How to Apply Intermittent Fasting to Your Lifestyle
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not a new revolutionary thing, although it does deserve attention in the weight loss community. With IF you go anywhere from 12 to 16 hours without eating, which can be hard for most people used to 3 standard meals a day. You will start the fast the night before after dinner and that’s when the clock starts. I typically break my fast around 2 or 3 pm. It was very hard to adjust at first but after the first week, it felt natural.
Use Gelatin To Aid The Fast
I make a pot of coffee and drink it throughout the fast. I don’t add anything to my coffee except for a tsp. of Gelatin. The only reason I do this is because I workout during the fast. Fasted weight training can be taxing on the body so it is good to have trace amounts of amino acids in your system, and gelatin provides that with very low if any calories so it won’t affect your fasting.
There are many who prefer BCAA supplements consumed during the fast. I believe that any trace Amino Acids in the system during the fast is very helpful in preserving lean muscle. There are BCAA supplements in many flavors to make the drink more enjoyable and a better alternative to soda or fruit juice.
The whole idea of not eating can make people want to be more sedentary which is counterproductive when choosing this lifestyle. The key is being active while you are in a fasted state. Doing daily chores, a light to a moderate cardio session, or even a weight lifting session are great choices during the fast. Even just taking multiple 10 minute walks every hour during the fast is helpful in decreasing fat storage in your body as well as upping your metabolism to aid in digesting the larger meals you will have later.
Time To Feast!
Once 2 or 3 pm arrives, depending on how hungry I am, I will feast on lean meats, veggies, and 2 tbsp. of MCT Oil to add good fats to the meal. This should be my biggest meal as far as calories go for the day. I always aim for about 800 calories on this meal and about 100g of protein. It usually takes me about 30 minutes to eat, protein is chewy LOL. I wash it all down with green tea with lemon I make myself from tea bags. I also add Gelatin to this drink as well. Then I wait 2 hours for my next meal, which is very similar to the first. Then the last meal for me is always a meal replacement shake.
An important part of feasting is also to discover how certain foods make your body feel. If you eat a carb heavy meal the night before and feel sluggish the next day, then you know you need to go easier on the carbs. Same goes for any dairy or fat sources. Some people can handle anything they eat with no issue but others get inflammation that shows up in water weight gain and hormone deficiencies. How you feel is the most important part of any diet or fitness change. Trust your gut! Literally.
Use A Journal To Mark Trouble Foods
Using a food journal helps you to see what foods are causing any issues in your everyday life. Simply write down the food you ate, how much, and how you felt later. Then if there is an effect that you want to change, try eating half the portion of that same food and measure your results then. If you feel better, then you are on the right track.
Back Into The Fast
Once the last meal is done, the clock starts and I wait 12 to 16 hours to eat again. It is easy and it saves me money on left-overs because when I finally eat, I EAT A LOT!
Fasting helps you to make good choices and plan for those big meals ahead of time without the trouble of having to meal prep everything. Some people just don’t have to time to cook for 2 hours a day and wash Tupperware that often. With IF I have managed to lose 5 lbs. but gain inches to my shoulders and chest. It is mainly a way to maintain your body and slowly recompose the way it looks.
However, if used properly, you can lose weight very quickly this way. It also helps with regulating your hormones for the majority of the day. This can be very beneficial to those who are stress eaters or binge eaters.
The Experimental Fast
A fasting protocol of high protein and greens will merit the fastest weight loss. For example, say you fast for 16 hours and break your fast with eating 6 oz. of lean meat, chicken, or fish plus a side of broccoli or asparagus. You would then repeat this same meal a few hours later. You can even add an extra serving of protein if needed. This meal plan will keep you feeling full and will be low carb to help with inflammation and water bloat. Do not be surprised if your scale weight changes dramatically the next day after applying this method. Just remember, that once you have a large serving of carbs and drink water your weight will move up quite a bit. This is normal. However, if you can stick to this high protein low carb diet for a week, it is not uncommon for someone to lose 3 to 5 lbs with moderate activity. Give it a try!
5 Great Reasons to Try Intermittent Fasting
- Easy meal planning - Eating solid meals twice a day makes it so much easier to stay on track.
- Eat more of the foods you love – since you are in a caloric deficit most of the day, you can squeeze those great tasting foods in moderation that may not be super healthy. I like to have pizza, pasta and even fried chicken some nights.
- Fasted workouts are awesome – working out in a fasted state is very beneficial to the body, your hormones, and mind. It is not easy and you grow stronger mentally and physically. It also assists with fat burning for the rest of the day depending on how intense the workout is.
- It is easier to stick to – no more meal prepping or having to say no to the foods you love. If you want to go out to eat you can. This plan helps you to be social while still being consistent with your nutrition.
- It teaches you self-control – you will create a stronger version of yourself on this plan. If you can go 12 to 16 hours without eating you will develop a very strong will and be more likely to reach your nutrition and fitness goals.