I have been doing this for about a year now & it has revolutionized my health & well-being. Not to mention I have been able to attain & maintain a very low body fat % (5-8%) while packing on muscle. I have introduced my dad to intermittent fasting, & he has literally reversed his type 2 diabetes (which has plagued him for 10 years) in just 3 weeks.
Here’s what I do. I wake up pretty early, around 6-7 AM. I wake up & immediately sit up on my bed & meditate anywhere from 15-45 minutes. This is a crucial ritual that has helped me in so many ways but it particularly helps with adjusting to fasting. While fasting, your body will be in fight or flight mode, thus beginning your day with meditation activates the parasympathetic nervous system & mitigates that stress. Then, I get up and move around. I usually mobilize my major joints (neck, shoulders, hips, ankles). Sometimes, I’ll do push ups or some sort of calisthenic workout to get the blood flowing. Around 8 AM I’ll make some Brazilian coffee (Pilao), which is strong AF! I put a dash of turmeric & cinnamon in my black coffee, that’s it. Remember, no calories. Turmeric & cinnamon have positive effects on blood sugar, digestion & inflammation. This black coffee concoction is great for suppressing my appetite, giving me a boost of energy & mobilizing fat to be used for energy. Never surpass 2 cups & drink slowly. Coffee can actually do more harm than good when fasting if you drink too much or too quickly. (Article on coffee coming soon). Around 10 AM, once I feel the coffee’s full effect & I feel like my body is completely empty, it’s workout time. So, recently I have been trying to build more muscle & my workouts have been a little slower & more focused on form & contraction. However, if you’re trying to boost fat loss & get as shredded as you can, HIIT is your best bet. (Article on fasted workouts coming soon).
It’s 12 PM, & I’m starting to get hungry. But, I now love this feeling of emptiness. I feel light, sharp & renewed from the inside out. We have been conditioned to think that if our stomach is empty, we have no energy or fuel to function. This is preposterous. Our body obtains energy from a plethora of sources such as the sun, breathing deeply & fully, exercise, concentration & fasting. When your body is not using energy to digest & process food constantly, it’s capable of directing that energy to other beneficial processes. So are you. When you aren’t constantly worried about eating or preparing your food, you can just keep being productive. Your cognition is actually enhanced since your brain much prefers ketones (fat) as fuel vs. glucose (what it’s used to).
Come 2-3 PM, I’ll eat my first meal. I like to break my fast with a meal high in fat & protein. Why? Because I like to keep my body’s metabolism shifted to using fat as fuel as long as possible. I am not too anal about maintaining ketosis, but I can certainly feel the metabolic shift when it occurs. So, I’ll typically eat something like 4 eggs, some kind of meat, & a little kimchi. Make sure your first meal is satiating but not too filling. Your stomach shrinks when you fast, so if you eat too big a meal, you will feel like your stomach is going to pop for about 3 hours which is really shitty, trust me I know.
After I eat my first meal, I give my body some down time. I usually recline & read or watch something, or take a short nap. Depending on how hard my workout was or how hungry I am, I may choose to snack throughout the day (listen to your body, don’t starve… this is your eating window). I’ll snack on just about anything, but if you are trying to get as shredded & healthy as possible, as fast as possible, keep it to fruits & nuts.
At 8-10 PM I’ll typically eat my last meal. This meal has more carbs. I like eating more carbs at night because it helps me sleep. Carbohydrates allow tryptophan to enter the brain, which is a precursor to melatonin (the sleep hormone). Make sure this meal is filling & you feel full. Not too full. It will take some time for you to get in tune with your body to feel exactly how much food it needs. And that’s it! I don’t eat any less than normal, I just squeeze my eating into a 6-8 hour window.
As of now, I am very flexible with my eating schedule; I wont stick to a strict 2-10 PM eating window, for example. Now that I have been doing this for a while, I can afford to push my fasts longer or shorten them according to how my body feels.
Starting off. If you’re anything like I was, I loved breakfast. So, making this adjustment is tough. I used to eat as soon as I woke up. So, try going 12 hours at first; if you eat your last meal at 9 PM, wait until 9 AM to eat. Then gradually increase that fasting window by an hour every 3 weeks.
I hope you try this, it will change your life. Please reach out if you have any questions. Much love.