Here’s the brutal truth about intermittent fasting for weight loss: there are too many people that think it is the be all end all solution to weight loss when in fact it is just a simple dieting strategy.
And of course… all these fat loss “experts” are telling people: just fast, don’t eat for this many hours, and you’ll lose weight.
I wish it would be that easy.
Today I’m going to show you how I lost 19.8 pounds in just 8 weeks using a technique I’ve been tweaking for the last 4 years. Not only that but I also went down to around 6% bodyfat.
And I was able to drop all these pounds despite working full-time, getting out on weekends with my friends, and traveling through my country. All with the help of my new method.
How I Used My Flexible Intermittent Fasting Technique To Make My Weight Loss A Breeze
In the last four years, I’ve tried all kinds of intermittent fasting (IF) strategies, but the one I’m showing you today was the easiest to implement with the biggest benefits in terms of weight loss:
In my opinion, normal fasting still places some rigidity or rules on your lifestyle. When I first started using IF, I had to eat at 12:00 PM. I had to stop eating at 20:00 PM. It demanded fixed hours, but my lifestyle wasn’t based on fixed events.
But after executing the “Flexible Intermittent Fasting Technique”, my fat loss improved by a lot. Here are the results:
A total of 19.8 pounds in 8 weeks:
- I did no cardio (aside from walking, and traveling)
- I only trained 2-3 times per week with high intensity for about 35-60 minutes per session
- I ate big and satisfying meals
- I occasionally also drank on weekends
- I travelled
- I enjoyed life
- It fits my lifestyle
For some people, 19.8 pounds in this amount of time may sound slow. Yes, it’s not something out of ordinary like most ads you can see over the internet with outrageous claims like 30 pounds in 30 days.
But I know I did it naturally, without starving or weird diets.
The best part?
You can use it too no matter the age or how you currently look, and what you want to achieve. It works just fine for fat loss or muscle building.
Introducing A Better Kind Of Fasting: Flexible Intermittent Fasting (FIF)
My preferred intermittent fasting for weight loss approach is IIFYL which means If It Fits Your Lifestyle.
A few years ago, I was working as a real estate agent.
I had a chaotic working schedule, and I didn’t know exactly at what time I would get home every day. I could have gotten home from work between 16:00 PM to 21:00 PM.
From all the intermittent fasting protocols I tested until then, I couldn’t use any of them at a constant pace because my home arrival was chaotic.
With this in mind, I started testing all sorts of IF protocols. I was molding them after my daily schedule. I began studying and testing different meal patterns, eating windows, strategies.
I came up with what I believe it is the easiest and most enjoyable eating plan. Here’s what it’s all about:
FIF Diet Overview
Before I show it to you, I want to tell you the most important rule: The total number of calories you will consume each day is still the main driver of weight loss or weight gaining. You can’t negate this rule. If you want to find out how many calories you have to eat every day, you can try for free my DTM method for fat loss HERE
My Flexible Intermittent Fasting for weight loss protocol allows you to better control portion sizes, hunger, satiety, mental clarity, nutrient partitioning, and all the benefits that come with fasting.
But using it without a caloric deficit won’t work.
Combining research studies, testing different fasting protocols, and applying them with some of my clients with good results, I came up with the best one yet:
- FIF daily fasting window: 15-24 hours (with the possibility to ramp it up to 36 hours maximum)
- FIF daily eating window: 4-9 hours (with the possibility to get it down to 2 hours)
This is the original protocol I came up with, and which I tested through the course of 4 years. My body transformation is also a direct result of using this intermittent fasting protocol. This gave me the best results. And you get it for free now.
The 5-Steps To Use The “Flexible Intermittent Fasting Method” To Lose Weight In The Easiest Way Possible, And Achieve A Lean Physique
There are 5 simple steps to using the FIF technique:
- Create your FIF fasting window
- Transition From Your Normal Eating To FIF Eating
- Break The Fast With Slowly Digesting Whole Foods (And My Personal Food List)
- Start The FIF Feasting Window (eat your way into fat loss FIF style)
- Close The FIF Eating Window
Here’s how I did it step by step:
Step 1 – Create Your FIF Fasting Window
Here’s the deal:
Normal IF protocols suggest a fixed fasting, and eating window. The most common IF protocol requires you to fast for 16 hours. After that, you can eat in the next 8 hours. Repeat that over and over again.
