Intermittent fasting is a popular diet approach that can help you reach your fat loss goals easier than you can imagine. However, you have to be dedicated because you will be going long periods of time during your day without eating. It may not be right for everyone. Will Intermittent Fasting Work For You? Let’s find out.
What Is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?
Intermittent Fasting or IF, is a program that cycles periods of eating with longer periods of fasting. Every day, for a specific time frame of your choice, you don’t eat anything. Then, when you get to the specified time frame for your meals, again of your own choosing, you eat all your calories for the day. Let’s break this down further.
The 16/8 Method
The 16/8 Method is a flexible approach that will work for most lifestyles. Here’s how it works. You fast for 16 hours every day. Then you eat for the next 8 hours. You can adjust the time frames to fit your schedule. You can fast during work, starting at bedtime, or starting after dinner. Once you’ve chosen your fasting window, you’ll need to be consistent.
Here’s an example. Since fat loss is the major goal, you should train in a fasted state. Therefore, you will plan your fasting/eating hours with your workout in mind.
- 7 am: Estimated wake-up time. Even though you’re in the last few hours of your fast, have a small serving of 5% protein such as Shake Time or Egg White Crystals. There’s no reason to stay in a catabolic environment. Then, as you begin your day, have a cup or 2 of coffee (no sugar, calorie-free creamer only).
- 9 am, or 15-30 minutes pre-workout: You will train on an empty stomach. It’s OK to take All Day You May and your favorite 5% Nutrition pre-workout. This makes sense because ADYM helps you stay in an anabolic state.
- 10-11 am: Workout.
- 11 am: Have your Real Carbs + Protein post-workout. This is the first “meal” of the day.
- 12:30 pm: Eat a quality real-food meal. Reduce your calories and carbs with each meal. Keep your protein intake high all day.
- 2:30 pm: Eat another real-food meal - it may have to be relatively light because you’ll be eating your final meal of the day soon.
- 5 pm: This will be your last meal before you begin your 16-hour fast. If you keep your meals small, you can more easily use 5% Nutrition protein sources throughout your 8 hours to help you reach your daily protein requirements.
- During your fast, you can drink any unsweetened, calorie-free beverage. This includes water, black coffee, or unsweetened tea. Use Hydrate Stk so you stay hydrated.
This is one example. You don’t necessarily have to train on an empty stomach. You can move your workout to a later time after you’ve had a few meals. Also, you can pick any 8-hour period to eat. It should be based on your schedule and lifestyle.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Here are a few of the benefits of intermittent fasting. (1, 2, 3, 4)
- Enhanced Fat Loss - IF improves fat loss and helps target hard to reach belly fat.
- Supports Heart Health - IF supports a healthy heart by lowering high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- Possible Increased Growth Hormone Release - GH is one of the body's metabolically positive natural hormones. Among many other benefits, it promotes muscle growth and stimulates fat loss.
- Improved Cellular Repair - This is one way your body cleans damaged cells. It’s a process that cleans out toxins and other negative compounds.
Tips For Proper Food Timing
Most people that use IF do so to lose fat. Therefore, you should taper carbs and calories as you go through your 8-hour eating period. By doing that, you’re eating mainly protein as your eating period is ending. That makes sense as far as recovery, muscle preservation, and even muscle growth. This also means our biggest meal should be your post-workout meal. This is critical for good recovery. On your off-days, your first meal of your eating period should be the largest. Each following meal is progressively smaller.
What About My 5% Supplements?
As noted, take All Day You May before and during your workout. You can also use it anytime during the day. Since it’s zero calories, it will be your key to staying in an anabolic state. As mentioned, feel free to use Shake Time or Egg White Crystals to help meet protein needs. Use your favorite 5% pre-workout and other 5% supplements. Real Carbs or Real Carbs + Protein should be used post-workout and if you’re in a hurry and need a quick meal. At night, use Drink Sleep Grow.
Measure Your Progress
It’s a good idea to measure your progress. Intermittent fasting is designed to stimulate fat loss. It can also stimulate muscle growth if you’re training correctly and taking the right 5% supplements. Therefore, you might drop fat and gain muscle simultaneously. That means the scale will not change all that much. Use a mirror, and take measurements.
This approach can be an effective fat-loss diet plan for anyone trying to get lean. Will Intermittent Fasting work for you? Stick to the plan, use your 5% supplements, and see what happens!
- Hartman, ML, et al. “Augmented Growth Hormone (GH) Secretory Burst Frequency and Amplitude Mediate Enhanced GH Secretion during a Two-Day Fast in Normal Men.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 74, no. 4, 1 Apr. 1992, pp. 757–765., academic.oup.com/jcem/article-abstract/74/4/757/3004645.
- De Bont, R, and N van Larebeke. “Endogenous DNA Damage in Humans: a Review of Quantitative Data.” Oxford Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 May 2004, academic.oup.com/mutage/article/19/3/169/1482185.
- Varady, K A. “Intermittent versus daily calorie restriction: which diet regimen is more effective for weight loss?.” Obesity reviews: an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity vol. 12,7 (2011): e593-601. doi:10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00873.x