“If you want to lose weight, you just have to eat less.” — all annoying personal trainers on social media.
Why did we complicate everything about fitness? Fitness has become so lame on social media. This is why I love intermittent fasting and the casual fitness lifestyle.
Keep on reading for some quick wins if you’re new to intermittent fasting and want to transform your body (lose weight to finally have abs) without living in the kitchen and wasting your life away in the gym…
Self-proclaimed “fitness experts” are quick to lecture you on social media about how you need to work hard and eat less if you want to get abs. We’re told that we have to eat less and prepare all of our own meals. We’re supposed to be on a tight diet.
How do you eat less? What’s considered eating less? What are you supposed to eat? Can I still eat food that I enjoy? Am I okay if I order a medium pizza to myself instead of the usual Friday night large pizza?
I’m sure you’ve pondered one of those thoughts before.
We all know that eating kale is good for you and that you should spend hours in the gym if you want to see results. The problem is that most traditional fitness rules like that are nearly impossible to apply in real life.
You likely already know what you should be doing to get that six pack. These activities are on your ridiculously long to-do list (which is likely filled with things like yoga, meal prep, expressing gratitude, and trying to wake up at 5am).
I’m all about being realistic. If you actually knew what to do, you would’ve already done it. It’s fun to discuss hypothetical ideas and perfect world theories. I’m here to show you what works when you have a life and don’t want to dedicate your existence to living in the gym.
[You can check out my previous work on how to get jacked with one meal a day or proof that intermittent fasting works.]
Let’s look at the rules for intermittent fasting to lose weight…
I hate strict diet plans. I don’t like calorie counting.I don’t like to be told what I can’t do. I just follow a few rules for intermittent fasting to make this whole fitness journey more enjoyable.
Intermittent fasting rule #1: Replace breakfast with a black coffee.
Replace breakfast with coffee. Delay your first meal. Don’t stuff your face first thing in the morning. That’s all there is to it.
- Eat lunch at 12-1 after sleeping in.
- Eat dinner 6-8 hours later.
- Ensure that you’re satisfied with both meals.
- There’s your 6-8 hour eating window.
How simple is that? An 8 hour eating window isn’t that challenging.
You can add a splash of cream if it helps you get through it. You can also try espresso shots because they’re quick. Drink a glass of water to ensure that you’re hydrated.
Black coffee for breakfast after 8 hours of sleep will help you start the day off with a boost of energy. Bonus points if you can get some sunshine. You’ll also have more time for yourself.
Intermittent fasting rule #2: Stop stressing about what breaks a fast and what doesn’t break a fast.
“Does chewing gum break a fast?”
What? I don’t even know what to say to that question.
You can fine tune as you get closer to that dream physique. Focus on starting your days off by getting shit done. Water, sparkling water, and black coffee will help you get through the morning. When you’re ready to go from 6 pack to 8 pack we can apply the advanced tricks.
You don’t need any fancy gimmicks to get started tomorrow (or today depending on when you’re reading this).
Some people argue the rules for intermittent fasting to lose weight. The use labels like clean fasting and dirty fasting. I tend to disagree with those labels. Dirty fasts allow you to chew bubble gum and to drink bulletproof coffee as long as you’re cutting calories back. Clean fast requires you to be more strict.
Our goal will always be progress over perfection.
Intermittent fasting rule #3: After a rough day or weekend, fast and rest.
Did you screw up? Did you fall off your “diet?”
Try to see how long you can go on water. Let your body rest. Don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes. Try to recover by letting your body process the food.
You’re going to mess up. You don’t have to punish yourself. Treat yourself to the gift of nothing. Do nothing. No detoxes. No “fat burning” supplements.. Not fit tea. Nothing. Drink water and try to keep your mind occupied. Catch up on your sleep. It’s amazing how refreshed you can feel after a solid rest and fast.
Intermittent fasting rule #4: Focus on getting stronger with the main lifts if you want your body to grow/transform/change.
