Are you feeling confused about the new trend that’s happening at the moment? Everyone seems to be jumping on the Intermittent Fasting bandwagon and it seems like there’s a lot of information coming out on the topic.
Is this just another fad or is there something to this intermittent fasting thing? Today I’m going to share with you what Intermittent Fasting is and how you can follow it easily if you’re looking to try.
WTF IS INTERMITTENT FASTING (IF)
I’ve been practising Intermittent Fasting (IF) for over four years now and I have had a lot of success with it, the same goes for my current clients. Basically for a certain amount of time during the day you don’t eat any food and for a certain period of the day you do eat food. Technically everyone practises Intermittent Fasting, they just don’t realise it. When you finish your last meal and then you go to sleep and don’t eat until the next morning that’s Intermittent Fasting. When you are running late for work, you forget to eat and then you’re in meetings for the next 5 hours, that’s Intermittent Fasting.
A lot of people don’t realise they’re following IF already and all they do is need to make a few little tweaks to make it more effective.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF IF
There are three main methods of IF fasting that you can follow and you get to decide you think which one will work for you.
The Warrior Diet (OMAD)
The most popularised version of this is known as the warrior diet and was created by Ori Hofmekler. The premise is that you would consume very little if any calories during the day and just eat one big meal. You would eat this at, say, at around 6 pm and it will contain all the calories you need for that day.
For example: If you need to eat 2400 calories a day, you would maybe have about 300 – 500 calories during the day (all from vegetables, bone broth, blueberries or nuts) then have your 2000 calories in one meal. Eating just one meal a day can be very difficult, especially if you’ve never done fasting before. But if you have a big appetite (like me) then this can be a useful strategy to avoid overeating.
With this method, you specify various ratios of food on fasting to non-fasting days. If you’ve heard of the 5:2 diet which was created by Dr. Michael Mosley, people eat freely for five days during the week and on the other two consume 400 to 500 calories for women or 500 to 600 for men.
To follow this program, pick two days during the week when you’re going to do weight training and make them deficit days. This method works well for people who have busy days and don’t really worry about food. If you struggle with trying to manage calorie intake day-to-day then this would be a better option because you’re putting yourself in a big deficit for only two to three days during the week and don’t really have to focus too much during the “free days”. You will get some cravings for foods you want at first, but you’re just going to have to refrain from them.
Remember it’s only a few days during the week and one thing that is very helpful to overcome your cravings is to just tell yourself you can have a normal day tomorrow. Then when it is your “normal day”, the craving will be gone anyways.
Time-Restricted Feeding (TRF)
The final method you need to be aware of is TRF, which involves a set daily fasting period and shortened eating window of three to ten hours. This is my favourite way of intermittent fasting and I follow the most common approach – 16:8. This means that you fast for 16 hours each day and eat all of your daily calories during the remaining eight hours. This diet has been widely popularised thanks to Martin Berkhan and the diet is known as Leangains.
It’s the most popular method for people who lift weights as one of the most important things for muscle growth is food. Food is anabolic and you need to give your body enough nutrients and fuel to signal muscle growth. If you’re going for long periods of not eating, then you’re not signalling to your body that you want to build lean muscle. With this system, you have a window every day when you’re eating and one when you’re not – but you’re still getting food into your body daily.
Here are the different types of TRF that people use:
- 14-hour fast, ten-hour eating window
- 16-hour fast, eight-hour eating window
- 18-hour fast, six-hour eating window
- 20-hour fast, four-hour eating window
You can go for longer periods of time without eating, but then you’re falling into one of the other types of fasting. If you think this would be a great starting point for you because you would rather eat food every day, start with the 14-hour fasting period and ten-hour eating window just to get used to it. The longer you go without food at first, the harder it’s going to be and you don’t want to set yourself up for failure. Depending on what type of Intermittent Fasting Approach you’re following is going to determine how much you eat on each day. If you’re following Time-Restricted Feeding then you need to be aware that you’re eating less than you burn every day.
Basically, there is a certain period of time where you’re not consuming any calories and a certain amount of time where you are allowed to eat. After reading through those three explanations above choose one that you think would fit your lifestyle.
WHAT DO I EAT
I’m going to give you a quick explanation as to what you can and can’t eat during IF but if you want to know exact recommendations then I recommend you click here and read this blog post I made that tells you exactly what to eat.
What can I have while fasting?
- Water (with a squeeze of lemon or lime)
- Black Tea
- Green Tea
- Yerba Mate
- Black Coffee
What can’t I have while fasting?
- No milk in your coffee
- No coconut oil
- No bcaas (you don’t need them)
- No coconut water
- No calories
The reason you shouldn’t be consuming anything with calories during your fasting period is that you’re now no longer following the intermittent fasting diet since you’ve broken your fast.
Unless you’re following the warrior diet you need to be staying away from calories during your fasting period.
MAKING IT EFFORTLESS
Since IF isn’t a diet and it’s more of a lifestyle approach you can make it work around you and your life which is why it’s so easy for people to stick to. Let’s say you follow daily IF and do the 16:8 method. You’re supposed to break your fast at 12 pm but you have a busy day at work and you don’t have time to eat during the day. It’s now 5 pm and you can finally have your first meal, you can either have a massive amount of food and stick to your calorie limit or you can just start your fast from 5 pm until whenever you finish eating and restart the next day. There are no rules to when you have to eat or when you don’t have to eat, the balls in your court which is what makes this diet so powerful. just make sure you consume the right amount of calories for your goals, again if you want to learn more about how much you should be eating make sure to click here.
IN A NUTSHELL
- Pick a style of IF that you think will work for you.
- Do not consume anything with calories during the fasting window
- Read this blog post to discover how much food you need to eat every day
- Lose that stubborn fat once and for all
There’s not much more to it than that. Don’t get too overwhelmed in “which is the best” for fat loss because they all work, the best one is the one you can stick to for the long term.