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The Shocking Truth No One Tells You About Intermittent Fasting: Macros Matter After All

Intermittent Fasting Truth

The Shocking Truth No One Tells You About Intermittent Fasting: Macros Matter After All


You’ve done your research, read the articles, and listened to the podcasts. And you’re sold: Intermittent Fasting (IF) is the way to go to lose fat and keep it off.

But all that still leaves some huge questions unanswered:

* How exactly do you implement IF?
* What kind of IF work best for you?
* How do you get started?

Intermittent Fasting has been a powerful tool that’s helped me transform my body multiple times and just recently actually. My so-called bulk had finished and I was looking soft. I decided to lose the stubborn fat and get in top shape for summer, two months away here in Australia.

 

I knew I needed to kill my big appetite, drop some fat quickly and keep the muscle I had just built. Over the next 12 weeks, my body started to transform and fat melted off like ice cream running down your hand on a hot day. I was able to lose 16 pounds in a short amount of time and get “Summer Body Ready”.

Intermittent Fasting has been a tried and true method that I’ve been following and teaching for 4 years for a good reason: it works.

The highlights are summarized in my Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet. Download it here.

But right now, let’s take a deep dive beginning with:

The three different types of Intermittent Fasting are:

– One Meal A Day (OMAD)

– Whole Day Fasting

– Time Restricted Eating (TRE)

ONE MEAL A DAY (OMAD)

OMAD involves a 23 hour fasting period followed by a one-hour non-fasting period. The most popularised version of this is known as the warrior diet and was created by Ori Hofmekler.

The premise is that you would eat 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 be a large dinner.

For example, You might have three portions of lean protein, three fistfuls of vegetables, a large sweet potato and a whole avocado. You would drizzle over some olive oil over the top and also add a shake with your meal to ensure you’re eating enough. This shake could be a combination of a small handful of nuts, half a cup of oats, one cup of milk and a medium banana all blended together.

Eating just one meal a day can be very difficult, especially if you’ve never tried Intermittent Fasting before. But if you have a big appetite (like me) then this can be a useful strategy to avoid overeating and to help restrict your calories.


I do OMAD once a week to give my digestion a rest for 24 hours, reset my hunger cues and just remind myself that I’m not going to die if I don’t eat for 24 hours.

This method is best suited for guys who have super-hectic days at work and just can’t fit any time to eat food into their day or for guys who have a problem with overeating too much food during the day.

WHOLE-DAY FASTING

With this method, you follow various ratios on fasting to non-fasting days. If you’ve heard of the 5:2 diet which was popularised by Dr Michael Mosley, people eat freely for five days of the week and on the other two, consume 400 to 500 calories for women or 600 to 800 for men.

I’m going to share with you a slightly different approach in this guide that is tailored more towards a guy who wants to combine fasting and lifting weights.

This approach to intermittent fasting is called The Deficit Day System and was created by one of my mentors, Tony Boutagy.

With the Deficit Day System, you eat very little for several days of the week and then on the other days you “eat normally”. On deficit days, you’re restricting your calories to about a third of what you would you usually eat.

The average male burns about 2,400 calories a day. This means that for the deficit days you would only be eating 800 calories a day and the majority of those calories would come from protein.

The reason you want most calories coming from protein is that you want to protect or even build lean muscle and you need protein in order to do that.


Your deficit days would fall on the days you train with weights because weight training is also protective of muscle. When you lift weights, you’re sending signals throughout your body to use protein and carbs more efficiently, so it goes to your muscles.


Typically, you would only eat two meals on the deficit days. You will skip breakfast have lunch between 12 pm and 1 pm and then dinner at 5:30 pm.

Keep your first meal small and light, and then have more calories around dinner time.

Lunch could be something as simple as two scoops of protein powder with water.

