This post was written in partnership with Fastful. As always, we only write about products, brands, and experiences we truly love.
According to the International Food Information Council’s 2020 survey, 43% of people have followed a diet in the past year. The most popular diet option? Intermittent fasting, or IF, which refers to a variety of schedules in which consumers alternate between periods of eating and periods of voluntary fasting.
There’s more to intermittent fasting than just “don’t eat food for several hours”; in fact, one of the reasons IF is so popular is because there are so many options to choose from. For example, you might fast for 16 hours and eat for 8; you might practice alternate day fasting; or you might follow the 5:2 fast, where you eat normally for five days a week and fast for the other two.
Peer-reviewed research has already pointed to several benefits of intermittent fasting, and more research is happening as fasting becomes more popular. First-timers are often intimidated by the prospect of facing hours without eating. It might feel restrictive, or stressful, or just plain impossible if you (like me) tend to wake up hungry first thing in the morning.
Brothers Ben and Noah Wieder saw an opportunity in combining intermittent fasting’s popularity with something to make it feel a little more approachable. Here’s how they came up with the Fastful Bar.
“I was a person who had to constantly eat.”
The brothers credit Ben for coming up with the initial idea for the Fastful Bar.
“Previously, I was a person that had to constantly eat,” Ben explains. “I ate before bedtime and as soon as I awoke, and I was snacking all day long. It seemed I was always hungry.”
But as he started to pay more attention to his nutrition and satiety, he realized that certain combinations of macros kept him fuller for much longer periods than other combinations.
“I had already been enjoying morning smoothies at this point, so I started experimenting with adding smaller evening smoothies as an after-dinner ‘dessert’ to increase my satiety,” Ben remembers. “The problem is that evening smoothies aren’t terribly convenient.”
The solution came naturally: what’s more convenient than a bar? That’s when Ben approached Noah (who has an extensive professional background in consumer packaged goods) with an idea for a convenient, natural, and effective pre-fasting nutrition bar.
The benefits (and obstacles) of intermittent fasting
With intermittent fasting quickly gaining popularity, the time was right for the brothers to explore a launch—and it helped that Ben was already an intermittent fasting convert.
“I’ve been intermittent fasting for about a year and a half now,” Ben explains. “I started at 12 hours and steadily worked my way up to a 16/8 daily fast. It’s been amazing.”
He rattles off the beneficial changes he’s noticed since starting the eating plan: fat loss, increased energy, clearer thinking, improved mood and even better sleep.
“Best of all, I’ve been able to do it without counting calories or restricting certain food groups,” he adds.
However, for many who are new to IF, there are several perceived obstacles that give them pause.
“As a Nutrition Coach, I’ve heard them all,” Ben says. “‘I’d be too hungry.’ ‘My schedule isn’t consistent enough.’ ‘How do I know I’m getting the right nutrition?’ And my personal favorite, ‘I can’t even go from dinnertime to bedtime without snacking, so how can I go 16 hours without food?’”
It was with that objection in mind that the brothers designed the Fastful bar.
“Fastful has one primary job: To increase satiety in a meaningful way, without adding excess carbs and calories,” Ben explains. “By doing this, new users have the confidence to begin a fasting lifestyle, while existing fasters can easily extend their fasting window.”
Noah, who’s also practiced intermittent fasting, points out another upside to IF: it’s not technically a diet.
“There’s no food restrictions at all,” he says. “We don’t view it as a diet, we view it as a lifestyle. You can eat whatever you want—you don’t have to count carbs to see the benefits of intermittent fasting. You’re just restricting WHEN you have that. Once people realize that, it becomes an easier lifestyle to adhere to.”
How the Fastful Bar works
Although intermittent fasting may imply deprivation, the Fastful Bar occupies a unique position in the space because it’s designed to add to your experience.
“Our directions on every package are simple: enjoy a bar immediately after ending your meal and then begin your fast,” Noah explains. “Think of it as a dessert. The idea is to optimize your nutrients before going into your fast. The Fastful Bar helps round out your nutrient profile so that you’re able to feel satiated throughout your fast.”
The extended period of feeling full is thanks to the bar’s hero ingredient: micellar casein protein, one of two proteins derived from cow’s milk (the other being whey).
“We’re the first bar in the world to feature micellar casein protein,” Noah shares. “It’s absorbed a lot slower into the body compared to whey protein, so you feel more satiated deeper into your fast. In fact, bodybuilders have been using micellar casein before bed for years. Micellar casein has slow releasing amino acids that help aid muscle breakdown while they sleep.”
Combined with their unique blend of fiber and healthy fats, the bar is designed to optimize your nutrients so you stay fuller for longer. Plus, their ingredients are full of other better-for-you nutrients—superfoods like chia seeds, flax seeds, cocoa powder, almond butter, and chicory root.
And as the winter season continues, the brothers see Fastful as an opportunity for consumers to pay attention to their health and nutrition with a slightly different perspective. After all, as we continue to work from home indefinitely, many consumers are looking for an easier way to maintain healthy eating habits, and the simple guidelines of IF might be attractive
“We definitely foresee an uptick in people searching for ways to keep themselves as healthy as possible,” Noah says. “We think we’ll see an increased interest in our bars even more than normal here this January.”