My protocol is different:
The daily fasting window has to contain least 15 hours of fast from the last meal you had, and it can go up to 24 hours. With the exception of certain days or life conditions, you can get away with increasing the fasting window up to 36 hours. I don’t recommend frequent 36-hour fasting windows if you have a low percent bodyfat.
For you to understand the concept of the FIF fasting window setup, I took a 3-day example from a journal I made back when I first tried FIF:
- 8:27 AM –Woke up, went to fridge, had a quick snack, went to work
- 11:52 AM – My first real meal
- 14:12 PM – A snack
- 18:26 PM – A huge meal consisting of meat, vegetables, and rice
- 22:00 PM – My last meal of the day
- 8:03 AM – Got up and ready for work
- 14:12 PM – Took my first meal of the day (I fasted from 22:00 PM last night, up to 14:12 this day for a total of 16h and 9 min)
- 16:56 PM – Took my pre-workout shake
- 17:30 PM – Bodybuilding workout session
- 19:00 PM – Ate the last meal of the day
- 9:00 AM – Woke up, calculated my next meal
- 12:37 AM – Took my first meal (I fasted from 19:00PM last night, up to 11:37PM this day for a total of 17h and 37 min)
- 14:12 PM – Ate a snack
- 18:03 PM – Ate my per-workout meal
- 18:48 PM – Bodybuilding workout session
- 20:00 PM – Ate my last meal of the day
I want you to look closely at the way I was eating. I ate between certain hours of the day. It can look random at first sight. But this simple strategy made my eating schedule after my lifestyle conditions.
I wasn’t following a strict hour or dieting pattern. I decided when it was the time to start or close the eating window (of course, within the recommended fasting guidelines).
The main rule to apply is this one:
Your daily fasting window has to fall between 15 to 24 hours (with the possibility to extend it to 36 maximum hours).
In the above example, I just had to make sure I got the minimum 15 hours of fasting from the last meal. Simple math that took seconds.
I knew my fast should last at least until 13:00 PM the next day because that meant I had fasted for 15 hours:
22:00PM + 15 hours = 13:00PM
But there’s something more. And this is where the beauty of this protocol kicks in. I could have broken the fast at 13:00 PM or I could have chosen to continue with my fast a little more.
I could have ate my first meal anywhere between 13:00 PM and 22:00 PM.
Or extend my fast until the next morning.
I don’t recommend extending the fast so much if you are sub 10% bodyfat. If you have days in which you want to fast that much, make sure you consume a high protein diet.
What’s the bottom line?
Studies show that the probability of losing muscle mass because of fasting are close to null. From my own tests, I saw that it is much more difficult to retain muscle mass with an exaggerated or a rigid protocol. This is only true when you are at 10% bodyfat and lower.
Step 2 – Maintain Your Fasting Window For At Least 15 Hours
Fasting might be impossible for some people at first. There’s a period of adaptation to fasting that can range from 3 to 10 days. It was hard for me when I first tried it.
I was used to a frequent eating. This meant my hunger hormones were conditioned to send responses to my brain every 2-3 hours. That meant I was hungry every 2-3 hours. I used to eat a big breakfast, take a few snacks until my next meal, and so on.
There are strategies I use when it gets hard to maintain my fasting window.
Here are some tips that should help you maintain it easier:
- Stay away from food – Go to work. Take a walk. Do something that keeps you away from your fridge. Put yourself in a position where you can’t eat.
- Keep yourself busy – this was my primary strategy to keep my hunger down. By forgetting about hunger, and keeping yourself busy through the day, the fasting period can seem like a piece of cake.
- Force yourself through it – if the first two strategies don’t work, you must appeal to your will. Any time hunger kicks at your door, think about it. Think about all the benefits you’ll receive from IF.
