One of my favorite cereals as a kid was Frosties. Do you remember them? They’re like cornflakes but coated in a stupid amount of sugar.
I also remember the TV ads well – Tony the Tiger told us repeatedly that breakfast was the most important meal of the day!
My grandmother, who used to like shoveling food down us as kids, also used to use one of her favorite catchphrases “It’s the breakfast of champions” when she served us up a hearty plate of pancakes with the entire works.
It turns out that both Tony the Tiger and my beloved late grandmother were wrong, very wrong! The above beliefs about breakfast have become commonplace and undisputedly accepted as fact!
I even remember a dietician telling my wife after her first pregnancy “If you want to lose weight, it’s important to start your day off with a healthy breakfast! This way you’ll fire up that metabolism early on in the day!”
The dietician quickly followed with “And if you want to really accelerate your weight loss, eat six smaller meals continuously throughout the day to make sure you keep your metabolism fired up!”
With advice like that, it’s no wonder we’ve all been led to believe that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day when it comes to losing weight and reaching optimal health levels.
Now it’s time for me to set the record straight and honestly say with my hand on my heart that there’s way more to the story than what you’ve actually been told.
Did you know that there’s a great deal of research that states that skipping breakfast can help you reach your maximum human performance, improve both your mental and physical health, maximize muscle retention, and lose body fat at the same time?
I know – skipping a meal – God forbid, my grandmother would have a fit if she were still alive and understood that I was even thinking about such a thing, let alone writing about it in a book that will be read by thousands.
After six months of successfully following a ketogenic diet, I decided to throw intermittent fasting (IF) into the mix, and I’ve skipped breakfast ever since, and I certainly never plan to go back!
When combined, a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting are like a superpower, especially if you’ve been struggling with your weight for the majority of your adult life or if you’re at risk of developing or have diabetes.
The world of intermittent fasting is admittedly hard to navigate in the beginning. But if truth be told, it’s about knowing how to actually make it work for you and your lifestyle. It needs to depend on a number of factors, such as when you work, when you exercise, when you prepare meals for the rest of the family…you get my drift!
But while intermittent fasting is a huge boost to your weight loss and health goals, it’s also important to remember that it is just a piece of the puzzle or bigger picture, as it will only work really well when you eat healthily and become more active.
What The Hell Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting may have only recently gained coverage and more popularity in the keto, weight loss, and athletics communities, but it’s certainly not a new phenomenon!
In fact, it dates back to the early 1900s when it was used therapeutically to treat a variety of conditions that included obesity, diabetes, and epilepsy. In short, intermittent fasting has historically been a part of human life for many years.
Today, it’s used predominantly to boost weight loss and has been popularized by many celebs. As well as weight-loss, intermittent fasting also improves brain function and helps prevent some cancers (Klempel et al,. 2012).
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Through cutting out just one meal, even if your other two meals are slightly bigger portions than normal, you are consuming fewer calories in a week.
But this isn’t the full picture, because as I’ve stressed time and time again, not all calories are created equal, therefore it’s sometimes the timing of your meals that influence your body’s reactions.
Intermittent fasting can also give you that extra necessary boost, as your body works in a different way when you “feast” compared to when you “fast”. After you’ve eaten a meal, your body spends a couple of hours processing it and burning what it can for energy.
Depending on what you have eaten will depend on what type of energy your body taps into. If you’ve eaten carbs or sugar, your body will automatically hit that up for a boost of energy, as this is the body’s default source of energy.
However, if you’ve been following a low-carb high-fat diet like a ketogenic one, you will have depleted your glucose stores, which will then force your body to tap into another source of energy, your fat.
During a fasting period, your body also won’t have much glucose to rely on for energy. Again, your body will then turn to your fat stores for fuel. Essentially, you burn fat, and in short, you will also lose it.
It’s a similar story when you work out during a fasted state. Because you don’t have that ready supply of glycogen or glucose to tap into you’re ultimately forcing your body to adapt and take energy from its only available source, i.e. that fat that has been stored in your cells.
Did you know that you could also lose weight during your sleep while intermittent fasting? I know, amazing, right? While you sleep, your glycogen, which is the starch stored in your liver and muscles, is depleted. It’s exhausted even more when you train in a fasted state, which will also improve your insulin sensitivity.
What does this mean?
When you’ve worked out and then eat to break your fast, the food will be stored more efficiently. During this time, the food that you’ve eaten will be used up in a few different ways. It will either be converted into glycogen or stored in your muscles or alternatively, it’ll be immediately burned off for energy to facilitate the recovery process.
