Intermittent fasting (IF) involves using short, sustainable periods of fasting combined with shorter periods of eating to lose fat, gain muscle, balance hormones, increase productivity and basically live a longer, happier life. IF is quickly overtaking keto and paleo as the most popular new diet lifestyle on the planet — but here’s the thing: it’s been around forever.
The Test of Time: Try IF!
Unlike many types of diets we see today, IF in its many forms has been around for centuries, and it’s been used to increase well-being, manage illness, and yes, lose fat and build muscle. However, even with a hefty historical precedent, there are still a lot of questions about IF. Many of these questions arise not because IF is itself complicated — it’s insanely simple — but because some tenants of IF go against the widespread, hyped-up diet wisdom. But, as anyone who bought tickets to Fyre will will tell you, just because something is widespread and hyped up, doesn’t mean it’s going to deliver.
The results you’ll get from doing Sean’s Fast & Furious Challenge, however, are real. Featuring 20 days of HIIT workouts and a support ebook about IF (delicious recipes included), our beloved and bemuscled trainer has designed this challenge for everyone who wants to see lean muscle gains, without having to adhere to a restriction diet. That’s right, kids: while you should always aim to eat mostly whole, clean, healthy foods, there is nothing — and we mean nothing — you that is completely off the table when you IF. There are simply times when you cannot eat.
And this leads into our intermittent fasting frequently asked questions. If you’re sweating it out in Sean’s challenge or just curious about IF, read on. Here’s what you need to know about this dietary lifestyle.
Fast & Furiously Fit Intermittent Fasting FAQ
Q: How do I start the Fast & Furiously Fit Challenge?
A: Head to Sweatflix, friends! Once there, you can sign up for a free 30 day trial — no risk — and see why Sweatflix has the most incredible online library of workouts on the planet.
Once you’ve signed up, be sure to join the BodyRock Insiders Group on Facebook to get the support you need to crush all your fit goals. You can also follow Sean on Instagram (@bodyrocktvseanlight) for a daily hit of motivation.
Q: Do I need equipment to do the Fast & Furiously Fit Challenge?
A: Nope, but you’ll get better results if you do use equipment. The equipment used in the challenge includes the dumbbells, step riser, yoga mat, Booty Band bundle, Pink Thing, Mini Challengers and the sandbag. You can get it all for 20% off here in the Fast & Furiously Fit Bundle.
Q: Is there a deal or a coupon on the gear needed for the Fast & Furiously Fit Challenge?
Q: How long do I IF?
A: While some types of IF involve not eating for 24 hours, the most commonly used method is the 16:8 fast/feed, meaning fasting periods are around 16 hours long and eating windows are within a spread of 8 hours. Which exact hours you choose to fast and eat will depend on your lifestyle and personal preferences, but the majority of fasting is done while you are asleep.
Q: Is it okay to skip breakfast when I IF?
A: Absolutely. Your first meal of the day is important, but that first meal doesn’t have to be what we conventionally consider breakfast at what we conventionally call breakfast time. Studies show that you do not need to eat within the first hour or two of waking up to lose weight.
Just enough good clean fuel to support your body’s needs and your goals. Again, for more information on how much fuel your body needs and the best diet for IF, grab our ebook.
Q: Do I have to massively restrict my calories to IF?
A: No. You restrict when you eat not the amount you eat. You still need to get all your macros everyday from mostly healthy foods and not overeat, but IF is not a deprivation diet.
Q: Are there any foods I cannot eat when you IF?
A: No. You can eat wheat, dairy, red meat, and even small amounts of junk foods. The key is to make sure 80-90% of your diet is comprised of clean, whole, healthy food and that your are hitting your required macronutrient intake per day. If you don’t know what your macronutrient intake should be, read this for macro measuring made easy. If you’re really looking to get a solid understanding of how to practically (and deliciously) ensure you get your daily macros, get the Fast & Furiously Fit ebook.
Q: Can I IF if I’m being treated for a medical condition?
A: That depends. Check with your doctor. Some medical conditions have been shown to improve with IF; others are contraindicated all together, or at least without medical approval. These conditions include, but are not limited to:
- Those with gout
- Those taking medications
- Those with GERD
Q: Will I be hungry all the time if I IF?
A: Nope! You’re still eating everything you need to eat everyday: just in an 8 hour window. To learn more about how IF can actually help regulate your hormones and your hunger, read our ebook!
Q: Can I workout fasted?
A: Definitely! In fact, you’ll burn more fat if you do. Just be sure to schedule your workouts so you can eat within an hour or two of your workout.
Q: Do you lose muscle if you IF?
A: Nope! In fact, IF can increase human growth hormone by up to five times. In addition to further fueling the fat burning process, a higher level of human growth hormone will also support major muscle gains.
Q: Can I drink artificial sweetened/stevia sweetened drinks if I IF?
A: No. Studies are inconclusive as to whether these affect your blood sugar levels. For surest results, stick to water or black tea or coffee.
Q: Do I need to use a ‘snake juice’ (electrolyte beverage) when I IF?
A: No. You’re just fasting 16 hours. With proper hydration and proper nutrition during your feeding window, you will not need to balance electrolytes.
Q: Do I need to IF for 16 hours everyday?
A: No, you can still see results if you fast 5 or 6 days a week, or if you shorten your fasting window to 13 or 14 hours. Some experts suggest that women in particular may need to modify their fasting schedule and/or shorten their fasting windows by an hour or two. This said, many women have no problem fasting for the full 16 hours. Try to do it as much as you can and listen to your body!
Q: Can I fast for more than 16 hours a day?
A: you can even extend your fast to 17 or 18 hours now and then if you really want to max your fat burn for an hour or two longer, but it is nothing you have to do — certainly not regularly. And if you do extend your fast a bit, keep in mind you still need to consume all your macros for the day. If you don’t think you can pack in a day’s worth of nutrients in 6 hours, don’t do it.
Q: Can I IF if I’m pregnant or nursing?
A: No. Despite all the incredible benefits brought on by intermittent fasting, there are some people who should abstain from the practice as a lifestyle choice due to their more complex energy requirements and/or hormonal changes. These people include:
- Pregnant women
- Nursing women
- Women in early postpartum
Q: Can my child IF?
A: No, not unless recommended by your child’s doctor. Refer to the answer above.
Q: How soon should I eat after I workout?
A: If you have worked out in a fasted state, aim to eat within an hour or two. If you have worked out with food in your system, you have up to six hours to eat for optimal muscle recovery.
Q: My eating window closes before I workout, so I am not able to eat post-training. Is this okay?
A: It is always best to fuel your body with a high protein, moderate carb and low fat meal post resistance-based workout. If you want optimal lean muscle gains with intermittent fasting, you should aim to do this. However, not everyone will be able to with their schedule, so if you are not able to rearrange your feeding/fasting windows to accommodate eating after resistance training, don't sweat it. You will still burn fat. But you may not see the same lean muscle gains you would have otherwise. Unless you are training to be a fitness model, however, this may not bother you.