During my cut in the summer of 2017, I decided to take a different approach to my diet and incorporate intermittent fasting.
People had told me about their experiences fasting and that the main benefits they experienced were not just fat loss but how they felt. I could have just taken their word for it, but like most things to do with fitness, I want to try it myself.
There are several ways to go about intermittent fasting. Still, the most accessible and popular varieties involve taking advantage of your natural overnight fast by skipping breakfast and pushing your day’s first meal forward. It can be convenient if you do not tend to wake up with much of an appetite because once you have passed the 12-hour mark from dinner the night before, you are genuinely in a fasted state.
Different Methods of Fasting
Before starting, I researched the different fasting schedules to decide which method would fit my lifestyle best. I recommend anyone fasting to do the same. Here are some of the most popular forms.
The most popular method was created by a bodybuilder named Martin Berkhan, who blogged about it on his website www.leangains.com. This method often involves skipping breakfast and pushing your first meal of the day to lunch. The concept is to get all your food in an eight-hour window; where you choose to place that window is up to you.
Eat Stop Eat
Eat Stop Eat, as popularized by bodybuilder Brad Pilon, involves fasting for an entire 24 hours, two days per week. For example, you could eat your last meal of the day at 8:00 p.m. the day before. You fast overnight and then all the following day, skipping breakfast and lunch, and then pushing dinner out to 8:00 p.m. (for a full 24 hours with no calories). This is quite difficult and is only recommended for two nonconsecutive days per week.
The Warrior Diet, as popularized by Ori Hofmekler, consists of fasting for the majority of the day, and then eating all of your calories in the evening. The goal is to skip breakfast and lunch, then eat a huge dinner in a four-hour window at the end of the day. This is a 20: 4-hour split (20 hours of fasting and then a 4-hour eating window). This method of intermittent fasting does allow you to eat very large satisfying meals at the end of the day, which some people may find appealing.
My Fasting Protocol
I decided to follow the 16:8 method, however, I chose to do the opposite to most people and break my fast at breakfast. This is because I required most of my energy in the morning when I had back-to-back clients and a workout.
During my 16 hours fast I would stick to only water, but any noncaloric beverage is fine, including black coffee. The key is to not take in any calories, as it takes only a few calories to spike insulin and sabotages your fast.
I was not intermittent fasting every day, on Friday and Saturday I would take up a normal eating pattern and enjoy meals in the evening with family and friends. Fasting also gave me more time to focus on things other than my next meal, or tidying/washing up after cooking an evening meal. I didn’t document it, but I certainly saved on my food bill too.
My Experience with Intermittent Fasting
Initially, it was the psychological benefits that I noticed most while fasting. I would get up in the morning and feel wide awake immediately, whereas it would normally take me an hour or so to get going. I also felt a lot better during the day; I had a lot more energy and focus than usual.
Intermittent fasting also helped me drop my body fat significantly, after only a couple of weeks I was noticing a massive drop in body fat. The video above shows what my physique looked like one month in.
It was not the fasting that caused this significant drop in body fat, but the calorie deficit it imposed by eliminating an entire meal per day.
If you struggle with weight loss and maintaining a lean body then turning this into a lifestyle could be a solution. If you’re considering it, pick the type of fast that best suits your schedule and run it for a month to see how you feel.