- Drink coffee – coffee is an appetite blunter. Drink a cup of coffee without any sugar or milk. If you don’t like it raw, make sure not to go over 50 calories worth of milk and sugar
- Drink tea – same as coffee; it can help keep your appetite down. There are people that are thirsty, and mistake it for hunger. That’s why non-caloric liquids are fine. You can drink as many as you feel like. Just don’t go overboard
- Create a habit of abstaining from food in the morning – I included the mindset word into this website for a reason. I believe with all my heart that your mind is the most powerful tool you have. If you can control it, you can achieve anything. And this transition period is mainly a mental thing. If you have the habit of eating breakfast in the morning or snacking through the day, you’ll have to decondition yourself from doing it. Break that habit. Create a new one by focusing on FIF.
Step 3 – Break The Fast With Slowly Digesting Whole Foods (And My Personal Food List)
Always focus on whole foods when you break the fast.
Food selection wise, there’s just one simple rule: If it fits your lifestyle, by all means eat that food. I like to simplify this approach as IIFYL.
The perfect food plate for breaking a fast would contain lean protein, slowly digesting carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
This is my personal checklist that I use when I select the foods to break the FIF fast:
- Lean meats without significant fatty portions
- Meats that contain healthy fats (fish)
- Vegetables and legumes that are high in fiber and nutrients
- Carbohydrate sources that are high in fiber
- Low/medium-fat dairy sources
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Let’s move to the next step:
Step 4 – Start The FIF Feasting Window (eat your way into fat loss FIF style)
You can start the FIF feasting window after the minimum period of 15 hours of fast have passed.
Make a note that the FIF feasting window lasts anywhere between 2 to 9 hours every day. It all depends on your current lifestyle conditions.
Let’s take Monday as an example. Here’s how you do it:
- 8:03 AM – Get up and ready for work
- 14:12 PM – Take my first meal of the day
- 16:56 PM – Take a pre-workout shake
- 17:59 PM – Workout session
- 19:00 PM – Eat the last meal of the day
If you take a look at my eating window, it started at 14:12 PM and lasted up until 19:00 PM when I took my last meal. This means I had a 4 hour and 48 minutes eating window. Perfectly fine. It falls within my recommended hours.
The only thing you have to make sure you do when it comes to the eating window is to consume the daily necessary caloric intake within that time period.
Step 5 – Close The FIF Eating Window
You can close the eating window whenever you want to.
For example, if you start your feasting window at 12:00PM, you have until 21:00PM to decide when to close it.
You can close it even with 1 hour before you go to sleep. But you have to take your fasting window into consideration. For example, if you close your eating window at 02:00 AM, the next fasting window should go on until 17:00 PM next day. Why 17:00 PM?
02:00 AM + the minimum of 15 hours = your next meal should be at 17:00 PM.
If you eat too late, it will be hard for you to keep fasting until the next eating window. And what’s worse than that, if you wake up early in the morning, there are too many hours to wait until the next eating window.
This means you are subjected to hunger.
I usually close my eating window anywhere between 17:00 PM and 22:00 PM. Doing it like this ensures I have plenty of time remaining so I can open my next eating window at a more reasonable time.
Click here to download the PDF
OPTIONAL STEP 1: Do Weight Training
If you want to lose fat without losing muscle, then weight training is the best way to do that.
When you want to lose fat without muscle, your main focus should be to maintain your training weights.
Try to at least maintain your current level of strength.
If you don’t do that, then your body won’t have a reason to maintain your muscle mass because there’s no stimulus to tell him that. And that’s how you can get your body into using muscle mass as energy.
For example, if you currently leg press with 100kg, try to maintain that weight through the duration of your dieting.
Your goal should be to at least maintain that weight through your FIF fat loss phase.
OPTIONAL STEP 2: The FIF Transition Protocol
If this is your first time trying flexible intermittent fasting for weight loss, I recommend you to do it incrementally. Let your body adapt to this new eating style. Because every one of us has a certain adaptation period. It also makes your accommodation with this eating style, easier.
I would suggest you to start with my next recommendation which will introduce you to FIF in an ascending and flexible way.
