I have been doing intermittent fasting now for about 3 months or so with excellent results so I wanted to share some tips and supplements to use if you decide to try it.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is nothing new, although it has become quite popular in the last year or so. The basics of Intermittent Fasting are that you eat for 8 hours and fast the rest of the time. So for instance, what I typically do is eat between 12:00pm to 8:00pm and then go without eating until 12:00pm the next day. You can find lots of videos on youtube about Intermittent Fasting and that is primarily what got me motivated to try it. Intermittent Fasting or IF as some call it, goes against everything I had been taught and everything I had recommended to others. Most people in the nutrition and bodybuilding community will tell you to eat 5 to 6 small meals per day to lose weight, because it will keep you full, increase metabolism and stabilize your blood sugar. While that has some merit and benefits I can say with 100% certainty, that both ways work if you eat a relatively clean diet. I have found IF to be a lot easier than eating 6 small meals however and I have had experience competing in bodybuilding shows. With intermittent fasting I have been able to eat foods I like and enjoy within moderation.
What Kind of Results Can you Expect with Intermittent Fasting?
I can only speak for myself and what I have achieved because it will greatly depend on ones food choices, however this is not a diet but rather a style of eating. I am currently 3 months in and have lost about 15 lbs. The weight and inches off my waist have been outstanding and it has been the easiest way to lose weight that I have ever tried. I am back into jeans that I hadnt be able to wear for several years and I dont plan on stopping this way of eating. Oddly enough, I feel that I have also added muscle during this time as well. Prior to this style of eating I would have had a much harder time losing the weight and typically sacrifice muscle trying to lose, while even eating cleaner than I had to on Intermittent Fasting. I dont think this way of eating would be for everyone but it has been great for me. I am finding that I stay full on much less calories and typically dont have any problem making it to 12:00pm before eating. It really has been a surprising experiment, as I expected it too be difficult and would have thought that I would have a lose of energy. I have never felt better in terms of energy and find that training on an empty stomach doesnt bother me at all. My strength and energy levels in the gym have actually increased! Keep in mind I have lost 15lbs through the holidays and did not restrict the type of foods I ate, however I do eat clean foods probably 75% of the time anyway. I have found myself not caring about fast foods, salty and sweet snacks after 8:00pm which was not the case prior to doing IF. I think there are several tips and supplements that you can use to help it be successful and I'll list those out for you here.
Tips for Success on Intermittent Fasting
1) Drink a big cup of coffee first thing in the morning, preferably black but allow 1 teaspoon of cream
2) Drink as much water as you can leading up to 12:00pm. It will keep you full and has been shown to increase metabolism.
3) Break your fast with a large protein shake. At 12:00pm I basically do 2 scoops of either Cellucor Whey or CSN Pro Whey and 1 scoop of Karbolic. I like doing this because it is a low fat, low sugar meal and it will fill you up big time with around 500 calories. Keep in mind you are only going to eat two or three times within 8 hours, so dont try to eat 100 or 200 calories. It will not work! I'll explain the supplements further below and provide some links for you to check them out. They are not required to be successful, but this is what I used and had success with while making it easy.
4) At around 4:00pm I eat a Zero Impact bar by VPX which contains a lot of good ingredients and about 400 calories. At this point Ive generally consumed about 1,000 calories and then I eat 800 to 1200 calories at the last dinner meal and typically whatever I want. If you know you are going to splurge a little more you can cut out the protein bar allowing more room. I found myself doing this if I knew I would be going to something like the Super Bowl party or something where you know you will be eating and drinking more than usual. Most females are generally going to want to be around 1,500 calories so you will need to adjust accordingly but I would make sure that the first meal is a big one of at least 400 calories or more.
5) Exercise in the morning fasted before eating. If you cant do this, simply try to get some exercise in whenever possible, but I do believe training fasted led to more fat loss as you body uses more fat for energy.
6) Eat a good size Dinner so that you can eat at 8:00 and be done. I think most will be surprise how much you were snacking at night or in the morning time. You can adjust your feeding window to suit your schedule such as 10-6, 11-7 etc...I found 12-8 to be the easiest for me, although numberous times I actually went to 1:00pm before eating and still felt great.
On to the Supplements for Intermittent Fasting
Again, these are not required but I personally could not have done it without them. I would not leave these out from my perspective. They are all nutritional in nature, as you dont really need anything else. I did personally use Cellucor BCAA powder as well as Pure Solutions IGF T1100. I personally love both of those products and can vouch for their effectiveness, however they are not nearly as important as the nutritional supplements below. Cellucor Whey and CSN Whey are both great tasting proteins that you will enjoy. I switch flavors often and love Cellucors PB marshmallow and Cinnamon Swirl as well as CSN Proteins Chocolate and Cookie Dough. Now the Prosupps Karbolic is a sugarless carbohydrate that helps you stay very full, but also provides natural energy while helping to restore glycogen. I have really enjoyed Karbolic. Typically I use the Unflavored as it smells and taste great, however Chocolate is awesome too. If you want to see these products checkout our youtube channel as we have reviewed all of these in our videos. www.youtube.com/planetarynutritionnc
If you have any questions about Intermittent Fasting or Supplements for Intermittent Fasting please comment below and I'll do my best to help you!