So I discovered intermittent fasting browsing Youtube for typical fitness and health information. I was pretty excited and engaged in my health because of apps like Fitocracy and a few Reddit communities. I also thought about how my health was affecting my performance working on my startups. That’s when I discovered Brad and his book “Eat Stop Eat.” I thought to myself, what the hell is intermittent fasting? How can anybody go a day without eating? Then I discovered all the benefits of intermittent fasting:
I was all in. I have been combining fasting with kettlebell training and was able to go down 70 pounds. Far from my goal, but its encouraging that something as simple as eating less and exercising could give such great results. The key is eating less the right way, and exercising the right way. In this interview with Brad Pilon we
Anthony Frasier: All right. Hello, everyone! This is Anthony Frasier and I’m here with Brad Pilon. I said Pylon. Is it Pilon or Pylon?Brad Pilon: You know, either one is fine. Pilon is what I go by, but you can make it out as you go.Anthony Frasier: Okay, cool! So he is the author of a book called Eat. Stop. Eat and I discovered the book not too long ago, maybe about a year ago this time I think.
Brad Pilon: Right.
Anthony Frasier: And it’s actually been kind of life-changing. You know, I knew nothing about fasting or anything like that. I had just finished reading Tim Ferriss’ book the 4-Hour Body, so I just started to diet a little bit more and I was on __00:46__, which is this fitness app where it helps you track your workouts.
Brad Pilon: Right.
Anthony Frasier: But just getting into that, I was really getting into the zone like, “Man, I’m feeling a little bit better and I lose some weight.” and I was just like, “How do I you know, maintain this healthy lifestyle?” and I just started Youtubing all of these different topics and I saw someone do an Eat. Stop. Eat review. And I was like, “What is Eat. Stop. Eat?” you know. And then of course I did some more digging and then found your book and then it just basically, I just started doing exactly what you said in the book. Of course, I dug dipper and found out a little bit more about intermittent fasting, but thank you for even coming on here. I just want to give a quick little story of how I discovered you. But how did you, yourself, you know, tell us a little bit about your past. Like where you from and kind of how you got you know, leading up to like being able to you know, what kind of empowers you to write the book?
Brad Pilon: Yeah. Well, I mean this goes real way, way, way back. So I had, I think I did a healthy infatuation with kind of like muscle ever since I was young and I was just trying to figure where that came from. You know, as far as I can recall I think that the whole thing is half my dad’s fault and half Lou Ferrigno’s fault. So I may be dating myself here, but if you can remember back to the original incredible Hulk TV Series with Lou Ferrigno, that is one of my first memories of me and my old man watching that show.
Anthony Frasier: Yeah.
Brad Pilon: And I think something about that you know, the skinny sort of introverted scientist who can just like that just switched in becoming the Incredible Hulk. You know, it got me at a young age and I have always been sort of like infatuated with that, right? So I could remember you know, when you are 7 or 8 years old and being dragged to the grocery store with your mom, right? And she is in line waiting to do stuff, you have already asked for the Granola chocolate bars and she has told you, “No” so now you are staring at the magazine and you are trying to kill some time.
Anthony Frasier: Uh-huh.
Brad Pilon: And it was always the muscle fitness that kind of drew me in, right? And this is you know early mid-80 and we are talking like __2:57__ and the occasional Schwarzenegger to take persona, right? And that was like, I was like, “Wow! It was amazing and how was that even possible?” And it was that kind of idea that led me into always being interested in, I want to say health, but really it wasn’t. I was interested to human body, right? What it could and couldn’t do. So by the time I was like 14 or 15 I was working in like my local supplement shop so I am up in Canada. So it was actually __3:30__.
Anthony Frasier: Okay.
Brad Pilon: And that’s where I got like my start on that. You kind of already get that type of expert status just because you are getting 80 bucks an hour just staying behind the counter. All right, so people always started thinking like I knew what I was talking about and that kind you know, it propped you up a bit and so I decided to pursue it as a career. I went to university just studying to be a dietician and to that the courses I took, with the courses you would take to actually become a dietician which is at time I thought was like the pinnacle of nutrition jobs. But happily, I realized that when the dietician shoots through some of the amazing things, right?
