My fasting and meal plans differ each day depending on my routine.
I always try to break it up and not continuously do the same thing every day. This is the ultimate turnkey factor if you want to change your physique and health continuously. We must remember that anyone can get into a very comfortable and rigid routine, which places us in a susceptible place for a plateau. So do change it up every day, never allowing your body to become accustomed in any way.
How I fast
My fasting usually starts at about lunchtime (12) or 9 am if I want to go into a 20-hour fast. It all depends on when I start work – so I can ensure I get a proper breakfast. I’m usually really hungry by this time because I’ve exercised in a fasted state, with only a cup of black coffee, some BCAA and lots of water. Now, I never usually feel hungry when lifting weights – so a good tip for you is to exercise anyway, as it’s a great distractor just before a meal.
Fasting times vary between 20–17 and 12 on a Friday so that I can leave enough time for a fuel-up day. Everyone needs at least one fuel-up day, especially if you are extremely active during the week. Ensure you are eating enough – especially protein if you are lifting weights. Preparing for main events is on another level, and you will need to seek advice from your coach if this is the case.
To summarise, as I’ve said quite a lot between the lines, here is a breakdown of my fasting routine:
20-hour fasts: Last meal at 9 am – eat again at 5 am the next day
18 hours fast: Last meal at 11 am – eat again at 5 am
17-hour fasts: Last meal at midnight – eat again at 5 am
15-hour fasts: Last meal at 1 pm – eat again at 5 am
12-hour fasts: Last meal at 5 pm – eat again at 5 am
Because I’ve been doing this for so long, sometimes I do 20 hours back to back as a bit of a cleanse for my gut. Just be mindful of this strategy, as it can wear you out if you are stressed or exercise intensely. Listen to your body and let it guide you. I also eat at 5 am because of work -and I like to sit down and have my first meal in a relaxed state. It can cause digestion issues if I eat fast (as I’m usually really hungry!).
You can do the opposite, finish your last meal in the evening, and not eat again until lunchtime. I’ve done this before, and my body clock doesn’t sit very well with this, and it’s been unsuccessful for me. Therefore, I recommend you align your fasting and eating times with your body clock, work and family life to make it easy. No one would stick to a difficult plan, so make it as easy for yourself as possible.
I hope this has given you a different perspective on fasting. I believe in using your body clock to determine your feeding and fasting times. We are all different and must listen to our bodies more, working with them, not against them.