Intro To Intermittent Fasting (Part 3 of 3)
YAY! We have made it to the third and final post in the Intro to Intermittent Fasting series.
Just a quick recap....
In part one we looked at some of the common problems people run into with Intermittent Fasting (https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/blogs/news/intro-to-intermittent-fasting-part-1-of-3)
There was also a download to help you get started. If you haven't downloaded the guide simply enter your name and email address below and I will send it to you now.
In part two, I shared a bit about my personal journey with Intermittent Fasting and why I feel it is superior to carb cycling, cutting carbs or high protein/high fat diets. I also shared some of the scientifically proven benefits of Intermittent Fasting. If you haven't had a chance to read that you can check it out here (https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/blogs/news/intro-to-intermittent-fasting-part-2-of-3)
In part three, I want to run through exactly what you need to do to get started and see successful weight loss and health benefits.
So let's jump in, so you can get started with Intermittent Fasting and seeing positive physical and energy changes.
Picking Your Window
This really is the crux of Intermittent Fasting. Picking a specific period of time (roughly) that you will fast for each day.
Try not to overthink your window.
If you have an erratic schedule, an event pops up, or your just plain starving one day... don't stress, just do your best.
This is just a guide to help you stay consistent 80-90% of the time.
Think about what you can realistically do and what your work/life/family schedule involves.
16:8 is a pretty easy place to start. You may like to try 18:6, 20:4, 22:2 or OMAD down the track.
Just to give you a bit of piece of mind, at a minimum I do 16:8, then on other days where an event pops up I may do 20:4 - like when I was in the UK for work at the end of last year. We were eating out a lot and even though I was choosing relatively healthy foods most of the time, it is easy to overeat when you are having convenience foods (hidden fats and oils) so I cut my window right back so I was only having roughly two meals per day.
You can change, you aren't 'locked in'. 16:8 is my standard every day window, but sometimes I will go longer. (*Note - not now that I am pregnant)
If picking a window seems overwhelming, or confusing or you don't know where to start or what would work best for you, then it could be worth getting a personalised Intermittent Fasting plan. I will take all of the guessing out of it for you and work out your personal Intermittent Fasting strategy so that you can stop guessing, and start seeing changes (https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/products/personalised-intermittent-fasting-meal-plan).
Working Out Your Calories / Macros
After you work out your eating window, you need a rough idea of how many calories you are going to eat. As I said before, Intermittent Fasting is not an excuse to over eat during your eating window. If you eat a lot of processed foods and convenience foods, you won't see the results you are after.
In maintenance, shortening your window can help counteract the need for eating more convenience foods (like I did in the UK), but if you want to see dramatic changes, get consistent progress, and get the energy and mental clarity benefits of Intermittent Fasting, then you need to still eat sensibly.
If counting calories / macros isn't for you, then you can eat WFPB with lots of veggies, fruit, legumes, beans and still see progress and physical changes.
But if you are looking to get really lean and toned, and that super fit physique has always alluded you, then it is time to get serious and do something different.
You won't get the same results doing what you have always done.
It is hard work getting in stage shape, but even if you harness 60-70% of that discipline you can end up with a fit, toned, lean, bikini body.
Knowing your calories and macros, knowing how to interpret them so you can get the results you want - that's what can be the difference between you still needing to lose that last 5kg, and finally achieving and maintaining your fit, toned body long term.
So how do you calculate them?
In this Live Q & A I ran through my rough guideline as a place to help you get started with calculating your calories.
Macros can be a little trickier depending on if you are currently training (or not) and what kind of results you are specifically looking for. But a rough 'healthy living & active' macro guide is 60% carbs, 25% protein, 15% fat.
If working all of this out feels overwhelming, or that you are afraid to get it all wrong and stuff it up... then I can do it for you. You can have a 100% personally designed Intermittent Fasting meal plan to cater for your needs check out - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/products/personalised-intermittent-fasting-meal-plan.
Work out When You Will Workout
Some people don't like the idea of training in their fasting window. I understand their concern.
If you aren't eating sufficient calories in a twenty four hour period, your body will use muscle for fuel.
But if you are eating enough calories, and have a micronutrient rich diet, training in your fasting window shouldn't be scary.
*Note if you have low blood pressure, diabetes, high blood pressure or other medical conditions that may prohibit exercise while fasted, please discuss with your Dr.
The only people who I have seen struggle training fasted are those that simply aren't eating enough, full stop. They are people who think under 1200 calories is the 'gold standard' for fat loss.
So should you train in the morning fasted, train in the morning after eating, train in the evening after eating, eat after you train in the evening?
It really comes down to what your goals are, and what your lifestyle is like.
A 'DONE' workout is always the first priority. So where in your day does training fit best? That is always the biggest part of the problem to solve first. No point stressing about eating around a workout if you're always missing them.
Then depending on your goals, you can work out the rest. Plus, as you get into a routine and create new habits and your energy increases, you can always add in more or change it around.
But it's important to do what you can when you are first getting started.
Make it as EASY for yourself as possible. Set yourself up for success from the beginning. Yes it may still feel a little tough, but not so overwhelming that you are at breaking point after day 2.
I have always, where possible, preferred a fasted walk in the morning as a minimum.
