Welcome back to our blog series on IF. If you haven’t read part one yet, check it out here.
What’s your typical day look like?
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, let’s move into the part most people ask about, “What’s your typical day look like?” Me, I prefer a 20-24 hour fast with a 4-hour eating window. I prefer my eating window to be in the mid to late afternoon. This not only allows me to break my fast with a nutritionally robust lunch, but it also allows me to have a meal at dinner with my family. Let’s break down what a typical 24-hours looks like for me:
- 6:00 – When waking-up, I reach over and immediately slam a glass of water. That’s right, even before brushing my teeth. Generally speaking, I slam water all day, but before passing out I leave a glass of water bedside. To be completely honest, I wake up once or twice most nights and drink the water anyways, but I always refill it so I have a glass of room temperature ready to slam when I wake up. (Yes, there are benefits of drinking water when you wake up, but that’s a blog for another day. Drinking water is critical to anyone who wants a healthy lifestyle!)
- 6:30 – Glare at my coffee maker as I’m getting ready to leave, daydreaming about that afternoon cup of coffee with oat milk and maple syrup, yum!
- 7:00 Get to work and immediately fill up my 32oz cup with the company’s filtered water and pour a cup of decaffeinated black coffee. I literally don’t need the caffeine anymore, but for me coffee serves the following purposes:
- Coffee suppresses your appetite. No mystery here.
- Studies show coffee and/or tea can help increase fat loss.
- I enjoy my coffee poop. There, I said it.
- Not the sexiest, but still a good change up to water.
If nothing else, I’m a creature of habit and it’s been my morning ritual for years. However, too much coffee (as with anything) is unhealthy, so I limit myself to 1-2 cups a day. As for water, I shoot for 32-64 ounces per day. Aside from the inconvenience of frequent bathroom trips, liquids help suppress appetite.
- 1:00-3:00 – Break my fast with a “spoon” salad. A spoon salad is a term I coined. It describes a salad that has so many toppings, that you need a spoon rather than a fork to eat (see below for details). This is also where I’ll have my oat milk maple syrup coffee. If I happen to be working from home (like many of us these days) I’ll squeeze in an afternoon dessert by whipping up a smoothie (see below for details).
- 3:00-6:00 – Continue to pile on the water throughout my remaining time at work. Water is essential for digesting and improves metabolism. After work, I head home for another meal. If it’s a pasta dinner, I’m in. If it’s meatloaf, I’m out. Generally, this is where I reach for my Knifehand meals. They are so convenient and I know they’re going to taste great. Keep in mind, this is your window to eat. I recommend keeping it as clean and nutritious as possible, but there’s definitely wiggle room for other indulgences. Like, dessert? Fuck yeah! Chocolate dipped in peanut butter, here I come! Also, if I was at work and couldn’t get in a smoothie after lunch, this is also where I’ll squeeze that in as well.
How do you fight the cravings?
One word: distractions. Other than keeping up on your water intake, I find being distracted to be the best way to fight cravings. When I’m at work, this is easy. When I’m working from home, not so much. Really, when I’m home at all, it can be a struggle. That’s why I do my best to stay busy. Whether it’s home projects, running errands, coaching baseball, or out on a hike. I always try to load up my schedule to stay busy and/or out of the house. If you’re sitting around the house, bored, well good luck! That’s a recipe for failure, no question. Let’s be honest, the more I write, the more this sounds like a lifestyle change. What’s wrong with that?! Eating less, drinking more water, losing weight, gaining more energy, getting more done, and feeling better are all byproducts of making these changes! Sign me up!
High Octane Spoon Salad – the point of this salad is to be as nutritionally robust as possible and micronutrient efficient. You’ve deprived your body of fuel for hours and it’s craving nutrition. Your brain might be craving something else, but your body wants/needs vitamins and nutrients!
Ingredients: chopped iceberg lettuce (let’s face it, romaine is expensive!), chopped spinach (iron), shredded carrots, chopped bell pepper, chopped cucumber, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado (excellent source of fat for long-lasting energy release), chickpeas (protein!), sunflower seeds (protein and fat!), cranberry raisins (flavor!), and your favorite dressing.
Peanut Berry Bliss – The rules I live by for nutrition is as follows: vegetables, fruit, legumes, seeds, and berries. That’s right, I put berries in a different category as fruit. They are a nutritional powerhouse and incredible for your digestive system.
Step 1): Blend ½ cup of frozen blueberries, ½ cup of strawberries, and ½ cup of water.
Step 2): Add one whole banana, ½ cup plant-based yogurt, ½ cup of peanut butter, ¼ cup of water and blend again.
Viola, you’re welcome!
DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed trainer or a medical professional. The information discussed in this blog is for general information and not intended to be authoritative guidance 🙂 It is encouraged that anyone interested in trying a new diet should consult with a professional first.