For about a year now I have been following the advice that the coaches at MA fitness gave us during the Ultimate Body Challenge – eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3. If you did this while continuing to exercise you were supposed to see a reduction in body fat. I have been consistently hovering close to 12% for 6 months now – not my end goal by any means.
Starting last week I decided to try intermittent fasting. I was nervous at first because it goes totally against what I’ve been taught for a while now. It sounds as though I’m advocating starving oneself, but I’m not. Read more about it here.
My current diet is to eat 6 small clean meals like always on the days after strength workouts. I fast on days when I’m not working out for about 12 hours. I may drink a veggie juice or have a 1/4 cup or oatmeal during the day, however. So I’m not totally fasting. I eat enough to keep my blood sugar from totally crashing. I eat a full meal that night after the strength work out.
Here’s a sample:
Monday morning I fast from morning until my workout at 3. Then I have shake after working out. Then a full meal that night.
Tuesday is a resting day so I eat 6 high protein meals that day.
Wednesday I fast until dinner (or until I finish my workout if I’m strength training that day).
I haven’t been doing this long but in the last week I’ve seen my belly finally go down and my % body fat has dropped 1%. Just eating clean and doing cardio/strength training wasn’t working. This may be due to my already low body fat. They say getting those last few inches is the hardest part. No one explained exactly just how hard it can be.
Frankly I’ve been conflicted because I wanted to get leaner while also building muscle. Doing what I’ve been doing I have built some muscle but haven’t seen the gains I had hoped. This may be due to cutting too many calories from my diet and not resting long enough between workouts. My new approach is to first cut down and get leaner (since it IS beach season) and then I’ll try adding bulk (which should be a lot more fun). I’ve read that body builders often alternate throughout the competition seasons this way.