Intermittent Fasting (or IF for short) has gotten a lot of attention lately and Lindsay and I are constantly being asked what the Team Seamans diet looks like, so I decided to write this little article. At first I did not believe in the entire thing, IF, not eating for 12 to 16 hours, that’s crazy talk! I had been under the eating schedule of an old school lifter for almost ten years, eating smaller meals six time per day, eating within an hour of waking up and no more than one hour before going to bed. One of our Kettlebell coaches, Jay “The Legend” Trunzo from Punch Kettlebell Gym in Sarasota Florida got into IF and got his clients into it, they also got into juicing and using shakes for some of their meals. Then one of my most successful clients, Cara, a bikini competitor got into IF and showed great results with it and she praised the ease of living on this plan versus the old school bodybuilder way of eating every two to three hours. This all began to intrigue me to the point where I had to do some research, online, in books, and I had to do some real life “field research” on my own body to test this out.
If you would like to do some research of your own, and you should, please read over some or all of this article by Dr. John M Berardi…
Doctor Berardi quotes a lot of different medical and fitness professionals who use IF with great success, including Martin Berkhan, who he talks about in chapter 6, explaining how Berkhan uses a 16 hour daily fasting window, but at the same time Berkhan recommends a 12 hour window for most normal people. Our good client Cara uses the 16 hour window and like Berkhan, works out in the morning while still in the fasted window. Cara, like most people starting IF do and like you probably should do, started off with a 12 hour window and slowly increased it to 16 hours over the course of 2 to 4 weeks. The 16 hour window is not for everyone, some people have trouble working out in the morning and if you are one of those people I do not recommend trying to do so fasted. our client Cara has had great success working out fasted with some liquid BCAA’s. I personally have always felt my peak energy right around noon, and I like to eat before I workout, so my fasting window is 12 hours. Of course I know I live an almost perfect fitness lifestyle in that I can workout and eat whenever I want because my gym and my office are one and the same! Due to the fact that we work until 8pm or so, we do not eat dinner until 9 or so, which makes my 12 hour fasting window last until 9am before I have my first meal. It may be tough for some people who have more active jobs to make it that far into the day without eating, but I promise you will get use to it after a couple of weeks, just try to keep increasing that window a half an hour per week. If you start to get light headed or dizzy or shaky, try drinking some water, most people who are feeling hungry are actually just dehydrated, but if you have pushed your window past 12 hours and you keep not feeling well, take it back down to 12 and start over, you need to figure out what works best for you, but most experts on IF say that you won’t see serious results from IF unless the fasting window is at least 12 hours so try not to go under that number.
There are a lot of people who have serious trouble and stress trying to maintain the “eat six meals a day three hours apart” bodybuilding diet. Unless you have a very stress free job where you can kind of do what you want when you want, oh and you don’t have kids, and you have plenty of time to prep your meals, you will probably find this old school way of eating difficult to fit into your life. Well here is the simple solution, Intermittent Fasting!
I started on IF with a 12 hour window back in December of last year and I saw some results, then Christmas cookie season hit and let’s just say I had some setbacks on my diet and my physique. Lindsay and I have a kettlebell competition in February so once we got back from our New Year’s trip to Florida we cracked down on our diet, made sure we were measuring the amount of fats and oils we were using in making dinner and we cut our dinner portions back just a little. I can tell you that with the help of the shake recipe below, Intermittent Fasting and watching our dinner size and fat intake I have dropped 15 pounds in 3 weeks and my abs are showing again! Yup, that fast, 3 weeks!
Now, about that shake recipe…
Here is my recipe for an amazing plant based protein smoothie that is easy to make, has ingredients you can get year round and above all it tastes amazing!
- 20oz almond milk
- 1 apple
- 1.5 cups frozen tropical fruit (Lindsay uses frozen mixed berries)
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 scoops Phood or Plantfusion (soy free, dairy free, vegan protein powder)
- Pour almond milk into blender, add everything else, blend on high for three minutes. Done! Makes two 20oz shakes, I have one at 9 am or so and the next at 11:30 or so, about 30 to 60 minutes before I workout.
***I am 195 pounds and I am 75″ tall, that is a lot of mass, and I workout everyday at a very high intensity, so I need to feed that mass and have enough energy stores for workouts, that is why this shake is this size. If you are smaller than me, you need to decrease this recipe accordingly, for example, Lindsay’s shake is 1/3 less than mine. If you are bigger than me, but you are looking to lose weight, this size shake is perfect for you. And another note, this shake is for pre-workout meals, because it has fat in it, I have another shake after workout but it is just protein and a smaller amount of carbs, studies have proven that fat intake post-workout will inhibit protein uptake into the muscles.***
Here is the nutritional breakdown (per shake, remember this recipe makes two shakes):
- calories: 448
- carbs: 49g
- fat: 17g
- protein: 29g
- sodium: 691g
- sugar: 35g
Now doesn’t that sound simple? For all you people having difficulty planning meals, prepping meals, finding ten minutes to get away from your cubicle to eat your planned meal at a planned time, all you people who can’t stomach whole food at 6am?! This is sooooo easy to live with! Make your shakes fresh daily, throw them in the fridge at work or keep them in a cooler by your desk. You don’t have to have the first one until 9 or whenever your window is up and it will only take you one minute to drink it down and it is portable so you can take it to meetings or on the road or to job sites or conferences! Make sure all your other meals of the day are solid real food, no processed crap, in good macro ratios (protein, carb, fat, fiber), and make sure you don’t overeat at dinner and you’re good to go! Weight loss made simple!
A note on blenders; don’t buy a cheap one! While you can buy the best of the best, a Vitamix for $600, you can also get this amazing new blender, the Ninja Ultima (a knockoff of the Vitamix) for only $220! When I tell you this thing will chop ice into snow I am not kidding! The Ninja Ultima made the absolute smoothest textured shake I have ever had, not a single piece of spinach and not a single piece of apple skin in my shake. Go get one of these! But whatever you do, do not buy anything below $100, do not go cheap on this purchase or you will end up with shakes that are chunky and have big hunks of skin and greens and it will break within a year I promise.