Heard about Intermittent Fasting (IF) but unsure where to start? I’ve been doing IF for over a year now and get SO many questions about it, so I’ve shared my personal experience and why I love IF so much below!
LITTLE BACKGROUND ON ME
Years ago when I first started my fitness journey I was an intuitive eater, which meant I ate as I saw fit. I would eat mostly ‘clean foods’ and had rules in place for my daily eating. I would eat 5-6 meals per day, include protein in every meal, consume carbs around my workouts, and have majority of my fats at night. For my first WBFF prep in 2015, I didn’t follow flexible dieting at all. I followed a strict meal plan my coach gave me and followed it to a TEE! At this time I’d tried tracking, but would find myself getting obsessive and losing my sense of self. I found I was no longer listening to my body about whether I was hungry or full. I did whatever I had to do to reach my macros every day, no matter what! Numbers have always played with my mind a little and still to this day I RARELY weigh myself. I feel the numbers on the scale demotivates me so I never do it. I prefer to use photos to track my progress! Pretty simple, if something doesn’t make you feel great and there are other methods that do, why continue doing it? I ALWAYS promote following things you enjoy. In a nutshell, numbers didn’t work best with me so I steered away!
After my first WBFF Worlds Comp in 2016 (this was the hardest i’ve ever dieted in my life) I really felt the back-lash post show. I wanted to eat everything! Intuitive what? I had completely lost my sense of self and my portion control did not exist! I still training hard but indulged ALOT. This resulted in me gaining 6kg, which was massive for me!
The weight didn’t affect me so much as I was still working hard during this ‘bulking stage’. What did affect me was the feeling of losing control of my hunger. Straight after my meal I would still feel starving. This led to me giving into temptations so easily!
I prepped for my second WBFF Worlds in 2017, which I found really tough. I had a lot of extra fat to move, which meant a lot of hard work! This prep was so challenging as I still felt all the above feelings and mentally had to be so disciplined! I still wasn’t as lean as I would have liked, but was super happy with the physique I created. It was after this show that I decided to start intermittent fasting!
I’ve listed the most common question + answers I get about IF below:
1️⃣DO YOU USE IF AS A WEIGHT LOSS TOOL?
IF isn’t a secret tool to lose weight. It’s a way of eating. I personally have an 8 hour eating window (I consume all my daily calories during this time). For the remaining 16 hours in the day, I fast. My standard day is having my first meal at 10.30am, and last meal at 6.30pm. A lot of people use IF to reduce their eating window, which in turn reduces their calories, which in turn created a deficit, which means they lose weight. Not me! I have used IF in a deficit, at maintenance and in a surplus. I still track my macros when using IF. You can still overeat in an 8 hour window…
2️⃣WHY DO YOU USE IF?
I use IF because it has given me back my sense of self and control over my hunger levels! I personally prefer to eat 3-4 bigger meals a day! After each meal I feel FULL and SATISFIED! My DIGESTION AND BLOATING is SO much better! After eating, it takes our bodies 6-8 hours to digest our food. When I was eating my first meal at 4am (running bootcamps) and my last at about 8-9pm, my body was constantly working on digesting food, leaving no time for my body to rest and repair (cells). I love the thought of allowing my cells time to repair! There is a lot more I could say about why I love IF, but to get to the point I love IF because I am most COMPLIANT to my nutrition when doing it! This is the answer! Find something you are most consistent with! Consistent daily actions = results!!
3️⃣DO I TELL MY CLIENTS TO USE IF?
No. It’s not one size fits all and I encourage my clients to do what BEST suits their lifestyle. The truth is, IF isn’t best for everyone, some people hate fasting, some people can’t work it into their lifestyle. Do what best suits you and what you are most compliant with!
4️⃣DON’T DOS FROM ME
- Never continue to fast post workout (this is a extremely important meal)
- Don’t fast longer than 14-16 hours
- If you are looking to gain weight/muscle fast maybe IF isn’t for you!
- If you want to do it, RESEARCH it!
- Take breaks from fasting
- If your starving, break your fast early
- Don’t obsess! If you have an event that goes into your fast, live it up. Life goes on!
This is all MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and I am now a girl who eats when I feel hungry and stops eating when I’m full! I had 4 pieces of dark chocolate last night and said no to dessert because I didn’t like it (the old me would be so proud). I use flexible dieting without obsessing. I break my fast early if I’m starving. I look at food as FUEL, no longer as a reward or something I need to demolish because I feel restricted! I’m in control of my nutrition and have a healthy relationship with eating!
The truth is I have trialled MANY different ways and it has taken me a long time to find what works for me. I’ve spent a lot of time reversing my maintenance up so I can eat more and stay reasonably lean! Just know that finding what works best for you isn’t easy to anyone, but keep at it and you’ll find that happy place.
If you’re looking for some guidance with your nutrition and would like to try my methods, take a look at my new 4 Week Challenge! This is my final program for the year! I cater for all dietary preferences (Vegan, Vegetarian, Seafood Free, Gluten Free etc) and would love to help you create a healthy relationship with food!