The whole New Year New Me epidemic has kicked off today. It’s great to see everyone take an interest in their health and fitness but it’s all too easy to get caught up in it all and feel a little lost in the sea of information out there.
Maybe it’s dry January
Maybe it’s no junk food for the month
Or maybe you might try fasting because you have read about it or heard of someone who tried fasting and got some decent results from it.
Fasting is great and there are loads of different variations but the most common one you have probably heard of is Intermittent Fasting.
Before we go into detail about what IF is, let me explain that it does not have magical fat loss powers or effects.
With IF you are basically giving yourself a time window in which to eat your food. Instead of eating as soon as you wake pop and right up until you go to bed, you have an 8 hour window in which til eat your daily calories.
If your goal is fat loss then you NEED to make sure you are eating in a calorie deficit. It doesn’t matter if you are doing Intermittent Fasting or not, if you are not in a calorie deficit you will not lose weight.
The most common time frame for IF is 12 pm-8 pm. You eat your first meal at 12 pm and you stop eating at 8 pm that night.
Now, it doesn’t have to be 12-8 pm. It can be any 8-hour window you like. What I will say is make sure you pick a time that will suit your life and schedule. There are no magic powers to 12-8 pm.
So rather than eat breakfast at say 7 am, you push it back to 12 pm or whenever you decide to start eating. Remember, if your goal is fat loss you need to be eating in a calorie deficit. You just have 8 hours to get your food in.
A wee side note with fasting, it is important that you do not consume any calories before your first mealtime. That includes calories from fluids too. Adding a splash of milk to tea or coffee is fine but stay away from lattes and such likes.
Giving your stomach 16 hours to empty and digest food and work its way through stored energy (body fat) can really help you to reach your goals faster. I tried it for an 8 weeks period and noticed a huge difference, especially in my stomach as I was less bloated.
I do like Intermittent Fasting as one of many tools to help you with your health and fitness journey. I use it form time to time as I like to eat a big dinner so having pushed my meals back, it means come dinner time I have a good amount of calories to play about with and this helps me to feel in control and not feel I have to deprive myself of anything.
Can be a good tool to use for the weekends too. Maybe you push your first mealtime back to 1 pm. Means when you go out, you have calories to use for any food or alcohol you might be having at dinner and not have to pass up on anything.
I also like it because I don't feel like I am on a diet when following this approach. I feel more in control of things. The first couple of days are the toughest mentally. I tend to eat in the morning out of habit whether I am hungry or not.
I found myself 'wasting' calories in the morning when I didn't really need them. Now, those calories just get pushed back until 12 pm and I can have a bigger lunch or add in some chocolate or something after because the calories have been saved from the morning.
You can get creative with Intermittent Fasting and make it fit your lifestyle. I like the 12-8 pm approach at the weekends, especially when in a calorie deficit. The trick is to keep yourself busy to keep your mind off food haha!
Not to bash on but remember, if your goal is fat loss, the most important thing is overall calorie intake and being in a deficit. The method in which you get there is up to you but make sure you are within your daily calorie allowance.