I've lost over 10 pounds twice now.
In the summer of 2017, I dropped 15 pounds following the Kinobody Warrior Shredding Program, a workout and nutrition program based around intermittent fasting.
The only thing is... I didn't do the fasting. I just ate less! And it worked, but it wasn't easy.
This summer, I've lost over 10 pounds following the same protocol, only now I've been committed to intermittent fasting for the past 10 weeks or so.
(I follow the 16/8 model... 16 hour fast, 8 hour eating window)
Using intermittent fasting to lose weight is markedly easier. Trust me!
Here's an intermittent fasting meal plan example: exactly what I eat during the eating window on a typical day to drop fat and lose weight.
(Product links in this article may be Amazon affiliate links.)
8am: Wake up & drink black coffee
One of the biggest adjustments to intermittent fasting was learning to drink black coffee.
I used to take my coffee with lots of milk and sugar. It was a delicious treat that I craved every morning, and honestly I still kind of miss it sometimes.
But in the name of getting the physique I want, I had to learn to embrace black coffee. The Starbucks Veranda blend is the best I've found so far for drinking black.
I usually start my day with about two cups of this.
(Some intermittent fasting proponents say you can put a splash of milk in your coffee if you'd like, but I like to play it safe and just keep it black.)
10-12pm: Drink lots of water! (Or preworkout, if it's a lifting day)
This part of the day can be a challenge, after you're done drinking coffee.
It's not so much that your body needs food, you just feel the need to do something, consume something, do something with your hands and mouth.
During this period of time I try my best to:
- Stay busy
- Drink lots of water
- Be active if possible
The more focused I am on work or projects, the better I feel. I've also found that getting up and going on a walk or doing something active helps my body better tap into its energy stories, and I feel more alert.
1-3pm: Sparkling water
After I hit the gym, or when I'm getting close to the end of my fast, I typically feel the need to get something more than just water in my stomach.
Sparkling water can work miracles.
It's fun to drink, refreshing, zero calorie (so it's fast-compliant), and the fizziness gives you stomach a temporary full-ish feeling.
My favorite is La Croix, though any naturally flavored, zero calorie water will do (Perrier, Dasani, store brand... they're all good.)
If I'm really on the struggle bus that day, I might allow myself to have an artificially sweetened drink like Sparkling Ice or a Diet Coke or something like that.
(Check out 11+ ways to not feel hungry when fasting)
3pm (breaking the fast): Protein Bar (230 calories)
I love these ThinkThin high protein bars (especially the creamy peanut butter flavor), and really look forward to breaking my fast with one of these every day.
These are really tasty, not super high in calories, and come packed with 20g of protein.
It's a nice little mini-reward after a long period of fasting, plus it gets you off on the right foot toward your protein target for the day.
4pm: Pink Lady Apple (70 calories)
Apples are an AMAZING snack for intermittent fasting.
They're low calorie and mostly made of water, so they have a ton of volume. Cut an apple up into slices and you can enjoy eating it for a couple of minutes, with lots of flavor and satisfying, crunchy chewing.
Compare that to eating 70 calories of, say, french fries or chocolate... which would be about one bite!
The good quality carbs you get from fruits like apples are also fantastic for giving you energy to power through until dinner.
4-6:30pm: Patience! (And maybe another snack)
A funny thing usually happens to me once I've had my afternoon snacks (about 300 calories total).
I often get way hungrier.
Once you prime your body for eating, it's like it suddenly realizes it's been running a massive deficit and you can become ravenous.
The key to overcoming this is, believe it or not, patience.
The food you just ate needs a little bit of time to digest and start providing your body with energy. More snacking is often not the right thing to do... Instead, just wait, be active, focus on getting some things done, and the energy will kick in.
If I'm really dying, though, I'll have another 100 calorie snack or so in the form of a granola bar or more fruit.
630pm: Big Dinner (800-900 calories)
This is where all of your hard work and diligence pays off. You finally get to eat something substantial.
The big (or sometimes massive meal) at night is the primary benefit and selling point of intermittent fasting. Time to enjoy!
The challenge is that this is your main source of calories for the day, so you need to not simply stuff your face, but make sure you're getting the right balance of macros, along with some quality foods.
Ideally, this should be a high protein, moderate fat and carb dinner.
My favorite intermittent fasting dinner is a baked chicken burrito bowl with:
- Brown rice
- Two small/medium chicken breasts
- Green salsa
- Black beans
- Mexican cheese
- Sour cream
The way I've portioned it out, this comes out right around 8-900 calories and has some good quality carbs (brown rice & quinoa) plus some fat (cheese & sour cream), and a ton of protein (60+ grams).
It's delicious and I can eat this almost every single night, if pressed. I know exactly what I'm getting when I eat it, and best of all, most of the ingredients give you plenty to make this dish several times. (A can of beans and corn will last you a while.)
My other go-to meal is spaghetti with chicken meatballs:
- Meatballs (ground chicken, bread, garlic, onion)
- Whole wheat spaghetti or angel hair (Related: How to measure pasta calories)
- Tomato sauce
I'll often rotate between these two meals if I'm cooking at home. It keeps things simple for me, and they're both meals that I love.
If I'm eating out for dinner, I don't freak out about my macros. I just order something high in protein (burger, steak, something with lots of chicken, etc.) and try to estimate the calories the best that I can.
10:30pm: Sweet snack or dessert (200-400 calories)
I like to round out the day with something sweet.
It's a nice reward, and it makes it feel like you're not really dieting at all.
Complete Cookies (high protein cookies) are one of my favorite things because they're not jam packed with sugar, they're gluten free, and they give you a little extra protein to round out the day.
[Read my full review of the Complete Cookie]
But, to be honest, some days I will bake up an actual cookie or two and wash them down with a glass of milk. Or munch on a granola bar, or whatever else I have lying around.
The goal of this final snack is to a) round out my calorie goal for the day and b) get something in my stomach so I'll sleep well and not wake up too hungry.
Anything in the 200-400 calorie range, depending on what I've eaten that day, will do.
(If I've had a humongous dinner, I may skip this snack entirely or have something really small, like 50-100 calories.)
Total: 1500-1700 calories
So that's it! That's what has worked for me and helped me drop 10+ pounds pretty effortlessly this summer.
Best of all, it's actually an enjoyable way to eat! Though it may not be for everyone.
If you want to get started on a workout and nutrition program that utilizes intermittent fasting to help you get lean and strong, check out the Kinobody Warrior Shredding Program.
Intermittent Fasting Shopping List
And definitely check out my favorite cookbook with intermittent fasting recipe ideas!