Tips And Tricks About Fasting
#1) Dont freak out! Stop wondering: can I fast 15 hours instead of 16? or what if I eat an apple during my fasted period, will that ruin everything? Relax. Your body is a complex piece of machinery and learns to adapt. Everything is not as cut and dry as you think.
If you want to eat breakfast one day but not another, thats okay. If you are going for optimal aesthetic or athletic performance, I can see the need to be more rigid in your discipline, but otherwisefreaking chill out and dont stress over minutiae!
Dont let perfect be the enemy of good when it comes to your intermittent fasting plan.
#2) Consider fasted walks in the morning. I found these to be very helpful in reducing body fat, and also gave my day a great start to clear my mind and prepare for the day.
Simply wake up and go for a mile walk. Maybe you could even start walking to Mordor?
#3) Listen to your body during your strength training workouts. If you get light headed, make sure you are consuming enough water.
If you notice a significant drop in performance, make sure you are eating enough calories during your feasting window.
And if you feel severely off, pause your workout. Give yourself permission to EASE into intermittent fasting and fasted workouts. This is especially true if you are an endurance athlete.
#4) Expect funny looks if you spend a lot of mornings with breakfast eaters.
#7) Track your results, listen to your body:
This is just one tool that can contribute to your success.
Final Thoughts On Intermittent Fasting
I am fan of it for numerous reasons. I am currently the healthiest and leanest I have ever been. I also find it frees up time in my day, not having to prepare and eat meals every few hours. More important than this is that I feel my digestive system is not constantly working to break down food. I find I have more energy to train, and my body can focus its energy on training and not digesting.
Does eating 6 meals a day work? Yes! Can you get ripped eating every few hours? Yes! Is it necessary? No! I am not trying to upset everyone who eats 7 meals a day, every 2 hours, but I am just saying its not required for most of you to reach your goals.
Fasting isnt for everyone, but it is a viable option for many people who dont want to, or have the time to eat all day long. Based on your goals and your lifestyle, maybe the 16-8, 20-4, or 24-36 hour intermittent fasting plan might be for you.
For anyone tired of the same old eating program who is looking to shed some fat and have a little more free time, give intermittent fasting a shot!
Benefit #2 Better Insulin Sensitivity
When human growth hormone and adrenaline increases, your insulin levels simultaneously decrease. Insulin is the bodys most anabolic hormone and its only significantly present in the body after food intake, especially following intake of carbohydrates, but also protein, to a certain degree.
Insulin sensitivityrefers to when the cells in your body can easily store and take care of the carbohydrates you eat, in other words, theyre sensitive to insulin. When you eat carbohydrates, the body will transform them into glucose, which is the simplest form of carbohydrate which the body can then use to store as glycogen in the muscles and liver.
With intermittent fasting, you increase your insulin sensitivity by forcing your body to use your stored glycogen and fat from your cells during the period of fasting. By doing this, you can better direct carbs into your muscle stores and away from fat storage once you start your feeding window.
Read Also: What Type Of Fasting Is Best For Me
Ditch The Strict Eating And Fasting Window
The biggest reason some people struggle with fasting is because they stick to an arbitrary 8 hour feeding window, like 12 to 8 pm. This type of restriction is negative in a few different ways.
The problem with this approach is that people rise at different times in the morning, on different days. Sometimes people wake up around 5 to 6 am and force themselves to fast until 12 pm because thats what their schedule says.
While on other days they wake up at 8 or 9 am and only fast until 12 pm. Sure the fast was shorter and easier, but this time they started fasting at 8 pm in the evening and perhaps went to bed at midnight, having to resist eating for many evening hours.
The power of intermittent fasting comes down to spending a good chunk of the day in the fasted state. Its not about following some arbitrary eating window such as between 12-8 pm. Whats important is that you try to fast for as long as you feel is appropriate based on how your day looks.
Postpone your first meal 4-7 hours into the day
Ideally you should aim to postpone your first meal 4-7 hours after you wake up. What this does is making the already easy method intermittent fasting even easier by removing a huge part of its restrictiveness.
In fact, think of willpower as a battery. When you wake up your willpower is 100 % charged and you feel ready to crush your day.
At this time your battery is full.
This is perfectly normal and why we need food, relaxation and sleep to replenish our system.
The Leangains Method Aka The 16/8 Method By Martin Berkhan
Method: Dont eat after dinner, then skip breakfast the next day.
Suited for: Devoted gym-goers who want to build muscle and lose fat.
