My Experience Intermittent Fasting
According to the huffington post everyday 31 million Americans skip breakfast and this might not be a bad thing. I used to eat breakfast every morning. Eggs with sausage, broccoli, and cheese on top. It was something I looked forward to. Until I decided to try Intermittent fasting(IF).
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting(IF) is when you limit your food consumption times to a certain time period of the day. For example I ate between 11:30A.M. and 7:30P.M. This meant that my first meal of the day would be lunch and anything else I could cram in during that period.
What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
I became interested in IF when I read about it’s possible benefits such as cognitive and physical health improvement, helping with muscle gain, and reduction in body fat.
There are several ways you can IF:
-The one I use is where you don’t eat for 16 hours and you eat for 8. This seems to be the most common one I have found. It was pretty simple to implement for me since the meals I skipped was breakfast and any late night snacks.
- Another method is where you don't eat for 24 hours then eat then fast another 24 hours. You would do this a couple days out of the week.
-Finally you could reduce your calorie intake for a few days a week.
The goal with IF is to get your body in a “fasted” state. When you eat a meal your body will use that meal to get energy as opposed to using the fat stored in your body. By eating during an 8 hour period you are likely to get your body in the state where it is using stored fat for energy.
A few other reasons to try it is that you will spend less time eating. Cutting out breakfast has given me about 30 more minutes in the morning. It has made meal planning easier having only 2 meals in my day is simpler. Also Terry Crews does it and he is jacked.
Check out Terry Crews video here
How I Go about Intermittent Fasting
Personally what I do is IF from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 5 days a week. I try to continue this on the weekends, but my schedule is less consistent so if I can’t follow that schedule it is ok.
When I first started IF the first two weeks I was getting hangry in the morning. If you want to try IF out I would recommend trying at least two weeks so your body can adjust and your hanger will go away. It takes some time for the body to realize it won’t get food except between the 8 hour period. You should let people you interact with know that you are starting this in case they are wondering why you irritable from missing a meal.
The amount of food I eat is slightly less than when I wasn’t IFing. My first meal is lunch then I will have protein shake(currently using Ascent Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder - Chocolate - 2 lbs) to get me thru until dinner. I exercise between lunch and dinner so I don't want to have exercise with empty stomach. After the workout I will have a large dinner. The meal consists of a similar amount of food as I would have had if I had breakfast and dinner. I am not concerned about how much I eat. The meal needs to be enough to get me thru the 16 hour fast.
My experience with IF has been positive. Many people report seeing energy levels dip, this was not the case for me. I have lost 5lbs while adding some muscle in around a month of starting. I suspect if I reduced the eating unhealthy food and beer drinking on the weekends I would continue to see improved results.
IF may not be for all depending on your exercise goals. Generally from what little I understand about bodybuilding and strength training you may want to be eating constantly to help promote muscle growth.
IF is not a diet but an adjustment to your eating schedule. You want to make sure when you do eat you are eating a balanced diet, since you are eating less food. Be cautious about consuming alcohol or any or other drugs coming out of fasting times since they will have a stronger effect on you.
Getting Started Intermittent Fasting
To get started I would recommend picking out the time period you want to eat that fits in your schedule best. Let people know that you interact with during fasting times in case you are a little irritable for those two weeks that your body needs to adjust. Make adjustments to your meals so you can consume additional food during non-fast times.
I found an app called Zero (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zero-fasting-tracker/id1168348542?mt=8) it helps me keep track of my IFing. It is nice because it keeps a timer for you and alerts you when you can eat.
Give IF a try if it is something that interests you. Everyone’s body is different how they respond to diets and exercise. Listen to your body to help you get the results you want and make adjustments as needed.