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Intermittent Fasting – a Hedonistic Approach to Dieting

By Jimmie Flores Subscribe to RSS | February 7th 2012 | Views:

Are you looking for an eating plan that’s easy to manage, allows you to eat in until your heart’s content, and has been proven to be an effective muscle burning and fat-loss plan? Intermittent fasting may be right for you.

Characterized by cycling periods of fasting and eating during the day, this plan goes against the current mainstream in the fitness industry. We’ve been told that the current nutritional fad of eating four-six small meals throughout the day is best for weight loss—and for some people it is an effective strategy. However, the myth that a higher meal frequency results in a faster metabolism has been debunked by several studies, as has the notion that satiety (level of fullness after eating) is increased with smaller meals.

For me, eating every two-three hours was becoming too much work—one of the major advantages of an intermittent fasting eating plan is the reduced amount of thought you have to put in to what you eat. It seemed like all I was thinking about was something healthy I could eat in such a small portion at the next mini-meal. Conversely, because most people prefer to eat three times per day in a shorter eating window on this type of plan, the preparation is much simpler than trying to plan four-six small snacks. This aspect of intermittent fasting makes it seem like, at least in my experience, that there’s more time in the day to get things done. As long as you don’t sit around and complain about not eating, this plan can help your productivity as well.

While there are different approaches to intermittent fasting, the program that I’ve been following lately is 16 hours of fasting followed by 8 hours of eating. How does this fit in with a fitness regimen? Studies show that fasted training results in a greater nutrient-uptake in the meal that breaks the fast. Consequently, if you make your largest and first meal of the day the meal that immediately follows your strength-training workout, you’ll have a greater chance of those nutrients being used to build muscle rather than be stored as fat. To aid this mechanism, calories and carbs should be tapered down throughout the meals during the day. So, your post-workout meal should be higher in calories and carbs than your remaining two meals.

Another thing to remember is that it’s recommended to consume a BCAA mix (I like Xtend by Scivation) before your workout to prevent muscle catabolism (the breaking down of muscle). My day ideally looks like this:

• Pre-workout: BCAA mix

• Workout: 1-2 pm

• Meal 1: 2 pm (Largest meal, 45-55% of daily calories)

• Meal 2: 6 pm (30-35% of daily calories)

• Meal 3: 10 pm (10-25% of daily calories)

On non-training days, the meal timing is the same. However, it’s encouraged to consume more calories from fats rather than carbs on the days where you don’t work out. Protein is kept high on all days, roughly 1 gram per pound of body weight.

If you have any questions about how I use intermittent fasting in my daily fitness regimen, feel free to leave a comment below. Look out for more NextPhase fitness advice!

You can stay connected with my fitness ideas by going here:

Jimmie Flores - About Author:
Dr. Jimmie Flores,PhD,PMP,ITIL,SSBB,SPHR,GPHR is a seasoned organizational development and continuous improvement professional with 20 years of experience. In 2006, he founded the Flores Consulting Group, a company based in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Flores is also an expert in project management, ITIL, Six Sigma, Entrepreneurship, and Sports Officiating. Please visit our website at

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