I'm sure many people interested in diet, fitness and exercise have heard about fasting diets.
The principle is simple; you have a window in which you consume your daily caloric intake to keep you on track with your goals.
Recently I did my second trip to the United States. Last year, I tried to stick to my usual diet plan of eating every 2-3 hours. However, I found that I lost weight and put on a fair bit of chub!
Essentially I had some ‘muscle wastage’ which I can only put down to not getting in the gym regularly and my diet. Although I was eating regularly I wasn't eating the correct things. I was binge eating or snacking on the treats of the states. So this year I went in with a plan of attack. I again wanted to relax somewhat on my diet and enjoy the menus of Florida's eateries. So I decided to opt for intermittent fasting.
My PT James Chester has used a fasting diet for most of 2017 and has had amazing results in bringing through muscle definition and even creating fuller muscles. Given the knowledge of fasting diets from previous diets I had done in the past, I thought this would be the best plan for my return visit to the states.
What Did it Look Like?
I'd wake at 9 am and drink A LOT of water.
Do some light cardio (walking) and get my day started, I would break my fast at about 12.
Following that, I’d go to the gym and then eat again at 4.
My final meal would be around 7 pm.
...that's it, no more food until the following day.
My caloric goal for the day was 3000; which in the United States was fairly easy to do!
3 big meals and plenty of water, in simple terms.
Suffice to say although I was not there for two weeks; I did see a noticeable improvement in my physique.
In fact, upon my return to England, many people were asking me if I had put on size whilst been out in the states. This, however, wasn't true. I'd lost 3lbs. But what had happened was the traditional body builder’s illusion. I'd brought my waist in making my lats more prominent and the muscle belly in my shoulders, chest, arms & legs had all gotten fuller.
Intermittent fasting isn't something I would recommend doing all the time, although it has worked well for my PT, so I understand why I people do it year long.
It's all personal on what works best for you, I got to enjoy eating at my favourite places in Orlando such as The Coop and Burgerfi; without it being tragic on my overall look.
I loved my time on the states and enjoyed it every bit more that I managed to stay on track with my fitness and appearance goals. There's no reason why your holiday means that you have to give in on your dedication.
A few tweaks can allow you breathing space on your diet and still stay on track, something which is key for long success.
I find that it’s also great for general weight loss too, it makes the whole process of eating easier and as you have less time to eat (providing you don’t just eat junk) you end up eating fewer overall calories each day!
Photo credit: Black Rhino Studios