I wrote last week about how I tend to use a Paleo based diet to help me remain within my calorie allowance for the week (whether that be calorie deficit or maintenance). Restricting certain foods is not for everyone – another way some people control their calorie intake is Intermittent Fasting (IM Fasting).
IM Fasting in a nut shell is only eating during an 8 hour window each day (e.g. 10 am-6 pm / 12-8 pm) and fasting the rest of the time (consuming only water and perhaps black coffee).
Now this naturally restricts your calorie intake each day because it’s hard to eat THAT many calories in only 8 hours. The plus side is you can eat relatively freely in terms of what you eat knowing that the time window will assist in preventing over eating.
Like Paleo, this is also not for everyone.
I tried it for a while and liked some things about it but ultimately struggled to stick to it- largely because I’m very active across two jobs most days of the week. This being said I do know some people who regularly use this as a tool.
For me the Pro’s were:
- Being able to eat all food types freely during the 8 hour window.
- Eating larger meals (I like big plates of food!).
Ultimately the Con’s outweighed this for me though:
- Having to teach at 7 am and then wait until mid morning to eat.
- My eating window closing and having to teach an evening class and then not eat afterwards.
- It takes planning – you need to have a good meal ready for when you break the fast. That’s hard in an office.
- I found that in actual fact I was creating a massive calorie deficit on many days because I didn’t want to eat as many calories as I needed in such a short space of time. FYI- A massive deficit is not ideal / sustainable over time and I need to be adequately fueled to do my job(s).
- It made social occasions difficult.
As I concluded last week. The fundamental characteristic of all fat loss methods is creating a calorie deficit. IM Fasting is another option which will assist in eating less than you burn if used correctly, although probably only genuinely suits a small proportion of people.