If you compare the above to a “normal” day (i.e. a day without doing any intermittent fasting) and you have normal insulin sensitivity levels, all the carbs and food you eat will likely result in full glycogen stores and glucose in the bloodstream, which also means that it’s more likely that it will all get stored as fat.
If you’re still not convinced, the following may be enough to sway you. During a fasted state (which includes the time when you sleep and the time after a period of fasting) the growth hormone increases.
And when you combine this growth hormone with your lower insulin production and better insulin sensitivity, you’re pretty much readying your body for some amazing results when it comes to fat loss, muscle growth, and muscle definition.
For those of you who want a trimmed down non-scientific version, intermittent fasting trains your body to use the food you eat a lot more efficiently. As a result, you’ll teach it to burn fat for fuel when you rob it from calories.
The 16/8 Protocol
The numbers say it all. You fast for 16 hours and then consume your daily calories within a set 8-hour window.
Most people choose simple hours to eat, such as from noon to 8 PM; this way your fasting state is through the night while you sleep and you skip breakfast, which when you think about it, it isn’t that hard, especially since breakfast is typically on the go for most people these days.
Other people, who are slightly stricter with their fasting, may choose to eat during a shorter window of time, say 6 or 4 hours.
If you’re the type of person that feels hungry in the morning and enjoys eating breakfast, this method of eating may take some getting used to. But, if you are a regular breakfast skipper, you’re most likely instinctively fasting like this without even realizing it.
Throughout your fast, drink lots of water and black coffee or tea. This will not only help you remain hydrated, but it will also help reduce any hunger pangs that you might experience while fasting.
Just because you’ve got a window to eat in and you’ve fasted a great part of the day, it doesn’t give you a license to eat whatever the hell you want during your feeding time.
It’s absolutely essential to consume a sensible amount of healthy food during that window because if you eat junk or too many calories, fasting for weight loss will all be in vain.
This is the way I fast. I think it’s the most natural way to go about intermittent fasting, as it’s pretty much effortless.
Because I stick to a ketogenic diet and barely consume carbs, my appetite is somewhat suppressed. Usually, I don’t feel that hungry until around 1ish in the afternoon, so that’s when I’ll begin my eating window.
I typically make my last meal of the day between 6-9 in the evening, which means that I can end up fasting from anywhere between 16 and 19 hours on a daily basis.
16/8 Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan (Keto Diet)
Follow the recipes below and add two snacks each day from the list at the bottom!
- Breakfast – Fruity Crème Fraiche
- Lunch – Beef Patties with Creamy Mustard Sauce
- Dinner – Sticky Sesame Beef
- Breakfast – All day Breakfast
- Lunch – Cucumber with Tuna Boats
- Dinner – Steak and Eggs with Seared Tomatoes
- Breakfast – Whipped Coconut Cream with Fresh Berries
- Lunch – Sausage Frittata
- Dinner – Omelet with Pesto and Feta Cheese
- Breakfast – Creamy Coffee Shake
- Lunch – Spicy Bacon and Brussels
- Dinner – Sweet & Spicy Chicken with Shrimp
- Raspberry Lemon Popsicles
- Jalapeno Popper Balls
- Maple Pecan Bars
- Corndog Muffins
- Buckeye Cookies
- Microwave Brownies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
You may or may not be surprised to learn that since I’ve incorporated intermittent fasting into my daily eating habits I’ve managed to not only drop weight but also increase my muscle mass as well.
I’ve also managed to increase my explosiveness when it comes to training, and a few months back I even set a personal best for running, which given my age and my previous sporting achievements when I was younger is pretty damn amazing if I say so myself!
I still work out on a regular basis, mainly because I love it, but I’ve also been able to cut down on my training time and still maintain my results.
In other words, I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I once was, I’m also leaner, and I’m much more explosive despite going to the gym as much and eating less.
More importantly, I’ve also been able to rid myself of that pre-diabetic label that was looming over me.
Ready to start your Keto Diet?
If you’re still unsure about how to eat, what to eat or what to avoid, don’t worry you’re not alone! There is a little-known diet system called The 28-Day Keto Challenge which will teach you everything you need to know and guide you through your first month. Getting that in check will increase your metabolism and allow you to shed weight and shed it fast.
Women who have followed The 28-Day Keto Challenge reported losing up to 21 pounds and 2-4 inches from their waist in just a matter of 4 weeks—the methods in The 28-Day Keto Challenge are all backed by science.
Check out this video on The 28-Day Keto Challenge now to learn more about how to follow the diet—and lose weight and improve your life in 28 days.