My beginner protocol looks like this:
- Day 1: 16-hour fasting window with 8-hour eating
- Day 2: 18-hour fasting window with 6-hour eating
- Day 3: 20-hour fasting window with 4-hour eating
- Day 4: 22-hour fasting window with 2-hour eating
- Day 5: Fast for 24 hours
- Day 6 and on: Your eating and fasting window will vary depending on your personal preference and life conditions
Note: You can choose your flexible intermittent fasting hours, but I would suggest you to start with the next day at 12:00 PM.
What You Have To Do If You Miss The Fasting Window
I wanted to discuss this psychological aspect because many people avoid talking about it. It’s about the potential aspect of obsessing when it comes to implementing a new eating pattern into your lifestyle.
A diet has to fit your lifestyle. IIFYL, then apply it. If it doesn’t skip it.
I want you to avoid any possibility of transforming this eating style into an obsession.
If there’s a day in which you can’t apply Flexible Intermittent Fasting, don’t stress over it. Just skip it. It’s not like you ruined anything.
Let me give you an example:
If your last meal of that day is at 23:00 PM, tomorrow you should have the next meal starting from 14:00 PM.
But maybe you can’t have it at that hour because something comes up, and you have to eat early in the morning.
What to do in that situation?
Well, you have two options:
- You can eat your first meal faster, skip the fasting window for the day, and prepare for the next day
- You can wait until the next time you can eat. In this situation, your next meal should be at least 1 hour before your training session. If you can keep hunger away until your training session, do it.
I recommend a eating window of at least 3-4 hours every day. Also, you should strive to eat at least 2 meals inside the eating window.
Closing Notes On FIF
Unlike other dieting methods, with my flexible intermittent fasting for weight loss, you don’t have to starve yourself to lose the stubborn fat.
And you don’t have to modify your lifestyle to include this dieting strategy. You actually mold the strategy after your lifestyle. Pretty slick, isn’t it?
Word of caution: I don’t see this being mentioned anywhere. If you decide to try IF or FIF, make sure you look for hypoglycemia signs and symptoms:
- If you feel dizzy, feel like you are crashing because of the fast, don’t continue any further. Make sure you eat something and try it the next day. Take it easy.
- Pregnant mothers should completely avoid IF because bearing a baby is stressful, and he needs all the nutrients he can get during the pregnancy period.
Here’s my final word: I want you to understand that FIF is not the be all end all approach to weight loss. There’s no guarantee you’ll lose weight if you do FIF without a proper caloric deficit.
It can certainly improve your experience, and make it easier for you. But it all depends on how you implement flexible intermittent fasting in your overall fasting diet.
If you disregard your diet, training, and hope for the best just with FIF, then you’re definitely on a bad road.
Here are some summary of notes I collected over the years on FIF that you should know about:
- For the last meal of the day, you should preferably consume slow absorbing protein foods (eggs, cheese, casein protein, fish). If you like to eat meat, make sure you add some vegetables, and healthy fats to slow down their absorption.
- Try to consume unprocessed foods as much as possible.
- Avoid eating too many liquid calories (liquid foods like milk, soda)
- When you can’t cook or eat a normal meal, get yourself a protein shake. It’s the best meal replacement you can get. Chose a protein shake instead of eating processed foods or foods that are high in calories
- Eat whole foods
- In the fasting window, don’t just sit around and do nothing. Try to move as much as you can. Be productive. Use your energy. It’s the perfect time to take a walk, get the dog outside or even some small jogging. Don’t do extreme amounts of cardio or anything like that. Take it easy
- Inside the eating window, you can eat as many meals as you wish. There’s no definite rule to state how many you should eat. If you enjoy eating 2 meals, then so be it. If you like to eat smaller and more frequent meals, do it like that. Also, take care how many calories you eat inside the eating window. Intermittent fasting is not a magical diet that can make you lose weight if you eat too much. It also can’t help you gain muscle if you eat too little. It’s the same story as with a car: You have to go 100 miles until you reach a specified destination. Your car consumes 10 liters of petrol every 100 miles. If you fill it up with 12 liters of petrol, when you reach the destination, you’ll have 2 liters sitting in the gas tank. Your body does the same thing. What’s more than necessary, gets stored.
What FIF (flexible intermittent fasting) protocol will you use? What’s your experience with normal IF?
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