- Women = Fasting time 14 hours, feeding time 10 hours.
- Men = Fasting time 16 hours, feeding time 8 hours.
- Calorie-free drinks permitted during fast .
- Start fast after dinner so sleeping takes up most of fasting time. .
Ex. If you finish your last meal at 8 pm on Monday and then dont eat until 12 in the afternoon on Tuesday youve completed your 16 hour fasting time.
- Most natural fasting time .
- Still able to eat 2-3 meals during feeding time.
- Fits most peoples schedule .
- Meal frequency is irrelevant .
Cons: Lean gains has strict guidelines of what to eat especially if youre working out.
Don’t Miss: How To Lower Fasting Glucose
Downsides Of Intermittent Fasting
The evening meal could also be lightened. That way the bodybuilder is not retiring to bed on a heavy stomach. And he can use breakfast time to fuel up again when hes well and truly hungry. But as weve been saying, going on an intermittent fast does need to be carefully monitored because at no time can the bodybuilder be seen to be depriving himself of his essential nutrients.
Intermittent Fasting And Strength Training: The Ultimate Guide
Intermittent fasting is a popular pattern of eating. Millions of people use it to lose weight, improve their overall health, simplify everyday life, and even live longer.
What is intermittent fasting? Does it work, is it safe, and how do you do it? And can you build muscle while doing it?
If youre looking for answers to those questions, youll find answers to them and many more in this article.
Lets get into it!
- Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating involving alternating periods of eating with periods of fasting. Its not so much about what you eat but when you eat.
- There are several popular ways to do intermittent fasting, with none being inherently superior.
- Intermittent fasting is a proven and effective way to lose weight.
- Fasting regularly offers many health benefits, although most of these are attributed to weight loss.
- You can maintain and build muscle while doing intermittent fasting, although the jury is out on whether its as effective as a traditional meal pattern.
- An intermittent fasting diet is generally safe, although it might be best to consult your doctor if youre pregnant or diabetic.
Read Also: Does Intermittent Fasting Target Belly Fat
Use Tricks That Will Make Your Fasting Window Easier
Heres the deal when people first get started with intermittent fasting its very common that they experience hunger, lightheadedness, headaches and other weird feelings during the fasted window. This is usually because the sudden change in bigger separate sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous system activity.
These feelings will go away within 1-2 weeks for most people. Now with that said, there are a few tricks that can effectively reduce these bad feelings during your fasted window, and further improve your fasting experience as you become more used to it as well.
In the post 8 Intermittent Fasting Tricks Thatll Make Your Fast Feel Like a Breeze I covered the best strategies for making the fasting window downright easy and enjoyable. To avoid repeating myself heres a short list of the tricks that you can use yourself:
What Should I Eat First Following A Fast
I recommend a high-protein meal over one loaded with carbs when coming off a fast. Work from the lab at Yale found that when you fast then refeed with a low-carb meal, the activity of the genes that boost calorie consumption and fat burning is further increased. However, when you refeed with a high-carb meal, the activity of many of these genes is decreased.
Read Also: Do You Need To Be Fasting For A1c
What You Will Experience
Because I have done intermittent fasting for a long time and with many patients, I imagine that you will notice your gut functioning much better. You will have less bloating and will notice that your waistline appears smaller just from a healthy functioning gut. You will begin to lose weight because there is less inflammation in your body and your hormones are functioning at a higher level. You will recover faster from your workouts and have more intense workouts do to a higher testosterone and growth hormone levels. You will also find that you have more energy because you are allowing your gut, essentially your body, to rest for 16 hours a day.
Let me know how it goes and ask me any questions below.
How To Determine Your Fasting And Feeding Windows
I recommend utilizing a 16-hour fast with an 8-hour eating window for beginning intermittent fasting. You will begin with a 16-hour fast. The good thing is that the hours you are sleeping count toward your fasting window. If you sleep for 8 hours, thats half your fasting window done. What has worked best for me is ending my eating window 2 hours before bed, sleeping 8 hours a night, skipping breakfast, and not eating my first meal until mid-afternoon. I like that approach because I am not a breakfast person and my hunger levels are higher after work. The best way to determine your windows is to look at your daily schedule and see what times would work for you.
4 of 6
I prefer sparkling waters. The carbonation helps with feeling full.
5 of 6
Also Check: Can You Drink When Intermittent Fasting
Should I Try Intermittent Fasting
Now that were through a lot of the science stuff, lets get into the reality of the situation: why should you consider Intermittent Fasting?
