I’ve given a positive review to two intermittent fasting diets: Eat-Stop-Eat (by Brad Pilon) and The Renegade Diet (by Jason Ferruggia). I’m going to do my best to give you an honest comparison of the two.
Let me first tell you what they have in common. Both of these diets are based on the concept of intermittent fasting—going a period of time (usually 16-24 hours) without eating. This method of diet seems to be getting a lot of attention for good reason: it works!
Eat-Stop-Eat calls for a 24 hour fast about every five days. As I mentioned in my review, you don’t have to go to bed hungry if you don’t want to. You can choose to fast from dinner until dinner the next day, for example.
The Renegade Diet is more of a 16/8 approach, meaning you would skip breakfast, snack in the afternoon, and eat most of your calories in the evening (you can read my article on carbs at night if you think a heavy dinner is bad news). This one has been a best-seller as far as my blog goes.
Which one works? Either one will work—both Pilon and Ferruggia’s strategy will help create a calorie deficit and take advantage of the hormonal response to fasting. The question isn’t really which one is “better.” You should instead think about which one you are more likely to successfully implement.
I’d say Eat-Stop-Eat is the more flexible of the two since you don’t have to fast every day. This one is probably better for someone who needs the flexibility to eat breakfast or lunch frequently (if you often have business lunches, for example).
The Renegade Diet is better suited to those who need or want to follow something daily. I’m sure some of you have trouble sticking to a diet unless you are doing it almost every day. Others may just feel like they eat way too much if they don’t have a specific daily plan. Ferruggia’s diet is better suited for those matching this description.
As I’ve said, either one will work. You simply have to decide which is the best for you.
I should mention one alternative program/diet: The Reverse Taper Diet (also from Pilon). This one is more expensive, but it is very well suited for more advanced trainees. The authors explain why you should actually increase your calories once you reach a certain level of leanness in order to avoid some of the typical problems that come with excessive calorie restriction (lack of energy, etc).
Please click my links for reviews of all these programs, and please use my links if you chose to try them.