Introducing Intermittent Fasting (IF)
So over the past several years I have researched and tried out several methods of keeping the balance between having a lifestyle where I do not have to feel guilty when eating yummy food and staying in good shape all year around, and feel great. One of the best method I found that will allow me to do all of this is intermittent fasting. This method has helped so many of my clients get great results.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is simply the practice of going an extended period of time taking in zero calories— basically drinking only plain water and either black coffee or tea. There are many variations of intermittent fasting, but my personal preferred method to build lean muscle tissue and change body composition effectively is the 16/8 which allows to also build lean muscle while losing fat. This simple method involves fasting for 16 hours, then eating all of my food during an eight-hour ‘feeding window’.
The reason why I would highly recommend intermittent fasting is because it is something that you can easily adopt into your busy lifestyle, and it gives you that flexibility to go enjoy a night out with friends, not feel guilty at a birthday party that you may had to go on the weekend, or over indulged during holidays, you can incorporate intermittent fasting to help you get back in the shape you were before and maintain that shape. WIN WIN!
Our weight is always going to fluctuate due to the reasons stated above or the fact that your body is going through different hormonal activities, so by utilising this simple method of intermittent fasting you can quite easily stick around your desired body shape without having to live the life of a miserable bodybuilder (been there).
Questions you may have on Intermittent Fasting
Do I have to fast for 16hours right from the beginning?
No you don’t. You can start out with which every fasting period that you are comfortable and then increase the hours as your body gets used to it. For example, start out with 10hours of fasting, then after a few days to 12hours and then eventually until you can keep a fasting period of about 16hours.
Can the hours that I sleep at night count as hours toward the fast?
Yes, it can. So, for example, if you have a protein shake right before bed, then wake up seven hours later, you’re already seven hours into your fast with only nine more to reach your goal of 16.
Is there anything that I can eat or drink while Intermittent Fasting?
Clearly, you cannot eat anything or consume any calories during your fasting hours. Water is perfectly fine to have. Apart from that, choose zero-calorie, unsweetened drinks. My personal favourite is black coffee—with no milk, cream sugar, or anything else in it. Plain, unsweetened teas such as green tea or black tea are also fine. I would recommend to have about 3-5 tall glasses of water throughout this fasting window after waking up.
Do I have to cram a Day’s Worth Of Meals within the Eight Hours?
During the 8 hours of eating or the ‘feeding window’ you want to reach your daily calorific allowance. Examples of how to fit your food into your feeding window is give later in this section.
You shouldn’t be undereating whilst on your feeding window, or you will affect your performance in the gym and your body is going to struggle to build or maintain muscle mass. Make sure you get plenty in all your nutrients, particularly protein. Checkyourfood.com is a great source to track all your vital nutrition’s. I will list out a few other tracking apps later in this book with more details.
To simplify things, you will be eating the same number of food calories and macro nutrients per day, just with an altered meal schedule than a typical breakfast lunch and dinner hour nutrition plan. By all means you can always tweak calories and macro nutrients if and when your body and training goals change.
Are there any benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Yes, there is research that shows that fasting for relatively long periods may result in better fat burning, even when your total daily caloric intake stays the same.
Most clients find that they are able to enjoy a few more of their favourite “cheat” snacks during the feeding window and still see results. This is why intermittent fasting is such an attractive diet for many people.
One of the other reasons why I would like to recommend intermittent fasting is because it is reasonably easy to follow and get used to. It is also a lifestyle diet that you can carry out for the longterm with no adverse effects on your health. What you will notice is health benefits in the long term.
How Exactly Does Intermittent Fasting Increase Fat Burning relative to a standard Diet?
The Yale/Copenhagen group issued several papers presenting that one of the main reasons why fasting-induced fat loss is effective is because there is a growth in the activity of genes that increases the number of calories the body consumes and the amount of fat it burns.
Here are some examples of what an IF day might look like
1.Avoid eating for 5-6 hours after waking up.
You do not have to break your fast every day at the same time, but simply pushing your first meal a few hours back.
2. Drink a few glasses of water during your fasting window. (you can also have a coffee or tea)
Most of the time when you feel hungry, you are thirsty. Drink plenty of water during this fasting period to keep your body happy. Worst case scenario has some sparkling water as this makes you feel full up.
3. Eat 2-3 meals during your feeding window.
Depending on your lifestyle anything between 2-3 meals spread throughout the feeding window will keep your hunger satisfied.
Feeding window example
12-1pm -First meal of the day
4-5pm second meal of the day
8-9- last meal of the day
You can use this example as a guideline, but change it according to your lifestyle. I would suggest for you to experiment with it and see how you get on with it. See which time of the day you are most hungry. Which time of the day you need most energy. I personally have smaller meals as meal 1 and 2 and then have a large diner for my last meal, which also helps me to go to sleep.
On my first two meals I will have a high protein sources such as tuna and a high fat source such as nuts or olive oil along with some green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach.
Then for my final meal I will have a high protein source again such as mackerel or eggs, and then a high carbohydrates sources such as rice, or even an ice cream if I need to treat myself.
4. do your workout either just before your first meal or just after your first meal.
start implementing IF into your lifestyle… The first week or two might be challenging, but your body will adopt fast and then you will start to feel great and notice the inches drop off the waistline faster than ever..