Then your dinner would be a big lean serving of protein (fillet of white fish, chicken breast, a piece of steak, etc.) a lot of leafy green vegetables and salads, and a small serving of starchy carbs (think sweet potato or some type of legumes). That’s basically all you would have for the day because you’re restricted to only 800 calories and when you find out how many calories those foods contain you will be very surprised.

 

To follow this program, pick two days during the week when you’re going to do weight training and make them deficit days.

 

In this example, we’ll pick Monday and Thursday. Having a day at the start of the week and one in the middle will mean you’re more likely to stick to it.

You’re less likely to go out for breakfast since it’s not a weekend and you’re not going to go out for dinner with mates since it’s not a Friday night. You also won’t really have any lunch commitments on a Monday.

Let’s take a closer look at those deficit days.

You wake up and train at 7 am and then you’re on your way to work by 8.30am.

During the day you drink a black coffee, black tea, green tea or sparkling water (anything with no calories) to keep hunger at bay.

At 12.45 pm you have your first meal, which is a shake consisting of two scoops of chocolate protein powder and water. Then you have a green tea at around 3 pm to keep the hunger cravings away.

You have dinner at 5.30pm, which is homemade chilli con carne and then you finish eating by 6 pm.

For the next two days, you go back to eating at a normal time that suits you and following the 80/20 approach of eating which means 80% of your intake of the day should be whole nutritious unprocessed food and 20% on a few pieces of chocolate or a few beers etc.

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 rest of the week.

On those deficit days, You will get some cravings for more food, but you’re just going to have to refrain from them with coffee and tea.

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.

TIME-RESTRICTED EATING (TRE)

TRE

The final method you need to be aware of is TRE, which means every day there is a fasting period and a shortened eating window of four to ten hours.

This is my favourite style 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 8 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. With this system, you have a period every day when you’re eating and one when you’re not – but you’re still getting food into your body every day.

 

Here are the different types of TRE that people use:

14:10

16:8

18:6

20:4


This means if you stop eating at 10 pm at night you should not be eating until at least 2 pm the next day or even longer depending on the amount of time you’re aiming to fast for.

In the time frame, you’ve chosen you would then make sure to eat all of your calories you need for the day.

This method works best for anyone looking to live a normal life and not feel restricted because they can’t go out with friends and family when they’re “dieting”. This is also the best approach if your goal is to gain strength and muscle mass.

Which Method Is Best?


So there you have it. The three styles of intermittent fasting and how you can follow each one.

What’s the best for fat burning?

NONE OF THEM, they all work equally well. The most important one is picking WHICH SUITS YOUR LIFESTYLE.

Out of the three different types of Intermittent Fasting, pick which one is going to suit you best and follow it.

WTF ARE MACROS AND WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO DO WITH IF?

Everyone talks about not having to worry about counting calories while you’re following Intermittent Fasting. But you can’t disregard macronutrients entirely.

You can’t scarf down anything you like in your eating windows and still expect to lose weight.

It’s a rookie mistake. I know because I made it.

It wasn’t until I started tracking what I was eating and recording my macronutrients was I finally able to lose weight.

This is because you still have to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight. Intermittent doesn’t defeat the law of thermodynamics, unfortunately.


It’s hard to be certain you will lose weight if your only plan is:
1. Fast
2. Eat the hell whatever you want

Sorry to break it to you, but if you don’t track your food, you will likely end up eating too much and not losing weight.

That’s especially true if, like me, you have a big appetite.

When you start to track your macronutrients and calories it will help you discover exactly how much you’re eating. When you start to measure and track your food, this will allow you to figure out what portion sizes look like. You can be confident that you’re in a constant deficit and able to lose weight when you track. Basically, when you track your food while following intermittent fasting you then have 100% certainty that you’re on the fast track to fat loss

Ok, So What Exactly Are Macros?

Let’s begin by clearing up the mystery as to what macronutrients (macros) are. There are three different macronutrients – Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates. These macronutrients are what make up the calories and composition of food. Every single thing you put in your mouth contains either protein, carbs or fats or a combination of those foods. For example, doughnuts are mostly carbs and fats, chicken breast is predominately protein, pizza is a combination of all three.

