The Best Guide to Intermittent Fasting
WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
To fast is to abstain from eating. Intermittent Fasting is a lifestyle strategy where you set a fasting/feeding window in your day to day life in order to maximize fat burning. For example, most people use the Lean Gains protocol where they fast for 16 hours, and feed within 8. I’ve personally been following an intermittent fasting plan for over 4 years now and I’ve witnessed amazing changes in my body composition as well as my overall health.
WHY SHOULD WE FAST?
The reason why intermittent fasting works so well because genetically, we as humans have not changed, but the way we obtained food has. Humans were born as hunter-gatherers. Back in the day, our early ancestors would wake up in the morning and have to spend almost the entire day hunting and gathering food. Humans earned what they ate every single day. Modern conveniences has made the people of today lazy though. Now we just wake up and grab whatever is in the fridge in order to “fuel” ourselves for the day ahead which is typically less demanding than hunting for food. So at this point, we have whatever we ate the night before stored in our bodies PLUS whatever you decided to eat for breakfast. Doing this every day, we’ve become over-fueled, and all the extra calories that we don’t burn through ultimately gets stored as fat on our bodies. And because you’re reading this article, you probably don’t want that. Intermittent fasting will best emulate the “earn to eat” lifestyle of our early ancestors. A mindset trick that I use to make it easier to start fasting, is changing the way I look at food. Instead of food being treated as fuel for the day, I look at food as a recovery solution for all the wear and tear I put my body through everyday.
HOW TO START AN INTERMITTENT FASTING PROTOCOL.
The first step is to plan your day out. Figure out how long you want to fast for and when to break your fast. Whether you are fasting for 12, 18, or even 20 hours, it really helps to plan ahead. I personally fast for 20 hours and feed in 4 (known as the Warrior diet). So my first meal is usually around 5pm and then i have until 9pm to consume as many calories as I need. If you’re new to intermittent fasting, I suggest starting with 12 hour fasts and then working your way up to longer fasts. That way your body can get used to being without food for longer periods of time.
INTERMITTENT FASTING HACKS.
Stay hydrated. I start every morning off with 16 ounces of water. Water on an empty stomach will clear your digestive system and help your body to better absorb nutrients from the food that you’ll eat later on.
Drink black coffee or tea. Black coffee/tea will keep you feeling satiated without breaking your fast because there are no calories. Sorry to all you coffee and milk fans, but creamers and sugars will initiate a metabolic response where you will no longer be in a fasted state.
Exercise. I highly recommend getting in a workout a few hours before you break your fast. Your body should be running on fat stores towards the end of your fast so this is the perfect time to utilize the rest of last night’s feast. An effective workout will help you along a good 1.5- 2 hours of your fast (15 min warmup, 1-1.5 hours exercise, 15 min cooldown)
Do something you love. As a BBoy, I’m all about passion. When people do the things that they’re really passionate about, they forget about their hunger because they enter the flow state. So whether you draw or paint, sing or dance, read or write, spend your time the way you love to.
BREAKING YOUR FAST.
FEAST! You earned it. Savor every bite of your food. Enjoy every moment of the meal.But don’t eat too much! Break your fast with a smaller meal (I suggest mostly protein and some carbs) and have your big meal containing the rest of your required calories and macro-nutrients later in your feeding window! Required caloric intake will depend on your goals. In order to lose fat you need to eat at a caloric deficit. In order to gain muscle you need to eat at a slight caloric surplus. In order to figure out your specific needs check out our free macro-nutrient calculator here!