If you’re a gym rat, if you read forums or do a lot of research, you’ve probably heard about intermittent fasting diet. Today we’re gonna find out what intermittent fasting is, what are some of the best protocols, how to implement it with the most success and what you can expect as a dieter.
Intermittent Fasting Diet
Intermittent fasting is a dieting principle where the day is broken into fasting and eating windows, with a period of fasting being really extended.
For 16 hours you’re in a fasting state where you take in nothing with the exception of water, coffee and tea. For the remaining 8 hours of the day you take in 2-3 meals and knock out anywhere between 800 and 2000 calories in that eating window.
The theory behind this is that in that fasted state your body is gonna burn more fat, it’s gonna increase it’s levels of growth hormone and testosterone. So the results would be greater fat burning, more muscle building and a higher sense of alertness.
Intermittent fasters find that during that 16 hours fasting window they’re really sharp, alert, they’re burning a lot of fat. In that 8 hours eating window they’re eating what they would normally eat spread out throughout the day.
Intermittent Fasting Protocols
There are a lot of different ways to setup an intermittent fasting diet system for you and a lot of times is just figuring out what works for you personally.
When you feel like your results are slowing down, you’re not getting as lean as you want to get, you’re feeling like you’re loosing some strength in the gym, you’re getting a little bored of your diet routine, then you should use one month intermittent fasting diet to shake things up. So after your body gets back to normal you can switch back to 5-6 meals schedule.
1. 16 And 8
What I recommend is to start with 16 hour fast and 8 hour eating window. So from the time you go to bed at night, to around mid day the next day you’re in a fasted state. While you’re fasting, what you want to do is drink a lot of water, and you can drink coffee or tea if you want. What you don’t want to do is to take any calories in this fasted period. Then in that 8 hour eating window, from noon to 8 PM, you should eat 2-3 big meals that will give you roughly 800-2000 calories.
2. 20 And 4
As you get more into that fast state and you get better at going through the fasting time, you can increase your fast to around 20 hours a day and then decrease your eating window to 4 hours a day. In the eating window you should eat 2 meals which contain about 1000 calories each. With this intermittent fasting diet method you’ll get the leanest, you’ll maintain or even gain strength in the gym and you’ll lose more body fat throughout the day.
This kind of model is for hard core intermittent fasting dieters who understand what they can do in the fasting time, they know their limitations and they know their body well enough. So I don’t recommend jumping right into a 20-4 intermittent fasting diet until you have experimented with the 16-8 and you’ve really kind of learned how to fast.
Those are a couple of different models you can do, but again, I would start with 16 hour fasting and 8 hour feeding and then move to the other intermittent fasting diet method if you truly want to push your limits.
Remember that an intermittent fasting diet is not an excuse to take in no calories. You need to make sure that in that eating window you still take in up to 2000 calories and maybe even more depending on your goals.
When starting any new diet routine there’s obviously a learning period when you learn things like how you’re gonna work out, how you feel on this diet, what you can do on this diet. So when you start an intermittent fasting diet, what you’re gonna have to re-learn with your workout specifically is times in the day that you can do them.
I typically like to have my workouts when I’m on an intermittent fasting diet towards the end of my fasted state. That way I know that I’m in this intense fat burning state and also right after this I can eat something to re-fuel my body with energy.
So if you want to workout right at the end of the fasted state you just need to figure out:
- What types of workouts you can do at the end of your fasting period?
- Has your body enough energy?
- Are your blood sugar levels too low for you to do any kind of workout that you’re gonna find beneficial?
Maybe you need to move your workout to the middle of your eating window so that you can eat a meal, then work out, then have another meal before your fasting window starts again.
As far as endurance athletes go, you really have to watch what you can and can’t do on an intermittent fasting diet. If you’re someone who gets on a bike and rides 50-100 km with regularity, if you’re a runner who goes out in 15-20 km road runs, an intermittent fasting diet is not necessary for you. This is because you’re gonna have not just low glycogen, but no glycogen at all in your system during the fasting period.
An intermittent fasting diet is a great way to really accelerate your body’s fat loss and your strength gain. But it’s something you’ll really have to play with to figure out what’s the right fasting and feeding window for yourself. So I encourage you to do some research, learn from this article, find your best intermittent fasting method and start some fasting days to really see some fat loss and strength gain in the gym.