Short background story
Before I found out about Intermittent Fasting a little over a year ago, I always was kind of chubby. I wasn’t fat, but I wasn’t thin also.
I always sucked my stomach in when I was topless, and I felt ashamed because of my body.
I tried a lot of diets like low carb (don’t you ever mention „low carb“ in front of me. I hate it. so much.) or eating „clean“ 24/7.
But the scheme was always the same: I did it for a week or so (if it went well), then I cheated. Then I cheated more. And before you know it, you eat your third ben&jerrys after a big pizza.
And the worst part was that every time a cheated I felt so bad and my self-esteem went down.
But then, I found out about Intermittent Fasting
(from two of my biggest idols – the one is Greg O’Gallagher a.k.a. Kinobody
and the other one is Brandon Carter
– Thanks, Greg and Brandon!) and everything changed.
That’s Brandon and me at the renegade Summit in London.
The core concept of Intermittent Fasting:
You fast for at least 16 hours, and you eat within a time window of 8 hours, you usually fast until lunch.
That’s basically it. You’re welcome! Thanks for reading. I changed your life, give me your money now.
Just kidding. But you can still give me your money if you want to lol.
So – completely for free – here’s how you can incorporate Intermittent Fasting into your life to maintain a successful diet and reach your goals (whether you just want to lose a few pounds or get a killer-sixpack):
Some basic nutrition rules & concepts before we start (You can skip this if you are intermediate or advanced)
I’ll make this short, so I don’t bore you: Food consists mainly of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and some other stuff).
We get our energy through macronutrients. Every piece of food consists of a combination of those three. The ratio of these should be about 25% protein, 25% fat and 50% carbs. (Actually, that also depends on different factors and is a pretty complex science but let’s just leave it at that).
The energy these „macros“ give us is measured in calories.
So we need food/calories to survive. But how much do we need every day?
That depends on a lot of factors like weight, height, sex, daily activity, etc.
It’s called caloric requirement.
So let’s say your requirement is 2000 kcal. If you eat 1800 kcal consistently every day, you lose weight.
If you eat 2200 kcal a day, you will gain weight (fat and – if you train and eat enough protein and carbs – also some muscle).
You can calculate your optimal caloric intake here
To count or not to count?
So how do you know how many calories you should consume? Simple (but not easy): You measure everything you eat. While this isn’t necessarily needed if you just want to lose some pounds, this might be the right tool for your arsenal if you want a six pack and haven’t counted calories ever before. With some great apps out there (recommendation below) counting calories is easier than it was ever before.
But the important part is this: You don’t have to do this for the rest of your life. In fact, it could be enough to count calories for no more than three months.
Right now, I rarely use my tracking app anymore. I roughly estimate it. That’s all that’s needed when you are not competing.
But how is this even slightly accurate? I have reference experience. For six month straight, I counted everything I ate. Well, at least I tried. Sure, if you go to a restaurant and eat some fancy dinner, you don’t know what’s in it and how many calories this deliciousness contains. But that’s what reference experience is all about.
Because I know how much calories some other favorite foods of mine have, I can estimate it pretty accurate.
Right now, I just think in „modules“. At the moment, I try to eat 1600 calories a day (there’s already a buffer in it if I eat 1800 I’m still losing weight).
So for meals, I have 600 kcal variations, 800 kcal variations, and 1000 kcal versions. For snacks, there are 50 kcal snacks, 100 kcal snacks, and 200 kcal snacks. (These caloric values are all rounded, you don’t have to be that accurate)
And now I do the math every day. But I’m completely flexible.
I skip breakfast (more on this later), so I can eat all those delicious stuff and still lose weight.
For example, for lunch, I would have my favorite subway sandwich (800 kcal), so I have 800 more to go. Now, if I get hungry again in the afternoon, I can eat some waffles or a vanilla pudding (200kcal), now I still have 600 kcal to work with and can have chicken with rice, veggies, and soy sauce for dinner.
Or on another day, I know I go to a restaurant with some friends on the evening. I know I want to eat my favorite pizza or a burger with bacon (1000-1200 kcal). So I try to fast a little longer and eat my self-made chili con carne (600kcal) for lunch.
See how this works? Simple, easy and delicious.
For counting calories, I recommend the app MyFitnessPal
. It’s the best I found so far.
If you are interested in this, I will make some additional posts about how my module system works and also show you some of my favorite recipes.
But for now, let’s get to the actual guide on how to do Intermittent Fasting.
Rule #1: Skip breakfast
„What? Skip breakfast? But I read in this fitness magazine that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you should always eat a big breakfast.“
It’s about what you eat, not when you eat. There are very view cases when it matters when you eat. And eating a big breakfast is definitely not going to help you with losing weight.
And if you eat enough calories in general, you will have energy, even in the morning when you’re in a fasted state. You can eat delicious foods for lunch and dinner if you skip breakfast.
For the first one or two weeks, skipping breakfast might be hard, especially if you are used to eating a big meal in the morning. But you get used to it pretty fast. Tip #2 will help you suppress hunger until it’s feeding time.
Rule #2: Drinking & snacks
If it’s difficult for you not to eat breakfast you can start slow. Try not to eat until 11 am at first. Drink lots of water in the meantime. A lot of people like sparkling water because it suppresses hunger better, but I like still water more. Just try out what works best for you!
If you need an extra boost, drink coffee (black) or green tea. It’s the best hunger suppressor out there.
Also, if I’m not at home, I always have an „emergency banana“ with me. If I really can’t hold it anymore, I eat a banana (apple, orange,…). That helps me to fast for another one or two hours.
Rule #3: Don’t think about it
The emergency banana also helps a lot with the psychological aspects. I remember the first time I went out of the house without any food in my stomach. That sounds weird, but I was kind of nervous. I constantly waited for the moment when I was going to be hungry and couldn’t think of something else. I was afraid that I would starve because I have nothing to eat for the next few hours.
The key is to not think about it. You ate no breakfast. It’s no big deal. Your body can survive up to 40 days without food (if you drink enough). Right now I’m even training fasted. It works perfectly for me. (Some don’t like to train fasted, you have to try it for yourself)
Remember to drink enough water and just relax. You’re not gonna die.
Rule #4: Eat BIG
If you’re someone who can’t eat big portions at once, maybe Intermittent Fasting is not for you. But if you’re like me and you can eat a dessert after you ate half of the pizza of your girlfriend after you ate your own goddamn pizza, Intermittent Fasting is your perfect fit.
In order to get enough nutrients, you have to eat a lot when you eat. (As you might have guessed, that’s my favorite part of IF)
Rule #5: Don’t forget the micronutrients
While you can totally loose weight with eating pizza and burgers all day long, it’s not beneficial for your health in the long run. You can definitely eat pizza, burgers, chocolate and other delicious stuff every day, but you shouldn’t forget to mix in some veggies. It’s important that you eat enough fruits and vegetables in order for you to get enough vitamins and minerals. Find your own balance.
So, that’s it, guys. Follow these rules, and I can guarantee you that you will lose weight while still eating your favorite foods in the meantime.
You have questions about the topic or want to tell me your own experiences? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