They deal with the dietary needs of people in disease states etcetera. That’s not what I wanted. I still wasn’t trying to you know, help people in disease, I was still very infatuated with like the human body. I kind of twisted my old faith because it is a couple courses up here in Canada that you have to become a dietician and oddly enough, one of them is how to manage a restaurant.
Anthony Frasier: What?
Brad Pilon: And with another course which was on the nutrition exercise metabolism. So I dropped the rest of the course so I could take nutrition exercise metabolism and so now that wasn’t you know, how to apply for the internship to be a dietician, all right, so but you win some and you lose one because it is actually not being really good for me. So when I finished my undergrad degree I didn’t really have any sort of job prospects. My original plan was to rent a van and travel across Canada. That’s nasty goals at the time. But through conflict, a weird connection of friends, my undergrad thesis got in the hands of a buddy who got the hands with a buddy who is working for a supplement company. My one buddy was __5:18__ and somehow __5:19__ as well and then you know, within that couple of months I was working in the RND apartment for the young start of a supplement company. So it was a zone, right? Because this is, something that’s all about two things, right? You are building muscle and you are losing fat and that’s all that matters in the world.
Anthony Frasier: Yeah.
Brad Pilon: And it was a small company, but they were doing just awesome things. They really got the concept of on living aggressive advertising which meant they were selling really well, which means they have lots of money and they were spending some of that money on RND. Now, I am just saying they were doing it, but actually doing it, right?
Anthony Frasier: Yeah.
Brad Pilon: So, you know, I was working in research and development, but not just like reviewing scientific abstracts and making up stories. We were actually designing and funding stents. So I got six years later, I am now managing RND, the company owns from like 30 people that 250s and 300 and I constantly involve with dealing with you know, PhDs and professors designing studies was it got me kind of geek together though that part of the human body or the actual science in there you know, right? You know, I just the geek you know, eating X + Y, I wanted to know how that was measured and why it was measured.
So like all these thing and people who are married with a kid on the way I quit my job and went back to schools, right? Which is brilliant. That was a really odd thing period time for me because you know, I walked into my grad studies thinking I basically new it all. Come on I just spent six years running RND as a body builder. I get it protein, lutein, I am going to rock this. Like I am going to, I am going to finish my masters degree in like two months and they are just give a parade for me when I got into that. And there what I have learned is that I did not know anything you know, this sort of you know nothing Brad Pilon type of idea.
And what I learned was that in that under-grads, so you know, your sort of first four years of college and you learn how to reference research, right? So basically, every sentence you write has that some sort of reference or it is coming from someone else’s thought. In __7:34__ studies you actually learn how to analyze that research, right? So it is like almost backwards. So in my graduating stage I really learned you know how we take the measuring and why do we take the measuring and why do we take it in that population, how many and why did we need so many. Well, you really got the understanding of how you have truly designed a paper and why you are studying the things you are studying.
Anthony Frasier: Yeah.
Brad Pilon: And that __7:59__ me because I didn’t even realized at all that I didn’t really know how to do this before, that’s not a good thing. And also made me realize that a lot of things I pre, you know, my assumptions. The __8:09__ that came into were right. You know, I was given to design you know the ultimate Pilon diet, right? And as a start it pointed to some weird sort of __8:21__ situations. I ended up looking at that. You know, a green starting point to the point you know, the fact that fasting is the very worst thing you could possibly do for your body. And then the only thing I thought were going to happen did happen, right? The things I thought I would find the studies were there and that’s why I had this sort of stuff.
I can keep the blinders on and keep going with my pre-determined assumptions of how the human body works etcetera or I can just start from scratch and really look into this tall fasting thing. It’s unique, it’s interesting. It has kind of got my attention. So I changed the focus of my gradual research so that everything I did was kind of always involved around the metabolic effects of short term fasting in humans. And then by the time I was done I had a basic instruction of information that instead of publishing as a paper I decided wouldn’t it be cool to try to try to publish this as book online.
I had a buddy of mine Craig Valentine and he just does phenomenal things online. He is the Turbulence training, The Early Rise guy. __9:31__ was kind of getting started, right? So he wasn’t doing phenomenal things, but he was really into it and I like his model of online publishing because he is a bit of control freak. It meant that no one was editing my stuff. No one was censoring me and I could say what I want in my book and get it out there because that’s what the internet kind of originally was for health and fitness, right? It was kind of counter culture thing. You had all the books in the bookstores. You have the main magazines that were multiple sources of info and the internet which is kind of like this underground thing __10:04__ so it appealed to me so.
