Fasting? Why would anyone fast? Are you some sort of religious nut? That’s the questions or looks that I get when people ask me how I loss around 20lbs in about 4-6 weeks.
Why should I do Intermediate fasting and not one of the million other diets out there? Well first off IF (intermediate fasting) isn’t a diet, it’s more of a lifestyle change. Second, the majority of those other diets either don’t work or they do work but you end up gaining the weight back when you are done dieting. A coworker of mine balked at me when I told her about IF. She said she can drop even more pounds in those 4-6 weeks by eating just 500 calories a day. She didn’t like it when I told her “yeah you did lose a lot of weight but you gained it all right back when you stopped” and that’s because she went back to her old bad eating habits.
To lose weight and to keep it off one must eat below their Total Daily Energy Expenditure otherwise known as TDEE. It’s the amount of calories you burn throughout the day rather your working, walking, shopping, and even sleeping. Diets work when you eat less calories then you burn throughout the day. To calculate your TDEE you can just google (or any other search engine) and type in “TDEE calculator” to find many sites that will calculate your TDEE it for free.
If you are happy with your weight you would eat whatever your TDEE is which in my case was 2,400 calories a day. To lose weight and to lose it in a healthy way you would need to eat below your TDEE. For me since my TDEE was 2,400 I chose to eat around 2,000 calories per day.
Ok so you told me about TDEE but what is this intermediate fasting? It’s just what the name implies, you fast for a certain amount of time each day and eat the rest of the time. There are a few different types of Intermediate fasting but I will just talk about the one I did which worked for me, I did the 16/8 fast which I fasted for 16 hours a day and the other 8 hours I was free to eat. Other types of IF include the 14/10 which is recommended for females, the 20/4 or the 23/1 fast.
You can do the 16/8 however you want, nothing is written in stone about when to fast but obviously you want the majority of the fast to be while you’re sleep. If you work the typical 8-5 type of job, you could fast from 7pm through 11am the next day which would be the 16 hours and your feeding “window” would be from 11am to 7pm each day. Below is my schedule.
My typical day while on IF
5:00 am awake
5:00 – 11am continue fasting. Drink lots of water and coffee
11pm Eat my first meal.
2:00pm Preworkout meal/snack
6pm – Dinner
7pm Begin my fast
Again, you can do it whatever part of the day you want During the 16 hour fast you are allowed water and any zero calorie diet drinks. You can even drink coffee but try and cut back on the creamer as much as you can. I do put a scoop of creamer in my coffee each morning but it’s a minimal amount . The last couple of hours of the fast is hard so keep water handy as it will help feel you up.
The 8 hours I did eat I did try and eat decently. I try to get plenty of protein in my diet along with the proper amount of carbs and fats. Eating frequency is not important so if you want to eat 3 meals then go ahead but don’t eat 3 buffets. I found it easier for me to each lunch, a light snack before a workout and a then a nice size dinner.
IF is a pretty simple concept but it does go against the advice of many so called experts and even doctors. We are told to eat 5 small meals a day to help lose weight but for me I was hungry after each meal and ended up eating 5 regular meals a day or I ate the typical 3 meals and then had 2 smaller meals as snacks which didn’t help but in fact made me gain the weight. We are also told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but it really isn’t despite what the cereal companies might tell you. You may say to yourself “Well Roger down the hall skips breakfast all the time but he’s still a lard ass” well Roger is probably fat because Roger doesn’t care what he eats at the other times he is eating and Roger is also probably binge eating on the weekends.
To get the most out of intermediate fasting and lose the weight like I did you will also need to combine IF with exercise and eat below your TDEE level. I workout 3-4 times a week and eat below my TDEE everyday , ok I do cheat maybe once a week on the weekends but otherwise I stay within the guidelines of IF and my TDEE.
If you give intermediate fasting a try I'm sure it will help you lose weight.
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