Let’s begin by clearing up the mystery as to what macronutrients (macros) are. There are three different macronutrients – Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates. These macronutrients are what make up the calories and composition of food. Every single thing you put in your mouth contains either protein, carbs or fats or a combination of those foods. For example, doughnuts are mostly carbs and fats, chicken breast is predominately protein, pizza is a combination of all three.

CALORIES

Calories provide us with energy and the amount of calories we eat in a day is going to be made up of the four different macronutrients. If a food says it’s 500 calories then those 500 calories are made up of protein carbs and fats or alcohol in varying amounts to total the 500 calories. In order to figure out what those calories are made up of we have to figure out how many calories each gram of macros the food contains.

PROTEIN

Protein is the king macronutrient. It’s filling, helps build lean muscle, aids in tissue repair, helps you avoid losing muscle when you’re in a calorie deficit and It also takes more energy for the body to break down than the other macronutrients so if you ever overeat food make sure it’s protein-rich like a big ol juicy steak or any type of slow cooked meat.

Each gram of protein contains 4 calories.

Best Sources Of Protein

  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Protein Powder

How Much Do You Need?

Here is a simple guide I use to calculate protein for anyone whether it be a male or female or whether it be losing fat or gaining muscle.

BW (in kg) x 2 E.g = 70kg x 2 = 140g of protein

BW (in lbs) x 1 E.g = 155lbs x 1 = 155g of protein

Can you have more than I recommend? Absolutely.

Can you have less? Yes, but because of the recommendations above, I highly recommend that you don’t.

FATS

Fats are required for hormone function such as testosterone, insulating and protecting our vital organs, with brain function and our body needs a certain amount of fat a day that we can’t produce naturally which is why it’s so important. Fat used to get a bad rap but now the tables have turned and it appears that fat isn’t as bad for you as we thought it might be, but too much fat can lead to problems too (so don’t go crazy with that keto fad most people are getting sucked in to).

 

Fat contains a whopping 9 calories per gram which is double the amount of protein and carbs. That’s why if you have a high-fat diet it’s easy to go over your calorie limit for the day since you eat more calories in a smaller serving of food.

Best Sources Of Fats

  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • butter
  • oils
  • fatty meats and fatty fish

How Much Do You Need?

The minimum amount of fat you should consume is about .6g per kg (.3g per pound) of bodyweight which means if you are  70 kg (142 pounds) it would be 42g of fat. However, I’d recommend going a little higher and choosing 1g per kg of body weight (.5 per pound), which means you’d be consuming 70g a day.

CARBS

Carbs aren’t the devil and you need them in your diet. Your brain’s main source of energy is carbs, when you’re running or lifting weights your body’s primary fuel is carbs and if you want to avoid biting your coworkers arm off because you’re hungry you will want to have some carbs in your life.

The only thing is that there’s no essential requirement for carbs because everyone is different. Some people would rather eat more carbs and some would rather eat more fat, in reality, it doesn’t really matter, but it’s better to err on the side of some carbs instead of none.

Best Sources Of  Carbs

  • Bread
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Legumes
  • fruit

How Much Do You Need?

This is a tricky one because your activity level, how lean you are, how hard you exercise and a whole bunch of other factors can affect how many carbs you need. In general, I would suggest 100g a day minimum to help keep you sane and not go biting people’s heads off.

ALCOHOL

Ah yes, the question on your lips, is alcohol carbs, fats or protein? Actually, alcohol contains its own calories which means it’s also a macronutrient it’s just not essential or necessary.

 

Alcohol comes in at 7 calories per gram. Now, this can be confusing because if you see a shot of vodka which is 1 oz and it equals 64 calories how does that work out? It’s because of the volume of water also in the alcohol, since you’re not just drinking straight  100% proof (although I hope not).

