It’s no secret -- most people want to lose fat, and lose it quickly. Crash dieting has always been a negative term, and still is. There is nothing sustainable about it, and the results, although amazing, only last for a short time. But what if you do need to drop 7 to 10 pounds quickly? For example: an athletic event weigh-in, to trounce your co-workers for this year's “Biggest Loser” contest, or simply look your absolute best when you hit the beach in the final weeks of summer?
The answer has arrived by means of Lyle McDonald’s “Rapid Fat Loss Handbook,” and that answer is a Protein Sparing Modified Fast. As the name suggest, this is a form of fasting that limits what you can intake during your feeding periods. I’ve touted the benefits of fasting in previous articles. Going for a period of time without eating shows both physical and psychological benefits, but this is taking the fasting to another level of control. A protein sparing modified fast, or “PSMF” for short, takes all the benefits of eating low calorie, but attempts to eliminate as much muscle mass loss as possible by keeping your protein intake high.
The overall effect is very rapid weight loss, with a mixture of both water and fat leaving your body. Within days of going on the fast, you will start seeing more definition around your entire body and because your intake is made up of almost all protein, the hunger pangs are not terribly intense. As for the drawbacks, there are quite a few for this particular version of the fast (there are other, more sustainable methods in his book that have lenient rules on how much and what you eat). On this diet, because of the calorie restriction, you should shorten your workouts. Lifting sessions should focus on heavy compound lifts to get the most bang for your energy buck. Furthermore, just worry about keeping all the weight you can on the bar. It is expected for you to lose a bit of power at such a restriction, so don’t let the fact that your lifts aren’t moving discourage you. For more information on the Protein Sparing Modified Fast, head on over to Lyle McDonald’s website.