As a man over you might be wondering if intermittent fasting is the best way to lose fat or if it’s just a gimmick.
Let me tell you from experience that intermittent fasting not only works fantastically for losing fat, but it fits into your lifestyle perfectly.
My experience, a brief history
In my twenties I used to eat 4-5 small meals per day, chug down protein shakes and workout in the gym 5 times per week.
Although I made some progress, I was burned out all the time and always felt stressed with all the meals I had to prepare and all the workouts I had to arrange.
It felt like an endless chore, having to cook and prepare all these meals, I even felt like I couldn’t eat out with family and felt guilty if I eat anything that wasn’t on my “diet.”
When I first discovered abbreviated training which is the best weight training for natural men over 40, I was getting such good results by cutting back on my weight training to only 2-3 times per week, that I wondered if I could overhaul my nutrition regime as well.
There is so much misinformation in the fitness industry it’s truly unbelievable.
Conventional training methods will over train you and eating the typical “bodybuilder” way will ensure you’re a slave to your nutrition regime.
To get a lean strong body it doesn’t need to be that way.
Enter intermittent fasting
I first discovered intermittent fasting in a “Hard gainer” magazine and was first introduced to it by reading about the “warrior diet.”
It turns out our ancestors never used to eat in traditional western patterns i.e., breakfast, lunch, and tea.
They figured that eating in the morning would slow them down, for hunting and decrease their concentration. Instead, they hunted in the day and prepared big feasts to eat at night, to replenish their bodies and aid relaxation.
They never used to worry about going overboard with calories because they wouldn’t be eating all day, but bigger meals at night made it extremely difficult to exceed their daily totals.
Instead, they would fast during the day and eat during the evening. And it turns out this is essentially what the body wants.
Eating bigger meals less often aids digestion and has a much better hormonal response in the body.
These warriors were big, strong, and powerful. They had plenty of muscle and didn’t even think about “catabolism” or muscle wastage if they weren’t eating every few hours.
They never used to obsess about their training or diet and had plenty of muscle and low levels of body fat! This was the foundation of the warrior diet and when I tried intermittent fasting for myself, I was blown away!
It does take some getting used to, but once your body adjusts it’s well worth the effort.
I found it easier to make muscle and strength gains, my concentration level was improved, I felt better, and I was less stressed because I didn’t have to prepare all those meals and carry them round in Tupperware containers.
As it turns out intermittent fasting is in my opinion better for building muscle and losing fat because when you haven’t eaten for a long period of time, the big influx of calories you get will cause a big hormonal response.
Testosterone and growth hormone increases tenfold, and it triggers the sympathetic nervous system. This is exactly the type of environment we want to create as men over 40.
On the other hand, when you are eating little and often you are triggering insulin to be released into the system and are more likely to eat too many calories and store body fat.
I was able to ditch the protein shakes and found I made better gains without them.
The bottom line for leaning down and losing fat
To lose fat, you need to be in a caloric deficit i.e., eating less calories each day than your BMR calories (the number of calories you need to maintain weight).
To do that you don’t want to eat too few calories as that will make it harder to lose fat as your body thinks a famine is around the corner and tends to hold onto fat.
Approximately 500 calories per day less than your BMR calories is a good rule of thumb. So, to lose 1 pound of fat by the end of next week, you would need to eat 500 calories per day less than your BMR calories (3500 calories deficit in total).
It doesn’t matter whether you spread those calories out into 2,3, 5 or even 6 meals, what does matter is hitting your calorie totals & sticking with the plan.
Intermittent fasting makes it easier to stick with as when you’re not eating a big breakfast, you’re offsetting calories and creating a huge buffer of food that can be eaten later in the day.
There are other benefits too, such as:
Improved hormonal function
Easy to fit into your lifestyle
When I switched to intermittent fasting, I didn’t see any muscle loss or experience catabolism.
Our bodies are much smarter than that.
If you couple intermittent fasting with resistance training 3 times per week as outlined in my popular course, Ripped Abs Over 40 you will get tremendous results.
The most important things to remember when losing fat is:
Find a diet that keeps you feeling full & easy to stick with
Strength train to preserve & build muscle so that weight loss is primarily fat
Weight loss mistakes
A mistake I see men over 40 make when trying to get lean is doing endless amounts of cardio.
While cardio has its benefits, too much will make you look stringy and soft as it strips away lean muscle and lowers your metabolism.
Always look to strength training first for your fat loss program, to build and preserve lean muscle.
If you just go on a diet, you will lose weight, but I guarantee it won’t all be fat, some of that will be muscle.
Losing muscle is the worst thing that can happen as we get older because the more muscle we have, the more calories our bodies will burn (even while at rest).
When implementing intermittent fasting ensure you’re getting adequate protein, adequate carbs, and adequate fats.
All macronutrients are needed for the body to function optimally, a balance is needed.
If you go too low on carbs, your training will suffer and if you go too high on protein you won’t be able to eat as many carbs. If you cut out fat, your testosterone level will suffer.
Intermittent fasting will keep you feeling full whilst dropping fat, that’s the beauty of it. It’s also very easy to structure into your day.
If you want a complete course for dropping fat, check out my course, HERE.