doing it. When I got back from Hawaii and I was going to my regular
schedule, I found that I was actually liking eating one meal a day because I didn’t have
to worry so much about what I was going to eat. I can work all day long without interruption,
which is what I tend to like to do and I didn’t have to cook. I hate after—I guess some
of it is after doing bodybuilding for such a long time and cooking 6-7 meals a day. I
just hate it. I just want to just go to simplified one meal.
Now, it’s been about 9 months. I’ve pretty much stuck with this. I think on Christmas
Day was the only time I broke this where we have our traditional cheesecake for breakfast.
I did do that but aside from that pretty much for 9 months, I’ve been doing this. As you
can see, I’m in good shape. I am retaining my muscle. I’m staying lean and so yeah. That’s
my story. Now, again, like I said, it doesn’t mean
that this is the only way, but this is working for me. That’s why I’m sticking with it.
I do believe that HDH level—I think there is a connection there. Now, if you’re curious,
if you’re working out and lifting weights and stuff, I do take BCAAs, branched-chain
amino acids right before my workout and right afterwards, which I found from another study
that showed that that’s just as effective for preserving muscle as taking in a protein
shake. That’s pretty much what I’m doing. Yes,
I know it’s a little bit crazy, only not eating until 5:00 and only eating one meal
a day. Hey, it works for me. The other side effect of this too, in fact, why I started
implementing this is when I was on vacation in Hawaii, I wanted to make sure that I had
some discipline in my life because you’re out there and you’re having vacation. To
me, I find that it’s really important to maintain some kind of—I would say do one
thing that you hate everyday. This was something that kept me focused, even though I was out
there having a good time. I still had some kind of discipline in my life, so that when
I came back to regular working schedule, I didn’t lose my discipline because I think
you can lose your discipline if you don’t keep it up.
Anyway, for all of you that were curious about that and for all of you that didn’t know
I was doing the fast until 5:00, now you think I’m crazy, there you go. If you liked this
video, if you want more crazy videos about ridiculous fitness advice, but mostly programming
and life skills, check out the channel. Actually, subscribe to the channel and share it with
a friend. Take care.