Intermittent fasting was one of the hottest trends in the health and fitness industry in 2018, but it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere, anytime soon. It’s something I still get frequently asked about from my clients and 28ers. So whether you’re looking to fast track your weight loss or kick those post-Christmas kilos and think intermittent fasting could be just the thing you need, let me clear the air to help you decide whether it will work for you.
What can I eat during fasting?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can’t technically eat during your fasting window. However, what you can have is tea, black coffee or bulletproof coffee – and plenty of water to keep those hunger pangs at bay. Adding MCT or coconut oil to tea is another way you can stay satiated without the caffeine hit.
What should I eat during my ‘eating’ window?
The challenge I see with those who are doing intermittent fasting is they are solely focused on when they eat, with total disregard for what they eat. Yes, intermittent fasting is about structure and fasting your body for periods of time. However, if we then eat crappy processed foods during our eating window we undo all the good work.
During your eating window, you still need to fit three wholefood and balanced meals into your day. These should pack a punch of protein, healthy fats and complex carbs. Remember – fasting is not about calorie restriction, but about shifting the time of your meals into a smaller window. This is an awesome way to cut out mindless snacking and help you get in touch with the body’s hunger signals.
Can I exercise while fasting?
It’s true that food is fuel but exercising on empty does come with its benefits. Fasted cardio can help boost your fat burning potential because the body is forced to burn alternative sources of energy to burn – so listen to your body, and if you have enough energy to smash your workout, then go for it.
What is the best type of IF?
When it comes to intermittent fasting, there really is no right or wrong. The beauty of it is its flexibility – so it’s all about finding your groove and what works for you and your schedule. For some, it’s the 16:8 method (fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8 hour window) or the 14:10 method (fasting for 14 hours and eating within a 10 hour window). But if you’re just getting started and dipping your toe in the IF pool, my tip is to start slow and work your way up. This means if you currently have breaky 7.00am, ease your way into it by extending your fast by one hour each week rather than jumping headfirst into a 16 hour fast.
Do I have to fast every day to see results?
As I previously mentioned, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to IF. You don’t have to turn your life upside down if you want to benefit from it – do it as much, or as little as you like! Never forget that fasting is an extreme process on the body. Don’t feel disappointed if you can’t commit to fasting every day, sometimes work commitments or dinners with friends get in the way – that’s just life.
At the end of the day, although I would never advocate that intermittent fasting is essential for weight loss there are certain things I really like about it. The beauty of it from a practical level is it provides us structure, it makes us much more aware of what and when we are eating and it stops us late night snacking – all great steps in the right direction to eating better and losing weight.
Read more stories like this: How to take a rest day like Sam Wood. Plus, Beat belly bloat overnight with these Sam Wood-approved tips.