When you fast, you are also making it easier to restrict your total caloric intake over the course of the week, which can lead to consistent weight loss and maintenance.
#2) Because it simplifies your day. Rather than having to prepare, pack, eat, and time your meals every 2-3 hours, you simply skip a meal or two and only worry about eating food in your eating window.
Its one less decision you have to make every day.
It could allow you to enjoy bigger portioned meals and STILL eat fewer calories on average.
Its a point that Coach Matt makes in this video on intermittent fasting:
#3) It requires less time . Rather than having to prepare or purchase three to six meals a day, you only need to prepare two meals.
Instead of stopping what youre doing six times a day to eat, you simply only have to stop to eat twice. Rather than having to do the dishes six times, you only have to do them twice.
Rather than having to purchase six meals a day, you only need to purchase two.
#5) It can level up your brain, including positively counteracting conditions like Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and dementia.
#6) Plus, Wolverine does it:
#7) Boy George is a fasting fan :
Choose Your Strength Training Method
While every trainer will tell you their system is the best, I can tell you the truth about all these various exercise methods. They are overrated.
Heres the truth:
- You can get ripped powerlifting
- You can get ripped doing circuit workouts
- You can get ripped using bodybuilding workouts
- You can get ripped doing bodyweight lifting workouts
- You can get ripped doing kettlebell workouts
Do you know what all these workouts have in common?
They are all based on strength training. Strength training is the key in combination with ample protein intake to help you retain your muscle as you shed fat.
Remember that getting ripped is primarily a nutritional challenge, so strength training is secondary but still essential.
You May Like: How To Do Intermittent Fasting Safely
What Foods Or Beverages Can You Consume While Fasting
No foods should be eaten while fasting as it will break your fast. Some people will drink bone broth or curb their appetite with healthy fats like MCT oil, however this technically breaks your fast . So, if you want to do intermittent fasting correctly, don’t eat anything. There are only three things you should drink and that’s water, coffee and tea. Needless to say, the coffee and tea must be consumed plain, without added sugar, milk or cream.
Is Intermittent Fasting Better For Weight Loss
If youre reading this article, theres a good chance you want to lose weight and are hoping intermittent fasting can make it easier.
Well, I mentioned above, research clearly shows that intermittent fasting isnt inherently better for weight loss than traditional dieting.
That said, some people do lose weight faster on an intermittent fasting diet than a traditional one.
The reason for this is simple: IF helps them control their caloric intake and prevent overeating. This, in turn, helps them lose weight faster.
What about losing fat, though? you might be wondering. And youre rightthats an important distinction to make.
We dont want to simply lose weightwe want to lose fat and not muscle.
And that brings us to the biggest criticism leveled against intermittent fasting in the context of bodybuilding
Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Muscle Loss?
If this style of dieting sounds like a great way to disintegrate lean mass, I understand.
I used to think the same thing.
In fact, I once believed that I had to eat protein every few hours or I would lose muscle and wreck my metabolism.
To understand why, lets look at what needs to happen for your body to burn muscle for energy.
Glucose, or blood sugar, is a great source of energy for your cells and organs. Your brain particularly likes it, using upward of 25% of total body glucose.
Well get to that in a minute
Also Check: Which Intermittent Fasting Is Most Effective
Are There Any Guidelines To Follow Leangains Protocol
Here are a few guidelines that is considered as success factors for performance, fat loss and excellent diet compliance.
- On workout days, break the fast with meat, veggies and a fruit. If youâre planning to train shortly after this meal, add a few carbs in the form of a starch source â potatoes or whole grain bread, for example. Make it a fairly medium sized meal but donât force yourself. Train within 3 hrs of having eaten this meal and have a much larger meal after your workout.
- Eat less calories on rest days than on workout days do this by cutting down on carb intake, and make meat, fibrous veggies and fruits as the foundation of your diet for this day. The first meal of the day should be the largest, in contrast to workout days where the post-workout meal is the largest. Largest doesnât necessarily mean largest in terms of volume I suggest getting at least 40% of your calorie intake in this meal, and the dominant macronutrient should be protein.
- In the last meal of the day, include a slow digesting protein source preferably egg protein . Meat or fish is also ok if you add veggies or supplement with fiber. This meal will keep you full during the fast and exert an anti-catabolic effect on muscle protein stores by ensuring that your body has an ample supply of amino acids until the next meal.