Welcome to Intermittent Fasting 101. This is a basic manual or setup guide that I personally use for intermittent fasting to lose fat.
Here is the extremely basic summary of how it works:
* On training days, eat 9 hours a day and fast the remaining 15.
* Days of rest or cardio, eat 6 hours a day and fast the remaining 18.
* Weight training 3 days a week
* Cardio 2-4 times a week
* Eat maintenance + 500 calories on weight training days
* Consume 50% of maintenance on other days
* Most of your carbohydrate intake occurs on weight training days.
Again, this plan is specific to fat loss. Plans for mass gain (bulking) and maintenance will be available soon. Now for the detailed explanation of:
How to Establish an Intermittent Fasting Diet to Lose Fat
Establishing eating / fasting times
The time of day you eat depends on whether you are lifting weights that day or not. On lifting days, your feeding window is 9 hours and on cardio or physical activity days, it is 6 hours. You should be able to weight train and cardio at the same time of day, as this will alter your schedule.
Feeding schedule for weight training days
The fast is interrupted with a pre-workout shake, 15-30 minutes before starting the workout, and lasts for 9 hours. For example, since I exercise at 1 pm. M., My eating period starts at 12:30 PM. M. And it lasts until 9:30 p.m. M. This can be inconvenient if you exercise at, say, 8pm, so I think lifting weights at lunchtime or in the morning works best.
Next, we’ll see how to set a schedule for days off or cardio days.
Meal times for days off or cardio
The fast is interrupted one hour after cardio is completed and lasts for 6 hours. In my case, I do cardio at 1pm, so my fast breaks at 3pm. It’s still 3pm on days off.
Since I train Monday / Wednesday / Friday, the big picture looks like this:
Monday: the fast ends at 12:30 pm and begins at 9:30 pm
Tuesday: the fast ends at 3:00 pm and begins at 9:00 pm
Wednesday: the fast ends at 12:30 pm and begins at 9:30 pm
Thursday: the fast ends at 3:00 pm and begins at 9:00 pm
Friday: the fast ends at 12:30 pm and begins at 9:30 pm
Saturday: the fast ends at 3:00 pm and begins at 9:00 pm
Sunday: the fast ends at 3:00 pm and begins at 9:00 pm
Determination of the amount of calories / macronutrients:
Now that you’ve set up your eating / fasting schedule, it’s time to find out how many calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein you’ll be consuming. I realize this may seem overwhelming at first, with all the math, but once you initially set your requirements, it is actually quite easy and routine.
Calories needed to lose fat
Caloric requirements depend on whether it is a weight training day or a cardio-only day.
To determine the calories required for fat loss, you must first determine the calories required for maintenance. The easiest way to get an estimate is to multiply your weight in pounds by 15. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, the total calories needed for maintenance would be 3,000 calories per day.
Calorie requirements for weight training days:
To determine calories on weight training days, take the maintenance calorie count and add 500 to it. So for our 200 pound person, they would eat 3,500 calories on weight lifting days.
Calorie requirements for rest or cardio days:
To determine the calories needed for rest or cardio days, simply divide your maintenance calories in half. So for rest or cardio days, our 200-pound person would be eating 1500 calories per day.
Now that your caloric needs for fat loss have been determined, it’s time to find out how much of each macronutrient you will need. The amounts will vary if you are training with weights that day or not.
(Be sure to remember that fat has 9 calories per gram, and protein and carbohydrates each have 4 calories per gram.)
Macronutrient breakdown for weight training days:
The maximum amount of fat consumed per day is 30 grams. It doesn’t matter where the fat comes from, as long as 10 of these grams are in the form of Omega-3 fish oil.
To determine the minimum amount of protein per day, multiply your weight by 1.25. Our 200 pound person will need a minimum of 250 g of protein to preserve muscle. The sources don’t really matter, just be sure to keep in mind that you don’t go over the fat limit. Chicken, very lean red meat, nonfat cheese, and protein powder (whey or casein) are great options.