RECAP

1g of Protein = 4 calories

1g of carbs = 4 calories

1g of fats = 9 calories

1g of alcohol = 7 calories

How do you track these things?

So now you know what foods are made up of, how are you supposed to track these things. This is where I get really nerd out…

The first thing you need to do is to use an app that has a database of food and what their macros are. My favourite app that I use and recommend to my clients is myfitnesspal. If you don’t want to use myfitnesspal you can use google, nutrition data or chronometer to track your food.

It doesn’t matter which one you pick, just start with one and go from there.

Do Calories Still Matter?

Calories still do matter because if you just follow a calorie goal and you eat less than you burn then you will still lose weight. The only problem with this is If your calories are coming from primarily carbs and fats you can guarantee that you’re going to lose muscle mass, be extremely hungry, have less energy, look skinny fat and not look good with your shirt off. If on the otherhand you’re eating lots of protein you can be sure you will keep full, help with muscle repair and look better.

This is why following your macronutrient goals are much more important and what you will also realise is as long as you’re hitting your macro goals for the day you’re going to hit the required number of calories that you needed to hit for that day anyway.

One of my clients Darren never tracked his macronutrients. He wanted to get lean but thought all he had to do was eat clean. The only problem was that he wasn’t losing any fat and was at a plateau. Once he came to me and I had him start to track and measure his food, that’s when his body started to respond. Darrent was able to shred stubborn tummy fat and gain lean muscle in his chest, shoulders and arms because he tracked his macronutrients and kept his protein high.

HOW TO READ A FOOD LABEL

Have you ever looked at a nutrition label and wondered how the hell to understand what’s really on there? Luckily I’m going to make this as easy as possible to follow.

The first area to look at is the number of servings that are on the food label. Just because you have one item of food does not mean that it only contains one serving. This is where you can easily be tricked into thinking you’re eating less than you really are.

 

Protein

Once you’ve had a look at the serving sizes and the number of calories you need to have a look at how much protein it contains. If the food is low in protein I usually suggest you give it a miss, especially when trying to lose weight because the lower the protein and the higher the carbs and fats the less satiating it is.

Fats

Once you’ve had a look at the protein serving the next thing to look at is fat. If the food is high in calories it’s most likely because it’s either high in fats or carbohydrates which is why it’s important to be aware of how many grams are in the food since you don’t want to blow your calories out of the water. There’s no point being concerned about saturated fat since it’s not as bad as we once thought it was. Having some saturated fat in your diet is fine.

Trans Fats

Trans fats are extremely bad for you and you should avoid these at all costs. Where do they usually hide? In the best-tasting food of course. Deep fried food, biscuits, chips, doughnuts are all trans fats. Basically, that means that the fat they used to coat the food got to such a high cooking point that it changes the structure of the fat and the body doesn’t know what to do with it which is why it’s very bad for you. Now obviously you’re never going to fully eliminate this fat because you enjoy some treat foods, but try and keep this as minimal as possible.

Carbs

Can you see a connection between what’s going on here? You want to look at the macronutrients and calories in the food first to see if it’s going to fit in with your goals for the day. Looking at these three macronutrients on food labels is going to help you understand what foods are made up of and whether you should be spending your precious calories on a certain item.

Sugar

There is a difference between natural sugar and added sugar. If you look at a label of milk you will see that says there’s a certain amount of sugar but when you look at the ingredients you will see no sugar add so what gives?

Some foods like fruit and dairy contain natural sugar and you do not have to worry about this. What you want to keep an eye on is ADDED SUGAR. Your goal should be to always keep this as low as possible. The less processed the food the less sugar it naturally has (except raw cane sugar of course).

What about the rest?

To be honest, everything else on the label is not worth paying attention to unless you have a serious health issue like blood pressure. If you don’t have issues with blood pressure or cholesterol then just ignore the rest for the sake of having your mind boggled for hours on end.

This is how you should really look at a food label.

Now, this is also where you can apply what you’ve learned above with macronutrients and calories.