So if that's what you do to ease yourself into your new lifestyle, then that's great! You can always add more later.
And if you need help with working out your Intermittent Fasting meal plan and planning that around your exercise, and giving you a personalised exercise plan based on your goals, I can do that for you too - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/products/personalised-intermittent-fasting-meal-plan-exercise-plan-1
You have your eating window
You know your calorie and macro requirements
You have planned out your exercise
Now it's time to just get started! Do your shop, do some meal prep, write down your goals, and to do list for the week and get underway.
Maybe even keep a journal for the first few weeks of your new lifestyle change so you can notice any patterns, things you need to tweak or change, or sticking points for yourself so you can adjust.
A healthy lifestyle is always evolving in response to your current needs, wants, and requirements.
I think this is where a lot of people go wrong. They go on a 'diet' and create a strict set of rules that they follow and they forget that it's okay to change things slightly depending on whats going on.
That's why it is important to be self aware and self analyse.
You know when you do something you shouldn't. You get those pangs of guilt when you eat that vego chocolate bar, or whole tub of PB & Cookies Ben & Jerrys when it isn't time for your free meal. You know that you shouldn't have done it.
So you can be self aware and analyse why you chose to do it, even though it wasn't in line with your goals.
This doesn't mean beating yourself up, calling yourself 'fat' or a 'failure'. This means practicing compassion, realising we all make mistakes and looking at the triggers and reasons why you did it.
Where you unprepared? Was it that time of the month? What was the trigger?
Then once you have explored what happened you can problem solve some ideas to help stop you in the future.
Could you make sure you have some cashews in your handbag so you don't get to the point where you are starving? Could you make sure you have some meals you prepped in the freezer so you don't have to dread getting home to cook when you are exhausted? Could you have changed your evening routine and brushed your teeth earlier so you didn't feel like eating any more for the night?
Going through this process may seem like a lot, but this is how you learn more about yourself and how you conquer bad habits.
Again, if you need extra help with this, I am here for you.
My private coaching programs have daily check ins and food reviews so I can help you keep on top of your nutrition, and stay accountable and on track with your nutrition and exercise. Helping you work out and solve bad habits quickly and effortlessly so you can see finally see results.
I have a four week option - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/products/private-coaching-4-weeks
And an eight week option - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/products/personalised-intermittent-fasting-meal-plan-exercise-plan
Bonus - Other Things To Consider
When you want to lose weight, it is important to also consider
- stress levels
A lot of us are already operating from a place of high stress. So doing a high intensity workout may not be the best option for us.
Stress means your body will be producing excess cortisol, and your body will be constantly in 'fight or flight' mode. For most females, this is not conductive with losing unwanted body fat.
Stress can come from lifestyle, diet, exercise, family pressures, financial pressures, work pressures, social media pressures, and it can compound very quickly.
So taking some of the handbrakes off when it comes to stress and putting in some stress minimisation tools into your day, could be a big key in finally getting those final few kilos off.
Doing a two to five minute breathing or meditation exercise once per day, could really help you see some major progress.
It has been revealed that people who are sleep deprived eat more calories (I think it was like over 400 per day more, on average) than someone who is getting adequate sleep.
400 calories per day is a lot, that's 2,800 extra calories per week.
I know that getting a good night's sleep is easier said than done for a lot of people... but a few minor tweaks can help maximise your sleep returns. Could you go to bed an hour earlier instead of sitting up and watching that show you just 'have to watch'. Could you do your workout in the evening, or at lunch so you don't have to get up so early? Could you meal prep on the weekend so you have less time prepping dinners during the week, so you can eat earlier, relax earlier and go to bed earlier?
A good guideline for sleep is between seven to nine hours, which includes deep REM sleep.
Again, think critically about your lifestyle. Where can you make some changes so you can become a better, healthier, happier, fitter version of yourself.
Wow, this has been a monster post hey!
I hope you have found some really good value in it, and you are now ready to take some action.
Remember - nothing changes unless you do
If you are tired of doing the same thing over and over, never really breaking free of your current situation or getting to your goal.... maybe it's time to try something different.
Create a plan of attack for yourself, get some clarity and then put it into action. Then each week review what worked, what didn't and keep moving forward, staying consistent and you will get results.
If you need help getting a plan of attack, are feeling overwhelmed about where to start, want help with a proven shortcut to results then I am here to help.
Until Sunday the 8th of July at 11:59pm to celebrate the conclusion of Intro to Intermittent Fasting week I am doing 20% off all of my Intermittent Fasting meal plans & coaching.
Use the code - GETSTARTED at the checkout to claim your discount.
The 28 Day Vegan Shred - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/products/28-day-vegan-shred-diy-program
Personalised Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/products/personalised-intermittent-fasting-meal-plan
Personalised Intermittent Fasting Meal & Exercise Plan - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/products/personalised-intermittent-fasting-meal-plan-exercise-plan-1
Private Coaching (4 weeks) - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/products/private-coaching-4-weeks
Private Coaching (8 weeks) - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/products/personalised-intermittent-fasting-meal-plan-exercise-plan
I hope you have enjoyed these hints, tips and now feel empowered to start your Intermittent Fasting journey.
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