Carbohydrates make up the remaining calories in your diet. Again, the sources don’t matter, just make sure you don’t exceed the 30g fat limit and want to keep the sugar under 100 grams. So in our sample person, you are getting 270 calories from fat and 1000 calories from protein. With your lifting day calorie goal of 3,500, that leaves you with 2,230 calories remaining for carbs. Divide 2230 by 4 for a maximum carb of ~ 558 grams.
Macronutrient breakdown for days without weight lifting or cardio:
As I mentioned earlier, the calories needed on days when you don’t weight train or do cardio are half of your maintenance calories. Here’s the macronutrient breakdown:
Again, the amount of fat has not changed since the training days. The maximum amount of fat consumed per day is 30 grams. It doesn’t matter where the fat comes from, as long as 10 of these grams are in the form of Omega-3 fish oil.
On rest days or cardio-only days, carbohydrate sources should only come from fibrous green vegetables and the trace amounts found in protein sources such as whey and cheese. The maximum amount per day should not exceed 20 grams.
The minimum amount of protein is your weight in pounds x 1.25. For our sample person requiring 1,500 calories per day, he would get 270 calories from fat, 80 calories from carbohydrates, and the remaining 1,150 calories from protein. That would equal ~ 287.5 grams.
Diet for weight training days
Weight training will be a 3 days a week full body routine. I personally use Monday through Wednesday and Friday, but the days are up to you, as long as there is a day off between workouts. Read on for my training recommendation.
On training days, the fast is interrupted with a whey protein / carbohydrate shake 15-30 minutes before training begins.
I suggest a mixture of simple carbohydrates and whey protein.
Protein = 0.25 g / lb x weight Carbohydrates = 0.25 g / lb x weight
Powdered Gatorade (not pre-made liquid form) or a maltodextrin / dextrose blend is my pre-workout carbohydrate of choice. Keep fat to a minimum here.
Within 30 minutes of your workout, have another shake, but this time, use a whey + casein / dextrose mix.
Protein = .25g / lb x weight Carbohydrates = .50g / lb x weight
The rest of the day
Your first solid meal of the day is 1 hour after your PWO shake. This will be the most important meal of the day. The rest of the meal times is up to you, but I recommend that you reduce your calories until the last meal. Remember, with intermittent fasting, you don’t need to eat every 2-3 hours. Just make sure you meet your calorie / macronutrient goals. However, I recommend a casein shake just before the feeding period is over. Since it is a slow digesting protein, it will help you stay full longer.
Diet for rest or cardio days
Since calories are greatly reduced on rest or cardio days, the eating window is shorter. Better to have 2-3 good size meals, rather than the 6-7 you read about in muscle magazines.
On cardio days, the fast is interrupted with a 50g protein shake 1 hour after completing the cardio. Two hours after the shake, have your first “real” meal and continue until the 6 hours have passed. As I mentioned earlier, carbohydrates are limited to 20 per day and should consist of fibrous and trace green vegetables in food.
Weight training routine with intermittent fasting diet
Weight training is a 3-day routine for the whole body. Again, the exact days don’t really matter, but make sure you have a day off between workouts. You will work only the large muscles (legs, back, chest) on days 1 and 2 and will add the smaller muscles to the arms. / calves) on day 3. You will do 4 sets of 6-8 reps for each large muscle and 2-3 sets of 8-12 for the smaller ones.
Here is a sample exercise routine:
Day 1: Push
Flat Bench Press / Shoulder Press / Leg Press / Weighted Crunches
Day 2: sweater
Rows / pull-ups / hamstring flex
Day 3: Push / Pull
Incline Bench Press / Row / Squat / Calf Raise / Side Raise / Barbell Curl / Tricep Curl / Side Raise / Back Extensions / Weighted Crunches
For maximum fat loss, cardio should be reduced 2-3 times per week. Start with a 5-minute warm-up and then begin with a 10-minute high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. This works best on an elliptical or spinning bike, rather than a treadmill. It will do this in 1 minute intervals. Peak intensity for 1 minute, followed by a moderate pace for 1 minute. Repeat until 10 minutes pass. After the HIIT session is over, drink some water and rest for 5 minutes. After your break, do 30 minutes of steady-state low-to-moderate intensity cardio. A treadmill works great for this. Don’t forget to wait an hour and take your 50g of protein.