So is intermittent safe? Could you get super hungry or run out of energy? Will you able to focus at work or studying? Short answer is: Yes absolutely! Only if you follow these tips to make sure it is done right! You body is fully designed to survive fasting periods optimally. Intermittent fasting is not a fad diet, it’s how our ancestors ate before grocery stores existed and the food industry was so huge! In this article/video, I will show you how to do intermittent fasting right to stay energized through out your work and actually lose weight.
Ease Into It
Don’t you dare to going all in. Always start with a 12 hour fast for at least 2-33 days. When you feel comfortable, start going for for 13-14 hours of fating time. Stay patient and keep at it for at least 1 week. When you find your body has adjusted, you can start pushing your fast to 15-16 hours. If your goal is fat loss and your days are demanding, there is no need to push yourself to fast longer than 16 hours. If you feel comfortable with 16 hours, focus on keeping that consistent and consuming better food during your feeding time. If you have other health or longevity goals then you can look into different methods and fast for longer periods over the weekend as opposed to doing it everyday.
The testing phase should be carefully designed to answer 3 important questions:
1. Can you handle the hunger without going crazy with food?
2. Are you a "morning faster" or "night faster"?
3. Do you like working out while you are fasted or fed?
Let me explain a little bit about each of these 3.
if you fast and you feel like you need to stock up on food when you break your fast, then you are not either not ready for intermittent fasting or your last meal might have had a lot of carb/sugar in it.
If you are thinking about intermittent fasting, you should clean up your diet and lower your calories a little bit and make sure your last meal includes a lot more fat than carbs because fats digest slowly and keep you energized for longer period of time.
If you are active and like working out, I recommend having at least one meal before your workout so it can fuel your workout. Specially if you are starting out with intermittent fasting.
If you work full time and like your PM workouts and Let’s say you have already fasted into 16/8 fasting method,
Have our last meal around around 8/9 pm. You should give yourself at least 2 hours for your food to digest to make sure you get a good night sleep (3 hours if you are eating a bigger meal before your fast)
Wake up in the morning and go about your day, that way you don’t have to worry about making breakfast but you need to pack 2 meals to take with you to work! Download my fee guide to find out the type of food you need to include in a healthy diet.
Open your fast by noon/1 pm
Have your next meal around 3 or 4 pm since you might be feeling hungry after fasting for so long but give yourself 1/2 hours before your workout
Workout after an hour or two around 4/5 pm
Have a post workout meal again around 8/9 pm
Fast until next day
For AM workouts:
If you like me and you love breakfast and your morning workout out, You can
Have your breakfast in the morning
Wait for an hour before working out so you give your body some time to digest food
Have a post workout meal
Have another meal if your calories allow it
Fast for the rest of the day.
With this method, you will be going to bed hungry. To be honest ever since I have started this, I stopped having nightmares! So just in case if you are struggle with night terrors and nightmares, give this a try! This schedule also works really during the pandemic since you don’t usually go out for evening outings.
Most optimal time to exercise for fat loss?
Research has shown that you will get the most fat loss when you exercise near the end of your fast; this helps you burn intermuscular fat! I don’t really recommend to jump into working out fasted, I think this is more advanced way of dieting and exercising and if you don’t have a lot of experience with how your body might react. You must be experienced enough to handle possible hunger, drop in blood pressure or headaches! It is best to talk to a coach or nutritionist because there is also a chance you might slow down your metabolism or lose muscle mass. You can always book a free consultation with me, here.
What to Eat
Your nutrition is super important specially if you want to be mentally focused during work. You want to include a lot of omega 3 sources such as wild caught fatty fish, grass fed meat, avocado, pre soaked nuts, coconut oil, olive oil, cold pressed seed oil. If you don’t enjoy eating fish, make sure you start supplementing.
If you like carbohydrates keep them as complex as possible like oats, sprouted whole wheat bread, brown rice, legumes and vegetables are great sources of healthy carbs you can include in your diet.
The amount of food consumed is also very important. If you think, you can do intermittent fasting and become lean because you don’t eat for a certain period, then you are in for a disappointment. Unfortunately, you still need to keep an eye on your calories, If you are consuming more calories than your body needs, you need to remember energy is nor created or destroyed! It’s Physics! Your body is a machine that is designed to store the extra food as fat to store for later! You might see some initial result when you start intermittent fasting, until your body gets used to it, but it will stop working after a while because it will go into the fat storage mode! Remember it is very important to keep an eye on your calories here. You must make sure you stay in caloric deficit if your goal is weight loss. If you are breaking your fast at work then you must pack your food and make sure you have cooked your self a very healthy meal. I talk about why nutrition is so important during your fast in this video.
What to Drink
There are so many different types of fast for different purposes but since we are not water fasting it is okay to consume some drinks that helps us suppress our hunger a little further such as black/green tea, black coffee, lemon water, apple cider vinegar and sparkling water. You can drink these moderately and it should help you when you are working or studying.
You can have these drinks with a little bit of liquid stevia. Stay away from other artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and any other types of sugar because they will have negative effects on your stomach lining microbiome and research has shown that they actually spike your insulin so they will break your fast.