So I took Eat. Stop. Eat and my drudge of work. I kind of, I didn’t dump it now, but you know, grad writing is basically a competition so you got to have the longest running sentence and so I kind of made things a bit more understandable. And then I published it online and the original version was like 72 pages long and we were talking double-spaced, font 12, you know. People liked it. I mean, I had obviously rub off a lot of the feathers, but for the most point, it made sense for a lot of people so I just have been sticking with it, every year I expanded. You know the main benefit of an eBook is that when a new info comes out I can just change it and send it back out to the people. You know so it was constantly updated and it allows it to be kind of constant labor of love for me there. I’m always working on improving it. But the whole thing came from my __10:57__ human body and how you can in the zone on what it looks like and you know, the weirdest way that I ended up taking all the way back to fasting.
Anthony Frasier: Man, that’s great. Thanks for the story. You know, many people have got of the days, they hear all of these. I will like to ask you know, like I know but for the person that might be listening, who might have just Googled and stumbled upon this blog like what is intermittent fasting.
Brad Pilon: Right, okay so intermittent, occasionally, right? So it’s really a little bit if you want to sort of dump it down means every once in a while occasionally and fasting is a break from eating. So intermittent fasting is simply allowing yourself taking occasional break from eating. It is a predetermined time and that’s what kind of makes it different from just sort of starving yourself. Is it for me? For instance, my method of Eat. Stop. Eat is once or maybe twice a week you fast 24 hours. You never fast for a full day. So I mean it is 1 o’clock here in Canada so if I started fasting now at 1 PM I would fast until tomorrow at 1 PM. The fact that I eat every single day, but what I have done is taking a constant dieting and clumped it together in the one 24 hour period or maybe two depending on what I am doing and in this __12:14__ that’s what intermittent is. It is an occasional break from eating; an occasional break and we don’t consume any calories. You still consume liquid so black coffee, black tea, water, sparking water. I don’t care. But you purposely avoid calories an exact period of time.
Anthony Frasier: Okay. And that is simple enough you know and that is something that when I started actually fasting I was getting like the headaches and things like that. But you know, I just felt like once I started drinking water I wasn’t really, it is like once you get over that and be hung it doesn’t really bother you anymore and I actually start telling people that I do this because when I tell them, they don’t understand or they you know, they just try to talk me out of it or they just don’t want to it themselves. I don’t know. It is just the weird dynamics so I just tell them, “I’m feeling not hungry.” But I mean what do you like socially like how do you deal with like intermittent fasting it is just something like if you go out with friends and things like that how does that apply to you?
Brad Pilon: Well, I did two things. First of it is by if I am fasting, I don’t feel like I’m eating. I do exactly what you said and I just explain to people, “I’m not hungry.” which is sort of you would realize the same thing I have read an acceptable answer, right? Like with people, it doesn’t matter if you are hungry or if you are overweight, so I don’t get why you are not telling them. So it takes a bit of finagling and just explaining people you don’t feel like going out. The other thing is with Eat. Stop. Eat we fast for twice a week, right? So you got a fair amount of flexibility there by just planning on fasting right now.
But then you called them up and you know, like I am taking steaks at 5 well, I am not fasting anymore, right? I will fast tomorrow you know what I mean? If you are taking up steaks. And you need that sort of flexibility for any diet to be effective long term and that’s actually one of the main benefits at the intermittent fasting is you can be flexible. One of the mistakes __14:12__ is you are not flexible and they will say, “Okay, Sunday is my fasting day.” I will fast every Sunday until I’m shredded and it might work during winter and then all of a sudden summer comes around and you are missing every Sunday barbeque, every Sunday beers and you were like, “I hate this!”
And it’s not really the fasting, it is the fact that you are being flexible enough with it. So I don’t subscribe to your idea of always have the fasting the same dates. It tends to fall that way for me. You know, either Monday or sometimes Thursdays. But I am not overly strict with it because I want to allow myself the freedom to eat what is important. So I am just not eating when I feel like it, but you know, a good buddy of mine flies in the town. He has got a four hour __14:50__ dinner, I am not going to say I can’t go, I am fasting. All right I will move it. To be continued…