For years we have had the phrase ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ drummed in to our heads… But is it? I mean really, is it?
Well, after browsing a few websites this morning, I was bombarded with ‘facts’ that tell me that it is and I should never skip breakfast, yada, yada, yada! However for the last 6 weeks I have been applying the Intermittent Fasting diet and I want to share my results.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Officially, Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting (usually meaning consumption of water only) and non-fasting. A specific form of IF is alternate day fasting (ADF), which is a 48-hour routine typically composed of a 24-hour fast followed by a 24-hour non-fasting period.
However, there was no way that I was going to not eat for a whole day, that’s just too extreme, so after a little more research, and talking with some ex-army friends, I opted for the 16/8 process. Fast for 16 hours, eat for 8.
Now whilst this sounds easy, it’s a little tougher than I expected. Because I need my full dinner each day, I opted to fast until around midday each day and then start my 8 hour eating period from then until around 7 or 8pm.
However this does pose a dilemma for me personally: I often wake up hungry. I often take a fat burner as soon as I wake up. I often can’t really get in to ‘work-mode’ unless I’ve had a coffee with milk and sugar. As soon as I take a fat burner or drink coffee, I need to eat to counteract the ‘shakes’ that I get, so I had to remove both these products from my ‘get going’ routine in the mornings to enable me to stick to the diet.
I swapped the ‘kick’ of Coffee for a Green Tea in the morning.
Swapping out the caffeine in coffee with green tea really helped get me wide awake in the morning, and despite it’s nasty taste, I certainly reaped the cleansing benefits of green tea during this period too. (Some people believe Green Tea aids weight loss too… I’ll research this soon myself)
Anyway, the rest of the Intermittent Fasting diet is pretty simple.
- Eat 3 meals, make sure they are low carb, high protein meals, with plenty of greens.
- Don’t eat silly in the 8 hour eating window, you still need to be intake-aware.
- Don’t snack unless, they are healthy.
- If you want to bulk up, you can have BCAA’s mixed with water outside of the 8 hour eating window to prevent muscle loss during the fast period.
- Feel free to protein load through shakes during the 8 hour eating window only.
- Drink plenty of water, especially if you feel hungry outside of the eating window.
The results of Intermittent Fasting
I must say I’m pleasantly surprised, the fat loss I experienced was palpable, and fast. The only issue I had was that i felt ‘weak’ by midday which is awkward seeing as I usually train at midday, so I’ve moved my workouts to around 8pm now after I’ve eaten 3 full meals and digested. I sleep fantastically, and I’ve held all my muscle tone whilst looking noticeably more ripped in a few weeks.
Don’t cheat with this diet and you’ll really love the outcome. I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to keep it up through summer though! I like my wine and cheese a little too much!