Don’t get confused with thinking of it as a form of diet, but rather, understand it as a strategy in your diet or lifestyle.
I began implementing IF back when I was prepping for my last figure show in 2015. I did this because as my calories decreased, it kept me more satisfied by waiting and skipping a meal so that the remainder of my meals for the day could be larger.
Even after my show I continued to do a loose IF. I didn’t necessarily fast for the same amount of time every day or end my window of eating at the same time daily, but I would typically skip breakfast.
A little over a week ago I decided I wanted to implement it to it’s original form. It took me about 3 days to become used to not eating till 1pm, and now I have managed to wait till 2pm to end my fast and open my eating window. My hunger hormones don’t go crazy in the morning and I don’t have ‘hangry’ feelings in the morning anymore either. Below I have written some facts on IF, my personal benefits of implementing this dieting tool, and a FDOE (Full day of eating) in pictures. Hope ya’ll learn something and if you have any questions or would like to talk to me about implementing it yourself, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]
3 Scientific Benefits of IF:
1. It can reverse diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease by allowing the body to learn how to respond to stress and rejuvenate and repair the body. This website goes into more very interesting information about how this is possible: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-intermittent-fasting-might-help-you-live-longer-healthier-life/
2. Controlling the levels of your ‘hunger hormone’, ghrelin (aka, won’t be prone to being so hangry!)
3. It boosts your brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein which promotes neural health as well as protects changes in brain cells associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
5 Personal Benefits of IF:
Being that I have more clients in the morning and a list of things I try to accomplish on the daily, IF makes life a little less hectic. I can get my clients trained and my to-do list crossed off, then enjoy a big ass meal!
2. Bigger meals
I’m a volume eater, as in I like big meals I can munch on for a while. Therefore, IF makes this even more possible since I track my macros and can put off eating for a while and then enjoy a larger amount of food at one time. Nom.
3. No longer ‘hangry’
When you are so accustomed to eating at the same time every morning, the days you don’t get to (at least for me) can cause you to get agitated at the smallest of things because you want your first meal. For me, since my mornings can either be light or totally full, IF put the ‘hangy’ issue to bed. Since I don’t have my first meal till way later it’s not even on my mind anymore.
In my fasted states I’m much more in tune with what I am doing and not what my next meal will be or when. When it comes to training my clients, they have my full focus. As well as when I work out fasted. I’m much more focused on the moment rather than getting home in time to have breakfast, lunch, or whatever.
5. Easier to IIFYM when going out
This one is obvious! If you’re saving your food intake for later, you can easily have whatever meals it is at a restaurant, tailgate (heyy football season), or family cook out, and still meet and not go over your daily macro needs!
4 Myths about IF:
1. You should never skip breakfast
This myth has been debunked countless times over the years so to keep it short and sweet, it could matter less if you skip breakfast or not. The main objective for weight loss is energy in vs. energy out. So IF, skipping breakfast, will not make you gain or lose weight. It has everything to do with the macros you eat on a daily basis in a 24hr period.
2. Weightlifting fasted will make you weaker and have no strength
This may be the case for some people, but it usually has more to do with what you’re accustomed to. When first starting IF you might feel tired or weaker from lifting in a fasted state but you can adapt to it. I’ve trained fasted for so long on most days that it doesn’t affect my strength in the slightest. I’ve had my heavy leg days both fasted and not and it doesn’t make a difference because I’m adapted to both and am quite frankly not thinking about food because I’m a little preoccupied at the moment.
3. Fasting causes loss of muscle mass
Yeah, this isn’t true and has never been proven by a scientific study. What causes loss in muscle mass is 1) not lifting in the first place 2) stopping lifting 3) doing too much LISS cardio or 4) an illness.
4. You should eat many small meals a day to keep your metabolism working
This is also one of those long-time-myths that have been debunked a good bit. If you have a healthy metabolism, it’s working. If you’ve dieted on and off too many times to count, haven’t eaten healthy foods like you should, or have a disorder that impairs your metabolism then those are a much higher probability of causing a screwed up metabolism than how many meals you eat in a day.
3 Main Types of IF:
There are actually a numerous number of ways to IF (read about them all here: http://dailyburn.com/life/health/intermittent-fasting-methods/)
But the most common are the Leangains IF (what I am currently doing) in which you fast for 14-16 hours and have an eating window for 8-10 depending on your convenience. I eased into it by breaking my fast at 1pm but my last meal tends to be near 10 so I worked up to breaking it at 2pm.
The other most common is the Periodic Fast -a 24 hour fast in which, as implied, you fast a whole 24 hours one to two days a week. That sounds like pure hell to me. I could not do that without turning into the devil himself…
And the Warrior Diet, when you fast for 20 hours and have one huge meal a day. That also sounds like I’d eat my arm off then be so full at meal time that I’d be in a food coma till the next meal 20 hours later. No. Thank. You.
Rules of IF:
You can’t have anything with calories till the time you are to break your fast. I tweak this for my own personal preference by having half n half in my coffee. But I have read that this is totally fine so I don’t plan to stop doing that because I love half n half in my coffee haha
Calorie free beverages, coffee, artificial sweeteners, and BCAAs are in the clear. Have any of that before your fast is over with.
My Full Day of Eating IF: