As I promised, in this second part of my topic about intermittent fasting I will explain every detail of this diet pattern with all the advantages and disadvantages of it. In “Intermittent Fasting – The best tool for creating your dream physique (Part 1)” I just mentioned the topic. The advantage of IF can be seen in my transformation from fluffy dude to a ripped one that happened in just two months. Firstly, I will explain the key topics of intermittent fasting and then I will say why I started using it and how I do feel about it.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a kind of a diet pattern that contains of a time window in which you don’t consume any calories and another one in which you take all the food needed for your lifestyle. There are several variations of intermittent fasting, the most famous being 16:8 – sixteen hours of the day you don’t consume any calories and in the eight hour window, you consume two to four meals. Anything below 8 hour eating window counts as intermittent fasting. No calories at all, means no calories at all whatsoever – neither protein shakes or even a drop of lemon in your glass of water. Drinks that you can consume are water, coffee and tea. The best way to combine intermittent fasting with your life is by using sleep in the non-eating window – if you sleep 8 hours a day, eat dinner at 21:00 and eat your first meal of the day at 13:00, you are intermittent fasting.
Most of the employees of the biggest companies actually do IF because of their tight schedule even without knowing it and think that they are living a very unhealthy lifestyle. Actually, this is the best tool to climb the company ladder and the thing that do causes them health problems is the mental stress of this constant feeling of guilt (not talking about junk food eaters and smokers, but people with healthy lifestyle). Since children we are said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so how can I be healthy without it… Well stop listening to people and start listening to your body. Intermittent fasting is known to human beings since the cavemen ages. People used to eat only once a day or even less. They didn’t use to eat six times a day as most people in the fitness industry preach – just simply ate whenever they could, whatever they could. And their body used to function to reach this stage of the civilization so it didn’t make them weaker. Of course, as studies say, people evolve with each century but they do because of the changes of the situation. If left in similar to a caveman lifestyle situation do you think that the body won’t adapt with one eating a day? Well, think again. Look at this photo of Herschel Walker (48 years old on the photo) – the MMA fighter who eats only once a day.
The best tool for this diet pattern is coffee – it keeps you focused and kills your appetite. The later you start with the coffee, the easier you will get to the first eating window.
How to use intermittent fasting if I train?
The main tool of IF is the fact that you use your storage of fats throughout the day until the first meal of the day, meaning that you are getting ripped with any minute of this regiment. If you are trying to lose weight the best time for training is before the first meal. If you are trying to gain some muscle I wouldn’t suggest training on a flat belly. If you are using the example I gave (first meal at 13:00) and you are working or studying throughout the day, then the best time for your training is after your first or first two meals. The meals should include only healthy fats, proteins and vitamins, meaning cashews, almonds, any kind of meat cooked with butter or olive oil and some veggies (spinach, broccoli, etc.). All carbohydrates should be taken after the training for the day. This way you are still using mostly fats and protein to burn in the gym and then you are using carbohydrates to help the muscles recover faster. Carbohydrates should include only foods with high amount of fiber in it if you want to survive the 16 hour non-eating period – oatmeal, beans, wholegrain spaghetti and bread, brown rice. Foods with fibers keep your body full a lot longer than any kind of other food.
How did I start using IF in my life?
In Part 1, I explained that I stopped listening to anybody I knew about fitness tips and started doing more research about how to achieve a natural aesthetic physique without taking any kind of drugs or supplements. This is how I found intermittent fasting. Along with that I realized that counting your calories throughout the day and increasing your protein intake is the key component of building some well-defined muscles. I calculated the calories I should take and increased the intake of protein through good quality foods like tuna with real meat in it (always look at the nutrition facts – there is tuna with 12g of proteins and tuna with 25g of proteins), turkey, eggs, all kind of raw nuts etc. Started using 16:8 IF and “Voilà” – well defined body with abs.
Have in mind that I am not the typical bodybuilder and I prefer life at the fullest – there are at least few days from the month that I don’t do intermittent fasting but go out with friends partying, consuming all kind of alcohol. So even with bad habits (negative effects of drinking and training) in my life, I did achieve a great body without any supplements or drugs.
Are there risks using intermittent fasting?
From a study perspective there should be not any risk whatsoever. Moreover, studies say that intermittent fasting helps you detoxify all the unhealthy foods your body has preventing you from all kind of diseases, including cancer.
From my experience I would suggest you to do the classical intermittent fasting windows (16:8) and not try anything with less than eight hours of eating. At the start you can try doing it the following way – finish your day with a good meal with carbohydrates with fibers and then start the day with coffee. Eat your first meal when you feel hungry – with time you will get to 16 hours of non-eating but even if you don’t, this will be good enough to create a great body. Coffee kicks in your metabolism and the first meal you eat will be well accepted by the body rather than turned into fats. Do eat only foods with protein and healthy fats until the first training and if you don’t train, just don’t overuse the carbohydrates. Eating a big amount of carbohydrates with the first meal will get you sleepy, resulting in less effectiveness in your work or studying. Increasing the non-eating window to more than the most used sixteen hours won’t be healthy for most bodies – it would be better to shorten the window to fourteen hours than increase it to eighteen. Don’t be so strict if you are not a professional competitor and always listen to your body. After all, I share this topic to help you improve the quality of your life and not decrease it.
Share your thoughts on the topic below and if you have more questions, I would be happy to answer them all !
Follow me on instagram if you want some tips on IF – https://www.instagram.com/velizar.yordanov/