One popular plan is to eat normally five days a week, let’s say Monday to Friday, and then decrease the calorie intake to about 25% of your typical cheat or feast day, around 500 to 800 calories on the remaining two days, Saturday and Sunday. This would save you from the agony of not eating anything on fasting days and makes the entire diet much more sustainable in the long term.
Another plan suggests that you go without eating anything for one or two 24-hour periods each week, regardless of which days you choose. A mini-fast method could be used if you want to ease into intermittent fasting, where you can only eat within an 8-hour period then fast for 16 hours in between, or simply fasting in the evenings by skipping dinner or eating in smaller amounts.
Consume quality calories
If your routine consists of simply eating less on certain days, make those calories count by coming from satiating foods that are also nutrient-dense, such as whole grains, vegetables, fiber-rich legumes, fish etc, meaning foods that have lots of nutrients relative to the calorie number they provide. You should also be drinking a lot of liquid, mostly water, in order to stay hydrated when you’re not consuming water-containing foods.
The thing to remember is that you will only strip off fat if you do not “abuse”, so to speak, you non-fasting periods to binge. Your new “normal diet” should be filled with whole foods, not junk food. However, intermittent fasting can be more forgiving than other diets, so no need to worry too much about the amount of calories you are consuming.
Patience is a virtue
Intermittent fasting is a process which your body can take a couple of weeks to adapt to. So, for any side effects that might come into play, such as uncontrollable hunger, brain fog, mood swings or bouts of low energy, keep in mind that these will decrease as time passes.
Fasting days will not be an excuse not to push yourself in the gym. On the contrary, research shows that short fasting periods might not get in the way of performance, and exercise itself can kill the appetite temporarily. But, common sense should prevail. If you’re getting a bit light-headed, you might want to reschedule the squat session for some other day.