Intermittent fasting may seem like the new craze, but this form of dieting has been around since the start of the human race. Whether it’s done consciously, or subconsciously, humans can utilize the power of fasting to unlock a vast array of health and fitness benefits.
Below we detail what those benefits are and the top 11 tips, revealed by Kinobody, for intermittent fasting.
Table of Contents
- What is Intermittent Fasting?
- 1. Drink plenty of water
- 2. Start the day with coffee
- 3. Drink some bone broth.
- 4. Push your meals to the afternoon.
- 5. Listen to your body during the eating window.
- 6. Eat filling foods.
- 7. Break your fast with a piece of fruit.
- 8. Ease into the eating window.
- 9. Break up your main meal.
- 10. Take BCAAs before a workout
- 11. Just go about your day.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
The simplicity behind intermittent fasting makes it easy for anyone to follow this diet plan. Unlike other diets which restrict what you eat, intermittent fasting only restricts when you can eat. That’s right, you can eat what you want because the key with this is to restrict when you eat.
Those following an intermittent fasting plan will set up daily feeding/fasting windows. Plan out 4-8 hours during the day and restrict all your eating to that time frame. The remaining 16-20 hours are spent in a fasted state, meaning no calories are to be consumed. During this fasting window you can, and should, ingest 0 cal fluids such as water though.
The benefits of following this eating schedule include (and are not limited to):
- Increased fat loss
- Muscle retention
- Mood stabilization
- Increase in energy
- Increased focus and mental clarity
Pairing intermittent fasting with a more traditional, restrictive on what you eat, diet plan only enhances everything fasting has to offer. If you wish to follow an intermittent fasting plan our friends at Kinobody have laid out very helpful hints to be successful.
Here are the top 11 tips for fasting and dieting.
1. Drink plenty of water
Until you get used to sipping on water throughout the day, set a timer for every 15-20 minutes to remind yourself to drink. This will not only keep you properly hydrated, but also keep fluids in your stomach so you don’t feel as hungry.
2. Start the day with coffee
The caffeine in your morning brew isn’t just great for focus and mental drive, caffeine is also known for its appetite suppressant effects. Stay focused and curb hunger by drinking a cup of coffee, make sure its black though. Adding in any creamers, MCT oils or sweeteners will break a fast.
3. Drink some bone broth.
Bone broth is very nutrient dense, is another appetite suppressant, and is wonderful for gut health. Broth does contain calories, so drink this close to your eating window to stave off hunger a little longer. Doing so can also prime the stomach and gut for the solid foods that will be coming soon.
4. Push your meals to the afternoon.
When first starting out, you will notice that your body is hungry. This goes away after a week or so when the body has had time to adjust, but at the beginning get used to pushing the meals as far into the afternoon as you can tolerate.
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It’s easier to keep the mind occupied during the day with work, school, or regular life activities than in the evenings when we are supposed to be with the family or working out. Eating later in the day also allows you to go to sleep full AND start you fast by sleeping through the first 7-9 hours.
5. Listen to your body during the eating window.
After the initial adjustment phase you may notice that you aren’t hungry even during your feeding window. This is because the body has increased fat mobilization and can use those stores for energy needs. Its OK to let calorie consumption lower a little while following intermittent fasting, just make sure you’re still getting some food in your system for the necessary nutrients.
6. Eat filling foods.
Condensing your eating to a 4-8 hour window means there’s another 16-20 hours left in the day where you won’t be eating. Fill up on satisfying foods while you can!
7. Break your fast with a piece of fruit.
A piece of fruit can contain 80-160 calories. Using this to break your fast (aside from the bone broth) can stifle the first pangs of hunger which are often a sign of glycogen (sugar) depletion. Replenishing your livers glycogen stores will allow you to “fast” for a few more hours.
8. Ease into the eating window.
Digesting food is a workout for your gut. Just like you wouldn’t hop under a 500-lb bar, don’t throw 500 calories at your gut to digest. Start with a small snack or bone broth to let your gut get warmed up and primed to handle a full meal.
9. Break up your main meal.
Break the meal up by macronutrient; have your protein, then 20-30 minutes later indulge with the carbs. This strategy keeps you full longer when you enter back into the fasting window.
10. Take BCAAs before a workout
Yes BCAAs contain calories, but the amount is insubstantial. So whether you train during the eating or during the fasting window, use this supplement to add in extra proteins for muscle retention and growth.
11. Just go about your day.
The body has an internal clock that rules hormones and natural bodily functions. One of those is hunger. If you are used to eating at 8am the body will signal hunger around 8am, but once the brain figures out food isn’t coming the hunger (and related hormone production) will subside.
Just going about your day, and not focusing on the subconscious signal, will help you get through this eb and flow until your internal clock readjusts to the new plan.
Intermittent fasting is a superb plan for mental clarity, longevity, muscle retention and even shredding fat as we detail in our Aggressive Fat Loss Program. It doesn’t take much to reap these benefits. Follow our tips on intermittent fasting and dieting and you will begin to experience results before you even thought possible.