Welcome to Intermittent Fasting 101. This is an introduction or guide to the setup that I personally use for intermittent fasting for fat loss.
Here is the extremely basic summary of how it works:
* On training days, eat 9 hours a day and fast the remaining 15.
* On days off or cardio, eat 6 hours a day and fast the remaining 18.
* Weight training 3 days a week
* Cardio 2-4 times per week
* Eat maintenance + 500 calories on weight training days
* Eat 50% of maintenance on other days
*Most carbohydrate intake is on weight training days
Once again, this plan is specific to fat loss. Plans for bulking and maintenance are coming soon. Now for the detailed explanation of:
How to set up an intermittent fasting diet to lose fat
Establishment of meal/fasting times
The time of day you eat depends on whether or not you are lifting weights that day. On weightlifting days, your eating window is 9 hours and on off or cardio days, it’s 6 hours. You will need to be able to do weight training and cardio at the same time of day, as this will disrupt your schedule.
Feeding Schedule for Weight Training Days
The fast is broken with a pre-workout shake 15-30 minutes before the start of the workout and lasts 9 hours. For example, since I train at 1 pm, my eating window starts at 12:30 pm and lasts until 9:30 pm This can be inconvenient if you train at, say, 8:00 pm, so I think lifting weights at lunchtime or in the morning works best.
Next, we will see how to set up a schedule for days off or cardio days.
Meal times for days off or cardio
The fast is broken one hour after completing the cardio exercise and lasts 6 hours. In my case, I do cardio at 1pm, so my fast is broken at 3pm. It’s still 3pm on days off.
Since I train on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, the big picture looks like this:
Monday: the fast ends at 12:30 p.m. and begins at 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday: the fast ends at 3:00 p.m. and begins at 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday: the fast ends at 12:30 p.m. and begins at 9:30 p.m.
Thursday: the fast ends at 3:00 p.m. and begins at 9:00 p.m.
Friday: the fast ends at 12:30 pm and begins at 9:30 pm
Saturday: the fast ends at 3:00 p.m. and begins at 9:00 p.m.
Sunday: the fast ends at 3:00 p.m. and begins at 9:00 p.m.
Determination of calories/amounts of macronutrients:
Now that you’ve set up your eating/fasting schedule, it’s time to determine how many calories, fat, carbs, 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’s really quite easy and routine.
Calories needed for fat loss
Calorie requirements depend on whether it is a weight training day or an off day or cardio only.
To determine the calories needed for fat loss, you must first determine the calories needed 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, your 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 be eating 3,500 calories on weight-lifting days.
Caloric requirements for days off or cardio:
To determine your calorie needs for rest or cardio days, simply divide your maintenance calories in half. So for cardio or off days, our 200 pound person would be eating 1500 calories per day.
Now that your caloric requirements for fat loss have been determined, it’s time to figure out how much of each macronutrient you’ll need. The amounts will vary depending on whether or not you are weight training that day.
(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 200lb person will need a minimum of 250g 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, fat-free cheese, and protein powder (whey or casein) are great choices.
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 sugar under 100 grams. So in our sample person, you get 270 calories from fat and 1000 calories from protein. With the calorie goal on lifting days of 3,500, that leaves you with 2,230 calories remaining for carbs. Divide 2,230 by 4 and you’ll get a maximum carb count of ~558 grams.
Macronutrient breakdown for days without weightlifting or cardio:
As I mentioned earlier, the calories needed for days you don’t weight train or do cardio are half of your maintenance calories. Here is the macronutrient breakdown:
Once again, the amount of fat does not change with respect to 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 trace amounts found in your 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 who requires 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 equate to ~287.5 grams.
Diet for Weight Training Days
Weight training will be a full body routine 3 days a week. I personally use Monday-Wednesday-Friday, but the days are up to you, as long as there is a day off between workouts. Read on for my exercise recommendation.
On training days, the fast is broken with a whey protein/carb shake 15-30 minutes before training begins.
I suggest a mix of simple carbs and whey protein.
Protein = 0.25 g/lb x weight Carbs = 0.25 g/lb x weight
Gatorade powder (not the pre-made liquid form) or a maltodextrin/dextrose mix is my preferred pre-workout carb. Keep the fat to a minimum here.
Within 30 minutes of your workout, you have another shake, but this time, use a whey + casein/dextrose blend.
Protein = 0.25 g/lb x weight Carbs = 0.50 g/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 biggest meal of the day. The remaining meal times are up to you, but I recommend that you cut your calories until your last meal. Remember, with intermittent fasting, you don’t need to eat every 2-3 hours. Just be sure to meet your calorie/macronutrient goals. However, I recommend a casein shake just before the feeding period ends. Since it is a slow-digesting protein, it will help keep you full for longer.
Diet for rest days or cardio
Since calories are greatly reduced on cardio or off days, the eating window is shorter. It works best to have 2-3 good sized meals instead of the 6-7 you read about in bodybuilding magazines.
On cardio days, the fast is broken with a 50g protein shake 1 hour after cardio is completed. Two hours after the shake, have your first “real” meal and continue until the 6 hours are up. As I mentioned earlier, carbohydrates are limited to 20 per day and should consist of fibrous green vegetables and minimal amounts in food.
intermittent fasting diet weight training routine
Weight training is a 3 day full body workout. 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 add the smaller muscles of 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
Day 3: push/pull
Incline Bench Press / Rows / Squats / Calf Raises / Lateral Raises / Barbell Curls / Triceps Push / Lateral Raises / Back Extensions / Weighted Crunches
For maximum fat loss, cardio should be reduced to 2-3 times per week. Start with a 5-minute warm-up, and then start with 10 minutes of high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. This works best on an elliptical or spinning bike, rather than a treadmill. You will do it in 1 minute intervals. Maximum intensity for 1 minute, followed by a moderate pace for 1 minute. Repeat until 10 minutes have passed. After the HIIT session is over, drink some water and rest for 5 minutes. After your break, do 30 minutes of low to moderate intensity, steady cardio. A treadmill works great for this. Don’t forget to wait an hour and have your 50g of protein.