How to Set Up Your Fast (Daily and Weekly Examples)
Episode #7 of the course The beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting by Theo Brenner-Roach
Hey, thanks for coming back.
Today, we look at how you can take what you’ve learned so far and implement it in a way that works with your lifestyle.
The first obvious choice to make is whether you’ll do daily fasting or weekly fasting.
Once this is done, it’s a matter of setting things up in the way that works best for you.
If you’re going to be using a daily fasting setup, then I strongly recommend you use the well-established 16:8 method.
Please note that below is just an example; the times are approximate and act more as a guideline of what could work, they’re not set in stone.
I have offered several workout slots; it’s up to you to choose whichever one works best for you.
This doesn’t mean that you have to work out at this time every day (although routine will help with adherence). I just wanted to demonstrate your full scope of options.
Ideally, you would aim to start fasting no later than 10pm the night before, so you can break your fast by 2pm at latest the next day.
6am — 8am — Work out*
If you choose to work out here in a fasted state, you want to take some BCAAs to help prevent the breakdown of muscle mass during and after your workout.
Post workout until 11am
You’ll still be fasting at this point, so you should not eat anything during this period. Instead, you can drink zero-calorie drinks like black tea and coffee or water (sparkling or still).
10am — 12am — Work out
Same as the early workout slot in terms of BCAAs, you’d also ideally time it to break your fast straight afterward.
12pm — 2pm
It’s during this period that you will break your fast. If you’ve worked out before, you want this to be a medium- to big-sized meal, being around 40–50% of your daily calorie intake. If you haven’t worked out yet, it can be smaller.
2pm — 3pm — Work out
If you’re working out now, then don’t worry about the BCAAs, as you will have already eaten your first meal.
3pm — 4pm
If you decide to work out mid-afternoon or just prefer to eat more regularly, then you can include a high-protein afternoon meal here.
7pm — 9pm
Dinner time: This meal usually consists of the rest of your daily calories.
8pm — 10pm — Work out
If your job or lifestyle mean you can’t work out until the evening, it’s no problem. Again, you don’t need to worry about BCAAs, as you will have eaten at least two meals prior to this point.
*Two hours is the size of the slot, not the length of your workout.
If you’re using weekly fasting, then your first step is decide if you’re going to fast for one or two 24-hour periods.
My advice would be to start with one if you’re new to fasting and move to two as you get comfortable with it.
Below is an example week including two days of fasting.
Monday. Fasting day. Many people like to fast on Mondays after the weekend. If Monday is a fast day, you would only drink zero-calorie drinks during the day and break your fast at dinner time with a normal-sized meal (don’t go crazy) that includes a mix of all macronutrients.
Tuesday. Feeding day. On feeding days, you’d aim to hit your calorie and macro goal like usual. I also recommend working out on non-fasting days.
Wednesday. Feeding day. Same as Tuesday, with the exception that you’d begin fasting after dinner in preparation of Thursday being a fasting day.
Thursday. Fasting day. Same as Monday. Fast during the day and then break your fast at dinner time.
Friday. Feeding day. Same as Tuesday.
Saturday. Feeding day. Same as Tuesday.
Sunday. Feeding day. With Monday being a fasting day, you would eat normally during the day, aiming to hit your calorie and macro goal like usual before starting your fast after you’ve had dinner.
There we have it, two full examples of how to set up your fast for both the daily and weekly protocols.
Tomorrow, we delve into if and how fasting might affect men and women differently.
Join me then.
Z-FAST: A Simple, Proven Intermittent Fasting Method by John Zehren
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