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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Making Intermittent Fasting Work for You

By: Joel Luedke

Intermittent fasting (IF) has become a very good option for people when it comes to a diet (or a lifestyle choice).  There are many significant benefits to intermittent fasting and as more research keeps coming out it only looks to be getting better.  There are many adaptations to intermittent fasting that can be utilized and that is the goal of this article, to summarize some of the basics and

certain adaptations you can make to intermittent fasting based on your lifestyle.  This is not all inclusive, its not meant to be, but hopefully will help outline the benefits and ideas behind intermittent fasting.


The Basics
Why it works and Benefits:
The main goal of IF it to help control your blood sugar and insulin levels throughout the day and getting your body to work its energy use from your fat stores.  Having a fasting window of between 14-20 hours allows your body tow work into this state.  Utilizing fat and running off of ketones as your energy source can be highly beneficial not only for body composition but also your performance (for more look into Ketogenic diets)

Another big benefit to IF is the killing off of cells (autophagy) that are already working through that process.   Our body does this naturally by cleaning up toxins and damaged cells.  This can be a huge benefit, even though it doesn't sound appealing on the surface.  As cells mutate and slowly start dying naturally they are exposed to the potential changes and going down a dangerous path (potential long term disease).  Having the ability to make sure these cells continue to their inevitable demise is good in that it can help prevent some of these potentially dangerous diseases later on.

Now on to the how.

Intermittent Fasting Options
Straight Up Intermittent Fasting
There are several options in terms of how you can break down your fasting vs. feeding windows with intermittent fasting (IF).  The most common break down is a 16 hour fast followed by a 8 hour feeding window.  The most common times for this is eating between 12:00pm and 8:00pm and then starting your fast after your last meal.  You can take this further and extend your fasting window to whatever you'd like and can sustain whether it be 18-20 hours if you function well and can still get calorie requirements in during the feeding window.

Per Dr. Jim Stoppani's recommendation the more you can make your first meal as pure protein as you can the better results yielded moving into your feeding window.  Save your biggest meal for last in the night and try very hard to not snack or have any calories outside of your feeding window.

Athletes
This area gets a little tricky as athletes are going to need to be in a constant state of refueling and repairing.  IF might not be the best option especially if an athlete is looking to maintain and potentially increase body weight.  I would most likely recommend another 'diet' for them.  Anyway, if you would choose to go this route this is how I would go about it and tweak it.  Following both Dr. Stoppani's idea of your first meal being protein and stealing Tim Ferriss's idea of 30g of protein within 30 minutes of waking up (via Slow Carb Diet) this is what I'd suggest.

Cut your feeding window as early as you can at night, 6:00-7:00pm and then in the morning utilize an entirely protein meal as early as possible.  Think pure protein as much as possible with mild fat (eggs, bacon/sausage (turkey if able)).  Then try and push back the start of your feeding window to 2:00-3:00pm.  This will allow bouts of fasting and not a spike in insulin with that morning meal.  This should help out with fat loss but not losing the lean muscle mass you are working hard to keep and/or gain because of the repairing process and the access to protein in the morning.

Keto Adjusted IF
This has become my new personal go to and it is also based around the Bulletproof Diet.  I personally need something in the morning to be in my stomach or else my stomach reacts not well and hence I get "hangry".  In order to rectify that I go with the Bulletproof Style coffee and adding butter and MCT oil to the coffee.  This is enough energy and fulfillment for me that it keeps me going through the morning and does a good job or not breaking the 'fast' too much.  The fat is a
good energy source and does not spike your blood sugar as adding sugar, creamer or other typical breakfast foods would.  The whole goal of the fat in the morning is to stay into a mild state of 'ketosis' that you get from IF.

You follow the other aspects of IF but going high protein for lunch (me either a protein shake or steak and eggs).  The feeding window also remains the same but I save as many of the carbs as i can for dinner.  Helps with recovery and also gives you the good feeling of being full at the end of the day.


Intermittent Fasting can be a very solid way to lose and maintain weight.  You can still eat and have the food you want but it has to be within your feeding window.  This allows freedom of food choice but also the results.  It might be something worth giving a try and we hope this article was helpful in getting you started.


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