Changing your body is much simpler than you could ever imagine.
Sure, those exercises that you see on Instagram look cool, but the injury risk is high and you won’t always get the desired results. Jumping on a tire or swinging a hammer will get you a cool video clip. However, nothing will ever replace the compound lifts that have been around forever.
You don’t have to stop doing these group classes or routines. Just try to do it at the end of a weight lifting session if you have any energy left.
If you want real results get better at the following: overhead press, deadlifts, push ups, squats, bench, and pull-ups.
Use an app or a pen to track your main lifts. I want you to get stronger. Try to get in more reps or more weight with every session. Any basic barbell training program is enough. I don’t want you to jump on a bosu balls or to injure yourself.
I don’t want you to go program chasing. Just because a fitness magazine calls a workout “fat burning” it doesn’t make it so. Every workout technically burns calories.
Intermittent fasting rule #5: High fat and hight protein on rest days.
You can’t be afraid of eating fat. No, I’m not telling you to turn keto overnight. I want you to get comfortable with adding fats (avocados, bacon, cheese, etc.) to your life. I want you to see that you can survive on low-carbs if needed.
I naturally want you to save the carbs for cheat days (PIZZA) and for after an intense training session. You can reward yourself for a heavy session with carbs.
Intermittent fasting rule #6: High protein and carbs on training days.
This is where I indulge a little. After an intense training session, I don’t mind treating myself. I enjoy carbs after a solid lift. This is also how I justify pushing through those extra rounds on the mats and reps in the weight room. I know that a snack is coming. I know that I get to feast and not feel too guilty about it.
Intermittent fasting rule #7: This one is financial. Stop using useless supplements.
You don’t need BCAAs, fat burning supplements, or expensive organic butter for your coffee. This alone should save you about $200/month. You got your money back already from this free article.
Never buy a supplement that you don’t understand. The fitness industry is filled with fear mongering. You walk into any nutrition store and you’re hounded about supplements. I remember bringing my brother with me when he was like 13 and the store clerk had the nerve to promote powders and gimmicks to him. These people will try to push anything to anyone. You don’t need any of that.
The best things for you are rest, fasting, and eating well. Throw in some positive vibes and you’re living the good life.
Those are seven quick wins that you can go after in the next few days as you start your intermittent fasting journey and work towards abs.
Here’s my simplest formula for those looking to lose weight with intermittent fasting…
Focus on the main lifts while cutting out breakfast. Get stronger in the compound lifts. Keep it simple. Replace breakfast with coffee, water, sparkling water or a mix of all three. You’re not trying to compete on stage. You’re just looking to get more jacked without devoting your entire life to this stuff. Your body will change with weight training and fasting.
You won’t even feel restricted. You’re going to have more energy than ever. You finally have a plan that you can stick to because we’re all good at doing nothing. Let’s do this. Let’s do more of nothing.
The goal is to add more play to your life. You don’t want to live in the kitchen or feel like you have to spend hours on the treadmill. You don’t have to feel guilty over not wanting to eat chicken and rice every single day.
Those are the rules for intermittent fasting to lose weight. You don’t have to follow all of these rules religiously. This isn’t a cult. These are just the guidelines that will help you get lean by doing nothing.
Anita Gupta says
I have been doing intermittent fasting for the past 4 weeks or so. My first meal is at 2 pm and the last meal at 10:00.
I have two cups of coffee the next day at 8:30 am and 11:30 am. My cheat is: I put three tablespoons of milk and half teaspoon of sugar in my coffee. That little milk and sugar is impossible to give up FOR ME.
Is this the reason I’m not able to loose weight ?
Thanks for the comment Anita. Could you please give me some more information? Are you training? What are you eating in your window? Could you tighten your eating window?
Less is more. Less eating less stressing less fretting less hype less self blame. More water more rest more time . Thanks for a great article that a thousand IF books can’t seem to simplify.