Protein: 3g x 4 = 12 calories

Carbs: 37g x 4 = 148 calories

Fats:8g x 9 = 72 calories

148+12+72 = 232 calories. Pretty spot on except for the slight rounding error on the nutrition label.

If this doesn’t come naturally just try a practising on a few different items in your pantry.

Why it’s a good idea to get good at reading food labels

As you can see from the example above a pint of halo top ice cream can contain a significance difference in calories than ben & jerry’s and still be the same size. Once you start to discover just how many calories certain foods contain and what their macronutrient ratios are you’re going to be shocked.

FOODS WITH NO LABEL

Some of the food you buy from the supermarket isn’t going to contain a label, like fruits, some meats, vegetables etc.

In this case, if you’re using myfitnesspal you can just look up the food item on there or you can simply google “[insert food] nutrition and it will pop up with your answer to figure out how much protein carbs and fats are in that specific food.

You will see a few calories difference here and there but don’t get too caught up in it. If it’s 10 – 15 calories difference it’s not going to make a massive difference since it’s mostly just fruit and vegetables.

EATING OUT

There’s no simple guide that I can give you that will cover everything you need to know when you’re eating out. Most restaurants these days will have their nutrition guide on their website so you can quickly have a look to get an idea as to how many calories it contains or you can just apply a little rule of thumb and say that the meal is 800 – 1000 calories. Why this number? Because most restaurants use a lot of oils, fats and carbs and I’d always recommend you overestimate your calories instead of underestimating them just for the sake of having it affect your goals.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR FOOD

Ok so we’ve covered the nitty-gritty of what food is made up of, now let’s talk about how to measure your food.

I highly recommend you buy yourself a food scale so that you’re able to weigh all of your food. Yes this will seem like a pain in the ass at first but that’s because everything new is going to be hard but when you get better at it over time you won’t have to be so diligent. The reason this is so important is that you don’t know what a serving size looks like at first.

One 40g serving of cereal is a lot less than you might think it is. 20g of peanut butter is not really that much and it hurts my heart to write this but when you have a piece of cake and you measure that, well let’s just say your inner child will cry when you see how many calories it contains.

This is a good thing though because when you start to become more aware of what a serving size looks like you can start eyeballing food and not have to use the scale as much. For the first month, I recommend you weigh everything. After the first month play a game with yourself and guess the serving size before you actually weigh it out. Eventually, you’re going to get so good at eyeballing food that you will be able to guess how many calories foods contain in restaurants and you will also have to use the scale less and less until it becomes second nature.

Weigh everything raw

Whenever you have the opportunity weight all of your food raw. Meat, vegetables, fruit and anything else you put into your mouth should be weighed raw since cooking changes the weight of the food. If you order uber eats or get a food that’s already cooked you can still search on myfitnesspal or google for the nutrition of the cooked food to get an estimate but the most accurate way is to weigh your food raw whenever possible.

Summing It Up

That’s as far as you need to go and as much as you need to know when it comes to tracking your macronutrients and Intermittent Fasting. Now need to do is to apply what you’ve learned. Once you pick an Intermittent Fasting method and start to track food, you’re then in control and get to choose what you can and what you can’t eat. If you’re eating 2000 calories a day, you can decide where you want those 2000 calories to come from and if you want to have some ice cream or beer in your diet then you can now do so since you have the knowledge about how to fit it in your diet.

WANT TO LOOK GREAT NAKED?

Hey listen, I know this stuff can be hard and I don’t want to see you struggle anymore.  I’ve created an Intermittent Fasting Cheat sheet that will make this whole journey effortless.

Download your Intermittent Fasting cheat sheet by clicking here and start burning fat today.

Tyson Brown

Author Tyson Brown

Coffee Lover, Online Coach, Superhero movie buff and Intermittent Fasting Expert. Tyson Will help you build a lean body like the almighty Thor and get rid of that stubborn belly fat for good!

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