Updated: Mar 10, 2021
Over the years, Intermittent Fasting (IF) has gained a lot of popularity in the fitness world, for good reason.
I have found that many clients, even the apprehensive ones, can adapt to the plan rather easily and begin to see results not only in how they feel but also on the scale in a short period of time.
That probably sounds good to you, so now that I have your attention, let's get into the details.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Where other diets focus on restricting what foods you eat, IF focuses on restricting the time that you eat.
Let's look at the most popular IF plan, the 16:8 method. In the 16:8 method you fast for 16 hours and then restrict all your calories to be consumed in what is call an "8-hour window". Inside your 8-hour window most people will usually eat two meals and maybe a snack or two. Once the 8-hour window is up, you put the fork down and refrain from consuming any calories (yes beverages have calories too) for the following 16 hours.
"But 16 hours is so long!", you say.
It is, but with proper planning you won't even notice. So let's look at an example of a typical day following the 16:8 method. Let's jump right to when the eating window begins, 12 noon, since a lot of people eat lunch at that time. So at 12 noon your eating window begins, you consume all your calories for 8 hours then put the fork down at 8pm. From 8pm and the following 16 hours you refrain from consuming any calories until 12 noon. So let's say you go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 6am, you already have 10 hours of fasting completed since you put the fork down with 6 more hours to go. Now the 6am to 12 noon part, the last 6 hours may be where you struggle a little bit in the beginning. Your body will adjust and do so rather quickly in a few days, so just hang in there and get over that hump. This pretty much just means skipping breakfast and letting the fasting "magic" do it's thing. At 12 noon, pick the fork back up and begin your 8-hour window again.
Pretty simple, right?
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Now the six hours from waking up to lunch, like I said may be the hardest, but have no fear there is help for you to get through. During your fast you are allowed to consume zero calorie beverages with no additives. The best options and that I would recommend are black coffee or green tea. These two options will help keep hunger pangs away until lunch. Water is another option but it will not help with the hunger, however try drink an adequate amount of water each day while following an IF plan.
You can set your eating window for what best fits your schedule. The schedule above is just an example that I think most people would fall into.
The skipping of breakfast (and possible late night snacking) is what creates the caloric deficit that is needed to lose weight. The hormonal effects created from the fast is like pouring gasoline on the fire. So in a traditional IF plan you have more freedom in what you eat. So you can get away with the pizza, burgers, and wings more than you can in a traditional restrictive diet. This is helpful because you can eat the foods that you would normally need to refrain from eating in order to drop the calories and weight. No more fighting willpower and completely just losing it, going off the rails and sabotaging all your hard work.
Now with that said, what you eat still has an effect on how your body feels, looks, and performs. So with my clients we focus on good nutrition and proper macros that will have them looking and feeling great. Getting into the details of taking your nutrition to the next step is beyond the focus of this post, but is included in my FREE Beginner's Guide to Intermittent Fasting. I just want to challenge you to go beyond just focusing on the eating window and really eating healthy as well. Even if you stick to the eating window but still eat enough high calorie junk foods, it can prevent you from hitting your goals.
So let's get into the benefits of an IF nutrition plan.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Increases Fat Burning
Increases Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Improved Mental Concentration
Increased Brain Function and Health
Helps Improve Heart Health
Possible Reversal of Type-2 Diabetes
Slows Down Aging
May Prevent High Risks Cancer
Increases Gut Health
I hope that this post was able to explain how to begin and follow an IF diet plan, showing you the sustainability and numerous benefits of choosing to. Of course, this is just one way to lose weight, but I think the numerous benefits that come from fasting makes it superior to other forms. However, whichever type of diet plan that you can commit to and stick with will ultimately be the best one for you.
If you are interested in beginning an Intermittent Fasting lifestyle get my FREE Beginner's Guide to Intermittent Fasting and get started today!
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