You may have been wondering if you have what it takes to commit to intermittent fasting in order to gain all its potential benefits such as improved health and fitness. And I’m here to tell you that “yes you can!”. Once you have the willpower, it can be done! But you may also be wondering what you’d actually be able to eat to stay healthy and fit while sticking to your intermittent fasting routine.
It’s important to make your health a priority even if you’re raising young children and don’t think you have enough time. After all, you only have one life to live, so why not make healthy decisions every day? Eating right can help you to stay healthy and fit and provide you with the necessary energy to perform optimally each day.
16:8 Intermittent Fasting
I’ve already covered intermittent fasting in another one of my articles. You can check it out here.
Intermittent fasting can be a real game changer if done right and can prove to be a very convenient way of living. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is to eat in an eight-hour window as practiced under the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet. You will only eat for about eight hours of the day and then fast for the remainder of the day. Even though you may be limiting what you eat, you don’t have to limit flavor. This equates to eating smart and conscious and will not leave you feeling hungry all the time.
Most people generally plan their eight hours of feasting for between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Others feast between 12 noon and 8 p.m. Choose whichever time period works best for you.
During your 16-hour fasting period, you will limit yourself to black tea, coffee, or diet soda. Then, for the next eight hours, you can eat whatever you want. No calorie- or macro-counting is required. If you want to lose weight, you’ll want to make sure that your meals consist of a healthy balance of protein, fats, and carbs.
Below, we’ll take a look at what a typical day can look like for you.
If you are accustomed to eating a big breakfast, then skipping the traditional morning meal may seem difficult at first. But after a while you will realize that it is the most convenient way to commit to an eight hour only eating window. It’s also still okay to grab a cup of coffee in the morning to power your way through the day. If you need a little something extra in your coffee, you can add cream or a bit of butter or ghee. If you’re not a coffee person, then of course have tea instead.
You may think that you need breakfast for fuel, but you will find that coffee with butter or full-fat cream can sustain you, is delicious, and will not leave you feeling hungry.
Oh, and its super-important to get your day started with plenty of water and to drink water throughout the day. Your body needs water, so try not to skip this. Drinking lots of green tea and/or lots of lemon water can also be quite beneficial to you. Try to avoid sugary drinks!
By noon, you have probably worked out already and are ready to start your eight-hour eating window with a healthy meal. Notice I said healthy meal.
Having a post-workout shake as your first meal of the day is a great option. Your shake could include, for example, almond milk, dates, almond butter, MCT oil, maca powder, peanut butter collagen protein, half a frozen banana, and cinnamon. This not only tastes delicious but is also very satisfying. You will get protein from the nut butter, and all the oils that you need for brain fuel. Although the MCT oil and almond butter are super high in fat, they provide you with great energy.
If you do not feel like having a shake, then you can alternatively opt for a high-protein, high-fat salad with lots of flavorful toppings. Consider having a Cobb salad with bacon and chicken and cheese, with homemade dressing. You can complete this meal by adding plant-based foods such as cucumbers, carrots, avocado, and nuts.
You may not get hungry between meals and therefore won’t feel like snacking and stick to just eating two meals per day. But if you do feel like snacking, which is perfectly okay, then one of your best options would be nuts. Raw macadamia nuts, almonds, and walnuts are really good, but you may also want to have Brazilian nuts, especially for their anti-inflammatory properties.
If you’re on the move, then consider having an avocado with salad dressing or a matcha latte made with an organic, unsweetened almond milk or coconut cream and Primal Kitchen Matcha Collagen. You’ll find this to be really filling.
To ensure that you only eat within an eight-hour window, try to eat dinner no later than 8 p.m. A nice dinner option could be grilled salmon with vegetables and a big salad. You might enjoy your dinner more if its crunchy, flavorful and full of spices and herbs. Other protein choices include filet mignon, other fish, and even pork or shellfish.
Roasting carrots and onions or making zucchini pasta, asparagus, and baked sweet potatoes are also great complements.
Soup is an easy way to use up all extra ingredients left in your refrigerator. Using leftovers and blending up vegetables from the night before and adding them to broth can be quite tasteful.
Even though you may want to stick to a strict eating regimen, its also good to sometimes listen to your cravings. If you are occasionally craving pizza, go ahead and indulge yourself.
That also goes for drinks, too. Having a glass of red wine with dinner, or even a tequila on the rocks with an orange wedge can certainly spice up your evenings once in a while.
If you’re a dessert person and have a sweet tooth, then its best to stick to healthy dessert options such as fruits or dark chocolate as much as possible. If you have more of a salty, crunchy craving, then you may want to consider having something like a chia seed pudding which consists of almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and chia seeds, and takes only a few minutes to prepare.
Trying intermittent fasting is a personal choice, and you need to make this choice based on your own lifestyle and ability.
Intermittent Fasting is however not for everyone. People with diabetes, kidney disease, or certain metabolic disorders should probably avoid the diet because these conditions can alter their body’s balance, storage, and use of insulin and glucose, making the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet a possibly unsafe choice.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid the diet. They are eating for two would therefore be depriving themselves and the baby of essential food, nutrients, and much-needed energy when needed.
If you’ve been sitting on the fence and are interested in Intermittent Fasting and have no health issues, then I would highly recommend that you go ahead and give it a try.
This article has given a brief outline of what you can eat to stay healthy and fit while doing Intermittent Fasting. I hope you have enjoyed it. Please feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
To the very best you,