Intermittent fasting has been expanding in popularity right now more than ever and tons of people are confused and curious on what this diet style is. Intermittent fasting can be explained pretty simply, don’t eat for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours. But it doesn’t work nearly as good if you leave it at that, because there are many steps and small modifications to this diet depending on who you are. So in this post I will break it down step by step so that you can follow it exactly how it is supposed to be and achieve the best results possible. Before I start the steps I want to address that this diet isn’t for everyone, it works best with men because of testosterone levels, and if you have any medical issues this may not be the best diet or at least check with doctor first. If you cannot go with this diet you can surely take many parts out of it and apply it to you own diet.
Fasting and Eating time windows
Fasting has been used in peoples diet for as long as time goes on (really long time), whether for religious reasons, health reasons, or way back when we had to hunt for our food and we didn’t make a kill til the end of the day. A lot of people are skeptical about fasting as if it were bad for your health, but I can tell you right now that it is actually very beneficial especially when it comes to burning fat and getting lean. One main reason for this is because after a night of fasting your body is in its prime mode to burn fat, I’ll explain why. This is one of the biggest reasons why it is good to skip breakfast, yes I said GOOD to skip breakfast. Breakfast being the most important meal of the day is a myth. Breaking your fast is important but that does not mean it needs to be first thing in the morning or only after 6-8 hours of fasting. The reasons your body can burn fat more efficiently in a fasted state is because insulin is at its lowest during this time and your body can burn more fat while your insulin is low. That is why oatmeal, toast, or any other forms of carbs is not a great choice for breakfast because carbs raise your insulin. The second reason why your at your body’s best fat burning time while under a fasted state is because your body’s cortisol is at peak levels during the hours of about 7AM-9AM. The reason that is beneficial is because your body can break down more body fat by releasing more fatty acids to be turned into energy. Another reason is because growth hormone levels increase during the morning while fasting and as you should know growth hormones burn fat and build muscle, which is exactly what we all want! This all only happens by skipping breakfast and continuing your fast to keep insulin as low as possible. Now that you know why your fasting I will make the steps even easier. Break your fast 16 hours after your last meal the night before, eat very light during the day and only consume healthy fats, proteins and small portions of veggies, avoid any type of starch or sugar (carbs), and overeat at night during you dinner (this is where you can consume carbs, but always at night after training and before bed). The only things you can consume during the fasting phase would be water, black coffee, or tea’s that have zero calories and carbs.
Under Eating Window ( First 4 hours )
The under eating phase is actually pretty simple, eat less than you normally would for the first 4 hours of eating and only consume fats and proteins. You can consume a small amount of carbs but those carbs are strictly coming from veggies. The reason for this is because you want to keep your insulin as low as possible until your final meal, which is before bed and after training. If you train during the morning fasting phase you can consume BCAA’s to make sure you will not lose any muscle, if your main goal is fat loss. If you main goal is muscle gain you may consume a protein shake and then continue to fast until the fasting window is over. The first thing you consume in this time frame is what you break your fast with, this is the smallest meal of the day. The best way to break your fast is with a greens (superfood) supplement shake and a protein shake. If you goal is more targeted towards muscle gain you can also eat some nuts or veggies along with it. Your second meal will be similar but a little bit larger. It is similar in the fact that it wil be fats and protein. A good example of this would be to have a chicken breast with broccoli and a small serving of almonds or mixed nuts.
Over Eating Window( Last 4 hours )
The over eating phase is the best part of the day because you literally get to feast!! If your goal is fat loss then of course your meal will be smaller than someone who has a goal of muscle gain and it will probably contain a very different carb content. In a perfect world you would train right before your largest meal or right before this over eating 4 hour window begins. This is because you will get the most out of your meal and use the nutrients more efficiently. The order of operations when it comes to this meal would be to start with your fresh greens, then your proteins, and then finish it off with your carbs. The only way this order would change is if your main goal is ultimate muscle gain, then consume your carbs right away. Your best source of carbs regardless of your goals will be sweet potato or yam starch, fruits for desert, and veggies. If your a hard gainer and want to put on some serious muscle then feel free to add good grains and rice (sprouted wheat, whole grains, brown or jasmine rice). Your over eating window can contain 1-3 meals depending on your goals, usually best to stick to 1-2 meals and a small after dinner desert (fruit is desert, yes just fruit!). It is important to consume supplements or foods with probiotics and digestive enzymes before and during your biggest meal because your body will be consuming such a large amount of food. This is the part people usually have with the diet because its hard for them to eat such a large quantity in one sitting and then eat so little during the day. It takes some getting used to but once you get it down it becomes easy and usually enjoyable.
By far the best part of this diet is that it can be modified and beneficial for anyones goals because not only does it burn more fat but builds a lot more muscle also. It is all about what and how much of what you eat, and of course the type of training your doing. During this diet you should be eating extremely clean, healthy, and all organic (if possible). Keep your day low carb until your final meal after training and make sure you are consuming the right types of carbs, proteins, fats, and supplements. This diet works best when you are training hard and consistently so make sure you get in the gym. Your training will vary depending on your goals, body type, and schedule. I have a lot of training tips and theories that I will not go over in this post, but feel free to contact me for more info on nutrition, dieting, or training by clicking the contact button. You can also contact me if you do not think this diet will work for you or you have some concerns about it and I will be happy to find a diet or nutrition plan that will fit you personally. I have been using this diet style for over 6 months and would not choose any other to use. It works great with my life and schedule and has gave me great results. Best way to find out if this is for you is too research it! There is tons of articles and books all about this diet.